Archive for July 12 1993

Pirates In The House Of Somalia

Posted in political commentary, politics with tags , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by joelle blackstarr


I had the pleasure of visiting The Unmitigated Word for a post concerning the piracy taking place in Somalia (see Defending yarrrrr-self?). The discussion was, as usual, both lively and heated. While the author did not endorse these acts of piracy, the post was basically questioning whetherthese acts of piracy could be chalked up to self-defense”. As the discussion went back and forth, the idea was presented that perhaps we should be “examining the “why”; the circumstances contributing to those tragedies are just as important as casting blame and pointing fingers”. As a result of that discussion, I have reprinted a post from 2007 regarding the real story of “Black Haw Down”, and addressing one particular reason for “examining the ‘why'”.


Black Hawk Down!

Do a search for Somalia, July 12, 1993, and you will certainly find quite a bit of information available. Most of the information will give a brief summary of what took place that day in Somalia. The most (so-called) significant information that is placed in the forefront is that the U.S. fired upon a house which was to have been occupied by the one person they so desperately sought. In the forefront, you will read that, afterward, five (5) journalists went in to investigate and were killed. Always associated with that story, you will read that several months later a Black Hawk was down, downed by the leader that the U.S. had so desperately sought. The one thing that most reports fail to include is that the targeted house which the U.S. destroyed, housed not the enemy that was being sought: The house contained more than fifty (50) of the clan elders from Somalia, the eldest and most respected in their community. Ironically, they were gathered together to discuss a plan to stop the fighting and bloodshed. When the day was done, they all lay dead.

It never fails to bring a tear to my eye when I read that yet another U.S. soldier has been killed. The tears formed in the seventies, during the Vietnam War. They formed in the eighties during the fighting in Grenada. Finally, they formed again in the nineties, when I read the headlines “Black Hawk Down!”. Unfortunately, as with most of the media, reports about what happens on any given day, highlight one aspect of a story, and downplay some very significant part of what really took place. July 12, 1993 was one such rearranging of the facts. Five (5) reporters were killed because a few moments earlier, Somalia’s most revered leaders were blasted to smithereens without provocation. Later that year, a “Black Hawk was down” because the U.S. had launched an attack on those who were trying to put an end to that very same type of action. General Thomas Montgomery (ret), who was in charge of operations that day, was interviewed by PBS’s FRONTLINE, regarding the events of that fateful day. He would not state that there were leaders left dead in the house. He danced around the issue by saying “When the soldiers got in the building, there were either dead or wounded . . .”.

Before there was a Black Hawk down, more than fifty (50) of Somalia’s leaders lay dead.


Please note that after the building was bombed, four (4) Western journalists, including the renown Daniel Eldon, entered the building and were killed by “an angry mob”. This was at the top of the headlines for more than a week or so. What was left out was that the elders of Somalia had been killed just moments before while attending a peaceful meeting. As suggested at The Unmitigated Word, perhaps we should learn to take a closer look and understand the “why”.

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