The New York Times is reporting that the majority of Americans support expanding the so-called war on terrorto Somalia. According to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, more than 80 percent of the country favorsoperations in alleged al-Qaeda hideouts even if those countries refuse to assist.
At the same time, the Hollywood war epic, Black Hawk Down, tops the box office charts for the second week in a row.Black Hawk Down says it tells the true story of the last U.S. invasion of Somalia in 1993, a mission the Clintonadministration presented as humanitarian, designed to liberate thousands of starving Somalis from a brutal clanleader who was blocking U.N. food shipments and massacring U.N. workers. But when U.S. forces dropped into a teemingmarket in Mogadishu on October 3, 1993, 18 U.S. soldiers and over a thousand Somalis, were killed. President Clintoncalled the massacre one of the darkest hours of his administration.
But former Disney studio chief Joe Roth, whose Revolution Studios made the $120 million movie, says his team wouldwork to assure the audience that "it is, in fact, America’s brightest hour." So far, American audiences–bothcivilian and military–seem to be responding.
But not everyone is pleased with the movie. In a number of cities, Somali-American leaders and progressive activistshave called for a boycott of "Black Hawk Down." We go first with Democracy Now! producer Miranda Kennedy to ademonstration against the film in New York’s Union Square.
- Activists protest "Black Hawk Down" in New York
- Mark Bowden, author of "Black Hawk Down," recorded last month.
- Omar Jamal, director, Somali Justice Advocacy Network in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Claudia Carr, an activist and one of the leading scholars on Somalia U.S. interests. She has spent yearsliving in Somalia and studying U.S. policy in the region.