Thursday, September 3, 2009

Not-so-humanitarian aid...

Things are going downhill in Somalia. This is saying something, since Somalia has had no discernible government or economy in 20 years. Ruled by a succession of warlords, plagued by constant fighting. The people rely almost exclusively on humanitarian aid.

Now, Islamic fighters and government forces clash over territory in increasingly violent conflict. What has the civilized world done about this? I would like to say absolutely nothing, but we've actually done worse.

The U.N.'s (read, U.S.) intervention in Somalia in 1992 was very well-intentioned, an attempt to provide infrastructure and relief. However, the end result is that they destroyed what little was left of the country, and then abruptly left. They are now arguably worse off.

Fast forward to today. The one chance the region has for stability does not lie in the current government. The government there has a reputation for being currupt and useless, and nobody really holds any hope for their success. However, money, logistics and material support from foreign sources continue to be squandered on bureaucrats who line their pockets with wealth and leave the people to starve. Why? Because it's better to deal with the devil you know.

See, the other option is an Islamic state. And as we all know, Islam is evil. Right? Never mind that Somalia is a traditionally Islamic country, or that Islamic government is generally better at managing corruption and fulfilling the needs of the people. The powers-that-be would rather the entire country starve than have it under the control of people they don't own.

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