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 neighborhoods. In
ten months, more than 10,000 Somalis died as the U.S.
engaged in aggressive military action against those who
Resistance among Somali women, men and even children to
the foreign troops became widespread. The Somali people
have a long and proud history of resistance. They fought
for the freedom of their country from Italian, French and
British colonialism - and they resisted the U.S. attempts
to recolonize their country.
In the beginning of the military intervention in 1992,
Colin Powell, at the time the chairman of the Pentagon's
Join Chiefs of Staff, called the invasion a "paid
political advertisement" for the Pentagon at a time (less
than a year after the end of the so-called Cold War) when
Congress was under growing pressure to cut the war budget.
Powell opposed calls that that money be used instead for
jobs, education, health care, housing and other social
needs, and instead sought to maintain the
$300-billion-plus military budget.
In reporting on the U.S./UN Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM),
the human rights organization Africa Rights stated that
troops "have engaged in abuses of human rights, including
killing of civilians, physical abuse, theft. Many UNOSOM
soldiers have also displayed unacceptable levels of racism
toward Somalis." These abuses included opening fire with
machine guns against unarmed protesters, firing missiles
into residential areas and outright murder civilians,
including many youth. The report states "UNOSOM has
become an army of occupation."
Since September 11, Bush administration officials have
held meetings with Hollywood representatives regarding the
content of the movies and other material they produce. In
an October 17, 2001, meeting, Hollywood heads "committed
themselves to new initiatives in support of the war on
"Black Hawk Down" is just one of those movies, made
hand-in-hand with the Pentagon. Weeks before the release
of "Black Hawk Down," the Motion Picture Association of
America held a private screening for senior White House
advisers, and allowed them to make changes. Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Oliver North, among others,
attended the movie's Washington DC premiere.
Hollywood spends hundreds of millions of dollars on
pro-war, racist films like these - $90 million on "Black
Hawk Down" alone 'while millions of people in New York
and around the country are facing layoffs, evictions, cuts
in health care, attacks on their pensions and more.
A new war in Somalia
"Somalia Possible Target" is now a common sentiment echoed
in newspaper headlines and statements of Bush
administration officials. In some ways, a new war against
Somalia has already begun. In November, 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, which are often vital for family
members' survival. Up to eighty percent of Somalis
'which is hundreds of thousands if not millions of people'
rely on funds sent by relatives livng outside of the
country. This exposes the pretext given by the U.S.
government for the 1992 intervention 'said then to be a
mission to help starving people 'because now the U.S. is
imposing measures that will cause Somali people to starve
because they are unable to afford food.
The U.S. also shut down Somalia Internet Company, denying
all Internet access to Somalis, and has severely
restricted international telephone lines. This is really
the beginning of a strangulation of the country.
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
unfinished business, that they have a "black eye" and must
return with a vengeance. This is the goal of "Black Hawk
All those who believe in justice for the people of the
world must take a stand against U.S. threats against
Somalia, Sudan, the Philippines, Iraq, Colombia and
everywhere else. We don't know where the next war will
be. The Pentagon has announced that it's wartime all the
time and they will select the targets. But we do know the
U.S. public is being prepared to justify another bloody
incursion into Somalia.
MORE ON SOMALIA
[The African Union has agreed in principle to provide troops to allow the
newly elected Somali government to be installed in the capital,
peacekeepers for Somalia," BBC, January 1, 2005]
[The State Department said in March that the U.S. government was concerned
about "al-Qaida fugitives responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S.
embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam (in Tanzania) and the November 2002
bombing of a tourist hotel and attack on a civilian airliner in Kenya, who
are believed to be operating in and around Somalia."--Mattias Karen, "Somali
President Says U.S. Backs Warlords," Forbes.com, May 3, 2006]
"Backed by the U.S., Ethiopia
Invades Somalia," The Wisdom Fund, May 12, 2006
"Somalia: Lawless War a Grab for Oil,"
The Wisdom Fund, April 27, 2007