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State of my world

August 12, 2011

It has rained the whole night and it is still raining. Not heavily, just a little bit. Sometimes the rain stops for a minute, then starts again. It is constantly drizzling. Cloudy, drizzly, dreary, that is the most appropriate description of the weather here.

My cats got the “Rainy Day Blues”. They are all laying and sleeping on cushions and blankets and in their baskets and boxes in various places in the house. What else can a little cat do when it is uncomfortably wet outside? I put food into their food cups in the morning and they did eat far less than normally. They need less calories when they don’t run around in the forest. Occasionally I go from one cat to the other and talk with them and pet them and they start purring.

I like the rain. I was laying in bed last night, listening to the rain and it was incredibly soothing and assuring. The rain told me: everything is okay, nature is still working.

Though I love the rain, I also envy the people in the southern USA, especially in Texas, or the people in the Horn of Africa and in northern China. They don’t have rain there, they have a severe drought. The newscasters say, that they “suffer from a drought”.

Do they really suffer? I envy the Texans, the Somalis and Kenyans, the Chinese for living in a drought stricken place. They should be glad, they should be joyous that no rain is falling — rain that probably would contain dangerous radioactive emissions from Fukushima. This people should be glad that they are not stricken by radioactive contaminated rain.

I don’t know, how many hot particles I have already digested with the delicious blackberries, gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries from the garden. This hot particles will accumulate in my body and in some years could make me sick with cancer.

I am doomed, because we have no drought and it is raining and drizzling. I would be doomed in any way — nobody lives forever. But I rather would like to go naturally, I would like to just drift away peacefully in my sleep. Not pass away in pain and agony or in the fog of a morphine intoxication.

I have to remind myself again that I better view the newly emerging or already existing and constantly increasing environmental hazards in the right light and that I should not worry about hot particles and whatever else. My body has quite a few tools to fight off hot particles and other irritants and usually it will win. Compromising my immune system by worrying and agonizing all day long and descending into depression will only make it more likely that a hot particle one day will spur cancer.

I also should not envy my drought stricken fellow humans. They will inhale hot particles too. We all have to breathe. They will not take in so much radiation with their food maybe. Especially the Somalis will not eat much radioactive contaminated food. The Somalis will not die from cancer — they will rather die from starvation.

Maybe the Somalis will also eat radioactive contaminated food, air shipped by the WFP. The widely reported airlifting of food is of course a publicity stunt to catch possible donors awareness. As it happens, the increasing frequency of natural disasters, the worldwide economic slowdown, and the insecurity of the financial markets have led to a general donor fatigue. Not only the Somalis are starving, the UN bureaucracy is starving too (though in a more allegorical sense).

Most of the food for Somalia will of course be carried by ship, because air transport is simply too costly.

The US army could easily transport all the food supplies, but the Americans need their Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircrafts for Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and some other places, where populations are desperate to be liberated from tyranny and eager to join the western free market world with all the sweet temptations of Walmart and McDonald’s (or Burger King).

Though it would be much more desirable (at least from my point of view) to use the US cargo planes for food transports instead for weapons, ammunition, bombs, and missiles transports, airlifting food is as inefficient — one could even say foolish — as collecting the harvest from rural areas, processing and packaging the food in far away factories, and transporting it back into the same rural communities to supermarkets where the farmers and farmworkers and their neighbors have to drive with their cars and fetch it from the shelves or refrigerators.

Farmer’s markets would spur job growth, at least according to a new USDA report, which lists 7,170 markets in the USA (probably more because many markets are not reported). Farmers markets doubled between 2000 and 2010, and the “Union of Concerned Scientists” estimates that more than 100,000 farms sell food directly to local consumers.

Back to the Somalis and the essential question: Why don’t they grow their food locally? Or if they lead a nomadic life: Why don’t they let their animals graze on the pastures like they did for thousand of years?

I have heard, that the pastures are ruined by overgrazing, that the trees have been used up for charcoal and all this has resulted in the destruction of the protective vegetation cover, soil erosion, and the desertification of wide areas.

Land degradation is continuing and increasing at an alarming pace not only in Somalia, but all over the world. This process happens quietly and piecemeal as different areas of degraded land spread and merge together and slowly become a contiguous desert.

In Somalia the process of land degradation has been amplified and accelerated by frequent droughts, which are becoming more and more severe with every reoccurrence. Climate change could be a factor.

Question: Why don’t the Somalis not let the pastures recover? If there is not enough grazing land why do the nomadic pastoralists not sell their livestock and look for another job?

Answer: There are no jobs, there is no education system, there is no social security, there are no government development plans. Somalia is a failed state since 1991.

Many have looked for employment opportunities and found them in the militias of warlords or by joining gangs of pirates.

On a side note: The pirate enterprise started, when traditional fishermen lost their livelihood, because fish stocks in the coastal areas had been depleted by commercial fishing vessels or killed by toxic waste that European ships dumped there (a country without government is undoubtedly an attractive destination for waste disposal, because firms can even spare the otherwise obligatory bribes).

Question: Why do Somalis cut the trees for charcoal?

Answer: They have to cook their food. They have no electricity, they have no petrol, they have only charcoal.

On a side note: Charcoal is perhaps the biggest export of this rugged and collapsed country and illegal logging has become big business. It is a lucrative way for gangs to make money. Once, acacias covered vast swaths of Somalia’s south and central regions; today, these forests are devastated. Despite a ban on the export of charcoal, truckloads of it clog the roads to the ports of Berbera, Kismayo, and Bossaso, bound for Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE.

As the pastures and forests disappear and the food stock are emptied, Somalis, who are not able or willing to join the militias or the pirates, are fleeing the devastated land mainly to eastern Kenya, where they again cause a massive deforestation around the sprawling refugee camps, along with sinking water levels, air and soil pollution, and desertification.

The issue that is too hot to be discussed

The issue of overpopulation plays obviously a big role in this tragedy, but it is seldom discussed — it is a “hot potato”.

There is a steep population growth in Arab, African and Asian nations and it is caused by poverty, illiteracy, and patriarchal societies where girls are married off as soon as they reach their reproductive age and successively give birth to a child every year. Contraception is not used because of religious and shortsighted political reasons.

African countries have the highest birthrate on the planet, with Niger, Uganda, Mali, Zambia at the top of the list. Somalia is number eight and is even further ahead in the fertility rate statistic; with an average of 6.35 children born by Somali women the country is number four in the list.

http://www.indexmundi.com/

I cannot believe, that Somalia’s women love to have so many children! Common sense, logical thinking, and life experience tell me that no woman willingly will take the burden and the risk to give birth and raise six or more children in a war torn country where even the most basic support systems can’t be taken for granted!

Wouldn’t it be wise, to promote contraception and safe sex or maybe UN controlled programs for voluntary sterilization? Vasectomy (male sterilization) for instance is an effective, cheap, uncomplicated, and permanent form of contraception. The operation is quicker, easier and more effective than female sterilization and there is a very small failure rate.

Sterilization would not only increase the living quality and life expectancy of women, it would also absolve Somali men from the responsibility to father children which will be inevitably born to a life of hardship and misery because the land simply cannot support more people.

This proposal will not fly. I might as well suggest the obligatory castration of all boys at the age of twelve (except for a few to be kept as stallions). In the current social climate and at the current state of world affairs any actions what would infringe the right of human males to unlimited fathering will be met with hostility and fierce resistance.

It is indeed a very emotional issue for men, and whenever the issue of overpopulation is raised, all the testosterone driven males will jump up and cry: “bigot, racist, elitist, fascist”! And they will talk about Nazi inspired eugenics, Rockefeller or Gates conspiracies to cull unproductive humans, and WHO vaccination programs that in fact exterminate African and Asian children with purposefully contaminated vaccines.

It is also a very emotional issue for Somali men, who are evidently attracted by Arab culture because women in mainstream Arab culture are inferior creatures and are at the mercy of their male relatives.

Somalia is influenced by many cultures, it is at the crossroads of African, Arabic, Indian, and Western culture. At present Arab culture wins and its imposition is relegating Somali women to a subservient role and condemning them to abuse and neglect.

On July 22, 2011 the newly appointed Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a Harvard-trained professor of economics, announced his 49-member cabinet. There are only two women in it: one minister and one vice minister. Article 29 of the Somali transitional charter guarantees a 12 percent quota for women in parliament. But of the current 550 transitional federal parliamentarians only 38 are women. There is also only one female permanent secretary out of the current 18 government ministries.

For many Somali men even this minuscule female representation may be too much, but there is a movement, a political and military force where their grievances will be addressed:

Al-Shabaab (HSM)

This group is the successor of the “Islamic Courts Union” which was removed from power by US backed Ethiopian forces in 2006.

Beside ethnic Somalis, Al-Shabaab is joined by fighters from the Persian Gulf, international jihadists, Kenyans and Egyptians (Egypt has a longstanding policy of securing the Nile River flow by destabilizing Ethiopia). Eritrea has deployed some 2,000 troops in support of the group.

Money comes from rich individuals in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, remittances from the Somali diaspora, and pirate ransom cash. Kenya’s Tourism Minister Najib Balala is accused of funneling money to the group (in the past, Al-Shabaab’s presence in Kenya has been limited to ethnic Somalis but since 2009 its influence and membership have rapidly expanded to ethnic (male) Kenyans).

Weapons come from Yemeni groups and from Eritrea (which opposes the Transitional Federal Government). Al-Shabaab is also seizing weapons from local tribes and warlords. In two decades of conflict, weapons dealers were eager to poor arms into the country in exchange for cash or mining contracts. The autonomous region of Somaliland, embroiled in a conflict with Puntland, another autonomous region, is also suspected to support the group.

Al-Shabaab ousted warlords and curtailed the influence of tribal clans, it brought some calm and stability. The group reduced over-sized cheap food imports, a measure, that allowed Somalia’s own grain production to flourish. This had the effect of shifting income from urban to rural areas, from mid-income groups to low-income groups, and from overseas farmers to local farmers. The policy worked remarkably well until drought hampered local food production beginning with 2010.

Al-Shabaab uses proven methods like suicide attacks and roadside bombs in the fight against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the African Union Mission (AMISOM), which consists of troops from Uganda and Burundi.

The ideology of Al-Shabaab seems to be very similar to the ideology of the Taliban — especially, as I mentioned before, concerning the suppression of women.

The parallels to Afghanistan are striking in many aspects. In both nations there is an Islamic movement and there is the US intervention to destroy this movement. The USA though have learned from Afghanistan, in Somalia the war is automatized and outsourced.

Western countries have not only outsourced their pollution to China and their sweatshops to Vietnam, Haiti, Mexico and other poor nations, they are now also outsourcing their wars to mercenaries (nowadays called “contractors”) and to armies of smaller countries whose leaders are willing to fight proxy wars in exchange for bribes and weapons.

US drones are deployed and are killing Somalis nearly every day, but military technology is not yet able to completely automatize warfare and “boots on the ground” are still necessary. Therefore:

Ethiopian-backed militias are fighting in southern border areas and there are up to 12,000 regular Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

The CIA has several camps in Somalia (“Pink House” in Mogadishu) and is training Somali intelligence operatives. The CIA also provides the newest weapons and equipment to Somali elite commandos and is helping in interrogations of suspects (.…). Bancroft Global Development, a US security company, is training Burundian and Ugandan troops — the USA recently approved arms shipments worth 46 million US$ to these troops. Bancroft Global Development employs South African, French and Scandinavian mercenaries, no Americans are on the ground, the USA is only footing the bill.

The South African company Saracen International (linked to Eric Prince) was hired to train militias for the TFG and Puntland, the semiautonomous region in northern Somalia, but the contracts were reportedly canceled. Kuwait and the UK are said to have been involved.

+++++++++++++++++

As I was researching for this text I became fascinated with the many hidden layers and secret cross connections and disguised players. I could write another thousand words about the situation in Somalia and still would hardly scratch the surface and never be able to reach the bottom of this hellish pit. Whoever may be interested in more details should visit http://www.hiiraan.com/, it is an excellent source.

Conclusion

Though the waters are murky, the pictures are blurred and smokescreen after smokescreen is deployed by the corporate media there are some sound conclusions which I could draw from my information gathering efforts:

The conflict in Somalia is only to a very small extend a clash of cultures or civilizations. Furthermore this is not a fight against tyranny and it is not about humanitarian relieve or about the protection of civilians or about the “spread of democracy” or the promotion of universal humanitarian values.

This is power politics of an imperium at the dawn of its reign (USA against China and against the old stakeholders Britain and France). And this is about the use of the sexual energy of testosterone driven males to increase the war profits of big corporations like KBR (Haliburton), Raytheon, General Dynamics, L-3, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.

This is about the inability of humans to face the perils of overpopulation.

There is not enough farm land and not enough water for irrigation to feed 6.8 billion people. Food prices rise all over the world. The so called “Green Revolution” was only possible with hugh inputs of oil, but “peek oil” was already in 2006. As oil will get more and more expensive, food from industrial farming also will get more expensive. As oil gets more expensive, more farmland will be used for biofuels, less will be available for food production.

Climate change will further decrease food production. Desertification and erosion because of overuse will reduce farm land.

Vast areas of land in poor countries are bought by international corporations, the rural population is evicted and crammed into slums on the outskirts of cities. This is another big business opportunity for big corporations.

How long will the scheme of “disaster capitalism” work?
When will this system collapse?
Who will suffer most?

One comment

  1. I enjoyed that post. This topic is really very intesting.

    Like



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