The school that is hoping for American help (NYT)
The New York Times digs deep and discovers the Pentagon waging ideological warfare against Kenyan jihadis. Well done!
SIYU, Kenya – Why this particular fishing village, among the hundreds along the East African coast, may soon receive a new well, courtesy of the Pentagon, is no secret.
It is not because the people here have to walk long distances and brave harsh temperatures for the limited drinking water available on Pate Island, although they do. No, the United States Central Command is concerned more with the loyalties of the people of Siyu than their thirst.
From remote Siyu, investigators say, the bombing of a Mombasa hotel that catered to Israeli tourists, and the simultaneous failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli-chartered airliner, were planned in 2002. The well is one of many public works projects being undertaken by the American military throughout the Horn of Africa aimed at changing the locals’ view of a country many of them had learned to hate.
“The war on terrorism is not necessarily a shooting war,” said Maj. W. Brice Finney, commander of theArmy’s 412th Civil Affairs Battalion. Still, these are good deeds with a strategic edge. The main purpose is to monitor the vast coastline for terrorists fleeing Afghanistan and other spots across the Gulf of Aden. All of which explains why the military is paying close attention to Siyu.
It seems to be working to the frustration of some.
Muslim leaders say their followers have been ignoring their warnings about accepting the American largess. The people are poor and ideology takes a distant second to making ends meet.
“When I tell people, ‘Don’t let the Americans help you,’ they ask me, ‘What is the alternative?’ ” Sheik Abdulkadir said, shaking his head in frustration.