United States pro-peace woman interviewed in Britain

This 12 July 2017 video from the Stop the War coalition in Britain says about itself:

Medea Benjamin: Trump, The Special Relationship & The ‘War on Terror

Known for her fearless protests in the face of US presidents and author of the books Drone Warfare and Kingdom of the Unjust, Medea Benjamin, has become one of the 21st century’s most prominent activists. Tune in and listen to her thoughts on Trump, the “special relationship“, arms sales to Saudi Arabia & the “War on Terror

Trump’s Islamophobia in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Muslims Debate Donald Trump, Immigration Ban and Islamophobia in Republican Party

22 July 2016

For months Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Since he has risen to prominence, civil rights groups have cited increasing attacks and threats against Muslims in America, often against women wearing headscarves. Muslim groups are now campaigning to register a million new voters in a bid to keep Trump out of the White House. But some American Muslims will vote for Trump. According to a survey conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 11 percent of Muslims in the U.S. are Trump supporters. We’re joined now by two guests. Saba Ahmed is president of the Republican Muslim Coalition and a Donald Trump supporter. She recently met with Trump and his vice-presidential pick, Mike Pence, here at the Republican National Convention. We also speak with Aisha Samad, who is CAIR-Cleveland’s board secretary and a longtime activist in the Muslim community in Cleveland.

By Ramzy Baroud in the USA:

Muslims are not the enemy – conformity is

Friday 14th July 2017

Barring citizens of Muslim countries from travelling to the US is an act of immorality and injustice. Sadly, many in the US say that such discriminatory laws already make them feel safe, writes Ramzy Baroud

TWO officers sought me from within a crowd at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. They seemed to know who I was. They asked me to follow them and I obliged. Being of Arab background often renders one’s citizenship almost irrelevant.

In a back room, where other foreigners — mainly Muslims — were holed for “added security,” I was asked numerous questions about my politics, ideas, writing, children, friends and my late Palestinian parents.

Meanwhile, an officer took my bag and all of my papers, including receipts, business cards and more. I did not protest. I am so used to this treatment and endless questioning that I simply go through the motions and answer the questions the best way I know how.

My first questioning commenced soon after September 11 2001, when all Muslims and Arabs became, and remain, suspect. “Why do you hate our president,” I was asked then, in reference to George W Bush.

On a different occasion, I was held in a room for hours at John F Kennedy International Airport because I had a receipt that revealed the immortal sin of eating at a London restaurant that served Halal meat.

I was also interrogated at a US border facility in Canada and was asked to fill several documents about my trip to Turkey, where I gave a talk at a conference and conducted several media interviews.

A question I am often asked is: “What is the purpose of your visit to this country?”

The fact that I am a US citizen, who acquired high education, bought a home, raised a family, paid my taxes, obeyed the law and contributed to society in myriad ways is not an adequate answer.

I remain an Arab, a Muslim and a dissident, all unforgivable sins in the new, rapidly changing United States.

Truthfully, I never had any illusions regarding the supposed moral superiority of my adopted country. I grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza and have witnessed, first hand, the untold harm inflicted upon my people as a result of US military and political support of Israel.

Within the larger Arab context, US foreign policy was felt on a larger scale. The invasion and destruction of Iraq in 2003 was but the culmination of decades of corrupt, violent US policies in the Arab world.

But when I arrived in the US in 1994 I also found another country, far kinder and more accepting than the one represented — or misrepresented — in US foreign policy. While constantly embracing my Palestinian Arab roots, I have lived and interacted with a fairly wide margin of like-minded people in my new home.

While I was greatly influenced by my Arab heritage, my current political thoughts and the very dialectics through which I understand and communicate with the world — and my understanding of it — are vastly shaped by US scholars, intellectual dissidents and political rebels. It is no exaggeration to say that I became part of the same cultural zeitgeist that many US intellectuals subscribe to.

Certainly, anti-Arab and Muslim sentiments in the US have been around for generations, but they have risen sharply in the last two decades. Arabs and Muslims have become an easy scapegoat for all of the country’s failed wars and counter-violence.

Terrorist threats have been exaggerated beyond belief to manipulate a frightened, but also a growingly impoverished population.

The threat level was assigned colours and each time the colour vacillated towards the red, the nation drops all of its grievances, all its fights for equality, jobs and healthcare and unites in hating Muslims, people they never met.

“Terrorism” has morphed from being a violent phenomenon requiring national debate, and sensible policies to combat it, into a bogeyman that forces everyone into conformity and divides people between being docile and obedient on the one hand, and “radical” and suspect on the other.

But blaming Muslims for the decline of the US empire is as ineffective as it is dishonest.

The Economist Intelligence Unit had recently downgraded the US from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy”. Neither Muslims nor Islam played any role in that.

The size of the Chinese economy is soon to surpass that of the US, and the powerful East Asian country is already roaring, expanding its influence in the Pacific and beyond. Muslims are hardly the culprits there, either.

Nor are Arabs responsible for the death of the “American dream,” if one truly existed in the first place; nor the election of Donald Trump; nor the utter corruption and mafia-like practices of the country’s ruling elites and political parties.

It was not the Arabs and Muslims who duped the US into invading Iraq, where millions of Arabs and Muslims lost their lives as a result of the unchecked military adventurism.

In fact, Arabs and Muslims are by far the greatest victims of terrorism, whether state-sponsored terror or that of desperate, vile groups like Isis and al-Qaida.

US citizens should know that Muslims are not the enemy. They never have been. Conformity is.

“In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service,” wrote John Stuart Mill in On Liberty. The English philosopher had a tremendous impact on US liberalism.

I read his famous book soon after I arrived in the US. It took me a while to realise that what we learn in books often sharply contradicts reality.

Instead, we now live in the “age of impunity,” according to Tom Engelhardt. In a 2014 article, published in the Huffington Post, he wrote: “For America’s national security state, this is the age of impunity. Nothing it does — torture, kidnapping, assassination, illegal surveillance, you name it — will ever be brought to court.”

Those who are “held accountable” are whistleblowers and political dissidents who dare question the government and educate their fellow men and women on the undemocratic nature of such oppressive practices.

Staying silent is not an option. It is a form of defeatism that should be outed as equally destructive as the muzzling of democracy.
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr.

Barring citizens of Muslim countries from travelling to the US is a great act of immorality and injustice. Sadly, many in the US report that such discriminatory laws already make them feel safe, which itself is an indication of how the government and media manipulate consent in this country to produce the desirable results.

As a big fan of hating Edward Bernays’ work, yet appreciating his honesty, I realise the question is not that of Trump alone. Bernays, whose writing on propaganda influenced successive governments and inspired various military coups, was versed on manipulating popular consent of US citizens nearly a century ago. He perceived the masses as unruly and a burden on democracy, which he believed could only be conducted by the intelligent few.

The outcome of his ideas, which influenced generations of conformist intellectuals, is on full display today.

The US is changing fast, and is certainly not heading in the right direction. Shelving all pressing problems and putting the focus on chasing after, demonising and humiliating brown-skinned men and women is certainly not the way out of the economic, political and foreign policy quagmires which US ruling elites have invited upon their country.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear,” wrote George Orwell.

No matter the cost, we must adhere to this Orwellian wisdom, even if the number of people who refuse to hear has grown exponentially and the margins for dissent have shrunk like never before.

Dr Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for more than 20 years. He is author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com.

Big anti-Trump demonstration tomorrow in Paris, France

This video from Poland says about itself:

On the 5th of July 2017, marking Donald Trump’s arrival in Poland, activists from Greenpeace Poland and Greenpeace Germany projected the words “No Trump, Yes Paris” on the facade of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. The light projection criticised the US president’s anti-climate policy and his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement during meetings with Central and Eastern Europe leaders in Warsaw in the run-up to the G20 summit in Hamburg.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

‘No Trump zone’: Thousands of Paris protesters create area free of the US President ahead of Bastille Day visit

Visit comes a century since the US’ entry into the First World War

Lizzie Dearden, Paris

Thousands of protesters are preparing to take to the streets of Paris to create a “no Trump zone” for the US President.

Donald Trump and the First Lady are visiting France to mark Bastille Day after Emmanuel Macron extended an invitation that surprised many after a series of ideological clashes between the two leaders.

The President, who praised far-right leader Marine Le Pen during the French election, said the trip would “celebrate and honour” France’s national day and a century since the US’ entry into the First World War.

While Mr Trump will be officially welcomed with a luxurious dinner at the Eiffel Tower ahead of a series of state events on Friday, demonstrators will be sending a very different signal nearby in the French capital.

The Paris Against Trump alliance is planning a rally at the symbolic Place des États-Unis, which is the former home of the US embassy and filled with memorials commemorating ties between the two nations.

It will be followed by a night of music, dance and performances at a designated “no Trump zone” in the Place de la Republique.

Among the diverse groups demonstrating are those opposed to Mr Trump’s climate change policies, travel ban and anti-war groups.

Many are also directing their anger at Mr Macron for extending the invitation and over reforms to labour laws.

Paris Against Trump organisers say they oppose “his positions on the climate crisis, his international politics against migrants, his sexist speeches and behaviour, his Islamophobia and racist remarks, his military plans around the world and his neo-liberalism and capitalism.”

A particular point of contention is Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw from the historic Paris agreement

[A Macron aide said:] “I have no doubt that the presidents will talk about the state of military actions in Syria and they will talk about the future.” …

The leaders and their wives will have dinner, expected to include blue lobster and caviar, up the Eiffel Tower’s famed Le Jules Verne restaurant.

Mr Trump is to be the guest of honour at Friday’s military parade on the Champs-Elysees – the first time a US President had attended since George Bush [the elder] in 1989.

More protests are planned for the day, including socialist and anti-racist activists marching from the Place de Clichy.

Macron invites Trump for Bastille Day parade in Paris. By Alex Lantier, 14 July 2017. The French president sent a clear message to Berlin that Paris could align itself with Washington in a more openly anti-German policy.

As if air travel weren’t annoying enough, new research suggests that global warming will force planes to carry fewer passengers to get off the ground. While a little more legroom might sound good, it could make flying more expensive: here.

Trump’s state visit to Britain postponed till 2018

This 29 January 2017 parody music video from Britain is called Donald Trump & Theresa May [who met that week in the USA] – “I Want to Hold Your Hand“.

It is a parody of the Beatles song of that name.

The lyrics are:

DT: Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something – my mother’s from Scotland
TM: Oh really? How very lovely
DT: Mind if I hold your hand?
Both: I want to hold your hand

TM: Oh please say to me you’ve got a nice deal planned
DT: Yeah sure, just give us all the NHS stuff – and let me hold your hand
Both: I want to hold your hand

Both: And when I touch you I feel slightly annoyed
But it just looks so damn good on celluloid

TM: Oh please say to me you won’t withdraw from NATO
DT: Okay, but hold my hand first – it’s like a sweet potato
Both: It’s got the colour and texture of a sweet potato

Both: And when I touch you I think I might be sick
But one must do unpleasant things in politics

DT: Oh yeah, I just signed an order for Muslims to be banned
TM: The BBC might ask you about that – but me, I’ll hold your hand
Both: I want to hold your hand

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The state visit of President Trump to Great Britain has been postponed till 2018. Prime Minister Theresa May was the first government leader to invite the US president shortly after his inauguration in January, but it was not possible to pinpoint a date.

If May and Trump imagine that in 2018 there will be any less opposition to their policies than in 2017, that the anti-Trump demonstrations will be any smaller, then they may be in for a surprise.

‘Clinton’s warmongering caused Trump’s presidency’

This video from the USA says about itself:

LATEST WIKILEAKS: Hillary Clinton Concerned About Saudi Arabia, Continues To Accept Saudi Money

11 October 2016

Trump's electoral success in high casualty states

By Eric London in the USA:

New study shows Clinton lost election because of growing working class opposition to war

8 July 2017

Since Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 elections, the corporate press, the Democratic Party, and a host of self-proclaimed left-wing groups that operate in the Democrats’ orbit have attempted to prove that Trump’s election was the product of bigotry and backwardness in the white working class.

This false narrative is further exploded by a new report titled “Battlefield Casualties and Ballot Box Defeat: Did the Bush-Obama Wars cost Clinton the White House?

Published in June by Douglas Kriner of Boston University and Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota Law School, the study concludes that the Democratic Party lost the 2016 election because working class voters in poorer areas hit hardest by military casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saw the Democratic Party as the primary party of war and militarism. They abstained or voted for Trump as a result.

Kriner and Shen break down the shift away from the Democratic Party from 2012 to 2016 on a state-by-state and county-by-county basis and compare the shift with soldier death rates from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The authors find “extreme” levels of disparity between county casualty rates. Just over half of all counties had a casualty rate of 1 or fewer deaths per 100,000 from Iraq and Afghanistan, while a mere 10 percent of counties have casualty rates of over 7 war deaths per 100,000 residents. The counties with the highest casualty rates are the poorest and least educated.

Trump’s electoral success in high casualty states

Kriner and Shen find a strong positive correlation between Republican shift in 2016 and death and injuries from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each state’s rise in the casualty rate by one person per million residents corresponded with a roughly .25 percent swing from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016.

The authors conclude that if the casualty rates in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin were lowered by 10 people per million, Clinton would have won all three states. Trump won each state by less than 1 percent, pushing him past the 270 electoral vote mark required to win election.

How lower casualty rates in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan might have cost Clinton the election

“Our analysis predicts that Trump would have lost between 1.4 percent and 1.6 percent of the vote if the state had suffered a lower casualty rate. As illustrated in Figure 2, such margins would have easily flipped all three states into the Democratic column. Trump’s ability to connect with voters in communities exhausted by more than fifteen years of war may have been critically important to his narrow electoral victory.”

This process played out even more acutely on a county-by-county level: “Trump was even more successful in surpassing Romney’s 2012 performance in communities that had suffered disproportionately high casualty rates.”

Kriner and Shen explain that anti-war sentiment among the poorer sections of the population most impacted by the war has been a dominant, subterranean feature of American political life for over a decade.

In 2004, one-and-a-half years after the Bush administration launched the war in Iraq, the authors point out that although Bush won reelection, “he lost significant electoral ground in states and communities that had paid the heaviest share of the war burden in casualties.”

In 2006, when the Democrats won both houses of congress, Kriner and Shen note that “Republican losses were steepest among communities that had suffered disproportionately high casualty rates in Iraq.” They note, “In both 2004 and 2006, voters in these communities became more likely to vote against politicians perceived as orchestrating conflicts in which their friends and neighbors died.”

Similarly, the authors explain that Barack Obama won the 2008 election in large part as a result of popular opposition to the war in Iraq, which Obama claimed to oppose.

“The electoral punishment suffered by Republicans in the 2000s was a story of both casualty and economic inequality,” Kriner and Shen write. “The communities suffering the most from the fighting overseas were communities with lower income and education levels. These communities, in turn, increasingly turned against political candidates insisting on more combat.”

But while “voters in such communities increasingly abandoned Republican candidates in a series of elections in the 2000s,” their opposition to war expressed itself in a turn away from the Democrats in 2016.

After benefiting from the groundswell of opposition provoked by the Bush administration’s wars, the Obama administration continued the wars and sent tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan. His administration was the first in US history to spend a full two terms at war.

Under Democratic Party leadership, the government launched new wars in Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and Syria. Clinton ran her 2016 campaign on calls for escalating US intervention in Syria and threatening war with Russia, a nuclear armed power. It is a testament to the record of the Democratic Party that Trump’s jingoistic program could be viewed by many as the more “dovish” option.

Kriner and Shen’s statistics reveal a powerful fact about American politics: the working class is tired of being used as cannon fodder in imperialist war.

However, they add, “In the post-election analysis of the 2016 cycle, discussion of war fatigue has been all but absent. This oversight may plausibly be due to the fact that most American elites in the chattering class have not, at least in recent years, been directly affected by on-going conflicts. Children of elites are not as likely to serve and die in the Middle East, and elite communities are thus less likely to make this a point of conversation. The costs of war remain largely hidden, and an invisible inequality of military sacrifice has taken hold.”

Indeed, the Democratic establishment and their pseudo-left supporters live in a different world than the workers whose racism and sexism they blame for Trump’s election.

Young people living in rural and semi-rural areas hit by decades of deindustrialization and nonstop cuts to social programs make up the bulk of the armed forces of US imperialism. High unemployment and low education often leave the military or National Guard as the only stable work options. Many regions with high recruitment rates also suffer under the weight of the opioid crisis and heavy rates of drug and alcohol abuse. While 7,000 soldiers died in Iraq and Afghanistan, tens of thousands of veterans have killed themselves; a total of 20 each day.

But efforts by the Democratic and pseudo-left press to ignore the growth of anti-war sentiment are not, as Kriner and Shen claim, an “oversight.” The stock portfolios of the wealthiest 10 percent of the population depend on a constant supply of working class youth whose bodies and minds can be sacrificed to secure resources and cheap labor for the banks and corporations to exploit abroad.

Trump escalates United States war in Somalia

This video says about itself:

America’s “Shadow War” In Somalia Gets A Fresh Start Under Trump

23 June 2017

U.S. airstrikes in Somalia have killed over 400 people in the last eight years as part of a quiet war on “terrorism.” Parts of the country have been designated as “active war zones,” allowing for more strikes to take place with little to no oversight.

By Timotheos Gaist in the USA:

Trump escalates US drone war in Somalia

8 July 2017

The Trump White House escalated American imperialism’s decades-long war in Somalia this week, ordering American military drones to launch repeated airstrikes against insurgent strongholds in southern regions of the impoverished Horn of Africa nation.

… The attacks are openly acknowledged in American ruling class media as marking the onset of a major expansion of the war.

During its first six months in office, the Trump administration has laid the foundations for a wider war in Somalia, extending and building upon the general policy of covert and proxy war against Somalia pursued by the previous two administrations under the banner of the “global war on terrorism.”

In March, Trump granted US commanders open-ended authority to wage war throughout southern Somalia, without approval by civilian authorities. In April, President Trump approved deployment of scores of regular American ground troops to Somalia, the first such deployments since the 1992 “Operation Restore Hope,” which saw some 30,000 imperialist troops dispatched to the outskirts of Mogadishu, under the pretext of providing humanitarian aid.

The Trump White House now favors “even more permissive rules of engagement for drone operations in Yemen and Somalia,” Center for Drone Studies expert Dan Gettinger told Fox News last week.

The drone war in Somalia, waged by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) for more than 10 years, is being organized from AFRICOM’s Camp Lemonnier, in neighboring Djibouti.

Local sources report seeing dozens of heavily armed drones and war planes leaving Lemonnier’s airfield every day. American military and intelligence operatives have also established a secret drone and commando training base at Baledogle airport, some 70 miles north of Mogadishu, according to Homeland Security News Wire.

“We continue to work in coordination with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al Shabaab, and help achieve stability and security throughout the region,” an AFRICOM statement released Tuesday said.

“U.S. forces remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia [FGS], the Somali National Army and our Amisom partners in defeating al Shabaab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia,” Pentagon spokesperson Major Audricia Harris said.

The drumbeat of drone strikes, commando raids, and proxy wars by US-backed regional forces and warlords have completely failed to defeat or even stem the al Shabaab insurgency, which has consolidated its hold over large areas of the country, and continues to deal punishing blows against the government.

The Islamist militia, which emerged out of the youth wing of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), has achieved a series of tactical successes in recent months, aggressively engaging and defeating government troops across a broad swath of the country, from the oil-rich Puntland region in the north, to the Somali-Kenyan border in the south. On June 8, al Shabaab forces overran a government military base in Puntland, killing dozens of government soldiers, and seizing large quantities of weaponry, munitions and armored vehicles.

Al Shabaab “has cemented its hold on ungoverned territory across southern and central Somalia, even after decades of the United States partnering with some African nations to combat al-Qaida’s third-largest affiliate,” the American military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.

“In the last eight months, al-Shabaab has overrun three African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Forward Operating Bases by amassing large numbers of fighters and attacking in overwhelming numbers. Al-Shabaab has also increased its combat capability by seizing heavy weaponry, armored vehicles, explosives, small arms, ammunition, and other miscellaneous supplies during its operations overrunning Burundian National Defense Forces FOB Leego, Ugandan People’s Defense Force FOB Janaale, and Kenyan Defense Force FOB Ceel Ad,” AFRICOM acknowledged in a June 11 statement.

“The terror organization has cemented its control over southern and central Somalia, they have used this area to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, and to shelter other radical terrorists,” AFRICOM said.

This week saw al Shabaab mount brazen attacks against targets associated with the US-allied Kenyan government to the south, whose Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) have served as a proxy occupation force on behalf of Washington since 2011.

On July 6, al Shabaab fighters launched attacks against a Kenyan police station near the coastal town of Lamu, and in the Boni forest along the Kenya-Somalia border. The fighting near Lamu, whose port facility sits at the eastern end of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) strategic infrastructure corridor, lasted throughout the day, leaving three Kenyan police officers dead.

The rise of al Shabaab is powerful measure of the ongoing collapse of the nation-state system. The extremist militia group has exploited the breakdown of Somalia’s central government to establish power bases in large areas of the country, taking on social and economic roles associated with normal sovereign states, such as levying taxes and providing basic services. The group’s internal intelligence service, known as the Amniyat, regularly carries out sophisticated covert operations in the heart of Mogadishu, assassinating top officials and bombing FSG facilities.

“Al-Shabab is becoming a shadow government, positioning itself as Somalia’s champion of disenfranchised and marginalized clans,” American University Professor Tricia Bacon wrote in an analysis for the Washington Post. “This is why al-Shabab won’t be going away anytime soon.

“Al-Shabab has shown an impressive ability to adapt and is positioned to not only survive, but to thrive. It has overrun AMISOM forward operating bases (FOB), killing and injuring scores of troops and seizing arms, military vehicles and heavy weaponry,” Bacon wrote. “Al-Shabab has a remarkably effective taxation system that few dare to defy, even those living, as one person I interviewed put it, ‘a stone’s throw from an AMISOM FOB.’ That brings in a steady stream of revenue. What’s more, al-Shabab is relatively uncorrupt and efficient. You can see that clearly on the roads that it controls, where it operates checkpoints that require set payments, offers a receipt to passengers, and keeps the roads relatively safe.

“Al-Shabab finds ways to exploit the vacuum left by the state, tapping into a deep reservoir of grievances. It has both conventional military strength and terrorist abilities as well as political and ideological influence that goes beyond its territorial holdings,” she wrote.

US ruling class strategists fear a repeat, in Somalia, of the seizure of large areas of northern Iraq by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which took the Pentagon high command completely by surprise, and nearly toppled the US-backed government in Baghdad.

The FSG has proven incapable of securing and holding the vast majority of its own territory, aside from central areas of Mogadishu, small portions of the surrounding Indian Ocean coastline, and narrow corridors linking the capital and the southern port city of Kismayo to the Kenyan and Ethiopia borders. Calls are growing for US forces to assume a much larger role in the FGS’s defense, until now left in the hands of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops drawn from the militaries of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, supported by American commandos, “advisers,” and air power. Such a mission would require thousands of conventional ground forces, along the lines of the ongoing US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We’ve convinced ourselves that working through our African partners is going to solve the problem. But in many cases, it’s making the problem we’re trying to solve worse,” American Enterprise Institute analyst Katherine Zimmerman argued in an appearance on Fox News.

Whatever the exact form taken by future US war operations, it is clear that American imperialism is determined to employ ever greater levels of military violence against a Somali society that is already reeling from decades of imperialist-orchestrated war, and is wracked by historic levels of famine, drought and disease.

Over 750,000 Somalis have been displaced by drought since November 2016, with more than 20,000 displaced in June alone. More than 50,000 Somalis have been treated for cholera or acute watery diarrhea (AWD) since the beginning of 2017. Some 350,000 Somali children under the age of five are currently acutely malnourished, according to a United Nations Humanitarian Snapshot published July 6.

The spread of famine is accelerating the destabilization of US-backed political arrangements throughout East Africa, and placing mass social struggles against imperialism on the order of the day. AFRICOM is “war-gaming procedures to work in a famine environment,” US Marine Corps General Thomas Waldhauser told Congress in March.

Nearly 27 million people living in the broader East African region, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, urgently require food aid, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Five million South Sudanese are projected to be “severely food insecure” by the end of July, according to the UN.