Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Verzet 1940-1945, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

In Holland, we have just marked Remembrance Day, by remembering those who lost their lives in the Second World War and celebrated Liberation Day, the day the Allies moved in and the occupying Germans moved out. A day of national pride and joy.

During the German occupation of the Netherlands, there was a resistance movement, known as the Verzet (Resistance) and they did their best to make life difficult for the German occupiers, often risking their lives in the process. Recently, there was a major film, Zwartboek, made about the resistance movement.

In the world now, we have Iraq being occupied by the US and the UK, where local people, albeit with some help from abroad are resisting such occupation. The western press likes to call them the insurgents, but are they very different from the resistance fighters of Holland and France during their occupation?

We hear a lot about events in Iraq, not so much about events in Somalia, where a similar story is unfolding, namely an occupation by the Ethiopians, and resistance to the occupiers by so-called 'insurgents', who may more properly and neutrally described as resistance fighters. Even more so than in Iraq, there is a puppet government, established outside of Somalia, which has never been elected and who only managed to seize power when foreign troops from Ethiopia invaded the country and installed this government into the seat of power in the capital city of Mogadishu.

Nobody denies either that Ethiopia is being supported and encouraged by the US (no British involvement this time), which also managed to get tacit UN support for its policy, through a hasty resolution made at the end of last year. The Ethiopians and their puppet government have been attacking and killing civilians, targeting a particular clan. When not killing them, they have been rounding them up and interrogating them in Guatanamo Bay type camps. Learning quickly from their (pay-)masters, no doubt.

Whatever the ins and outs are of local Somali politics and clan conflicts, it is clear that Somalia has been invaded and is effectively being occupied, which puts it in a very similar position to the Netherlands during the Second World War. You do not have to be an Islamist fanatic to want to resist this occupation and see the backs of your enemy. Good luck to them and let's hope that Somalis soon will aslo be able to celebrate their Liberation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you put things into the right prespective.

Thanks for posting this.


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