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The Assault on Westgate Mall

September 23rd, 2013 - 4:01 am
The Westgate Mall, assault ongoing

The Westgate Mall, assault ongoing

Loud explosions were heard, followed by billowing smoke, but it appears to be originating from behind the mall, in one of the lower annexes. Presumably the final assault, or something near to it, has begun.

The Mall

Nothing is certain yet beyond the confusion among civilians and reports emerging from the scene. Some details are emerging about the original assault. The National Post describes how the Shabaabs repelled the first respondents.

Only when the troops forced their way through did they realize that dead bodies, as many as 20, had been piled against the entryway to slow the soldiers’ access.

Stumbling inside, they immediately came under sniper fire from high up on the second floor balcony above them. Two died. The rest were forced to pull back.

This was the moment, relayed to The Daily Telegraph by security staff and community workers helping the troops, that the professionalism and ferocity of those holding the shopping mall hostages began to become clear.

Lovely touch that. Killing civilians and using them as doorstops. That little vignette describes the earnestness of war, the dead seriousness of it; the kind of all-encompassing condition that it is. To the Shabaabs, people — someone’s wife, child or husband — were just so many sandbags to be used in a tactical situation. Their attitude exemplifies the total commitment, the mental difference between a man at peace and stone killers at war — with us.

Yes with us and make no mistake about it.

It takes a while for normal people to shift into that mental gear; to leave the familiar world and enter a jungle where the laws of civilization no longer operate and only the laws of physics obtain. Of course, those who live by the Narrative — you know, where you read today’s cheap Talking Points on the computer over Fair Trade coffee — take the longest to understand this. Don’t make this mistake if you’re faced with the enemy. In a situation like the Nairobi Mall, when face to face with the Shabaabs, there’s no room for the slightest pity or hesitation. Not if you want to live.

The Guardian reports that the Kenyans are clearing the area, fearful the Shabaabs have confederates who have mingled with the crowd and plan to attack the perimeter from the outside.

Responding to rumours that other al-Shabaab units maybe joining and hiding themselves amongst the crowds, Kenyan security services have tried to clear onlookers and members of the public from around the mall, he says. In doing this, they have fired tear gas creating even more scenes of chaos.

Reports are now 2 Shabaab KIA and 10 Kenyans WIA. There are now reports that the operation is over; the Kenyans have taken all floors. And all the Shabaabs are reportedly male, an ascertainment which implies the remaining Shabaabs are either captured, wounded or dead. The Kenyans however, have been less than consistent in their information releases. I’ll take that with a sack of salt.

Mumbai once again

On the Attack: Advancing in Buddy Pairs So One Can Load While The Other Fires

While the drama unfolds, the NYT writes that contrary to what you may think, “the ferocious armed political movement known as the Shabab is on the ropes in Somalia, losing territory and influence in its home country.” It’s in its last gap. Yet before the Shabaabs fade into the sunset “the group is using those resources to punish Kenya on its own soil, mostly for its role within Somalia, but also, to some degree, because of growing American support for the Kenyan security forces,” like some kind of Parthian shot.

It is punishing Kenya for consorting with Americans. For keeping bad company. It figures. You should know by now that its always America’s fault. Whatever the circumstance, however tenuous the connection, however tortured the linkage, it’s always America’s fault.

But at least the NYT article is more entertaining than the absolutely banal statement by Secretary of State John Kerry who writes “today’s terrorist massacre of so many innocents is a heartbreaking reminder that there exists unspeakable evil in our world which can destroy life in a senseless instant.” Heartbreaking? What is this, Love Story?

It’s as if the mayhem being perpetrated in many parts of the world were the result of some kind of bad character or mental illness; the consequence of unthinking folly rather than what it is: a purposeful campaign of war direct against specific targets for definite purposes.

It’s a campaign of conquest, whatever else Kerry wants to characterize it as.

The al-Shabaab aren’t crazy — not in the dysfunctional sense — they’re just on the other side. By their own lights they are perfectly rational. It is bureaucrats like Kerry who are irrational in describing what is an overt act of belligerence as if it were a kind of delinquency.

Back to the mall operations, there’s been another audible exchange. One observer thinks he heard several hundred rounds fired. This underscores the wasting nature of al-Shabaab’s position. However careful they are, they only have so much ammunition, and less and less with each shot. Sooner or later the crisis will come as the Kenyans advance. Persistent reports now of sustained fire. It appears that the end is near.

Reports of another blast. No way to tell who set it off.  And now another stretch of quiet. And now gunfire again, but the Shabaab’s perimeter must be shrinking.

It’s getting pretty late here in Oz, I’ll check out the situation later.


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Top Rated Comments   
Witnesses report that the terrorists went through the mall, asking people to prove theyy were Muslim. If they could prove it, they lived. If they could not, they were killed.

Yep, just like Sandy Hook and the Wash Navy Yard shooter; just a senseless trajedy with no other context.

Other than the need for better gun control laws, in Kenya and the USA, of course.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kerry wrote “today’s terrorist massacre of so many innocents is a heartbreaking reminder that there exists unspeakable evil in our world which can destroy life in a senseless instant.”

I wish somebody, or many somebodies would have the stones to ask Kerry "And what does this evil call itself?"

I'm sure his dancing would be epic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Professionalism" Do I detect hint of Stockholm Syndrome admiration for the rugged revolutionary by the metrosexual culture?

"JUBILEE Insurance CLAIMS settlement without DRAMA" Life imitates Art.

Most of the Lofos must be shocked to discover that a mall in Kenya does not consist of a row of grass huts or an aluminum roofed shed. Why it is a place, with people, almost like us! This must not be allowed. The natives must be quaint and colorful. Even their deaths must be picturesque.

The real racists, the unqualified elites of the West, have simply been wrong about almost everything. They allied with the real barbarians against the vast rising masses of the former colonial regions and against their own western populations. The barbarians will come for the feminists the gays the welfare pimps the academic frauds behind Global Warming and Oppression Studies, and the rentiers. Who will save them? Not the billions across the globe seeking what the elites so carelessly tossed away.

There is much worth saving in Western Civilization. The Israelis may serve as a shield and a lifeboat. Others will too. Perhaps when the dust settles and the barbarians have been pushed back from Kenya and Minnesota and Paris an era of greater prosperity and freedom will dawn.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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there will come a day when average non muslim people will no longer accept the premise that islam is not responsible for the works of muslims like those of shabaab on that day we will see a turning point in the advance of bully islam. as a side note kenya does have a death penalty, it hasnt been used in a very long time but it was never eliminated. I think I see some candidates...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Info on the victims is coming in:

An Australian who was the co-founder of a consulting firm dedicated to aiding highly disadvantaged communities and protecting habitats of endangered species. And his pregnant wife, a 2013 graduate of Harvard University's Department of Global Health and Population, and who was doing work on malaria in Africa and was working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

A retired tropical disease specialist for UNICEF who had lived for 25 years in Africa.

A Ghanaian poet, professor and former ambassador to Brazil, Cuba and the United Nations.

A woman who was a popular radio and TV personality in Kenya and married to a USAID official.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew and nephew's fiancee were also among the dead.

Two Canadians, including a diplomat, died in the attack.

And others, including a Chinese real estate worker, a New Zealander who ran a factory in Kenya, and a British woman of African extraction and her 8 year old daughter.

Note the high percentage of people devoted to truly helping the people of Africa, even if touchy feely their professions may be. The kind of people the Left claims to love so much. Think that will change their attitude about Islam and terrorism? What will?











1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What is Ethiopia's role in all this? I recall Ethiopian troops entering Mogadishu not so long ago, I think on a punitive mission; and I seem to recall that they performed well against Somali warlord militias. But I haven't heard anything about Ethiopia since. Any news?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Navy is doing a lot in the Horn of Africa, including work with Kenya, due to the pirates of Ethiopia.

http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2013-07/now-hear-third-party-shipriders-can-combat-piracy

Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa CJTF-HOA

http://www.hoa.africom.mil/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
For that matter, does America and Israel have any sort of relationship with Ethiopia? If not, why not? If so, what is the extent and nature of it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Relative to Kinu's question and Buddy's response, the following is from an article I just sent to Wretchard:

"In all, more than 40 senior African dignitaries have visited Israel in the past two years, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Among them were the presidents of Rwanda, Uganda, Togo and South Sudan, as well as the prime minister of Kenya. The president of Nigeria is expected soon.

An Israeli diplomat who has participated in these meetings said the changes in the region unleashed by the Arab Spring were a key catalyst for these visits. The changes have led to increased activity by Islamic extremists and unleashed a flood of weapons across the region following the downfall of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a confidential diplomatic issue, said the threat of Islamic fundamentalism has been a major topic of discussion."

When the going gets tough, the wannabe tough get going - to consult with people who not only know how to kick Muslim ass but also actually still do so when required.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You know the photos from the Normandy Invasion, taken from inside the Higgins boats just after the ramp has gone down and the GIs are hauling ass out of the boat and onto the beach and toward the German MG42s?

That's what happens when politics and politicians have effed up so horribly badly that there's nothing left but to storm a goddamn beach into MG42 fire.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To quote the headline deJure of the Obama Era:

Unexpected!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm guessing that Al Shabaab agrees with a quote attributed to the Socialist British Aristocrat, Bernard Russell:

"War does not determine who is right. Only who is left."

Except that old Al Shabaab interprets Lord Russell's quote from a different viewpoint than that held by the Lefty Lord (Lordly Lefty?) Russell.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We took that "New Dark Ages" ramp in the 1990s, IMHO.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
oops that was supposed to be a reply to drbatman ... ?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How does Al Shabaab go to war? How does it stop warring? That should be a really simple question but I've never heard anybody actually answer it over the past several years when it's been relevant.

We are overlooking the basics. We do not ask or answer simple, foundational questions. We skip all that and look at complexities. We build our castles on sand.

Ask the simple questions and you will profit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Like, who represents terrorists against the legal systems, and also represents their victims against any pile of insurance money laying around anywhere their agents can pre-attach it?

http://nypost.com/2012/10/13/eric-holders-pro-terrorist-lawyers/

http://www.cov.com/practices/insurance_coverage_policyholders/types_of_liabilities_and_losses/terrorist_related/

http://tinyurl.com/ylxprek
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
http://www.examiner.com/article/part-2-digging-deeper-into-the-holder-law-firm

--go ahead, pull your hair out, throw yourself on the floor and hold your breath 'til you turn blue! That's what I'm gonna do! That'll teach 'em, by golly!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They're not against war. They're on the other side.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Probably not all ideology. Some at least is the EZ Pickins where the "conflict of interest" counterparty is something out there in 'the wilderness territory'.

"Summons? We can't read no steenkin' summons!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How does Al Shabaab go to war? In the same old way. They are motivated by a patriotism, belief system, call it what you will. They are recruited, inducted, trained and tested. They are paid a stipend and armed. Their exploits are recognized and should they fell, they are buried or commemorated with full honor. When funds permit their families are paid a gratuity.

They act, not at random, but against a definite enemy, to whose homeland they are transported. Behind them is a homefront and a source of funding. How do they go to war? In the same old way.

The real innovation is in the West, which has an amazing set of goggles that make all these disappear. We are told these actions are spontaneous, that the Kenyans provoked them by consorting with Americans or allowing Israelis to serve coffee in a mall. And we are advised to do nothing, in order not to compound our provocation.

Just now, Think Progress writes that "he bloody Shabaab attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall on September 21 was an act of desperation by a jihadi group beset by internal power struggles and plummeting support. It is intended to provoke a violent backlash against ethnic Somalis by the Kenyan government and Kenyan citizens. Angry and frustrated Kenyans must resist the urge to play into Shabaab’s hands."

The victims aren't even the victims. Al Shabaab is striking at Kenyans to get back at themselves. An internal power struggle. Think Progress says that all events, do nothing. No. Especially not the backlash you had in mind against Somalis, because even if you don't realize it and are black and African, you are really a closet racist and some guy in Think Progress has to remind you to desist.

See that's how it works. They make war on us and we make war on us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unlike the Japanese of WWII, the jihad cannot afford the planes. Despite all the rhetoric, kamikaze pilots, suicide bombers and Marines do not want to die, they just step up to the plate when it is their turn at bat. To be sure, they have different reasons for doing so, but it is the same human mechanism that is at work.

That some tens of terrorists can holdout for days in a shopping mall shows a lack of resolve. A Marine platoon would have ended this tragedy in a matter of hours. The false and erroneous concept of ‘innocent civilians’ played too large of a role in this encounter. Those civilians are no more innocent than the 18 year old kid with his first rifle. Yes, the civilians should not be dragged into the conflict, but once they are, they are the victims of war, just as is the aforementioned 18 year old kid.

Al Shabaab has successfully learned the lessons taught by the Boston Bombers and the west has not learned. More and more civilians will be dragged into this conflict as long as the world can be enthralled by such drama so cheaply.

The technical phrase for this is s**t or get off the pot.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To protect innocents, don't let the enemy inside your perimeter.

If the enemy penetrates your perimeter, kill them quickly and without consideration of the costs in civilian lives. Then cashier the incompetent commander (or CINC) that allowed them that close in the first place, and prosecute the war with new vigor. One cannot negotiate or take half-measures with killers. If they win, you die, your cities are laid waste, and your women and children become the victor's slaves.

THAT is the nature of war. Thus far, only one side in the conflict has been playing the "war" game. The USA and Western countries have been playing at politics using guns and expendable troops.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OldSaltUSMC
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The irony in the picture is ironic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't care what the NY Times writes anymore. Haven't for a long time. It and the WaPo are irrelevant now.

Don't you just wish. That wish will only come true when NYT and WaPo cease to hold significant influence over American public opinion, and that day's a long way off.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
FoxBiz' Stuart Varney reported this morning on the number of days since the three broadcast networks have even MENTIONED the IRS scandals --which are adding new pieces almost daily.

Here y'go: 60, 88, 89, by CBS, ABC, NBC respectively.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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