We’ve heard a lot about Somalia in the mainstream press over the last couple of weeks with talk of pirates near the Horn of Africa, and mortar shells being lobbed at US Congressmen.Â But a different side of the story has emerged in the independent media.
Somalia is one of the poorest nations on earth, but with ships carrying 20 percent of the world’s oil supply sailing near its waters, the country is of great strategic importance to an oil addicted global society.Â Because there is no central government, different warring factions have struggled for control of Somalia, its territories and most importantly its coastline for nearly 20 years.
Johann Hari tells us We’re Being Lied To About Pirates in the Independent UK.Â He reveals a different story about life in Somalia, and the motives for some of the people who are labeled “pirates”.
In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since â€“ and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.
Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.
Somalian rapper Knaan offers some additional insight into the lives of everyday Somalians in this multi-part interview with our friend, Davey D.
Knaan Talks about Somali pirates &terrorists pt1
Knaan Talks about Somali pirates &terrorists pt2
For additional background on the destabiliation of Somalia, check out Destabilizing the Horn: American-Backed Warlords Invade Somalia
This important 2007 article by Salim Lone looks at the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia two years ago.
The stability that emerged in southern Somalia after 16 years of utter lawlessness is gone, the defeat of the ruling Islamic Courts Union now ushering in looting, martial law and the prospect of another major anti-Western insurgency. Clan warlords, who terrorized Somalia until they were driven out by the Islamists, and who were put back in power by the U.S.-backed and -trained Ethiopian army, have begun carving up the country once again.
With these developments, the Bush administration, undeterred by the horrors and setbacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, has opened another battlefront in this volatile quarter of the Muslim world. As with Iraq, it casts this illegal war as a way to curtail terrorism, but its real goal appears to be to obtain a direct foothold in a highly strategic area of the world through a client regime. The results could destabilize the whole region.
Don’t sleep.Â The mainstream media is painting a very one-sided picture of the struggles in this part of the world.Â As with most issues, it is rare that the truth is as simple as black and white.Â And as usual, we have to research ourselves to learn the whole truth.