Last week, an American air strike supposedly killed a prominent head of al-Qaida in Somalia, but in the course of killing one man, the bombs also killed 24 other people including men, women, and children. About a thousand Somalis took to the streets of the town that was raided to protest against these deaths. Most in the crowd were women and children who held aloft signs saying: “Down with the Bush administration.” Abdl-risaq Moalim, head of education in the city, said three students were killd and four were seriously wounded. “Our town has been severely affected by the recent U.S. attack, and still we fear becausse planes continue to fly over our city.”
Thirteen year-old Nu Ahmed Nur commented: “The U.S. stike killed my brother, my sister and also wounded my grandmother. We are refugees who fled from Mogadishu. When did we become a terrorist target?”
The Ethiopian invasion of Somalia was brought about due to pressure from the Bush administration who feared the growth of al-Qaida in Somalia. In the process of invading a Muslim nation, the only result is exactly what happened in Iraq- al-Qaida has grown in power and the forces of militancy have become stronger.
Members of the United States Congress should be asking questions about the use of American naval and air power in fighting Somali militants. Did Congess authorize the use of force in Somalia? Did Congress know President Bush was behind the invasion by Christian Ethiopian forces of a Muslim nation?
The Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who played a prominent role in seizure of the US embassy in the 1970s, attacked Iran’s clerical leadership for their inept policy in dealing with the United States over the issue of atomic development. He urged negotiation with the United States. “the nuclear row should be resolved through direct talks with America to avoid war. Talk about a possible military actions should be taken seriously.” He warned clerics that war with the United States would elicit the same reaction from the Iranian population as did the 1980-1988 war with Iraq. People will not rally around such a war effort since their businesses and homes will be destroyed as a result of American bombing. Montazeri also denounced the clerical leadership for imprisoning dissidents and squelching free speech.
Montazeri, is just one of many such Iranian clerics who seek peace with the United States. History will judge harshly the Bush/Cheney approach of threats to Iran as among the greatest blunders in modern US diplomacy. Iran backed the US after 9/11 and even assisted American forces when they invaded Afghanistan. Iran offered friendship, but Bush ignored their offers and bitterly attacked Iranian leaders. In a sense, Bush is partly responsible for the decline of reform in Iran because he failed to assist those forces when they had some power in the Iranian government. They have been replaced by hard liners. What if Bush had reached out to Iranian reformers in 2001-2002?
Posted in Dick Cheney, George Bush, Human Rights, Iran, Iraq War, Islam, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Iran cleric, Reactiionary clerics, US bombing