Friday, April 27, 2007

Amy Goodman Gets It Right!

Mainline media in the U.S. have practically blacked out news of the tragedy unfolding in Somalia, while the State Department assures us that nothing dramatic is going on there. But Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! has slashed through the smokescreen to give us an authentic and altogether chilling account of the tragedy unfolding in Somalia and of the hurtful role being played by the Bush administration, which continues to support Ethiopia's lawless invasion and brutal occupation of the country in the name of combatting international terrorism and so-called "radical Islam."

In piecing together her devastating picture of what's happening, Ms. Goodman struck gold when she discovered Kenyan journalist Salim Lone, one of the few in the media who seem to understand what's really going on there, and why. Her detailed interview with Lone deserves careful reading in its entirety, as does her clip of Scott McClellan's clumsy justification of U.S. complicity in the widespread violation of human rights lately noted in the European media. Read the full text by clicking on the title line above. Better yet, click here and go straight to the full video of the program.

Democracy Now! deserves our deepest thanks for bringing the story of the Somali tragedy to broader public awareness. Some choice excerpts from the broadcast follow:

In Somali, fierce clashes in Mogadishu are being described as some of the heaviest fighting in the city's history. Some 329 people have been killed over the past ten days. This comes just three weeks after another series of battles claimed at least 1,000 lives. The United Nations says more people - over 350,000 - have been displaced in Somalia in the past three months than anywhere else in the world. [includes rush transcript] And here is the rest of it.

1 comment:

Shashank Bengali said...

With all due credit to Amy Goodman and the late Anthony Mitchell (a fearless reporter and good man) I want to point out that the story of secret detentions in Ethiopia was not broken by AP, but by McClatchy Newspapers several weeks earlier.

In a March 13 story titled "U.S. allies in Africa may have engaged in secret prisoner renditions" (http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/16896611.htm), I and my colleague, Jonathan Landay, reported: "A network of U.S. allies in East Africa secretly have transferred to prisons in Somalia and Ethiopia at least 80 people who were captured in Kenya while fleeing the recent war in Somalia." They included Amir Mohammed Meshal, the 24-year-old American whose father contacted us after reading his son's name in our March 13 story.

Three days later, in a story titled "American's jailing in Ethiopia raises questions about U.S. role" (http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/16920778.htm),
we wrote: "The fact that Meshal has landed in an Ethiopian prison without any semblance of due process raises new questions about what role the rule of law plays in the Bush administration's war on terrorism."

Earlier pieces in AP and the Washington Post credited McClatchy for breaking the story. I point this out not to diminish AP's work, but merely to set the record straight.