Why drought in Somalia is not our problem
Even by the deranged standards of non- discussable African issues, the dilemma that the West now faces in Somalia is exquisitely hideous. Drought has returned there yet again, putting the lives of millions at risk. What has not returned, having remained there throughout, and meanwhile increasing its hold on the population there, is the al-Qa'ida offshoot al-Shabaab.
Contacts between UN relief agencies and al-Shabaab have already taken place. Mark Bowden, the UN co-ordinator for Somalia, said this week: "Our staff are in contact with al-Shabaab at a local level -- we now need to see what assurances and security guarantees they can give."
My guess is, a lot. Why wouldn't the local al-Qa'ida franchisee give every possible guarantee to an organisation that will in return feed and protect its volunteers, its infrastructure and the local population pool that it needs to stay alive? How difficult A) is it for even the thickest Islamists to see that it is in their interest to behave like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm while the drought threatens to exterminate them, and so destroy their ability to wage war on the West? And B) how thick must they think the West is to comply with this strategy? The answers to these two questions are A) not very, and B) incredibly.
There is another question here -- the difficult one, the painful kind that gets people into trouble. It is this: what is the rationale for keeping a particular demographic group alive when the main result is the maintenance of an implacable enmity towards the rescuers? It is that existential argument -- not the one that the UN admits to, of aid-material falling into the hands of the Islamists -- that we should be discussing.
It's not easy, to be sure. For immediately we must face a fourth question: who can look at the photograph of a tiny, fading child, with flies supping the last juices from its desiccating eyes, and decide to let her die? And likewise, hundreds of thousands of other such children?
I ask these questions with no hope whatever of the least kind of intelligent debate. After all, perhaps the most intelligent man in the world, Bill Gates, apparently thinks Africa's problem is that its po-pulation (which doubles every 25 years) is not growing fast enough. So he wants to abolish AIDS and malaria there, and is spending billions to bring about this earthly paradise.
If successful, this means that Ethiopia (1985 population, 33.5 million) will reach a population of 177 million even earlier than 2050, which current UN figures project. Likewise, Nigeria will reach its projected population of 340 million even earlier. And presumably, those living models of racial harmony, Rwanda and Burundi -- already among the most populous places on earth -- have further glories to explore.
Meanwhile, totally bankrupt Ireland is borrowing money -- to be repaid by our grandchildren -- in order to give more financial aid to these demographic lunatic asylums. That is to say, Ireland, population four million, is now financially supporting countries that are many, many times larger than us, and by 2035 will have at least doubled their populations.
Whoa. Steady there. Is this clever behaviour? And which is the more intelligent? Al-Shabaab, which is temporarily prepared to suspend its epochal hostility toward us so that we can, rather decently, prevent calamity destroying its population bases? Or us, as we comply with its requirements? And when the drought passes, then what?
Let me break some bad news to you. It is now a standard exercise in NATO military colleges to plan for troop deployments in the Horn of Africa -- Kenya, Somalia, Ethi-opia and Eritrea -- where the next phase of the great global cultural war is expected, if, as is likely, militant Islam trium-phs in Afghanistan/Pakistan. These two latter countries have absorbed -- almost with no visible outcome in terms of friendship toward the donors -- many tens of billions of dollars in aid.
And Somalia will probably be the same. A Somali you save today is unlikely to turn into a sort of grateful Nilotic-Dane in 20 years. No, indeed: the chances are he will remain a proud and resentful Somali Islamist, and even if he comes to the West -- as hundreds of thousands already have -- he will probably despise us as backward savages, who are too lazy even to circumcise our little girls the wholesome radical way, as they should be, with rusty blades and no anaesthetic.
I'm not sure whether I've yet given Denise Charlton of the Immigrant Council of Ireland and many splendid PC multi culturalists, who sought my head on a pole three years ago, quite enough ammunition to destroy my life this time. Probably not: what a shame.
So let me conclude now with a suggestion. We should accept that the entire region is of really only proper interest to the Chinese. They are geographically far closer, and seem to dote on Africa, its many peoples and its luscious minerals. So it's simple. Somalia is not our problem -- whereas our unborn grandchildren, upon whom we are already saddling vast debts, including the cost of ALL our current African aid-operations, most emphatically are.