But in places that have been ravaged by war for decades, that question is relatively easy to answer. Any group where the rule of law is partly present is vastly more desirable than places where there is no rule of law. No matter how dictatorial a regime may (or may not be) if it allows people to carry on their daily life with any semblance of normalcy, it is preferable to a an apparently permanent state of civil war.
In this context, whether Islamic regimes are oppressive or allow for freedoms or not is irrelevent. All that matters to the people involved is that they find some measure of outer peace. The only reason that I'm even bringing up Islam is that various Islamic groups, perhaps because of the role that Law plays in Islamic theology, seem to be the only groups that understands the importance of the rule of law.
Which is the largest failure of US action in Somalia. (The same mistake is also currently on-going in Afghanistan and Iraq.) The US did not go in with the intention of establishing civil order, but only to depose a certain regime or to prevent certain warlords from coming to power. Such involvement is useless at best without the establishment of civil order.
This same drama will play out time and again. Whichever group proves best at bringing civil order will first win the hearts and minds of the people. Once these hearts and minds are won long enough to come to power, all that needs to be done is maintain civil order relative to the expectations of the people.
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