Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Somalia Famine: There's a History

I read an article today at the Christian Science Monitor, U.N. Declares Famine in Somalia: How to Help. While Somalis may need some help, the article claims in the drought region "Somalia is worst-off because of perpetual government instability and the threat of [the] Islamist militant group Al Shabab." That is probably believable to people who read only U.S. propaganda, which is most Americans.

Somalia was not a nation in 1400, but it was a prosperous area with many wealthy, high-civilized city states. Roman Catholic pirates from Portugal began destroying those cities after Vasco da Gama discovered them in 1498 [See also Portuguese Catholics destroyed peaceful Islamic societies in eastern Africa in 1500's].

Intermittent warfare between native freedom fighters and their Portuguese would-be masters lasted for centuries, with the Portuguese often enslaving port cities. In the later half of the 1800s the British tried to add Somalia to their vast empire of slave nations in Africa. Muhammad Abdullah Hassan rallied the Somalis against the British, but in 1920, when his Dervish state collapsed, it was fascist Italy that turned northern Somalia, or Somaliland, into a colony. As usual, the Somali peoples resisted, the Italian armies sometimes suffered heavy casualties, and the British held southern Somalia more in name than in substance. When World War II began the Italians conquered British Somalia, but the British won it back in 1941.

After World War II the victorious nations gave part of Somalia, Ogaden, to Ethiopia. The U.N. gave Somalia back to Italy in 1949! After all, Catholic Italy was now an ally against the atheist Communist block of nations.

Finally, in 1960, Somalia was granted independence. But the lines had not been drawn around a nation, but around a diverse group of people. In 1969 a coup installed a socialist president and declared an end to "tribalism, nepotism, corruption, and misrule." The regime eventually made itself unpopular and finally fell from power in 1991. The United Nations, led by the U.S., invaded in 1992, only to face fierce resistance and withdraw in early 1995.

Since 1995 there has been anarchy, that is no central government that ruled the entire country. While life went on, American presidents and the CIA plotted. They really, truly hate people they cannot control. At one point the Somali people themselves set up a judicial system, the Islamic Courts Union. It seemed to be working well, bringing peace and justice, ending war between clans. That really ticked off the U.S. corporate security state. So the U.S. paid the government of Ethiopia to invade Somalia and destroy the Islamic courts in 2006. A lot of people died, the economy was again destroyed, and a U.S. puppet government was again established. The Somali people, at first overrun by Ethiopian tanks, drove the invaders out by 2009 (See War in Somalia, 2006-2009).

Not happy with that outcome, the U.S. government paid the African Union to invade Somalia. The actual troops were mainly "donated" by the nation of Uganda. That did not work either. The U.S. puppet government and the AU troops typically control little except themselves, though they do divert aid money sent to Somalia into the hands of their leaders.

So how can you help with the famine in Somalia? You can donate money for food, or for medicine (which I do through Doctors Without Borders), but the real problem is the leaders of the United States of America. Which means the real problem is the people of the USA. We are responsible for the leaders we choose. We are responsible for allowing them to bankrupt our nation with vast military expenditures and schemes to put and keep puppet governments in power.

If anyone running for office does not pledge to withdraw all U.S. troops to back inside U.S. territory, don't vote for them. Don't worry about their other campaign positions, which tend to be lies anyway. If they aren't for a peaceful America, they are war criminals, and should be imprisoned, not elected.

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