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US Strikes Al Qaeda in Somalia

From CBS News:

(CBS/AP) A U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports exclusively.

The targets included the senior al Qaeda leader in East Africa and an al Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, Martin reports. Those terror attacks killed more than 200 people.

The AC-130 gunship is capable of firing thousands of rounds per second, and sources say a lot of bodies were seen on the ground after the strike, but there is as yet, no confirmation of the identities.

The gunship flew from its base in Dijibouti down to the southern tip of Somalia, Martin reports, where the al Qaeda operatives had fled after being chased out of the capital of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops backed by the United States.

Once they started moving, the al Qaeda operatives became easier to track, and the U.S. military started preparing for an air strike, using unmanned aerial drones to keep them under surveillance and moving the aircraft carrier Eisenhower out of the Persian Gulf toward Somalia. But when the order was given, the mission was assigned to the AC-130 gunship operated by the U.S. Special Operations command.

I hope we got the SOBs.


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Comments (26)

Did Bush get funding approv... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

Did Bush get funding approval from Nancy "the new CinC" Pelosi before ordering this escalation? No! Well, let's impeach now.

Shouldn't we have invaded f... (Below threshold)

Shouldn't we have invaded first? I thought that was the only way to fight terrorism.

Seriously though, this is a good thing. I'm glad we're fighting terrorism in an intelligent way in addition to the stupid way. Now if we could just stop the stupid way.

Mantis, ain't gonna happen.... (Below threshold)

Mantis, ain't gonna happen. The "stupid way" people just took over in DC, which means they'll be concentrating on terrorists rights, not the means in which to fight them.

JoSo you really th... (Below threshold)


So you really think that you make a rational and reasoned argument??

Are there any intelligent conservative commenters on this site?

This was an extremely cost ... (Below threshold)

This was an extremely cost effective kill ratio.

This strike only reinforces the foolishness of wasting our military assets for "two to three" plus more years in Iraq.

The bottomline in Iraq is that we are running out of Jihadis to kill. The "next Jihadi" killed is getting more and more expense in relation to the 150,000 troops that we have in Iraq, the 150,000 that are reseting from Iraq and the 150,000 getting ready to deploy.

I saw the "kill numbers" on my recent deployment. They are getting pretty pathetic for the resources that we are employing.

To put it into terms for civilian conservatives. think of the "water arsenic regulations." It is cost effective to get the largest amount of arsenic out of the water but when you get to the limits that Clinton proposed when he left office, the "health savings" was not worth the "economic cost."

Are there any intelligent l... (Below threshold)

Are there any intelligent libnuts trolling here?

Kerry, Biden, and the rest of the kooks think that they can sit down and reason with terrorists.

Repug and mantis, some of o... (Below threshold)

Repug and mantis, some of our resident knit wits, are the last folks I'd listen to on military matters.

In this case, unlike Iraq, Islamic forces were purged from the city into the open, where our Predator drones and other surveillance tracked them, and then led Ethiopian forces to corner them. In the open and cornered, our gunships are able to blow many of the Islamo's to the 70 virgins.

I doubt Nancy Pelosi even remotely understands the tactics, much less the necessity, of doing this.

While I am a frequent Bush ... (Below threshold)

While I am a frequent Bush critic, I will have to admit that this attack along with the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian forces is an approach I've been advocating for some time.

First, use proxy forces (like the Ethiopians) on the ground rather than US ground forces. This avoids making our troops easy targets for the jihadists and also denies them the propaganda they gain by portraying US forces are infidel occupiers of Arab/Muslim lands.

Second, utilize special forces operations and air assaults to strike opportunistic targets or critical terrorist infrastructure.

Third, avoid costly, difficult and ultimately fruitless nationbuilding exercies in these countries by recognizing that lack of democracy doesn't have any correlation with terrorism. Many of the UK terrorists who have been indicted in the airliner plot were raised in a democracy and some of them born into it. Same with the Canadian plotters. Pakistan, when it was a democracy, helped to found the Taliban and provided a breeding ground for Al Qaeda.

So maybe a new hardheaded realism has displaced the wildly idealistic neoconservatism that led us into the quagmire of Iraq? One can only hope.

I would respond to <a href=... (Below threshold)

I would respond to Mitchell, but I'm too busy knitting wits.

Something tells me Bush is ... (Below threshold)

Something tells me Bush is behind all this.

Yay! We finally go after ac... (Below threshold)

Yay! We finally go after actual terrorists! Finally!

By the way, I didn't see the word "Iraq" anywhere in that article.

(Since you guys are already blaming the Democrats for everything that goes wrong, do we get the credit for this too?)

Pointless drivel abounds ab... (Below threshold)

Pointless drivel abounds above.

Since you guys are alre... (Below threshold)

Since you guys are already blaming the Democrats for everything that goes wrong, do we get the credit for this too?)
:: by Brian on January 9, 2007 12:01 AM ::

If you can muster a valid and conveniencing argument that Kerry, and or Murtha, ordered the strike it's worth considering.

Til then I'll maintain my belief Bush is still Commander-in-Chief and I'll continue my normal rate of respiration, as opposed to holding my breath.

AC-130s have been mopping u... (Below threshold)

AC-130s have been mopping up for decades. Here's one instance publicized and all of a sudden there is moonbat mania twisting this around into an attempt to decry the current war effort in Iraq. Sad comment on the state of our "Leeberal" commentors.

These are awesome (in the original meaning) death dealing machines. Nothing pretty about their work. Their crews are hard working folks who live deployed and secluded lives. AFSOC deserves kudos, and our CINC for continuing to utilize them effectively.

What cracks me up regarding... (Below threshold)

What cracks me up regarding the Left side of this thread is what was unspoken until Larkin was honest enough to mention it.

The money quote: "use proxy forces (like the Ethiopians) on the ground rather than US ground forces..."

Personally, I'm torn between which part of this statement to be offended by, on behalf of my friends serving in the Armed Forces: the insinuation that we should sit back and depend on others to defend our national interests, by proxy, or the fact that the only way such a dippy little army like the Ethiopians could accomplish what the US cannot is because of the goddamned politically correct Rules of Engagement that cause our own troops to be more worried about legal accusations than to engage the enemy (what, the Ethiopians fired on Mosques? OMIGAWD!!!)

al-Queda is a stateless political force hell-bent on bringing back its own version of the Caliphate, or at least their version of the old Ottoman Empire. Appeasing that crowd way back when is what led to the United States' first wartime engagement after the Revolutionary war, off the coast of Tripoli, in 1801. And back then, like now, that war came about because the US failed to address a political situation that had got out of hand, affecting its international commerce. Instead of directly protecting its interests in the area, the nascent US Government had paid annual tribute ("protection money", as it were) to the Barbary Coast city-states so that American merchant vessels could sail unmolested in the Med. It was when Jefferson became President in 1801 and refused the continual ransom demands that the Barbary Coast cities declared war on the US (incidentally, those ransom payments amounted to 20% of total US Government annual revenues by the year 1800, and had resulted in several ships being held hostage by pirates so that more ransom monies could be earned by them - read the historical accounts; it's all there).

BTW the Barbary Coast situation began to deteriorate when Napoleon seized the Island of Malta from the Knights of Malta in 1789. Prior to that time, the Knights kept the Barbary Pirates in check by attacking raiding vessels in the Med. Napoleon's attack on the Knights in 1789 drove them off Malta, causing a power vacuum in the region that affect US merchant vessels, among other traders in the area.

If anyone has been paying attention, the strategy of the "Long War" (or GWoT) has been to address power vacuums that led to countries harboring or cooperating with terrorists (Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, DPRK) or endangering US interests via drugs or organized crime (DPRK, Columbia, Cuba). Power vacuums that lead to terrorist groups taking hold onto governments, or gaining access to large sums of money that allow them to fund terrorism. The idea of being wary of power vacuums in the world is hardly a new one; it's just one that the US is finally realizing that it must actively deal with in a post Cold-War environment.

So, Larkin, you want someone else to do your dirty work? Fine. Go through your house and get rid of all plastics, waxes, and anything else directly or indirectly based on petroleum, and stop utilizing any method of transportation that is fossil-fuel based. Get all of your 300 million friends to do it too, so that the US is no longer dependent on oil or any other trade from the Middle East. Then go hire your proxies and sit back.

And when the world economy goes to crap because the looming nuclear-based civil war between the half-billion Sunnis and the other half-billion Shias disrupts global trade, don't b*tch about the global financial depression that follows. Hey, after all, paying someone else to make the problem go away sure worked for the brand-new US Government up to 1800. Just as well as it worked for the city of Rome when the Vandals showed up.

Personally I wish the Dems would grow a pair of Malkins and actually LEAD for a change. Unfortunately for them, sometimes leadership means that you must face outward (not just focusing inward on domestic issues) and leadership means that sometimes you must bear responsibility for making unpopular decisions. If only the Democratic party of today were capable of such a thing, the way it once was, back in the days of FDR and Truman. But as long as the Party continues to lean towards the Sheehan and Moulitsa "peace vaginocracy" of just opening up and expecting peace and wealth to magically grow in the world, the Party will never rise from its Carter-esque desire to appease the forces of intolerance at all costs. And that's a sad thing for all of us, not just the Left.

There's my reasoned arguments, to the trolls who whine about there being no reasoned arguments. Go ahead, refute away. Just use logic and reason to do so, rather than your usual name calling and political grandstanding.

Dare ya.

If you can muster a vali... (Below threshold)

If you can muster a valid and conveniencing argument that Kerry, and or Murtha, ordered the strike it's worth considering.

And if you can muster a valid and convincing argument that the Dems played any role in crafting and implementing the current failed strategy in Iraq, I'll consider the other position too.

From the Fox News Sunday Sh... (Below threshold)

From the Fox News Sunday Show with Chris Wallace
13 Nov 2005;
"WALLACE: Now, the president never said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. As you saw, you did say that. If anyone hyped the intelligence, isn't it Jay Rockefeller?

ROCKEFELLER: No. I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11."

Now why would Democrat Senator Rockefeller need to hand deliver that msg to Syria. Like the thousands of other statements made by Democrat politicians since then, the Message to the terrorists is clear. Just hold on, we'll get back in power and then you'll be safe. It's the same message John Kerry delivered to the Communists in Paris, that he stood in front of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on 22 Apr 1971 and stated that he had delivered and was promoting.
It's the same message sent over and over in the Cooper -Church Amendments cutting off funds for South Vietnam. Every terrorist in the world understands the message.
Just last month, the world saw it reinforced time after time when Dem Sen Nelson,Dem Sen Dodds, Dem Sen Kerry, Rino Sen Specter flew to Syria. Does anyone really think they go there to
buy Christmas presents?

Brian:a) Not every... (Below threshold)


a) Not everyone agrees the current strategy is a failure. There's good happening there too. In the middle of the battle of the Bulge, it would have been disastrous to say invading France was a mistake and we need to pull out of Europe NOW.

b) The very existence of Democratic Disorder of Thoughts [DDT is a dangerous environmental poison that persists for years in soils and sediments] process affected the way the war was planned, sold to the country and prosecuted. Just because they didn't have a direct hand in everything doesn't mean they don't get to take "credit" for the final product.

Wanderlust: Excellent post. I had left out a comment about others fighting our fight, and was pleased to see you did a much better job than I could. My question to the folks above is: just what Army would you suggest we send into Iraq as our proxy? Iran's? Syria's? Or Israel's? Yeah, right!

Gee whillikers! An effort... (Below threshold)

Gee whillikers! An effort to actually fight the War on Terror instead of conflating it with Iraq per the PNAC desires for a new Pearl Harbor to provide a ready excuse for occupying Iraq. Maybe if we stop sacrificing blood and treasure in Bush's Folly we could actually do a little more of this sort of thing. Congratulations, Mr. President: breaking your lifelong streak of utter failures must feel a little like Cal Tech winning a basketball game.

The very existence of De... (Below threshold)

The very existence of Democratic Disorder of Thoughts ... process affected the way the war was planned, sold to the country and prosecuted.

Ah, I see. So the Republicans controlled the troops. The Republicans controlled the budget. The Republicans controlled the planning. The Republicans controlled the strategy. The Republicans controlled the sales pitch. The Republicans controlled everything.

But the Democrats, using their secret ThoughtBeam(TM) are the ones responsible for the failures of all of the above.

What a nice little responsibility-free world you live in.

Yay! We finally go after... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Yay! We finally go after actual terrorists! Finally!

An effort to actually fight the War on Terror...

Two comments that just typify the woeful ignorance of far too many people these days. The logic? We should ONLY go after Al Qaeda, and every other terrorist organization or state sponsor thereof, for lack of a better term, is "folly" or a "distraction". It's as if there were no Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Hamas, Ansar al Islam, etc., and that they don't pose a great of a threat to humanity and civilization as Al Qaeda. While that may be true to some extent, to dismiss any of these groups as being unimportant and not honoring the threat is exactly what lead to the rise of Al Qaeda in the first place.

More important, this "logic" ignores or simply fails to recognize that it is the nature and culture of these repressive governments, regimes and dictatorships in the ME (that includes Jordan, SA, Egypt, etc.) that ferment and breed and sometimes export (Iran, Syria) terrorism. Why this nearly irrefutable point is not seen and not accepted is just baffling.

To that end, all this leads to those on the Left disagreeing with those of us on the Right that these ME governments need to change--preferably by diplolmatic or economic pressure but sometimes by force. No, they must change if we want a world where the threat of terrorism is drastically reduced (we will never be "free" of terrorism) and where economic opportunity exists and freedom lives for all people and are not the sole domains of we here in the priviledged West.

I think Bush got this one r... (Below threshold)

I think Bush got this one right. He actually went after the terrorists, and he got the cooperation of the nations involved. My only question is why it's taken almost 9 years to strike back.

Peter, you put a lot of wor... (Below threshold)

Peter, you put a lot of words in my mouth that I never said. But if you think it's just as important that we go after Hamas and Hezbollah as it is to go after AQ, then the "woeful ignorance" belongs to you.

mantis, very cool poster yo... (Below threshold)

mantis, very cool poster you found there. I'll have to keep that on the hard drive.

No need for me to put words... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

No need for me to put words in your mouth, it was right there in black and Wizbang aqua blue, and it says a mouthful in just a few short words.

Do you seriously think that Hamas and Hezbollah are NOT terrorist threats, really? Look at the political and social clout and influence they have in ME among the people, the terror they've caused throughout the years and the war they started last June. I'm not saying to attack them, but to not honor them as a legitimate threat to ME stability and peace threat is simply unreasonable.

Feel free to show where I s... (Below threshold)

Feel free to show where I said Hamas and Hezbollah were not terrorist organizations. In fact, feel free to show where I even mentioned Hamas and Hezbollah in "black and Wizbang aqua blue" at all.

Man, you're just cranking out the strawmen today.

Regardless, since as far as I'm aware neither Hamas nor Hezbollah has committed terrorist acts within the US, and AQ has, and "we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here", I have no problem stating that AQ is a bigger threat to America and other western nations than either of those other two. I'm a bit bewildered that you would bother to argue with that sentiment, but I assume I just triggered your "if a lefty said it, I must disagree" reflex.






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