Wednesday, April 25, 2007

killing in the name of...

More news from the “war on terror” that – aside from the international media – only the great Chris Floyd seems willing to report. If there’s any hope of salvaging a free press in this country, it’s people like him, Bill Moyers, and the greatness of

Bush-Backed Liberation of Somalia: "Most of the dead are poor people"

In the new Terror War front opened by the Bush Administration and its proxy armies –
the brutal "regime change" invasion of Somalia, led by the American-trained troops of the Ethiopian dictatorship – conditions for innocent civilians are worsening by the day. The BBC reports that the Ethiopians and their Somali warlord allies have essentially sealed off large quadrants of the capital, Mogadishu, and are shelling the residential areas to root out "insurgents" – forces loyal to the Islamic Courts government overthrown by the invasion, tribal groups on the outs with the ascendant warlords, and ordinary Somalis defending their country from foreign attack.

More than 300,000 people have fled the carnage in Mogadishu, some heading for the Kenyan border – where many have been captured with the help of U.S. Special Forces and intelligence agents and "rendered" to Ethiopia's notorious torture-chamber prisons – while many other refugees have been forced to simply camp out in the open, prey to extreme hunger and exposure, and the spread of disease. Some have become so desperate that they have had to return to the rubble of their homes in Mogadishu, and are now trapped in the ring of fire that the American-backed invaders are drawing around the city.

At least 250 people have been killed in Mogadishu in this week alone, almost all of them civilians, say relief workers and UN officials. And the innocent victims are overwhelmingly the most vulnerable people in Somali society; the poor, the sick, the crippled, the old and the very young.

The U.S. corporate media – and indeed, much of the "progressive" media as well – have largely ignored the conflict in Somalia, beyond a few brief mentions in the traditional "oh, those African savages are killing each other again" mode. But the war in Somalia is an American war. As we have reported often here – drawing on the extensive work of other researchers – the Bush Administration has armed, trained and financed the war machine of the Ethiopian dictatorship, with special attention paid to "counterinsurgency" training in preparation for the "regime change" that Washington wanted in Somalia. What's more, American warplanes assisted the invasion, launching airstrikes on fleeing civilians and natives of the border regions, ostensibly in a flailing, ham-handed attempt to kill a few suspected "al Qaeda" leaders supposedly hidden among the refugees. Many innocent people were killed – but no terrorist operatives. In addition, U.S. Special Forces troops have been operating with the invaders, and U.S. intelligence agents have been interrogating refugees and "rendering" some of them into a nightmarish journey through warlord prisons in Somalia on their way to captivity in Ethiopia. Again, all of this is going on with practically no U.S. news coverage – and absolutely no political debate in America.

The proxy conquest of Somalia is being undertaken to serve the Administration's strategic aim of dominating the oil supplies and distribution lines in the Middle East and Africa. The "justification" for this act of aggression is, as always, "terrorism." Bush and his proxies accuse the Islamic Courts government of "having ties to al Qaeda," a charge with the Courts faction has always denied, and of which there is no proof. But the accusation provides a handy excuse for attacking, arresting, rendering or killing anyone remotely associated with the overthrown government – or anyone who opposes the new Bush-imposed regime. "Al Qaeda" has become a magical incantation by which the Bush Administration can transform anyone into a "terrorist" or an "enemy combatant." As with the Islamic Courts government, no proof is necessary; the accusation itself will suffice.

Again, all of this happening – helped by American money, arms, training, planes, bombs, troops and intelligence – without the slightest debate or controversy among the American Establishment, and with no attempt whatsoever by the media to inform the American people of the situation. A whole new front in the never-ending, Constitution-shredding, death-dealing, atrocity-bearing "War on Terror" has been opened – a third "regime change" operation descending into murder and ruin – but no one pays the slightest mind. And as long as the Bush Administration can avoid another "Black Hawk Down" incident, as long as most of the dead are poor people – poor black people, those eternal non-entities in the public consciousness – then the American amnesia about the slaughter in Somalia will go on and on.

I think the thing that pisses me off the most, at least for the moment, is that there is no accountability in this administration…particularly with regard to Pentagon spending. There is no telling what kind of ghastly shit we’re financing all over the world. The media in the U.S. certainly won’t report on it. And I’m sure this is pure naiveté and/or doe-eyed ideology on my part, but shouldn’t Congress or somebody have some say in how and on what our tax dollars are spent? Our government is out of control to an obscene degree and has to answer to no one – at home or abroad. And the agenda of greed and global corporate domination without conscience or even the slightest bit of humanity – that I am paying for and you are paying for – is beyond offensive.

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