A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford. To hear audio click here
“If the rulers of the United States were searching for a plan that would kill hundreds of thousands of Africans, they have found it.”
American foreign policy is the direct cause of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia – the worst in all of Africa, according to United Nations officials. That’s why, until recent days, U.S. corporate media said little or nothing about the hundreds of thousands of Somalis – now numbering at least half a million – who face death by starvation and disease because of a war instigated and facilitated by Washington. The corporate press methodically avoid – and thereby, cover up – stories that contradict the mythical American narrative: that the U.S. means to do good in the world, and only does wrong by mistake.
The horrific wrong inflicted on Somalia was absolutely premeditated, an integral aspect of American plans to bring the bogus “war on terror” to Africa, as a cover to dominate the continent and its wealth. Ever since the end of formal European colonialism in Africa, U.S. policy has been to spread chaos wherever Washington failed to impose rule by its own favored strongmen. When Muslim groups early last year subdued the warlords of Somalia – a nation that is 99 percent Muslim – a semblance of peace and at least some hope for the future took root. By all accounts, life was getting back to something like “normal” for a people that had known only brutal warfare since 1991. Such a peace was unacceptable to George Bush’s crew, who whipped up an hysteria in the United States, claiming Al Qaida was establishing a base in Somalia, and urged the regime in neighboring Ethiopia, Somalia’s historical rival, to attack last December.
“U.S. policy has been to spread chaos wherever Washington failed to impose rule by its own favored strongmen.”
The U.S. worked hand in hand with the Ethiopian invaders at every level of the Ethiopian military, while U.S. jets relentlessly wreaked terror from the air. Once the Ethiopians had planted themselves and their puppet Somali “government” in the capital, Mogadishu, the Americans sent their other African proxies, the Ugandan military, to make up most of the puny African “peacekeeping” force in Somalia. The Somali resistance to the Ethiopian invasion consider the African peacekeepers in Mogadishu to be agents of the U.S. – and, regarding the Ugandans, they are right.
If there were ever a formula for bloody and protracted war in Somalia, it is Ethiopian occupation, which is already unifying diverse elements of the Somali population in resistance. The war will also destabilize Ethiopia, which is more than a third Muslim and home to many peoples that oppose the dictatorial regime in Addis Ababa. If the rulers of the United States were searching for a plan that would kill hundreds of thousands of Africans, they have found it. This time, however, as in Iraq, Washington has created more chaos than it can handle.
The United Nations found it necessary to arrange trips for American journalists to witness the carnage that the Americans have wrought in Somalia – the same Americans that claim to care so much for the people of Darfur, and who promise that the new U.S. Africa Command will bring peace to the continent.
The Americans, like the Europeans before them, bring only the peace of the dead.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected]