Somalia's entire internet access
November 23, 2001 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Somalia's entire internet access and international phone service shut down by the United States.
posted by trioperative (10 comments total)
I would say it is very depressing and if I could find any stronger word than that I would say it

Yep ...

I wonder if there was a way to "crack" these companies without using such a big sledgehammer?
posted by walrus at 11:33 AM on November 23, 2001

Part of me is inclined to view this as financial terrorism by the US. Blocking Somalia's international internet, telephone, and financial transactions seems rather extreme. If the US gov't has suspicions, why can't they freeze certain accounts, or block specific addresses, or specific transaction routes? If they have enough info to be sufficiently suspicious to commit this very aggressive action, then surely that information is detailed enough that the US could be more precise. Seriously, the US didn't dare try to shut down all Swiss banks (even though they believe AlQuaida money was routed through them) - they shut down specific accounts. Why does Somalia deserve a harsher treatment than Switzerland?
posted by yesster at 11:44 AM on November 23, 2001

One more thing - do you suppose that this kind of foreign policy has any chance of fostering extreme dislike/hatred of the US by Somalians? No, of course not! Surely they're on "our side," right? I mean, after all, you're either for us or against us, and they don't want to be against us, do they?
posted by yesster at 11:51 AM on November 23, 2001

The Somalis already hate us. (Or had you forgotten the US special forces which were killed there when we were on a humanitarian mission?)

Also, if you read that article, you'll see that the US didn't shut down anything. What the US did was to freeze their banking assets inside the US.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:46 PM on November 23, 2001

I respect the US decision to freeze their banking assets: I wonder if they had to cut off their internet gateway as well. Handing it over to the Somalian authorities to be run by the other telephone companies, for instance. Or something.

But making it impossible for those companies to trade makes sense if there's evidence of their involvement.
posted by walrus at 1:24 PM on November 23, 2001

Wow. Somalis do not hate America, that's a gross generalization made from one incident that happened a long time ago. Those rangers were killed in a combat mission trying to find one warlord who controlled only part of southern Mogadishu. There are as many as 40-80,000 Somalis here in Minneapolis, and Somalis I know say they are all for finding ways to continue to send money back that are transparent and approved by the Treasury department, but they do need to send money back.
posted by chrismc at 4:10 PM on November 23, 2001

"Those rangers were killed in a combat mission trying to find one warlord who controlled only part of southern Mogadishu" pin-pointed the dangers of even u.s. troops from even being there. We had 18-19 dead to an estimate of 700-1000 Somali losses. The hate is that if we had stayed and really tried to police that country, these casualties would either look like a slaughter or the casualties would even out to say 300 to 1...still the repressive butcher image would rear its head. No. Somalia needs to control the image of roving bands of Kat chewing teens in mazda trucks with russian 360 ring-mount HGs'.
posted by clavdivs at 4:58 PM on November 23, 2001

Indeed, the Americans wouldn't have taken any casualties at all if it weren't for the RPG attacks on the Black Hawk chopppers -- attacks which were (almost certainly) financed, trained, and planned by al-Qaeda, who also made sure there were regular radio broadcasts inciting the Somali people against even Muslim UN troops, with the charge that the US infidels were going to shut down the mosques and convert them all to Christianity (paging Ann Coulter). People forget that the reason we were trying to get that warlord in the first place was the safety of the UN police force; it all revved up when the Aidid qat-ified fighters organized a mob to massacre a UN police batallion consisting of Muslim Pakistanis, who were stoned, executed, and had their bodies ripped to shreds as a warning to the rest of the contingent (in itself another suggestive indicator of al-Qaeda strategic planning).

So, not all Somalis are per se enemies of the US, and those that are have been incited/indoctrinated by the al-Qaeda movement, which has had its tendrils into Somalia for at least a decade.

The real shame is that the UN recognized a Somali government based in the lawless and little-changed Mogadishu, while ignoring/marginalizing working governments in the Northwest and Northeast sectors of the country (or maybe I got those backward). Despite the absence of international aid and UN intervention, these areas of the former Somalia have been making lives better in their remit for several years now. Yet the UN chose to recognize a government in the chaotic south that remains cowed by the warlords there.
posted by dhartung at 12:44 PM on November 24, 2001

"or maybe I got those backward" ya, apply backward to the rest of the country. what are they? mozart loving, have enough gruel kinda good in the country there dan. is there a vast distinction? in what ways....
posted by clavdivs at 7:40 AM on November 26, 2001

I would still like to see a little explanation for the absurd statement: The Somalis already hate us. I'm usually alright at spotting sarcasm or parody.
posted by chrismc at 10:08 PM on November 26, 2001

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