The movie Black Hawk Down was not the first of its kind to portray the failure of UN (read USA) in enforcing peace in a war torn country. The surprising element of this event in particular though, was not just that the US army along with Pakistani and Malaysian help, failed on its mission in a country with meager resources, but that the Somalia militiamen were supported by the civilians in this venture. So, when the US army came with blazing guns, like heroes in an attempt to establish democracy in the war torn Somalia, they were shocked to see women and children not only being used as shields, but they themselves wielded guns and fought with the militia to drive the army away from Somalia. What could be the possible reason for the Somali people to spit in the face of UN’s help? Was it that the Somali people saw the ulterior motives of USA hidden under the surface of these peacekeeping missions?
Extending Help or Expanding Territory?
Citing the Vietnamese example this time, when the French withdrew from the country, US sent its troops to take control of the unstable political situation of the country through rather forceful means. The reason for such intervention was stated as an attempt to curb the threat of growing communism. The US, at this mission too, failed miserably. Since then, it has, under the façade of countering terrorism and extirpating a totalitarian regime in many of such politically unstable countries, tried to interfere in its day to day politics and functioning. The allegations against USA have been grave. In some countries such interference has been in a bid to curb communism, in some it has been in an effort to take into their hands the resources if these countries, especially Africa. Somalia, Zaire, Chad, etc. are countries which though not rich in human resource and the capital to develop it, but are rich in uranium, cobalt, manganese, etc. In the Middle East too, its interest lies in the oil rich countries. For Colombia, it was for drug trade. USA has been trying and vying for the same things the colonist countries: territory for resources and maintaining a capitalist economy for the benefit of its market. USA has tried to extract its due and laid waste to the land which it once claimed to help.
Vested Interests to Wasted Lands
The “Midas” touch of USA has led to the systematic destruction of many countries. Colombia, which took help from USA to train its military for fighting the FARC, a military organization no less than terrorists, has recorded the world’s longest civil war. The irony of this whole situation was that the whole situation got worst in the first place because of drug trade between USA and Colombia. The war hasn’t still ended, despite the referendum and negotiation efforts by the country’s President, the same person who was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Same results have been seen in the Middle East. Yemen has become one of the worst sufferers of all since the past couple of years because of Saudi border infiltration and it is no mystery who has been aiding these attacks. War torn Syria suffered a brutal attack on its most populous Governorate, Aleppo. ISIS has transgressed all limits of destruction and atrocities inflicted on the mankind. Allegedly, weapon supply to the ISIS also comes from USA itself. The result of all this “help” is catastrophic. USA has always been the strongest advocate of human rights in the UN prima facie and now, because of media, the world knows of its hypocrisy. CNN and Amnesty reports have confirmed the possession of American made weapons by the ISIS.
Resistance to American Aid
The countries that have resisted USA’s military transgression at least have the chance to prosper. The Vietnam War lasted for twenty years, but this small country in the far-east, showed the world that size doesn’t matter, nor do your non-capitalist inclinations and that too without the help of socialist Russia. The Somali tragedy has been a failure of UN and its members all together. But the failed manhunt of its antagonist, Mohammad Aidid and the death of many US soldiers made it more of an American failure than a collective responsibility. The American citizens also started losing faith in the decision making capacity of its leaders after the failure of UNOSOM I and II. The Cuban example stands greatest of all. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, not only did Cuba escape from the military interference of America, but with the help of Russia, intimidated the USA to the threat of another war of its own kind. These countries, despite their size and military incapacity, showed that America had no right in intruding with the internal politics of a country. Had establishing peace and democracy been with the true intentions of USA, it would have been with due consent of the parties involved and the UN itself.
The threat to mankind has become greater due to the possession of nuclear warheads by many countries. USA preaches about peace in times of war but acts otherwise. Presidents have come and gone, but its military tendencies have long remained the same. Peace cannot be maintained in such an unlawful way. Or has this become the American way? And if so, then you know what they say about Karma.
God Save America.
The author, Shivani Karnik, is a student of law at HNLU, Raipur.