The answer is: Mohammed Farrah Aidid, The question is; Who is the latest Hitler? Yes, American policy in Somalia is a kind of jeopardy game, a lose-lose situation in which either the U.N. policy of coloring the globe blue will succeed or American lives will have been sacrificed for the sole purpose of revealing Bill Clinton as a chump.

What do we really know about this “evil warlord”? He was, apparently, given military training in the Soviet Union and in Italy, where his instructors spoke well of him. After spending years in jail under the previous evil dictator, he was set free to serve as ambassador to India and chief of armed forces. When opposition to the dictatorship mounted, Aidid was tapped to lead the rebellion, and he naturally assumed that he would emerge as the George Washington or Mao Tse-tung of his country. Having the most to lose, he was the least likely to collaborate with a U.N. takeover of Somalia. His rivals, on the other hand, could only improve their position.

Since the above is derived from a cursory inspection of American newspapers, it could all be wTong. Unfortunately, the Somalia campaign is a media war, a video game in which pictures of starving Somali children compete against pictures of American soldiers being dragged through the streets. What makes this exercise in “telescopic philanthropy” so sinister is the fact that for decades Somalians have been receiving international relief assistance by the buckets full, and the only effect has been to render them ever more dependent on Western aid, less able to solve their problems of overpopulation and famine. The older colonialism was ruthless but advanced what used to be called civilization. Our neocolonialism is even more ruthless because today the only object is a New World Order that is the principal enemy of civilization.

It is not as if we have not been through all this before, in Vietnam. When Clinton and Aspin defended their decision not to send the extra equipment requested by American officers on the ground, it was the same old argument of Johnson and McNamara: they did not want to jeopardize diplomatic negotiations. And even after deciding to call the whole thing off, the President could not make up his mind either to withdraw or to cancel the “Wanted Dead or Alive” order that had been put out on General Aidid, the man we were now going to negotiate with. The U.N. finally had to take that step, but only after Aidid came out of hiding to hold a press conference. Only a Russian cliche can sum up the President’s weakness and ignorance: “The only lesson history teaches is that no one ever learns anything from history.” With Clinton’s education, history means last week, and he cannot even remember that far back. As we go to press, our Rhodes Scholar President has ordered a blockade of Haiti.