Reprint from Volume 34 Issue #21 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A
Trump Employs Withdrawal Tactic
December-7, 2020 - In an emotionally charged exchange, Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee argued last week over their views on the best course of military action for the U.S. war on Somalia.
Republican committee members such as Senator Rand Paul tried to represent an October Trump decision to withdraw allegedly hundreds of U.S. troops as an important victory for the anti-war movement. He strove to bring on a sense of closure by calling for expressions of gratitude towards President Trump "for bringing troops home from Africa." Democratic committee members such as Senator Bob Menedez opposed the withdrawal of any sum, declaring that "serious consequences for the region" would follow in the wake if any U.S. reprieve was granted.
One of the main reasons for this bipartisan propaganda is to legitimize the U.S. military aggression in Somalia. The media too, is featuring many stories that praise the policy of deploying elite special forces units to terrorize the population and using airstrikes to fish for camouflaged guerilla forces. Furthermore, the media and two parties have been multiplying their appeals to the people to condemn all struggle against U.S. interference and neoliberalism and to instead to support the repressive armed forces that the pentagon deploys, installs, arms and trains.
Neither the claims from the Republicans that the American workers and people can be satisfied with empty anti-war virtue signaling, nor the claims from the Democrats that the American people want the wars, nor any of the raving hypocrisy and barely concealed racism and chauvinism from the monopoly-owned media are anything but a continuous stream of propaganda designed to legitimize U.S. aggression and conceal the real class aims of U.S. imperialism in Somalia.
History shows that it is not the acquisition of independence that brought regression and war to Somalia. On the contrary. After gaining its liberation from open British and Italian colonialism and the subsequent international mandate system, the newly free Somalia embarked on the road of independent development and started forging serious economic and political changes. Despite temporary victories that brought new conditions and possibilities to the country's development as a result of revolution against imperialism, through the 20th and 21st century the country has been set back by wars aimed at establishing neo-colonial rule. Somalia was reduced to abject poverty and destitution precisely because of the endless wars wages by the Europeans and North Americans to cripple the struggle of nations and nationalities in Africa. Merchants and businessmen have been robbed of their property, peasants and workers have been robbed of their production, and the youth have been robbed of their futures in order to sustain these imperialist social relations of domination and subjugation.
But neither the American people nor the Somali people ever have had nor ever will have soft ears for the chauvinist fairy tales of U.S. and western colonialism about the history of Africa. They know full well that this noise is merely being used by U.S. imperialism in order to wage wars that serve the U.S. moneybags and capitalists who need to export capital to the four corners of the globe, who are willing to commit any crime in order to keep various countries "safe" for their investments and exploitation, and who are willing to commit any crime to come out ahead of their Big Power rivals.
In particular today, the U.S. government wants to sanitize its policy of lifting the weapons embargo against the brutal Federal Government of Somalia. This annulment of the ban paves the way for the integration of the Somali armed forces and government into the war plans of U.S. imperialism. Today, in addition to carrying out a brutal war of aggression against all the classes and social groups which are taking part in Somalia's anti-imperialist national liberation struggle, the pentagon has U.S. military "advisers" playing a military training role and is preparing to provide hundreds of millions of dollars more in arms as well as battlefield consultation and planning.
The only way for the U.S. to maintain its foothold in Somalia is through one attempt after another to prop up and prolong the life of the reactionary Federal Government of Somalia. This regime uses arms and training bought and paid for through the taxes on the American people in order to take revenge on masses of the people in Somalia who are no longer willing to remain in the grip of the political system of imperialism. On the horizon, what is certain is that until the revolutionary forces are victorious in their war to toss out the imperialist moneybags, U.S. special forces will only step up the nefarious war of terror against anyone who dares to oppose U.S. dictate and domination in Somalia and U.S. designs on the larger region.
In recent years, one of the principal lessons of the anti-war movement is that the struggle against American chauvinism is the touchstones of the struggle against war and imperialism. American chauvinism is the ideology of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. It is a product of very definite social relations. Just as the overt theories of racial superiority were concocted and propagated to support the social system of chattel slavery in the pre-civil war period, so too, the ideology of American chauvinism is promoted to support the present-day system of imperialism and colonialism.
When American chauvinism declares that every country must accept its so-called "free market system," it is reflecting the drive of the U.S. monopolies to force open the door of every country, grab control of their resources and take over their economies. When American chauvinism insists that every country accept U.S.-style "democracy," it is reflecting the drive of the U.S. monopolies to insure their political control of other countries - to establish colonial and neo-colonial regimes. When American chauvinism demands that every country join the "crusade" against terrorism or the mission to ensure a "secure and stable Africa," it is reflecting the drive of U.S. monopoly capital to impose its will on the whole world by force of arms.
Even while relying on military power, American chauvinism claims that American institutions (e.g. capitalism, American-style "democracy,") and the "American way of life" are "morally superior." Time and again, U.S. imperialism has invaded countries in the name of spreading and defending democracy. Time and again, U.S. imperialism has tried to hide its exploiting, colonial aims by advertising itself as a "liberator," fighting to free people from other colonial powers.
Liberalism and the Democratic Party play an especially important role in trying to cover over the stench of U.S. militarism with noble words about "human rights," "democracy," etc. It was, for example, Woodrow Wilson who brought the U.S. into WWI under the slogan of "making the world safe for democracy" just as it was Bill Clinton who dismembered the sovereign state of Yugoslavia in the name of "human rights" and it was Barack Obama who fanned out the reach of U.S. military tentacles in Africa in the name of bringing "civilization" to the so-called "backward peoples" there.
This is no different from the refrain of the Trump administration when it rehashes the old "now that we're there we can't make peace with our enemies" line about U.S. war in Somalia and elsewhere. This line too, echoes the colonial masters of the 19th century, and acts as though U.S. imperialism must step into the shoes of the European colonialists in order to "take up the white man's burden" and show the "ungovernable" with bombs and torture how to act "civilized."
This, then, is the neocolonial strategy of U.S. imperialism on each front of its international war program: talk about withdrawal but set no "artificial deadlines" and in fact continue the war; try to "lend legitimacy" by paying international troops even while maintaining enough U.S. forces for backup and "logistical, air support." All in order to guarantee the "vital U.S. interests" of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and its program for world domination.