Chris Floyd reports on the horror in Somalia:
“American military and security forces and their Ethiopian proxies invaded (Somalia) in December 2006, in a “regime change” operation to overthrow the first quasi-stable government Somalia had seen in 15 years. …American forces have bombed fleeing refugees, slaughtered innocent herdsmen and destroyed villages in attempts to assassinate a handful of individual alleged, on shaky and specious evidence, to be “part of” or “associated with” or “linked to” al Qaeda. American agents have seized refugees from the Somali war, including U.S. citizens, and had them “renditioned” to the notorious prisons of the Ethiopian dictatorship. And as we have noted here many times, the Bush Administration has sent in death squads to “kill anyone left alive” after American strikes.”
This, along with everything else, drives Floyd to consider what the Terror War looks like from a rational actor perspective: “The “War on Terror” has created so many vast new fertile fields for extremism and terrorism on all its fronts that a cynic might be forgiven for suspecting that the creation of more terrorism is, in fact, one of its principal aims. After all, who have been the chief beneficiaries of modern terrorism? Those who have reaped immeasurable riches and vastly augmented authoritarian power from “counter-terrorism.” If the “War on Terrorism” had not arisen — just in time to replace the Cold War — something else would have had to been invented to keep the loot and power flowing to (and from) the war machine. “
Floyd cites a report by Enough, a human rights group created by a cooperative effort between the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress. Written by Ken Menkhaus, a leading American expert on the region, the report is called “Somalia: A Country in Peril, a Policy Crisis”, which explains the US role in ratcheting up conflict in Somalia:
“This (2006-present civil) war (in Somalia) was precipitated by a U.S.-backed effort to create an alliance of clan militia leaders to capture a small number of foreign al Qaeda operatives believed to be enjoying safe haven in Mogadishu as guests of the hard-line Somalia Islamists, especially the jihadi militia known as the shabaab. The cynically named Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism, or ARPCT, as the U.S.-backed group was called, clashed with local Islamists and within months was decisively defeated. The clan militias’ defeat paved the way for the rise of the Islamic Courts Union, or ICU, which for seven months in 2006 came to control and govern all of Mogadishu and most of south-central Somalia.”
“(Ensuing f)actional disputes between (Somali) moderates and hardliners — with the latter taking increasingly strident public positions — gave Ethiopia the excuse for its long-planned, American-backed invasion,” reports Floyd.
“(N)eighboring Eritrea’s support for insurgents in Somalia and oppositionists in Ethiopia means that Somalia is further complicated by a proxy war between Ethiopia and Eritrea,” states Menkhaus.
Menkhaus’ report details the humanitarian tragedy spilling out from the machinations of the US and Ethiopia.