June 10, 2012 (TSR) The anti-imperialist al-Shabaab (‘The Youth’) in Somalia counteroffers the new $33 million bounty on its top leaders heads by offering its own bounty for President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – 10 camels for Obama and 20 chickens for Clinton, media reported on Sunday.
In a statement reported on numerous websites, senior Shabaab commander Fuad Mohamed Khalaf said that anyone who would help the Mujahideen to find the whereabouts of “infidel idiot Obama and old woman Hillary Clinton” will be rewarded with 10 Camels to the information leading to Obama and 10 hens and 10 cocks for Hillary.
A study by Galkayo University, which looked at the effects of drought on livestock, said the average cost of a camel in Somalia is $700.
Earlier this week, the U.S. offered a total of $33 million through the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program for information leading to the capture of seven different Shabaab leaders, including Khalaf.
The U.S. offered $7 million for founder and commander Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed, AKA Godane or Mukhtar Abu Zubeir, five million for Khalaf and three other men, and $3 million apiece for two other leaders.
The announcement of the U.S. bounties came as Somali and other African military forces have begun to squeeze Shabaab into a smaller and smaller section of Somalia. In a statement, the Somali government said the rewards would help crush the “Al-Qaeda affiliate”.
“The announcement from the U.S. government . . . will certainly help the Somali government’s efforts to end Al-Qaeda’s reign of terror in Somalia,” said Somalia’s transitional government in a statement Thursday. “This is an important juncture in Somali history, where the possibility of full recovery from years of chaos is within reach.”
STRIPPING DOWN FALSEHOODS AND MISINTERPRETATIONS of al-Shabaab, “Al-Qaeda affiliate”
American Empire is becoming increasingly worried about the war in Somalia, and in particular the successes of the resistance led by al-Shabaab (‘The Youth’), which now controls the south and central areas of Somalia and most of the capital, Mogadishu.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years. The US has been backing various international invasions of Somalia targeting al-Shabaab, with an eye toward installing the self-proclaimed Somali government nationwide. US drones have also attacked the nation off and on in the past several months.
The war in Somalia is part of America’s attempt to increase its hegemony in the Middle East and Africa, and that the wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia (not to mention Palestine and more) are part of the same rapacious warmongering.
Just like in Afghanistan, it was not that the Taliban regrouped while no-one was looking; the resistance grew out of the population in response to active American imperialist oppression and occupation.
And as for the “local conflict within a marginal country”, it is not al-Shabaab that has “internationalised” the war. It was “internationalised” many years ago when American imperialism, recognising Somalia’s strategic importance and rich resources, sought to dominate it. The borders of Somalia have been repeatedly transgressed – by imperialism and its puppets. And now the puppets of imperialism, and hence imperialism itself, face defeat, hence the $33 million bounty.
The US knows well the danger of sending its own forces, and not only from its experience of the ‘Black Hawk Down’ fiasco. But it is caught between a rock and a hard place – it cannot afford to abandon its efforts to spread its hegemony, it needs strategic control and resources for its existence, but it is being beaten and can ill afford the greater risks of escalation.
The completely ineffective ‘Transitional Government’ (TG), headed by Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed is holed up in a palace on a hill in the capital, while TG forces, equipped by imperialist funding, try, largely unsuccessfully, to create a few no-go areas for the resistance fighters.
Around 7,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi, under the flag of African Union so-called ‘peace-keeping forces’, have so far saved the TG from being overwhelmed by the resistance. They are there at the instigation of the US and are deployed to protect the TG hill top, as well as key areas like the airport and the port in Mogadishu, inflicting direct casualties on Somali civilians.
The forces backed by imperialism are losing badly, in spite of earlier bourgeois reports about how well they were doing in ‘freeing’, if you please, the Somali people from the rule of al-Shabaab. The successes of the latter, on the other hand, are due to the fact that it has the support of the people. By fighting against imperialist domination, al-Shabaab is representing, and making effective efforts to realise, the people’s aspirations for freedom and self-determination.
History of American warmongering in Somalia
For 15 years after the overthrow of Muhammed Said Barre, US and British imperialism supported the warlords who terrorised Somalia, and set one against the other in time-honoured divide-and-rule fashion.
Then the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) subdued the warlords and established a unified government that brought peace and increasing stability to Somalia. But such peace and stability was not to the liking of imperialism (in spite of all its rhetoric). The coast of Somalia is long, and of great strategic importance, commanding the Indian Ocean and the Straits of Hormuz, and now oil has been found. A stable,independent government would bode ill for imperialist hegemony!
So US imperialism incited Ethiopia to invade, giving it support with intelligence, bombing raids and shelling from US ships. It was claimed that the personnel of the Islamic Courts Union had been driven to the sea, blocked by US warships, and by the Kenyan border, which Kenya had been persuaded to close. But instead of being trapped, the ICU forces melted away and began a popular anti-imperialist guerrilla struggle against the Ethiopian invaders and their backers.
The success of that struggle, in which al-Shabaab, a constituent of the Islamic Courts Union, played a major part, eventually forced Ethiopia to withdraw. The US, however, at the same time installed yet another US backed ‘Transitional Government’, this time headed by Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, an erstwhile leader of the ICU whom the US had persuaded to renege.
The resistance, and notably al-Shabaab, having evicted Ethiopian troops, was not inclined to roll over and let imperialism in through the back door. The TG is now pinned down in a palace on a hill!
THE AMERICAN DEMONIZATION AS “AL-QAEDA” AND FOSTERING OF ISLAMOPHOBIA AGENDA
The imperialists want to demonise Somalis and foster Islamophobia, both to ‘divide and rule’ at home, and to justify draconian imperialist attacks on Somalia.
Predictably so, the spectre of al-Qaeda is raised by America whenever people in various nations want them out of their countries and robbing them of their sovereignty as a nation and people. Al-Shabaab is on the US list of ‘terrorist’ organisations and told western media and their talking heads to use descriptions and phrases such as ” in league with, or part of, affiliate or infiltrated by, al-Qaeda” to mindprogram everyone and dehumanize them.
Just like last year’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Muammar Gaddafi’s plight, this is an imperialist war of aggression against people fighting for their national independence, for their freedom from imperialist domination, which is being characterised as a part of the never-ending ‘war on terror’. This is standing things on their head, and putting them back to front, for the terror of the war that is being inflicted on the people of Somalia is entirely generated by American imperialist aggression.
The only reason for imperialists that al-Shabaab is called ‘al-Qaeda’ in Somalia, is to justify American predatory aggression as ‘self defence’. Jonathan Evans, director of MI5, said that it is just a matter of time before Somalia and Yemen export ‘terrorism’ to Britain’s streets. (‘MI5 chief warns of terror threat from Britons trained in Somalia’, guardian.co.uk, 17 September 2010)