It was only two years ago that then-CIA Director David Petraeus testified before Congress on the dangers posed by Somali terrorists, saying “extremist networks over the past two decades have made southern Somalia one of the world’s most significant havens for terrorists. Al Qaeda’s affiliate there — al Shabaab — is large and well-funded relative to most extremist groups, and it has attracted and trained hundreds of foreign fighters, including scores of Americans and dozens from other Western countries.”
Today the U.S. is preparing to formally recognize the Somali government, paving the way to send taxpayer dollars to the place that will forever be associated with “Black Hawk Down,” where a U.S. Army Ranger was dragged through the streets in 1993.
The U.S. will formally recognize the government in Somalia tomorrow, a step that paves the way for the U.S. and international finance organizations to aid the war-torn African nation.
“It’s the start of a significant process that underscores the return to stability that has occurred in Somalia over the last four years,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said [told] reporters. …
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to exchange diplomatic notes with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud … in a meeting at the State Department.
Americans watched as the Obama administration gave weapons and aid to Libyan rebels. Our reward? U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and former Navy SEALs were slain in the Benghazi terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012. Now the American people are supposed to believe that with a few U.S. dollars and some help from the CIA, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud can transform Mogadishu into Club Med.
Most Americans don’t know about the importance of the clan in Islamic culture. They are unfamiliar with women like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who grew up in Somalia and says she was beaten until she learned 800 years of her father’s ancestry, or that strangers in the country will often trace their lineages until they find a common ancestor. But the State Department does know this. Yet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is planning to exchange “notes” with Somalia’s president, which will in all likelihood lead to dollars. And that cash will go to a clan culture riddled with African members of al-Shabaab, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
If the State Department thinks it can cozy up to Somalia and not get burned, maybe it should ask French intelligence agent Denis Allex for advice. Or maybe not, since the French government believes members of al Shabaab executed him on Jan. 11.
The question before Americans isn’t whether we should be engaged in Africa, because we should (to what extent can be debated). The question is, who are we going to hold accountable if this goes horribly wrong?
If Clinton’s aversion to answering questions about the Benghazi terrorist attacks and ensuing cover-up is the model for how this administration does business, conservatives should make oversight of any cash transfers to Somalia a priority. If something goes wrong in Mogadishu, the most likely scapegoat will be Republican members of the 113th Congress.