Polistra salutes Ethiopia.
[Expanding on an entry a few days ago....]
Ethiopia deserves a special salute, and needs to be viewed as an example for the world.
It is in many ways The Original Place. Anthropologists think the human species radiated from that corner of Africa, and the Ethiopians have maintained their own brand of Christianity in unbroken form since the time of the Apostles. Among all the countries on the map of Africa, Ethiopia has the longest continuous independence. It was known in Biblical times, and it was only colonized briefly by Italy, in the 1920's and 30's.
Now Ethiopia is fighting the Jihadis in Somalia on its own, with no aid from us, no aid from the UN, and no aid from the various African organizations. Despite all this, or rather because* of all this, Ethiopia has defeated the Jihadis.
Mark Steyn says it best:In the last few days the Ethiopian military has swept through the country and the Islamist forces have crumbled before them. Both Somali troops and various foreign jihadists have thrown off their uniforms and melted into the general population. Granted, that's what they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, too: They're shrewd enough to understand it's not worth engaging superior militaries on their terms; better to wait awhile and grind them down in a dirty messy insurgency.
Well, we'll see about that. One difference between the Ethiopians in Somalia and the Americans in Iraq is that the former aren't fighting with one hand behind their back just in case some EU ally or humanitarian lobby group or fictitious Associated Press source leaks some "war crime" or other to the media. In fact, the Ethiopians have the advantage of more or less total lack of interest from the Western media. So they're just getting on with it.
And, given the potential for Islamist destabilization of their own country, they were wise to do so. The "international community" has reacted in the usual ways: calls for immediate cease-fires so that an ineffectual U.N. force of peacekeepers can go in and enjoy their customary child sex with the locals while propping up the Islamists. The Ethiopians can't be blamed for not taking the U.N. seriously. To be sure, the alternative to the jihad boys is a bunch of thugs. But that's the reality of much of the map today: a choice between being an outpost of the global jihad, or a patchwork quilt of warlords, or a bit of both with some feeble, half-hearted multilateral force mediating between the two. I don't know whether the Ethiopian intervention will work in the long run, but, if it does, the best hope for squashing the jihad might be to outsource the fight to Third World regimes less squeamish about waging it.
*Polistra's first law of human nature: "When you hear despite
, think because
= = = = =
Later, after a bit of reading: Ethiopia's Christianity started in the 4th Century, which wasn't quite Apostolic but still in the era of the "Church Fathers". Over the long years, Ethiopia's Christians have been fighting Mohammedans constantly, and mostly winning. They never gave in to dhimmitude, though they did retreat to the wilderness for a time. Here
is a well-written short history of the Church and its battles with the Army of Allah. And here
is a photo essay on Ethiopia's medieval cathedrals, built somewhat differently from the European version!