By Glen Ford
Having failed in deploying Ethiopia as its proxy in the war against Somalia, the United States now attempts to rally Europe and as many African stooges as it can muster to gang rape the Somalis into submission. Two years ago, the Americans encouraged Ethiopia to invade its neighbor, to overthrow a young Islamic government that had, miraculously, restored a semblance of peace and stability to Somalia after 15 years of chaos and rule by warlords. As could have been predicted, Ethiopian ground forces and American bombs and missiles combined to bring about the “worst humanitarian crisis” on the continent, forcing millions of Somalis from their homes and into the jaws of starvation. The Americans bankrolled the aggression, in a futile attempt to prop up a warlord-based puppet government that by early this month was in a state of total disintegration, with 80 percent of its soldiers and police having deserted. The Ethiopians, defeated by the Somali resistance, are eager to exit the hell they and the Americans have created in Somalia. That leaves only a small force from Uganda and Burundi to act as Washington’s proxies on the ground in Somalia, under the guise of the United Nations.
Uganda, especially, is Washington’s willing mercenary outpost in Africa, willing to accept any dirty assignment from the Americans. But Somalia is too big a mouthful to be bitten off by Washington’s African proxies, and the Islamists forces now represent Somali nationalism. Mogadishu, the ruined capital, is expected to be back in Islamic Somali hands, any day now. Desperate, in its last weeks in office, the Bush regime now seeks to turn Somalia into a “free fire zone” in which any country in the world can shoot and bomb and kill at will. George Bush invites the world’s military powers to form a posse to invade Somalia by air, land and sea, on the pretext of wiping out piracy. Yet the piracy that flows from Somalia’s onetime coastal fishing villages is mirrored in the lawlessness of foreign fishing fleets off Somalia’s shores and the industrial piracy of nations that treat Somalia’s waters as international dumping grounds for all manner of toxic wastes. The Americans imposed an imperial catch-22 on the Somali people, robbing them of their right to form their own government, then damning the Somalis for not accepting the rule of foreigners and foreign-backed warlords.
The clock is ticking on George Bush’s government, but Washington’s threat to Somalia will outlast Bush. Susan Rice, Bill Clinton’s former assistant secretary of state for Africa, will soon become Barack Obama’s United Nations Ambassador and de facto point person on Africa. Susan Rice is just as warlike as Condoleezza Rice when it comes to Somalia. While Condoleezza Rice and her bosses justify U.S. aggressions in the name of spreading “democracy,” Susan Rice urges American military interventions in Somalia and Sudan and elsewhere on “humanitarian” grounds.
For Somalia, an Obama presidency represents the “same old same old” – the same bombs, the same bullets, the same catastrophes, the same imperialism, with a slightly different vocabulary.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
This article was posted originally on Black Agenda Report on December 17, 2008. For a downloadable MP3 copy of this Black Agenda Report commentary visit BAR’s archive page here.