Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shock: What if there was more to the story than the mainstream media spoon-feeds us?

My old friend Mike of the North offers food for that in this entry at his blog Screams from the Wilderness. He reminds us that there is always more to the story.

Of course, we don't condone bloodthirsty violence. But desperate times drive people to desperate measures, and quite frankly, Somalia has seen deperate times so long that Hell probably appears as a distant cloud on the horizon.

Sam Kinison once joked that starving people in Ethiopia should GO WHERE THE FOOD IS!! (his screaming, not mine). Evidently it's not so easy. Some try to make a go of it and bloom where they're planted. I don't condone violence, and the story's resolution certainly is an example of "live by the sword, die by the sword." But is is also important to remember that evil is not always done for it's own sake; there is usually a complex dynamic of different influences at work; social, economic, environmantal; that result in the news of the day.

It's ironic. When you see a picture of a starving, impoverished Somalian, you might think that, among other things, they have to live a simple life. But the harder things get, the more it seems that life is not so simple after all.


Grandpa Eddie said...

The "pirates" may have started out as people just wanting to "tax" the corporate trawlers, but it's gotten way out of hand.

Committing violent acts to get millions of dollars that don't go to help the starving people of Somalia isn't something I can condone, it is what it looks like. It is piracy.

People are loosing their lives to these pirates. This is piracy on the high seas and it must be stopped.

SheaNC said...

Grandpa Eddie, I thoroughly agree with you that piracy is absolutely wrong. Kidnapping and murder should not be condoned. What I draw from the article, though, is the notion that these pirates might not have become what they are were it not for practices by other countries whose callous disergard for, or exploitation of, Somalia's territory sowed the seeds of violent reaction.

It kind of reminds me of some Native Americans' reaction to European expansionism. When faced with extinction, they used terrible violence to defend themselves.

I guess I'm saying that, as with terrorism, maybe future piracy can be prevented before it starts by not doing those things which provoke violent reaction. I know that's a pie-in-the-sky notion, though.


But the close relationship between Conoco and the U.S. intervention force has left many Somalis and foreign development experts deeply troubled by the blurry line between the U.S. government and the large oil company, leading many to liken the Somalia operation to a miniature version of Operation Desert Storm, the U.S.-led military effort in January, 1991, to drive Iraq from Kuwait and, more broadly, safeguard the world's largest oil reserves.

"They sent all the wrong signals when Oakley moved into the Conoco compound," said one expert on Somalia who worked with one of the four major companies as they intensified their exploration efforts in the country in the late 1980s.

"It's left everyone thinking the big question here isn't famine relief but oil -- whether the oil concessions granted under Siad Barre will be transferred if and when peace is restored," the expert said. "It's potentially worth billions of dollars, and believe me, that's what the whole game is starting to look like."

Although most oil experts outside Somalia laugh at the suggestion that the nation ever could rank among the world's major oil producers -- and most maintain that the international aid mission is intended simply to feed Somalia's starving masses -- no one doubts that there is oil in Somalia. The only question: How much?

"It's there. There's no doubt there's oil there," said Thomas E. O'Connor, the principal petroleum engineer for the World Bank, who headed an in-depth, three-year study of oil prospects in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's northern coast.

Mike of the North said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike of the North said...

"...Committing violent acts to get millions of dollars that don't go to help the starving people of Somalia isn't something I can condone, it is what it looks like. It is piracy"

I'd have to say the same thing about committing violent acts to get millions of dollars (in oil)that don't help the oppressed people of Iraq isn't something I can condone, it is what it looks like. PIRACY!!!

btw, who is responsible for putting the bullets through the heads of the teenagers that are perpetrating the piracy against the Iraqi people?