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> Somali Islamists; better than the alternative, right necro?, Islamic law > no law, right?
Dakyron
post Oct 19 2009, 09:40 PM
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QUOTE
Somali Women Whipped for Wearing Bras

Monday, October 19, 2009

Somalia‚??s hardline Islamist group al Shabaab is cracking down on residents who do not follow a strict form of Sharia Islamic law, now publicly whipping women who wear bras, the Times of India reported.

Residents tell the paper that gunmen have been gathering women in Mogadishu who are perceived to have firm busts. These women are then publicly whipped by masked men as punishment for what Islamist leaders call deception.

After the public whippings, the women are forced to remove their bras and shake their breasts, the Times reported.

‚??Al Shabaab forced us to wear their type of veil and now they order us to shake our breasts,‚?? a resident, Halima, told the Times of India. Her daughters were whipped for wearing bras.

‚??They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women‚??s chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat,‚?? she said.

The insurgent group recently amputated a foot and a hand from two young men accused of robbery. Al Shabaab has also banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and playing or watching soccer.



From Times of India


So Necro, are you willing to refute your earlier statement about the Islamists being better than a weak central government? After all, any law is better than no law, right?
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necrolyte
post Oct 20 2009, 04:37 AM
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Didn't I already explain this to you? or are you completely illiterate?

Edit: I'll give you one more chance. This particular case actually only goes to prove my point. When I said that Islamist law was better than anarchy, I was giving an argument for why a foreign, Imperialistic nation (Ethiopia, a nation the Somalis are not too fond of) would create instability when they invaded that was worse than the Islamic Courts Union. Al Shabab, the group mentioned in the article, is not the Islamist group forced from power by the Ethiopians, but instead a Taliban-like insurgency which developed out of anti-Ethiopian Jihadi resistance. Had Ethiopia not overthrown the more moderately Islamist Islamic Courts Union, the more reactionary al Shabab would not be handing out brutal and unjust Street Shariah.

Just to emphasize my point, the leader of the Islamic Courts Union, that was overthrown by Ethiopia, is now the US-supported President of the highly unstable Transition Government. This is not to say that the ICU didn't have dubious links, but as far as I'm concerned, the current (since the fall of the ICU) anarchy and violence in Somalia is in large part because a foreign (Ethiopian) army intervened. There wasn't even a real attempt to engage the ICU, the US and its regional "anti-terror" allies just decided to encourage an Iraq-style preemptive war simply because they were Islamists.

Basically, you need to do a better job of remembering context.

QUOTE
Sharif Ahmed, 44, was voted in as president of Somalia in a parliamentary poll in January and pledged to restore some semblance of security to a country riven by internal conflict for years.

"My first priority is to bring peace to Somalia and I will serve the nation to the best of my ability," he said after taking power.

It was hoped that Ahmed would be able a unifying force, after all he had once been leader of the Islamic Courts Union, which had waged a bitter war against the country's weak transitional government.

But now it is his former allies in the al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam groups who are battling to bring down the government.

'Moderate' Muslim

Considered a "moderate" Muslim, Ahmed was born in the Mahaday district, about 100km north of Mogadishu in 1964.

After attending Islamic schools in Somalia, he went on to study in Sudan and Libya during the 1990s before becoming a geography teacher in a Mogadishu secondary school.

In depth

Timeline of Somalia
Restoring Somalia
A long road to stability
Somali fighters undeterred
He has said it was the kidnapping of a young student for ransom that drove him to set up a sharia court to rid the capital of banditry.

The Islamic courts union drew together more than a dozen sharia tribunals set up in the 1990s to restore a degree of law and order to the capital Mogadishu.

By the summer of 2006, the group had managed to unify Mogadishu, and under Ahmed's leadership, it had gained control of most of southern Somalia.

In its six months of rule, the movement was credited with bringing peace and stability to the region for the first time in 15 years, but was also criticised for strict religious practices.

Seeing the movement as a threat to both itself and the UN-backed transitional Somali government, Ethiopia entered its Horn of Africa neighbour in December 2006, forcing out the Islamic Courts.

Ahmed was forced to to flee and surrendered to Kenyan authorities on the border in January 2007, although he was released days later.

He returned to Somalia in November 2008 under UN-sponsored peace agreements with the transitional government signed in Djibouti in July and October 2008.

Under those deals, Ethiopian forces have pulled out of the country - a situation Ahmed has claimed credit for.

Seats in the Somali parliament were doubled to 550 in order to accommodate 200 members of Ahmed's Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), and 75 other opposition figures.

Al-Shabab rejected the Djibouti agreement, allying itself with Hizbul Islam and vowing to topple Ahmed.


This post has been edited by necrolyte: Oct 20 2009, 02:30 PM
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Dakyron
post Oct 20 2009, 02:49 PM
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Basically, the article agrees with me. It quite blatantly states that Al-shaba only turned on Ahmed because he joined the legitimate government, not because Ahmed detested the brutal shariah justice.

I guess I could sum everything up by saying you are completely wrong and dont even have the mental capability to understand why.
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JLord
post Oct 20 2009, 04:15 PM
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Which is better between anarchy and fundamentalist Islam? Who cares? If you jumped out of a plane would you rather have a bicycle or a tennis racquet? If indeed total anarchy is the one thing that is worse than Islamic law the so be it. I don't really see the point to this sort of debate. Both situations are obviously terrible and you will be able to find countless ridiculous examples in favour of either being worse.
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Dakyron
post Oct 20 2009, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (JLord @ Oct 20 2009, 09:15 AM) *
Which is better between anarchy and fundamentalist Islam? Who cares? If you jumped out of a plane would you rather have a bicycle or a tennis racquet? If indeed total anarchy is the one thing that is worse than Islamic law the so be it. I don't really see the point to this sort of debate. Both situations are obviously terrible and you will be able to find countless ridiculous examples in favour of either being worse.


You misunderstand Necrolytes stupidity. He not only suggested Islamic law was better than anarchy, he support the Somali Islamists(the same ones who whip women who wear bras, stone adulterers, and cut thieves hands off) over the legitimate UN backed government because he believed that the Islamists could more quickly implement "law and order".

Not that the UN backed government could not implement law and order, but that he would rather just have the US support the ICU and its al-qaida like terrorist allies over the legitimate government because it would take less time for them to consolidate power.

You know, rather than have the African union and local government troops fight for real freedom, lets just install a dictatorship that whips women for having too firm of breasts. At least then there wont be any fighting.

Hopefully, you see the contradiction of this compared to his other political views.
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necrolyte
post Oct 20 2009, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE (Dakyron @ Oct 20 2009, 03:49 PM) *
Basically, the article agrees with me. It quite blatantly states that Al-shaba only turned on Ahmed because he joined the legitimate government, not because Ahmed detested the brutal shariah justice.


... except the ICU and al Shabab were very different in organization, methodology and ideology. For instance, al Shabab destroyed a Muslim mosque and shrine because it was Sufi. The ICU on the other hand, did not have a problem with Sufi Islam. Hence the reason the Transitional govt and the ICU came to an agreement in the end, and Ethiopia withdrew. And the transitional government needed to negotiate with Ahmed because... the ICU was more popular and influential than the transitional government and their foreign Ethiopian allies. The strategy you supported didn't work, and now we're picking up the pieces.

See, there are four problems with your whole argument.

(1) It presumes that all Shariah law is the same. This is like saying all Christian law is the same. This is a stupid statement; clearly, Catholic law during the Inquisition was far harsher than modern Catholic laws against abortion, ect. By your argument, there is no recognition whatsoever of distinctions of degree in the application of law.

(2) It presumes that Somalia is not right now an anarchy but a religious dictatorship, and that this is a zero sum game. This is an amazingly dense view. Look, if you have an anarchy, you still have religious violence, it just lacks any real monopoly on force, and Somalia is closer to this example than it is to Clerical Iran. Al Shabab is an Islamic organization existing and thriving in an anarchy, not an Islamic government applying Islamic law. If there are no police, Al Shabab does not need Shariah law to assault and harangue those that they feel disgrace God. Therefore, you only prove my point, by showing that anarchy also allows for repressive religious edicts by breaking the state monopoly on force, and allowing anyone to form a militia and impose their own type of "law"

(3) It presumes that the violence inflicted upon people by violent religious edicts is somehow worse than other kinds of violence. How is getting beaten for dressing inappropriately any worse than getting killed and robbed?

(4) It does not answer the critical historical context of Somalia, which is that the nation state is highly unstable and has been for years. It's people are desperate for some semblance or normality so that even basic economic and social needs can be taken care of. Questions of Islamic law are irrelevant when half the country is malnourished, especially if it's unclear how much local support the Islamic law has. (For instance, would you rather starve in a fully anarchic society with no infrastructure, or live healthily in a semi-functioning state where Pat Robertson is President? It is true that Robertson is a nut and an asshole, but in reality, neither society would have an unbiased press or good and effective laws, but only one of the two has the conditions necessary for survival.)

This post has been edited by necrolyte: Oct 20 2009, 07:17 PM
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ro4444
post Oct 20 2009, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE (necrolyte @ Oct 20 2009, 01:16 PM) *
... except the ICU and al Shabab were very different in organization, methodology and ideology. For instance, al Shabab destroyed a Muslim mosque and shrine because it was Sufi. The ICU on the other hand, did not have a problem with Sufi Islam. Hence the reason the Transitional govt and the ICU came to an agreement in the end, and Ethiopia withdrew. And the transitional government needed to negotiate with Ahmed because... the ICU was more popular and influential than the transitional government and their foreign Ethiopian allies. The strategy you supported didn't work, and now we're picking up the pieces.


The reason the transitional government has not worked is because it has had to deal with terrorist orgs and crazy ass fundie groups like the ICU and al-Shabaab for years, and has received virtually no support from its neighbors. Of course the locals are eventually going to prefer the latter over the transitional government, because at some point people will believe that the alternative can stop the violence, even if the alternative is the one causing the violence. Just like the Germans eventually supported Hitler and his Nazis in part because they believed they could bring an end to the constant street violence even though the SA were the very people causing such brutality. This was not an inevitable outcome like you stupidly claim, but it happened thanks to no one helping the transitional government that could have easily been turned into a stable organization with the appropriate level of outside investment. Instead the violence was allowed to continue for years, and at some point the people said "enough, let's just side with the assholes who are blowing crap up in the hopes that they stop doing so once they're in power."

QUOTE
(1) It presumes that all Shariah law is the same. This is like saying all Christian law is the same. This is a stupid statement; clearly, Catholic law during the Inquisition was far harsher than modern Catholic laws against abortion, ect. By your argument, there is no recognition whatsoever of distinctions of degree in the application of law.


How quickly you forget the brutality of the ICU <snicker>. Don't try and tell us that ICU "sharia" was somehow more benevolent, just because it may not have advocated the specific practice of whipping women who don't want their breasts to sag as quickly.

QUOTE
(2) It presumes that Somalia is not right now an anarchy but a religious dictatorship, and that this is a zero sum game. This is an amazingly dense view. Look, if you have an anarchy, you still have religious violence, it just lacks any real monopoly on force, and Somalia is closer to this example than it is to Clerical Iran. Al Shabab is an Islamic organization existing and thriving in an anarchy, not an Islamic government applying Islamic law. If there are no police, Al Shabab does not need Shariah law to assault and harangue those that they feel disgrace God. Therefore, you only prove my point, by showing that anarchy also allows for repressive religious edicts by breaking the state monopoly on force, and allowing anyone to form a militia and impose their own type of "law"


This is inane. Dakyron never claimed anything mentioned in this paragraph. Moving on...

QUOTE
(3) It presumes that the violence inflicted upon people by violent religious edicts is somehow worse than other kinds of violence. How is getting beaten for dressing inappropriately any worse than getting killed and robbed?


You think al-Shabaab isn't resorting to killing and looting? They've been responsible for suicide bombings and have even been plotting attacks on Australian targets, to say nothing of the level of violence that is doubtless present in the areas that they actually control. Meanwhile your argument is based off the assumption that the group's worst activity is whipping women, so it fails pretty hardcore.

QUOTE
(4) It does not answer the critical historical context of Somalia, which is that the nation state is highly unstable and has been for years. It's people are desperate for some semblance or normality so that even basic economic and social needs can be taken care of. Questions of Islamic law are irrelevant when half the country is malnourished, especially if it's unclear how much local support the Islamic law has. (For instance, would you rather starve in a fully anarchic society with no infrastructure, or live healthily in a semi-functioning state where Pat Robertson is President? It is true that Robertson is a nut and an asshole, but in reality, neither society would have an unbiased press or good and effective laws, but only one of the two has the conditions necessary for survival.)


Let's modify this question a tiny bit.

Would you rather starve in a fully anarchic society with no infrastructure, or live healthily in a semi-functioning state where NSDAP is running things?

Still sound like an awesome alternative? Yes, a measure of stability not currently present can be achieved with any government. That doesn't mean that it's worth pushing for.
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Dakyron
post Oct 20 2009, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (necrolyte @ Oct 20 2009, 10:16 AM) *
... except the ICU and al Shabab were very different in organization, methodology and ideology.


Does this matter? Sure, people would rather just be beaten rather than beaten and robbed, but it ignores completely the fact that neither should happen.

QUOTE (necrolyte @ Oct 20 2009, 10:16 AM) *
For instance, al Shabab destroyed a Muslim mosque and shrine because it was Sufi. The ICU on the other hand, did not have a problem with Sufi Islam. Hence the reason the Transitional govt and the ICU came to an agreement in the end, and Ethiopia withdrew. And the transitional government needed to negotiate with Ahmed because... the ICU was more popular and influential than the transitional government and their foreign Ethiopian allies. The strategy you supported didn't work, and now we're picking up the pieces.


Irrelevant. Ahmed is now part of the legitimate government. You know, the one you proposed should be disbanded in favor of an unelected militarist band of Islamic hardliners. Just because one of the hard liners got into a philosophical dispute over who should and should not be beaten for an arbitrary reason doesnt make any difference to the basics of the argument.

QUOTE (necrolyte @ Oct 20 2009, 10:16 AM) *
See, there are four problems with your whole argument.

(1) It presumes that all Shariah law is the same. This is like saying all Christian law is the same. This is a stupid statement; clearly, Catholic law during the Inquisition was far harsher than modern Catholic laws against abortion, ect. By your argument, there is no recognition whatsoever of distinctions of degree in the application of law.


Yes, and shariah is the equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. This is why an unelected militarist band should not be handed control of any region on earth. Again, it doesnt matter if one hand is cut off or two, a person should be subjected to neither.

Furthermore, the ICU did some pretty terrible things like encourage stoning and cut thieve's hands off. Are those things something a modern day government should be doing?

QUOTE (necrolyte @ Oct 20 2009, 10:16 AM) *
(2) It presumes that Somalia is not right now an anarchy but a religious dictatorship, and that this is a zero sum game. This is an amazingly dense view. Look, if you have an anarchy, you still have religious violence, it just lacks any real monopoly on force, and Somalia is closer to this example than it is to Clerical Iran. Al Shabab is an Islamic organization existing and thriving in an anarchy, not an Islamic government applying Islamic law. If there are no police, Al Shabab does not need Shariah law to assault and harangue those that they feel disgrace God. Therefore, you only prove my point, by showing that anarchy also allows for repressive religious edicts by breaking the state monopoly on force, and allowing anyone to form a militia and impose their own type of "law"


Err... I never claimed we should support and encourage anarchy. I have never been accused of being an anarchist before, and it is kind of insulting. You are the one who said we should abandon the transitional government and allow the ICU to take over in order to end the fighting. You proposed that this was an anarchy vs ICU decision because the transitional government was not capable of taking control of Somalia.

QUOTE (necrolyte @ Oct 20 2009, 10:16 AM) *
(3) It presumes that the violence inflicted upon people by violent religious edicts is somehow worse than other kinds of violence. How is getting beaten for dressing inappropriately any worse than getting killed and robbed?


The real question here is: Is being beaten, stoned, whipped, tortured, etc... in broad daylight by a government official worse than the same being inflicted upon you by a rogue criminal shunned by society? For you it might not matter much, but for society as a whole this type of violence should not be accepted.

QUOTE (necrolyte @ Oct 20 2009, 10:16 AM) *
(4) It does not answer the critical historical context of Somalia, which is that the nation state is highly unstable and has been for years. It's people are desperate for some semblance or normality so that even basic economic and social needs can be taken care of. Questions of Islamic law are irrelevant when half the country is malnourished, especially if it's unclear how much local support the Islamic law has. (For instance, would you rather starve in a fully anarchic society with no infrastructure, or live healthily in a semi-functioning state where Pat Robertson is President? It is true that Robertson is a nut and an asshole, but in reality, neither society would have an unbiased press or good and effective laws, but only one of the two has the conditions necessary for survival.)


At best, you are thinking extremely short term, a common mistake by our notoriously short sighted and incompetent federal government. Installing a hard line Islamic government known to consort and ally itself with terrorist groups because it would be too hard to equip the legitimate government with the proper tools to govern the entire nation is exactly the sort of action you lambast the United States for on a near daily basis.

Do you see the contradiction?
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JLord
post Oct 20 2009, 08:48 PM
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Some further detail about the situation...

QUOTE
The group has also banned movies, football, musical ringtones and dancing at weddings.
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necrolyte
post Oct 20 2009, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (ro4444 @ Oct 20 2009, 08:41 PM) *
The reason the transitional government has not worked is because it has had to deal with terrorist orgs and crazy ass fundie groups like the ICU and al-Shabaab for years, and has received virtually no support from its neighbors. Of course the locals are eventually going to prefer the latter over the transitional government, because at some point people will believe that the alternative can stop the violence, even if the alternative is the one causing the violence. Just like the Germans eventually supported Hitler and his Nazis in part because they believed they could bring an end to the constant street violence even though the SA were the very people causing such brutality. This was not an inevitable outcome like you stupidly claim, but it happened thanks to no one helping the transitional government that could have easily been turned into a stable organization with the appropriate level of outside investment. Instead the violence was allowed to continue for years, and at some point the people said "enough, let's just side with the assholes who are blowing crap up in the hopes that they stop doing so once they're in power."


Agreed. My point was that we should have helped create a stable government before the ICU came about. This is true. My other point was that anarchy would ensue if the Ethiopians invaded. That is also true, as evidenced by al-Shabab, and the fact that they are far more strongly allied with al Quaeda and other international Jihadists than the ICU ever was. Once the ICU was around and providing a more effective government than the transitional one, the world should have tried to find a better alternative than an Ethiopian tank division that left many civilians dead and promised further instability.

QUOTE
How quickly you forget the brutality of the ICU <snicker>. Don't try and tell us that ICU "sharia" was somehow more benevolent, just because it may not have advocated the specific practice of whipping women who don't want their breasts to sag as quickly.


I am not making any claims as to the moral authority of the ICU vs Shabab, only that the ICU did not pose as much threat to their neighbors, and in actual practice they were never as strict and absolutist as the fundamentalists who came later.

QUOTE
You think al-Shabaab isn't resorting to killing and looting? They've been responsible for suicide bombings and have even been plotting attacks on Australian targets, to say nothing of the level of violence that is doubtless present in the areas that they actually control. Meanwhile your argument is based off the assumption that the group's worst activity is whipping women, so it fails pretty hardcore.


What? Did I say that? I wasn't talking about al Shabab, or any particular group even. Merely that stability and true law and order result in less theft and danger to private property or individual safety. Al Shabab is obviously a criminal, terrorist insurgent group. Did I ever say otherwise?

QUOTE
Let's modify this question a tiny bit.

Would you rather starve in a fully anarchic society with no infrastructure, or live healthily in a semi-functioning state where NSDAP is running things?

Still sound like an awesome alternative? Yes, a measure of stability not currently present can be achieved with any government. That doesn't mean that it's worth pushing for.


I would rather a transitional democracy. But the Ethiopian invasion and later withdrawl has not left us with a functioning democracy, again, as evidenced by Al Shabab beating women for not wearing bras despite the fact that they are an illegal terror outfit. If we can now resurrect the transitional government with aid, then perhaps it will all work out for the better in the long term, but that doesn't change the fact that the Ethiopian invasion caused a whole host of problems far worse than the ICU (ie, pirates, a stronger al quaeda presence, a proliferation of new militias, a further loss of life and infrastructure, ect)

QUOTE (Dakyron @ Oct 20 2009, 09:07 PM) *
Does this matter? Sure, people would rather just be beaten rather than beaten and robbed, but it ignores completely the fact that neither should happen.


Of course it matters; if you have to make a practical decision between a society with little or no prospect for stability, and an admittedly oppressive one, the oppressive one might win out. Why? Because, again, the unstable society has all the risks of one without its benefits (ie, food, shelter, water without diarrhea parasites, ect). I don't think you know just how fucking poor people in Somalia are, and how bad life has been there for the past two decades. The transitional government, at the time, offered little chance of changing that any time soon.

QUOTE
Irrelevant. Ahmed is now part of the legitimate government. You know, the one you proposed should be disbanded in favor of an unelected militarist band of Islamic hardliners. Just because one of the hard liners got into a philosophical dispute over who should and should not be beaten for an arbitrary reason doesnt make any difference to the basics of the argument.


Did I say it should be disbanded? Or that the Ethiopians were incorrect in invading to assist the transitional government with an all-out invasion of Somalia?

QUOTE
Yes, and shariah is the equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. This is why an unelected militarist band should not be handed control of any region on earth. Again, it doesnt matter if one hand is cut off or two, a person should be subjected to neither.


Um, no it's not actually. Shariah is just Islamic law and any number of laws gleamed from various Hadiths added over the years, or local cultural variants. Everything from divorce to local practices to punishment for robbers is included. That it also happens to cover a great number of heinous laws many extremist Muslim countries such as hanging gays or converts, doesn't change what Shariah law literally translates as.

And fundamentally, I agree that no unelected militarist band should run a country, but I don't think that justifies foreign invasion. Also, no anarchy should be permitted to exist where a nation state should be, so trying to build an integrative framework between the ICU and the Transitional government, while supporting them with financial and social aid, would have been far more constructive in the short and long term had it worked. This is doubly true because the ICU did not pose a great threat to its neighbors, as the pirate riddled, terrorist infested anarchy that is Somalia does.

QUOTE
Err... I never claimed we should support and encourage anarchy. I have never been accused of being an anarchist before, and it is kind of insulting. You are the one who said we should abandon the transitional government and allow the ICU to take over in order to end the fighting. You proposed that this was an anarchy vs ICU decision because the transitional government was not capable of taking control of Somalia.


Well, thus far, actual events in Somalia have only proven me correct.
Tell me, will the Ethiopians, or the Transitional government try and convict these thugs? Despite the fact that it's almost three years since Ethiopia invaded, the transitional government has made no real progress. To the contrary, Ethiopia left after mounting casualties, Al Shabab has gained a stronger foothold, pirates are making a killing, and new militant groups are blooming.

QUOTE
The real question here is: Is being beaten, stoned, whipped, tortured, etc... in broad daylight by a government official worse than the same being inflicted upon you by a rogue criminal shunned by society? For you it might not matter much, but for society as a whole this type of violence should not be accepted.


I think the distinction between religious punishment and anarchy in a moral sense is largely irrelevant to those trying to feed their families.

QUOTE
At best, you are thinking extremely short term, a common mistake by our notoriously short sighted and incompetent federal government. Installing a hard line Islamic government known to consort and ally itself with terrorist groups because it would be too hard to equip the legitimate government with the proper tools to govern the entire nation is exactly the sort of action you lambast the United States for on a near daily basis.

Do you see the contradiction?


Hardly. You are. This isn't Fascist Spain, it's Somalia. It's not installing a hardline government from the outside, it's merely not intervening in their affairs. Here's the contradiction; imposing secular democracy requires either a credible local partner or a foreign army. Had the US intervened earlier, perhaps it could have given the transitional government legitimacy and financial aid. Instead, we were fighting an expensive war in Iraq instead of shoring up unstable Muslim governments. By 2006, the Transitional government had little legitimate local authority. To prop it up required Ethiopian troops-Ethiopian troops that ended up killing civilians and encouraging the hardline elements of the Islamist movement. This is precisely as I had suggested, as is the fact that ultimately the Ethiopian army failed to create anything close to a lasting peace or a workable alternative.
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