By Thomas Mountain,
WHEN award winning journalist Jeremy Scahill landed at Mogadishu’s International Airport in the summer of 2011 Somalia was in the midst of its worst drought and famine in 60 years. Yet when Mr. Scahill reported on his visit he seemed blissfully unaware of the hundreds of Somalis that were starving to death every day not very many miles from the hotel where he was staying.
He also didn’t write about the food and medical aid blockade being imposed on Somalis next door in the Ogaden by the western supported Ethiopian regime, something the International Federation of Jurists (IFJ) has called “a genocide” and demanded the ICC prosecute.
The UN has admitted that at least 250,000 Somalis in Somalia proper starved to death during the famine Jeremy Scahill landed in the midst of, something I had predicted when I exposed that the UN, knowing full well the extent of the drought, had budgeted less then 10 cents a day for food to feed the starving.
The Great Horn of Africa Famine stared at the beginning of 2011 and lasted about 2 years. 250,000 dead in Somalia from starvation equals 10,000 dying a month, 300 or more dying a day on average. And this just in Somalia where there was aid being distributed. Next door in the Ogaden, with a population of almost as many as in Somalia the same famine was raging and no aid what so ever was being allowed.
Even Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the Red Cross (ICRC) had been expelled from the Ogaden by the Ethiopian Regime, the Prime Minister of which was later eulogized at his funeral by none other than Susan Rice, presently National Security Advisor to Barack Obama.
If Jeremy Scahill didn’t know about the hundreds that were dying from starvation every day all around him when he was carrying out his “investigative journalism” in Mogadishu in the summer of 2011 than the question has to be asked “Why not?”
If he knew about this enormous crime against humanity and instead chose to write about “secret CIA prisons” and the murder of several hundred via the USA’s drone assassination program in the Horn of Africa, a much “sexier” topic, shouldn’t other investigative journalists be questioning his priorities? Genocide or drones, what’s more important?
Today Mr. Scahill picks up a paycheck signed by Pierre Omidyar who persists in trying to rape the lush tropical hillside overlooking Hanalei Bay on Kauai, Hawaii by developing multimillion dollar estates for his fellow 1%.
The real dirty wars in Africa remain unknown to the worlds peoples, thanks in part to a smokescreen, how ever blissfully ignorant or well intended, about drones and high tech murders that diverted attention from the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Africans, whose “expiration by starvation” was sanctioned by the highest levels of the Obama White House.
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Thomas C. Mountain is a life long revolutionary activist and educator who has been living and writing from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at g mail dot com.