Saturday, February 11, 2006

If I Was Hosni Mubarak or Muammar Ghaddafi....

I think I'd raise at least an eyebrow at this:
Rumsfeld Seeks Military Ties With N.Africa

AP Military Writer

February 11, 2006, 4:43 AM EST

TUNIS, Tunisia -- Opening a three-day tour of North Africa, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Saturday the United States wants to build closer military ties to Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco to help combat Islamic extremism and terrorism.

Speaking aboard an Air Force plane en route to Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, Rumsfeld called Tunisia and Morocco "long-standing friends and constructive partners in these efforts against terrorism."

"Each country has been, in its way, providing moderate leadership and been constructive in ... the struggle against violent extremism," he said. "It's something we value and want to strengthen."

Rumsfeld said that while some parts of North Africa are vulnerable to infiltration by terrorist networks, he does not think the danger is as great in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

"There are certainly places in the world that are attractive for terrorists and terrorist networks," he said. "They tend not to be countries like these three. They tend to be areas that have large ungoverned spaces" where governments are more tolerant toward extremism, "and that would not be the case in any one of these three nations."
OK, so let's go take a look at a map, shall we?

Hm, Algeria is that moderate-sized nation just across the Gibraltar straits from Spain. Morocco is that little bump just in the upper left corner of Algeria, and Tunisia is the speck between Algeria.....and....Libya. And next to Libya is Egypt. And under Egypt is the Sudan and Nigeria. And Somalia isn't too far away.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....No, Mr. Rumsfeld, the danger isn't in Algeria, Morocco or Tunisia.

Until we get our troops deployed there.

I'd be more than a little worried, if I'm either Hosni Mubarak or our new best African friend, Muammar Ghaddafi. See, it turns out there's a price to be paid when you deal with the know the whole "that day may never come, but you'll pay back the favor I did you," bit.

Egypt is already struggling with an Islamist movement that is being deflected with secret police raids, rigged elections and whatever little appeasement Mubarak can throw at them. Libya has been under the radar lately, but Ghaddafi's surrender to the US could not have been viewed favorably in the Islamist world, except as a sign of weakness.

It would be a neat little coup to tie up and "clean up" a large package of Al Qaeda training camps and operatives, and to do so, the US would have to go through either Libya or Egypt, and likely both.

It sounds to me like they've already picked the next next place to pick a fight.