American thinker Ben Franklin once said that "any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." In the West, this line has been used by civil libertarians and citizens of all political stripes to criticize the vast security apparatus -- increased border surveillance, airport scanners, phone tapping schemes, cameras deployed in our public spaces, etc. But the sentiment also comes up when you look at what the enemies of liberty are doing in the far less secure "battlefronts" of the developing world.
One such battlefront was the Muna Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. On Tuesday, Islamist militants attacked there, killing more than 30 people, including six members of parliament. They moved room to room in a systematic extermination operation. And when they ran out of bullets, they blew themselves up. The Somali insurgent group al-Shabab claimed responsibility.
Many Westerners, particularly those ensconsced in ivory towers or working for left-wing media outlets don't quite know what to make of these kinds of atrocities. It doesn't fit the paradigm. These gunmen...More >>