John B. Judis argues we have crossed the line into the status of a “rogue state” without even the pretense of justification for our support of Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia.
It’s Iraq writ small. And it can’t be blamed on Donald Rumsfeld…. [T]here was no justification for Ethiopia’s invasion. It was a clear violation of the U.N. charter. The neighboring people have been feuding for centuries, but Ethiopia’s Christian government could not cite a significant provocation for its attack on the Muslim country and its Islamic government. If anything, Ethiopia’s invasion closely resembled Iraq’s invasion in August 1990 of Kuwait. But, instead of criticizing the Ethiopians, the United States applauded and aided them.
I think Judis is rather late to the conclusion. And from what I hear of the world, the world would think Judis is rather late to the conclusion.
But this wasn’t just about supporting the Ethiopian invasion. Referring to US airstrikes supposedly aimed at Al Qaeda “on January 7 and 8 in Somali border towns,” Judis argues that these will enhance Al Qaeda recruiting efforts:
[T]he United States claimed its bombs were intended to kill an Al Qaeda operative supposedly connected to the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. But he was not among the victims; nor were other Al Qaeda members. Then reports began trickling in of civilian deaths from the AC-130 gunships that the United States supposedly sent to hunt down the single terrorist. According to Oxfam, the dead included 70 nomads who were searching for water sources. The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, estimated that 100 were wounded in an attack on Ras Kamboni, a fishing village near the Kenyan border. The Economist, which is not an outspoken critic of the Bush administration, wrote, “The Americans used the AC-130, a behemoth designed to shred large areas instantly, in the knowledge that the killing fields would be cleared before journalists and aid workers could reach them.” It’s a war crime to kill civilians indiscriminately.