Reaction to "Black Hawk Down " in Somalia

gdunkel at gdunkel at
Wed Feb 6 22:01:53 MST 2002

In Mogadishu, Somalia, where pirated copies of "Black Hawk Down"
appeared two weeks after it showed in NYC, scenes of Americans dying
and their helicopters spiraling down are greeted with cheers and shouts
of praise.  People see the movie time and time again, in the open-air
theaters.  They applaud the mass, armed struggle that gave the U.S.
rangers their most serious defeat since Vietnam.

This has surfaced in the  press (NY Times, London Times, Toronto Star,
Australian Weekender etcetera), sometimes with criticism of how it
distorts the reality of the Somalis' heroic battle against U.S. imperialism.

The French newspaper Le Monde, which played the story on its front
page (Sunday Feb.3 Monday Fedb. 4) caught the spirit but had a
different twist.

It quotes a young militia member Warfar Abdi as saying "In this film, we
only see Americains.  They are all presentged as heroes and Somalians
are only seen when there is a burst of Kalashnikov fire. We would have
had liked to see our brothers as they valliantly fight and kill Americans as
in reality.  But the true message of the film, we have learned, is that the
U.S. will soon return to Mogadiscio (Mogadishu).  Claiming to struggle
against terrorism but in reality to revenge themselves for what we made
them suffer."

Doing a Lexi-Nexis search of the English language press, I didn't see this
point -- the Somalians expect a new U.S. invasion.  Some think they will
be able to defeat it, others don't or feel it would be good for their business.

But they are analyzing what imperialism is planning post 9/`11.

Now one might say  that the masses in Mogadishu were misled to fight
and die so hard for a misleader like Mohammad Aidid, that our position
should be one of non-support for semi-feudal clan leaders like him.  My
response to such a position is to point out that while the Somalians were
defending Aidid, they were also defeating U.S. imperialism  -- militarily.

I think praise for their valor is in order.  And concretely, the Intrernational
Action Center ( is having a protest in NYC Sat.
Feb. 16 against BHD (Black Hawk Down) and Collaterl Damage.  Check
the web site for details and if there will be similar demos in other cities.

/greg dunkel

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