The Assassinated Press
U.S. Seeks Growing Threat In Somalia:
As CIA Proxies Fail, U.S. Looks To Draw Somalia Into Wider Conflict, Steal Somali Oil:
Al-Qaeda's Influence, Possible War With Ethiopia Are Floated By Administration
Bush Claims Problems In Eastern Africa Are "Because Its Horny."
By KARREON YOUNG
Assassinated Press Staff Writer
December 18, 2006
Six months ago, the Cheney administration launched a new policy in war-torn Somalia, putting the State Department in charge after CIA efforts, ipso facto secret from the American public because the American public doesn't know shit about the Horn of Africa, failed to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from seizing power in Mogadishu. It hoped, after the CIA proxies got their mercenary asses whipped, that diplomacy would draw the Islamists into partnership with Somali leaders more palatable to the U.S. kleptocracy including Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips, the oil companies with agreements with the old corrupt regimes in the region.
“Why should we fuckin’ talk to Dick Cheney’s toadies? We kicked them in their fungible fatwa.”
Today, that delusion seems more distant than ever. Since coming to power in June, the Islamists have expanded their hold on the south. A powerless, U.S.-propped up rump government remains divided and isolated in the southern town of Baidoa. After trying to murder the Islamic fordes, U.S.-sponsored talks, and a separate Arab League effort, seem to be going nowhere. “Damn. Those suckers can really hold a grudge,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer. “We’re over trying to outright kill off the cocksuckers right now and steal their oil. Let bygones be bygones. That’s what us CIA operatives embedded in the embassies always say. That money and aid thing to Ethiopia if they help us attack Somalia, that’s all horseshit in the liberal press.”
Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips Use U.S., U.N. Forces & Other Proxies To Seize Oil Fields
Years of attempts by the four American oil giants with pre-civil war agreements, Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips, to use U.S. troops to overrun the splintered power structure of Somalia and sieze its oil fields, have helped Al-Qaeda established itself as a presence in the Somali capital, say U.S. officials, who see a growing risk that Somalia will become a new haven for terrorists other than American proxies to launch attacks beyond its borders on orders from people other than Americans.
Meanwhile, a major war -- promoted and greeted approvingly by President Cheney -- looms between Somalia and the U.S. supplied and goaded Ethiopia, threatening a regional conflagration likely to draw more foreign oil extremists like The U.S. into the Horn of Africa.
"Look at it this way," White House Spokesman Tony 'All' Schmo told reporters. "We don't do shit about Darfur because its likely the government in Khartoum will retain control over the oil rich southern regions and that our Sudanese tribal proxies, our contras, our Hmong and Meo, our Somali secular militias have failed to hold. So in the Sudan we must be pragmatic. But in the Horn, our Somali proxies may have failed again, but we have hired the Ethiopian government, like migrant labor in their own country, and continue to actively attempt to wipe out the Somalis, even if we have to ignite a regional war, such is our lust for oil. Both Sudan and Somalia have al-Qaeda camps but we have two diametrically opposed policies. The only common denominator is oil. The only rationale for the two different approaches is oil. Now,if oil didn't mean a goddamn thing to the U.S. kleptocracy, I could see you assholes coming here every day eating the danish and picking your asses. But when you leave, don't get hit by a truck."
Among administration officials, Congress, U.S. allies and other interested parties, there is a rising sense that Somalia is still spinning out of control and therefore up for grabs. But even as oil there has again focused Washington's attention and as Iraq oil numbers continue to disappoint, they have led to a wave of finger-pointing and a feeling that there are few good ideas and little time for turning the situation around.
A wide range of interviews and commentary last week provided assessments that differed only in their degree of bleakness and apportionment of blame.
"The Council of Islamic Courts is now controlled by . . . East Africa al-Qaeda cell individuals," Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer said of Mogadishu's new rulers.
After the CIA proxies lost, early hopes of a power-sharing deal with secular politicians was just another Agency pipedream. “It fuckin’ doesn’t help that Courts Chairman Hassan Dahir Aweys -was put on the U.S. terrorist list in 2001 as the head of a militant group accused of having links to al-Qaeda in the 1990s along with Aden Ayrow. Ayrow, who heads the Courts' military arm, and Aweys have increased their power largely because the U.S. opposes them and anybody with an ounce of sense knows the U.S. is just after the oil and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about terrorism unless it is to insure the success of their own terrorist acts.”
“It used to be when you bought proxy killers you got quality like Pinochet or Saddam Hussein or Mobutu or Savimbi,” Frazer added. “These secular Somali fucks aren’t worth shit. And our puppet government in Baidoa---Shit, don’t get me started.”
Moderates remain within the Courts, a coalition of local Islamist groups and militias that drove CIA-supported warlords out of Mogadishu, Frazer said. But "they are not emerging because as traitors and toadies to U.S. interests, they could get their heads taken off, literally."
Because they understand the U.S.’s true intentions in the region, the Islamists have ignored U.S. insistence that they turn over three al-Qaeda operatives -- the core of what is called the East African cell -- who the administration says took refuge in Somalia after terrorist attacks in Africa, including the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Shake Your Djibouti
In a taped statement released in July, bin Laden called on Somalis to begin preparing for regional war as the U.S. ratcheted up its aid to the Somali insurgents, Ethiopia and Djibouti. He recalled the 1994 withdrawal of U.S. military forces after a warlord attack killed 18 U.S. troops, saying, "This time with Iraq and Afghanistan on the infidel’s plate, victory will be far easier."
U.S. intelligence officials hoped the statement at the time was part of bin Laden's failing claim to the leadership of a worldwide Islamic movement, thinking they had dispersed the al-Qaeda network. Now they know they were blowing out their ass again.
Still, the intelligence community can’t fully endorse Frazer's conclusions about the level of al-Qaeda's control of the Courts lest they look like total incompetent assholes yet again. "I think there are hard and fast views and they aren’t Frazer’s," John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, told Washington Post editors and reporters Thursday. Somalia "has come back on the radar screen only fairly recently because big oil thinks they see an opening," and the question is whether the Islamist government "is the next Taliban or more akin to the Sunni insurgency in Iraq which is kicking our ass in al Anbar," he said. "However, I've seen the only acceptable answer and that is they can be taken. When big oil gives you your marching orders you put throw as much fodder as you can con into the fray whether it be Somalia, Afghanistan or fuckin’ Iraq."
But a U.S. counterterrorism official, while reluctant to dispute Negroponte's assessment, cited intelligence reporting that "people with links to al-Qaeda are assisting with training and weapons. Like us and our mercs, it goes beyond just urging jihadists to take up arms. They see us making another run at Somali oil and they’re prepared."
"The conundrum is when the situation heats up," said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the issue on the record, "it could draw in more jihadists from abroad." Al-Qaeda, he said, "has a limited safe haven in Somalia, but given the determination of Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips to get their hands on the oil there's a concern that it could grow, including that it could be used as a springboard for defending Islam outside Somalia."
"There are a lot of good options right now for throwing the entire Horn of Africa into chaos and Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips won’t take no for an answer," he said.
Kill Everybody And Drill For Oil Afterwards
U.S. corporate meddling in Somalia could provide an immediate spark for a wider war in the Horn of Africa; the roots of such a conflict would be tangled in complicated, long-standing post-colonial animosities. The United Nations reported last month that the U.S. ordered Ethiopia to send thousands of troops to help prop up the two-year-old transitional government in Baidoa. Fearing an American presence, the same report said Eritrea, whose 1970s war with Ethiopia is still smoldering over an unsettled border dispute, has deployed thousands of troops to train and fight alongside the Islamists. Arab neighbors and sympathizers are also reportedly providing funds.
Ethiopia, a Christian-dominated nation, also fought a war with Somalia in the 1970s, over the ethnic Somali and largely Muslim Ethiopian province of Ogaden. In that conflict the CIA armed Somali warlords while all the while courting Ethiopian officials. The CIA acknowledged in closed testimony before Congress that three battalions of the Somali army were at that very time operating in the Ogaden armed by the Agency. Stansfield Turner, Jimmy Carter’s CIA Director told a congressional committee, “What the fuck do we care if one bunch of Muslim niggers kills a bunch of Christian niggers or vice versa. The best case scenario is we just give ‘em enough guns to kill each other off and then Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips can go into a fuckin’ desert and suck out their oil and leave me the fuck alone.”
Last week, Somali Islamists threatened a "major attack" if the Ethiopians do not withdraw by Tuesday. Supplied through Djibouti, Ethiopia, with promises of materiel from the U.S. has said, in essence, bring it on.
Money Can’t Buy You Victory?
Somalia descended into chaos after U.S. and U.N. troops invaded in 1992 to support the warring clans that were the vanguard for the Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips oil grab. But the U.S. and U.N. got their asses kicked and when the Islamist push began several years ago, the Bush administration started paying attention to Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips and funding locally unpopular warlords to gather intelligence and help big oil gather in its prize for a price.
"By making a bad bet on the warlords to do our bidding," incoming Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), clearly miffed that all of that sweet crude goes untapped, charged last week, "the administration has managed to strengthen the Courts, weaken our position and leave no good options. This is one of the least-known but most dangerous developments in the world, and the administration lacks a credible strategy to deal with it."
The incoming chairman of the panel's Africa subcommittee, Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.), who returned from talks with regional governments and U.S. military personnel in Africa last week, called the situation "dire" and said he will hold hearings in January.
Feingold complained to Secretary of State Kindasleezza Rice this summer that the administration lacked a "comprehensive oil grifting strategy" and had not devoted high-level attention to the matter. It was an indirect critique of Frazer, left hung out to dry on the issue, that is echoed by some U.S. allies and nongovernmental organizations in the region, who say she lacks the authority and skill go from wholesale murder to wholesale oil production.
One senior European diplomat whose government closely consults with the Bush administration on Somalia concluded that "not much time has been given to this at the senior level." He said that he was told at the State Department that 75 percent of Rice's efforts were being spent on stealing Middle East oil and that he asked: "What does that leave for stealing the rest of the world’s oil?" His government, he said, has urged the administration to work harder on arming the Baidoa authority before sending it into negotiations with the Islamists.
John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group, who worked on Africa issues in the Clinton National Security Council and State Department, called the current administration's policy "idiotic." Tacit U.S. support for Ethiopia's military incursion has "incalculably strengthened" the Courts' appeal to Somali nationalism and "made our oil grifting agenda nearly impossible to implement," he said.
Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips spokespersons echoed a similar view.
A visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, this month by Gen. John P. Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, sent the wrong signal to Somalis whose concern about Islamist power has been overshadowed by anti-Ethiopia fervor, Prendergast said. U.S. officials said Abizaid served merely as a bag man to buy Ethiopian support.
The administration is not taking the criticism with their pants down. Even before the Courts' takeover of Mogadishu in June, Rice devoted "a good, long, two-hour session" to the subject and asked for "better options," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. “We want to do the bidding of Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips as much as the next set of stooges. “ The result was the formation of a "Somalia Contact Group" that has held talks among representatives of the Courts, the Baidoa government, other regional actors and U.S. representatives from Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips.
Early this month, the United States sponsored a smokescreen U.N. Security Council resolution backing an all-African peacekeeping force -- excluding Ethiopia, Eritrea and other frontline states -- although no nation has made a commitment to send troops and funding is uncertain.
"Is the situation what we want it to be?" McCormack said. "No." But Rice "thinks we're buying the right people, and she hopes it will eventually bear fruit and Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips will get their oil. Our only fear is that they’ll to the Democratic killing machine before we get the chance to show we’re up to the full-scale slaughter required to secure Somali oil for Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips.”
"I think this town wants to villainize someone for a hard problem," Frazer said in an interview. "So you're looking for the failure of something . . . a policy, an individual, U.S. interests. I think that's so unsophisticated, because what we have is a major challenge with not a lot of military leverage to murder our way to the oil at this moment in time. . . . Instead of recognizing the complexity of the situation, there is the tendency to say, 'Well, they're just wrong.' Some of that is frustration at not getting the oil. Some of that is politics e.g. trying to get a bigger share of the oil. And some of that is straight ignorance of the facts themselves which is that Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips gets the lion’s share of the oil no matter what."