Everyone said I’d die if I went to Somalia. I lost my job, I maxed out a couple credit cards and I nearly started a riot at a Mogadishu movie theater. But I didn’t die. I celebrated my survival yesterday in Nairobi with a big wet kiss from this giraffe.
Somalia: so what’s it all about? It’s about how divisive internal politics can prevent the resolution of a conflict that pretty much everyone agrees must end. It’s about how war and famine combine to create a spiraling humanitarian crisis that few in the world seem to care about. But mostly it’s about how the U.S. aims to fight wars in Africa — by proxy — and how these proxy wars might have the same result as our misguided invasion of Iraq. Instead of destroying Islamic extremists, pre-emptive wars often breed them.
Speaking of Iraq: I’m off to London en route to Basra, where I will be covering the staged British withdrawal, which you might view as a prototype for the eventual U.S. departure.
Day One: “You Come to Africa, But You May Never Leave.”
Day Two: Barnstorming!
Day Three: Enclaves
Day Four: Everybody Parley Down!
Day Five: “I Quit!”
Day Six: ”We’re Here and We’re Surviving.”
Day Seven: Wise Old Children
Day Eight: Riot!
Day Nine: Gunfire Is Boring
Day Ten: Bombs Are Boring
Day Eleven: Games Kids Play
Day Twelve: This Cash Is Broke
Day Thirteen: Warlording 101
Day Fourteen: Arresting All the Wrong People
Day Fifteen: U.S. Playing Both Sides
Day Sixteen: Back on the Air
Day Seventeen: Moga ER
Sounds of the Somali aid crisis
Mogadishu’s wheeled battlecruisers
Somalia’s mystery weapons
A.U. Patrols Moga
Sounds of African Peacekeeping