Somalia Intervention: Purely Humanitarian?

Having lived mainly in East Africa for most of my last 35 years and worked for aid projects in both Sudan and Somalia, I have been deeply disturbed by the United States' obsession with Somalia and the overwhelming consensus that the American-led invasion of Somalia is purely humanitarian.

The American public is naively overlooking the self-aggrandizing role of many international aid and relief bureaucracies, and the media-oriented self-glorification of the American military and of the president, who so calculatingly set the invasion in motion after he lost the election. After years of allowing the US government to carry out bullying wars and deplorable intrigues with dictators, it seems that the multitude of Americans have a deep need to believe that at least their country, especially the ir army, is doing something internationally that is wholly good. Cynthia Salvadori, Northampton, Mass.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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