China: Hey, How About an Invasion of Somalia?
May 21, 2011
On a visit to the U.S. this week, China's top military commander Chen Bingde suggested that the international coalition patrolling the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the coast of Somalia ought to take decisive action against pirate dens on land. So far, the counter-piracy strategy has focused on the pirate "mother-ships," usually retrofitted trawlers that tow little skiffs out into the deep sea. Yet the pirate problem emanating from lawless Somalia cost the global economy over $8.3 billion in 2010. And China has a huge stake in securing its ever-increasing economic interests in the region.
Chen, the chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, told reporters:
For counter-piracy campaigns to be effective, we should probably move beyond the ocean and crash their bases on the land... It is important that we target not only the operators, those on the small ships or crafts conducting the hijacking activities, but also the figureheads.
It's probably one of the first instances a high-ranking Beijing official publicly advocated what is tantamount to a ground war in a foreign country.
China, of course, is notoriously prickly about principles of sovereignty and "non-interference" and has invoked them for decades at the U.N. and in other forums of the international community, sometimes when seeking to thwart tough action on dictatorships and murderous regimes that happen to be close to Beijing. In the imagination of the developing world, military interventions like the U.S.-European swoop into Libya are still coded with the memory of an earlier, unjust imperial moment.
But, as China's military grows leaps and bounds and Chinese enterprises take root across the globe, it's getting more and more difficult to play the anti-imperialist card. China is the new empire on the block. And so the Chinese have increasingly tried to sugar coat their rise in positive, peaceful terms — a p.r. gambit that hasn't always worked, especially given the opacity of the PLA and a steady drumbeat of aggressive Chinese maneuvers that have furrowed brows in a host of neighboring countries.
Which is why Chen's remarks at the Pentagon are worthy of note: not only do they signal a willingness to engage in the sort of military adventures once shunned and derided by members of the old Non-Aligned Movement, but they were communicated in a larger discussion of improving trust between the U.S. and Chinese military, especially in situations like that off the Horn of Africa where both countries have a shared interest. Still, a more confident, assertive China, ready to throw its muscle around when it needs to, is only going to add to the wariness of many other capitals in Asia and stoke the coals of an intensifying regional arms race.
Last we met our intrepid Somali legislators, they were trying to tame Somalia's anarchic wireless telecom market. The story was a little odd considering that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) only controls a few blocks of territory with the al-Shabaab insurgency closing in fast, but yesterday we learned from The New York Times why they're so confident: Blackwater's coming to town!
Well, not quite Blackwater—Erik Prince, the infamous mercenary firm's founder, has cobbled together a sinister-sounding coalition of apartheid-era South African mercenaries and two-bit Ugandan potentates under the name Saracen International, and they're gunning for contracts with Africa's most hapless governing body. Previously the firm had been involved with anti-piracy efforts funded by the United Arab Emirates and the unrecognized Somali state of Puntland, but they are now poised to make landfall in Mogadishu. The mercenaries will apparently be paid by the TFG, but the deal was brokered by former U.S. officials:
The officials, Pierre-Richard Prosper, a former United States ambassador at large for war crimes [Ed.—you can't make this shit up], and Michael Shanklin, a former Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Mogadishu, are both serving as advisers to the Somali government, according to people involved in the project. Both Mr. Prosper and Mr. Shanklin are apparently being paid by the United Arab Emirates.
Despite the backlash that the TFG has faced since their contracts with Saracen came to light, the mercenary firm is wasting no time. They've already begun renovating a military hospital, and given the TFG's sudden ambitions, it looks like they're gearing up for yet another battle of Mogadishu (you know what they say—tenth time's a charm!).
Learning from the disastrous direct intervention in the early '90s and the American-funded Ethiopian invasion in 2006, the U.S. has perfected the art of meddling-by-proxy: Even The New York Times didn't note that the mercenaries' Krugerrands, despite being routed through the nominally-independent TFG, are coming mostly courtesy of the American taxpayer. At least Bill Clinton had the balls to own up to his invasion—President George W. Bush and Barack Obama's interventions have been more circuitous, but no less harmful.
December 19, 2010
As tension in Somalia continues to escalate, the US banking institutions and corporations seem to reap the benefits by destroying any stability and sovereignty through creating conflicts.
Press TV interviews Thomas Mountain regarding the US support of conflicts in Africa and how the US is funding the Ethiopian President to invade Somalia. (Full Length Video of Interview)
Press TV: Welcome to On the Edge coming from sunny downtown Tehran, Iran. Let's talk with Thomas C. Mountain. Thomas is an independent journalist living in Eretria and writes often on the Horn of Africa. Thomas, welcome to the Edge.
Mountain: Thanks Max, it's nice to be back.
Keiser: Thomas C. Mountain, you are an expert on the Horn of Africa. So what are your thoughts on the recent WikiLeaks cable gate revelations that the US essentially hired Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi to invade Somalia in 2006.
Mountain: Well, I haven't really had a chance to review all 1300 some documents. But it's pretty much common knowledge that Meles was sent in. And I don't think he was too happy about it because in history no Ethiopian regime has ever picked a fight with the Somalis. There was a war between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977, but that was started by the Somalis so I don't think any Ethiopian President in his right mind would volunteer to start a war with Somalia. I think he was pretty much pressured by his masters who pay his salary and military budget in the United States.
Press TV: Right, well this is what we are seeing with these WikiLeaks revelations is the US just basically interfering all over the world extra legally with no due process, no consideration for the law, and no consideration for human rights or civil rights, and they are just making a mess wherever they go. The cables also show Black Water pitching in to get involved in Somalia. What's the empire's interest in Somalia? Do they have any oil?
Mountain: Well, yes there is suppose to be a lot of oil and gas. But I think it's more of a… just in general Americans' foreign policy particularly in regards to Africa, is what we call “crisis management.” They want to instigate a crisis and then manage the crisis. Thus they can basically prevent in strong nationalist government from coming to power that would protect the people's interest and force the Western governments to pay a fair share in their natural resources. Basically they just want to be able to come in and pay off some war lords and rape and loot the resources of a country whenever possible. I think that is pretty much US policy in Somalia. They know that if a genuine nationalist government comes to power in Somalia, they are going to be pretty hostile to Western interests and especially the United States, because the US has committed a long list of very nasty crimes in Somalia. So they just want to see the war lords in power and when the Union of Islamic Courts came to power, it brought peace to Mogadishu for the first time and in 2006 Americans sent the Ethiopian gendarmes in to destroy that peace. So I don't think the US has any good intentions toward Somalia at all.
Press TV: Tell me something about Somalia. You can help me pick through this whether it's non-sense or not. I heard in Somalia Coca-Cola has these huge tankers parked outside that are filled with coke syrup. It's the largest distribution point for coke syrup and effectively coke syrup is the currency of Somalia. Is that crazy or somewhere near accurate?
Mountain: That's the first time I've heard of that. The Somali pirates have of coursed collected about 500 million dollars or more hijacking ships. There has been a lot of talk about them trying to defend their fishing rights and other things. But the bottom line is you have a lot of ships presently hijacked in Somalia, and the pirates there are basically working for the war lords. When the pirates capture a ship they have to pay off the local war lord, and they have to pay off the district war lord. They have to pay off the presidential war lord. They have to pay off the Ethiopian military and of course they have to pay off Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa. In exchange for that they get protection. The Ethiopian regime is the US policeman. They pretty much told the United States and all the Western countries to lay off the Somalia pirates because they are paying protection money and that explains why there hasn't been a single cruise missile come whistling to the doors of any of these pirates' lairs after they have collected their loot. That is something nobody in the Western media wants to talk about. How come there has been zero retaliation against these pirates. The Americans have bombed…
Press TV: How much did you say? 500mn you say?
Mountain: Over 500mn yes.
Press TV: So essentially the American pirates, the Wall Street Banks are somehow involved in taking a cut of that and it's easy money for them. And of course you would never go in and disrupt easy money. There is stock exchange that has sprung up around the piracy that's going on. Real estate prices are exploding. So it's like the Hamptons. You've got the crooks and the pirates on Wall Street and the real estate market in the Hamptons goes up. Here in Somalia you have pirates out there 500mn or so looting and the real estate market around that area goes up. You've got the same crooks, the same financial terrorists, the overlords: J.P Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Warren Buffett etc.. in their taking a cut. Now what is the mechanism for them to take the cut? I mean it's not the IMF. They are not the intermediary disruptive terrorist force. It's not the World Bank. What is the intermediary force that holds the bag; the bag man for the Wall Street Banks in Somalia?
Mountain: Well, the American foreign policy is based on using a local policeman. Most of the money ends up in Meles Zenawi's pocket. He has his warlords in Puntland where most of the pirates come from. Puntland is located right on the very tip of the horn of Africa. So there is a payoff that starts out with some desperados going off in small boats by snatching these ships and collecting cash. They land on the beach and often they head right for the nearest Ethiopian military base. They make their payoff and make sure that no one comes in and bombs them in their homes. So in any case Meles Zenawi is the bag man.
Press TV: Who is the banking facility here? Is it the Swiss Banks? I heard that have a huge money laundering operation in Tel Aviv now picking up the slack from Switzerland. Where is the main money laundering going on for this particular global scam?
Mountain: You know Ethiopia is in the center of a major aid-to-arms diversion scandal. It's something like 6 billion dollars a year according to the latest reports I've seen is funneled to the Meles Zenawi regime to keep him in power there and enforce the interest of the IMF and the World Bank in that part of the world. So I think it's pretty much they pay off Meles Zenawi, and then he does what they want him to like invade Somalia. Right now Meles Zenawi is carrying out genocide in the Ogaden and its escalating into a full blown genocide where he is rounding up tens of thousands of ethnic Somalis in Ethiopian Ogaden and putting them into basically starvation camps. The expression is if you can't catch the fish (meaning the Ogaden rebels) you drain the lake. That is what he's doing. He is accelerating the Ogaden genocide and the purpose of all that is to just basically keep Meles Zenawi in power. So he can protect imperial American interests in the Horn of Africa, which is one of the most strategic areas in the world. All the trade between Asia and Europe passes through the Horn of Africa every day. So the Americans have gotten Meles Zenawi there protecting the banks' interests, and protecting the financial terrorists, and he's the guy that has the huge bank accounts in London with hundreds of millions of dollars. This has been going on for decades now.
Press TV: So, Meles Zenawi is going through London not Switzerland and Tel Aviv. Six billion dollars a year in arms deals, as off course arms dealing are America's huge money laundering operation globally. That is a trillion dollars of tax money collected from those poor smocks in America every year that goes to the IRS and ends up in the Pentagon, and goes for buying guns for terrorists around the world like this fellow Meles Zenawi who is using billions of dollars in arms deals to launder the money he is stealing via the Somali pirates. I tell you he should just go public on the New York Stock Exchange and would get a better evaluation. He could be like the Google of piracy. He could be worth 200bn than just 20bn dollars. Anyway let's move on. Black Water now known as Z, let's talk about their involvement a little bit more. Are they visible? Do they wear big branded uniforms like Black Water Z mercenaries for hire or are they more underground?
Mountain: Well, I don't think even Black Water wants to go into Somalia. They have been using Ugandan proxies and other proxies in Mogadishu to try and pop up this puppet regime that they claim is the government of Somalia. What they have been doing, these that got the blessing of the United Nations under the African Union, is every time the gorilla fighters attack them successfully in frustration they fire artillery rounds into the surrounding civilian neighborhoods. Most people don't realize when you hear of death reports in Mogadishu almost all of that is caused by mortar and artillery rounds fired by the United Nation blessed African Union troops. So there's probably been tens of thousands of Somalia's killed by the United Nations and African Union troops in Somalia who they have the gall to call peace keepers.
Press TV: Alright, Thomas Mountain you live in Africa where missionaries and charities have operated for centuries as the unarmed wing of the empire. Tell us about the Human Rights mob. Who are they? What do they call themselves a mob?
Mountain: Well, I have labeled them the Human Rights mob because George Soros is the financial hit man. He has just given 1bn dollars over the next ten years in a matching grant to Human Rights Watch. Now this is a matching grant meaning through other foundations and trusts, which George Soros has laundered donations through the likes of human rights watch and Amnesty International for years now. He will give them another billion dollars. So Human Rights Watch is about to collect 2bn dollars in the next ten years from George the hit man Soros. Now what's Human Rights Watch going to do with this? George Soros got on national public radio in the United States and said we are going to expand Human Rights watch into the developing world. We are going to have offices of Human Rights Watch basically gathering intelligence and influencing American government policy in the developing world as much as possible towards policies that favor George Soros. Now why do we call George Soros the hit man?
Well, a good example was the Rose Revolution in Georgia when George Soros put over 42mn dollars in through his NGO funds into supporting the Saakashvili regime. Now 42mn dollars is almost ten dollars per person in Georgia. That would be like if in the United States George Soros spent 3bn dollars on the American election putting Barack Obama into power. And what did he do? As soon as Saakashvili came to power, he started arresting the opposition, starting torturing opposition members, and opposition members starting disappearing and on top of that Saakashvili had his military attack the South Ossetians who he claims are his own people opening artillery fire on civilian communities. What can of massacre would have happened if the Russians hadn't counter attacked and driven him out? All this was paid for by George Soros putting Saakashvili in power. This is blood money now. These NGOS that put Saakashvili into power with 42mn dollars have got blood stains on their hands. The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International kept their mouths shut when all this happened. They are quick to jump out and condemn Eretria for alleged human rights abuses, which are pretty much non-existent. Yet they are very quiet when it comes to a program that George Soros is funding.
So I call them the Human Rights Mob. They are taken the hit man's money, and they are attacking countries like Eretria which are doing a lot of things to promote human rights like provide clean drinking water for the people, make sure everybody is fed and they have a roof over their head, and people have decent medical care. These are really the basic human rights. Not freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of elections, which is what Human Rights Watch and Amnesty claim so loudly about. You know the fact is the Human Rights movement has been bought off by a financial terrorist like George Soros to the tune of 2bn dollars. It's an incredible amount of money in ten years. What are they going to do with it? We know what they are going to do with it. They are going to go and be a front for Soros in the 3rd world and developing world.
Press TV: Thomas Mountain, did you read the alchemy of finance, George Soros' masterpiece where he explains reflexivity, which basically says if you manipulate the price of a market enough it will become the new normal, and then you can cash in on your manipulation, and so oh it was the market and not me.
Mountain: I'll have to read that Max. Thanks for the tip.
Press TV: Yes, it's a how to guide on how to manipulate markets. Just to be clear, the Human Rights Mob is a label you have given these groups. You are saying they are basically taking the money from Soros who has vested interest in manipulating these markets, and claiming to be somehow a man interested in furthering human rights when in fact he is only interested in furthering his network. He is not really doing well on either side as a hedge fund manager or as a human rights philanthropist….
Anyway, let's move on to another one of these global, globe-trotting good-doers that seems to do bad more than good such as Bill Gates, multi-billionaire, founder of Microsoft. You write, “Bill Gates, 10bn dollar vaccine scam.” I take it you don't find his charitable work in Africa very charitable Thomas Mountain.
Mountain: I'll give you an example. I live in Eritrea, which has reduced malaria mortality in the last eight years by almost 85%. Malaria is the number one killer in Africa and this has been the biggest breakthrough in history in fighting malaria mortality. And it's not a medicine-based program, it's a public health-based program providing insect treated mosquito nets and making sure they get retreated, making sure that their clinics are within a couple of hours walk from all the villages in the malaria belt, and through this basic public health Eritrea has made the biggest breakthrough in malaria treatment in history.
Now, Bill Gates has turned around and donated, well it's actually a tax-write off; my sources say over a billion dollars to develop a “vaccine for malaria.” People that know malaria know that it's a very resistant, very quickly developed resistance to drugs and that in five years after the latest vaccine comes out it won't work anymore, but by then its patent will have expired and Africa will have to buy a new vaccine. And every five years, a new vaccine and tens of billions of dollars of African blood money will get sucked out of Africa to pay for these latest vaccines and the fact is that Bill gates has got tens of billions of dollars invested in the major pharmaceutical companies. So this donation, which is actually a tax-write off, is going to end up bring back tens of billions of dollars, if Bill Gates has his way, back into the pockets of the major international pharmaceutical companies and it will pay off ten times or more on what Bill Gates has donated to this fight.
Now, the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently has been exposed for being a front for the major pharmaceuticals when it raised a big hysteria about the swine flu. For example, France had to destroy 350 million Euros of vaccine, which the WHO said they had to buy and what they've done basically is come in and suppress news about this big breakthrough in malaria mortality in Eritrea because it's public health based, not pharmaceutical-based.
So tens of millions of lives could be saved if the rest of Africa and the rest of the world will emulate and copy and use Eritrea's role model to prevent malaria deaths, instead they're suppressing knowledge of this.
Press TV: Well, Bill Gates is a twice convicted predatory monopolist in the area of intellectual property so it makes sense that his solution to a problem would be to increase and expand more intellectual property that comes under the rubric of those laws that is a known economic fallacy and drainer of economies not a value added to economies.
Let's move on to 'land grab' that is going on in many nations such as Saudi Arabia and China and many hedge funds including George Soros is buying lands in Africa - I take it this is just more of the same?
Mountain: Well there is some international companies and governments coming into Ethiopia and buying up some of the prime agricultural land. Of course, tens of millions of people in Ethiopia are literally starving or on the verge of starvation and yet some of the prime agricultural land is being sold or leased for 99 years to countries like Saudi Arabia, which exported something like 10,000 tons of rice from Ethiopia last year while millions of Ethiopians are literally starving to death.
Of course, several million of dollars of everyone of these deals gets put into Mili Sonali's London bank accounts, but that's a pretty good example of how when you get a gangster like Mili Sonali in power, he doesn't care what happened to his own people.
Press TV: Let's talk about China, is it a positive or a negative, their influence going on there?
Mountain: I think China overall has been quite positive. I'll give you an example in Sudan - Sudan is the largest and potentially richest country in Africa and the west, the US in particular, wants to see Sudan divided because law in Sudan is under the leadership of Bashir (President Omar al-Bashir) who they claim is a genocidal killer when the facts on the ground is that Darfur relief effort is one of the largest best run relief efforts in history and that without the support and leadership of Bashir, it would not have been successful. So actually there never was genocide in Sudan.
Press TV: There was never genocide in Sudan? Explain that to me a little more, this could be news to George Clooney and some celebrities in LA - What do you mean by that?
Mountain: I was one of the first westerners to write about the problems in Sudan in 2003. The problems in Darfur were mainly a civil war that took place in 2004 and some part of 2005 and maybe 30,000 people died. Now that 's a big tragedy, but the relief effort started then and international forces along with Sudan security forces came in and pretty much stopped all the violence by 2006; so maybe 30,000 people died in Sudan - that was way back in 2004/2005. And since then, the people of Darfur, the victims of this violence have been the recipients of one of the largest best run relief efforts in history. The UN people, the Aid people on the ground in Sudan will tell you that this very successful relief effort would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of president Bashir and his government. So there hasn't been genocide in Sudan, instead the genocide, which you Max were the first international news program to cover is the genocide in the Ogaden, which by the way Max puts you on the edge because the real genocide is being funded by the west in the Ogaden in Ethiopia. It never happened in Sudan that was all a big scam to brainwash everybody and say hey, we need to send troops in to protect the genocide victims, so the west can come in and take over the largest and potentially wealthiest country in Africa.
Press TV: Following up on this note that we broke the story on The Edge - Is there one thing that the mainstream media is not covering right now that we can break for our global audience today?
Mountain: Well I was just talking about this breakthrough in malaria and malaria mortality prevention in Eritrea - that's a big story, but the Ogaden genocide is starting to accelerate. When you broke the story earlier this year it was a low level genocide. Now it's accelerating with the development where they're starting to put together these starvation camps - rounding up the Ogaden people into these camps. They've kicked all the western aid agencies out of the Ogaden; Mili Sonali has, including Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross. And now they're rounding the people up and they're basically going to starve them to death in these camps and we're talking about 10, 12, 15 million potential victims and this is all being paid for by western tax dollars.
So I think this Ogden genocide is probably the biggest news story that's starting to accelerate and that the west is not talking about and it was first broken here on your program, Max.
US, NATO Allies Prepare New Invasion Of Somalia, Global Research, July 30, 2010