On Friday the Associated Press reported that Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser told the media he wants more authority to go after al-Qaeda in Somalia. If Trump grants this request, more troops will move into Africa and open a not exactly new front in the engineered war on terror. Considering Trump’s moves thus far, there is a good chance he will allow his generals to go ahead in Somalia.
The war in Somalia, like those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, are designed to last indefinitely.
The CIA and the military have worked together in Somalia since at least 2001. A secret CIA airbase in Mogadishu conducts drone attacks, according the Army Times (the page was removed after a report by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism pointed to a six-part report on extensive covert military operations inside Somalia).
“The Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is the lead agency in the covert ‘war on terror’ in Somalia, although the CIA also has a strong regional presence,” the BIJ reports.
“Elite troops from the Pentagon’s JSOC are routinely deployed on the ground for surveillance, reconnaissance, and assault and capture operations. In June 2011, the US began carrying out drone strikes in Somalia. JSOC has its own fleet of armed Reaper drones, which are flown from various bases in the region.”
The Moon of Alabama notes:
Somalia is falling back into an all-out civil war fueled by the decades old unwillingness of the U.S. to condone an independent local unity government. The Islamic Court Union, a unity government created by the Somalis in 2006, was the last working instance of a real Somali state. It had no Jihadist agenda and held down local warlords. It was destroyed by the Bush administration.
The US does not want a political settlement in Somalia. It wants chaos. It needs al-Qaeda and Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen in order to justify its intervention and occupation of East Africa.
As usual, civilians will feel the wrath of Reaper drones.
A report published by The Intercept “compiled from classified documents released by a source in the intelligence community, corroborates the many news accounts of civilian deaths caused by drone strikes. U.S. drone strikes have killed scores of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia since 2009,” according to The Huffington Post.
This was underscored in March of last year when US drones killed 150 people in Somalia. The military said it had targeted al-Shabaab, but there was no independent verification of that claim.
“Other than the higher-than-normal death toll, this mass killing is an incredibly common event under the presidency of the 2009 Nobel Peace laureate, who has so far bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries. As Nick Turse has reported in The Intercept, Obama has aggressively expanded the stealth drone program and secret war in Africa,” writes Glenn Greenwald.
It is now obvious it will continue to become a common event under Trump, who sold himself as a noninterventionist during the election.
The go-ahead to ramp up drone and military attacks in Somalia appears to be imminent. From CNN last week:
The country’s top national security officials are recommending that President Donald Trump ramp up operations against an al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, two US defense officials told CNN Friday.
Trump has not yet approved the proposal, according to one official, but the other official said that the stepped-up operations were due to begin soon. The move could lead to an increase in airstrikes and more US personnel engaging in advising local forces.
Murdering Somalis is nothing new. I wrote the following in 2007:
As usual, it takes a few days for the truth to emerge, not that the corporate media here in America notices.
Instead of killing Fazul Abdullah Moham-med, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Abu Taha al-Sudani, supposedly “al-Qaeda” operatives responsible for the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the Pentagon killed “herdsmen … gathered with their animals around large fires at night to ward off mosquitoes” in Somalia, according to the Independent.
“Oxfam yesterday confirmed at least 70 nomads in the Afmadow district near the border with Kenya had been killed. The nomads were bombed at night and during the day while searching for water sources. Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Kenya has acknowledged that the onslaught on Islamist fighters failed to kill any of the three prime targets,” described as “backfir[ing] spectacularly” by the British newspaper.
All of this runs counter to the assertions of U.S. ambassador, Michael Ranneberger, who said “that no civilians had been killed or injured and that only one attack had taken place. The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, reported that an estimated 100 people were wounded in Monday’s air strikes on the small fishing village of Ras Kamboni launched from the US military base in Djibouti after a mobile phone intercept.” It is not explained why impoverished nomads, in search of water, would be in possession of cell phones (or, for that matter, why there are cell phone towers in a remote area of one of the world’s poorest countries).
As should be expected, the operations against innocent Somalis serve but one purpose only, that is beyond satiating the blood lust of Muslim hating neocons—it was an excuse to get “boots on the ground for the first time since a 1993 mission backfired and led to a humiliating withdrawal from Somalia,” a mission mythologized in violent Hollywood fashion in the film Black Hawk Down.
“Under international law, there is a duty to distinguish between military and civilian targets,” said Paul Smith-Lomas, Oxfam’s regional director. “We are deeply concerned that this principle is not being adhered to, and that innocent people in Somalia are paying the price,” as innocent people have since the neocons captured the Oval Office and large swaths of the Pentagon.
It is of no concern to the Pentagon that above mentioned “terrorists” were not killed and innocent nomads suffered instead. In fact, such reckless behavior will serve as a “blueprint” for future operations against Muslim enemies.
“U.S. commandos’ military operations in Somalia and the use of the Ethiopian army as a surrogate force to root out al Qaeda operatives there provide a blueprint for counterterrorism missions across the globe, Pentagon strategists say,” reports the neocon propaganda syndicate, the New York Times. “U.S. officials said the recent military efforts in Somalia have been led by the Pentagon’s joint Special Operations Command, which directs the military’s most secretive and elite units, including the Army’s Delta Force.”
The Pentagon’s Special Operations Command runs P2OG, or the Proactive and Preemptive Operations Group, a black budgeted psyop designed to “stimulate reactions” among “terrorists,” or maybe that should be nomadic animal herding Muslims careless enough to light fires as AC-130 gunships roam the night skies.
Unfortunately, many Somalis live in the Pentagon’s “battlespace” where we are told “al-Qaeda” operates, thus putting “their sovereignty … at risk,” as an August 16, 2002, Power Point presentation held at the Defense Science Board made abundantly clear.
“Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of Congress on Friday that a U.S. airstrike by an AC-130 gunship early this week in Somalia was executed under the Pentagon’s authority to hunt down and kill terrorism suspects around the world, a power given to it by the White House shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.”
Bush and crew believe the non-declaration of war against Iraq—that is to say, a “war” not declared by Congress, as required by Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution—gives them the right to attack anybody, anywhere, without regard to Article 51 of the First Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, stating that parties “shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.”
But then neocons don’t do the Geneva Conventions—or the Constitution for that matter.
Democrat members of Congress complained, if slightly, that the Pentagon is “using U.S. forces outside declared combat zones,” thus giving “the Pentagon too much authority in sovereign nations,” not that such, again, matters to neocons, hell-bent on killing Muslims, no matter where they live.
In response, the Pentagon said it had sent “onesies and twosies” into Somalia “with the advancing Ethiopian army that helped Somalia’s weak transitional government oust a strong Muslim militia that had been in control of Mogadishu, the capital, and most of southern Somalia.”
In other words, it was a classic CIA-assisted military coup, with Pentagon ops replacing those of the CIA.
It should be noted that this coup was arranged to get rid of the Islamic Courts Union, a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government, supported by the United States. The ICU enjoyed the support of a majority of Somalis because they resisted the endemic chaos of armed warlord thugs and provided education and health care to the impoverished populace.
Of course, we can’t have that, especially in a Muslim country.