3/20 Haiti & Africa: The Horrors of Humanitarian Aid

Every single empire... has said it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And...there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires
Edward W. Said - "Orientalism 25 Years Later"


Heavy Rains Swamp Camps Holding Haiti's Homeless
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- One of the heaviest rainfalls since Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake swamped homeless camps Friday, sweeping screaming residents into eddies of water, overflowing latrines and panicking thousands. The overnight downpour sent water coursing down the slopes of a former golf course that now serves as a temporary home for about 45,000 people... located behind the country club used by the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne as a forward-operating base.... Aid workers said people were swept screaming into eddies of water and flows ripped down tents an Israeli aid group is using to teach school.... the deluge terrified families who just two months ago survived the collapse of their homes in the magnitude-7 earthquake and are now struggling to make do in tent-and-tarp camps that officials have repeatedly said must be relocated... Officials know they must move many of the 1.3 million people displaced by the earthquake before the rainy season starts in earnest in April. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters at the golf-course camp Sunday that the people living there were in particular danger.But after two months of searching and wrangling with landowners, the government has still not opened any of the five promised relocation sites better able to withstand rain and aftershocks on the capital's northeastern outskirts. Aid groups are also struggling to open their own camps. ''It's been frustrating to us because we need to have those sites in order to build something ... better. Until we can do that people have no incentive to move,'' U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told The Associated Press during Ban's visit. ''We're running out of time, honestly,'' Holmes said.

brought to you courtesy of the UN's USA master
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNHQ
18 February 2010
...President Clinton: without exaggeration, your presence here today means a great deal to us. It is an eloquent testimony to your dedication to Haiti and its people....
Day by day, the humanitarian situation is improving. Clearly, however, major needs have yet to be met.... the rainy season will soon be upon us. That puts a premium on shelter, sanitation and health. Over the next six weeks, we will deliver a further 30,000 tents and enough water-proof sheeting for 1 million people. We are also laying plans to build more substantial community shelters that can better withstand tropical storms...Before last month’s disaster, we had a plan for Haiti’s long-term development and reconstruction. Our challenge today is to reformulate that plan to help Haitians “build back better.” Done right, we can turn tragedy into opportunity - an opportunity to “re-invent Haiti,” as President Clinton has put it - an opportunity to turn international aid into an investment in a better future for Haiti and its people.

U.S. protectorate's puppet begs because the 'build back better' requires first eliminating obstacles - primarily Haitians most devastated by decades of imperialist 'aid' -
in order to develop the fruits of its humanitarianism, Haiti, as a stable political-economic and military base
Haitian leader focusing on nation's biggest needs
Two months after an earthquake killed hundreds of thousands, Haitian President René Préval arrives in the U.S. to ask for aid and coordination.
WASHINGTON -- Haitian President René Préval arrives in Washington Monday for meetings with Congress and President Barack Obama as the White House prepares to ask lawmakers for more than $1 billion in aid for the earthquake ravaged country.... His visit comes as administration officials are pulling together an emergency spending package on Haiti reconstruction to present to Congress. As of March 2, the U.S. has spent more than $712 million for relief efforts including... the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Defense Department....
Aid organizations have pressed the administration to ask for $3 billion for relief and reconstruction efforts in what could be the first step in a decade-long reconstruction effort. Congressional staffers said they expect to see a request for between $1.5 billion to $3 billion.... three weeks before the U.S. and other donor nations meet in New York to map out a way to assist in a reconstruction effort that has been estimated to cost $14 billion...

Préval, though, is likely to also press for more immediate concerns. He told The Miami Herald on Friday that though millions have been pledged, little has gone to the Haitian government....
Haiti currently owes $1.1 billion to various lending institutions, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank....
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House is awaiting the administration's request for emergency spending and that ``Congress is committed to helping Haiti recover from this tragedy.
``We have an urgent responsibility to help provide a foundation for a stable and more prosperous neighbor,'' she wrote. ``Sustained and constructive American leadership is essential in this fight.'' The House has sent three delegations of lawmakers to Haiti to see the damage for themselves. Despite vehement opposition to recent spending bills, Rep. James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, the Majority Whip whom Pelosi has named her point person on Haiti legislation, predicted a Haiti aid bill would garner 400 votes. He noted private donors have raised nearly $1 billion for Haiti... The bill will be on the House floor Wednesday. A similar resolution cleared the Senate without opposition Friday. ``Even during our own economic situation, we haven't lost our compassion,'' said Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.

International Humanitarian Policy
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response, Rhoda Margesson, Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy
Maureen Taft-Morales, Specialist in Latin American Affairs
As the rainy season approaches (with the hurricane season not far behind), attention is focused on providing waterproof emergency shelter and improving sanitation. The relief effort is expected to last for many months, and recovery and reconstruction to begin as soon as possible... President Barack Obama assembled heads of U.S. agencies to begin working immediately on a coordinated response to the disaster. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is the lead agency within the U.S. government responding to this disaster.January 14, the Administration announced $100 million in humanitarian assistance to meet immediate needs on the ground. As of February 16, 2010, total humanitarian funding provided to Haiti for the earthquake is $601.4 million.

USAID Press Conference Launching the "Helping Shelter Haiti" Exhibit
... President Préval's visit was an important opportunity for us to continue a dialogue that really started a few days after the earthquake, when Secretary Clinton and I went down to visit the president. To facilitate our work going forward, the U.S. Agency for International Development has established a Haiti task team. The task team will allow us to continue to work with our interagency partners from Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and so many other agencies, and will continue to ensure that the entire U.S. government is firmly committed to an aggressive and coordinated effort to protect and support the people of Haiti... I've asked Paul Weisenfeld, who previously served as our mission director in Peru, to spearhead this team. Paul had come to work with us immediately after the earthquake happened, and just went back to Peru to pack his home and get married, and move here. (Laughter.) So we're thrilled to have Paul, and congratulations, Paul. The Haiti task team will include representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. armed forces, DHHS and many others.
Part of Paul's team will focus in the here and now on shelter, which is one of the reasons we're here today. As you know, with the rains we have people who are in a very vulnerable situation Paul will speak to this issue in more depth. Randy Lyness, who's also with us, from an important partner of ours, CHF International [ed: US NGO: Cooperative Housing Foundation] where he's the regional director for the Americas. CHF International has been an important partner in establishing transitional shelter and emergency shelter for people in Haiti, and actually executing a full range of programs in partnership with the U.S. government... [continue reading at your own risk of physical-mental illness]

USAID / DYNCORP: US government plan to expropriate and demolish the homes of hundreds of Haitians is underway
The US government plans to expropriate and demolish the homes of hundreds of Haitians in the shantytown of Cité Soleil to expand the occupying UN force’s military base. The US government contractor DynCorp, a quasi-official arm of the Pentagon and the CIA, is responsible for the base expansion. The base will house the soldiers of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH). Cité Soleil is the most bullet-ridden battleground of the foreign military occupation, which began after US Special Forces kidnapped and exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004. Citizens have since been victimized by recurring massacres at the hands of MINUSTAH.
DynCorp’s $5 million contracts include expansion of the principal base, the rebuilding of the Cité Soleil police station and two other militarized outposts, as well as training support and procurement of equipment.According to Cité Soleil mayor Charles Joseph and a DynCorp foreman at the site, the State Department’s US Agency for International Development (USAID) provides funding for the base expansion... March 25, 2009 US Ambassador to Haiti, Janet Sanderson, was joined by the head of MINUSTAH, Hedi Annabi, in a ceremony to inaugurate the newly overhauled base, which will house thirty-two Haitian policemen, including a specialized anti-riot counter-insurgency unit, as well as a larger number of UN troops...

more mindfucking 'compassionate' filth from friendly-faced fascism
In Haiti, Mental Health System Is in Collapse
by Deborah Sontag
Inside this city’s earthquake-cracked psychiatric hospital, a schizophrenic man lay naked on a concrete floor, caked in dust. Other patients, padlocked in tiny concrete cells, clutched the bars and howled for attention. Feces clotted the gutter outside a ward where urine pooled under metal cots without mattresses... As disasters often do in poor countries, Haiti’s earthquake has exposed the extreme inadequacies of its mental health services just at the moment when they are most needed.... foreign psychiatrists emphasize that they have found Haitians to be impressively resilient, but the disaster has nonetheless set off reactions ranging from anxiety through psychosis. Most worrisome are cases like that of Guerda Joseph, a 41-year-old woman who tumbled into a catatonic depression shortly after she was pulled from the rubble of her home. Mute and nearly immobilized ever since, she lies on floral sheets at the General Hospital, her Bible tucked beside her pillow, her 25-year-old adopted son by her side day and night... For those with a history of mental illness, the earthquake has been especially destabilizing. Many lost homes, caretakers and medication supplies..“We have to lock up the worst cases to keep the worst from happening,” Mr. Aubin said...
At the General Hospital, foreign psychiatrists say that they are seeing several new cases daily of psychosis, severe depression and other disorders. Guerline Présumé, a formerly mild-mannered young mother, was admitted a few weeks ago diagnosed as a manic disorder. On the day of the earthquake, she ran from a collapsing house that killed her older sister and disappeared, screaming, into the streets. It took her husband a month to find her; when he did she was muttering and spitting obscenities...“The earthquake drove her crazy; it’s that simple,” her husband, Wilkinson Charles, said, he feared she had been “taken advantage of” while living without him on the streets...
Many with less severe issues are seeking help at the medical clinics in the big tent cities, like the one in Pétionville, where Dr. Jones and a psychiatric colleague, Peter Hughes, ran a mental health clinic one day last week while simultaneously training a Haitian internist.“Remember, these are not our patients, these are your patients,” Dr. Jones said to Dr. Charles Samuel, the internist. “We are going to teach you so that you can carry on.” The doctors saw Jean Pierre Francillon, shy and smiling, who was suffering high blood pressure and complained of trembling and heart palpitations; Ketie Kledano, 52, who said she was anxious, plagued by headaches and could not sleep or eat; and Naomi Joseph, 8, who wore a pink camouflage “USMC Cutie on Duty” T-shirt and, according to her mother, “spits, spits, spits” all day long.After Dr. Samuel said of Mr. Francillon, “The truth is what he’s talking about is not serious. It’s a reality that goes along with being Haitian,” Dr. Hughes.. told Mr. Francillon, “You’re not mad,” which the Creole interpreter delivered as, “You’re not angry.”... Dr. Jones guided him through a relaxation exercise... Trying to get him to visualize a calming moment, she asked, “Have you ever sat in the ocean and had the water wash over you?”

'Stability' always means stability for capital...
Under Pretense of Haiti Disaster Relief, U.S. Military Occupation
by Arun Gupta
...A new occupation of Haiti -- the third in the last 16 years -- fits within the U.S. doctrine of rollback in Latin America: support for the coup in Honduras, seven new military bases in Colombia, hostility toward Bolivia and Venezuela. Related to that, the United States wants to ensure that Haiti not pose the "threat of a good example” by pursuing an independent path, as it tried to under President Aristide -- which is why he was toppled twice, in 1991 and 2004, in U.S.-backed coups.
With the government and its repressive security forces now in shambles, neoliberal reconstruction will happen at the barrel of the gun. In this light, the impetus of a new occupation may be to reconstitute the Haitian Army (or similar entity) as a force “to fight the people.”“The United States wants to ensure that Haiti not pose the "threat of a good example” by pursuing an independent path.”
This is the crux of the situation. Despite all the terror inflicted on Haiti by the United States, particularly in the last 20 years -- two coups followed each time by the slaughter of thousands of activists and innocents by U.S.-armed death squads -- the strongest social and political force in Haiti today is probably the organisations populaires (OPs) that are the backbone of the Fanmi Lavalas party of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Twice last year, after legislative elections were scheduled that banned Fanmi Lavalas, boycotts were organized by the party. In the April and June polls the abstention rate each time was reported to be at least 89 percent.
It is the OPs, devastated and destitute, filling the void and remain the strongest voice against economic colonization. Thus, all the concern about “security and stability.” With no functioning government, calm prevailing, and people self-organizing, “security” does not mean safeguarding the population; it means securing the country against the population. “Stability” does not mean social harmony; it means stability for capital...
Less than four months after the 2004 coup, reporter Jane Regan described a draft economic plan, the “Interim Cooperation Framework,” that “calls for more free trade zones (FTZs), stresses tourism and export agriculture, and hints at the eventual privatization of the country’s state enterprises.” Regan wrote that the plan was “drawn up by people nobody elected,” mainly “foreign technicians” and “institutions like the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.”
Much of this plan was implemented under Préval, who announced in 2007 plans to privatize the public telephone company, Téléco, and is being promoted by Bill Clinton and Ban Ki-moon as Haiti’s path out of poverty. The Wall Street Journal touted such achievements as “10,000 new garment industry jobs,” in 2009 a “luxury hotel complex” in the upper-crust neighborhood of Pétionville, and a $55 million investment by Royal Caribbean International at its “private Haitian beach paradise,” surrounded by “a ten-foot-high iron wall, watched by armed guards,” just north of the capital. (That “investment,” according to the cruise line operator, included “a new 800-foot pier, a Barefoot Beach Club with private cabanas, an alpine roller coaster with individual controls for each car, new dining facilities and a new, larger Artisan’s Market.”)
“U.S.-promoted agricultural policies, such as forcing Haitian rice farmers to compete against U.S.-subsidized agribusiness, cost an estimated 830,000 rural jobs.”
Haiti, of course, has been here before when the U.S. Agency for International Development spoke of turning it into the “Taiwan of the Caribbean.”[...]

U.S. dominated
World Bank’s role in Haiti
By Marty Goodman
Beginning in the 1980s, the U.S.- led World Bank "structural adjustment program." tightened its grip on Haiti ... An essential player in maintaining the plantation system in Haiti is Obama asset Bill Clinton who... successfully campaigned for passage of the Hope I and Hope II trade bills [that] require yearly certification Caribbean countries are complying with World Bank policies...
... A 1982 US Agency for International Development document (USAID)...linked to the CIA, proposed the "gradual but systematic removal" of domestic crops from 30% of all tilled land, whose products can then be exported. The result was the massive migration of Haitian rural farmers and workers from the countryside, where most Haitians live, to already over-crowded urban centers like Port-au-Prince, where unemployment stood at 70-80% before the earthquake. Rice, a staple of the Haitian diet, used to be produced in quantities that would satisfy domestic needs. However, World Bank economic policy meant dropping tariffs on imported goods. Within a few years, cheaper "Miami rice" flooded the Haitian market, resulting in the destruction of domestic rice farming....In 2008, after a 45% jump in the price of Miami rice in two years, there were "food riots," thousands poured into the streets in the capital shouting, "We’re hungry. Feed us!" Some described their hunger pains as "swallowing Clorox." UN troops killed about a dozen protesters... eating mud laced with sugar is not uncommon in Haiti. Keeping Haiti politically dependent on World Bank and Western imperialist capital loans... that come with political strings attached, as "structural adjustment" programs. Today, over 50% of the almost $1 billion Haitian budget originates from so-called foreign aid... last June the WB, IMF, and Paris Club reduced the current debt by $1.2 billion out of $1.4 billion to make payments "bearable" as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC)... New loans will increase the debt again.. to qualify for HIPC Haiti had to be certified by imperialist institutions as being in compliance with World Bank/IMF "structural adjustment," ...

'criticism' aimed at strengthening US/UN ruling hand with its puppet's craven support
Billions for Haiti, a criticism for every dollar
By JONATHAN M. KATZ (AP) – Mar 5, 2010
Haitian leaders — frustrated that billions are bypassing them in favor of U.N. agencies and American and other non-governmental organizations — whipping up sentiment against foreign aid groups they say have gone out of control...someone scrawled graffiti declaring "Down with NGO thieves" along the cracked walls that line the road between Port-au-Prince's international airport, the temporary government headquarters, and a U.N. base...
Donations from Americans for earthquake relief in Haiti have surpassed $1 billion... The NGOs don't tell us ... where the money's coming from or how they're spending it," he told The Associated Press. "Too many people are raising money without any controls, and don't explain what they're doing with it."Haiti wanted aid organizations to register with the government long before the quake, a goal identified as a priority by former U.S. President Bill Clinton when he was named U.N. special envoy in 2009. But never completed...
USAID paid at least $160 million of its total Haiti-related expenditures to the Defense Department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, two local U.S. search and rescue teams and, in at least two instances, itself. Tens of millions more went to U.S.-based aid groups....much of that bought food and other necessities for Haitians, often from U.S. companies — including highly subsidized rice growers whose products are undercutting local producers, driving them out of business.One cent of every dollar has gone to the Haitian government... a strong plan at the New York donors' conference could help organize the response, strengthen the government and provide help for the Haitian people. But doing so will mean changing the way things have been done in Haiti for decades.

more information on Haiti at:
1/21 Haiti: Pre-Earthquake Simulation Israel: Image is Capital http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/266
1/19 One Week of War: Barbarity Born of Fear and Vulnerability http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/265
1/17 Fear of Haiti's Revolutionary Potential... a Haitian Holocaust http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/264
1/15 Haiti: How & Why this Horror is Sickeningly Familiar http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/263


another humanitarian USraeli project...major propagandist conductor NYT Thomas Friedman
Darfur aid dollars funding West Bank settlements
By Thomas C. Mountain
"Darfur Genocide", a myth, or more accurately, a fraud, perpetuated by the Western media and governments along with the pro-Israel "human rights" NGOs to raise over a $100 million. UN and international aid workers involved in the Darfur relief effort are proud that Darfur refugees are the beneficiaries of one of, if not the largest, best run relief works in history...a Western funded genocide is being committed in the Ethiopian Ogaden by the Ethiopian government, but no genocide has ever been committed in Darfur. The whole "Darfur Genocide" campaign is nothing more than a smokescreen to vilify the Sudanese government in an attempt to promote Western military intervention in oil and mineral rich Sudan, Africa’s largest and potentially wealthiest country, as well as to help divert attention from the real, Western-funded genocide being carried out in the Ogaden by the Western cop on the beat in East Africa, Ethiopia.
The brazenness and breadth of this propaganda campaign has even surprised experienced observers of the long, dirty history of aid diversion in the Horn of Africa. Western governments, the UN, the Western media, even Hollywood became part of the act with story lines "exposing" the Darfur "genocide" appearing in dramas such as Boston Legal amongst others....So next time you hear about a campaign to "save" Africans be suspicious and remember just how big a lie was told about Darfur and how your hard earned money ended up somewhere you least expected, helping building Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. www.uruknet.info?p=6433 www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5708.shtml

U.S. aid: 'development' destruction to dominate Africa:
Darfur “Genocide” Lies Unraveling
US-Installed Puppet “Government” of Somalia Invites Everybody to Invade
Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

THE RWANDA GENOCIDE FABRICATIONS : Human Right Watch, Alison Des Forges & Disinformation on Central Africa
by Keith Harmon Snow

Israel and the Holocaust in Central Africa

imperialist strategy architects - know the enemy
Security and Stability in Africa: A Development Approach
by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
January 22, 2010
Brief Synopsis
The security and stability of Africa has recently become an important national issue readily seen in the increased time, effort, and resources now devoted to the continent by such new organizations as the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM). This paper seeks to overcome centuries of ignorance and misunderstanding about the conditions and people of Africa by discussing the fundamental issues of economic development and political governance through which enduring stability and security might be obtained. This paper offers solutions in terms of improving African stability and security and a framework of several key issues which should give policymakers the knowledge they need to work in a constantly changing and very challenging environment.

A New Approach to Somalia
Somalia, a failed state and haven for piracy and Islamist radicalism, is on the brink of new violence. This Council Special Report by expert Bronwyn Bruton argues for a new U.S. policy focus on humanitarian aid and development. Read more
Expert Brief: "Are 'Ungoverned Spaces' a Threat?" by Stewart Patrick
Op-ed: "From the Midwest to Mogadishu" by Steven Simon (New York Times)
Foreign Affairs: "In the Quicksands of Somalia - Where Doing Less Helps More" by Bronwyn Bruton
Interactive: Map of the Horn of Africa
CFR experts on Somalia

Africom commander says U.S. supports Somali government to retake Mogadishu
William Ward, who runs the U.S. Africa Command, told a Senate hearing the said the United States supports [ed: its proxy] Somali transitional government's effort in retaking Mogadishu which "has for now our best potential for helping to turn around some of the instability and lack of governance"... the United States is helping the Horn of Africa nation's government put together a major offensive to take back the capital, providing training and support. The broadsheet also cited unnamed U.S. officials as saying Pentagon may send special forces to help, as well as striking militants from the sky.

Somali Shabab 'ready to fight' US
Ali Mahmoud Rajhi, a spokesman for Somalia's al-Shabab group told Al Jazeera the group is not afraid of United States involvement in the battle against them.

AFRICOM's First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia
Rick Rozoff
March 12, 2010
Over 43 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in the past two days in fighting between Shabab (al-Shabaab) insurgent forces, who on March 10 advanced to within one mile of the nation's presidential palace, and troop of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. The fighting has just begun.
The last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994-1995), Daniel H. Simpson, penned a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 10 in which which he posed the question "why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?" He answered it in stating "Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa...

Fulfilling its appointed role, the New York Times leaked U.S. military plans for the current offensive in Somalia on March 5 in a report titled "U.S. Aiding Somalia in Its Plan to Retake Its Capital." (Note that the Transitional Federal Government is presented as Somalia itself and Mogadishu as its capital.) The tone of the feature was of course one of approval and endorsement of the Pentagon's rationale for directly intervening in Somalia at a level not seen since 1993 and support for proxy actions last witnessed with the invasion by Ethiopia in 2006. The report began with a description of a military surveillance plane circling over the Somali capital and a quote from the new chief of staff of the nation's armed forces, General Mohamed Gelle Kahiye: "the Americans. They're helping us." Afterward "An American official in Washington, who said he was not authorized to speak publicly" - a hallmark of the American free press - was quoted as maintaining that U.S. covert operations were planned if not already underway and "What you're likely to see is airstrikes and Special Ops moving in, hitting and getting out." [2] ...

"After securing Mogadishu, the offensive, supported by militias allied with the government, for now, at least, is likely to continue against al-Shebab in the countryside west and south toward the border with Kenya." [26] After the capital, the entire country. After Somalia, the region. The war has just begun.

Folly in Somalia
Dan Simpson, last U.S. ambassador and special envoy to Somalia1994 and 1995
Associate Editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 10, 2010
...In the name of keeping the Shabab out, the United States provided air and intelligence support for an invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia in 2006. The Ethiopians eventually found trying to keep the provisional government in power such a miserable business that they withdrew last year. Now, apparently, U.S. forces are providing arms, advisers and other military support to the African Union and newly trained forces of the provisional government to try to enable them to enlarge the small area of Mogadishu they currently control.
There is reason to believe this effort will fail, partly because the Shabab are determined and their forces large, partly because the African Union forces are not highly motivated to die in Somalia and partly because the provisional government forces are likely to fragment into clans, be ineffectual and eventually loot the American arms, perhaps diverting them to the Shabab and other militias.
So why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time? Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa.

Nine NATO Warships In Somali Coast, Gulf Of Aden Handover
Stop NATO http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato
NATO: NATO Warships Meet for Counter Piracy Mission Handover
North Atlantic Treaty Organization March 12, 2020
After busy months on patrol in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin, a task force of NATO warships today handed over their counter-piracy mission, (code-named Operation Ocean Shield) to the new task force of NATO ships which had sailed to the area to take up the mission. NATO warships have been conducting counter piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa, an area of strategic importance, since October 2008 and today it was the turn of the 5 warships from the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, who currently come from the UK (flagship), Greece, Italy, Turkey and USA to pick up the baton of this ongoing mission.

Gulf Of Guinea: U.S. Marines In Ghana Military Exercises
Ghana News Agency March 12, 2010
GAF, US Marine begin Joint Military Exercise. The Ghana Armed Forces on Tuesday advised the public to cooperate with the forces should they encounter them within specified areas between March 9 and 31, since they will conduct joint training with the United States Navy and the Marine corps. The training forms part of the African Partnership Station 2010 training programme, an international security cooperation initiative conducted by the US Navy and the Ghana Naval Base.

NB: a revealing example of how liberals can 'disappear' the major imperialist culprit, no mention of its African proxy's or military/AFRICOM/NATO
Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa
John Vidal
20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a shocking scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era.
Mail & Guardian, March 11, 2010
Ethiopia is one of the hungriest countries in the world with more than 13-million people needing food aid, but paradoxically the government is offering at least 7.5 million acres of its most fertile land to rich countries and some of the world's most wealthy individuals to export food for their own populations....