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Annals of Liberation: Bush-Induced Distaster in Somalia Grows
Sunday, 16 December 2007 22:59
by Chris Floyd

Somalia descends into Africa's worst crisis.

This is an excellent summary of the deteriorating situation in Somalia, where Bush's "Terror War" unleashed yet another "regime change" operation last year, using American bombers, special ops, death squads and security forces to aid an invasion of Somalia by undemocractic Ethiopia. Writing for McClatchy Newspapers – one of the very few mainstream American news organizations that still practices actual journalism – Shashank Bengali does what almost no corporate media story on Somalia I've seen has ever done: he notes the U.S. involvement in the very first line. In our degraded times, Bengali's straightforward, factual account – the kind of thing which should of course be as common as muck – stands as a bold act of truth-telling.

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As you read, remember that Bush not only greenlighted the invasion by Ethiopia's ruthless dictatorwhose army has been trained, funded and armed by Washington – but also committed American forces to a direct role in the attack, and the continuing repression.
A year after the U.S.-backed Ethiopian army toppled a hard-line Islamist regime in Somalia, the country has become Africa's worst humanitarian catastrophe. Some 200,000 refugees, mostly women and children, have fled from a pro-government offensive to makeshift camps along a 10-mile stretch of sun-baked asphalt that leads from the seaside capital of Mogadishu toward the inland town of Afgoye.

The crisis is brutal on young people. One night last month, Fatima Sheikh Ali awoke to the deafening crash of mortar rounds on her neighbor's roof. Shrapnel blasted through Ali's tin-walled home in Mogadishu, and sent her 13-year-old daughter, Muna, into her arms, quaking. Sometime in the chaos of that night, Muna stopped speaking. In an overcrowded encampment of sand and scrub a few miles from the capital, where the family now lives among thousands made homeless by the war, Muna silently collects firewood and looks after her siblings, a worried gaze fixed in her almond eyes.

"She is traumatized," her mother said, and a warren of women who'd gathered around her murmured sympathetically. A nurse with the Somali Red Crescent Society said, "There is nothing to be done. It is a very sad story."

...Most displaced Somalis, such as Muna's family, live in dome-shaped huts fashioned out of spindly tree branches and covered with tattered swatches of fabric or plastic. They sprout from the sand like multicolored mushrooms along the road from the capital. The United Nations Children's Fund said last week that one-quarter of the refugees around Afgoye were younger than 5. Both sides are using older boys as combatants, and girls who venture out of the camps risk being raped by freelance militias, the agency said.

"Things are now getting absolutely worse," said Christian Balslev-Olesen, the UNICEF representative for Somalia. "There is a dirtiness to this war. Children are a real target...."Local groups estimate that 6,000 people have died in the fighting this year...

Traveling Somalia's roads is fraught with danger once again. Aid groups and former residents say that Somali government forces, far from ending militia rule, are starting to behave like militias themselves.
Checkpoints have popped up throughout southern Somalia, with government soldiers and allied militiamen demanding payments and harassing civilians and relief workers. According to UNICEF, sick children and pregnant women often are turned away at checkpoints. In some areas, trucks carrying food and other humanitarian aid have to pay tolls of $500 each, U.N. officials said.
As in Iraq, Bush's "Terror War" operation has put corrupt and vicious militias in control of a despised and ineffectual government installed and maintained by foreign forces. The inevitable result is brutality, atrocity and privation on a massive scale. And as in Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere in the Terror War imperium, there is nothing that Washington's proxy forces can do – no crime they can commit – that will lose them the support of their Potomac masters…as long as they continue to prove useful to the Terror Warrior's larger agenda.

A recent story in the Washington Post bears this out. While Ethiopa continues to enjoy Bush's firm support, the CIA-paid Somali warlords installed in power by the invasion are rapidly losing favor. The Bush Regime is now looking at breaking Somali apart, keeping the more stable region of Somaliland for itself — and letting the rest of the country rot and die. This is a strategy we may see played out in Iraq in the future; certainly it's the dearest wish of many in the American foreign policy establishment, including "liberals" like Joe Biden and Michael O'Hanlon. (See Bipartisan Paradise: Liberals, Bush Unite in Ethnic Cleansing of Iraq.) As the Post notes:
In recent months, human rights groups have accused Ethiopian forces of abuses such as rape and indiscriminate killing of civilians as they bomb and burn villages in counterinsurgency operations. Despite those allegations, the Pentagon continues to back the Ethiopian presence. "Any government that provides Somalis with assistance we support, including Ethiopia," a senior defense official said. "I am unaware of specific allegations regarding the conduct of the Ethiopian troops."
As for the integrity of the sovereign Somali state:
One approach, Pentagon officials argue, would be to forge ties with Somaliland, as the U.S. military has with Kenya and other countries bordering Somalia. A breakaway region along Somalia's northwestern coast, Somaliland has about 2 million people and an elected president, and offers greater potential for U.S. military assistance to bolster security, even though it lacks international recognition, they say.

"Somaliland is an entity that works," a senior defense official said. "We're caught between a rock and a hard place because they're not a recognized state," the official said. The Pentagon's view is that "Somaliland should be independent," another defense official said. "We should build up the parts that are functional and box in" Somalia's unstable regions, particularly around Mogadishu.
Thus do the masters play with nations, shaking and breaking them as they see fit. Meanwhile, the tide of blood — and unspeakable human suffering — keeps on rising.
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Comments (11)add comment

John Thacker said:

The Bush Regime is now looking at breaking Somali apart, keeping the more stable region of Somaliland for itself

Somaliland has been de facto independent since 1991. It is a stable democracy, unlike both Ethiopia and the rest of Somalia. It has a long separate history from the rest of Somalia. (Indeed, Somaliland corresponds to the former British Somalia, as distinct from Italian Somalia. The two colonies were forced to unite upon independence; Somaliland has regretted it ever since.) Somaliland is supported by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

The Ethopian regime is indeed nasty and led by a dictator. However, that's no reason to defend "the integrity of the sovereign Somali state." Must you oppose the rights of unrepresented people and oppose democracy simply because you're afraid that you might be agreeing with the Bush Administration? You are surely no better than those who support dictators so long as they support the "War on Terror" agenda.
December 16, 2007
Votes: +0

Yusuf said:

America is the real terrorist
America is becoming more and more dangerous to the peace of the world.

So far all they do now is pick on weak defenseless people, all they can do is make the lives of the poor of this world harder and harder.

December 16, 2007
Votes: +0

ali said:

USA policy toward somalia.
USA should stop helping ethiopian who terrorized somalian people.American media did not show any thing about deterioring situation in somali ,which is unbelievable,somalian should fight hard in order to win this war from foriegn invasion their homeland.
December 17, 2007
Votes: +0

Kaynaan said:

Bad policy for USA
Nearly a year ago after ethiopian troops invaded somalia with USA help,Somali capital of Mogadishu remains locked in a brutal urban war that has driven an estimated 600,000 people more than half the city's population into countyside where no food ,clean water,shelters.UN oficial(Which is horrible agency in third wold country,corrupted,liars)say somlia has descended into the continent's worst humanaterian crisis,too late.
December 17, 2007
Votes: +0

Allen Peter said:

Somaliland must be separate from chaotic Somalia
Most of the people always coonfuse themself Somaliland and Somalia, Somaliland was separate nation recognised by the International Community included United State in 1960, Somaliland was meember of the Commonwealth so if the bush Administration has just realised this , they are doing well and soner they recognise Somaliland is better
December 17, 2007
Votes: +0

Robert said:

Somaliland is and was independent
When the former Italian and British Somalilands were granted independence they were forced into a union that only benefited the former Italian Somaliland. The former Britiish Somaliland had only 5 days of independence before the forced union took place. This union lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of former British Somalilanders under the Siad Barre regime.

The world has no right to try to force a second union. The TFG of Somalia is a weak and corrupt regime. If it ever got it's hands on Somaliland it would rob them blind and then institute another series of Ethnic cleansing.

Sool and the Makhir State/Sanag need to be addressed separately, as a condition of recognition. The final status of these two regions should be determined by the UN as they seem to be more likely drawn to Puntland.
December 17, 2007
Votes: +0

K'naan said:

Somalia must seperate from chaotic Somalia
You Americans are just trying to seperate Somalia so that you may cover up your embarassement in the episode of "Black Hawk Down" in 1992-94 during the Civil War. In 18hrs 18 Americans died 84 wounded 1 taken hostage 2 dragged through the streets of Mogadishu and 4 Black Hawk choppers shot from the sky. Isn't that embarrassing? Somali nationalism did same thing to Ethiopia buddy! Somalis will never give up Somalia until there is no more of them "Fight or die as a martyr and a soldier!"
December 17, 2007
Votes: +0

Faah said:

There is no such former italian and british...somalian defeated these country long time ago and get indepedence.
USA should leave somalian alone,do not encourage one clan(isaak) to break up the rest of Somalia.There is no somaliland but there are north somali where four clan live together with peaceful right now ,if yu try to encourage to break up the rest of somalia,yu feul war among clans because they have different view regarding breaking away somali north.ROBERT yu are trash white man ..there is no former italian and british somalia but one only somali..those colonial(italian brithis power invade somalia long time ago and have been defeated long time ago.
ALLEN is another white trash..no respond because he is ignorant what is going on somalia.
December 18, 2007
Votes: +0

Bill M said:

Two functional, independent and prosperous states on the ruin that is Somalia.
I am African-American and support the independence of Somaliland, is that ok with you? The Ishaaq have spoken, they want nothing to do with Somalia, it is a wish that they have paid for in blood. We need to respect that. It is time the West stop dictating what countries exist in Africa and recognize the wishes of the people that live there.

The real problem in Somalia is the TFG, which is nothing more than a corrupt Ethiopian tool. Get rid of it and help build a new structure starting with Makir and Puntland and working south. It is possible to built two functional independent and prosperous states on the ruin that is Somalia.
December 19, 2007
Votes: +0

Marc said:

101 on Somaliland
For those who are advocating the dismemberment of Somalia should learn more about the subject they are talking about. It is better to understand the genesis and the make up of this enclave called Somaliland. The different clans in this area do not all subscribe to the seccesion cause and will never accept one clan hegemony over them. Here is some research document for those who have no clue about this issue:http://www.somaliunity.org/publications/The_Illusory_Somaliland__Satting_the_Record_Straight.pdf
December 28, 2007
Votes: +0

John said:

Battered wife is finally free
Suprisingly absent from Somalia 101 is mention of the slaughter of 300,000 Somalilanders by Rhodesian mecenaries ordered by General Mohamed Omar Hirsi Morgan during the late 80's. General Morgan is a war criminal whom the TGF seems to be happy to work with.

Somaliland's joining of Somalia was a mistake, it's taken 16 years for Somaliland to recover from the casualties inflicted on them from Mogadishu. Now the world wants to force them to rejoin the mess that is Somalia? TO what end? Why didn't the world force Croatia to rejoin Serbia? Face it the only borders the West is interested in Maintaining are those it forced upon the African people.
December 29, 2007
Votes: +0

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