By Pepe Escobar
"The "war on terror" is back with a bang. First Afghanistan, then Iraq and now Somalia. And Iran could well be the next Islamic nation to be bombarded by the US - as President George W Bush telegraphed in his "surge" speech on Wednesday.
The Pentagon is thus already well engaged in its self-described "arc of instability" that runs from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East and the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Himalayas. President Hugo Chavez's tropical Venezuela may not be Islamic,but he's taking no chances - especially after the incendiary promise in his re-inauguration of "socialism or death".
"Surge" is now a global household name. It refers to the US attack on Africans in Somalia in search for elusive al-Qaeda masterminds - but they missed the main targets. It includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) killing scores of alleged Taliban in Paktika province in Afghanistan this week. The dead may have been 80, or may have been 150; nobody really knows about civilian casualties because there's not a single journalist in the area and NATO may spin what it wants. The Taliban say the dead are all civilians.
Surge also applies to the Pentagon getting into the business of attacking foreign consulates, confiscating national flags, computers and arresting people, as it happened with an Iranian diplomatic mission - according to Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini - in Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan.......
So many demons, so little time
The ICU has joined Hamas and Hezbollah in official Washington demonology. It's easy to preview the sequel. Those three, previously excluded, US-backed warlords who terrorized the country for years are taking over. The ICU people dissolved into the population - just like the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Ba'athists in Iraq.
And a full-fledged Islamist guerrilla movement is being born. They will have plenty of targets to choose: Christian Ethiopian soldiers, warlord militias, "President" Yusuf's people, the odd American. The Hawiye clan is very influential in Mogadishu. It will never accept a president from the Darod clan, like Yusuf.
As far as the White House, Pentagon, CIA triad is concerned, at least for the moment they are getting the big prize: a client regime in the highly strategic Horn of Africa, facing the Gulf of Aden, next door to the Arabian Sea, and a stone's throw from the Persian Gulf. In addition - what else? - Somalia also happens to have oil...."