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Bush/Neocon, Zinawi's Tigre Christian Crusade Against Somalia

By Amina Mire
July 25, 2007

Somalis living under the brutal occupation of Zinawi's Tigre army know that the mass killing, raping, looting and menacing of the people of Somalia by foreign troops has been sponsored by the Bush administration.[1] They also know that this is a Christian colonial crusade predicated on lies and deceit for there is no shred of evidence that Somalia's Islamist have any link to terror groups such as Al Qaida.[2] This is a Christian unholy Crusading war against the Muslim nation of Somalia. Thus the shameful looting of the Bakaraha Market and concomitant ransacking of Somalia's largest and the proudest telecommunication company, Hormuud by the Zinawi Tigre army and militia loyal to Puntland separatist warlords, has the tacit approval of the Bush administration. Bush's Christian crusade against the Muslim nation of Somalia is currently executed by proxy via the Christian Tigre troops of Meles Zinawi.

The current Bush administration's sponsorship of a Christian colonial takeover of Somalia manifest itself in the systematic dismantling of Somalia's cultural and social institutions, such as institutions of education, places of religious worship such as Mosques and the mass looting of vital commercial sites such as the Bakaraha Market. These are the institutions which sustain functioning modern civil society and Somalia's symbols of national sovereignty. Today, they mark Somalia's loss of national sovereignty. These violent crimes against the people of Somalia, their property, institutions and places of worship are done as a crude pacification tactic designed to facilitate the Bush administration's attempt at imposing on the Somali people the rule of a criminal regime of the Transitional Federal Government as a US friendly puppet regime. In fact, many of the key members of the TFG, such as Hassan Abshir Farrah and Abdullahi Yusuf, are separatists from Puntland. This is significant for Puntland, similar to Somaliland, is under the total domination of Meles Zinawi and his Tigre Christian tribe. Thus Puntland warlords were brought to southern Somalia to loot and engage in clan based revenge killings thereby instigating a lasting Somali inter-clan warfare.

This is no accident. It's designed to hasten the disintegration of Somalia as a nation state. This is the same method used by the Pentagon in Iraq. The result has been a catastrophic fragmentation of Iraqi society. Fragmentation of the conquered society makes the imposition of colonial rule on them easier. Thus, it is no accident that as Zinawi's Tigre forces are busy at dismantling the institutions of Somali civil society, one sees the emergence of the language of clanism in describing Somali society. Thus re-clanization is an essential feature of the fragmentation program designed to destroy Somalia by the Bush administration and Zinawi's Tigre regime in Addis Ababa.

The coordinated material and symbolic attack against the nation of Somalia are meant to facilitate the weakening and ultimately destroying Somalia's Muslim identity and sense of national self-perception. Consequently, looting and ransacking Somalia's commercial centres, vandalizing places of worship and the re-tribalizing schemes are three key strategies designed to eradicate Somalia's modern achievement. This is significant, for whilst under Zinawi's rule, Ethiopia has seen the rise of the Tigre elite and the sharp decline of the rest of the society, including the fact Ethiopia has the second highest rate of HIV/AIDS incidents in Africa (second only to South Africa). Under the condition of supposed chaos and without central government, Somalis were able to fall back to their traditional values (xeer and dhaqan and religious moral codes) to keep their society from falling apart. Despite continuous interference from Zinawi and other IGAD nations with emotive aims to keep Somalia in a state of perpetual chaos and lawlessness, Somalis were able to build the best telecommunication technology in all of Africa.
"Ethiopia faces a mixed epidemic among sub-populations and geographic areas, with an estimated overall HIV prevalence rate between 0.9 and 2.5 percent among adults ages 15 to 49. While previous estimates were higher, expansion of surveillance data and improved analyses resulted in significantly lower estimates for 2005. Based on antenatal clinic surveillance data, HIV prevalence has declined to about 10.1 percent in urban areas and has stabilized to an estimated 1.8 percent in rural areas. The primary mode of HIV transmission in Ethiopia is heterosexual contact. Young women are more vulnerable to infection than young men; urban women are three times as likely to be infected as urban men, although in rural areas the difference between genders is negligible. Populations at higher risk for HIV infection include people in prostitution, police officers and members of the military."[3]
US backed Ethiopian forces Kill Civilians in Somalia 
"US backed Ethiopian forces Kill Civilians in Somalia"[4] 
It's clear that despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the Bush administration, Zinawi's regime has not been able to halt the rampant poverty and deadly diseases from spreading within Ethiopian society. Today, Zinawi's regime is determined to reduce Somalia to the level his regime has reduced Ethiopia's society to, outside of his Tigre tribe. This is because thousands of Tigre soldiers are currently in Somalia. These soldiers have been engaged in the systematic raping of Somali women. Thus, besides committing crimes of rape against humanity, there is the potential that through rape, Tigre troops would be able to spread sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS to hundreds of thousands in an internally displaced and vulnerable population.

 A Telecommunication Centre in Mogadishu
 A Telecommunication Centre in Mogadishu[6]

It is not accidental that Tigre troops in Mogadishu are fond of searching the Bakaraha Market because in the Bakaraha Market, there are lots of "cool" and trendy technologies such as cell phones. On the other hand, without a functioning state Somalia has managed to set up the highest number of internet cafés in Africa, where for a small fee Somalis can access the rest of the world via the worldwide web.[5]
"A host of mobile phone masts testifies to the telecommunications revolution which has taken place despite the absence of any functioning national government since 1991. Three phone companies are engaged in fierce competition for both mobile and landline customers, while new internet cafes are being set up across the city and the entire country. It takes just three days for a landline to be installed - compared with waiting-lists of many years in neighbouring Kenya, where there is a stable, democratic government. And once installed, local calls are free for a monthly fee of just $10. International calls cost 50 US cents a minute, while surfing the web is charged at 50 US cents an hour - "the cheapest rate in Africa" according to the manager of one internet cafe. But how do you establish a phone company in a country where there is no government?"[7]
The reporter continues to note that:
"While the three phone companies - Telcom, Nationlink and Hormuud - are engaged in bitter competition for phone customers, they have co-operated to set up the Global Internet Company to provide the internet infrastructure. Manager Abdulkadir Hassan Ahmed says that within 1.5km of central Mogadishu, customers - mostly internet cafes - can enjoy service at 150Mb/second through a Long Reach Ethernet. Elsewhere, they can have a wireless connection at 11Mb/s. He says his company is able to work anywhere in Somalia, whichever faction is in charge locally. "Even small, remote villages are connected to the internet, as long as they have a phone line," he says. The internet sector in Somalia has two main advantages over many of its Africa neighbours. There is a huge diaspora around the world - between one and three million people, compared with an estimated seven million people in Somalia - who remain in contact with their friends and relatives back home".[8]
Thus, it is not accidental that Somali Telecom companies, such as Hormuud, have been the target of massive looting and systemic vandalism by Zinawi's Tigre army. It is clear from this report, without a functioning central authority, Somali society has achieved a level of high tech development which its African neighbours, with supposedly functioning states, have failed to achieve. Therefore, Zinawi is determined to destroy Somalia's telecommunication technology. Equally, it is pertinent to note that Somalis use their own Somali language to communicate with each other via emails. In this way, millions of Somalis in the Diaspora can communicated with Somalis living inside Somalia.

Using hotmail in Somali language
Using hotmail in Somali language[9] 
"E-mail is the cheapest way of staying in touch and many Somalis can read and write their own language, instead of relying on English or French, which restricts internet users to a smaller number of well educated people. Just two days after it was opened, the Orbit internet cafe in south Mogadishu's km5 was already pretty busy, with people checking their e-mail accounts, a livestock exporter sending out his invoices and two nurses doing medical research".[10]
One of Zinawi's main objectives in destroying Somalia's Telecommunication system is his attempt to control the information flow in and out of Somalia so that he can cover up crimes of genocide his mercenary troops are committing against the people of Somalia. This is one of the reasons why Zinawi is trying to close down the Bakaraha Market and with it Somalia's thriving telecom industry. This is designed to cut the link between Somalis in the Diaspora and Somalis inside Somalia thereby making Tigre colonization of Somalia easier. It is also a way of looting US dollars that Somalis in the Diaspora have sent to their families in Somalia. Somalis are resilient and self reliant and Zinawi will not be able to dominate them. Here is an example of the greater heights Somalis have been planning to develop their nascent telecommunications technology. And, with the end of Zinawi's looting scam, they will be able to rebuild their country and telecom technologies.
And Somalia's telecoms revolution is far from over. "We are planning to introduce 3G technology, including live video calling and mobile internet, next year," says Mr Abdullahi. But despite their success, the telecoms companies say that like the population at large, they are desperate to have a government. We are very interested in paying taxes," says Mr Abdullahi - not a sentiment which often passes the lips of a high-flying businessman.[11]
 Mogadishu's phone engineers are going to be kept busy
 Mogadishu's phone engineers are going to be kept busy[12]
Indeed, a year and a half after this BBC documentary was made, Somalia got its first functioning government in 16 years: The Union of Islamic Courts. In June 2006, the IUC assumed centralized control over many parts in the South, including the capital city, Mogadishu. This move came about partly after it was revealed that the CIA was secretly working with Somali warlords and Ethiopia to occupy Somalia. In the context of post September 11, 2001 political stigmatization, the Bush Administration had identified the IUC as a terrorist group. The UIC denied this. Many Somalis saw such rhetoric as a thinly disguised pretext for the US's desire to avenge the 1993 defeat of US forces in Somalia.

Despite U.S. cash payments to various warlords none was able to assert their authority over the population and bring law and order and security to the Somali people. On the other hand, the UIC was able to clear big urban centers such as Mogadishu, of guns and drugs off the street and also clean up the city. Seaports and airports opened for commercial business again after 1995. Yet, without a shred of evidence, the Bush administration continued to treat the UIC as a terrorist organization and started courting its overthrow by using Ethiopia as a proxy state to do its dirty work in exchange for cash incentives for the warlords and for Ethiopia's leader, Meles Zenawi. As a result, on 26 December 2006, Ethiopian tanks supported by US AC 130 helicopter gun ships[13] invaded Somalia in order to install a puppet regime of the Transitional Federal Government (T.F.G.) by ousting the Union of Islamic Courts (U.I.C.).

A recently published report by the U.S. Military Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point concludes that Al Qaida has failed to gain a foothold in Somalia.[14]
Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda has failed for more than a decade to establish an operational base in Somalia due to the country's austere environment and inhospitable clans, a new U.S. military report says. Fears that Somalia, on the Horn of Africa and accessible by land and sea, is ripe to become an al Qaeda hub have so far failed to materialize. "Al Qaeda found more adversity than success in Somalia," states the report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point "In order to project power, al Qaeda needed to be able to promote its ideology, gain an operational safe haven, manipulate underlying conditions to secure popular support and have adequate financing for continued operations. It achieved none of these objectives.[15]
Despite lack of credible evidence linking UIC to Al Qaida and other terror groups, the Bush administration went ahead to sponsor the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia in the name of global war on Islamic terror.[16] In addition to sponsoring Ethiopia's invasion of Somalia, the U.S. military carried out naval and aerial bombardments in the mass slaughter of Somali fighters and civilians fleeing advancing Ethiopian tanks. In this way, Somalis were attacked from air and sea by US and Ethiopian ground forces as 'terrorists and fugitives' inside their own country.[17] Upon the Ethiopian/US invasion of Somalia, the lawlessness, rape, looting and general insecurity quickly returned.[18] The western media has noted that the return of the warlords and the arrival of Zinawi's Ethiopian troops to Somalia gave rise to the immediate culture of widespread looting and lawlessness. Here is how one east Africa correspondent for the British newspaper, the Guardian, recorded, in print, what is clearly a criminal takeover of Somalia's capital city, Mogadishu.

"Return of warlords as Somali capital is captured. Islamists retreat in face of Ethiopian tanks Looting begins as control of city is reclaimed"[19]

Ethiopian troops and militia loyal to the regime of the TFG 
Ethiopian troops and militia loyal to the regime of the TFG 
This was indeed, a Christian crusading vandalism against Somalia's capitalist city, Mogadishu. This report also demonstrates the criminal nature of the Transitional Federal Government, which comprises, primarily, the same group of warlords who terrorized the Somali citizenry for the previous 15 years.[20] Nonetheless, the Bush administration was determined to restore chaos and lawlessness to Somalia rather than deal with a peaceful Somalia ruled under Islamic law. The Bush administration's sponsorship of the systematic destruction of Somalia's capital city works hand in hand with his overall anti-Muslim global Christian Crusade. Naturally, the Somali people have been resisting the colonial takeover of their country.

Confronted with fierce and widespread local resistance, Zinawi's Christian Tigre troops and militiamen, loyal to Puntland separatists warlords, have unleashed unmitigated death and destruction on densely populated neighborhoods of the Somali capital city, Mogadishu, using helicopter gun ships, heavy artillery gunners and tanks, killing more than 1,600 people, wounding, 5,000 and leaving another 460,000 Somalis as refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). The chief targets of these brutal military aggressions have been women and children. As the two most vulnerable groups making up the bulk of the 460,000 internally displaced people in the country, Somali women and children are marked by the crime of aggression and crime against humanity in the contest between various resistant groups and foreign invaders from the United States, the Ethiopian army and the thuggish Somali warlords.[21] The systematic displacement of Somalia's children is central to the Christian Crusade against the Muslim nation of Somalia.

Group of Somali youth standing on the rubbles of their of home
Group of Somali youth standing on the rubbles of their of home after it was reduced to bits during fierce fighting between Somali resistant forces and the Ethiopian mercenary army of Meles Zinawi and TFG militiamen.[22]

A group of Internally Displaced Somali women preparing food for their families at a makeshift camp.
A group of internally Displaced Somali women preparing food for their families at a makeshift camp.[23]

Thousands, including these orphans, have descended on towns outside the capital
Thousands, including these orphans, have descended on towns outside the capital - fleeing battles between insurgents and Ethiopian-backed troops, looking for shelter and food.[24]

Displaced Somalia women helping each other and using trees for Shelter
Displaced Somalia women helping each other and using trees for Shelter[25]

This family, 22km from Mogadishu in Lafoole, are living in the open air
This family, 22km from Mogadishu in Lafoole, are living in the open air as they cannot find shelter. There are reports that some families are being charged for shaded areas.[26]

Aid agencies are having difficulties delivering food because of insecurity. Aid agencies are having difficulties delivering food because of insecurity. Here, at Elasha camp, a displaced boy and his brother wait for trucks to arrive.[27]

Somali baby girl seen at a hospital after she lost her family in an Ethiopian attack
(Reuters) Somali baby girl seen at a hospital after she lost her family in an Ethiopian attack.[28]

A girl watches as her family prepares to leave Mogadishu
A girl watches as her family prepares to leave Mogadishu. Photo: Mustafa Abdi/AFP/Getty[29]

It is pertinent to note that a colonial takeover of Somalia has the tacit support of western supposedly progressive forces as well. Thus, as Somalia's own children are maimed, killed and displaced by the US and western backed Zinawi's Tigre occupying army, The US state department and the leaders of the US democratic party are planning to take some of America's own children to a summer vacation trip to Somalia so that they may come to appreciate, after experiencing what is expected to be barren land, their "superior capitalist system." Thus, the US Christian crusading attempt to colonize Somalia has the forces of the political left on board as well. No wonder western progressive forces are conspicuously silent about the death and the destruction the Bush administration is wreaking in Somalia.
(Washington) - A new U.S. educational program was launched today, sponsored by the U.S. State Dept, offering a "Summer in Somalia" to any U.S. citizen who thinks that America sucks. The program entails a 3-month summer stay in Somalia, living under native conditions. Under the program, any U.S. citizen who thinks America sucks can go to Somalia for the summer, live in a typical native sticks & straw hut and experience, first hand, the realities of starvation, extreme poverty, lack of sanitation, disease, political chaos, corruption, lawlessness and a complete lack of freedom. In addition, as part of the daily dose of cultural reality, there is no internet access, no cell phone service, no TV, no electricity, no plumbing and no food. On site free medical care will be provided by Michael Moore. A State Dept spokesperson, commenting on the Summer in Somalia program stated, "After a summer in Somalia, if they survive, any U.S. citizen who still wants to think America sucks will at least have something to compare it to." The reality based Summer in Somalia program is free. It's open to any U.S. citizen who believes that the U.S. stinks, and is recommended for U.S. college students, university professors, ACLU members, Hollywood millionaires who hate capitalism, and limousine liberals. Leading by example, Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy are slated to be among the first participants in the program.[30]
Thus as some of America's children are being prepared for a summer holiday in Somalia, Somalia's own children are being killed, maimed and menaced by Tigre mercenary troops equipped with tanks paid for by the US.[31]

Ethiopian tanks in Somalia
"Ethiopian tanks in Somalia. Ethiopia bought much of its military equipment from the former Soviet Union and relies on North Korean parts." (Michael Kamber: The New York Times)

Three Somali boys Killed by Zinawi's Tigre Troops
Three Somali boys Killed by the Zinawi's Tigre Troops[32] 
The recent graphic cold blood killing of three Somali teenage brothers by Zinawi's Tigre mercenary troops demonstrates that Bush's war against Somalia has been paid for with the blood of the children of Somalia. It is pertinent to register that these boys were unarmed when they were shot in cold blood by Zinawi's Tigre troops. The perpetrators of this crime against humanity have not been brought to justice.

Jamac Ibrahim Diiriye, 14 years of age; Abdulkadir Ibrahim Diiriye, 17 years of age; and his other brother, Sharma'Arke Ibrahim Diiriye, 16 years of age. The killers of these teenage brothers are members of Zinawi's Tigre troops currently mass looting Mogadishu's largest market, the Bakaraha, as the world watches in silence and indifference. For the people of Somalia the message is clear. There is no shred of evidence to support the Bush administration's bogus claim that this is a war against "Islamic Terror". In reality, this is a Christian Crusade against the Muslim nation of Somalia. Second, the Bush administration's war against the people of Somalia has the full support of western powers and also the African Union's leadership. Somalis have been resisting the criminal takeover of their country and victory shall be theirs!

  1. Xan Rice. Somalia air strike failed to kill al-Qaida targets, says US. 11January 2007 The Guardian.
    www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1988300,00.html   (back)

  2. Combating Terrorism at West Point. Al-Qida's (mis) Adventures in the Horn of Africa.
    www.ctc.usma.edu/aqII.asp   (back)

  3. www.pepfar.gov
    www.pepfar.gov/about/77699.htm   (back)

  4. www.aljazeera.com
    www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_ID=13022   (back)

  5. Joseph Winter. Telecoms thriving in lawless Somalia 19 November 2007. BBC.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  6. BBC. November 19 2004.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  7. BBC. November 19 2004.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  8. BBC. November 19 2004.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  9. BBC. November 19 2004.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  10. BBC. November 19 2004.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  11. BBC. November 19 2004.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  12. BBC. November 19 2004.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4020259.stm   (back)

  13. Xan Rice. Somalia air strike failed to kill al-Qaida targets, says US. 11January 2007 The Guardian.
    www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1988300,00.html   (back)

  14. Combating Terrorism at West Point. Al-Qida's (mis) Adventures in the Horn of Africa.
    www.ctc.usma.edu/aqII.asp   (back)

  15. Scarborugh, Rowan. Somalia too tough for Al Qaeda. Washington Examiner. 1 May 2007.
    www.examiner.com/a-722180~Somalia_too_tough_for_al_Qaeda_.html   (back)

  16. Xan Rice. US military 'used Ethiopian base' to attack Somali militants. The Guardian. 23 February 2007.
    www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2020122,00.html   (back)

  17. Xan Rice. Somalia air strike failed to kill al-Qaida targets, says US. 11January 2007 The Guardian.
    www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1988300,00.html   (back)

  18. Sam Kiley. Looting troops prey on Somalia's refugees: Fugitives are forced to pay to shelter in the shade. Sunday April 29, 2007 The Observer.
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2067951,00.html   (back)

  19. Xan Rice, east Africa correspondent Friday December 29, 2006. The Guardian. www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1979791,00.html   (back)

  20. Xan Rice. Return of warlords as Somali capital is captured. 29 December 2006   (back)

  21. UN urges more help for Somalia. 22 May 2007.

  22. BBC. 26 April 2007.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6594647.stm   (back)

  23. Somalia: Economic pressures rises with influx of IDPs. IRIN. 25 May 2007.
    www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=72317   (back)

  24. In pictures: Somalis adrift. 1 May 2007. BBC.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6612673.stm   (back)

  25. In pictures: Somalis adrift. 1 May 2007. BBC.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6612673.stm   (back)

  26. In pictures: Somalis adrift. 1 May 2007. BBC.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6612673.stm   (back)

  27. Ibid.   (back)

  28. Thousands Flee Mogadishu's Violence. 2 April 2007.
    www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_ID=13522   (back)

  29. Xan Rice in Nairobi. EU given war crime warning over Somalia aid. 7 April 2007.(back)

  30. Andrew Lawrence. The U.S. State Dept, offering a "Summer in Somalia" to any U.S. citizen who thinks that America sucks.(back)

  31. Michael R. Gordon and Mark Mazzett. Ethiopia bought arms from North Korea with U.S. assent. 8 April 2007. International Herald tribune.
    www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/08/news/arms.php   (back)

  32. Mire, Amina. June 27, 2007. The US Colonisation of Somalia and the 'Power Vacuum' Fallacy. Trinicenter.
    www.trinicenter.com/articles/2007/270607.html   (back)

Amina Mire (Faculty: Department of Sociology and Anthropology of Carleton University), Ottawa, Canada. Email: amina_mire@carleton.ca