Saturday, January 13, 2007

Winning the Global War on Goatherds

A recent item appeared in the Kuwait Times, wherein Meshary Alruwaih is plagued both by her allegiance to the US and the abominable record of US foreign policy, especially as it has been conducted by the Bush administration:
The US and everything it stands for have become a very tough sell to make, nobody's buying the idea that the US is working for the good of the world. Furthermore, maintaining the association between the US and all those liberal principles I've just mentioned has become increasingly difficult. If I want to sell the idea of human rights, I have to disassociate them from any connection with the American way of life, if I want to sell the concept of democracy I have to take out the American flavour, and if I want to sell the notion of private property rights I have to declare that it has nothing to do with American capitalism.
And this effort to dissociate the "idea of human rights" and the US became more imperative still.

Unhappily, it looks like earlier skepticism about the Somalia air strikes and claims made by unnamed US officials was entirely justified.

You won't see too many reports of this in the US media, but a number of international sources are citing an Oxfam report indicating that, rather than taking out al Qaeda operatives, the US air strikes in Somalia killed 70 "nomadic herdsmen." These would be the people previously described by US officials as "Somalis with close ties to al Qaeda."

What you will find in the US media, however, are reports discussing how the Somalia operation is now seen by the Pentagon as a "blueprint" for future operations:
Military operations in Somalia by American commandos, and the use of the Ethiopian Army as a surrogate force to root out operatives for Al Qaeda in the country, are a blueprint that Pentagon strategists say they hope to use more frequently in counterterrorism missions around the globe.

Military officials said the strike by an American gunship on terrorism suspects in southern Somalia on Sunday showed that even with the departure of Donald H. Rumsfeld from the Pentagon, Special Operations troops intended to take advantage of the directive given to them by Mr. Rumsfeld in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.
If killing random groups of goatherds and various other likewise employed people minding their own business is a blueprint for future operations, things certainly look as if the Bush administration is actually trying to create more terrorists. And human rights are nowhere to be seen.


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