Thursday, February 4, 2010

Somalia vs. Iraq: A BDP Show Discussion

Sure, Iraq looks like this NOW, but Somalia (above, the
al-Shabab militia) looked like this for a decade before the
War on Terror even got going...

In our top news segment on today's program, we talked about Somalian militants al-Shabab declaring their allegiance to al-Qaeda, and made the case that it may have made more sense to take military action in Somalia than Iraq back in 2003.

A special thanks goes out to Phill from D.C., who wrote a detailed response, part of which we'll get into tomorrow. But in the interests of full disclosure, his full analysis is below. Take a read, listen to today's podcast, and email and have your say:

This article you sent me was very interesting, and it confirms the fears of all the neo-cons like myself that the terrorists are everywhere.

I don’t necessarily disagree that Iraq shouldn’t [have] been invaded, or at least the first country that American opted to begin the War on Terror with. However I’m going to play devil’s advocate and defend the decision to choose Iraq over going into Somalia.

I think the key to the argument is to understand the Bush doctrine on foreign policy post-9/11. I would recommend “Bush at War,” by Bob Woodward for a full understanding. The short description: fight preventive wars and spread democracy as a strategy to fight terror. So with this policy in mind let us go back in time. The information that came from the intelligence agencies is that Saddam was in possession of WMD’s. Little did we know the information was faulty, but if you take the administration at their word, Saddam Hussein with WMDs was a national security threat.

After 9/11 government official came up with worst case scenarios. One of those scenarios would be the use of WMD’s on U.S. soil. How realistic could it be for terrorist to acquire such weapons? This became more possible due to the fact there was an anti American dictator in the Persian Gulf with these weapons. Anti-American sentiment would be become firm after a successful strike on US soil. This would lead to a strong opportunity that terrorist could come in possession of WMD’s. This would take precedence over all matters including terrorist in Somali. Somalia would provide headaches for the administration.

First, getting the country to rally around Iraq was very easy. You had a familiar foe, the threat of WMD’s, and people who would welcome us with open arms because of the actions of a ruthless dictator. In Somalia you have no central villain, no WMDs, and no one to welcome the American liberators with arms wide open. In Iraq America would end a terrorist threat, American companies would profit , the Iraqi people would profit, we would build a democracy and gain an ally in the Middle East, it was a win for everybody. Iraq after deposing Saddam would welcome us, we would set up a government quickly, the people would embrace democracy and it would set an example and spread throughout Middle East.

Perfect in theory; execution was faulty.

We saw the support for the war deteriorate rapidly. The American people hated war after the initial “shock and awe”, the intelligence was found to be faulty and world wide support for America dropped. If we only knew. I do think that if you could go back in time and present President Bush with this information, perhaps they wouldn’t invaded Iraq. However as for going into Somalia I have my doubts, I think they would have shifted focus to Iran using the argument of WMD as the key point.

If Somalia wants to rise on the War on Terror queue, I suggest they acquire a nuke.

...gee... we were expecting to a do music podcast...!?!!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email the show at and let us know!

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