Illegals become repeat criminals

Illegals become repeat criminals

By Jerry Seper
Published January 9, 2007
Criminal aliens set free on the streets of America — instead of being deported after serving their time — are being rearrested as many as six more times by U.S. authorities, according to a government audit released yesterday.
     But the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General said it did not know how many of 262,105 illegals in the audit, who had been charged with a crime and then released, had been rearrested.
     Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said that the volume of available files “was too great to search manually and quantify the results” and that investigators instead selected a sample of 100 illegal aliens arrested in 2004 and reviewed their criminal histories for evidence of rearrests.
     Mr. Fine noted that although he limited audit did not find any instances of “outright failure” to cooperate with Homeland Security in the removal of criminal aliens from the United States, a review of the 100 criminal histories “produced results that, if indicative of the full population of criminal aliens identified, suggest that the rate at which released criminal aliens are re-arrested is extremely high.”
     The 91-page audit, which was requested by Congress, said the limited sampling found that of the 100 selected aliens, 73 had an average of six arrests each after being released from custody. They were arrested, collectively, 429 times on 878 charges, ranging from traffic violations and trespassing to drug crimes, burglary, robbery, assault and weapons violations.
     The audit found that local jurisdictions “prioritize enforcement of state and local laws, while sometimes permitting or encouraging law-enforcement offices” to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
     Last year, Congress required an annual audit as part of the Justice Department’s State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which provides federal funding to states and localities for the costs of incarcerating criminal aliens on state or local charges. The program is administered by the Justice Department in conjunction with ICE, which is part of Homeland Security.
     During fiscal 2005, Justice distributed $287.1 million in SCAAP payments to 752 state, county and local jurisdictions — nearly 70 percent of which went to 10 jurisdictions: the states of
California, New York, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Massachusetts; New York City; and two California counties, Los Angeles and Orange.
     The report also said investigators identified an official “sanctuary” policy for two jurisdictions that received at least $1 million in SCAAP funding:
Oregon, which received $3.4 million, and the city and county of San Francisco, which received $1.1 million and has designated itself “city and county of refuge.”
     In addition, an executive order issued in
New York City limits the enforcement of immigration law by local authorities, the report said.
     The audit defined “sanctuary” as a jurisdiction that may have state laws, local ordinances or departmental policies limiting the role of local authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws.
     The audit also examined the level of cooperation among federal, state and local authorities, but found “conflicting views between ICE and local jurisdictions as to what actions constitute full cooperation.”
    ” Congress did not define ‘fully cooperate,’ nor did our review of immigration legislation disclose any specific steps that localities are required to take to help effect the removal of criminal alien from the United States,” the audit said.
     The report also found that among 164 state and local agencies surveyed:

  • 30 jurisdictions do not generally ask those arrested about their immigration status.
  • 17 said they do not inform ICE when they have someone they suspect may be an illegal alien in custody. Some agencies said they do not inform ICE about possible illegals in custody because they don’t think ICE will respond.

  • 18 jurisdictions do not alert ICE before releasing undocumented criminal aliens.
  • Employer Enforcement Better Than Border Security, Analyst Says

    Employer Enforcement Better Than Border Security, Analyst Says
    By Nathan Burchfiel Staff Writer
    January 09, 2007

    ( – An economist who studies the causes and effects of illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States suggested Monday that internal enforcement of labor laws would do more to curb illegal immigration than tightening the border.

    Gordon Hanson, an economics professor at the University of California – San Diego, said the U.S. government could minimize illegal immigration by putting pressure on employers who hire workers in the country without permission.

    “If we wanted to stop illegal immigration, we could do a pretty good job, but it wouldn’t involve so much a focus on the border as it would involve increased monitoring of U.S. employers,” Hanson said at a discussion at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

    The Employment Verification Basic Pilot Program (EVP) was created in 1997. Employers can voluntarily join the program, which allows them to verify a job applicant’s eligibility to work by comparing their personal information with data kept by the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    While the program has seen some success on a small-scale voluntary basis, some skeptics worry about its ability to handle verification requests reliably from more than seven million employers and 140 million employees if the program was made mandatory.

    Hanson, author of “Why Does Immigration Divide America? Public Finance and Political Opposition to Open Borders,” acknowledged that DHS “has had problems with rolling out this program” but was optimistic that “we could develop this over time.”

    “If we wanted to have serious monitoring and enforcement of U.S. labor law, we probably have the technology to do it. It’s a question of whether we have the political will to do it,” Hanson said.

    He said shifting from a border enforcement philosophy to a focus on internal enforcement would constitute a “dramatic break with U.S. policy.” Enforcement of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which made it illegal to hire illegal aliens, has been lax, Hanson argued.

    The law allows employers what Hanson called a “loophole” to plausibly deny that they knew they were hiring an illegal resident. A form called the I-90 requires employers to verify that they saw what appeared to be legal documents verifying the worker’s eligibility but are not required to make sure the documents are authentic.

    “If you look at the number of employers who were investigated for hiring illegal immigrants, it declines dramatically over the [1990s],” Hanson said.

    No control over the border

    Hanson said the government has a limited ability to control the number of people who cross the border illegally. The government and other researchers estimate that around 300,000 Mexicans have entered the country illegally every year since the 1990s, in spite of a dramatic increase in border security.

    “We have a limited ability to affect the number of people who are in the country through a pure border enforcement strategy unless we’re willing to truly militarize the border,” Hanson said.

    He said advocates of a militarized border “need to think about the cost-effectiveness of this, the effectiveness of monitoring employers versus the cost of building an impenetrable border barrier, which can get very, very expensive.”

    Enforcing a secure border without militarizing it would be difficult, Hanson said, because of the incentives for Mexicans to enter the country illegally. According to his research, Mexican workers can make as much as $12,000 more every year in the U.S. than they would in Mexico.

    The 100 Hours of Democratic Superstition

    The 100 Hours of Democratic Superstition

    By Christopher Chantrill

    How do you spell superstition?  The professional atheists have been busy spelling it out lately, especially Richard Dawkins with The God Delusion and Sam Harris with The End of Faith. There is almost certainly no God, according to Dawkins.

    The atheists worship a different God.  For Dawkins, it seems to be the power of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  For Sam Harris it seems to be the value of meditation and a rational ethics.  And don’t think you can talk them out it.
    We can thank the atheists at least for this: They are magnificently applying the principle of  “motivated skepticism” to the human God project.
    Motivated skepticism?  That’s the concept from the paper “Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs” by Charles S. Taber and Milton Lodge. (Hat tip to TCS Daily Arnold Kling.)
    Taber and Lodge observe that we humans have lots of faith in our own ideas and plans but not in other peoples’ ideas.

    “Physicists do it…Psychologists do it…Even political scientists do it…Research findings confirming a hypothesis are accepted more or less at face value, but when confronted with contrary evidence, we become “motivated skeptics” … picking apart possible flaws in the study, recoding variables, and only when all the counterarguing fails do we rethink our beliefs[.]”

    To understand the power of faith we have only to look at the 100 hour legislative marathon of the newly empowered House Democrats.  They are intent upon passing an increase in the minimum wage.  But the science is in on this, and it has been for over a century.  The minimum wage puts low-skilled people out of work.  Democrats are also intent upon adding new subsidies to college students.  But the science is in on subsidies. And the science is also in on drug price controls.
    Why do they do it?  Faith, that’s why.  Blind faith in the power of government and their own good intentions.
    When a faith has been utterly exploded by science, rational folks like you and me usually call it “superstition.”
    Human faith, like human science, is ethically neutral.  We all agree that you can use science for good or ill.  We can use the power of human faith for good and evil too.
    The question of God is a mystery and according to Kant beyond proof or disproof.  It’s easy for professional thinkers to cavil over ultimate questions and levels of proof, but the rest of us need to make decisions–right now–about how to give our lives meaning.  That is where gods and “belief systems” come in.
    During a period of crisis this need becomes more urgent.
    Many people have noticed that the world entered a period of extraordinary crisis about two centuries ago when a vast human migration began from the farm to the city. This extraordinary phenomenon is probably at its peak right now as 25 million Chinese reportedly leave the country for the city every year.
    Many people have not noticed that wherever the crisis of urbanization occurs, the ordinary people create a movement of enthusiastic Christianity to cope with it.  For the mechanics of the British Industrial Revolution it was the Methodism of the Wesley brothers and the injunction to work all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.  Then, of course, the Methodist circuit-riders converted North America and the Irish Americans used Methodist revivalist techniques in building a mighty Catholic Church in the US.
    That was just the warmup.  A century ago, as The Economist recently discovered, African Americans got in on the action when William J. Seymour started a new church in 1906 in Los Angeles. The resulting Pentecostal community worldwide is now about 500 million souls, strongest in Latin America and Africa.  Why is this?  According to David Martin in Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish, Pentecostalism empowers women to free themselves from the Latin machista culture of the

    “street, bar, brothel, football stadium, and drug culture… The restoration of the family as a viable moral, cultural, and economic household, largely through the reformation of the male and the elimination of the double standard of morality for the two sexes”

    is the key result of converting to Pentecostalism.
    Naturally, we all respect the Darwinian faith of Richard Dawkins and value his motivated skepticism.  And we are tolerant of the economic superstitions of our Democratic friends in Congress.  But in judging the people who believe in God, we might follow Deng Xiaoping, who famously said:

    It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.

    As I have written elsewhere,

    “[I]t is precisely the genius of enthusiastic Christianity that it perches so precariously and so daringly on the fault line between the fatalistic, passive culture of the country, with its age-old submission to the power of nature and of the landowner, and the rational, cause-and-effect world of the middle class culture, with its reason, its purpose, its faithful performance of promises, and its society of equals.”

    The Democrats’ 100 hours of welfare-state ritual up on Capitol Hill isn’t really intended to catch any mice.  And that’s a shame.
    Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker, and blogs here.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming

    Playing To Win In Iraq

    Playing To Win In Iraq

    by Jeff Lukens


    Imagine a Super Bowl football team quitting the game in the third quarter simply because they were behind. The premise is so absurd it is inconceivable. So too would be our quitting a war to protect our way of life simply because battlefield conditions are not going perfectly.

    Football teams continually adjust their tactics and strategy during a game based on playing conditions on the field. And so does a nation at war. Seldom does any country enter a war with a perfect strategy in which to win it. Almost always, shortcomings are found that require a new approach. A
    victorious nation modifies what needs to be modified, and they go on.

    That’s what we’ve done in almost every war since the American Revolution. It did not happen in the first Iraq war in 1991 because it was over so quickly, but it’s what we must do now in the second Iraq war. No one ever said things
    would go perfectly this time. Unlike football, no one knows for sure when a war will end. But we do know that if we don’t play to win, we are sure we

    We cannot afford for Iraq to become a base of operations for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups regardless of the drivel to the contrary seen in the New York Times or on CNN. And that is what we face by withdrawing troops and expecting the Iraqi army to take over by the end of the year.

    Strategically, the prospect of democratizing the Middle East remains the only plausible long-term alternative to radical Islam. No matter how complex, altering the political traditions in that region remains a necessity. No other option can bring us long-term success. Iraq is where the process begins.

    For that to happen, the Iraqi people need to be protected from insurgents and sectarian death squads, or a political solution cannot be achieved. If the U.S. and Iraqi army do not provide them security, the Iraqi people will search for security wherever they can find it.

    Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia has become a menace to stability because of the Sunni insurgent attacks on innocent Shiites. Shia death-squads have filled a void left by a government too ineffectual to provide security to its people from the insurgents.

    To stabilize the country, deal with the militias, and deal a decisive blow against the insurgency, rather than reducing American forces in Iraq, we probably need more troops.

    Moreover, our troops need more open rules of engagement to do their job effectively. This is war, and they are soldiers, not police officers. The U.S. and Iraqi governments must expect civilian casualties and collateral damage. It’s unavoidable. The irony in this matter is that most Iraqi people would welcome the increased security.

    We also need to prevent Iran and Syria from meddling in Iraq. Once we deploy troops on the Iran-Iraq border, Iraqi Shiites will more aggressively search out Iranian agents in the slum neighborhoods of Baghdad. When we show
    resolve that we are not going to run away, Iraq’s leaders will be more confident about their position, and hence govern better as well.

    Iraqi forces must own this war, and in the end, win it. Insurgents number at most 10,000. They should be no match over time for a growing army numbering
    more than 129,000 trained Iraqi soldiers. When the Iraqi people see their army engaging and winning against the terrorists, their perception will change and the war will turn in our favor.

    If Iraqis do not establish a viable government that effectively deals with security, the situation will worsen no matter what we do. In the end, a new coalition will need to be formed by moderate Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis.

    Such a government nearly came about following the last Iraqi election. With al-Sadr gone, moderation may be possible again. A new government could be formed that may actually preside over the national interest.

    At home, the negativism of the Democrats and their media allies regarding this war has been deplorable, if not treasonous. We are in this mess largely because their self-serving statements have encouraged our enemies. With
    their taking control of Congress, we cannot afford to ignore these statements and their corrosive effects any longer. They must be called out on any statement that undercuts our national security.

    Recently, Sen. Joe Lieberman rightly noted, “In Iraq today we have a responsibility to do what is strategically and morally right for our nation over the long term — not what appears easier in the short term.” In other words, we need to continue to advance freedom and moderation in the Middle
    East, and not run away.

    Americans will support a winning strategy. But advisers to the president have also been failing him by taking half steps in this war. We have never had enough troops on the ground. We should applaud, however, his resolve to withstand the demands of a growing number of hand-wringers who are only
    looking for an easy way out. Only President Bush can make the changes necessary to turn this struggle around. It is his job to lay out the plan.

    The only substitute for the defeatism of the Left is a renewed determination to win by the rest of us. That, admittedly, is a tall order. But we can only win this war by a public that demands victory from the naysayers. And that, my friends, is our job. Making our voices heard is critical for all who are
    concerned about winning this necessary war.

    Jeff Lukens is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. He can be contacted through his website at

    “Civilization and Its Enemies”

    “Civilization and Its Enemies”*

    Prof. Paul Eidelberg

    This essay takes its title and basic ideas from Lee Harris’ book, Civilization and Its Enemies (Free Press 2004). Harris has been dubbed the philosopher of 9/11 . As I read it, Civilization and Its Enemies is one the most important books published since the end of World War II, and unless we heed its warnings, we may lose World War III.

    Harris reminds us that civilized people forget how much work it took not to kill one’s neighbors, “simply because this work was all done by our ancestors so that it could be willed to us as a heirloom . ” Civilized people forget “that there has ever been a category of human experience called the enemy . … The enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you . And while it is true that the enemy always hates us for a reason, it is his reason and not ours . He does not hate us for our faults any more than for our virtues . He sees a different world from ours, and in the world he sees, we are the enemy. ”

    The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was only superficially motivated by Islamic hatred of American wealth and power. America is hated because it is the enemy—the Great Satan . The same hatred animates Hamas, Fatah, and Hezbollah vis-à-vis Israel —the Small Satan . Israel, like the United States, is the enemy—the enemy of Islam’s world view.

    Muslims are taught that the world is divided into the “Domain of Peace” and the “Domain of War.” This is the 1,400 year-old mindset of Islam, drilled into Muslims from infancy on. Of course, some Muslims have broken out of this mental strait-jacket, notably Wafa Sultan and Ibn Warraq . According to Dr. Sultan, a psychiatrist living in Los Angeles, Islam can’t be reformed: it has to be “transformed.” But to transform Islam is to transform its view of Muhammad, its Qu’ran, its theology—hence its concept of the enemy.

    Mankind has always thought of the enemy as one you must kill or destroy first, otherwise, sooner or later, he will kill or destroy you. We do not think this way. “We are caught,” says Harris, “in the midst of a conflict between those for whom the category of the enemy is essential to their way of organizing all human experience and those who have banished even the idea of the enemy …”

    Americans who uphold the values of the Enlightenment refuse to recognize that those who are trying to kill them are their implacable enemy. “They hope that by pretending that the enemy is simply misguided, or misunderstood … he will cease to be an enemy. This is an illusion. To see the enemy as someone who is merely an awkward negotiator … is perverse. It shows contempt for the depth and sincerity of his convictions, a terrible mistake when you are dealing with [a master of dissimulation] who wants you dead,”

    Americans do not understand that if we are the enemy, then we have an enemy. And once we recognize this fact, says Harris, we must change everything about the way we see the world. Thus, if your enemy consists of men who will stop at nothing, who are willing to die and to kill, then you must be willing to do the same. “Only those who have mastered ruthlessness can defend their society from the ruthlessness of others.” Ruthlessness will determine the outcome of World War III, just as it determined the outcome of World War II, when Dresden was napalmed and Hiroshima was incinerated .

    Today, however, our intellectuals have been imbuing us with utopian ideals “designed for men and women who know no enemy and who do not take precautions against him. These ideals “are appropriate for a world in which everyone plays by the same rules, and accepts the same standards, of rational cooperation; they are fatally unrealistic in a world in which the enemy acknowledges no rule accept that of ruthlessness. ”

    Harris dismisses as superficial the view of various liberal-leftists who, in response to 9/11, said, eliminate poverty or pull American troops out of Saudi Arabia or cease supporting Israel and terrorism will cease . He also dismisses the view of various conservatives who said 9/11 was an act of war comparable to Pearl Harbor , and that it’s irrelevant what grievances our enemy may believe it has against us.

    Harris states that both err in regarding 9/11 as having had a political objective . Al-Qaeda made no political demands on the United States. “Indeed, it did not even claim to have made the attack in first place. ”

    The tapes of Bin Laden reveal that the destruction of the World Trade Center was not part of the original terrorists’ scheme. Nevertheless, Muslims saw the collapse of the Twin Towers as a manifestation of divine intervention. The 19 hijackers did not bring down the towers; Allah did. No wonder the Arab street erupted in exultation. 9/11 erased centuries of Islam’s degradation vis-à-vis the West . 9/11 was a victory for Muslims everywhere. It restored their overweening pride, their sense of superiority over the enemy.

    Harris contends that the 9/11 attack was intended to further a “fantasy ideology”: the revival of Islam’s ancient glory . He draws an analogy between this Muslim fantasy and Hitler’s fantasy of reviving German paganism in the thousand–year Reich . When Ahmadinejad calls for a world without America and Israel , he means nothing less than a world without Christianity and Judaism . Such a world would be an unmitigated tyranny, devoid individual freedom, a world in which the sanctity of human life will have perished. In Iran ’s war with Iraq in the 1980s, Iran used its own children to explode mine fields .

    Harris sees Islamic terrorism, especially suicide, not as a means to an end but as an end in itself . The Qu’ran praises the Muslim who “slays and is slain” for Allah (Sura 9:111) . To die by annihilating the enemy is the Muslim’s supreme glory . This sheds light on the bizarre behavior of the Palestinian Authority .

    The PA was offered statehood by Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1999 . But the transparent and ultimate goal of these Muslim/Arabs is not statehood but annihilation of the enemy,

    Israel . Israel ’s ruling elites can’t face the fact that compromise—the modus operandi of democracy—is foreign to Islam’s world view .

    The same error is evident in the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group that recommends negotiations with Iran and Syria to facilitate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq . The concept of negotiations distorts our understanding the culture and mentality of the enemy.

    Now, let’s consider what Harris understands by the term civilization . First, he rejects cultural relativism . By civilization he means a standard that can be applied across cultures and across history . He sees civilization as having four prerequisites: a stable social order, the co-operation of individuals pursuing their own interests, the ability to tolerate or socialize with one’s neighbors, and a hatred of violence .

    Clearly, Islam lacks three of the four prerequisites of Harris’ view of a civilization . What is remarkable is that Wafa Sultan arrived at the same conclusion . She denied there was clash between the West and Islamic civilization because, in her words, Islam is not a civilization!

    Bat Ye’or calls it a “culture of hate . ” Last month, in imitation of the Holocaust Denial conference in Teheran, a similar conference was organized in Cairo by Egyptians who share Iran ’s aspiration to wipe Israel off the map .

    Nevertheless, the Cairo conference made no impression on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who met with Egyptian president Mubarak at Sharm e-Sheikh and could heap nothing but praise on Mubarak for his “responsible” leadership of the so-called moderate Arab states . Mubarak is also deemed a “moderate” by president George W . Bush .

    There is a fundamental asymmetry here . Arab/Islamic leaders know the enemy; the leaders of the United States do not . That’s why we may lose World War III . I hope to say more about Harris next week .

    U.S. Gunship Strikes Two Suspected Terror Targets in Somalia

    U.S. Gunship Strikes Two Suspected Terror Targets in Somalia

    Tuesday , January 09, 2007

    MOGADISHU, Somalia  — A U.S. airstrike hit targets in southern Somalia where Islamic militants were believed to be sheltering suspects in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies, Somali officials and witnesses said Tuesday. Many people were reported killed.

    Monday’s attack was the first overt military action by the U.S. in Somalia since the 1990s and the legacy of a botched intervention — known as “Black Hawk Down” — that left 18 U.S. servicemen dead.

    Helicopter gunships launched new attacks Tuesday near the scene of the U.S. airstrike, although it was not clear if they were American or Ethiopian aircraft, and it was not known if there were any casualties.

    Two helicopters “fired several rockets toward the road that leads to the Kenyan border,” said Ali Seed Yusuf, a resident of the town of Afmadow in southern Somalia.

    The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived off Somalia’s coast and launched intelligence-gathering missions over Somalia, the military said. Three other U.S. warships are conducting anti-terror operations off the Somali coast.

    U.S. warships have been seeking to capture Al Qaeda members thought to be fleeing Somalia after Ethiopia invaded Dec. 24 in support of the government and drove the Islamic militia out of the capital and toward the Kenyan border.

    The White House would not confirm the attack, nor would the Pentagon.

    But a U.S. government official said at least one AC-130 gunship was used. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the operation’s sensitivity.

    AC-130 gunships have elaborate sensors that can go after targets day or night. They are operated by the Special Operations Command and have been used heavily against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    The airstrike occurred Monday evening after the suspects were seen hiding on a remote island on the southern tip of Somalia, close to the Kenyan border, Somali officials said. The island and a site 155 miles north were hit.

    The main target was Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who allegedly planned the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed 225 people.

    He is also suspected of planning the car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and the near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner in 2002. Ten Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the blast at the hotel, 12 miles north of Mombasa. The missiles missed the airliner.

    Fazul, 32, joined Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and trained there with Usama bin Laden, according to the transcript of an FBI interrogation of a known associate. He came to Kenya in the mid-1990s, married a local woman, became a citizen and started teaching at a religious school near Lamu, just 60 miles south of Ras Kamboni, Somalia, where one of the airstrikes took place Monday.

    Largely isolated, the coast north of Lamu is predominantly Muslim and many residents are of Arab descent. Boats from Lamu often visit Somalia and the Persian Gulf, making the Kenya-Somalia border area ideal for him to escape.

    President Abdullahi Yusuf told journalists in the capital, Mogadishu, that the U.S. “has a right to bombard terrorist suspects who attacked its embassies.” Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aideed told The Associated Press the U.S. had “our full support for the attacks.”

    But others in the capital said the attacks would only increase anti-American sentiment in the largely Muslim country.

    “U.S. involvement in the fighting in our country is completely wrong,” said Sahro Ahmed, a 37-year-old mother of five.

    Already, many people in predominantly Muslim Somalia had resented the presence of troops from neighboring Ethiopia, which has a large Christian population and has fought two brutal wars with Somalia, most recently in 1977.

    The U.S. Central Command reassigned the Eisenhower to Somalia last week from its mission supporting NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, said U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown in Bahrain, where the Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based.

    “Eisenhower aircraft have flown intelligence-gathering missions over Somalia,” Brown told The Associated Press.

    The spokesman said the Eisenhower was the only U.S. aircraft carrier in the region. The vessel is carrying approximately 60 aircraft, including four fighter jet squadrons, he said.

    Ethiopia forces had invaded Somalia to prevent an Islamic movement from ousting the weak, internationally recognized government from its lone stronghold in the west of the country. The U.S. and Ethiopia both accuse the Islamic group of harboring extremists, among them al-Qaida suspects.

    Ethiopian troops, tanks and warplanes took just 10 days to drive the Islamic group from the capital, Mogadishu, and other key towns.

    Ethiopian and Somali troops had over the last days cornered the main Islamic force in Ras Kamboni, a town on Badmadow island, with U.S. warships patrolling off shore and the Kenyan military guarding the border to watch for fleeing militants.

    Witnesses said at least four civilians were killed in another attack 30 miles east of Afmadow town, including a small boy. The claims could not be independently verified.

    “My 4-year-old boy was killed in the strike,” Mohamed Mahmud Burale told the AP by telephone. “We also heard 14 massive explosions.”

    The AC-130 is armed with 40 mm guns that fire 120 rounds per minute and a 105 mm cannon, normally a field artillery weapon. The gunships were designed primarily for battlefield use to place saturated fire on massed troops.

    “We don’t know how many people were killed in the attack but we understand there were a lot of casualties,” government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said. “Most were Islamic fighters.”

    U.S. officials said after the Sept. 11 attacks that extremists with ties to al-Qaida operated a training camp at Ras Kamboni and Al Qaeda members are believed to have visited it.

    Leaders of the Islamic movement have vowed from their hideouts to launch an Iraq-style guerrilla war in Somalia, and bin Laden’s deputy has called on militants to carry out suicide attacks on the Ethiopian troops.

    Somalia has not had an effective central government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other, sinking the Horn of Africa nation of 7 million people into chaos.

    A U.N. peacekeeping force, including U.S. troops, arrived in 1992, but the experiment in nation-building ended the next year when fighters loyal to clan leader Mohamed Farah Aideed shot down a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter and battled American troops, killing 18 servicemen.

    At least 13 attempts at government have failed since then. The current government was established in 2004 with U.N. backing.

    Sex-offender stings get thousands of illegals

    Sex-offender stings get thousands of illegals
    Experts still concerned U.S. children could become prey to repeat offenders

    Posted: January 9, 2007
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    By Chelsea Schilling
    © 2007

    More than 9,000 sex offenders have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials through a series of stings called Operation Predator in three years of operation, a 2006 Department of Homeland Security Report says. But some experts are wondering if the efforts are enough to protect innocent American children from being preyed on by returning criminal alien sex offenders.

    Foreign nationals account for roughly 85 percent of child sex offenders arrested by the operation, which was launched by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in July 2003, officials say. And as WND previously has reported, authorities also have linked illegal aliens to a wave of gang-rapes across the U.S.

    The program was designed to safeguard children from foreign national pedophiles, human traffickers and international sex tourists, and in the first year alone, ICE arrested more than 3,200 child predators in the U.S. who committed forms of child exploitation.

    But Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, a researcher of violent crimes and criminal profiler who consults with FBI, state and local police, told WND, “Illegal immigrants who commit sex crimes first cross the U.S. border illegally, then gradually commit worse crimes and are continually released back into society or deported. Those who were deported simply returned illegally again. There is a clear pattern of criminal escalation. From misdemeanors such as assault or DUI, to drug offenses, illegal immigrants who commit sex crimes break U.S. laws repeatedly.”

    Re-entering the United States after having been deported is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, but many aliens try and do succeed. Schurman-Kauflin estimates nearly 100 percent of deported illegal immigrant sexual offenders will return to the U.S. and molest again.

    “Every expert on sex offenders knows that the likelihood of child predators re-offending is extremely high,” she told WND. “Child molesters in general assault many victims before they are apprehended. And if they can return through an open border, it is very likely that they would. Why not?”

    In fact, ICE reported a twice-deported child molester from Mexico was arrested with 25 pounds of marijuana and eight firearms in his possession in May 2004. “Nicolas Sandoval-Medina” first entered the U.S. illegally in 1996 and was deported to Mexico in July 1997. He later re-entered the country illegally and had sex with a 12-year-old girl in a Des Moines motel room, and was subsequently convicted on two counts of Lascivious Acts with a Child in December 1999. He was also criminally prosecuted for re-entering the country after deportation, a felony, and was deported to Mexico again in July 2000.

    In another case, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who attempted to abduct a 7-year-old girl from a laundromat was one of 25 arrested in a sting targeting criminal alien sex offenders in Los Angeles last August. Four of the offenders, two Salvadorans, a Honduran and a Mexican, previously had been deported from the U.S. A fifth man, Alejandro Rodriguez Villegas, 50, convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, also faces criminal charges but remains on the loose.

    Immigration officials and Border Patrol agents match criminal records databases with Megan’s law directories across the U.S. to apprehend alien sexual predators. However, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC’s president, William Gheen, doesn’t believe the efforts are enough.

    “I think that what ICE is doing is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a shotgun blast,” Gheen told WND. “ICE is attempting to target the worst of the worst illegal aliens when, in fact, we can’t just do that,” he told WND. “We’ve got to address illegal immigration holistically. You can’t just hope the computers are going to tell you which ones to deport and which ones to not.”

    He adds that despite some long-needed immigration enforcement efforts, immigration officials may still be doing too little too late while illegal alien child molesters return to prey on more victims.

    “Before we start applauding ICE for their scrap enforcement, we need to start thinking about how many American children have already been raped and violated because they failed to do their jobs. Before I start clapping, I want to know where the hell they have been for the last couple of years.”

    One of the largest hurdles to effective immigration enforcement has been cooperation between local, state and federal police. Last year, officials of the House Judiciary Committee said that U.S. immigration officers and police are not always on the same page. Police do not always inform immigration authorities about arrests of undocumented aliens, and immigration officers are often too late to identify the aliens before they are released on bail.

    Jim Kouri, CPP is fifth vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He says the problems lie with some larger police departments who have leaders with political ideologies that do not promote department policies to turn illegal immigrants over to ICE.

    “Some police departments are prohibited from cooperating with ICE or other federal agencies regarding crimes committed by illegal aliens,” he told WND. “The problem is that these cities have liberal mayors who appoint liberal police chiefs or those who will implement liberal policies in spite of their personal views. However, there are many more police departments that cooperate with ICE than don’t cooperate.”

    According to a 2006 Department of Homeland Security Report, since January, ICE has trained an additional 40 state and county law enforcement officers as part of the 287(g) program to provide targeted immigration enforcement by state and local authorities. The Immigration and Nationality Act section 287(g) grants local and state jurisdictions the ability to enforce immigration law with proper training and supervision by federal authorities.

    In addition, ICE, in partnership with other DHS entities, is now detaining all illegal aliens apprehended along the borders for removal, effectively signaling the end of “catch-and-release.”

    “The best way is to capture them at the border—a proactive approach—rather than catching them after they rape or molest a child—a reactive approach,” Kouri says. “To do that we need to control our borders. Right now they are out of control. When you have Mexican gunmen on U.S. soil chasing away National Guard troops, that should tell you something is very, very wrong.”

    Below are just a few of the arrests of foreign national sex offenders by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement since the beginning of Operation Predator in July 2003. Many of the sex offenders had been deported at least once before they returned to molest children again.

    • Humberto Gabriel Zamora — On July 10, 2003, ICE agents in Minnesota arrested Zamora, a Mexican who was living under an alias in Willmar, Minn. He had been convicted of first degree sexual abuse involving a 15-year-old girl in March 2001. He was deported to Mexico in April 2001. He subsequently re-entered the country illegally and moved to Willmar, where he began working under another name.
    • 27 child predators arrested in Florida — On July 24, 2003, ICE agents in Miami arrested 25 men convicted of sexually abusing children and 2 women convicted of child abuse or endangerment. ICE agents had targeted for arrest Bayardo Rafael Chamarro, a Nicaraguan national who was a registered sex offender and who had evaded law enforcement efforts to deport him. As they prepared to arrest him, Chamarro was caught groping a 12-year-old girl in a Sears department store. He was subsequently charged with lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under the age of 16. Chamarro had been charged previously with similar crimes against minors and was a registered sex offender under Megan’s Law.
    • 50 alien child predators arrested in Maryland — On August 13, 2003, ICE agents in Baltimore announced the arrest of 50 aliens who had been convicted of sexual offenses involving minors, but had evaded deportation. Among those arrested were a summer camp employee convicted of molesting three pre-pubescent sisters.
    • 13 alien child predators arrested in Colorado — On September 13, 2003, ICE agents in Denver announced the arrest of 13 aliens who had been convicted of sexual offenses against minors, but had subsequently evaded deportation. Among those arrested was Pedro Gutierrez-Lozano, a Mexican national convicted in 1999 of 2nd degree sexual assault on a mentally impaired minor. Gutierrez was deported to Mexico in 2000 after serving his 180-day jail sentence. He returned to the United States illegally and began living in Colorado until his arrest by ICE agents.
    • Ramon Amador — On September 13, 2003, ICE officers arrested Ramon Amador, 53, a man wanted in Minnesota on charges of raping a 9-year-old, when he applied for U.S. immigration benefits in California. A background check revealed that Amador was a wanted fugitive.
    • — On September 16, 2003, a federal judge in Newark sentenced Rafael Ruiz, a Dominican national, to 44 months imprisonment for operating a house of prostitution in Plainfield, N.J. He was involved in a ring that smuggled female juveniles from Mexico into the United States and then held them to work as prostitutes against their will. ICE agents closed down the trafficking ring.
    • Fritz Laguerre –On September 16, 2003, ICE agents in West Palm, Florida arrested Fritz Laguerre based on an outstanding deportation order. Laguerre, a citizen of Haiti, had been arrested by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office in July 2002 for raping his 12-year-old daughter. Laguerre had subsequently evaded ICE efforts to deport him.
    • Julio Cesar Rabago-Magana — In March 2005, ICE deported a Mexican illegal alien who had been convicted of raping a 4-year-old boy in the basement of Mercado Central in Minneapolis. Rabago-Magana asked the boy to help him carry boxes to a basement storeroom. The boy agreed, but when they entered the room, Rabago-Magana sexually assaulted him. Rabago-Magana pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct. After serving his sentence, removal officers deported him to Mexico six days later.
    • 12 criminal alien child sex predators arrested in Calif. — On May 4, 2005, 60-year-old Martin Salgado-Rivera, a Mexican national with a criminal history that spans three decades, was one of twelve foreign child sex predators arrested in southern Santa Clara County, Calif. Salgado-Rivera’s criminal past includes convictions for the rape and molestation of several minors. His arrest was part of a daylong operation targeting convicted alien sex offenders who now face deportation.
    • 47 criminal alien sex offenders arrested in N.Y. – October 25, 2005, thirty–six of the offenders were in the U.S. illegally, and fourteen were legal permanent residents. All were foreign-born and had been convicted of rape, sodomy, assault with intent to cause physical injury, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment, coarse sex conduct and possessing a sexual performance by a child. One victim was only 3 years old.
    • 8 criminal alien sex offenders arrested in Washington, D.C. –- Dec. 2005, ICE Agents arrested 8 criminal alien sex offenders in Washington, D.C. and Virginia over a period of three days. All are citizens or nationals of El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico who have previously been convicted of sex crimes against children — including rape, statutory assault on a child, aggravated sexual battery, sexual abuse, and indecent liberties.
    • Gasper Almilcar Guzman — July 10, 2006, In Sayre, Pa., the Evening Times reported he was among a group of men who were found July 10 to be in this country illegally following a routine traffic stop in Athens Township. Guzman had been convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl in Alabama in 2005. Guzman was deported before he could begin serving his five-year sentence.
    • Miguel Gutierrez — July 13, In Noblesville, Ind., the 20-year old illegal alien faces two counts of rape for taking a 14-year-old into a garage and participating in a four-man gang rape on the girl. Following the gang rape, the girl was forced into a car and raped again, according to news reports.
    • Sinoe Salgado Garcia – July 21, a 28-year-old Fontana, Calif., man convicted of kidnapping and raping a 4-year-old girl, was sentenced to a 30-years-to-life prison term, according to the Riverside Press Enterprise. The child was found hours later inside a shed, thrown over a 6-foot-tall block wall, investigators said. She underwent surgery to repair damage caused by the rape and sodomy, court records show. The site reported that she also suffered three facial fractures.
    • 25 criminal alien sex offenders arrested in Los Angeles – August 24, 2006, four of the offenders, two Salvadorans, a Honduran and a Mexican, previously had been deported from the U.S. A fifth man, Alejandro Rodriguez Villegas, 50, convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, also faces criminal charges but remains on the loose.
    • 45 criminal alien sex offenders arrested in New York — Nov. 29, 2006, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and officers of the New York City Department of Probation, arrested 45 child predators and criminal alien sex offenders in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.

    The earlier report, from the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta, reported about 240,000 illegal-immigrant sex offendersare living in the U.S., and estimated 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sex offenders cross the border illegally into the U.S. each day.

    Pilot Program Will Certify That No Illegals Work Here

    Pilot Program Will Certify That No Illegals Work Here
    By Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor
    January 09, 2007

    ( – An immigration reform group planned to launch a new program in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday to certify that businesses are voluntarily complying with laws against employing illegal aliens. If the effort is successful, it could spread nationwide, the group said.

    “Americans understand that businesses that hire illegal aliens are at the root of this nation’s illegal immigration crisis,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in a statement announcing the launch of the “FAIR Approved” program.

    Stein said the pilot effort is aimed at giving consumers a choice.

    “In much the same way that millions of concerned citizens will go out of their way — and even spend a little bit more — to buy products that protect the environment, we believe law-abiding citizens will make the effort to support businesses in their communities that refuse to hire illegal aliens,” he said.

    “The FAIR Approved program will monitor participating businesses and certify that they are complying with laws against hiring illegal aliens, allowing consumers to support businesses that are truly supporting the community and their own values,” Stein added.

    Susan Tully, national field director for FAIR, said the program will allow participating employers to display a sign that reads: “I am FAIR approved. We verify work status. Only authorized U.S. workers here.”

    “We’re going to have people go door to door to the businesses that they do business with, asking them to voluntarily sign up for this program and sign up with the federal government to verify all of their employees’ Social Security numbers — and do this on a regular basis,” Tully told Agape Press.

    FAIR is launching the new effort in cooperation with business leaders in the Phoenix area.

    “We in the business community see FAIR Approved as a win-win proposition,” said one of them, Rusty Childress. “As businesspeople, we are obviously interested in making a profit, but as members of this community, we recognize that we have a responsibility to our employees and our customers.

    “I encourage other businesspeople in this area to become part of an effort that will be both profitable and civically responsible,” Childress stated. “I believe that the vast majority of business owners want to do the right thing.

    “FAIR Approved is an innovative way for them to become part of the solution to the problem of mass illegal immigration, while at the same time attracting new customers who appreciate businesses that offer opportunities to American workers,” he noted.

    However, Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), told Cybercast News Service on Monday that he was “concerned” about the project for a number of reasons.

    “On the one hand, doing business with employers that obey the law is not a bad idea, but it should be all the laws, not just one,” Wilkes said.

    “Why don’t they ask if they comply with all the other laws, too, like paying their taxes, minimum wage, workmen’s comp and a whole host of other important laws that impact American citizens much more than immigration?” he asked.

    “We’re not for employers hiring illegal workers,” Wilkes stated, but he wondered if the program might be used “as a way to discriminate against people. It sounds like they’re creating a ‘whites only’ atmosphere.”

    The LULAC official also questioned the involvement of Childress, who helped promote Proposition 200, an Arizona referendum approved in 2004 that requires individuals to produce proof of citizenship before they may register to vote or apply for public benefits.

    Wilkes also referred to Childress as “a colorful fellow” who has been involved with “pretty crazy folks” such as those at the Minuteman project, which LULAC has accused of being “racists” and “cowards.”

    Nevertheless, Tully stated that FAIR hopes to try out the program in other cities, such as Tulsa, Okla., Dallas, Tex., and even Hazleton, Pa., which passed an ordinance that imposes penalties on employers who hire illegal aliens and landlords who provide housing for them. “And the ACLU, of course, has tied this up in court,” she said.

    Stein added that the federal and state governments must share the blame for the illegal immigration situation the new program was created to address.
    /ulnone “The problem has been that the government has refused to enforce laws against employers who undermine American workers by hiring illegal aliens, so most consumers have no idea if the businesses they are patronizing are contributing to the problem,” the FAIR president stated.

    Ethiopia versus the Islamists

    Ethiopia versus the Islamists
    By Vance Serchuk
    The Weekly Standard | January 9, 2007

    After holding Mogadishu for six months, Somalia’s Islamists have been swept from power, ousted in a blitzkrieg attack by the Ethiopian military. The nature of the emerging political order in Somalia remains profoundly uncertain, with the retreating Islamists threatening to wage an Iraq-style insurgency, and the internationally recognized Somali government facing doubts about its popular legitimacy, internal cohesion, and ability to ensure even basic security. Still, the battlefield gains of the past two weeks have created a rare window of opportunity in this long-suffering corner of the Horn of Africa, as well as in the broader war on terror.The rout of the Islamists also represents a surprising success for the Bush administration, whose Somalia policy seemed hopelessly mired in interagency acrimony just a few months ago. Following the defeat of a coalition of CIA-backed “secular” warlords by the Islamists earlier this year, angry accusations flew from the State Department about Langley’s botched efforts, which seemed to have helped consolidate the very threat they were intended to preempt.

    Yet ultimately, it was the behavior of the Islamists themselves, once established in power, that spurred key officials at Foggy Bottom to embrace a new, more aggressive set of policies. Prisoners to their ideology, the hardliners in Mogadishu failed to take the pragmatic steps that could have led to a rapprochement with the United States and allowed them to outflank the hapless “official” Somali government. Instead, the Islamists continued to shelter several known al Qaeda operatives, while welcoming other foreign jihadists into their ranks.

    Thus the longstanding Somalia problem came to metastasize over the past six months. No longer just a failed state that could be occasionally exploited by terrorists, it was turning into something more threatening: an active and steadfast ally of the global jihadist movement. In the face of this new and deepening danger, the State Department, it seems, tacitly decided it was time to give war a chance.

    Equally important as Foggy Bottom’s willingness to accept Ethiopian military intervention, however, was the capacity of Addis Ababa’s armed forces to execute it effectively. In this regard, the swift rollback of the Islamists also offers something of a vindication of the Pentagon’s long-term strategy in the Horn of Africa, and its investments there.

    The lead actor in this case has been Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, or CJTF-HOA. Headquartered at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti–a sweltering speck of a country wedged at the intersection of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and the Gulf of Aden–the U.S. military presence does not look like much: a rough and tumble collection of air-conditioned tents, prefab trailers, and plywood shacks, perched between the scruffy Djiboutian capital and a volcanic desert. A French colony until 1977, Djibouti remains home to Paris’s largest overseas military contingent. Foreign Legionnaires jog on the perimeter of the U.S. compound, while Mirage fighter jets fly overhead. (U.S. troops note their neighbors have a special fondness for buzzing low over Camp Lemonier early on Sunday mornings.)

    CJTF-HOA–which constitutes the U.S. military’s first post-9/11 outpost in sub-Saharan Africa–has been at the epicenter of an ambitious effort by the Pentagon to bulk up the capabilities of indigenous militaries in the region. The task force provides training and equipment to key allies such as Ethiopia. CJTF-HOA has also been working extensively with the Ugandan army, which has announced it will contribute troops to the peacekeeping force being planned for Somalia. Although officials at Camp Lemonier insist they are not in the business of recreating the King’s African Rifles or other such native levies, the task force’s activities fit squarely with what last year’s Quadrennial Defense Review described as a “shifting emphasis” toward the use of “surrogates” in the war on terror.

    Civil affairs is another focus of the task force. In December alone, CJTF-HOA troops airlifted food to flood victims in Ethiopia, treated livestock in Kenya, and refurbished an orphanage in Djibouti. The working assumption is that a recurring U.S. military presence in these areas makes it harder for extremists to operate openly in them, and that even modest outlays of aid can help win public support. Also, when it comes to gathering detailed information about these collapsed corners of the developing world, there’s no substitute for being on the ground.

    The flood relief activities in eastern Ethiopia, for example, may have helped provide a screen for the U.S. military to conduct reconnaissance activities on the Islamists just across the border in Somalia. The Kenyan veterinarian program, meanwhile, took place in the Lamu archipelago, an island chain just south of Somalia that has been used in the past as a transit point by Islamic radicals moving along the Swahili coast. When one plots the U.S. military’s civil affairs presence on a map of the Horn, it is no coincidence that they follow a rough arc along the Somali border and other trouble spots that the United States has an interest in keeping an eye on.

    Ironically, these sorts of missions were not what the Pentagon had in mind for CJTF-HOA when it was created in 2002. At that time, the concern was that large numbers of foreign jihadists would flock to the Horn of Africa from Afghanistan and the Middle East, drawn by its porous borders, weak governments, and large Muslim populations–and that the U.S. military needed to be ready to take direct action against them.

    This was not an unreasonable calculus. Although Americans tend to think of Africa as a continent apart from the rest of the Muslim world, this division is more imagined than real. Shared waters bind together Arabia, South Asia, and the Horn. At the chokepoint where the Gulf of Aden meets the Red Sea, it’s only an hour’s ride on a speedboat between Djibouti and Yemen.

    But not until the seizure of Mogadishu by the Islamists last year did the large-scale terrorist infrastructure that Pentagon planners had feared materialize. In the meantime, CJTF-HOA began emphasizing military training and civil affairs as a new justification for its existence. Not that Camp Lemonier was without its uses: For one thing, it provided a platform for unconventional operations against specific targets–most famously, the CIA’s use of a Predator drone to assassinate al Qaeda operative Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi in November 2002.

    Regardless of its rationale, the reinvented task force has won some influential supporters, including retiring CENTCOM commander General John Abizaid, under whose authority the Horn of Africa falls. Abizaid has described CJTF-HOA as a “blueprint” for the future. “Dollar for dollar and person for person, our return on our investment out here is better than it is anywhere in the CENTCOM [area of responsibility],” he commented.

    The task force has fewer than 2,000 U.S. troops, an economy of force that advocates like Abizaid argue keeps the U.S. military under the radar and prevents it from stirring up local or global resentments. In Somalia, this strategy seems to have worked: The U.S. military has provided training and support for the Ethiopian military, and it furnished Addis Ababa with intelligence before and during the invasion of Mogadishu, but the details of the Pentagon’s involvement passed largely unnoticed in the media.

    This presents more reasons the use of the Ethiopians in Somalia was so appealing. U.S. land forces and political will had been tapped out by Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, any U.S. involvement in the Horn of Africa would stir up memories of “Black Hawk down.” Military operations by Ethiopia, by contrast, aren’t liable to provoke the kind of international outrage or diplomatic dislocations that a U.S. attack would elicit.

    That’s not to say there aren’t still risks. If the invasion turns into a quagmire, the media–not to mention our African partners–are sure to start placing quite a bit more emphasis on the Bush administration’s role (as happened after the collapse of the CIA-supported warlord coalition earlier this year). Relying on proxies may afford greater freedom of action initially, but spectacular failure is still likely to boomerang back onto Washington.

    And even when the media are looking the other way, our enemies are not. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s number two, has already issued a recording calling Somalia “one of the crusader battlefields that are being launched by America … against Islam,” a message that will no doubt resonate in the Muslim world.

    The use of proxy forces involves other, more fundamental, risks–foremost, a lack of control over agents, often when it matters most. The United States can offer an impressive range of inducements to make the Ethiopians do what they otherwise might not desire to do, but they retain control over their army in Somalia. They decide where they will deploy, whom they will empower, when they will leave, and how they will behave while there. As the United States should have discovered at Tora Bora in 2001 and in Baghdad in 2005, this reliance can create dangers that should at least caution against any surfeit of confidence in our allies.

    Alas, the United States has a recurring habit of allowing its strategic thinking to get clouded, if not wholly captured, by its client states–seeing its allies as it wishes them to be, and not as they are. This problem is sharply reflected in CJTF-HOA’s civil affairs projects, which soldiers dutifully insist are intended to support the host government in whose territory they are undertaken. This line may make a certain amount of sense in Iraq or Afghanistan–where the U.S. intervention stands or falls with the national leadership we have helped install–but in many parts of Africa, the appeal of U.S. aid stems directly from the deliberate neglect and dis regard of the regime for its people. This suggests the need for a more nuanced approach in these places, in which the United States would achieve its maximum advantage only by adroitly navigating among national leaders, local elites, and the general public.

    This, of course, requires detailed local knowledge, individual contacts, and a long institutional memory–none of which CJTF-HOA is designed to possess. Rather than designating a particular group of units to rotate through the Horn of Africa–thus allowing a body of soldiers to grow familiar with its languages, cultures, politics, and personalities–CJTF-HOA has often ended up with whoever wasn’t bound for Iraq or Afghanistan. Despite Abizaid’s praise, the task force does not appear to be a Pentagon priority. Until recently, in fact, “it was four years’ worth of six-month or one-year rotations,” one military official in Djibouti told me, frustrated. “There was no institutional memory.”

    Any solution to these institutional problems will, of course, come too late for the opportunity now presented in Somalia. What’s required there, and immediately, is a military force that can restore order to Mogadishu. While many Somalis seem genuinely relieved to be rid of the Islamists and their prohibitions against foreign music and movies, the return of warlords, militias, and rampant banditry to the capital city must be confronted at once. As one resident told the Washington Post, “Now has come a problem bigger than not being able to watch a film. Now, you could lose your life.”

    Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer has been in Addis Ababa this past week, helping to lead diplomatic efforts to cobble together the 8,000-strong African peacekeeping force to follow the Ethiopians into Somalia, as endorsed by the U.N. Security Council. The Bush administration has also deployed ships on the Somali coast to block the escape of jihadists and has pledged $40 million to aid the reconstruction of the government. Until peacekeepers arrive, the United States should press the Ethiopians to provide elementary security–despite concerns that their presence might stoke Somali nationalism. It should also be ready to lend additional military assets to the peacekeeping effort–in particular, airlift, intelligence sharing, basic supplies, as well as the humanitarian resources of CJTF-HOA.

    It is far too soon to judge whether any combination of diplomacy and resources will produce anything that resembles success in Somalia. But while there is no room for complacency, there may be–for the first time, in a long time–a slim cause for hope in this long-suffering country.

    Vance Serchuk, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, traveled in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya last summer.