Tuesday, July 16

Welcome to Mogadishu

In one way son, Somalia should be a libertarian wet dream. Total or near total absence of the state. Which should leave individual rights all right? Self defence. Self reliance? And as this article says, the economy is ok with companies flourishing in the absence if the state. 

But then on the flip side you have a classic example of how societies cannot function when the mob takes over. It's the state that provides security. And that leads to durable institutions. Take the example of Egypt and Pakistan. Pakistan just completed one parliamentary term, despite the govt being totally corrupt. The new govt was sworn in. Best way forward. Institutions take time to build. At this moment, I have more hope for Pakistan than Egypt. Which basically has screwed itself. The promising beginning even with that idiotic Morsi was stopped in the middle. Now the secular liberal military backed idiots have basically created a bigger injury to Egypt than what Morsi and his beards ever could. 

Egypt has deep structural problems. And to think that a liberal secular new pm will be able to resolve exhibits a dangerous level of blindness. The incoming govt now has to deal with a pissed off large part of the electorate and the same if not worse economic and social problems, the financial aid from the gulf not withstanding. And given that its been established that mobs on the street can bring down governments for bad governance, the brothers will and can do the same. Result? Egypt's people have made a huge mistake. But revolutions,while exciting, take a very long time to repair the damage. All I can think is the quote, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 



Welcome to Mogadishu - FT.com

Despite the threats from Islamist militants, the Somali capital is bursting back to life

Boys repairing fishermen’s nets on Mogadishu seafront©Petterik Wiggers

Boys repairing fishermen’s nets on Mogadishu seafront

You can see where their heads hit the roof,” says a member of Somalia’s bomb squad. He is showing me pictures of the latest co-ordinated suicide attack. Even in the mess that mingles body parts of victims and perpetrators, the explosives team finds it easy to collect a suicide bomber’s DNA: you just look up. Red stains, splattered flesh and a pair of earphones are all that’s left of two al-Shabaab bombers who – posing as soldiers of the national army – detonated themselves at the entrance of a courthouse in the capital, Mogadishu in April.

After the initial explosions, more gunmen wearing suicide vests entered the building and went from room to room, assassinating people before blowing themselves up when they ran out of ammunition. Court workers cowered in rooms before escaping by ladder; altogether 60 people were killed, estimates the man showing me the photos. The attack was the work of Islamist militants, allied to al-Qaeda, who emerged in the mid-2000s as the biggest threat to Somalia – 15 years after the former Italian colony started tearing itself apart in a civil war which has yet to end.

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