BlasT 'Em! Arrggghhh!
Submitted By Todd on April 12th at 6:31am
from the crow's nest.
Senior Obama administration officials are debating how to address a potential terrorist threat to U.S. interests from a Somali extremist group, with some in the military advocating strikes against its training camps.Time to sharpen me Cutlass, then?
But many officials maintain that uncertainty about the intentions of the al-Shabab organization dictates a more patient, nonmilitary approach.Could a drone or two not blast them to kingdom come, begad, and make them kiss the gunner's daughter?
The organization's rapid expansion, ties between its leaders and al-Qaeda, and the presence of Americans and Europeans in its camps have raised the question of whether a preemptive strike is warranted. Yet the group's objectives have thus far been domestic, and officials say that U.S. intelligence has no evidence it is planning attacks outside Somalia.Where be W. when ye need him?
Some in the Defense Department have been frustrated by what they see as a failure to act. Many other national security officials say an ill-considered strike would have negative diplomatic and political consequences far beyond the Horn of Africa. Other options under consideration are increased financial pressure and diplomatic activity, including stepped-up efforts to resolve the larger political turmoil in Somalia.Might the pirate booty be findin' its way to the terrorists? No one be sayin'. What be the concern, then, Matey?
The FBI and intelligence officials have said that at least 20 young Somali American men have left this country for Somalia in recent years to train and fight with al-Shabab against the Somali government and occupying Ethiopian military forces. In February, a naturalized American -- 27-year-old Shirwa Ahmed of Minneapolis -- killed himself and many others in a suicide bombing in Somalia.Arrgghhh, trouble be brewin'!
"We do not have a credible body of reporting right now to lead us to believe that these American recruits are being trained and instructed to come back to the United States for terrorist acts," he said. "Yet, obviously, we remain concerned about that and watchful for it."Ole' W. would blast 'em, right Cap'n?
Similar debates over how to deal with perceived threats in countries where the United States is not at war occurred during the Bush administration, which on several occasions canceled strikes because of insufficient evidence or concern about inflaming the local population and making a politically explosive situation worse. The newness of the Obama administration, one senior military official, has slowed the decision process even more.Obama be scared, then?
They are "walking slowly," the official said, "and for the players with continuity, the frustration continues to grow."Be there traitors among us?
But many on the national security team insist that it is their caution and willingness to consider all aspects of the situation that differentiate them from the overly aggressive posture of the Bush administration that they say exacerbated the terrorist threat.Arrrggghhhh! X marks the spot... Let 'em feed the fish.