Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Somalia and Nigeria

Anyone who knows anything about me knows how much I hate to hear about air strikes. So imagine my pain and confusion when at 4am I'm watching abc World news and I note that there have been air raids in Somalia, in a town not far off from the Kenyan border, and these conducted by the US. I'm going like wtf? And I'm aware that the Somali government is pleased with this because it wiped off a major Islamist forces city, whom they are fighting in conjunction with the Ethiopian army. That's all cool. But do the Somalis realize how hard it is to stop these airstrikes after you've okayed them? Do they also realize that the US has fueled the hell that has been in Somalia for so long by providing weaponry? That the situation it aims to control it helped to create directly in an effort to long arm control everything about everyone? Somali barely has a building standing. Why the air raids? And this only after the Ethiopians have risked their own men and cornered the Islamists. If the Somali government was still at a point where it didn't know where to start, and the Islamist militia were out there and willing to aim and fire, might I add with sophisticated AK47s that fire at planes, provided by the US, would the US be in Somali attempting any effort at anything? The same US that wouldn't offer any help to Rwanda citing "Black Hawk Down" as uncertainities in African warfare they couldn't deal with. Now they have warships off the Indian ocean manning the Somalis who might be fleeing. I'm calling this as BS. The similarities to Iraq are limitless. First and foremost, Black Hawk Revenge. And other idiosyncrasies we have all tired of complaining about. I just wish the Somali government didn't agree with it. The US has to be forced to work with the governments to arrest or remove suspected terrorists and must not be allowed to fire missiles at countries it is not at war with. Tres simple! I'm entirely opposed to any semblance of a religious war this close to the Kenyan border. Kenya has co-existed with both Christian and Islam presence with no issues about religion for years but religious strife in and around these borders can cause major repurcussions resonating inland into Kenya.

What bothers me more is they keep quoting the attacks on the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. However, it's a different tune now. It's "over 250 people died in those attacks." This a far cry from August 1998 when all we heard was "12 Americans died in these blasts". I've had it with all this. Now there's a need to act like there's care and concern for all the 200 plus Africans who lost their lives? Please! Call me cynical, which I am when it comes to these things, but I can't completely be outside of making a point here.

And Nigeria may shut down the oil operations after all. Also brandishing some very sophisticated weaponry, obviously makes you wonder who is providing those, the MEND have vowed to shut down the oil wells, if that's what it takes. You look at the lives of these villagers by the oils riggs and you understand where it is they're coming from completely. They live in abject poverty and their livelihood, the fish is all dead or very small now, thanks to the activities going on with the oil mining. Of course the billions of dollars earned have not helped a single one of these villagers. And in addition, their corrugated iron roofs are corroding now, thanks to the acid rain that results from mining oil. These villagers have had enough and you can't blame them. I understand that Shell has pulled out it's people already. The other major companies are standing by and as soon as the MEND start to execute any of their threats, they will be doing the same. Nigeria stands to lose over $1B in weekly revenues. Yes that was a B and weekly, and no, the dollar sign was no error either. Not that most Nigerians will notice, no. But the stealing politicians definitely will.

So are they (MEND) terrorists? This is what their leader had to say in regards to that.
"To the oppressed impoverished people of the niger delta, we are angels. If we
are terrorists to the oil companies and the nigerian government, so be it."
The American companies have long stood by and watched as the Nigerian politicians robbed this country blind and made no attempt to help the villages where the oil is mined. They bother to make sure that the influencial politicians are kept happy and have always expected that they will always be able to conduct business as long as that end of the deal is taken care of. Wrong. Never underestimate the fed up man. Angry and hungry, not a good combination. It's a new kind of power all on its own. And this with militia who believe the bullets will not kill them, thanks to whatever rituals they have gone through... the Army just drops its weapons and runs when they show up. Apparently if Nigeria shuts down production of crude oil, well, gas prices in the US could be at $6 a gallon. And it's not impossible. At the very least, the MEND have succeeded in getting the world's attention, to some degree. If not, no oil production in Nigeria surely will.


msanii said...

Nice post, The news of the air strikes also caught me by suprise in the morning i thought i heard it wrong. This goverment and past adminstrations continually display their two faced-ness...

On another note though are our forces prepared? i was reading our military number 50,000 or less seems really less..

I had to google MEND wiki has nice article on them. it appears they are much more sophisticated...I wonder why the oil companies overlook such important issues.. Do you mind fixing the link though?

Mimmz said...

Msanii, link is fixed. It's a good read. Blogger was acting up as I posted before.

About our forces being prepared, against whom? Because Somalia et al, barely a threat as a unified Army, but as guerillas, sure threat. I don't see them wanting to attack us though that immediately. We are where they run to for solace after all. However, the US keeps meddling and we all have a problem. Don't forget the same kinda issues are rife in Sudan as we speak. These are all bordering countries. It could get ugly. This year's elections may wanna focus on national security given our neighbours' current situations.