Tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands in danger of starvation according to several United Nations agencies. Where? In Africa, in Somalia exactly. Sounds familiar? Yest, it happened before, in your lifetime if you are over 20. That’s famine, of course. It occasioned an ill-planned US intervention that ended in disaster with this country running with its tails between its legs. Now as then, the famine’s cause is not Mother Nature’s sudden anger. It’s man-made through war and possibly a deliberate tactic of war. (I am not sure of the last one.)
If you are only about twenty and the name “Somalia” sounds familiar, it may be because that’s the country from which pirates prey on international shipping. Some operate hundreds of miles from shore and take large ships and their crews to ransom. Speaking of tails, the major powers combined plus China, Turkey etc have not had what it takes to put an end to this. The country that has acted most energetically so far appears to be India. Once, just once, the US Navy blasted some Somali pirates out of the water (Or one pirate). It won’t happen again: too decisive, too normal, too rational, too politically incorrect.
One thought leads to another. So, now, I am on to political correctness. Until 1960, Somalia was under British administration with different administrative formulas for the north and the south of the country. Does anyone remember famines under British colonial rule? Is there any record of famine under British rule? Was there any famine? In the sixties most of sub-Saharan Africa was freed from European colonial rule. With a small number of interesting exceptions (interesting exceptions), “freedom” has been an unmitigated disaster for those countries. This is the case in spite of billions upon billions in foreign aid. I mean that both quality of life and the life chances of ordinary people have worsened since Europeans stopped “exploiting” those countries. Life chances include such things as dying as a baby of easily preventable infection or of hunger. Public commentaries on this horrible state of affairs are rare because the people in that part of the world are mostly black. It would be racist to point out the obvious: They have not been able, by and large, to manage their affairs as well as the colonizers managed their affairs for them.
Somalia itself does not seem to me, subjectively, a country that worth respecting as an independent entity. I mean the country, the polity, not the people. People everywhere are brothers. Aside from famine and piracy, it’s the kind of country where nearly 100% of little girls are subjected to violent and grotesque sexual mutilation. (You can find pictures on line if you have a strong stomach.) Violent jihadists are fighting for control of the country with brave but inadequate troops from the African Union. That’s another manifestation of political correctness, of course: It’s OK for black soldiers to kill black Islamist extremists at great cost in blood to themselves. It would be unseemly for soldiers with white faces to do the same with minimum casualties.
Of course, we have to help again. You can’t let people starve to death. Yet, there is blackmail involved; we all know it. One small step in the direction of calling off the blackmail is to name things accurately: Black Somalis are, through their actions, causing black Somali babies to starve to death. They are savages.
I hope my Libertarian friends (capital L) who are on a “no war at any cost, in any case” kick are paying attention to developments in Somalia. It’s a country with truly minimal government. That’s a fact neither they nor libertarians (with a small l) like me can ignore.