'Our benevolent benefactor' has bombed Somalia, again. Apparently they were after an al Qaida agent... which leaves me a whole lot more relieved that when the US strong-armed local authorities, they had 'a good reason'. Sure, the US have 'permission', but permission obtained by threat of force or deprivation of aid, is no permission at all, but it looks better if the Somalis say they grant permission, sorry "They have our full support for the attacks"(which is scared politician-speak for 'do you want to be the one to say 'no'?') . Pakistan have claimed that they've only cooperated with the US because Bush promised to "bomb them back to the stone age" if they argued. Yemen lost vital aid after voting against US in the UN (aid cancelled the following day). You just don't say 'no' to Dubya when his people have 'intelligence' (yes, that's a tired joke that's no longer funny, although... I believe their 'source' was 'tweetie-pie', who's reported as saying "I tort I tore a terrorist!"... which seems far more credible than previous sources... still waiting on those WMD's George!). This is what George means when he says "you're either with us or against us", keep out of the way, and let us bomb who we want, when we want.
Some of you may remember a previous US interference with Somalia, colourfully represented by Ridley Scott in the film 'Black Hawk Down'. That incident was a major 'black-eye' for the USA, it seemed to all the world that that an untrained, poorly equipped rabble from a third-world country could drive-out the mighty US. Somalia has been a bête noire that the US have had to revisit, and there was no better time than now, when Iraq is going the same way, it's a confidence boost (just don't tell the families of those killed).
If there is one thing the US armed forces learned from the 'black hawk down' incident, it was to bomb the site flat from greater altitude with AC-130's instead of engaging the enemy. There's nothing 'surgical' about this approach, just indiscriminate death across a large area. It's got that Kurtz (Heart of Darkness) "Exterminate all the brutes" feel to it. Or maybe it's like Pope Innocent III who advocated the killing of 20,000 faithful to get 200 heretics "Kill them all. God will know his own".
It seems that it's ok to bomb innocent civilians if you are trying to kill a terrorist who may or may not have been there.
The question is: when does this war against terror, become a war of terror?
...And the guest of honour Fazul? The Americans don't know whether they got him (and may not for weeks), but I'm sure all the Somali affected are comforted by the news that their loved ones were killed, and their world's been turned upside-down, for a good reason. After all, the Americans were trying to stop a terrorist! Left unchecked this terrorist could bomb their loved-ones, and destroy their livelihoods. It a good thing for the people of Somali that America feels so strongly about terrorism, someone could have gotten hurt!
Then there's the US-backed Ethiopian occupation of Somalia, but that's another story, for another time... and yes, you guessed it there's oil involved.