After losing the Republican endorsement in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District to sitting Representative Tom Emmer, rabid anti-refugee ranter AJ Kern continues to fight toward the primary.
Sixth District residents should probably be happy that she's running for Congress, rather than running a travel agency.
Exhibit A: her most recent post on the AJ Kern for Congress Facebook page, in which she writes:
Did you know you can vacation in Somalia?
I believe it's time to rethink the refugee situation... and make our veterans the priority.
Minneapolis to Somalia flights. Book cheap flights to Somalia from Minneapolis. Search multiple flight deals from various travel sources with one click.
AJ Kern for Congress - VOTE CD6 August 9th Primary - VOTE Early Here we come Mogadishu!! http://www.visitmogadishu.com/.../154-leave-only-footprints
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Somalia because of continuous threats by the al-Qaida affiliated terrorist group, al-Shabaab. U.S. citizens should also be aware of the risks of kidnappings in all parts of Somalia, including Somaliland and Puntland. There is no U.S. embassy presence in Somalia. This replaces the Travel Warning dated October 1, 2015.
The security situation in Somalia remains unstable and dangerous. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia continue to attack Somali authorities, the troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and other non-military targets. Kidnapping, bombings, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and other violent incidents are common throughout Somalia, including Somaliland and Puntland. Al-Shabaab remains intent on conducting attacks against popular restaurants, hotels, locations known to be popular with Westerners, and convoys carrying Somali and other government officials. Last year, there were at least eight prominent hotel attacks located in the heart of Mogadishu, the Somali capital. One U.S. citizen was killed during one of these attacks. Munitions caches and unexploded ordnance exist in various parts of the country and remain a danger to civilians.
In addition, al-Shabaab has demonstrated the capability to carry out attacks in government-controlled territories, with particular emphasis on targeting government facilities, foreign delegations' facilities and movements, and commercial establishments frequented by government officials, foreign nationals, and the Somali diaspora. There is a particular threat to foreigners in places where large crowds gather and Westerners frequent, including airports, government buildings, and shopping areas. Inter-clan and inter-factional fighting can flare up with little or no warning.
There are continuing threats of attacks against airports and civil aviation, especially in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab continues to conduct attacks against the Mogadishu Aden Adde International Airport (MGQ) using mortars and other standoff weapons. The group also has conducted attacks from within the airport’s secure perimeter and successfully detonated an explosive device concealed in a laptop on an airplane shortly after take-off.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) containing information on the U.S. prohibition against U.S. civil aviation operations in airspace over Somalia due to security risks toward civil aviation. For further background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
U.S. citizens are urged to avoid sailing near the coast of Somalia. Merchant vessels, fishing boats, and recreational craft all risk seizure and detention by pirates in the waters off the Horn of Africa, especially in the international waters near Somalia. Pirates and other criminals have specifically targeted and kidnapped foreigners working in Somalia, including two U.S. citizens in the past several years. Consult the Maritime Administration's Horn of Africa Piracy page for information on maritime advisories, self-protection measures, and naval forces in the region.
As for Lido Beach, perhaps Kern could read Abdi Latif Dahir's column in the Guardian about the terrorist attack there in January, Somalia's Lido beach: the heart of Mogadishu and the place my friends died. Dahir writes in part:
. . . Looking at the Facebook photos of Omar and Abdirahman together, I thought about the wave of violence eliminating my country’s young brains. I remembered my friend, engineer Abdullahi Barre, who was shot in front of his house in Mogadishu in April 2015. I thought about another school friend, Omar Afrah, who narrowly survived a car bomb. I counted the number of journalists, businessmen, aid workers, teachers and lawmakers who I knew and who had been targeted in attacks over the last few years.
The violence that dominates Somalia is as physical and emotional as it is gruesome and ghastly. Those who have the will and the way are either hiding behind barriers or leaving the country. However, through an unyielding veneer of persistence, people in Mogadishu wake up and go to work every morning. They defy the violence and try to have normal lives – until they don’t. . . .
The column is illustrated with this photo:
Learn more about the attack in the Independent's article, Mogadishu attack: 20 killed as Al-Shabaab gunmen storm Somalia beachfront restaurant.
Bluestem can't discern whether Kern is ignorant, cruel, or sadistically stupid. One thing the post clearly demonstrates--with its indifference to the brutal facts of the Somali Diaspora and current situation--is that she's not congressional.
Photo: People carry away a body away from the Lido beach (top, AFP via the Independent); Kern's Facebook post (middle); Lido Beach (via the Guardian, top).
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