Friday, February 16, 2007

Sadia to Zakaria: "Somalia Back to Square One"

Sadia Ali Aden, president of the Somalia Diaspora Network, tried her best last week to explain to Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria why U.S. intervention on the warlords' side had not been helpful to Somalia—but he just didn't get it.

In a television interview on Zakaria's program "Foreign Exchange" February 8, Sadia said the U.S. had mistakenly relied upon Ethiopian intelligence when it judged that the Union of Islamic Courts harbored al Qaida terrorists and thus concluded the Courts were a threat to its interests in the region. So when the Courts gained control of Mogadishu and expelled the warlords, Somalia became a new front in its worldwide "war on terror," the C.I.A. channeled funding to the warlords through the CIA, and the U.S. endorsed Ethiopia's military intervention to halt the Courts' advances. The result, Sadia said, was a renewal of ethnic conflict that had brought Somalia "back to square one."

Zakaria pressed Sadia to clarify what the U.S. should be doing in Somalia. "It should NOT have supported the warlords," she answered. "It should stop the bombing, encourage the Ethiopians to withdraw, and deploy human rights monitors who could provide an accurate picture of what was happening in Somalia." But Zakaria wasn't satisfied. "You say the U.S. should support the Somali government [although Sadia had not said that exactly]. But wasn't it the Somali government that approved of the bombing and invited the Ethiopians to intervene?"

Sadia attempted to explain that the U.S. had in effect sided with one faction within the transitional government when it should have supported reconciliation among its factions, but Zakaria's eyes glazed over. They agreed finally that it was a "very complex situation."

Click here to see and hear the full interview on Zakaria's website.

1 comment:

Frank said...

Zahra commented in an email to me today as follows:
Please compare and contrast the difference between these interviews. Diane Rehm of the WAMU sounds very concern, where Zakaria of Foreign exchange seems all too busy with few of his questions answered. The west has no clue, as it always had no clue with their clueless experts of Somalia. I wish we could see more Somali-Americans, Briton-Somalis etc to address the Somali crisis.

The so called experts Andre Le sage, Assistant professor for Terrorism & Counterterorrorism speaks as an expert. He participated [in] the talks that produced the current Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) as a PhD student. He was a consultant for the IGAD, being paid as a expert on the reconciliation process while doing his Thesis. What is wrong with that picture?.

I also see David Shinn on Somalia. Amb. Shinn is helping the West understand the crisis of Somalia on one hand and advocating fhe partition of Somali on teh other hand, what is wrong with that picture?.

With the Western media's indifference of Somalia, and ignoring of Ethiopia's illegal invasion and its human rights violations in Mogadishu and other places in Somalia, diplomacy appears a distant dream. The Media should grill the US administration how "terrorists" like the Somali warlords ended up on the side of war on "terror". It is like asking Hitler to be the savior of the Jews. How ridiculous is that? It is utter nonsense, but that is what is happening to the Somalis.

Thank you Amb. Crigler for this. I am a regular visitor of your blog