Mohamed Dheere is very much in the classic "strongman" mode so beloved by America's dispensers of liberation and democracy over the past century. He comes to his new post from his former gangland turf in the northern town of Jowhar, "where he presided over a famously ruthless extortion network," McClatchy noted. Yes, from Somoza to Saddam, from Marcos to Mubarak, this is our kind of guy. Dheere's expertise in extortion will no doubt prove invaluable in his new role as a greasy wheel in the great global shakedown machine known as the "War on Terror," where Bush and his button men travel the world, threatening to kneecap any weak country that won't cough up "oil laws" or "basing agreements" on demand.
Naturally, in keeping with the inch-think paint of piety required by all players in the Terror War, the ruthless extortioner Dheere repented of all the crimes he committed to reach the top and "asked Somalis to forgive him for his past misdeeds" when he took office last week, McClatchy reports. And just to make sure they do forgive him, he has been given a helpmeet for his spiritual labors: "another former warlord, Abdi Hasan 'Qaybdid' Awale," who was appointed national police chief by the unelected prime minister of the Bush-backed "transitional government," Ali Mohamed Gedi.
Chief Awale, like many of Bush's new allies in Somalia, was once a leading figure in the "Black Hawk Down" faction of warlords that mutilated and humiliated U.S. soldiers during America's previous foray into the territory. But of course, he too has been been forgiven for his past misdeeds by the Great White Father in Washington. Indeed, Awale has come in so far from the Black Hawk cold that he was put on the CIA payroll last year -- alongside Mayor Dheere, McClatchy reports. Your tax dollars at work.
But all this talk of repentance and forgiveness should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness on the part of the Unitary Executive's satraps in Somalia. Perish the thought! "The appointment of these new leaders is not to go easy on the people of Mogadishu, but to face the hard task of ensuring and securing a peaceful environment," said the unelected prime minister of the unelected mayor and his CIA colleague. In other words, they will be kicking ass and taking names -- of all those too weak to kick back -- in the best Terror War tradition. ***