Sunday, September 10, 2006

Oliver's Army is here to stay

Evidence has surfaced that the CIA is involved in covert mercenary activity in Somolia, actively trying to suppress the Supreme Islamic Courts Council. The Muslim militia that recently took control of Mogadishu a few months back, promising order under the strictures of Sharia law.

So, it looks like the CIA is back in the good graces of the Bush administration, doing the kinds of things they have always done. It's like the glory days of Oliver North and Central American death squads. Except that radical Islam is the new communism. But it also appears that some Brits want in on the action:
Dramatic evidence that America is involved in illegal mercenary operations in east Africa has emerged in a string of confidential emails seen by The Observer. The leaked communications between US private military companies suggest the CIA had knowledge of the plans to run covert military operations inside Somalia - against UN rulings - and they hint at involvement of British security firms.
But why is this of concern? Wouldn't suppressing the rise of Sharia law states be viewed as a good thing by the West? Well, apart from the pure illegality of it, there is also this:
Evidence of foreign involvement in the conflict would not only breach the UN arms embargo but could destabilise the entire region.
If there is one thing the Bush administration is good at it is destabilisation. And while the CIA appears not be conducting operations directly (do they ever?), they certainly appear to know of the employment of private US companies, like Virginia-based Select Armor, in this foreign engagement. It's like the Reagan days, all over again, though one might be inclined to wonder if they ever went away. There appear to be some differences this time, however. Instead of thwarting the scourge of communism, now it is the evil that is Sharia law and "radical Islam." And we used to just train and fund the death squads. Now, it seems, we will be the death squads. Privately, of course.

Just like Blackwater, Select Armor employs former British and US special forces and joining the US military is, more and more, appearing to be just a stepping stone to riches once your tour is done and you can move into the world of private, covert and higly-paid illegal military ops in some of the world's most dangerous places. Amusingly, Select Armor's tag line is "for a brutal world," apparently unaware of the irony conveyed.

The larger issue is, once again, that the US is in breach of international law by tacitly engaging in such acitivities, specifically the UN arms embargo on the region. John Bolton is right, the UN is ineffective in such cases. It is made that way by the United States, a country that insists everyone else obey international law but her.


Post a Comment

<< Home