Danny Sjursen talks about America’s long history of intervention in Somalia, beginning after World War II, continuing during the Cold War, and persisting today through the War on Terror. Too often, he says, the mainstream narrative around U.S. interventions starts right before the current terrorist attack, regime change, or civilian uprising, and most people miss decades of crucial history. In the case of Somalia, America and its allies in the UN supported various regimes through the 80s and 90s, ultimately helping to create two devastating famines in the 2000s that led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. Largely in response to foreign involvement, Al-Shabaab has risen to prominence as a countervailing force. Today the group whose existence is almost entirely the result of foreign intervention is being used as the justification for why that same intervention must continue. The U.S. and its allies must learn from the mistakes of the past.
Discussed on the show:
- “What on Earth is the U.S. Doing by Bombing Somalia?” (CounterPunch.org)
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. army major and former history instructor at West Point. He writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and he’s the author of “Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.” Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet.
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