…the arrogance of power…paging jw fulbright…Posted: 2014-01-11
…how times have changed… J William Fulbright would have held seminars for and shamed not just dangerously uninformed and corporate legislators who have since followed him but also a corporate MSM hellbent on perpetual war and fabricated reality…
Yet again we see that effrontery knows no bounds. There seems to be some confident expectation that most US citizens forever revel in inattentiveness to the continual ‘mischief’ their country wreaks abroad?
Yes, it’s WaPo again. And they are again having another nostalgic look at ultimate US heroism that saved a city and a country, fiction gone totally berserk. We have the question, On Iraq: ‘Was it a complete failure?’ by its Ernesto Londoño
As they watch some areas fall to al-Qaeda, Americans who fought there ask painful questions about what their sacrifice was worth.
WaPo’s readers are asked to believe there was some unique sacrifice, US and only US, in the bloodbath and destruction that befell the people of Falluja; and predictably fails to provide a context. That word, context. Four among many murderous mercenaries wreaking havoc and mayhem murdered – but no bother. And then to ask paid US volunteer soldiers or far better paid ‘contractors’ (mercenaries), even if well-meaning in their nationalism, about another country, even Canada, and seriously expect an informed response? Now. Really!
Fortunately, there is Peter Hart over at the blog fair (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) who has been tracking such mindless nonsense. And he does put paid to such cynical, context-free ‘reporting’, with some apt sarcasm, Why Did the US Invade Iraq? The Answer in 2014
Reports of Al-Qaeda linked fighters taking over the Iraqi city of Fallujah have prompted a lot of media coverage about the US sacrifice there. In the process, the history of the war is being dramatically rewritten.
And with undiminished enthusiasm, WaPo launches yet another ‘zinger’, and straight from the movies comes the headline – sufficient to highlight the not so subtle racism implicit in the whole thing, U.S. military advisers sent to Somalia for 1st time since ‘Black Hawk Down’, and by its Craig Whitlock
A cell has been stationed in Mogadishu since last fall to advise in operations against al-Shabab.
‘…since last fall…’. Really now? With internet access still available, there is easy access to facts and stark reality on the ‘Black Hawk Down’ thing. Of course, to make the thing saleable there had to be obligatory African-American heroes, and very well-paid, to ensure ‘the flag was still there’ with equal opportunity for all – and solid movie reviews.
From AJE, we have this, Black Hawk Down: 20 years on
It was a battle that left 18 US soldiers and between 1,500 and 3,000 Somalis dead, but what lessons have been learned?
Let’s see how many of those ‘worthless’ Somalis slaughtered? And back to the WaPo headline, ‘…Black Hawk Down’. And WaPo seems curiously unaware of an investigative journalist of the name Scahill, Jeremy Scahill, who can provide, and has provided, volumes of information on the long-established US ‘presence’ in Somalia…
And from The Guardian, this Both saviour and victim, Black Hawk Down creates a new and dangerous myth of American nationhood
From Monbiot’s article we have some illustrative and sobering excerpts
In 1992 the United States walked into Somalia with good intentions. George Bush senior announced that America had come to do “God’s work” in a nation devastated by clan warfare and famine. But, as Scott Peterson’s firsthand account Me Against My Brother shows, the mission was doomed by intelligence failures, partisan deployments and, ultimately, the belief that you can bomb a nation into peace and prosperity.
As the feud escalated, US special forces were brought in to deal with the man now described by American intelligence as “the Hitler of Somalia“. Aideed, who was certainly a ruthless and dangerous man but also just one of several clan leaders competing for power in the country, was blamed for all Somalia’s troubles. The UN’s peacekeeping mission had been transformed into a partisan war.
The special forces, over-confident and hopelessly ill-informed, raided, in quick succession, the headquarters of the UN development programme, the charity World Concern and the offices of Médecins sans Frontieres. They managed to capture, among scores of innocent civilians and aid workers, the chief of the UN’s police force. But farce was soon repeated as tragedy. When some of the most senior members of Aideed’s clan gathered in a building in Mogadishu to discuss a peace agreement with the United Nations, the US forces, misinformed as ever, blew them up, killing 54 people. Thus they succeeded in making enemies of all the Somalis. The special forces were harried by gunmen from all sides. In return, US troops in the UN compound began firing missiles at residential areas.
So the raid on one of Aideed’s buildings on October 3 1993, which led to the destruction of two Black Hawk helicopters and the deaths of 18 American soldiers, was just another round of America’s grudge match with the warlord. The troops who captured Aideed’s officials were attacked by everyone: gunmen came even from the rival militias to avenge the deaths of the civilians the Americans had killed. The US special forces, with an understandable but ruthless regard for their own safety, locked Somali women and children into the house in which they were besieged.
[Bold added for emphasis]
In his review of the movie, Monbiot does provide a historical context and puts the intolerant attitude of exceptionalism exactly where it belongs, front and centre. And as he indicates in his review, there is the cartoonish but expected depiction of the ‘enemy’ Somalis as bloodthirsty ne’er-do-well (American Indians of the US?). And the determined cluelessness has never moved on to being less so.
…emerging from all this is a not at all eerie parallel between the slaughter and destruction in Mogadishu and Falluja…
…and, for the dramatic exit off stage, this quotation from a blogpost over at fdl by William Blum, “At last the world knows America as the savior of the world!”. And that timely quotation of Blum’s is from the US President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. And when Mr Wilson said, ‘America’, we should know he was talking only of the US…