Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Lessons from Mogadishu

The National Post of Canada has a must-read editorial on the 10-year anniversary of American involvement in Somalia. I’d like to excerpt the whole thing, but I’ll leave you with the concluding paragraphs:

Mogadishu, then, should not be seen as an isolated fiasco. What happened in 1993 delivered crucial psychological momentum and recruits to a mad holy warrior who saw both God and history on his side.

There is nothing the West can do about how Islamist fanatics view God. But there is something we can do about history. The foreign policy lesson of Somalia is a simple one, and one that the United States must apply in Iraq and Afghanistan: Never run away. Never encourage the conceit that the West can be bullied by murderers. Staying in Somalia long enough to restore order would have likely cost the lives of scores of U.S. soldiers. But in the long run, it would have saved many times that. It might even have prevented 9/11.

Hat tip to Real Clear Politics

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