Editorial: International Gangster

(Reprinted from "The Worker," newspaper of the Workers Party, USA)

January 29, 2007

On January 24, the U.S. government launched another air strike against Somalia using the notorious "anti-personnel" AC-130 gunship. Only a week earlier, the U.S. had carried out a series of air attacks, killing at least 50 civilians.

U.S. warships are also maintaining a naval blockade against Somalia and U.S. special forces, based in Djibouti, have been carrying out ground operations,

The U.S. government has hardly bothered itself trying to justify its aggression except to offer the standard refrain that the U.S. is "going to go after al-Qaida in the global war on terrorism wherever it takes us." (quoted from Bryan Whitman, Defense Department spokesman).

This is the "logic" of the "global war on terrorism." The U.S. government issues an edict branding any government, any nation, any organization or any individual as "terrorist" and then it carries out any atrocity it feels like. International law and the sovereignty of countries can be trampled underfoot. Any number of civilians can be killed and written off as "collateral damage." "Terrorists" can be tortured because U.S. imperialism has decreed they have no human rights.

For all the politicians in the Republican and Democratic parties the "global war on terrorism" is the latest litmus test of patriotism. For the monopoly-controlled media, it is the unassailable crusade of the 21st century. But for the peoples of the world, it is only the latest battle cry of the U.S. capitalist class - the biggest exploiters and aggressors in history.

The "global war on terrorism" shows that in the world today, U.S. imperialism knows no restraint - that it is prepared to commit any crime in its pursuit of profit and empire.

It can only be restrained by the peoples and their struggles against intervention and war, their struggles for independence, sovereignty and liberation, their struggles for peace. These struggles cannot stop until U.S. imperialism is defeated everywhere, until the power of the exploiters and warmakers is broken and the people themselves regain the reigns of government.

U.S. Aggression in Somalia!

January 12, 2007

On January 8, the U.S. government initiated open military aggression against Somalia.

As The Worker goes to print, U.S. AC-130 helicopter gunships (the notorious "anti-personnel" killing machines) have been bombing areas in southern Somalia for 4 days running. Incomplete reports admit that at least 50 people have been killed. U.S. military officials have said that the airstrikes will continue and a battlefleet of 3 warships, including the aircraft carrier Eisenhower, are stationed off the coast of Somalia to blockade the country. On January 9, ABC news reported that U.S. ground forces are carrying out operations in Somalia, alongside the Ethiopian army. Some 3,000 U.S. special forces are stationed nearby in Djibouti, a French protectorate.

This overt aggression comes after years of covert intervention by the CIA and the Pentagon. Last year, for example, the CIA funneled hundreds of thousands in military aid to various reactionary warlords in Somalia in an attempt to defeat the popular movement lead by the Islamic Courts Union. In the last 2 years, the Pentagon also sent $29 million in military aid to Ethiopia which, with the connivance of the U.S., invaded Somalia in the beginning of this year.

In fact for the last 15 years, the U.S. has been trying to impose a pro-Western regime in the country and suppress the popular struggles for independence. On January 5, U.S. diplomat Jendayi Frazer revealed that the U.S. plan is to follow up the bombing and invasion by imposing an international military force on Somalia, financed by $40 million from the U.S.

Yet, once again, the plans of U.S. imperialism are facing determined opposition from the people of Somalia. To date, the U.S.-backed "provisional government" remains unable to assert control even in the capital of Mogadishu. Mass demonstrations, as well as armed resistance, are widespread throughout the country.

The objectives of U.S. imperialism include gaining Somalia as a base of operations in the strategic Horn of Africa as well as access to the oil wealth of the region.

Once again, U.S. imperialism has violated international law and wantonly trampled on the sovereignty of an African country. Following the battle plan of the so-called "war on terrorism," the U.S. government has declared that Somalia is a "breeding ground" for "Islamic militants" and used this as a pretext to launch yet another war.

The anti-war movement and the American people must resolutely denounce the new U.S. aggression and demand: "U.S., Hands Off Somalia!"