Skip to main content

The unreported destruction of Somalia

The following was sent to the local "alternative" newspaper. Despite the sizable Somali population in the Fargo-Moorhead area, there has been little to no coverage of the U.S. backed destruction of Somalia. I am aware that only loony bastards write "letters to the editor," but I am kind of a loony bastard, so it works out.

According to the United Nations, the situation in Somalia is the worst humanitarian crisis in all of Africa. In the last two weeks 100,000 people have fled Mogadishu, the capital of the country. It is estimated that 1.5 million Somalis are now in need of immediate assistance. Despite all this, coverage of the situation has been absent from nearly all national, and local, news outlets.

One can’t help but think that the United States’ involvement in the catastrophe is one reason why the media has been so silent on the issue. The US fervently backed the Ethiopian invasion, the installment of the unpopular warlord-led Transitional Federal Government and the attempted break up the Islamic Courts Union. Since January of this year, the United States has launched several air strikes in Somalia targeting individuals deemed “terrorists” (state-sponsored assassinations are illegal under international law). Ethiopia, caught in an Iraq-like situation of its own, has been accused of randomly shooting civilians, looting Somali shops, raping Somali women and various other abuses during the occupation. They have stated they are "defending themselves" in Somalia and intend to leave when a “stable” government is in place (stable, of course, means the U.S./Ethiopian proxy Transitional Federal Government).

The Islamic Courts Union had brought stability to a region that has seen nothing but war since the fall of Siad Barre in the early nineties. They were a broad coalition of Islamic groups that had gained the support of many people sick of being attacked and robbed by local militias and warlords. The ICU, who at best had limited influence outside Mogadishu before the invasion, now appears to include anyone who decided to fight against the imperial conquest, regardless of their beliefs. This labeling no doubt helps sell the occupation as a part of the larger so-called "war on terrorism." The possibility of Somalis, who aren’t known for extremism, to actually work with the ICU and hammer out a government backed by the people is all but lost. Now, directly due to the occupation, we are seeing a radicalization of the population, leading to roadside and suicide bombings.

This is another example of post-colonial Western intervention in Africa, causing nothing but death and destruction. Put into the context of the so-called “war on terror,” our meddling in Somalia is counterproductive. It is simply creating more “terrorists.” It also begs the question: Is terrorism always abominable, or is it somehow acceptable if it is done by Western powers, namely the United States of America?

UPDATE: Kris Petersen has more from Gaza.

UPDATE AGAIN: This piece was picked up by the Somaliland Times.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Someone get the CDC a thesaurus!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbidden-words-fetus-transgender-diversity/2017/12/15/f503837a-e1cf-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?utm_term=.9280df07ab70 I feel like this may be one of those stories that is quietly walked back in a week or so. Government bureaucracies are nothing if not committed to absolutely staying the same, and they can get around a word ban with little change in intent. Trump is hilariously committed to breaking brains of the liberal pundit class and his half-wit base loves it. It’s really all he has, as he hasn’t been able to get much else done. (Please don’t remind me of the tax bill that is all but certain to become law.)

The Piss Test

I find some perverse solace in knowing someone has to handle my piss, right there in front of me, in order to tell if I've been a good clean boy, or whether I've been dirty and bad. I hope there's at least a brief moment of " good god, what the fuck am I doing" (now she's tipping the capped piss container on its side in order to write something I assume is highly technical medical jargon on it.) Is it warm enough? Like baby formula, you have to warm up fake piss in the microwave before you can pass it off as your own. (The microwave wattage is important. I don't think altitude matters though.) I don't even know of any gods who care about piss temperature.  I know it's not her fault. It's a job. But holding piss, even if you label it a "specimen," is still a depressing way to sustenance. It's only slightly better than being a bill collector, a stock broker, or the President. We do share a bond. An unspoken understan
State power (that is the ability of the state to use brute force) has increased beyond any somewhat comparable moment in history, yet the state’s ability to everyday govern has decreased to historically poor levels. People (across the political spectrum) typically make sense of this through various conspiracy theories, some more attached to reality than others. (Many are nakedly conspiratorial, others have elements of structural analyses, usually done by trained post-structuralists of course.) America is ground zero, but this is not exclusively an American phenomenon. (China is a possible counter-example, though their competence is both exaggerated and relies heavily on the brute force part of the state.)  This creates a stalemate of sorts. The state lacks legitimacy, but also can’t be replaced. You can add Ross Douthat’s Laschian critique of societal “decadence” (drift may be a better word) to this context. His analysis is largely correct in my view and he’s also right that it’s relat