Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Somalia 1920s, Somalia 2007


''Whatever happens we have got the AC-130 gunship and they have not'' (apologies to Hilaire Belloc)

Somalia, 1920s - The Royal Air Force bomb Islamic resistance to British colonial occupation

Given the frequency and virulence of the Ethiopian raids, it was natural that the first pan-Somali or Greater Somalia effort against colonial occupation, and for unification of all areas populated by Somalis into one country, should have been directed at Ethiopians rather than at the Europeans; the effort was spearheaded by the Somali dervish resistance movement. The dervishes followed Mahammad Abdille Hasan of the puritanical Salihiyah tariqa (religious order or brotherhood). His ability as an orator and a poet (much-valued skills in Somali society) won him many disciples, especially among his own Dulbahante and Ogaden clans (both of the Daarood clan-family). The British dismissed Hasan as a religious fanatic, calling him the "Mad Mullah." They underestimated his following, however, because from 1899 to 1920, the dervishes conducted a war of resistance against the Ethiopians and British, a struggle that devastated the Somali Peninsula and resulted in the death of an estimated one-third of northern Somalia's population and the near destruction of its economy. One of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in the annals of sub-Saharan resistance to alien encroachment, the dervish uprising was not quelled until 1920 with the death of Hasan, who became a hero of Somali nationalism. Deploying a Royal Air Force squadron recently returned from action in combat in World War I, the British delivered the decisive blow with a devastating aerial bombardment of the dervish capital at Taleex in northern Somalia.

Somalia 2007 - The US Airforce bomb Islamic resistance to the American Empire

Two US air strikes on sites in southern Somalia, thought to be the hideouts of al-Qaida suspects, have left "many dead", reports said today. The attacks yesterday, by a heavily armed gunship, allegedly targeted Islamists wanted for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in other African countries...Government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said: "We don't know how many people were killed in the attack but we understand there were a lot of casualties. Most were Islamic fighters." Speaking to Reuters, a senior government official said: "I understand there are so many dead bodies and animals in the village."

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