Filed under: Africa
23 June 2009
Source: Black Agenda Report
“The embattled ‘government’ has abandoned all pretense of defending Somali national sovereignty.”
The so-called government of Somalia, an updated version of the government that was installed by U.S.-supported Ethiopian invaders, is now asking American allies in the region to invade the country, again. After losing all but a small patch of Mogadishu, the capital city, to Islamic nationalist forces, the speaker of the foreign-backed parliament called on “Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen” – anybody! – to save them from what he called “terrorists.” That’s the same line the United States uses to describe opposition forces – although even the New York Times concedes that the “vast majority” of the fighters are Somali.
Ethiopia, Somalia’s historic adversary in the region, declared it would invade once again if it felt seriously threatened by its neighbor. In fact, Ethiopian troops never fully withdrew from Somalia, but simply disengaged after suffering heavy casualties in their attempt to occupy the country following the 2006 invasion. That war was extremely unpopular at home, and Ethiopia’s military regime would rather not relive the experience.
With its call for yet another foreign invasion, the embattled, rump “government,” reduced to a dwindling domain of a few neighborhoods, has abandoned all pretense of defending Somali national sovereignty. It has surrendered its fate to Washington, the same superpower that instigated Ethiopia to drive out an Islamic Courts government two and a half years ago, depriving southern Somalia of the only period of peace it had known since 1991. By begging its U.S.-backed neighbors to save it from its own people, the quickly disappearing Mogadishu mini-state is inviting a wider regional war that could enflame much of northeast Africa.
“It is a military operation that cannot possibly occur without active U.S. coordination and logistical support.”
Such a calamity would appeal to Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations and the Obama administration’s most aggressive advocate of the doctrine of “humanitarian” military intervention, sometimes called R2P – the “Responsibility to Protect.” In essence, R2P is a license for the United States and its surrogates to intervene whenever a government cannot, or will not, protect its people from harm, as defined by the United States. In practice, the U.S. creates conditions that endanger masses of people, and then nominates itself to come to the “rescue.”
The U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion plunged Somalia into what the United Nations called “the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa” – worse than Darfur – with tens of thousands dead and millions displaced. It was a disaster made in the U.S.A., which Washington justified based on the presence in Somalia of persons the Americans claimed were associated with Al Qaida. The rump regime huddled in a corner of Mogadishu now frantically pushes all of Washington’s hot buttons, claiming that Al Qaida is at the gates, and enticing armies from the region to descend on Somalia. It is a military operation that cannot possibly occur without active U.S. coordination and logistical support. Very soon, Barack Obama may have a war in Africa that he can claim as his own. And Susan Rice may have her humanitarian crisis she’s been looking for. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at