Somalia: Global war on terror and the humanitarian crisis http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/75805
The US government’s counterterrorism activities and ‘humanitarian’ assistance in Somalia and the Horn of Africa go a long way towards explaining the region’s entrenched problems, writes Horace Campbell.In 2006 war broke out in Somalia, following a US-orchestrated plan to create and arm a coalition of militia leaders, Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT), to help hunt down suspected al Qaeda operatives. The defeat of the ARPCT by local fighters gave rise to the emergence of Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which was a coalition of political groups that gave themselves the political cover of calling themselves Islamists.
The ICU government established security, law and order in most parts of Somalia for the first time in 16 years. The ICU was widely embraced by many Somalis, even those who were opposed to Islamic rule. The contradictions embedded in the provision of some acceptable level of governance by the ICU and the opposition of sections of the population to Islamic rule (especially as driven by Islamic hardliners within the ICU) were local and regional dynamics meant to be resolved by the Somali people and their neighbors. However, in order to fight the political forces that called themselves the Islamic Courts Union, the US backed some of the most despicable militarists in Mogadishu.
Abdi Samatar wrote extensively on the dangerous outcome of this opportunism of the US military and called for engagement with the ICU so that the lull in violence could be extended in Somalia. But the Islamophobic neo-conservative elements and warriors within the Bush administration who were bent on threat inflation and the fabrication of terrorism to fit into the template of global war on terror and counterterrorism remained gung ho about fighting a long war in Somalia.