Found an interesting article on the BBC website about recent conditions in Somalia earlier, based on a leaked U.N. report.
The first revelation is quite the No Duh moment: officials of the attempted externally supported government are taking the majority of development aid money and sticking it in their pockets. Who exactly was going to stop them & where their claimed legitimacy even came from were questions left blank on that exam. Also, al-Shabab and other religious extremists — who seem to control more of the country than the “government” — continue imposing their ridiculous cultural views at gunpoint, being particularly brutal towards women: in a sadly blatant example of Blaming The Victim, women are being beaten for dressing in ways the Islamists disapprove of while being raped in droves. For the troglodyte nutjobs overseeing this mess, here’s a thought: stop punishing showing extra skin in a country that tends to have high temperatures year-round. If you want to take out all that pent up frustration, try targeting the damn rapists, huh?
Yes, those are the unfortunate things that go on that anyone with a brain saw coming a mile away. Here’s the twist…
Back in 2009 when there was the widely reported standoff involving Somalian pirates taking hostages, which ended with three of the four hijackers — all teenagers — being killed, I made an observation about what their decision to engage in such danger & the subsequent cheering stateside in the aftermath meant to the value of life. In comments, Vache Folle provided the following bit of dark snark:
My solution to the Somali pirate situation is to pay them off. Pay them to patrol the waters for pirates.
The pirates appear to have made this a reality in a way. From the article:
Pirates have never been more active than in 2011, but the number of successful attacks has dropped dramatically – by 43% compared to 2010 – thanks to the increasing use of private maritime security companies, the report says. As a result, pirates have adapted and turned to kidnapping for ransom on land, holding aid workers, journalists and tourists hostage.
The Monitoring Group says pirates also market their services as “counter-piracy experts” and “consultants” in ransom negotiations. One of the pirate groups known to have become involved in both kidnapping and “consulting” is called the Indian Ocean Network.
Investigators said some pirates may also have ties to militants from the al-Shabab Islamist group, Somali officials and private security companies involved in the counter-piracy business. (emphasis mine)
Quite the racket, I must say.