Since the U.S. government cannot implicate Somalia in the events of September 11, they are attempting to justify a new military assault by implying that the Pentagon has to ‘fight al -Qaida terrorists in Somalia’. This is also represented in Hollywood’s latest blockbuster Black Hawk Down.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on this pro-war, racist film while millions of people in New York and around the US face layoffs, evictions, cuts in health care, attacks on their pensions and more. Black Hawk Down is made hand-in-hand with the Pentagon. Since September 11, Bush administration officials have held meetings with Hollywood representatives regarding the content of the movies and other material they produce.
This movie is a blatantly racist attempt to create support among the U.S. public for a new war against Somalia. According to the Bush Administration, Somalia is at the top of the Pentagons list of countries to be the next major target of the so-called ‘war against terrorism’.
On December 12, 1992, the U.S. sent 28,000 soldiers into Somalia under the cover of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) in what they said was a humanitarian mission to bring food to starving people. The invasion came when a several-year drought that had taken tens of thousands of lives was actually abating. At the time, the evening news showed images of thousands of starving Somalis. What people didn’t see was U.S. troops not delivering food but instead engaged in daily gun battles and bombing raids in heavily populated neighbourhoods. In ten months, more than 10,000 Somalis died as the U.S. engaged in aggressive military action against those who resisted.
In reporting on the U.S./UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM), the human rights organization Africa Rights stated that troops engaged in abuses of human rights, including killing of civilians, physical abuse, and theft. Many UNOSOM soldiers also displayed unacceptable levels of racism toward Somalis These abuses included opening fire with machine guns against unarmed protesters, firing missiles into presidential areas and outright murder of civilians, including many youth. The report states that UNOSOM has become an army of occupation.
In November 2001, the U.S. government shut down the Somali-owned Al-Barakat money transfer company, which provided the only way for Somalis living out of the country to send back much-needed funds, known as remittances, for their desperate family members. Up to eighty percent of Somalis have since been deprived of vital assistance.
All those who believe in justice for the people of the world must take a stand against U.S. threats against Somalia, Sudan, and the Philippines, Iraq, Colombia and everywhere else. We don’t know where the next war will be. The Pentagon has conceitedly announced that it’s wartime and that they will select the targets. What will the costs of human misery be this time around?