More Fresh Hell Served Up on the Terror War's Somalia Front

There is more travail in Somalia, the land that time forgot – but the War on Terror did not. As reported copiously here, Somalia is the third "regime change" operation of Bush's globe-devouring Terror War. (Check out at least some of the stories gathered here to get an idea of the death and suffering spawned by the American-backed upheaval.) This blood-red op was conducted largely by proxy, through the invading armies of Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi and Somali warlords on the CIA payroll.

But Bush, as we all know, is a hands-on kinda guy, so there was direct U.S. participation in the carnage as well, in the form of bombing raids on fleeing civilians, rendition of refugees (including American citizens) to Ethiopian torture chambers, and the use of what could only be called American death squads in the aftermath of the war. As we noted here in a June post about a very pro-Pentagon article in Esquire:

Barnett reveals that the gunship attacks on [Somali] refugees were just the first part of the secret U.S. mission that was "Africa Command's" debut on the imperial stage. Soon after the attacks, "Task Force 88, a very secret American special-operations unit," was helicoptered into the strike area. As Barnett puts it: "The 88's job was simple: Kill anyone still alive and leave no unidentified bodies behind."

That line may yet prove to be the credo of the entire Terror War.

From this violent genesis, the regime installed by Bush and Meles has tottered on, more dead than alive, presiding over the further crumbling of Somali society. Hundreds of thousands of people fled or were driven from their homes in the initial invasion and "mopping up" by the regime changers. The inevitable insurgency arose in response to the invasion, and the usual several-sided conflict is now raging across and within clan, religious and regional lines. Resistance among ordinary people to the continuing occupation by foreign invaders and the corrupt, cack-handed government of CIA warlords and hand-picked satraps is growing. And that cack-handed government is now falling apart.

Demonstrations against the iron-fisted Ethiopian occupation broke out in Mogadishu over the weekend – and were met with deadly fire from the "liberators," who gunned down several civilians, the BBC reports:

The AFP news agency reported that a young boy and two other people died when troops opened fire at a demonstration. The firing began after crowds threw stones and set tyres ablaze. "They have started firing again and I have no way to move my family," said Sahra Osman, a widow with five children, quoted by Reuters as clashes erupted earlier on Sunday.

The BBC's Africa editor Martin Plaut says the latest clashes began after Ethiopia moved reinforcements and a convoy of 20 tanks and armoured cars into the city late on Friday.

Meanwhile, the violence and anarchy spawned by the Bush-backed regime change has sparked another mass exodous from the capital; nearly 400,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in the past four months, according to the UN. They join hundreds of thouands of others now living in refugee camps, or in the open, or in overburdened towns and villages across the ravaged countryside – all of them subject to attack at any moment by covert U.S. forces if the regime changers suspect there are any "Islamists" among the exiles. As AP reports, "some 1.5 million Somalis are now in need of food aid and protection -- 50 percent more that at the start of the year -- because of inadequate rains, continuing internal displacement and a potential cholera epidemic." This slow-rolling, agonizing human catastrophe has been going on for almost a year, with virtually no notice from the rest of the world – and certainly none from Washington, where this current chapter in Somalia's age of suffering has been ghost-written.

But let's not be unfair. Somalia has gotten a little ink in the corporate media this week. No, it wasn't an account of, say, a family shattered by war, or a child gunned down with American-bought bullets fired by American-trained cadres of an American-backed tyrant, or a widow searching for a husband who fell afoul of Task Force 88. It was – what else? – a "process" story about political maneuverings in the installed regime. Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi – a veternarian with little government experience who was picked to run the country because the Ethiopian dictator liked the cut of his docile jib – finally stepped down after months of wranging with Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf.

It was – following the usual template for Terror War regime changes – a falling-out among thieves. Although the two men, from rival clans, had clashed over several issues in their Potemkin government, the last straw seemed to be a tussle over – what else? – oil. The two leaders backed rival contestants for oil rights in Somalia, which, depending on the expert or interested party you consult, is either sitting on billions of barrels of black gold – or else on nothing but bedrock to the earth's core. The fact that neither man could actually deliver the promised rights to their various favorites in the present condition of occupation, chaos and civil war didn't stop them from giving it the old college try – and getting out the knives against each other over the still merely potential windfall.

In the end, one man had to go, and since Washington favors Yusuf for the moment, Gedi got the skids. What will be the upshot? Why, events will follow the template, of course. As Reuters reports:

"I think you can be very sure it will be worse. For now you can forget about sensible changes. It will never happen," said a Western diplomat who declined to be named.

"I think you can be very sure it will be worse." That is the other credo of Bush's Terror  War. It will be his bequest to the American people, and to the world: more years of hell, more years of suffering, more years of breakdown, death and ruin.

*NOTE: For more on the recent situation in Somalia, check out this excellent roundup by Justin Raimondo.