Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bush Administration to blame for Somalia's troubles

The US may be largely to blame for Somalia plight, but you wouldn't know that unless you read the entire NY Times article, blogs Rick at Ten Percent. The lede of the article asks why lots of foreign aid money isn't fixing Somalia's problems (as if that's the main question Americans should be asking about the origins of Somalia's present-day difficulties).

Buried in the story is an interesting nugget of information:
By the early 2000s, several of those local courts began to gain strength, and in 2006 they united under an Islamist banner to fight warlords being paid by the Central Intelligence Agency. The Islamic courts won and disarmed and pacified much of south-central Somalia, following their own version of the building block approach. But the United States and Ethiopia considered the Islamic courts a terrorist threat, so the United States helped Ethiopia invade Somalia.
Gwyn Dyer reported on the consequences of the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia back in December 2007. See this post for more background on this "unseen Bush catastrophe."

I happened to have a long talk with a Somali the other day. It was his view Somali warlords just had to say, “hey CIA, we’re fighting Al Qaeda” and they got all the support they needed. The mujaheddin, Iraq's Chalabi, Georgia's Mikheil Saakashvili — all have had their “story.” In South Vietnam it was “democratic” leader Diệm. The Americans continue talking themselves into these wacky narratives, lionizing this or that thug, and then wonder why things don’t turn out better. Just listen to all this bullish talk coming from American leaders about the Georgian president today. These people don't even try to learn from their own mistakes do they? That’s the truly remarkable thing about them. They would rather forget; just bury the lede.*

That's why Obama's remarks about the nature of "evil" were so refreshing to hear.

1 comment:

  1. ha! I am surprised that you've written something I've made a comment about to your other post - that US is not exactly am example of non-intervention !

    John Pilger, award winning journalist, has recent documentary called "War on Democracy" (which I guess his way to say that so called "war on terror" is actually "war on democracy"). so, in the beginning of movie there is a text saying that since WWII US has helped to topple more than 50 democratically elected governments ! and of course it has supported many dictators, often later turning on them too - as hanging Saddam when he wasn't needed anymore.


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