PM Meles Zenawi said Ethiopia was forced to defend its sovereignty against "terrorists" and anti-Ethiopians.
"We are not trying to set up a government for Somalia, nor do we have an intention to meddle in Somalia internal affairs. We have only been forced by the circumstances," Mr Meles said.
Those "circumstances" have nothing to do with what is happening inside of Ethiopia. This seems rather transparent to me, but the reaction to these developments on DKos is surprisingly pro-Ethiopia and mostly misinformation.
For instance, this diary claimed there was genocide going on in Somalia. [note: there is no genocide going on in Somalia]
This diary claims that this largely the product of a foreign jihad. [note: this is an internal movement based on domestic issues, not an international jihad]
This diary asks if we should militarily intervene. [note: The reason for this conflict is because the Bush Administration wouldn't keep their noses out of Somalia]
Let's take a step back. I did a diary here more than a month ago that detailed how this whole situation came about. My diary got very little attention at the time (as proven by all these misconceptions about the situation in Somalia).
First of all, you should start by reading my diary linked above. It details how the situation in Somalia today is the direct result of the Bush Administrations policies there.
Yes, I know. It sounds like BS to blame this situation on Bush...and yet, it is still true. The Somalia Transitional Government, that Ethiopia is defending, is a western puppet.
But don't believe me. Look at what other experts in the region are saying.
But neither Zenawi’s Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) nor the government of his Somali colleague’s Transitional Somali Federal Government (TSFG) has a public support to sustain a long and drawn out conflict between them and the UIC. The UIC has continued to attract young Somali fighters and foreign fighters to defend their causes from what they considered to a puppet TSFG and Zenawi’s adventure there. But since the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN) created the TSFG in 2004 to restore security to Somalia, three years later it has remains an elitist organization. It only has maintained high profile meetings with foreign diplomats from UN, European Union (EU), African Union, IGAD, Arab League, Zenawi’s group and other international bodies. As a result, a majority of Somali people have saw TSFG as essentially a foreign-created entity embraces to impose foreign interests on them. Both President Abdullahi Yusuf of TSFG and his Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi have been seen as allies of Zenawi who intended to maintain his hands in Somali affairs.
TSFG lack of public support has not been without a precedent in Zenawi’s Ethiopia. Zenawi own organization, TPLF lacks a public backing. While the public support for the UIC is growing, the public support for TPLF it gained when it grew out of the Derg tyrannical rule in the last half of the last century is plummeting.[...]
But by 1996, each of these political parties have left the coalition and returned to armed struggle because of Zenawi authoritarian rule. Support for the TPLF regime began to deflate as a result of these developments. The May 15, 2005 parliamentary elections confirmed this when his regime lost even in Addis Ababa, the site of his government. Meanwhile, political ambitions among various individuals, infightings and reliance on foreign supports have reduced TSFG support among Somali people dramatically. Having lost public support, Yusuf and Zenawi have turned to the army and the international community to prolog their regimes. In particular, Zenawi have used those who have joined army forces to defend the country from external threats in executing his ethnic cleansing policies in Gambella, Oromyia, Sidama, Ogaden, Amhara region and other corners of the country.
Of course there are more reasons than just internal politics as to why Ethiopia has invaded Somalia. There is also money.
In December 2002, Meles Zenawi visited the White House, and one of the dicussions that Mr. Zenawi had with Bush was related to "the global war on terrorism." Obviously, the frame time of this meeting between Bush and Zenawi came at the early stage of the "war on terror." For instance, this meeting came after the terrorist attacks of the hotel in Mombasa. In the meantime, there was and still are finger points at some individuals from Somalia, who have been alleged to be the "masterminds" of the Mombasa attack in 2002. Therefore, the whole reason of Zenawi’s visit in Washington, in my opinion, was to sell his idea that he can be a partner to defeat " the terrorist cells" that may be found in the Horn of Africa. Nevertheless, according to an article that is written by Yohannes Woldemariam in Sudan Tribune, Zenawi receives now $800 million yearly from the US for just his support and being an ally on the "war on terror."
Notice how Ethiopia became concerned about "terrorism" in Somalia shortly after they got in the Bush Administration payroll. Now compare that to my diary above that details how four Somalia warlords, who were also part of the Somalia Transitional Government, got on the Bush Administration payroll to "fight terrorism" right before things went to Hell in Somalia. These events are not coincidences. This is blowback, simple as that.
The Bush Administration backed the warlords and in direct response to this the Somalia people pushed the warlords out of Mogadishu. The area around Baidoa is the last refuge (outside of Puntland) of the Somalia warlords, Some of those warlords were on the CIA payroll and telling them that the ICU was full of al-Qaeda. These same warlords were participated in killing American soldiers in "Blackhawk Down". Now they are our main sources for information on terrorists. Why? Because they are telling the Bush Administration what they want to hear.
Ethiopia, Somalia's ethnic rival, suddenly cares about Somalia after more than a decade of not giving a damn. Why? Because they will no longer be puppets, like the current Somalia "government" is. Plus, the Bush Administration is funding their efforts. That's a two for one.
Basically it comes down to this:
- Ethiopia is not acting in the interests of the Somalian people.
- Ethiopia is bombing civilian area of Somalia and invading a country that had not attacked them.
- The Somalia Transitional Government is a joke to the average Somalian citizen. So why should we back them?
- The al-Qaeda claims against the ICU in Somalia comes from dubious sources.
We need to leave Somalia alone and let them work out their own problems. If it wasn't for us this war may not have taken place.
Most likely, if it was for our backing of Ethiopia (and hence, Ethiopia's backing of the Somalian Transitional Government) then the Transitional Government would have already collapsed and there would no longer be a war in Somalia.
The last thing we need to do is to send in foreign troops. The war itself is the single, biggest potential cause of famine in Somalia, and the war is because of us. Like Iraq, do you really think that adding troops to this sh*t-storm will bring about a happy ending?
[Update: I just spotted this article on the Washington Post. It makes Ethiopia's invasion sound like self-defense. It even brings up the name "Hitler" as reasons to fear the islamists in Somalia.
It's cr*p that people should see through in the same way they should have seen through the lead-up to Iraq.]