The Religion of Peace at Work
MIDI: "Children of the Grave" by Black Sabbath
Try to be Nice?
The world community, lead by the United States, tried to help the starving Muslims of Somalia.
This is how they were thanked!
Background: Wasted Efforts in Somalia
Over the last quarter of a century, Somalia has struggled with internal fighting and poor economic and social conditions for its people. Since decolonization there has been no real centralized authority in Somalia, and presently the country is divided into at least sixteen warring factions, based on clan alliances, which constantly change. The resulting inter-clan warfare led to the destruction of the agriculture of Somalia, which then led to starvation for many of its people.
One of the main sources of power in Somalia has been the control of food supplies. Hijacked food was used to secure the loyalty of clan leaders, and food was routinely exchanged with other countries for weapons. In the early 1990’s up to 80% of internationally provided food was stolen. Meanwhile, between 1991 and 1992 it is estimated that over three hundred thousand Somalis died of starvation.
In July 1992 United Nations military observers were sent to Somalia in accordance with a ceasefire signed by opposing clan factions. In August 1992 Operation Provide Relief UNOSOM – I officially began to provide humanitarian relief for the people of Somalia. This mission was unsuccessful due to the UN’s inability to deliver food and supplies. Relief flights into Somalia were often looted as soon as they landed. The U.N. asked its member nations for assistance. In December 1992, in one of his last acts as President, George Bush proposed to the U.N. that United States combat troops lead the intervention force. The U.N. accepted this offer and 25,000 U.S. troops were deployed to Somalia.
President Bush stated that this would not be an “open-ended commitment.” The objective of Operation Restore Hope was to rapidly secure the trade routes in Somalia so that food could get to the people. Once President Clinton was inaugurated, however, he stated his desire to scale down the U.S. presence in Somalia, and to let the U.N. forces take over. In March 1993 the U.N. officially took over the operation, naming this mission UNOSOM – II. The objective of this mission was to promote “nation building” within Somalia. One main target was to disarm the Somali people.
UNOSOM – II stressed restoring law and order, improving the infrastructure, and assisting the people with setting up a representative government. President Clinton supported the U.N. mandate and ordered the number of U.S. troops in Somalia reduced, to be replaced by U.N. troops. By June 1993, only 1200 U.S. troops remained in Somalia. On August 8 four U.S. military police were killed when a land mine was remote-detonated by Somalis. Two weeks later, six more U.S. soldiers were wounded. It was at this point that Task Force Ranger was deployed to Somalia. They were led by General William Garrison and consisted of 440 elite troops from Delta Force. Their mission was to capture Mohammed Farah Aidid, leader of one of the main rebel coalitions, and responsible for the murder of U.N. peacekeepers.
On October 3, 1993 Task Force Ranger raided the Olympic Hotel in Mogadishu to search for Aidid. This led to a seventeen-hour battle in which eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed and eighty-four were wounded. Bodies of dead American soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. On October 7 President Clinton responded by withdrawing U.S. troops from Somalia. The hunt for Aidid was abandoned. By the late Spring of 1994 all of the remaining U.N. troops were withdrawn, ending UNOSOM-II.