If I have all this right, in the early 1990s, Somalia, never a particularly stable country in the first place, disintegrated in a civil war, which disintegrated still further into a kind of Hobbesian war of all against all, with this or that warlord achieving this or that temporary advantage. When in 1994 the U.S. attempted to stabilize a portion of the country, at least enough to permit humanitarian aid to reach ordinary people, we were rewarded for our efforts by having one of our helicopters shot down and those on board brutally murdered and dragged through the streets. A few years ago, Ethiopia, with our support, attempted to occupy Somalia, found itself set upon on every side, and eventually withdrew. As of last year, a new Islamist government has achieved control, of a sort. At some point in all this, Uganda sent troops to Somalia, attempting, again, to settle the place down. Then yesterday, a Somali group called al Sahaab, previously known for raids into Kenya, killed 70 people in Uganda, blowing them up in separate but simultaneous explosions.
1. What does al Sahaab want? The Islamist government of Somalia already declared--more than a year ago!--that Shari'a would serve as the basis for the country's legal system. Isn't that the sort of government an Islamist group would be happy to see propped up?
2. Could someone please assure me that, in spite our fate, for several decades now, to serve as global enforcer of as much freedom and justice as we can tease out of the rest of the world-- this is one mess the United States can safely stay out of?