US Intervention in Somalia Compounds Dire Humanitarian Crisis

Somali refugees wait in line for water.

Slowly but surely, the U.S. intervention in Somalia has reverted to a military-security focus, abandoning the Somali people to a dreadful fate.

Back in February 2010, reports indicated that Washington was imposing “impossible” conditions on aid deliveries for Somalia and holding up tens of millions of dollars of desperately needed food based on accusations that it would be diverted to terrorists.  However, according to the UN official in charge of humanitarian efforts in Somalia, the accusations of aid diversions to terrorists were “ungrounded.’

And a few month later in June, even after reports of the Somali government employing children as young as thirteen in the military, the United States authorized arms sales to Somalia for some 40 tons of arms and ammunition.

Unfortunately, the “new U.S. policy on Somalia” doesn’t stop with weapons sales to a corrupt government and the withholding of aid to starving people.

In June, Somalia witnessed the first U.S. drone strike within its borders, near the southern town of Kismayo. The strike targeted two alleged leadership figures in the Haraket al-Shabaab al Mujahedin, popularly known as al-Shabaab, thought to be in contact with Al Qaeda, and with fugitive radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.  Recently, the drone-strike “phenomenon” has been permeating the news because of the high risk of civilian casualties. While no civilians were reported killed in this particular drone strike, the first accidental death cannot be far off (if the United States’ military history in Pakistan is any indication).

If the United States somehow felt its presence was missed in Somalia, it has reportedly answered these sentiments by opening and operating a secret CIA base in a remote corner of Mogadishi’s Aden Adde airport. Recent articles published in The Nation and the New York Times claim that the U.S. has CIA operatives on the ground helping Somalia security forces question detainees for information on Al-Shabaab.

As another famine tears its way through the war-torn country of Somalia, the United States’ actions in this country have gone from noble to mercenary. No longer does the U.S. adhere to international law. If we expect the United States to set global standards, we must first hold ourselves to a human rights standard that is worth emulation.

CORRECTION:  This post was updated 8/18/11

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12 thoughts on “US Intervention in Somalia Compounds Dire Humanitarian Crisis

  1. I think we should throw the US out of all treaties and organization. They don't keep and support them anyway unless there is power or money in it for them. If it is necessary to keep them in the UN, which they under fund compared to the rest of the developed nations then they should no longer be on the Security Council. All they ever do trot out the rhetoric about how they have to be first in line as they are the best. Nope. Not the worst, maybe, but Russia survived the fall of the USSR. American is not going to survive and build again because they would not know how. They turn everything into a fire fight and always have. They only entered WW2 after a German sub sank an American civilian ship and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. They did not then and do not now care about the people of the world. They do not even care about their own poor and vulnerable. They are more than a failed state. They are failed culture and people. It is a shame. They had everything they needed to develop and maintain a democracy that served the nation. Instead they back the rich who do not need their help and encourage religious radicalism. The experiment is over. Other countries did develop democracy while the US threw its away out of spleen.

  2. I think we should throw the US out of all treaties and organization. They don’t keep and support them anyway unless there is power or money in it for them. If it is necessary to keep them in the UN, which they under fund compared to the rest of the developed nations then they should no longer be on the Security Council. All they ever do trot out the rhetoric about how they have to be first in line as they are the best. Nope. Not the worst, maybe, but Russia survived the fall of the USSR. American is not going to survive and build again because they would not know how. They turn everything into a fire fight and always have. They only entered WW2 after a German sub sank an American civilian ship and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. They did not then and do not now care about the people of the world. They do not even care about their own poor and vulnerable. They are more than a failed state. They are failed culture and people. It is a shame. They had everything they needed to develop and maintain a democracy that served the nation. Instead they back the rich who do not need their help and encourage religious radicalism. The experiment is over. Other countries did develop democracy while the US threw its away out of spleen.

  3. It was an interesting article until I reached the part mentioning Anwar Al-Awlaki, who is Yemeni, and is based in Yemen. Editor, can't you even check simple facts before printing them to the whole world?

    Write about the stock of food pile that is in Mogadishu warehouses that WFP will not provide to starving people a few meters away.

  4. It was an interesting article until I reached the part mentioning Anwar Al-Awlaki, who is Yemeni, and is based in Yemen. Editor, can’t you even check simple facts before printing them to the whole world?

    Write about the stock of food pile that is in Mogadishu warehouses that WFP will not provide to starving people a few meters away.

  5. Dear CalgarySandy,

    Well spoken !! Witheringly, truthfully spoken.

    Precisely .. not just failed state, but "failed culture", "failed people".

    Memorable words.

    Thank you !

  6. Dear Editors, dear Adotei Akwei,

    Your findings & conclusions on the actual problems in Somalia are personally instructive & humbling.

    For you set the bar here in impartiality & truth telling.

    May i be as unwavering in critique & selfcritique.

    Couldn't agree more with the conclusion that the US isn't adhering to international law.

    Except to point out that in this respect, its past is more than prologue.

    It's of a piece.

  7. Dear CalgarySandy,

    Well spoken !! Witheringly, truthfully spoken.

    Precisely .. not just failed state, but “failed culture”, “failed people”.

    Memorable words.

    Thank you !

  8. Dear Editors, dear Adotei Akwei,

    Your findings & conclusions on the actual problems in Somalia are personally instructive & humbling.

    For you set the bar here in impartiality & truth telling.

    May i be as unwavering in critique & selfcritique.

    Couldn’t agree more with the conclusion that the US isn’t adhering to international law.

    Except to point out that in this respect, its past is more than prologue.

    It’s of a piece.