Why are Americans unable to care about Somalians?
"What is certain is that we have taken a group of the world's most destitute, desperate, and brutalized people, and brutalized them some more."
- Matthew Blood
Most Americans are oblivious of our numerous wars, but Somalia may as well exist in a black hole.
While Yemen has finally gotten a modest amount of media attention, Somalians continue to suffer in silence.
For instance, America's response to Somalia drifting back to "Dictatorship, Lawlessness and Disintegration" is to ramp up our bombing of the destroyed nation.
Compared to previous years, 2017 and 2018 marked a significant increase in US action against al-Shabab.
In fact, a BIJ tally reveals that at least 538 people have been killed in these airstrikes since the beginning of 2017 - far more than the previous 10 years combined - although not every strike was recorded to have killed someone.
At the same time that all of these bombs were falling, Somalia suffered a famine that was expected "at least 60,000 people are likely to die in a “best-case” scenario."
One third of Somalia’s population still requires humanitarian assistance, but if there's been a Live Aid concert for Somalia, I've missed it.
"Of all the situations in Somalia, today is the worst. There is no food, no medicine, no education, no jobs, no hope. People are dying every day. It is a slow genocide. We are hopeless now. Hopeless."
- Dr Hawa Abdi, Médecins Sans Frontières, 2011
Remember how just four years ago President Obama described how he was going to defeat ISIS?
“This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”
Intensifying a clandestine war in Somalia is the opposite of "successfully pursued strategy in Somalia".
During Obama's "successful strategy" a quarter of a million Somalians died of starvation, half of them children.
Americans didn't notice.
Do you remember all of the commercials, the news articles, the Hollywood actors, and the politicians voicing their outraged about the genocide in Darfur? That was happening while around 130,000 Somalian children starved to death just a few hundred miles away.
Meanwhile, the CIA renditioned and tortured prisoners in Mogadishu.
Can you even imagine how much Somalians must hate us?
Unlike Yemen, the U.S. currently has over 500 troops and mercenaries on the ground in Somalia.
But for some reason Somalia doesn't even factor into the debate.
In fact, the last time Americans even thought of Somalia was October 3, 1993, when 19 Americans were killed while trying to arrest local warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
I saw the movie "Black Hawk Down" and really liked it. The realistic battle scene, the bravery of the American troops. It even had an almost happy ending.
What it didn't have was a motivation for the Somalis who fought those brave American soldiers. Between the movie, the political rhetoric, and the MSM, all you can tell is that the Somalis hated us for no particular reason.
In other words - they are acting like primitive savages. You don't have to understand them.
It turns out that three months earlier there was a botched raid in Mogadishu.
The midsummer aerial attack, which was lauded as highly successful by the U.S. military, was seen as retaliation for the recent escalating violence. But instead of the Aidid war council they sought, U.S. forces attacked a peace meeting...According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Somalia suffered over 200 casualties that day.
...Yet U.S. military officials never investigated the attack or issued a mea culpa.
“The number of dead Somalis never seemed to matter to anyone,” wrote Keith Richburg
Dead Somalis still don't matter.
We blew up a Peace Summit between tribal leaders and warlords that day.
On September 10th, 1993, just three weeks before "Black Hawk Down" a US Cobra helicopter gunship opened fire on a crowd of angry protesters in Mogadishu.
Somehow those two events didn't make it into the movie, or into the American consciousness.
On Christmas Day 2006, tanks from christian Ethiopia rolled into Islamic Somalia. The invasion was unprovoked, but was financed and directed by America.
Ethiopia was not acting alone. The US had given its approval for the operation and provided key intelligence and technical support. CIA agents traveled with the Ethiopian troops, helping to direct operations.
During the invasion the Bush Administration had refugees renditioned into other countries where they were tortured and "disappeared".
Once again, Americans didn't notice.
Only three foreign al-Qaeda operatives were said by the US to be in hiding in Mogadishu before the invasion, a number far lower than those suspected of residing in neighboring Kenya. The invasion killed tens of thousands, and radicalized Somalians to the point that Al-Shabaab is now one of the largest and most active terrorist groups in the world.