Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.
When the Bush regime encouraged Ethiopia to invade Somalia in 2006, it may not have realized the fierce forces it was unleashing in the Horn of Africa. Now its Somali allies are on the verge of total defeat at the hands of Islamists. The U.S. claims the ever-shrinking regime in Mogadishu is besieged by foreign jihadis, but “most analysts maintain the fighters are overwhelmingly homegrown.”
U.S. Allies on the Ropes in Somalia
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“The American-supported Somali faction is now in desperate straights.”
Islamist forces in Somalia are demanding the surrender of the U.S.-backed regime that has been squeezed into a small pocket of the capital city, Mogadishu. The ultimatum, made on Sunday, demands the so-called government lay down its arms within five days. The mini-state refused, apparently counting on the arrival of reinforcements Burundi, in Central Africa. Another U.S. ally, Rwanda, guards Mogadishu airport under the job description of African Union peacekeepers.
As the military situation deteriorated for Washington’s side in Somalia, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson – that’s right, Johnnie Carson, like the deceased comedian – was trying, without much evident success, to convince African heads of state to go along with the American military program in the Horn of Africa.
The Americans encouraged Ethiopia to invade Somalia in late 2006, creating the worst humanitarian crisis on the continent, according to the United Nations. The Ethiopian occupation provoked fierce resistance among the Somalis, forcing the Ethiopians to pull back, but not out of the country. The American-supported Somali faction is now in such desperate straights, it last month literally begged neighboring countries to invade. That shameless abdication of national sovereignty appears to have only led to more desertions from the incredibly shrinking government’s ranks.
“Carson was looking for more troops from a wider range of countries to save America’s allies from absolute defeat in Somalia.”
If Washington learned anything from militarily supporting the Ethiopian invasion, it was that Somalis hate being occupied by foreigners. Last week, at the summit meeting of the African Union, in Libya, the Obama administration’s Johnnie Carson appears to have discovered it was not a good time to put imperial pressure on African heads of state. Carson was looking for more troops from a wider range of countries to save America’s allies from absolute defeat in Somalia. All Carson got was a promise of 800 soldiers from tiny Burundi which, like its neighbor Rwanda, acts as a mercenary for the United States in Africa.
The American’s Somali allies claim Islamist forces are backed by 1,000 foreign jihadis, although most analysts maintain the fighters are overwhelmingly homegrown. But a regime that invites invasion by its neighbors, including the hated Ethiopian military, clearly has no credibility as a defender of the nation.
It would appear that the U.S. is holding a bad hand of cards, in Somalia. But superpowers always have options. One card that still plays well is President Obama, himself, whom the world wants to believe is a man of reason and diplomacy. The Obama administration is loudly declaring it would be “counterproductive” for Ethiopia to move back into Somalia in large numbers – but that Ethiopia has legitimate security concerns. What all this means is, Ethiopia will increase its presence in Somalia, while trying to keep a low profile, while Washington showers the continent with bribes to procure more foreign soldiers to shore up its dwindling friends in their little corner of Mogadishu.
After 8 years of the first black president, it’s time to take stock of what we’ve won and lost, what’s changed and not. Today we look at the Obama administration’s abysmal record on corporate crime, in which Democrats went far beyond the atrocities of their Republican colleagues to protect and immunize corporate thieves from prosecution or lawsuits from their victims.
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
An utterly cynical and deceptively marketed constitutional amendment is on the ballot in Georgia. It’s called the “Opportunity School District” because it’s about creating business opportunities for the charter school sugar daddies who contribute to the governor. Elite Republicans and Democrats too from the First Black President down to local...
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
Americans – including, and maybe especially, Black Americans – were upset that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte called President Obama a “son of a whore” at a summit meeting, last week. But, what would Americans call the head of a country that killed a million of their compatriots, colonized their country for half a century, dominated its...
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Donald Trump might do the right thing and call for opening up the presidential debates to third parties – but mainly for the wrong reasons. Although it appears that Trump would “have a relative net advantage over Clinton if there were a vigorous, four-way presidential contest,” he will only make such a demand if he is certain of a one-on-one...
Whether it’s gentrification, privatization, environmental destruction, threatening the planet with nukes or maintaining global empire, differences between the parties of the one percent are often less important than the bipartisan disasters upon which our masters agree. In the first of several installments, we look at the issues elite Republicans and Democrats agree on....
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
The Lords of Capital learned a great deal from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They learned that the Black Misleadership Class was incapable of organizing resistance to even the most public crimes committed against the Black poor. Not only could African Americans be removed en mass from valuable urban property with no push-back from the Black...