View Full Version : Somalis Want Americans Back

12-16-02, 06:32 AM
Associated Press
December 15, 2002

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Ten years ago, Somalis welcomed American troops as saviors in their starved and battered land. Then they drove them out. Now many wish the Americans would come back.

Instead, they find themselves on U.S. President George W. Bush's terrorism blacklist.
"We need them desperately. We need a rescue mission from the Americans," said Mohamed Jama Furuh, manager of the empty port where containers and cranes sit rusting in the sun. If they hadn't left, he said, "Somalia would have been one of the developing countries. It would not be the graveyard it is now." Since 1991 there has been no government to speak of in this country of 7 million on the Horn of Africa. These days a two-year-old transitional regime runs barely half of Mogadishu, the capital. Warlords control the rest. About half a million Somalis are refugees in neighboring Kenya. Hundreds of thousands more are homeless in Somalia itself.

In October, at peace talks in Kenya, 20 factions and the transitional government endorsed a peace agreement calling for a cease-fire and a new system of government. But negotiations are months away from completion, and no one wants to disarm first, so clan-based clashes continue.

Gunfire is so common in Mogadishu that kids playing by a camp for homeless people in Mogadishu don't even look up when rounds from an AK-47 crackle in the humid air as a battered pickup speeds by loaded with gun-toting teenagers.

Crumbling government buildings and bullet-riddled villas from Italian colonial times line potholed, garbage-strewn streets. Assault rifles, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers are sold openly in markets.

On Dec. 9, 1992, U.S. troops waded ashore in Mogadishu in the glare of TV lights, the vanguard of a a 21-nation mission to feed hundreds of thousands of people during a war-induced famine.

The U.S.-led mission then turned its efforts to restoring order in Somalia, but dozens of U.N. peacekeepers and at least 25 U.S. troops were killed, along with hundreds, possibly thousands, of Somalis.

Now, even Somalis who fought the foreigners 10 years ago want America's help to end their nightmare.

"I believe they are the sole power who can do something for our country. We would like America to use its political influence, not through fighting, to bring peace to our country," said Dahir Mohamed Hassan.

Now in his 40s and a guard at a hotel, Hassan said he fought U.S. forces in the Oct. 3, 1993 battle of Mogadishu in which 18 Americans died trying to capture aides of faction leader Mohamed Farah Aidid.

"People lost confidence in the Americans when they started hunting Aidid, our comrade, our leader," said Hassan, who said he grabbed his AK-47 rifle in anger after a rocket fired by a U.S. helicopter destroyed his house.

Images of angry mobs dragging the bodies of dead U.S. soldiers through the streets were broadcast worldwide, and became the subject of the book and movie "Black Hawk Down." The Americans left in 1993 and the last U.N. peacekeepers were gone by March 1995.

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has been quoted as saying it was the battle of Mogadishu that led him to believe the Americans lacked the stomach for war.

Western countries then more or less ignored the largely Muslim nation - until the Sept. 11 attacks.

U.S. President Bush put the country's largest company, Al-Barakat, and a Somali Islamic group, al-Ittihad al-Islami, on a list of groups believed to have links to al-Qaida. Israeli and U.S. officials suspect al-Ittihad was involved in last month's attack in Mombasa that killed 10 Kenyans and three Israelis.

Some 800 U.S. troops have set up base in neighboring Djibouti as part of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, and U.S. Navy and allied vessels patrol off Somalia's 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) coastline - the longest in Africa.

"American forces will pursue the terrorists wherever they go, but that pursuit has to be carefully couched; hopefully it will be with a coalition ... with strict rules of engagement," said Col. Richard Mills, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and a Mogadishu veteran. The unit recently held exercises in Djibouti and Kenya.

Somalis insist the link to terrorism is untrue. But Furuh, the port manager, acknowledges that Somalia is lawless and unable to police its borders.

"When the door is open, anybody can go through," he said.

Businessmen in Somalia have managed to set up TV and radio stations and one of the cheapest telephone networks in Africa. But the main port and airport have been closed since the peacekeepers departed, and gun battles can erupt anytime, anywhere.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press



01-04-03, 01:35 PM
I know nothing of what happened in Somalia, what politics were in place nor do I want to. what I do know is that the first Marine KIA in Somalia was L/CPL Arroyo who was also my SAW gunner in desert storm, what I know about Arroyo is that there is no way he could have been killed unless he had no ammo in a political envirnment of peacekeeping and not that of the combat infantryman that I knew in Kuwait. He was the best gunner that i had ever seen.
So if they want to have Americans back in Somalia leave the cameras out and let Marines do what they do and peacekeeping has nothing to do with it.


01-04-03, 09:34 PM
I wonder what Col Richard Mills means when he says, "Strick rules of engagement"? Isn't that part of what went wrong in Viet Nam? It's more of that," Management carp" to run the military.
In a war with an armed aggressor the rules are few, kill them so they don"t kill you. Duh, we don't need all these, "Rules of engagement"!

Now we have a Somalian who fought against us and wants our help. He must be kidding! We lost 18 american troops there. If we come back, we should shoot him first. That's called justice!

I have nothing against Somalia. Just don't like people that shoot at our troops! If they do, they should undrstand our reason to kill them without reguard to, "Strick rules of engagement"!

Sorry about your gunner leroy.

Semper Fi

01-05-03, 04:56 AM
FVCK 'EM! Let the bastids starve and decay into nothingness.
The upper brass of our military isn't worth a pinch of crap at the cat hole. Wanna know why? Because our House and Senate felt it necessary to let the Prez decide what goes on where.

You 'think' it's gonna be another Vietnam? I don't think you've seen anything yet boys. I'm kinda layin my money on the odds that it's going to be more horrid that we ever imagined.

There is no peacekeeping in time of war. Let God sort 'em out.
In this case, after they all starve to death.

Semper Fidelis

01-27-03, 10:35 PM
I spent about 7 months in Somalia Dec 18 - June 27th. I saw the gradual change in our mission and the change in attitude toward us from the Somalia people. The ROE where joke. We were told that we could not engage a target until we had been fired upon. Can you imagine how scarry it is to be riding in the back of a 5 ton and see some scum jump out of a building as you pass with a RPG in his hands. Shoot or dont shoot? Violate the ROE and face a court martial or obey the ROE and pray that that RPG is empty?

We as Marines should not have to second guess what we feel is a threat or what would be self defense or murder. If he or "she" is on the other side and takes a hostile posture, is armed, then they are a potential threat and should be remove.

My .02

01-28-03, 03:38 AM

F**kin A - nice to have ya here in one piece. Violate to save your ass and have some boot LT with a camera frying your ass in front of a General, on FOX news.

Welcome to the new Marine Corps - ala Vietnam. Yer there as a highly trained Marine trying to complete a mission, to keep other Marines alive. And a buncha a-wipes running around looking to fry your ass. With a hotline to the Vp's and Sec Rumsfelds office.

I look at it this way. Good thing I'm out...... cause if I was in that situation - that GAU-2 on my Huey would definately be used alot. Threat of Court Martial, Violation of ROE, boot Lt's - whatever.

When in doubt, empty the magazine.

p.s. Gunny if ya get time - see Bone's post about 'Marines in trouble' - that might shed some more light on this for ya -

Semper Fidelis

01-28-03, 03:59 AM
When in doubt, remember your basic training, and do it by the numbers.

Face 12, or be carrried by six.

I'll take my chances with the 12 jurors.