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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

War, What Is It Good For?

posted by on December 26 at 15:32 PM

There is no easy way to explain the new war in the Horn of Africa. From one side, it is a war between Ethiopia and Eritrea in much the same way that the recent war in Beirut was really between Israel and Iran—Eritrea backs the Somali Islamist; Iran backs Hezbollah. On another side, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is not exactly the ideal African leader but one that’s often as bad, as cruel, as corrupt as all the rest of them—Mugabe, Banda, Kaunda. But in the end, how can one side with the Islamic fundamentalists? With their fascistic fantasies, their mad will to make on Earth what they believe is in Heaven? And look at Sudan. Will a Somalia under the power of Islamic fundamentalist not be a lot like Sudan? No one wants war, but it is impossible to support men who believe the law of their God must be the law of all, the law of the land. What a bloody mess.

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Pretty much ALL of the sides are predominantly Islamic, BTW, for whatever that's worth (around here, probably not a lot).

Posted by Art | December 26, 2006 4:29 PM

Ethiopia is mainly Christian.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 26, 2006 5:08 PM
Posted by Art | December 26, 2006 5:15 PM

I was under the same impression as Keshmeshi. The Washington Post claims: " perceived as a historically Christian nation, though Muslims now make up nearly half its population."
There seems to be debate as to the actual numbers, but the idea is that Ethiopia is a kind of Christian nation amongst overwhelmingly Muslim ones.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | December 26, 2006 6:02 PM

Hey, you've got an evil muslims versus the non-muslim good guys narative you can fit things into, who cares about silly little facts?

Oh, and the Somalis themselves, including the factions Ethiopia are backing and the other factions the Islamic courts are fighting: all Muslim.

Posted by Art | December 26, 2006 7:43 PM

Not arguing good/evil, Art, but you make the correct point. The interesting thing emerging in this story is that there's some statistical warring going on with the precision / perception of religious adherent percentages inside Ethiopia and its two-fold implications on the nature of national, multicultural unity and the greater regional + international strife.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | December 26, 2006 8:22 PM

Whether it is Muslims fighting Muslims or Muslims fighting non-Muslims one thing is for sure: Sooner ot later some Islamic religious or political leader will say "The Jews did it!"
It's only a matter of time- hours, days, at most 2 weeks, but it is predictable.

Posted by jane doe | December 26, 2006 10:09 PM

The war in the Horn of Africa is one where all the people are losing. Meles Zenawi does not have the Ethiopian peoples interest at heart in any way... his government literally siezed power after 90 percent of the voting population voted him out of office early 2005, and in non-violent protests that followed this stolen election he ordered the police to stop the protests by any means, so to make a long story short, they opened fire on unarmed crowds of youth, children were shot and killed, and tens of thousands of protesters have been detained without charge. All of the opposition party leaders who the people voted into office are still imprisoned to this day. Ethiopia and Eritrea are 2 of the 5 countrys in the world with the highest number of imprisoned journalists. Anyone who speaks out against the government in Ethiopia can be imprisoned or executed. Even certain blogs and websites are being blocked in Ethiopia. I had to dig and write people to get the information I know. A good news source for you to check would be
I just want to say this war has nothing to do with anyones God... and it's scary how much Meles Zenawi sounds like George Bush when speaking about what's going on in Ethiopia. He says he's fighting terrorism when in fact he is terrorizing all of Ethiopia, and now he's getting involved in wars in Somalia and starting to trip with Eritrea too? It's madness. We understand as Ethiopian people we need to be our own media in these times... what happened in Rwanda proves the rest of the world won't pay attention unless we make some noise in the diaspora. This fuels my fire... If you ever do storys on this and need more sources, Charles, just holler at me.

-- gabriel teodros

abyssinian creole, what!

Posted by gabriel teodros | December 27, 2006 1:57 AM

wow, i didn't see the article about them bombing somalia until just now... damn.

Posted by gabriel teodros | December 27, 2006 2:06 AM

Jane Doe - If by "the Jews" you mean "America" then I'm pretty sure people are blaming them right now, due to Americas military aid to Ethiopia.

Posted by Art | December 27, 2006 7:24 AM

Is it just me or does religion pretty much fuck EVERYTHING up?

Posted by monkey | December 27, 2006 8:57 AM

Somalia and Ethiopia - a mainly Christian nation - have a history of troubled relations, and Islamists have long called for a holy war against Ethiopian troops in Baidoa.

BBC News.

Posted by m... | December 27, 2006 9:35 AM

Surprise, surprise. Most religious wars have little to do with religion, other than to get the rank and file stoked about killing the enemy.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 27, 2006 10:45 AM

Yes, let's bring back those US-financed WARLORDS who seemed so great before. Or, howabouts, we stop our little experiment in proxy imperialism and allow the people of east africa and the rest of the world to determine their own lives and governments? That'd be novel.

Posted by Johnny | December 27, 2006 12:34 PM

Art: If by "the Jews" you mean America"

Uh, no Art, "Jews" are not another word for "America". Kinda like "Muslim" isn't another word for "terrorist"- unless you are a bigot. Sorta like that.

Posted by jane doe | December 27, 2006 2:30 PM

Jane Doe, hey, it's not my fault that these days they're considered synonyms in many parts of the world.

Posted by Art | December 27, 2006 2:58 PM

This is why I believe in God but despise religion.

On Meet the Press this weekend a Reverend said that atheistic leaders (Hitler, Mao, and Stalin) accounted for the majority of genocide in the 20th century as he tried to brush away the criticism against the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition.

He doesn't understand that atheism is a religion too.

Posted by elswinger | December 27, 2006 4:20 PM

He doesn't understand that atheism is a religion too.

Um, no it isn't. That's just dumbassery asserted through repitition.

Posted by Art | December 27, 2006 6:45 PM

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