Those were the words of the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs on tonight's Channel 4 News, following some polite questioning from Jon Snow about a leaked UN document that suggests Ethiopia could not have mounted an invasion of Somalia on the basis of their present capacity. Abdullah Yusuf, the warlord they stuck in charge of Somalia, smiled charmingly as he explained that indeed the US had given his Ethiopian backers a 'green light'. Zenawi denied this, again in the face of some arse-lickingly respectful questions from Snow, but acknowledged that the US had been "very helpful" with intelligence-sharing and so on. Well, of course they were.
I might as well mention that there have been repeated reports of new strikes by US bombers, and fighting continues. The US think they've got the Islamic Courts more or less licked, although they threaten continued strikes against so-called 'terrorist' targets. As usual, the UN is sweeping up after the empire, begging the 'international community' to 'sieze a window of opportunity' to consolidate the rule of the 'government' because people may well be war-weary enough to submit to American proxy rule.
So, anyway, if you were wondering why the US has an iron curtain of military bases stretching from Greenland through Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs has given you your answers.