This morning NPR joins the US government in promoting the slaughter of people as long as the claim (no matter how unsubstantiated) is made that terrorists are the target. The Somalia airstrikes are the subject this time.
First Renee Montagne interviews former NPR editor, Gwen Thompkins, who says, "The Ethiopians and Somalis and the US have been in lockstep about their aim to target as many terrorists as possible...." and "...these are outside extremists...who are linked to other violent incidents outside of Somalia."
Montagne joins in, "There’s a report that those targeted in this air strike were involved in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."
Thompkins picks it right up, "Well the US has always maintained that the Islamic Courts Union was giving safe haven to outside terrorists. In fact Jendayi Frazier, she’s the assistant US Secretary of State for for Africa, she said late last year that al-Qaeda was operating with GREAT COMFORT when the Islamic Courts ruled Southern Somalia. Now the Islamic Courts have always denied this, but there are three suspects in particular whom the US believes are linked to the embassy bombings…"
In case you're a little slow and not getting the point, Montagne adds, "So they’re talking about outsiders?"
To which Thompkins hammers it home, "Yes, indeed they’re talking about outsiders. The United States and Ethiopia and the Somalis....[are] primarily interested in outsiders, people whom they link with al-Qaida or other terrorist cells operating around the world...and so they have been very firm in trying to make that distinction to the Somali people. Now whether the Somali people believe it, that’s a whole different matter."
And whether it's the least bit true, that's also a whole different matter.
You might think this bludgeoning was enough, but Steve Inskeep is not about to be left out of the action. He interviews the seemingly thoughtful Ken Menkhaus of Davidson College. Take a look at this little interchange (I think some sound editing went awry):
Menkhaus: "...one of the dangers now with the current situation is that we [the US] may have, uh, cells of residual Somali, shabab militia, the Islamist militia that could take matters into their own hands and launch some of these terrorists attacks.” Something got cut in there, but Menkhaus seems to be saying that the US actions may increase the likelihood of residual cells carrying out attacks. At this point the editing gets really weird, because Inskeep says, "Let’s talk about the dangers for the United States here, you mentioned the potential upside – it’s a chance, perhaps an opportunistic chance to hit some suspects the US has been looking at..." Whoaa - "the potential upsides," "an opportunistic chance to hit some suspects." Truly creepy.
The coup de grace comes at the very end with Inskeep updating us with this solid evidence, "...and again the news we have is that an official and witness, and a witness say that there have been two US airstrikes on different locations against terror targets inside Somalia." Ah yes, terror targets, of course...