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Listen Carefully

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First, from today’s headlines:

Somalia's president has resigned after months of political infighting within the UN-backed transitional government.

The government has failed to restore security to Somalia, which has been without an effective central government since 1991.

"Most of the country was not in our hands and we had nothing to give our soldiers. The international community has also failed to help us," Yusuf told parliament in his resignation speech.

In 2006, the government had to ask for help from neighbouring Ethiopia to force out the Islamic Courts Union, an alliance of armed opposition groups which had seized control of most of central and southern Somalia.

Groups that alliance have grown in strength in recent months taking back many of the areas they were pushed out of in late 2006, and the government now controls only small pockets of the country and areas of the capital Mogadishu.

Some analysts have suggested that Yusuf's resignation could create a political vaccuum and further destabilise the security situation as Ethiopian troops prepare to leave.

Islamists are in control of Somalia. And the UN-backed fantasy government can’t even maintain control of itself. This is a failed state, becoming a caricature of a terrorist haven.

Next, here’s someone actually listening to what Barry says, at odds with the vast majority who just hear what they want to feel:

Right there, in a July 14 op-ed, is Obama’s triumph of plausible deniability: “The differences on Iraq in this campaign are deep,” he wrote in The New York Times. “Unlike Senator John McCain, I opposed the war in Iraq before it began, and would end it as president.”

Seems clear. End means end. Finito. No more. But there’s an interesting phrase in Obama’s promises to pull out, repeated throughout the campaign: “combat troops.”

“We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated,” he wrote in his op-ed. “We can safely redeploy our combat brigades.”

“It’s time to end this war,” Obama concluded. Ending the war would mean following the political cartoonist Matt Bors’ prescription: The troops would go to the airport. They would board planes. They would fly away.

But Obama doesn’t want to end the war.

Obama will classify some units as “combat troops” and send them to Afghanistan, which he wants to expand into an even bigger war. But tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of troops, will remain in Iraq, killing and getting killed.

It’s sort of a linguistic triumph, I suppose. Barry can do whatever he wants, as long as he carefully manages the labels and descriptions.

The way things seem to be going in Iraq, much of the lost distinction between “troops” and “combat troops” will be moot. The Iraqis are already responsible for most of their own internal security, and have resolved their own dates for withdrawal of US forces. “Combat” or not, the Iraqis have said the troops have got to go.

So, I do not share the careful listener’s concern over an extended US presence in Iraq. Our troops have pretty much stopped dying there. I do agree with his estimation of Obama’s false image as a dove.

I wonder how Barry will describe the invasion of East Africa? Probably by reworking Clinton’s language for blasting the Balkans. It will be a humanitarian mission of some sort, to end genocide and starvation. Bleeding hearts lead to bleeding bodies, noble language not withstanding.