Friday, December 15, 2006

The Saudis and Somalia

The WaPo reports today:

"With the Ethiopian government saying it is technically at war with Somalia's Islamic Courts movement, and the movement having declared holy war against Ethiopia, there is fear that an all-out conflict in the Horn of Africa may be unavoidable."

We all remember the Islamic Courts movement, the ragtag bunch of whackos who managed to take over most of Somalia this year. This is the first time Somalia has been under any kind of control since W.s daddy's blundering in 1992.

The back story on the the Somalia mission back then, according to F William Engdahl in Atimes Online was:

"Little known was the fact that the humanitarian intervention by 20,000 US troops ordered by father Bush in Somalia had little to do with the purported famine relief for starving Somalis. It had a lot to do with the fact that four major US oil companies, led by Bush's friends at Conoco of Houston, Texas, and including Amoco (now BP), Condi Rice's Chevron, and Phillips, all held huge oil-exploration concessions in Somalia. The deals had been made with the former "pro-Washington" tyrannical and corrupt regime of Mohamed Siad Barre.

Siad Barre was inconveniently deposed just as Conoco reportedly hit black gold with nine exploratory wells, confirmed by World Bank geologists. US Somalia envoy Robert B Oakley, a veteran of the US mujahideen project in Afghanistan in the 1980s, almost blew the US game when, during the height of the civil war in Mogadishu in 1992, he moved his quarters on to the Conoco compound for safety."

Nowadays, due mostly to the bungling of this Bush administration's attempts to keep the ICU from taking over by giving the hated warlords hundreds of thousands of dollars, the ICU is now more popular than ever.

Somalis don't tend to be all that religiously pious when it comes to Sharia law and the like, but the faced with US meddling and Ethiopian threats, they will back the ICU for lack of a better alternative. This administration is apparently so concerned about the Somalia situation and the potential for a regional war in the oil rich Horn of Africa that they have exaclty one low level State Department offical watching the Somalia portfolio from the captial of Kenya.

The WAPo reports, "the Islamic Courts are receiving substantial assistance from Iran and Hezbollah." A UN study, according to the Post article "found that the Islamic Courts group has also raised money from various Arab states."

The main "Arab state" funding thr ICU is Saudi Arabia. Before we statrt blaiming Iran for this one too, we'd better get our good friends the Saudis to knock it off.

More soon.


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