“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, January 08, 2007

AC-130 gunship attack on Somalia al-Quaeda target, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

(UPDATE, 0615 EST, 9 jan 07)

From several sources it appears that there are at least two ongoing operations. There are many casualties and this Guardian report has as much information as is available at this time. As of this writing, Nancy Pelosi has yet to call for halting funding or an investigation. She may not be up yet. More following:

US launches air strike on Somali village

Staff and agencies
Tuesday January 9, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

A US air strike on a Somali village, thought to be the hideout of an al-Qaida cell, has left "many dead", reports said today.
The attack yesterday, by a heavily armed gunship, allegedly targeted Islamists wanted for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in other African countries.

The suspects were spotted hiding on the remote Badmadow island on the southern tip of Somalia, close to the Kenyan border. The area of the island that was attacked is known as Ras Kamboni and is suspected of being a terror training base.

"I understand there are so many dead bodies and animals in the village," a senior Somalian government official told Reuters.
It was the first overt military action by the US in Somalia since the 1990s.

"The US were trying to kill the al-Qaida terrorists who carried out the bomb attacks on their embassies in Kenya and Tanzania," Somalia's deputy prime minister, Hussein Aideed, said. "They have our full support for the attacks."

The government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said the strike was carried out after al-Qaida members were confirmed to be hiding in the area.

"We don't know how many people were killed in the attack but we understand there were a lot of casualties," he said. "Most were Islamic fighters."

Witnesses said at least four civilians were killed in the attack, including a small boy.

"My four-year-old boy was killed in the strike," Mohamed Mahmud Burale said. "The plane was firing at other areas in Ras Kamboni. We could see smoke from the area. We also heard 14 massive explosions."

The air strike comes 16 days after Ethiopian forces entered Somalia to back pro-government troops in driving out an Islamist movement that had taken over control of much of the country from the weak transitional administration.

The US and Ethiopia both accuse the Somali Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC) of harbouring extremists, including al-Qaida suspects.

Ethiopian troops, tanks and warplanes, as well as Somalian troops, took just 10 days to drive the SCIC from the capital, Mogadishu, and other key towns. After two days of fighting, Ethiopian and Somali forces have said they are close to capturing Ras Kamboni, where they say the SCIC is cornered.

Meanwhile, the US military said today it had sent an aircraft carrier to join three other US warships conducting anti-terror operations off the Somali coast.

The operation is aimed at capturing al-Qaida members thought to be fleeing Somalia by sea after Ethiopia's December 24 invasion.

US officials said after the September 11 2001 attacks that extremists with ties to al-Qaida operated a training camp at Ras Kamboni and al-Qaida members are believed to have visited it.

The alleged mastermind of the embassy bombings in east Africa, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, escaped to Ras Kamboni, according to testimony from one of the convicted bombers. Mr Mohammed is believed to be the leader of the al-Qaida east Africa cell.

Leaders of the SCIC have vowed from their hideouts to launch an Iraq-style guerrilla war in Somalia, and al-Qaida's second-in-command has called on militants to carry out suicide attacks on Ethiopian troops.

Yesterday, Somalia's interim president, Abdullahi Yusuf, entered Mogadishu for the first time since his election.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since clan-based warlords toppled the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other, sinking the nation of 7 million people into chaos.

At least 13 attempts at government have failed since then. The current government was established in 2004 with the backing of the United Nations.

Many people in predominantly Muslim Somalia resent the presence of troops from neighbouring Ethiopia, which has a large Christian population and has fought two wars with Somalia, most recently in 1977.

The European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said he told the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, yesterday that a UN peacekeeping force could be needed to guarantee security and stability in Somalia. He said Ugandan forces could be the first deployed to replace Ethiopian troops.


  1. Yep!

    We've been there awhile now!

    : )

  2. As far as "Fazul" goes...

    It's inconsequential...

    Results matters - nothing else.


  4. Well, by golly, they can chew gum and walk at the same time. Hoorah!

  5. Somalia today, Waziristan tomorrow?

  6. The late Mr. Zarqawi bought the farm in Diyala Province.

  7. Man, I do hate to spoil the good news out of Somalia, but Ace reports the heartrending downside.
    “Update: Jamil Hussein reports that 400 people, mostly women, children, and adorable ponies, were killed in the botched attack.”

  8. not an AC-130?

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. helicopter gunship conducted a strike against two suspected al Qaeda operatives in southern Somalia, but it was not known whether the mission was successful, CBS News reported on Monday.

    The U.S. Air Force helicopter, operated by the Special Operations Command, flew from its base in Djibouti to the southern tip of Somalia, where the al Qaeda suspects were believed to have fled from the capital Mogadishu, the U.S. network reported.

    A Pentagon spokesman said he had no information on the report.

    The al Qaeda operatives, who were not named, included a suspect in the car bomb attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the report said.

  9. al Reuters has not yet reported on the number of mosques wantonly destroyed by the evil, American crusaders in the Somalia operation.

  10. Mr. Bush, you are on a roll. “Go!” “Go!” “Go!”

    "Once they started moving, the al Qaeda operatives became easier to track…”

    “[T]he report indicates the likelihood is high that there are indeed U.S. Special Forces on the ground. An American intelligence source informs us U.S. Special Forces and CIA paramilitary teams are directly embedded with Ethiopian forces in Somalia…”

    “[T]he Predators did not possess enough weapons to destroy the entire convoy and the AC-130 was brought in to sweep the entire formation…”



  11. The reports indicate a well planned turkey shoot. If this was an Air Force show, my money is on the C-130 – no arrests, no prisoners, massive firepower.

    What support did the Eisenhower provide?

  12. The Democrats have constantly admonished the President to take the war to a'Q; well, he has. That surge funding is starting to look better.

    There is no substitute for victory!

  13. Al Sharpton may run. Can life get any better than that?

  14. As vehicles skidded and sank in the mud, Staff Sgt. Allen Brown, the squadron supply officer, rolled up in a Humvee to deliver diesel fuel to a mortar truck stranded in the muck. As a soldier tossed the jerry-cans to the other side of the canal, Brown popped his head out of the gun turret and yelled, "Welcome to hell."

    "Any chance for some gloves?" shouted back Staff Sgt. Steve Robert Lynn, whose hands were red and raw from the cold. "I fell in the mud -- my gloves are useless now."

    "Sure," Brown replied with a grin. "I got plenty back at Base Caldwell, drop by any time."

    Rain Slows U.S. Offensive

  15. rufus,

    re: B-1

    Could be Admiral Fallon is sending a get acquainted message. The C-130 and the Eisenhower in Somalia might be the same.

  16. >allen

    Power of the 'Hower

    more porn!

    From the horse's mouth

    The ship has temporarily stopped off-ship communications due to ongoing operations. We do this occasionally as a normal part of business during deployments. The crew is performing exceptionally well as always.

    Care to speculate what those "ongoing operations" might be?


  17. harrison,

    Since we're in the neighborhood anyway, some UAV sightseeing in Yemen could be fun.

    Remember the Cole!

  18. rufus,

    With all due respect to the man, General Abizaid may already be out processing.

    This is what I was talking about the other day: hit the bad guys hard and only then tell the public what you have to say - and tell the public, and tell the public, and tell the public. Steal the message from the MSM - give the bastards no air. Geez, a guy with an aircraft carrier ought to be able to grab any microphone in the world.

    Those special ops guys in Somalia should get the post mortem pictures all over the internet ASAP. Send the message in living color: "Run. But we are coming after you. Welcome to hell, Abdul."

    Mr. President, make no excuses! Fire the first SOB who does.


    Presume not that I am the thing I was;
    For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
    That I have turn'd away my former self;
    So will I those that kept me company.
    When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
    Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
    The tutor and the feeder of my riots:
    Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death,
    As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
    Not to come near our person by ten mile.
    For competence of life I will allow you,
    That lack of means enforce you not to evil:
    And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
    We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
    Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
    To see perform'd the tenor of our word. Set on.

  20. There will be a job opening tomorrow, if anyone is interested.

    U.S. Submarine, Japanese Ship Collide

    Oh, in the Strait, of all places.

  21. The guy could consider launching himself from one of the torpedo tubes.

  22. Without the accompanying torpedo, of course.

  23. Yes, but then there would have to be a lengthy, environmentally sound study, followed by a lengthey cleanup, with hefty fines.
    O for those glorried days of yore, when flogging by the cat-o-nine and being raised by the yardarm was thought just and fianl.

  24. Piloting by sound is the new method - the old fashioned way. The new system has reduced cost oonsiderably.

  25. A witness says helicopter gunships have launchd new attacks in Somalia close to scene of an earlier U.S. airstrike, The Associated Press reports.

  26. A week ago, The BBC reported that Ayman al-Zawahiri, called on Muslims to support their "brothers" fighting jihad, or holy war, in Somalia. Here are excerpts from the recording:

    "My Muslim brothers everywhere .. While I am addressing you today, the crusader invading Ethiopian forces are violating the Islamic land of dear Somalia. Moreover, the Security Council is plotting to approve this invasion by issuing its resolution to dispatch international forces to Somalia and by its failure to issue a resolution that calls for the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces from Somalia.

    Here, I am urging the Islamic nation in Somalia to be steadfast in this new crusader battlefield, which America, its allies, and the United Nations are waging against Islam and Muslims.

    The United Nations, which divided Palestine and provided a legal cover for invading Iraq and Afghanistan, is offering today a new service to the crusader alliance led by America against the Islamic and mujahid Somalia.

    My Muslim brothers in Somalia: Do not be terrified by America's power as you have defeated it before, thanks to God and His grace.

    Today, America is weaker than before as the mujahideen dealt a fatal blow to it in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hence, it sent its slaves to you. Therefore, do not be affected by the first shock, it is just worthless propaganda, arrogance, and haughtiness. The real battle will begin by launching your campaigns against the Ethiopian forces with God's help and might.

    The faithful groups - in their pursuit of death for the sake of God - will devour the crusader invading Ethiopian Army, which has launched an aggression against the lands of Islam, God willing.

    Similarly to what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq where the strongest world power has been defeated in the face of mujahid groups that long for paradise, its slaves will face similar defeat on the land of Muslim, mujahid Somalia, God willing.

    I also appeal to my Muslim brethren everywhere to respond to the call for jihad in Somalia. I appeal to the lions of Islam in Yemen, the state of faith and wisdom, I appeal to my brothers the lions of Islam in the Arab Peninsula, the cradle of conquests, and I also appeal to my brothers the lions of Islam in Egypt, Sudan, the Arab Maghreb, and everywhere in the Muslim world to rise up to aid their Muslim brethren in Somalia through offering sacrifices, money, opinion, and expertise so as to defeat the slaves of America that it sends to death on its behalf.

    I appeal to the Muslims everywhere to rush to support their brother mujahideen who are being encroached upon and are being fought by America and its slaves for they chose the law of Islam instead of the law of looting, plundering, theft, bribery, corruption, and treachery.

    O Muslims in Somalia, I bring you good tidings: America and its slaves will be defeated with the help of God in Somalia, as God defeated them in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, you should be patient and steadfast."

    This morning the US military is giving their opposing point of view.

  27. Amazing how a little offensive action, by proxy forces, supported by a single fixed wing US aircraft and a chopper or two can have such an affect on the morale of the civilian audience.

    Just imagine if we had been fighting a war for the past three years in Iraq, instead of policing the streets, being targets for the jihadi

  28. Meanwhile in Baghdad (Jan. 9th)...

    Iraq: 50 suspected insurgents killed in US strike

    US and Iraqi soldiers, backed by American warplanes, killed 50 suspected insurgents in an hours-long battle Tuesday in central Baghdad, the Iraqi defense ministry said.

    US jet fighters and helicopters flashed through the skies over the Haifa Street area just north of the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the battle raged through the morning and much of the afternoon.

    Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Shaker, a defense ministry spokesman, said 21 militants were captured, including seven foreign Arabs - three Syrians, a Sudanese and three others.

    "Today's operation was designed to purge Haifa Street and nearby neighborhoods from terrorists," Shaker said

  29. Amazing, that in just a couple of days so much intel was processed that Insurgents were identified and attacked, in Iraq.

    After so many years of either insuffiecent intel, or insuffiecent Will, the action in Iraq picks up tempo.

    So many months and US lives wasted by poor military and political strategy and tactics in Iraq.
    Now the "proof" is in the pudding, Insurgents are being targeted and removed, the US and its Iraqi proxies could have started this 38 months ago.
    We'd be done by now, if we had.