Hijacking Somalia


Remember Mohamed Osman Mohamud? Of course not, no one does, and I haven’t thought about him myself until yesterday, when Iran’s Press TV solicited my (last) two cents about Somalia.

Somalia, but who’s thinking about Somalia? Yesterday, Americans were burdened with football and a hangover, and in Philadelphia, there was the Mummers Parade, a glorious display of blue collar creativity where plumbers and roofers cross-dressed, played saxophones or banjos, and strutted down Broad Street towards City Hall, the site of Occupy Philly until not that long ago.

Truth be told, the Mummers Parade has gone downhill for a while, ever since its finale was moved into the Convention Center. What was a street carnival became a perfunctory parade, then an indoors performance for a ticketed audience and designed for television. Yesterday’s version was particularly listless, with the crowd thin, mirthless, and many floats recycled from years past. Everyone’s budget’s tight. In October, a Mummers Brigade was even busted for renting its clubhouse to a pimp. During the sting operation, undercover cops found nude women walking around, and sex acts performed in the open. Hey, when you’re broke and no longer making stuff, you have to make money with what’s intrinsic… to your person.

Back to Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Just over a year ago, he was lured and entrapped by the FBI, then accused of plotting to bomb a downtown Christmas celebration in Portland. His FBI handler had recorded their conversations, but during the supposedly incriminating one, where he actually stated his desire to bomb and kill fellow Americans, the recording device conveniently malfunctioned. Remember that during the Bin Laden raid, the helmet-mounted video camera also malfunctioned, which explains, supposedly, why there is not even a single image of that most wanted man during the exciting operation, although a much ballyhooed photo, an “instant classic” according to Rolling Stone and the Village Voice, was produced of Obama, Clinton and other big shots sitting in the White House Situation Room to watch the assassination in real time. I know it doesn’t add up. It never does. The next time an audio or visual recorder goes AWOL, perhaps the CIA or FBI can blame it on the Chinese, since it’s a given that everything is made in China these days, even if, like Apple or Dell, it carries an American label. Here’s a ready to use, cut and paste headline, “Commies Sabotage Evidence Incriminating Muslim Terrorist.”

The key photo or evidence is never available, but the staged, massaged, doctored or clumsily-spun proofs overflow, not that Americans are paying close attention to anything beside Tim Tebow’s statistics and throwing motion. Seeing our government going through so much trouble to frame a young Somali-American fool, I had to conclude that it was part of the buildup to invade Somalia, and so it is happening, with American drones zapping Somalis from above, and Kenyan, Ethiopian, Ugandan and Burundian troops killing Somalis on the ground.

With Libya out of the way and Iraq temporarily pacified, our military-banking complex is turning its attention to Somalia, but why? As usual, it is spun as a fight against terrorists, as if Somalis are eager to butt heads with a ruthless empire. Attacked, they will fight back, of course, as happened in 1992 during “Operation Restore Hope,” now immortalized and cheesified in the film, Black Hawk Down. But what about missionaries, don’t Somalis also kill missionaries just for the hell of it?

Let’s scrutinize one incident. Last February, it was reported that Somali “pirates” hijacked an American yacht and killed four American missionaries, but even US AFRICA ONLINE, “THE AUTHORITATIVE LINK,” admitted that there was a US Navy war ship “shadowing” this yacht as it headed into Somali waters. This war ship was close enough to hear gunshots coming from Quest, the Christian boat, so it promptly killed 14 of these “pirates.” So, yes, Somali Muslims are so crazy, they will shoot at Americans approaching on a warship, even with four Christians stuck to the prow as figureheads. I don’t know about you but, personally, I prefer mermaids.

Washington can brand anyone a terrorist now, as it regularly does with Muslims it wants to attack. Targeting Somalia, the US is again evoking al-Qaeda, terrorism and even a desire to help ordinary Somalis, but the reason, as always, is money, which these days usually means access to oil and natural gas. Did you think it was anything else?

Before the overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, he signed over nearly two thirds of Somalia to four US oil companies, Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips, so the world’s biggest and baddest pirate, America, has been trying to reclaim this bounty ever since.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

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