Abby Martin’s Empire Update wraps up the last weeks in US imperialism: Possible military expansion in Kenya, Army re-focus on fighting over the North Pole, Biden’s obscene military budget, Yemen hunger strike, major Cuba policy announcement, and a historic pro-Palestine bill in Congress.
Ethiopia is regularly cited as an African success story by donor nations; the economy is growing they cry, more children are attending school and health care is improving. Well GDP figures and millennium development statistics reveal only a tiny fraction of the corrupt and violent picture.
Hidden and isolated from the world the armed conflict raging in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia goes unnoticed. The killing and raping of innocent civilians at the hands of the military and their paramilitary partners in crime the Liyu police, the false arrests, torture and imprisonment remain largely hidden and unreported. The international media, human rights groups and most aid organisations (including the International Red Cross) have been banned from the region by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 2007.
It was a busier and bloodier weekend than usual for Islamic extremists linked to the Al Qaeda franchise, with hundreds killed in bomb and gun attacks in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Kenya, as well as the ongoing war in Syria, where the same brand of jihadists form the dominant fighting groups trying to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Former Peace Corps volunteer Will Ruddick and several residents of Bangladesh, Kenya, face a potential seven years in prison after developing a cost-effective way to alleviate poverty in Africa’s poorest slums. Their solution: a complementary currency issued and backed by the local community. The Central Bank of Kenya has now initiated charges of forgery.
It’s an anthem that is usually sung with chest-thumping pride and misty eyes by British imperialists. “Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves”. This jingoistic celebration of Britain’s former global conquest may yet degenerate into “Rue Britannia, Britannia rues the waves”.
This is because, as The Guardian newspaper reports this week, the London government has at long last been forced into recognizing compensation payments for as many as 50,000 Kenyan nationals who were victims of torture and other crimes against humanity during that country’s independence struggle in the 1950s. The eventual bill for compensation could run up to tens of millions of pounds.
DIRT! THE MOVIE is an astonishing, humorous and substantial look at the glorious and unappreciated ground beneath our feet. Dirt feeds us and gives us shelter. Dirt holds and cleans our water. Dirt heals us and makes us beautiful. Dirt regulates the earth’s climate. Why do we humans ignore, abuse, and destroy our most precious living natural resource? Consider the results of such behavior: mass starvation, drought, floods and global warming. Continue reading →
Ethiopia’s anticipated invasion marks scramble for territory with Kenyan rival
The conflict in Somalia has been raised to dramatically higher stakes at the weekend after Ethiopian troops occupied a central town, routing Al Shabab militants in fighting that claimed dozens of lives.
The Ethiopian military entered the town of Beledweyne near its border on Saturday morning along with Somali troops belonging to the Western-backed Transitional Federal Government. Continue reading →
East African “Drone Alley” – a harbinger of Western power projection across the African continent
US military sources have confirmed that the Obama administration is engaged in a new war in the famine-hit Horn of Africa region.
The disclosure in the Washington Post  comes only days after other prominent Western media outlets, including the New York Times and the Financial Times, carried denials from the US government that it was involved in directly supporting Kenyan forces that invaded Somalia on 16 October.
Despite official denials peddled by the mainstream media, it is emerging that the US and France are engaged in a new war in the Horn of Africa.
Given that 11-12 million people are at risk of starvation in the famine-hit region, an escalation of conflict has huge humanitarian and legal implications. Yet the Western public is being given no oversight on the matter from what appears to be a veritable news blackout on the dire situation.
US Drones Coordinate Air Power For Kenyan Ground Invasion of Somalia
The large troop deployment by Kenya into Somali territory is taking on the form of a full-scale invasion, rather than a temporary incursion as initially reported.
What is also emerging – but largely unreported – is that the US appears to be providing coordinated aerial firepower to help the advance of the Kenyan military against Al Shabab Islamic militants who have held power in the southern Somali territory.