Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
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puppetsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Being a superpower means having the ability to arbitrarily prolong the misery of weaker countries. Such seems to be the U.S. mission in Somalia, where the puppet regime would fall in hours if the Americans and their Ugandan mercenaries withdrew. “The Somali president’s dwindling soldiers only remain because they are getting paid – by the Americans.”
 
U.S is Puppet-Master in Somalia
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“A president that cannot trust his own soldiers to protect his life, is no president at all.”
If ever there was a government that deserved to be called a “puppet,” it is the regime that claims to speak for Somalia. Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed’s ridiculous rump of a regime is wholly dependent on foreigners: the 5,000 mostly Ugandan troops that nominally work for the African Union but actually act as mercenaries for the Americans, and the CIA and U.S. special operations forces that roam the country, killing at will. According to a recent New York Times report, it is the Ugandans, not Somali soldiers, that guard President Ahmed around the clock, camping directly outside his doorway and driving him to the airport, which is also defended by Ugandans. A president that cannot trust his own soldiers to protect his life, is no president at all.
Sheik Ahmed rules over close to nothing, just a few patches of the capital city, Mogadishu. The Somali Shabaab resistance is positioned only blocks from the president’s residence, from which he rarely ventures. If the foreigners left, Sheik Ahmed would have to make a mad dash to the airport to leave with them.
Over the summer, the Americans sent in 40 tons of weapons, much of which immediately wound up in the hands of the opposition. Whole units of the president’s armed forces have gone over to the opposition – that is to say, they have sided with their fellow Somalis and against the foreigners and their puppet president. Press reports of the close interaction between opposition fighters and those troops still nominally loyal to the regime lead one to conclude that the Somali president’s dwindling soldiers only remain because they are getting paid – by the Americans.
“President Obama will have earned himself a third war in the Third World.”
Sheik Ahmed has called for virtually all of his U.S.-back neighbors – Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Yemen – to come prop up his puny regime, which would, of course, require even more massive U.S. involvement and perpetual foreign occupation of Somalia. And that is a formula for perpetual war that would swallow up all of the Horn of Africa. President Obama will have earned himself a third war in the Third World, at a time when the American people have already tired of the other two, in Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Even the Americans roaming around Mogadishu admit that, at most, a few hundred foreign jihadists are fighting Sheik Ahmed's puppet regime. The rest of the opposition is Somali. However, Washington is determined to portray the Shabaab as a “new Taliban” that must be crushed for reasons of U.S. national security.
There is really no rational choice for Washington but to withdraw and allow the Somalis to make their own peace, of whatever political complexion. But imperialists cannot envision a world in which they are not in charge – even if that world encompasses only a few city blocks in Mogadishu. Therefore, we can shortly expect a new offensive by the U.S. and other foreigners in Somalia. Perpetual war is the only game they know how to play.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

Direct download: 20090923_gf_Somalia.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 2:21pm EDT