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Another US Military Intervention
by Stephen Gowans, gowans.blogspot.com
January 11, 2007
Add Somalia to the long list of countries in which the US has intervened militarily.
When US-trained Ethiopian forces swept into Somalia to oust the Islamic Courts Union, they did so with the help of battlefield intelligence supplied by Uncle Sam (New York Times, December 26, 2007), with the US Fifth Fleet enforcing a naval blockade (New York Times, January 3, 2007), and with unconfirmed reports of US Marines deployed along Somalia's border with Kenya (Globe and Mail, January 6, 2007.) Not long after, US AC-130 gunships, operating out of Djibouti, struck targets within Somalia.
US General John P. Abizaid flew to Ethiopia midway through December to meet with the country's prime minister Meles Zenawi, and, one would imagine, to issue Zenawi his marching orders. Zenawi told the US proconsul that his forces could "cripple the Islamist forces 'in one to two weeks.'" (New York Times, December 14, 2006.) Ethiopia began slipping its forces into Somalia last July, with US approval (New York Times, December 29, 2006.)
Abizaid is said to have responsibility for US military interests in Africa. Given that the United States lies nowhere near Africa, the idea that it has interests on the continent is a curious idea from the standpoint of geography and democracy. It is, however, perfectly understandable from the standpoint of imperialism.