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NEWS
October 6, 1993
The disastrous "search and seizure" operation in Somalia that led to the deaths of 12 American soldiers and the capture of several more cannot be justified on military or political grounds. It represents a failure of intelligence, in all definitions of that word. While President Clinton is right to send heavy armor to protect the 4,600 infantrymen still at risk in the Horn of Africa, his administration should be held accountable for a misconceived and and mismanaged policy.First, two hard questions:* Why was the latest attempt to hunt down warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid set in motion only days after high-ranking U.S. officials said the emphasis in Somalia would be shifted from military to political efforts at a solution?
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NEWS
December 5, 2012
I completely agree with op-ed contributor Mark Thistel's commentary on the progress our country has made over the last century ("The not-so-good old days," Dec. 1). If our country's government and laws have become so oppressive to some people, those that feel that way should know there is an alternative. It's a Utopia where big government, taxes and gun control laws don't exist. You can walk down the middle of the street, armed to the teeth, and keep every cent you earn. This place is known as Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
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NEWS
September 20, 1993
"If the United States is going to be asked to undertake new responsibilities, for example, in Bosnia if there is a peace agreement there, then we need to have a time certain for a withdrawal of our forces from Somalia." The source of this extraordinary assertion is President Clinton himself. It illustrates the distracted way in which this administration undertakes and executes overseas commitments while Congress ducks and frets.The president's words notwithstanding, Senate leaders (presumably with Mr. Clinton's approval)
NEWS
By David Horsey | August 5, 2012
I am starting to feel sorry for Mitt Romney. On an international tour to three countries, he made news in two of them by dissing the London Olympics and infuriating the Palestinians. The poor guy -- for months, people have complained that he never says what he really believes. Now, he's in trouble for too boldly saying what he actually thinks. First, during an interview with NBC News anchorman Brian Williams, Mr. Romney had this to say about prospects of success for the London games: "It's hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.
NEWS
By CARL T. ROWAN | August 13, 1993
Whenever someone suggests U.S. military intervention in a dreadful conflict like the one in Bosnia, cries go up that we are likely to get bogged down in ''a Vietnam-type quagmire.''Less dramatic skeptics say, ''It's easy to go in, but how and when do we get out?''We are seeing anew the wisdom of the skeptics in the tragic unfolding of events in Somalia, where the U.S. intervened unilaterally last December for the sick and hungry people of that land. The road in was paved with welcome garlands; the path out is blocked by dead bodies and the fury of national pride.
NEWS
July 5, 1992
A few years ago there were 8 million Somalis; now there are 7 million. Somalia as a nation has disappeared. The diplomatic corps gone. Hospitals looted. The overthrow of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre last year, which should have rescued the country from misrule, has led to anarchy and breakdown. Somalian clan armies destroy each other and anything in sight. Their weapons are the ones the U.S. supplied to Siad Barre, or that earlier the Soviet Union did, or that later Libya did.Relief agencies toss out such figures as 1.5 million Somalis in danger of starvation, or 4.5 million who will face hunger if food is not forthcoming.
NEWS
September 30, 1993
In the beginning, the Somalia operation was to serve as a model American response to the post-Cold War era. U.S. troops would go into a famine-ravaged nation, restore the food supply, impose some law and order, make way for the United Nations and get out. It was a humanitarian, feel-good gesture, much in keeping with the Christmas season, that would neatly mesh a fine U.S. initiative with multilateral U.N. peace-keeping.Less than nine months later, the Somalia operation is boomeranging badly.
NEWS
December 10, 1992
With U.S. troops ashore in Somalia on a humanitarian missio that tugs at the world's heart, the unfolding tragedy in Bosnia becomes ever more poignant, more insistent, more urgent. For eight months -- mostly warm-weather months -- Bosnian Serbs with encouragement from Belgrade have unleashed a campaign "ethnic cleansing" against their Muslim neighbors that a series of United Nations resolutions has been powerless to stop. Now winter is setting in, and all too soon scenes of snow-bound suffering will provide vivid contrast to the searing deprivations of Somalia.
NEWS
December 4, 1992
Americans distracted by the holiday season, the change in administrations and a lagging economy suddenly find their nation about to embark on a new military venture in Somalia, the land of walking skeletons, gun-toting teen-agers and villainous warlords. This latest crisis flared over Thanksgiving when President Bush, reacting to the growing Somalian tragedy, announced the United States was prepared to offer large numbers of troops to deliver food to the starving.Passage of a United Nations resolution giving Washington effective control over its troops now clears the way for an operation the lame-duck president hopes to conclude by Inauguration Day. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt Somalia will be on President-elect Clinton's agenda from Day One until.
NEWS
August 26, 1992
Somalia cries out for international intervention. There is no sovereignty, no national integrity left to violate. Any doubts about that are ended by the vivid and heart-wrenching reporting of The Sun's Richard O'Mara in a series of articles Sunday. It is a picture of total breakdown, anarchy and chaos following the overthrow of a dictator, with no system of life support that still works, and gangs with guns ruling bits of turf and clan in what had been an authentic nation and nationality.
NEWS
May 1, 2012
One year after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs at his safe house in Pakistan, a substantially weakened al-Qaida and its affiliates continue to pose a threat to the West. The Pakistan-based group's leadership has been decimated by drone strikes and is no longer believed capable of directing spectacular operations on the scale of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon. But that doesn't mean America and its allies can afford to let their guard down.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2012
A Laurel man was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on a charge of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Craig Benedict Baxam, 24, is accused of trying to travel to Somalia last year to join al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida linked group that U.S. officials say is responsible for assassinations, suicide bombings and other attacks on the central government, civil society leaders, aid workers, peace activists and journalists. Baxam, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, was detained by police in Kenya in December and interviewed there by FBI agents.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2012
The Laurel man who is accused of attempting to join a terrorist group in Somalia was ordered held Wednesday until his case is decided. Craig Benedict Baxam, 24, is charged with attempting to provide material support to a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization. The former U.S. soldier was detained last month by police in Kenya and arrested last week on his return to the United States. Prosecutors say Baxam, who served four years with the Army in Iraq and South Korea, was attempting to reach Somalia, where he intended to join al-Shabaab and live under Sharia law. U.S. officials say the al-Qaida-linked group is responsible for assassinations, suicide bombings and other attacks on the Somali government, civil society leaders, aid workers, peace activists and journalists.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2012
Craig Benedict Baxam was surfing the Internet from his Army base in South Korea last summer when he came across an Islamic religious website. The soldier from Laurel had never been particularly religious. But with his deployment and his time in the military coming to an end, prosecutors say, an online article about Judgment Day spoke to him. When he returned to Maryland, they say, he began to make plans to live out his life in a land governed by Sharia law. He would never make it. Baxam, 24, was charged by federal authorities Monday with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 9, 2011
I disagree with the one-sided approach Ed Schultz and MSNBC have taken in covering today's recall vote of state legislators in Wisconsin, but I praise the cable channel and its host for going out to the Midwest and covering this bellwether political and economic vote today. And while I have criticized Schultz's partisan rabblerousing, I also praise him for his ability to craft a coherent (and even brilliant if overstated) narrative to help his viewers make sense of life-changing events that are being spun like crazy by both sides and several players.
NEWS
July 31, 2011
The world has been slow to react to the growing specter of famine in Somalia, despite repeated warnings by the United Nations and aid organizations that millions of people are at risk. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that nearly 4 million Somalis - half the country's population - were in imminent danger of starvation. Unless the international community takes immediate steps to address the crisis, the loss of life there could rival that of the humanitarian emergencies in Sudan in 1998, Ethiopia in 2001 and Niger in 2005.
NEWS
December 28, 1992
The world now knows that President Bush dispatched U.S. troops to Somalia without reaching a clear understanding with United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali about what their mission would be. As a result, there are open disputes about how long U.S. forces should stay, how extensive should be their area of responsibility, whether they should try to disarm Somali marauders, what role they should fulfill in re-establishing governmental authority...
NEWS
By Virginia Lunsford | April 17, 2009
The Somali pirates have come roaring back into the media spotlight. Indeed, after a lull in early 2009, they have returned with a vengeance, capturing at least six ships in less than a week. The Maersk Alabam a incident has shocked many and prompted insistent demands to the Navy to solve this crisis, and solve it quickly. But the problem is not that simple. Naval operations, no matter how adroitly performed, cannot eradicate Somali piracy. Why? Historical case studies reveal that resilient piracy is a complex activity that relies on five essential factors beyond the realm of naval capability.
NEWS
April 17, 2009
I wholeheartedly approve of the way President Barack Obama handled the pirate hostage situation ("Shots end crisis," April 13). I heard some talking heads on Fox News chastising him for calling out the U.S. Navy to deal with this situation. That's hogwash. U.S. maritime interests require the freedom of the seas, and the president, through the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, has a duty and a responsibility to protect those interests whenever and wherever they are threatened. I find it ironic that some of the same people who glorified the invasion of foreign countries in the name of somewhat questionable U.S. interests (in Iraq, Nicaragua, etc.)
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