What have Somalis done to earn the rage of George W Bush?
This question underscores immense difficulties confronting Somalia in the aftermath of an Ethiopian invasion and American bombing. Within days following a massive ground and air offensive by Meles Zenawi’s US-backed army, the Pentagon reluctantly released sketchy details of its own direct bombardment of areas within Somalia.
Subsequent verification of facts on the ground reveal that far from targeting so-called "Islamic terrorists", the US military force killed hundreds of innocent men, women and children. The strategic deployment of their naval armada in the Red Sea off the Somali coast-land, which allows the US to intimidate and bully countries who stray from the neo-con path, has been used to co-ordinate with their huge military base in Djibouti.
So the "war on terror" continues unabated – even though so-called "al-Qaeeda terrorists" have yet to be found in Mogadishu!
That America is hell-bent to catapult the globe into a head-on collission with Muslims who are defined as "terrorists" is a reality and widely known. What is lesser known and not sufficiently debated is the fact that the defining chracteristic of these so-called "terrorists", is their individual and collective refusal to submit to US dictates.
What it means therefore is that maintaining client-states in power requires the elimination of their adversaries. In order to do so, malign your opponnents as criminals by listing them and their supporters as "terrorists", thereby granting legitimacy – albeit a false one – to despotic tyrants to ruthlessly torture and kill them.
This scenario has played out over and over in numerous places. The Saudi dictatorship provides a classic example. They are close allies of the US and participate vigorously in its open-ended wars. From financing CIA operations in the early 80s, the Saudi clan has come a long way in managing the art of masquerading as a benign Muslim government while collaborating with Israel. The fact that democracy does not exist in Saudi Arabia, is of no consequence for the Bush administration. Yet the world is regularly coerced to support a White House crusade to re-image parts of the Middle East.
George Galloway, during a recent visit to South Africa, made a telling point: If Saudis were free to elect their leader, Osama bin Laden would win by an overwhelming majority!
It matters not to Bush that the euphemistically styled "Somali government" and its unelected "president" symbolise corruption and self-enrichment. What matters is that these war-lords are the gateway to Somali’s new found oil riches. Also that they would be willing to allow further US military bases in the Horn of Africa. Power and its brutal exercise by America is the only game in town, is the message Bush has repeatedly send out since 9/11.
A few days ago, a Somali refugee in South Africa made a pertinent observation on a radio talk-show: He could only return to his family during the short respite provided by the Islamic Courts Union after more than a decade of anarchy!
Now that the leaders of the Islamic Courts have been routed and peace, calm and security has once again become hostage of the US-backed war lords, Somalia and its people justifiably dread the future.
After all, Iraq remains a mirror reflecting America’s arrogance and stupid stubborness.