Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Abukar Arman: On The Iraqization of Somalia

Iraqization of Somalia Could Widen the Divide between the West and the Islamic World


By Abukar Arman

As the international community embarks on a frantic diplomatic quest to extinguish the raging political and sectarian fire in Iraq, fatalist ideologues within the Bush administration, in partnership with certain money-motivated regional political powerbrokers, are busy igniting another one in Somalia.

Remnants of the Neocons led by John Bolton, the US Ambassador to the UN, are stubbornly pursuing their bankrupt ideology based on the ill-advised perception that ‘all Islamists are irredeemable extremists’ and that ‘force is the only means to deal with them’.

The Ambassador succeeded in getting a highly controversial resolution adopted by the UN Security Council in the face of various friendly warnings (including the European Union) who thought forced intervention would cause unnecessary deaths, destruction, and unprecedented refugee crises as other countries in the Horn might be drawn into a bloody struggle.

The resolution mandates partial lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia and approves a military intervention by African nations despite repeated objections by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) who said they would consider any foreign intervention as an act of war.

The ICU’s position on this issue is popular among Somalis who are already outraged that an estimated 8000 Ethiopian troops are illegally deployed in various strategic locations in Somalia, and see this military intervention initiative as an ill-intentioned plan masterminded by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia (Somalia’s nemesis par excellence).

Just last week, Dec 2nd, I attended a conference to promote peace and unity in Somalia. The conference was held in the Center for International and Strategic Studies (Washington, DC) and attracted over one hundred Somali intellectuals, scholars, diplomats, and political activists who came from various cities in North America.

The prevalent theme was that externally, Meles Zenawi is playing a menacing role to keep Somalia divided, and his vicious “fear and smear campaign” has, by and large, been successful and that it is a matter of time before he is given the green light to invade Somalia (preferably unilaterally as there is a precedent) and “crush” the Islamists next door.

And internally, ICU, with its various shortcomings, is the best thing that happened to Somalia in the past 16 years. And due to a severe shortage of technocrats and civil servants, the courts suffer from lack of capacity in areas of diplomacy and overall governance; as such, they ought to be supported and, on the other hand, pressured to continue their dialogue with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and to reach a power-sharing agreement them- it is the only way to sustain peace.

Two weeks earlier, the Ethiopian people expressed their opposition to any military intervention that they see as their Prime Minister’s attempt to smokescreen his internal human rights abuses. During the Addis Ababa Marathon some 25,000 people have turned the event into spontaneous anti-war demonstration denouncing Prime Minister Zenawi’s obsessive itch for a preemptive war” against Somalia. The crowd was reportedly chanting “No to the Meles war”.

Could this intervention be a diversionary tactic to disguise the draconian measures exercised by the Ethiopian Prime Minister in order to hang onto power, or perhaps a desperate effort to resuscitate a dying ideology?

Whatever it may be, skepticism is high. In the blogsphere and in popular Somali websites many are wondering: how is a country abandoned by the world to die a slow death in the hands of its ruthless warlords all of a sudden attracting worldwide attention? Why is Somalia now the center of gravity?

The controversial military intervention is not without a pretext; though the 86-page report by The Monitoring Group made a variety of claims that many analysts considered outlandish political claptrap. The report, ironically, is peppered with various allegations similar to those used to justify the war of Iraq. The parallel to the pre Iraq invasion is curiously staggering if not eerily haunting. Most of the critical elements that made the war on Iraq possible are at hand as Meles Zenawi declared “we are ready” to take on ICU.

There is the demonized entity that perfectly fits the role… as some in the ICU leadership have threatened to call on a world-wide jihad (the mother of all wars) should they be invaded. There is also the allegation that ICU exported 720 of its army (Al Shabaab or The Youth) to help Hezbollah against Israel, and gave access to Iranian scientists to explore uranium in Dhusa Mareb reminiscent of the “yellow cake” purchase in Niger.

However, if there was one particular thing that discredited the report it has to be the claim that ICU has sent one fourth of its estimated 3000 Al Shabaab militia at a time when they were struggling for their own survival against the warlords to an entity that they have no known ties with and for a cause (defensive jihad) that they were already in the middle of.

Make no mistake, the resolution at hand is not going to advance peace; if any, it would radicalize ICU and give the extremists the upper hand. The resolution, I am afraid, would be seen as the second phase of ‘Operation Dung Beetle’- the covert action fiasco of last summer that brought the US in an unholy alliance with the most despised warlords.

*************

Abukar Arman is a freelance writer who live in Hilliard, Ohio

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news