Monday, January 22, 2007

On American troops in Somalia

Reuters reports that a Somali journalist says he saw American troops on the ground in Somalia.

First of all, there's the obviously loose hearsay connection (one person says that another person says blah blah blah...).

On the other hand, I would have no trouble believing that the US could send a couple dozen or a hundred Marines anywhere they damn well pleased, including Cleveland if need be.  Surely the US military isn't THAT tapped out in Iraq.

But shouldn't the unnamed Somali journalist, or Reuters, have pointed out that it's entirely possible, and probably more likely, that those troops were mercenaries?  Any mercenary with some funding can buy a helicopter.  Any dude with $20 can buy a US military uniform at any military surplus store.  And if you need a white guy, those are pretty easy to come by, America isn't your only source for those.

So what if the Somali journalist says some of the "white men in military dress" had US Marine insignias on their uniforms?  Did the journalist go up and ask for proof of the guy's authenticity?  Could the journalist have been mistaken in his eyewitness account, or perhaps his memory a little shaken by the scary experience of being followed by a (presumably) armed helicopter?

Sure, everyone's screwing around with Somalia in one way or another, it's one of the world's most popular ongoing proxy wars.  But the American military isn't the world's only supplier of white dudes in fatigues flying around in helicopters.

No comments: