Monday, April 9, 2007

Ethiopia Attacks Somalia For USA And Gets Nuclear Weapons From North Korea In Return

Great minds converge: Two of my favorite journalist/bloggers, Chris Floyd and Larisa Alexandrovna, have been chasing what amounts to the same story from very different angles, and they've just collided over Somalia. The result, as usual when BushCo writes the script, is very ugly.

Chris has reported extensively on the half-baked "regime change by proxy" which America has attempted in Somalia, using the Ethopian army to destroy the relative stability established by the country's "Islamic Courts", most likely because BushCo hates anything Islamic but possibly also because BushCo hates courts.

The result has been predictable: a return to the level of violence that racked the poverty-stricken East African nation fifteen years ago, air assaults against innocent civilians, renderings and torture and every aspect of the depravity that has marked BushCo's excuse for foreign policy ever since the thugs took office .

Your cold scribbler has touched on the story very briefly (here and here, and here), but not as often or in as much detail as it deserves. Fortunately, Chris Floyd has been all over it, as in these recent posts...

March 22: Blues for Allah: More Blood in the Wake of the "War on Terror"
March 23: Getting Away With It: Rendition and Regime Change in Somalia
March 30: Seeds of Wrath: Bush Sows New Crop of Extremists
April 8: War on Terror Spawns War Crimes Charges in Somalia

... and elsewhere too.

Meanwhile, Larisa Alexandrovna has been concentrating on the proliferation of nuclear weapons and she caught an article in yesterday's NYT that says Ethiopia has obtained nuclear weapons from North Korea -- in flagrant violation of BushCo's injunction against dealing with "terrorist" states such as North Korea, not to mention the piddly little side issue of non-proliferation.

It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together, but would it be a conspiratorial stretch revealing sickness of mind to suggest that these two foreign policy low-water marks are related?

Not according to Michael R. Gordon and Mark Mazzetti in the New York Times:
Three months after the United States successfully pressed the United Nations to impose strict sanctions on North Korea because of the country’s nuclear test, Bush administration officials allowed Ethiopia to complete a secret arms purchase from the North, in what appears to be a violation of the restrictions, according to senior American officials.

The United States allowed the arms delivery to go through in January in part because Ethiopia was in the midst of a military offensive against Islamic militias inside Somalia, a campaign that aided the American policy of combating religious extremists in the Horn of Africa.

American officials said that they were still encouraging Ethiopia to wean itself from its longstanding reliance on North Korea for cheap Soviet-era military equipment to supply its armed forces and that Ethiopian officials appeared receptive. But the arms deal is an example of the compromises that result from the clash of two foreign policy absolutes: the Bush administration’s commitment to fighting Islamic radicalism and its effort to starve the North Korean government of money it could use to build up its nuclear weapons program.
As usual -- and to its great discredit, the NYT doesn't give its readers any context at all, and they might not even stop to wonder why Ethiopia was in the midst of a military offensive against Islamic militias inside Somalia. In fact they spin away the connections, even as they hint at the very nub of the issue.

What a splendid plateau the art of journalism has reached in post-democratic America!

But nowhere near as splendid as the post-democratic nation's foreign policy!

The two are, of course, intimately linked, for a double dose of splendor.

War Crimes, Nuclear Proliferation, Trading With Terrorists...

Larisa's line "wow, 2 scandals a day now" seems quite apt, if a shade understated.