Earlier this week, we noted reports that Ethiopian invaders in Somalia had killed several moderate clerics and other unarmed people in a mosque north of Mogadishu during the recent bloody reprisals against civilian areas launched by the Bush-backed invaders and their Somali allies. At the time, sketchy reports from the BBC indicated that at least 10 people had been killed in the mosque.
Now Amnesty International has charged Ethiopian soldiers with killing 21 people in the mosque -- and slitting the throats of seven of their victims, the Herald-Sun reports. Amnesty said the invaders are also holding dozens of children they captured during the raid:
Amnesty said those killed at the mosque included imam Sheikh Saiid Yaha and several scholars of the moderate Tabligh group that operated there.
"Eye-witnesses report that those killed inside the mosque were unarmed civilians taking no active part in hostilities," Amnesty said. "Seven of the 21 were reported to have died after their throats were cut - a form of extra-judicial execution practiced by Ethiopian forces in Somalia."
....Amnesty urged the Ethiopian military to release all 41 children it said were held after the mosque raid."Witnesses have told Amnesty International that Ethiopian forces would only release the children from their military base in north Mogadishu 'once they had been investigated' and 'if they were not terrorists'," it said.
Some of the children - who were aged as young as nine - were reported to have been freed, though the majority were still in custody, Amnesty said.
Witnesses said they had seen beheaded bodies lying outside the mosque after the fighting.
Let us stress the plain fact once again: These atrocities are the direct result of a "regime change" operation launched with the funding, arming, training -- and direct military intervention -- of the United States government. It is the third violent overthrow of a government in the global War of Terror launched by George W. Bush: a brutal campaign of imperial smash-and-grab which has the full backing of all three presidential candidates (although they do bicker a bit on how to prosecute the war more efficiently).
Bush has gladly embraced the Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi (see picture), whose soldiers are entering mosques and beheading unarmed clerics and kidnapping children. Bush has even sent in American death squads to support the efforts of his Ethiopian proxies. All of this is being done, ostensibly, as part of the effort to "combat terrorism." In reality, of course, the Bush-Zenawi "regime change" operation is itself a massive and ongoing act of state terrorism, one that dwarfs any of the outrages perpetrated by Islamic extremists. And of course, such atrocities only beget more extremism.
They are also hindering efforts to bring the carnage in Ethiopia to an end, as the story by the Herald-Sun's Andrew Cawthorne makes clear:
Some moderate Islamist leaders have reacted to the mosque incident, and a recent upsurge of fighting in Mogadishu, by postponing plans to join UN-sponsored peace talks.
But no doubt this suits Bush, Zenawi, and the CIA-paid Somali allies very well. As in the other "regime changes" of the Terror War, Bush and his clients do not want "peace" -- unless it is the peace of the grave that comes from the annihilation (or should we say "obliteration," Hillary?) of all those who oppose the imperial will.
What did the American "papers of record" have to say about this American-backed atrocity? Both The New York Times and the Washington Post ran the same small Reuters story trumpeting Ethiopia's denial of the killings. Except for a two-sentence summary of Amnesty's charges, the entire top half of the story dealt with statements from minions of the Ethiopian dictator, denouncing Amnesty's "lies." The story also describes the Ethiopian soldiers as being "stationed" in Somalia, in order "to bolster the interim government."
Ethiopia, long a traditional enemy of Somalia, invaded the country, is now occupying it by force of arms and engaging in murderous reprisals -- yet all the Times and Post can bring themselves to say is that Bush's brutal allies are merely "stationed" in Somalia. No doubt the Völkischer Beobachter used to speak of Nazi troops "stationed" in France, Poland and Russia, just as Pravda spoke of Soviet troops "stationed" in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
This is the precise moral level of the Terror War. The American Establishment -- and the two "progressive" Democratic presidential candidates -- accept it. The American press abets it. The deluge of innocent blood will go on.
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This story was published on April 25, 2008.