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Accountability, Anyone?


(H/T to Wonkette for the photo.  Classic stuff.)

Tell me the one about George Bush being the Decider again, because I think it's about time someone started asking lots of questions about the end results of his deciderating:

Somalia may be the place that best illustrates a trend sweeping across the African continent: After Sept. 11, 2001, the United States concluded that anarchy and misery aid terrorism, and so it tried to re-engage Africa. But anti-American sentiment on the continent has only grown, and become increasingly nasty. And the United States seems unable to do much about it.

A number of experts on Africa trace those developments to a sense not of American power, but of its decline — a perception that the United States is no longer the only power that counts, that it is too bogged down in the Middle East to be a real threat here, and so it can be ignored or defied with impunity….

"The actual ability of the U.S. to influence circumstances on the ground in Africa has declined dramatically," said Michael Clough, a former director of the Africa program at the Council on Foreign Relations. "But the symbolic significance of the United States is still there. So we become the perfect target."

For proof, please see Sudan, Congo, Eritrea, northern Nigeria to a lesser extent, and even South Africa….

"We learned that we don't need the Americans anymore," said Lam Akol, Sudan's foreign minister. "We found other avenues."

Another reason is Iraq. The ceaselessness of Baghdad's bloodshed has greatly undermined the United States' credibility, fanned anti-American feelings in Muslim regions like the Horn of Africa, and drained resources that might otherwise have been available to address other problems.

"There is significant blowback coming from our catastrophic decisions in Iraq that is affecting our ability to do anything about Sudan or Somalia," Mr. Morrison said….

Nothing like conducting our foreign policy based on a view of the world as George Bush wants it to be, and not how it actually is. 

Here's some reality for you, George:  under your watch, American influence is steadily declining.  Other nations do not trust you, and so they have found a way to work around you — in Europe, in Africa, in Asia and even in North and South America.  Our military is stretched so thin that Somalia can see through it, despite all the gizmos and gadgets and top-dollar whizbangs, we still need people in uniform to man them…and we're having enough trouble that you are contemplating recruiting outside the US for non-citizen soldiers to fill the depleted ranks.  China is making friends and influencing nations while you are clearing shrubbery on your pig ranch this week and trying to decide what we should do in Iraq — because, you know, having been there more than three years now…it's about damned time. 

Heckuva job, Bushie.

That coasting you've been able to do with your rubber stamp Republican buddies who didn't provide any Congressional oversight?  It is over.  The American public has decided that that some tough questions need to be asked, and asked, and asked again until they are fully answered by you and your Administration.  And that changes need to be made for the good of us all.

It's called accountability, George.  You might want to look it up in the dictionary before January — because you'll need to do a lot more than just lawyer up and pay some mouth for hire to plant media stories.  Because, come January, you and your Administration have a whole lot of 'splaining to do to Mssrs. Waxman, Leahy, Levin, Conyers and company.  And I, for one, am looking forward to it. 

(Hat tip to eRiposte of The Left Coaster for the link to the Herald Tribune article.  Also, Ian has a bit more on the Somalia/Ethiopia conflict.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com