Somalian Children Forced to Watch Executions

Islamist militants in Somalia are forcing people, including children, to watch executions:

People in Merca said al-Shabaab militia patrolled the town with loudspeakers, demanding they attend the executions.

The militants also ordered schools to close for the day as they were keen for children to watch the two men being shot dead by a firing squad. Most of those at the execution, on a patch of open ground, are reported to have been women and children.

The militants apparently hope it will lead the kids to engaging in violent behavior. [More...]

The militant group al-Shabaab also hold contests:

It recently organised a quiz for young men in the southern town of Kismayo. The prizes included AK-47 assault rifles, hand grenades and anti-tank mines. The aim, said al-Shabaab, was to stop young men from wasting time, and to focus on important things like defending their territory and their religion.

The group's goal is to establish "extreme Islamist rule, not only in Somalia but far beyond its borders."

More on the group here.

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    this sounds like something (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:09:23 PM EST
    It recently organised a quiz for young men in the southern town of Kismayo. The prizes included AK-47 assault rifles, hand grenades and anti-tank mines.

    the NRA might want to look into. talk about your membership booster!

    ah somalia, the near perfect example of randian objectivist theory gone wild. if anyone needed convincing (is there such a person, with a functioning brain?) of ms. rand's loonyness, just point them toward somalia. if that doesn't do the job, they're too far gone for help.

    So true. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:21:45 PM EST
    I should look up whether the Somalis raid other countries or not.  When a country is as poor and libertarian as Somalia is, most wealth lies outside its borders.  

    Correct me if I am wrong (none / 0) (#8)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:29:11 PM EST
    but the vast majority of libertarians espouse individual liberty.  The person is able to decide what they want to do.  The Somalis in question seem to want everybody else to do what they say.  National socialism, and international socialism.

    "some" libertarians (none / 0) (#10)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:29:39 PM EST
    also say that every individual is responsible for their own liberty and that no individual will seek to oppress others for their own gain.  

    This is contrary to our base tribalism, which is all about securing as many resources for us and ours at the expense of those who are not "us".  The strength of social creatures lies not in their individual strength, but the strength of the social structures they belong to.


    Who's everybody in your comment? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:36:29 PM EST
    Every Somalian, or everybody in the world?

    i have no idea (none / 0) (#14)
    by cpinva on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 11:20:44 PM EST
    Correct me if I am wrong

    if you're wrong or not, but "randism" goes way beyond traditional "libertarian" theory. it posits that not only is everyone (kids too, i guess) solely responsible for themselves, but they have no responsibility whatever for anyone else, or society in general.

    taken to its logical extreme, had this been the prevailing ethos, when homo sapiens initially separated from the rest of the apes, it would have had a one generation limit of survival.

    there's an interesting interview, by (a very young) mike wallace, with ayn rand, on youtube, circa 1959 (i believe). watch and listen. she was definitely a fruitcake.


    Unclear (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 02:26:44 PM EST
    The militants apparently hope it will lead the kids to engaging in violent behavior.

    Is the purpose of this to encourage violent behavior or to discourage it?

    I don't think men... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:25:55 PM EST
    ...of this wretched ilk have the capacity to understand anything beyond their own moronic, pitiful, hateful vacancy.  Imagination is not an overflowing commodity.  Mental retardation and de-evolution, however, are in flush supply all over the globe. Hell, in Iraq, if you're a woman, your life is almost inarguably worse since our invasion. And Afghanistan, no matter what we do, Taliban or no, is still going to be ruled by a culture in which women are essentially property, and children, pfft, they're just property you can scare more easily. If you can't adapt, you will die, and many societies are in the process, ours included by its own corporate pillaging paradigm. We've regressed to the gilded age already, who knows how far back we can fall? Or how much further anyone else could. Hard to believe it's almost 2010, but here it is in all its glory. Ready, aim, vanish.

    Encourage is what I got (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 02:45:08 PM EST
    kids were wasting time (in school?!) and they need to be more 'productive', so lets give them some weapons!

    Which had me wondering, what the heck did the 2 guys do to get executed?


    It doesn't really matter. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 02:53:42 PM EST
    Public executions where anyone is forced to attend is all about a demonstration of authoritarianism/fascism.

    Some ME countries (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:40:49 PM EST
    Make all who are in the town center when punishments are about to start watch the proceedings. They do so with police who walk among those present watching to see no one turns away. I'm not sure the origins of the practice (political or religious), or the intent of it, though.

    The same probably. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 05:17:43 AM EST
    We use official witnesses at our executions as part of state sanction of the event and to provide witness.  No dark deeds done in secret.

    Voluntary public witnesses to an execution is acceptable.  Forced witnesses seems more like intimidation to me.  If protocol demands that there be a certain number of witnesses, then let them find volunteers.  


    We are a civilized country (none / 0) (#2)
    by ricosuave on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 02:28:33 PM EST
    We kill our citizens in smaller, more private, invitation-only gatherings.

    Drive bys are public enough. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 02:56:16 PM EST
    Plus the added excitement of spectators dodging bullets.

    (Drive by shootings probably outnumber state sanctioned death penalties.)


    The Somali situation is more complex than that. (none / 0) (#13)
    by maxcrat on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:30:12 PM EST
    The BBC article is pretty superficial and doesn't give much context for what is going on in Somalia.  Foreign fighters are being recruited to fight for the barely functional transitional government, as well as for the insurgents.

    A well-informed website that frequently provides updates on the Somalia situation:  www.africacomments. org

    Somali has a government? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 05:19:03 AM EST
    I ought to be happy that there's anything resembling a government there.

    Al-Shabaab... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 09:05:00 AM EST
    sounds like a government to me...forced attendance at executions, closing schools...these are the actions of a governing body.

    Really? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 11:20:48 AM EST
    So...if drug cartels start doing those things, does that mean they are the de facto government?

    Whatever outfit... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 11:29:57 AM EST
    tells an individual do x, y, & z or we'll kill/chain/fine you is the de-facto governing body, yeah...some use the brute force of AK-47's to govern, some use the charade of elections and law books with the guns held in reserve to govern...but the end result is the same...surrender your sovereignty, do as we say, and give us a percentage.