“An Accomplice In Bush’s War on Terror”

Guardian: Ethiopia On the Wrong Side, the U.S. Side
During the past two weeks, the Ethiopian military has been attacking Al Qaeda friendly targets inside Somalia... which has upset some Guardian contributors. -- Cameron Duodu, from the online edition, argues that protecting yourself from Islamic terrorists makes you an
accomplice in Bush’s war on terror. Notice, in his piece, what seems to be a certain respect for the tactics used by guerilla fighters who, in his mischaracterization, brought America ‘to its knees’. Also notice the faint dismissal of the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. He wonders why Ethiopia would wish to defend its interests:

If the 20th century taught us anything, it was that powerful armies can be brought to their knees by small groups of fighters who are not afraid to die. Small Vietnam humiliated mighty America, and the "stone-age" mujahideen of Afghanistan sent the Soviet army packing. With all this so apparent, why has the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, sent his army into Somalia?

No, If the 20th century has taught us anything it’s that not taking threats seriously leads to the deaths of millions of people and trying to avoid complications like Soviet Communism and Nazism, or in this case of jihadism, is a huge mistake. It also has taught us that appeasement and/or pacifism does not work.


The Ethiopian invasion will certainly be resisted by Somali patriots. It will initially be classified as "successful" because it will establish a semblance of law and order. But the routed UIC, although weakened by internal squabbles, will seek safe havens nearby, regroup and woo back its supporters.

The UIC knows that when faced with a conventional army backed by an airforce, the best option is to disappear into the undergrowth or behind the desert dunes.... The danger this time is that the resistance will draw in other countries. Eritrea, which fought its own costly war with Ethiopia, does not need an invitation to help its enemy's enemy.

The UIC is also said to be receiving financial assistance from rich leaders of sympathetic Islamic sects... And the most explosive fuel will be the involvement of the US on the side of Ethiopia. General John Abizaid is reported to have visited Ethiopia last month, after which Ethiopia moved from providing the Somali government with "military advice" to open armed intervention... Now, by allowing the US to persuade it to invade, Ethiopia has signalled to the Islamic world that it is willing to join the US in its "war on terror".

So overall, he’s basically saying that countries should do nothing while getting killed and while threats grow so they don’t upset people who already want to kill them and who might want to join a terrorist-resistance. And certainly don’t accept US support or agree to any type of counter-terrorism operation.

Duodu wraps up by calling for Ethiopia to have solidarity with Somali jihadists and to avoid being on the wrong side of the struggle... the US side: As one of the poorest countries on earth, Ethiopia needs to have the solidarity of the "wretched of the earth". In allowing itself to be associated with George Bush's foreign policy, it is placing itself on the wrong side of the struggle between the weak and the strong.