I could not believe Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show last night – Jon was engaging in major faux-pas US Jingoism which normally he reserves huge scorn for. In fact The Daily Show matched its great Mocking Nemesis, the Fox network for missing the rest of the story 2. Now give measly credit marks to the Daily Show writers for citing the World’s disttaste for America’s ham-handed displays of power (think Iraq and many times over). But again the rest of the story is too compelling to leave unsaid.
The wikipedia summarizes the circumstances succinctly:Italian Somaliland gained its independence from Italy on 1 July 1960. On the same day, it united with British Somaliland, which gained independence on 26 June 1960, to form the Somali republic. The Somali state currently exists largely in a de jure capacity; Somalia has a weak but largely recognised central government authority, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), but this is only the latest in a string of ineffectual, externally recognized governing authorities. In effect this is a polite way of saying that from it emergence, Somalia has declined into a failed state due to external conflicts and most recently religious and tribal influenced civil wars. The result is $600 per capita income , 222nd in the world, no united government, Army, nor Navy. This has been the endemic situation since 1991. Agriculture is at a standstill. But worse European states have been taking advantage of Somalia’s weakness and dumping toxic and nuclear wastes off its coast. In addition, with no Coast Guard or Navy, Somalia’s Fishing stocks are being ravaged by neighbours. So once again, the public is only given part of the picture on a crucial situation. Of course, Jon Stewart and gang, can claim like Jim Kramer who he recently castigated, that “we are just in the Infotainment business – we don’t have to get all the facts right, just amuse our audience”. Such a delicious turn of hypocrisy, it is worth a 5th of a toast.
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