Death and Devastation in Mogadishu

I am not saying that Somalia was not in turmoil before the US bombed it last year. But add Somalia now to the list of Iraq and Afganistan. The defeat of local Islamist forces in Mogadishu last year was accomplished only with the help of American air strikes, intelligence and logistical support. It allowed a widely unpopular, western-approved regime to take control. The US bombing was supposedly to have curbed “Al-Qaida efforts to “Talibanise” the Horn of Africa”. But far from being vanquished, the Islamists, whose support is largely drawn from the grass roots are making a comeback.

Meantime more than 1,000 civilians have been killed or wounded in recent fighting in the capital, Mogadishu, and tens of thousands have fled their homes. The UN says wounded civilians are lying untended in the streets after heavy artillery and mortars pounded residential areas. Since February, 96,000 refugees have swelled the ranks of Somalia’s 400,000 internally displaced persons.
So now Somalia joins the ranks of Iraq and Afganistan as nations on the brink of absolute destruction. Aided and abetted by the western colonists.
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10 thoughts on “Death and Devastation in Mogadishu

  1. Shekhar,
    why you dont pick this subject for your next film.I understand you have a great point of view to tell on this so why not…I have a very touching and very human one liner on it and with the treatment like bandit queen you can creat a master piece. but need atleast $80mill to $100mill to bring it to reality.(now thats the problem).

  2. Dear Shekhar,
    It was only yesterday that the main headline in NY times was about the plight of the people of Central African Republic. This really touching article tells the story of a farming family that saves a small portion of their grains as seed to grow the crop for next planting season. This year the farmer had no choice as his wife made porridge from the last of the millet weeks ago. They had been surviving on green mangoes and manioc leaves. The situation is such that a lot of people have crossed the border and actually fled to Darfur (maybe hoping that the world is paying some attention there).
    Somalia has been in turmoil for so long and this line from the article explains the situation well. “The government is weak, unpopular and faction ridden, and the power vacuum in southern Somalia is rapidly being filled by the same faction leaders and warlords that the Courts overthrew.” It is similar to the situation in Afghanistan, where the warlords still dominate the resources, and the govt. in power can’t do much. I think the solution, if any, has to come from within. I hope something comes out of the peace conference that they are having on Apr 16 in Somalia. When a country is close to absolute destruction the path to recovery is a long arduous one, but there is hope and the human spirit can achieve anything.
    Japan has come back from a nuclear attack to become one of most technically/financially advanced economies in just 50 years. India was mainly an agricultural society at independence, and now we have our own nuclear program, satellites and supercomputers. The basic requirement is peace and stability to start with, and then some good leaders to channel the country to glory.
    Himanshu – NY

  3. George Bush and his government want to solve problems through violence. Or maybe they understand that violence exacerbates problems in the long run, problems that Bush and co expect will keep them and their business friends flush with power and money. Either way, Bush and co are laughing all the way to the bank, to the church, and to the corridors of global power.
    The hundreds of thousands dead in Irag, Afghanistan, and now Somalia and countries destroyed are a small price to pay for a quintessential colonial greed and show of supermacy. I think that the US overall does a lot of good in the world but it has a substantial population who are still closet colonialists and racists and who are wilful participansts in the plicies of this government. These people are mostly diehard believers in God, have strong moral opinions about sex, are morbidly judgmental about people of other races and religions, and like to lead heavily-consumerist lives even if that means other countries and people may have to pay for it with their blood and sweat.

  4. Hi Shekhar, I have been reading your blog for over a year now. Everything of this blog touches a chord deep down. Really like your poems, thoughts. Appreciate your thoughts – so modern and deep. Can we please meet? I stay in london and I understand you keep visiting London too. If we can meet, I would like to share my thoughts with you and hear some of yours too. Will appreciate some response.

  5. Dear sekharji,
    I wish the news media was as concerned as u r. The only thing that can stop the US excessives is a strong public opinion, which is solely dependent on few of the international news channels.
    The US, when it comes to their own interests, treat the rest of the world as cats and dogs. I feel, that is what we have to guard against and somehow the US must get a signal that the whole world would be united against such preemptive and irrational attacks. Sadly, that is not the case. The situation developing in Iran is very concerning and will decide the direction of this world. Going by the US history and Iran’s present responses, things don’t seem very pleasant. But having said that, I also think we need to support the US in OUR fight against terrorism and more importantly differentiate between genuine fights and excessives. I don’t think Afghanistan is same as Iraq or Somalia. Many lives were lost there also and Afghanistan also is in turmoil but uprooting the taliban there was much more important in spite of the costs incurred. More than anything, I am happy because at least it has has made India much safer now. And even if it hasn’t at least somebody took up the fight against the fanatics over there.
    (I hope this blog accepts different point of views and I am not unwelcome here πŸ™‚ ) But sekharji, I have a small complain…Though I am very new to this site and also to blogging I have noticed that u start a topic and then just leave it for discussions. Your views are always very interesting and i am sure all of us want much more of u. But I understand that u must be very busy. But frankly, if u ask me u are a better blogger than even what u do best -filmmaking (Your fans are going to kill me…). Wishing u all the health and glory. BBye

  6. pankaj, i try not to impose my point of view on others, and encourasge discussions amongst them. It also helps me learn others point of view. shekhar

  7. Hi shekhar,
    I wanted to reply to this after I spent some time here and got a little feel of things. U were dead right. Just maintain the blog as it is. It is too good.

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