US-backed forces launch military offensive in Somalia as aid is used as a weapon of war

By Susan Garth
30 July 2011

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A drought which has put 12 million people at risk across East Africa has become the pretext for the US to step up military aggression through its proxy forces. The same humanitarian justification was given for the US military intervention in Somalia begun by President George Bush in 1992 under the codename Operation Restore Hope and continued by President Bill Clinton. US forces claimed to be protecting aid convoys, but terrorised the civilian population as they hunted down supposed terrorists. Since then, Somalia has become a focus for Obama’s war on terror.

It seems that the US-backed forces have taken the opportunity offered by the drought and famine to extend the control of the TFG. Heavy shelling was reported in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday, July 28.

Analysts believe that the drought has weakened al-Shabab. Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdi Samed, a Somali political analyst with Southlink Consultants in Nairobi maintains that a rift has opened up between clan elders in the famine-struck areas and al-Shabab militants. It seems that the the US and its allies in the region are determined to use the drought to strike a blow against al-Shabab.

“The day’s of al-Shabab are numbered,” Samed said, speaking on the US propaganda station Voice of America.

The military offensive is only one part of their strategy. Aid is itself being used as a weapon of war. Samed went on, “My biggest worry is only one thing. If the international community is allowed to provide food and water and basic necessities to the al-Shabab controlled areas, they will receive a logistical support so that they are now prolonging the fighting.”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jul2011/soma-j30.shtml

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