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US sends in the 
marines and more drones


Glen Ford for

Even as US militarisation of the Horn of
 Africa has contributed massively to the threatened starvation of
 millions, the Americans have announced an escalation of drone attacks
 against Somalia and the establishment of a Marine task force for the
 region. A United Nations spokesman describes the food and refugee 
emergency in Somalia as the ‘worst humanitarian crisis in the world’ 
with millions at immediate risk. Not coincidentally, the epicenter of
 the disaster is the area where Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia meet,
 which is also a focus of US Special Forces, surveillance and 
logistics activity.

The Americans blame the al-Shabab resistance for exacerbating the
 drought emergency, but for at least two years the Americans have used
 food as a weapon of war in Somalia, in an effort to starve out those 
who might be supporting the Shabab. The US has armed an array of 
militias operating near the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders, making
 normal agricultural pursuits all but impossible, and the current
 world-class catastrophe, inevitable.

Whenever the US ratchets up its armed interventions in Somalia,
 disaster follows. Four years ago, after the Americans instigated an 
Ethiopian invasion of Somalia to overthrow an Islamist government that
 had brought a semblance of peace to the region, it set off what the 
United Nations then called ‘the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa - worse than Darfur.’ Today, many of those same refugees are confronted
 with the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet - once again, largely
 courtesy of the United States.

‘The Obama administration has upgraded Somalia and Yemen as hotspots 
in its endless war-making.’

The original crime - the one from which all the other horrors flow - 
was the theft of Somalia’s government, and the crushing of its
 people’s dreams for peace. The American proxy aggression, largely
 conducted through Ethiopia and now Kenya, and much of it directed from 
Djibouti, the actual headquarters of the US Africa Command, AFRICOM, is the root cause of the social disintegration of Somalia, which has 
pushed much of the population to the edge of extinction. These are the 
crimes against humanity that international courts should be 
prosecuting. Instead, the International Criminal Court has become a 
tool of the aggressor, and even proposes to deploy the US military 
as its deputies, to enforce its warrants: justice turned upside down.

The newly activated marine task force will augment America’s stepped 
up drone attacks against the Shabab, an escalation of Obama’s second
 shooting war in Africa, and war number six, globally. In addition to the Marines and the drones, the US recently committed
 $45 million to equipment and training for the Ugandan and Burundian
 soldiers that are all that props up the puppet Somali government in
 Mogadishu, the capital.

The Obama administration has upgraded Somalia and Yemen as hotspots in
its endless war-making, claiming al-Qaida operatives in the region are 
even more dangerous to the US than their counterparts in Afghanistan 
and Pakistan - which essentially tells us that al-Qaida isn't really
 all that relevant to why America is spreading war and misery all over 
the planet. What is clear, is that the world's greatest humanitarian 
threat lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

* This article is sourced from Black Agenda Radio.
* Please send comments to editor[at]pambazuka[dot]org or comment online at Pambazuka News.