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US Fomenting War in Somalia
By Stephen Gowans, gowans.blogspot.com
December 15, 2006
The US-backed, UN-recognized government of Somalia is now limited to the inland town of Baidoa. Mogadishu, the capital, fell to Islamic militias, which now make up the de facto government, in June.
The militias' power is "rooted not so much in their military strength – a few hundred armed pickup trucks and a few thousand fighters – but in their popular support." (1)
It's no secret why the new government is so popular.
In Mogadishu, the Islamists are "organizing neighborhood cleanups, delivering food to the needy and resuscitating old national institutions like the Supreme Court." "Streets that were clogged with years of debris are now cleaned up." (2)
According to Ted Dagne, the African analyst at the Congressional Research Service in Washington, the de facto government provides "a sense of stability in Somalia, education and other services, while the warlords (of the US-backed official government) maimed and killed innocent civilians." (3)
What's more, "instead of acting like the Taliban and ruthlessly imposing a harsh religious orthodoxy…the Islamists…(are) delivering social services and pushing for democratic elections." (4)
To drive the last vestiges of the warlords out, Islamist troops have ringed Baidoa.
Call in the calvary.
"Gen. John P. Abizaid of the United States Central Command – or Centcom … recently flew to (neighboring) Ethiopia to meet Prime Minister Meles Senawi, who told American officials that he could cripple the Islamist forces 'in one to two weeks,'" (5) which is the euphemistic way of saying the boss (Abizaid) flew into Ethiopia to give Senawi (the subaltern) his marching orders.
In an insult to the meaning of democracy and geography, Abizaid is said, with hardly an inkling there's something grossly amiss in this, to have responsibility for "American military interests in the region." (6) The sun never set on the British Empire. Now, it never sets on US interests (and the blood never dries, either.)
Ethiopia, whose troops are trained by American advisors, "has been steadily slipping soldiers across the border (into Somalia), trying to hold off the Islamists." (7)
"Hundreds of fighters from other Muslim countries have arrived at (Mogadishu's) airport in recent days, drawn by the Islamists' blaring call for holy war against Ethiopia and against America, which is especially despised." (8)
Ask Abizaid, proconsul of Africa, why America is despised.
(1) New York Times, December 14, 2006.
(3) New York Times, June 6, 2006.
(4) New York Times, September 21, 2006.
(5) New York Times, December 14, 2006.