Foreign Occupation main reason for ‘blowback’ Terrorism

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for example:

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Salaam ala man itabi’a al Huda

A must see and listen

Please forward.

The Real Truth of Wars Dr Dahlia Wasfi

Born in 1971 in New York of a Jewish-American mother and Muslim Iraqi father.

http://www.safeshare.tv/w/qjnEABgxUS

And more complete here

http://wn.com/Dr_Dahlia_Wasfi__The_Truth_About_US_Occupation

some highlights …

… WOT cover to our military  aggression to gain control of resources of western Asia …

Poor of this country to kill poor of those Muslim countries

… Blood for oil …

For most of world we are the terrorists…

….Remaining silent … is criminal …

… Legitimate resistance to illegal occupation …

… struggling against oppressive hand  of empire ….

… Terrorist cells in Washington DC …

… No justice no peace

http://www.safeshare.tv/w/qjnEABgxUS

Transcript:

NOTE:

We have been saying many of these things for years, every since the illegal unjust occupation of Afghanistan that was planned before Pearl Harbor like event of 911 that the neo con Project for a New American Century wished for and got just as they had hoped in order to reenergize the military upgrade and strategic occupations in the Middle east (interesting coincidence) , but her way is very powerful , very moving, straight to the point …

How many innocent Muslims have been killed unjustly and suffered by these crimes against humanity she destrcibes, by the same people who are the huge corporations, the too big to fail and jail banksters in collusion with the Military Industrial Government Financial complex.

This is the cartel that the Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting about since their destructive immoral greed  is destroying the earth and all people that they deem counterproductive to their agenda of control.

I actually cried with tears for the power and truth of it, and its implications, and how it is exactly is as what I have been saying, is what many people are now saying, and times, places and people are a-moving quickly to the appointed End Time Events prophesized about in the Quran and Sunnah, and may Allah be praised the Most Almighty and Glorious, and may the salutations of peace and blessings be upon His Prophet Muhammad and his family and faithful followers.

See

https://terrorismbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com

https://occupationbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com

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Partial Transcript

For more search about it please

We have an obligation to every last victim of this illegal aggression, because all of this carnage has been done in our name.

Since World War II, 90 percent of the casualties of war are unarmed civilians, a third of them children. Our victims have done nothing to us. From Palestine to Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia to wherever our next target may be, their murders are not collateral damage. They are the nature of modern warfare.

They don’t hate us because of our freedoms. They hate us because every day, we are funding and committing crimes against humanity.

The so-called war on terror is a cover for our military aggression to gain control of the resources of Western nations. This is sending the poor of this country to kill the poor of those Muslim countries. This is trading blood for oil. This is genocide, and to most of the world, we are the terrorists.

In these times, remaining silent about our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal, and in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing violations of the UN charter and international law, how dare any American criticize the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation? How dare we condemn anyone else’s violence?

Our so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and our other colonies around the world, and our inner cities here at home are struggling against the oppressive hand of empire, demanding respect for their humanity. They are labeled insurgents or terrorists for resisting rape and pillage by the white establishment, but they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice.

The civilians at the other end of our weapons don’t have a choice. But American soldiers have choices, and while there may have been some doubt five years ago, today, we know the truth. Our soldiers don’t sacrifice for duty, honor and country. They sacrifice for Kellogg, Brown and Root. They don’t fight for America–they fight for their lives and their buddies beside them because we put them in a war zone.

They’re not defending our freedoms–they are laying the foundations for 14 permanent military bases to defend the freedoms of ExxonMobil and British Petroleum. They’re not establishing democracy, they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue after the military occupation has ended.

Iraqi society today, thanks to American help, is defined by house raids, death squads, checkpoints, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets and constant violence. We must dare to speak out in support of the Iraqi people, who resist and endure the horrific existence we brought upon them through our bloodthirsty imperial crusade.

We must dare to speak out in support of the American war resisters–the real military heroes, who uphold their oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, including those terrorist cells in Washington, D.C., more commonly known as the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

I close with a quote from Frederick Douglass, but if you want more information, please visit my Web site at liberatethis.com.

Frederick Douglass said: “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its mighty waters.

“The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”

Every one of us must keep demanding, keep fighting, keep thundering, keep plowing, keep speaking and keep struggling until justice is served. No justice, no peace.

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BOOK:

Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It,

by Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman

Their work fundamentally changes how we understand the root causes of the most important terrorist campaigns today. Through a close analysis of suicide campaigns by Al Qaeda and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, Chechnya, and Sri Lanka, the authors provide powerful new evidence that religion alone motivates only a tiny majority of these attacks. Instead, the root cause is foreign military occupation, which triggers secular and religious people to carry out suicide attacks.

Cutting the Fuse proves that the increase in suicide terrorism attacks is not due to radical Islam or jihadism but the main cause for over 90% of the suicide campaigns is due to military occupation of regions that terrorists prize or have concern for.

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?
April 1, 2010 9:02 AM RSS feed for this thread Subscribe
Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers… more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation… Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note

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Anti-US demonstration in Baghdad, 2003

Anti-invasion protests in Baghdad in 2003. Photograph: EPA

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Demonstrators protest US troop increase for Afghanistan in Los Angeles

UPI/Jim Ruymen

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NEW YORK Organizers say 300-thousand people marched against the Iraq war today in New York. The protesters demanded that President Bush withdraw U-S troops immediately. Reverend Al Sharpton, who was among the marchers, called the war “illegal, immoral and unethical.”

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anti-war rally sponsored by ANSWER in San Francisco on Sunday, March 18, 2007.

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9-11 Truth is the greatest Anti-War message.

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says it all

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US soldiers kill 16 Afghan civilians in revenge [Peace and war, Human rights, Media] — Administrator @ 9:47 am

Afghan refugees demonstrate against being sent back to unsafe Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken:

Highway massacre sparks anti-US protests in Afghanistan5 March 2007

The slaughter of some 16 civilians and the wounding of at least two dozen more by US troops in Afghanistan Sunday sparked angry protests demanding a withdrawal of the occupation forces and the ouster of Washington’s puppet, President Hamid Karzai.

The killings took place on a main highway between the Afghan town of Jalalabad and the Pakistani border after a suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives near a convoy of US Marines.

Both eyewitnesses to the incident and some Afghan officials described the US troops firing indiscriminately at civilians in their vehicles and on foot in angry retaliation for the suicide attack.

See also here.Associated Press reports:

Afghan journalists covering the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack and shooting in eastern Afghanistan said U.S. troops deleted their photos and video and warned them not to publish or air any images of U.S. troops or a car where three Afghans were shot to death.

Other Afghan civilians elsewhere also killed: here.And here.

And here.

Northern Afghanistan: here.

Tariq Ali on Afghanistan: here.

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Jewish protests against Israel not reported by press.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFpfy1SBCgo

Terrorists or FREEDOM FIGHTERS, ours or theirs?

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protest Cardiff Protest posters in Cardiff Photograph: Hannah Waldram/guardian.co.uk

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THOUSANDS IN MANCHESTER PROTEST FOR GAZA

Filed under: Manchester, Palestine — Andy Newman @ 3:25 pm

mancs-gaza-demo-2.jpg

mancs-gaza-demo.jpg

PICTURES BY RICHARD SEARLE

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Foreign Occupation main reason for ‘blowback’ Terrorism

BOOK:

An engaging book for investigation:

Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It

by Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman

Their work fundamentally changes how we understand the root causes of the most important terrorist campaigns today. Through a close analysis of suicide campaigns by Al Qaeda and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, Chechnya, and Sri Lanka, the authors provide powerful new evidence that religion alone motivates only a tiny majority of these attacks.

Instead, the root cause is foreign military occupation, which triggers secular and religious people to carry out suicide attacks.

Cutting the Fuse proves that the increase in suicide terrorism attacks is not due to radical Islam or jihadism but the main cause for over 90% of the suicide campaigns is due to military occupation of regions that terrorists prize or have concern for.

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

April 1, 2010 9:02 AM RSS feed for this thread Subscribe
Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers… more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation… Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note

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Extensive research into the causes of suicide terrorism proves Islam isn’t to blame — the root of the problem is foreign military occupations.

BY ROBERT A. PAPE | OCTOBER 18, 2010

Although no one wants to talk about it, 9/11 is still hurting America. That terrible day inflicted a wound of public fear that easily reopens with the smallest provocation, and it continues to bleed the United States of money, lives, and goodwill around the world. Indeed, America’s response to its fear has, in turn, made Americans less safe and has inspired more threats and attacks.

In the decade since 9/11, the United States has conquered and occupied two large Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), compelled a huge Muslim army to root out a terrorist sanctuary (Pakistan), deployed thousands of Special Forces troops to numerous Muslim countries (Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, etc.), imprisoned hundreds of Muslims without recourse, and waged a massive war of ideas involving Muslim clerics to denounce violence and new institutions to bring Western norms to Muslim countries. Yet Americans still seem strangely mystified as to why some Muslims might be angry about this situation.

In a narrow sense, America is safer today than on 9/11. There has not been another attack on the same scale. U.S. defenses regarding immigration controls, airport security, and the disruption of potentially devastating domestic plots have all improved.

But in a broader sense, America has become perilously unsafe. Each month, there are more suicide terrorists trying to kill Americans and their allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Muslim countries than in all the years before 2001 combined. From 1980 to 2003, there were 343 suicide attacks around the world, and at most 10 percent were anti-American inspired. Since 2004, there have been more than 2,000, over 91 percent against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries.

Yes, these attacks are overseas and mostly focused on military and diplomatic targets. So too, however, were the anti-American suicide attacks before 2001. It is important to remember that the 1995 and 1996 bombings of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen were the crucial dots that showed the threat was rising prior to 9/11. Today, such dots are occurring by the dozens every month. So why is nobody connecting them?

U.S. military policies have not stopped the rising wave of extremism in the Muslim world. The reason has not been lack of effort, or lack of bipartisan support for aggressive military policies, or lack of funding, or lack of genuine patriotism.

No. Something else is creating the mismatch between America’s effort and the results.

For nearly a decade, Americans have been waging a long war against terrorism without much serious public debate about what is truly motivating terrorists to kill them. In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, this was perfectly explicable — the need to destroy al Qaeda’s camps in Afghanistan was too urgent to await sober analyses of root causes.

But, the absence of public debate did not stop the great need to know or, perhaps better to say, to “understand” the events of that terrible day. In the years before 9/11, few Americans gave much thought to what drives terrorism — a subject long relegated to the fringes of the media, government, and universities. And few were willing to wait for new studies, the collection of facts, and the dispassionate assessment of alternative causes. Terrorism produces fear and anger, and these emotions are not patient.

A simple narrative was readily available, and a powerful conventional wisdom began to exert its grip. Because the 9/11 hijackers were all Muslims, it was easy to presume that Islamic fundamentalism was the central motivating force driving the 19 hijackers to kill themselves in order to kill Americans. Within weeks after the 9/11 attacks, surveys of American attitudes show that this presumption was fast congealing into a hard reality in the public mind. Americans immediately wondered, “Why do they hate us?” and almost as immediately came to the conclusion that it was because of “who we are, not what we do.” As President George W. Bush said in his first address to Congress after the 9/11 attacks: “They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”

Thus was unleashed the “war on terror.”

The narrative of Islamic fundamentalism did more than explain why America was attacked and encourage war against Iraq. It also pointed toward a simple, grand solution. If Islamic fundamentalism was driving the threat and if its roots grew from the culture of the Arab world, then America had a clear mission: To transform Arab societies — with Western political institutions and social norms as the ultimate antidote to the virus of Islamic extremism.

This narrative had a powerful effect on support for the invasion of Iraq. Opinion polls show that for years before the invasion, more than 90 percent of the U.S. public believed that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction (WMD). But this belief alone was not enough to push significant numbers to support war.

What really changed after 9/11 was the fear that anti-American Muslims desperately wanted to kill Americans and so any risk that such extremists would get weapons of mass destruction suddenly seemed too great. Although few Americans feared Islam before 9/11, by the spring of 2003, a near majority — 49 percent — strongly perceived that half or more of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims were deeply anti-American, and a similar fraction also believed that Islam itself promoted violence. No wonder there was little demand by congressional committees or the public at large for a detailed review of intelligence on Iraq’s WMD prior to the invasion.

The goal of transforming Arab societies into true Western democracies had powerful effects on U.S. commitments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Constitutions had to be written; elections held; national armies built; entire economies restructured. Traditional barriers against women had to be torn down. Most important, all these changes also required domestic security, which meant maintaining approximately 150,000 U.S. and coalition ground troops in Iraq for many years and increasing the number of U.S. and Western troops in Afghanistan each year from 2003 on.

Put differently, adopting the goal of transforming Muslim countries is what created the long-term military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, the United States would almost surely have sought to create a stable order after toppling the regimes in these countries in any case. However, in both, America’s plans quickly went far beyond merely changing leaders or ruling parties; only by creating Western-style democracies in the Muslim world could Americans defeat terrorism once and for all.

There’s just one problem: We now know that this narrative is not true.

New research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology independent of this crucial circumstance. Although this pattern began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, a wealth of new data presents a powerful picture.

More than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation, according to extensive research that we conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, where we examined every one of the over 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to the present day. As the United States has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide have risen dramatically — from about 300 from 1980 to 2003, to 1,800 from 2004 to 2009. Further, over 90 percent of suicide attacks worldwide are now anti-American. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the local region threatened by foreign troops, which is why 90 percent of suicide attackers in Afghanistan are Afghans.

Israelis have their own narrative about terrorism, which holds that Arab fanatics seek to destroy the Jewish state because of what it is, not what it does. But since Israel withdrew its army from Lebanon in May 2000, there has not been a single Lebanese suicide attack. Similarly, since Israel withdrew from Gaza and large parts of the West Bank, Palestinian suicide attacks are down over 90 percent.

Some have disputed the causal link between foreign occupation and suicide terrorism, pointing out that some occupations by foreign powers have not resulted in suicide bombings — for example, critics often cite post-World War II Japan and Germany. Our research provides sufficient evidence to address these criticisms by outlining the two factors that determine the likelihood of suicide terrorism being employed against an occupying force.

The first factor is social distance between the occupier and occupied. The wider the social distance, the more the occupied community may fear losing its way of life. Although other differences may matter, research shows that resistance to occupations is especially likely to escalate to suicide terrorism when there is a difference between the predominant religion of the occupier and the predominant religion of the occupied.

Religious difference matters not because some religions are predisposed to suicide attacks. Indeed, there are religious differences even in purely secular suicide attack campaigns, such as the LTTE (Hindu) against the Sinhalese (Buddhists).

Rather, religious difference matters because it enables terrorist leaders to claim that the occupier is motivated by a religious agenda that can scare both secular and religious members of a local community — this is why Osama bin Laden never misses an opportunity to describe U.S. occupiers as “crusaders” motivated by a Christian agenda to convert Muslims, steal their resources, and change the local population’s way of life.

The second factor is prior rebellion. Suicide terrorism is typically a strategy of last resort, often used by weak actors when other, non-suicidal methods of resistance to occupation fail. This is why we see suicide attack campaigns so often evolve from ordinary terrorist or guerrilla campaigns, as in the cases of Israel and Palestine, the Kurdish rebellion in Turkey, or the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

One of the most important findings from our research is that empowering local groups can reduce suicide terrorism. In Iraq, the surge’s success was not the result of increased U.S. military control of Anbar province, but the empowerment of Sunni tribes, commonly called the Anbar Awakening, which enabled Iraqis to provide for their own security. On the other hand, taking power away from local groups can escalate suicide terrorism. In Afghanistan, U.S. and Western forces began to exert more control over the country’s Pashtun regions starting in early 2006, and suicide attacks dramatically escalated from this point on.

The research suggests that U.S. interests would be better served through a policy of offshore balancing. Some scholars have taken issue with this approach, arguing that keeping boots on the ground in South Asia is essential for U.S. national security. Proponents of this strategy fail to realize how U.S. ground forces often inadvertently produce more anti-American terrorists than they kill. In 2000, before the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, there were 20 suicide attacks around the world, and only one (against the USS Cole) was directed against Americans. In the last 12 months, by comparison, 300 suicide attacks have occurred, and over 270 were anti-American. We simply must face the reality that, no matter how well-intentioned, the current war on terror is not serving U.S. interests.

The United States has been great in large part because it respects understanding and discussion of important ideas and concepts, and because it is free to change course. Intelligent decisions require putting all the facts before us and considering new approaches. The first step is recognizing that occupations in the Muslim world don’t make Americans any safer — in fact, they are at the heart of the problem.

Eric J. Tilford/U.S. Navy/Getty Images

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/10/18/it_s_the_occupation_stupid?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full

Robert A. Pape teaches at the University of Chicago and is co-author, with James K. Feldman, of Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.

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CATO ORG BOOK

Does U.S. Intervention Overseas
Breed Terrorism?
The Historical Record

by Ivan Eland

Ivan Eland is director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute.


Executive Summary

According to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, terrorism is the most important threat the United States and the world face as the 21st century begins. High-level U.S. officials have acknowledged that terrorists are now more likely to be able to obtain and use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons than ever before.

Yet most attention has been focused on combating terrorism by deterring and disrupting it beforehand and retaliating against it after the fact. Less attention has been paid to what motivates terrorists to launch attacks. According to the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board, a strong correlation exists between U.S. involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States. President Clinton has also acknowledged that link. The board, however, has provided no empirical data to support its conclusion. This paper fills that gap by citing many examples of terrorist attacks on the United States in retaliation for U.S. intervention overseas. The numerous incidents cataloged suggest that the United States could reduce the chances of such devastating–and potentially catastrophic–terrorist attacks by adopting a policy of military restraint overseas.

Full Text of Foreign Policy Brief No. 50 (PDF, 24 pgs, 93 Kb)

http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-050es.html

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Letter leaflet from Israelis againt occupation of Palestine

EXCERPTS FROM THE LEAFLET

SOLDIER:

We all want to defend our country. We’re all sick and tired of terrorism. We all want peace. But do our actions permit of an end to the cycle of bloodshed?

Since 1967, Israel has ruled over 3.5 million Palestinians, running their lives by means of a forcible occupation, with continual violations of human rights.

Ask yourself whether your actions in the course of your military service enhance national security? Or do those actions merely fuel the enmity and the acts of violence between us and our Palestinian neighbors?

SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION BREEDS TERRORISM!

When you take part in extrajudicial killings (“liquidation,” in the army’s terms), when you take part in demolishing residential homes, when you open fire at unarmed civilian population or residential homes, when you uproot orchards, when you interdict food supplies or medical treatment, you are taking part in actions defined in international conventions (such as the 4th Geneva Convention) and in Israeli law as war crimes.

Soldier, is there a people anywhere in the world that will not resist an occupation regime? If you were in the Palestinians’ shoes, would you be willing to bow your head to a foreign ruler?….

http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2002/Israeli-Antiwar-Movement25feb02.htm

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The War Nobody Won
Part 2: The new Agincourt


By Henry C K Liu

Part 1: Chaos, crime and incredulity

…. As the NSSUSA puts it: “No people on Earth yearn to be oppressed, aspire to servitude, or eagerly await the midnight knock of the secret police.” It’s this association of power with universal principles, Bush argues, that will cause other great powers to go along with whatever the United States has to do to preempt terrorists and tyrants, even if it does so alone. For, as was the case through most of the Cold War, there’s something worse out there than US hegemony.

The invasion of Iraq punctured the myth behind this theory. It showed the world that US hegemony spells arbitrary misapplication of moral values and selective US occupation in the name of liberation. The inescapable conclusion is that superpower hegemony breeds terrorism rather than suppresses it…..

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3104.htm

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“And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we’ll fight them there, we’ll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.” (Applause.) — President George W. Bush

Despite plenty of muscular rhetoric, President Bush’s strategy in the War on Terrorism demonstrates a dangerous ignorance of the unique military, tactical, and political aspects of the terrorist threat, and breeds a dangerous and chaotic foreign policy which has only served to put our nation in greater danger.

Back in the 6th century BC, in his classic, The Art of War, Sun Tsu observed, “Know your enemy, and in a thousand battles you will not be defeated.” Sadly, our current Commander-in-Chief ignores the Chinese grand master’s lesson, and actively eschews the acquisition of useful knowledge about our terrorist enemy. After the 9/11 Commission found that the CIA and FBI could have prevented the attacks of September 11th, had they only more effectively shared and communicated their intelligence to the White House, the Bush Administration could have ensured a dynamic and efficient system of American intelligence simply by reforming and/or streamlining the two agencies. Instead, the Administration did nothing to improve either agency, instead creating an entirely new government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, whose most obvious contribution to homeland security to date is a puerile, and now universally-ignored, color-coded Alert Level system.

Not surprisingly, the enhanced state of perpetual ignorance within America’s intelligence community quickly took its toll, proceeding to deliver terribly flawed pre-war intelligence to the White House, which then spawned an utterly disastrous occupation of Iraq. All of this, of course, was in addition to our continued inability to capture, or even locate, America’s Public Enemy 1, Osama bin Laden. Sun Tsu is rolling in his grave.

The atrocious ignorance continues with the Administration’s inability to grasp the fundamental distinction between fighting terrorists and fighting enemy nation-states. In the wars of yesteryear, an enemy nation had a standing army, a native population, static boundaries, and permanent institutions, all of which helped to create an enemy who could be effectively destroyed with a sustained military campaign. But the problem with terrorists, unlike nationals of a belligerent foreign nation, is that they are not a permanent, distinct class. Terrorists are recruited, shaped, molded and trained by underground organizations, usually working without state sanction, and thus there is no fixed stock of “enemy combatants” capable of comprehensive military liquidation. As William F. Buckley, Jr. brilliantly observed, “Individual terrorists were, only yesterday, engaged in ordinary occupations, shocking friends and family when they struck as terrorists.” Victory, then, will be achieved not with a specific death toll or geographic occupation, but by ensuring that Islamofascism remains a detested minority in every country in which it hopes to gain support. Victory is depriving the Islamofascists the ideological fuel with which they recruit the ordinary citizens to join the ranks of the jihad.

Terrorism itself is only a tactic of violence; it finds its roots in an ideology and thus cannot be defeated by military might alone. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan, founded in 1975 in Sri Lanka as the first terrorist organization to make widespread use of suicide bombing, are amazingly still blowing themselves up as part of their independence movement there (talk about dedication!), simply because they are still not independent from Sri Lanka, and thus can still recruit their martyrs with an effective narrative of foreign oppression and victimization. The near-infinite willingness of a people to willingly slaughter themselves in an ideological protest against foreign occupation has been confirmed over and over, from the Algerian resistance to French occupation, to America’s own experience in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, most of the fuel for the global jihad is supplied by current American foreign policy in the Middle East. It is true, as some allege, that Islamists hate nearly every feature of Western society, from our politics to our culture, and as a result, it is easy to say that Islamic terrorism against America is a fait accompli stemming from a fanatical worldview that hates everything we stand for. But while Islamists indeed harbor grand visions of world empire under Allah, their delusions of global theocracy have been swirling around the Middle East ever since Muhammad began claiming his divinity; only recently did Islamic terrorism emerge as a dangerous threat to America. As late as the 1950s, Arab nations still sought out American mediation in their international disputes, respecting our independence and fairness, despite presumably still harboring atavistic religious hatred toward Our American Freedoms. Seven decades later, Uncle Sam is reviled like no one else in the world.

Libertarians, like Ron Paul, rightly point out that the difference between the good ol’ days of respect for America and the current days of Death to America is a U.S. foreign policy of interference in the Middle East. Rudy Giuliani and his supporters would like to believe otherwise. But nothing is more devastating in the obliteration of Rudy G’s arguments than the facts.

Back in 1998, Cato Institute scholar Ivan Eland had already been looking at the facts, and as a result, he had already begun to note the growing trend of America’s terrorist threat, corresponding directly and invariably with American intervention into the Middle East. Unlike both Bush and Clinton, Eland was already keenly aware of al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and their growing threat to American interests. (If only Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney read the Cato Institute.) Here are some partial excerpts of his prescient work, from his 1998 paper Does U.S. Intervention Overseas Breed Terrorism? The Historical Record:

July 2, 1915: The Senate reception room in the U.S. Capitol was damaged by a homemade bomb built by Erich Muenter, a former Harvard professor who was upset by sales of U.S. munitions to the Allies in World War I.

June 5, 1968: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, former attorney general and senior policy adviser to President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, who had grown up on the West Bank and regarded Kennedy as a collaborator with Israel.

March 1971: A bomb exploded in a U.S. Senate restroom, causing extensive damage. The bombing came at a time of rising opposition to U.S. policies in Vietnam.

November 4, 1979: Supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, capturing hostages that were not freed until January 1981. The embassy was captured as a protest against long-time U.S. support for the unpopular shah of Iran.

July 22, 1980: Ali Akbar Tabatabai, a former press counselor at the Iranian embassy in the United States during the shah’s reign, was assassinated by the Islamic Guerrillas of America (IGA) after he had supplied U.S. officials with a manifesto of the IGA that advocated strategically planned terrorism on U.S. soil and assassinations of U.S. officials, stating, Any American can be targeted… no American is innocent… as long as U.S. foreign policies are to the detriment of the Islamic community.

April 8 and October 23, 1983: Islamic militants, funded by Iran and supported by Syria, suicide bombed the U.S. embassy and U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 290 people and wounding 200 more. The attack remains the deadliest post-World War II attack on Americans overseas. The Americans were supporting the Christian government in Lebanon against the Muslim militias by training and arming the Lebanese National Army. The U.S. Marines were later withdrawn from Beirut, prompting a Hezbollah spokesman to brag that the $martyrs! had finally forced the Marines out of Lebanon.

April 5, 1986: Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi sponsored the bombing of the La Belle nightclub in West Berlin, which was frequented by U.S. servicemen. The United States retaliated for the La Belle bombing with air strikes against Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya. In retaliation for the U.S. air strikes on Libya, an American hostage in Lebanon was sold to Libya and executed; Libyans attempted to blow up the U.S. embassy in Lomé, Togo; a Libyan agent, Abu Nidal, hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, killing several Americans; The Japanese Red Army, under contract from Abu Nidal, planted a bomb at the USO military club in Naples, Italy, on the two-year anniversary of the air strikes, killing five; and two Libyan agents bombed Pan Am Flight 103, killing 270 people, 200 of whom were Americans.

March 10, 1989: A pipe bomb exploded beneath a van owned by the commander of the U.S.S. Vincennes, who had shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf (killing 290 civilians) during U.S. participation in the $tanker war! against Iran. March 12, 1991: During the Gulf War, a U.S. Air Force sergeant was blown up by a remotecontrolled bomb placed at the entrance of his residence in Athens, Greece. $November 17!, the deadliest terrorist group in Greece, November 17, which attacks U.S. targets because of American imperialism-nationalism!, claimed responsibility for the attack.

February 26, 1993: A group of Islamic terrorists detonated a massive van bomb in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. The Egyptian perpetrators were trying to kill 250,000 people by collapsing the towers. Ramzi Yousef, the leader of the terrorists, said the intent was to inflict Hiroshima-like casualties to punish the United States for its foreign policy toward the Middle East. The perpetrators considered augmenting the explosion with radiological or chemical agents that would have increased the casualties.

April 15, 1993: Seventeen Iraqis were arrested as part of government plot to assassinate former president George Bush on a visit to Kuwait, in retaliation for the Gulf War against Iraq.

June 1993: Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman–a militant Egyptian cleric–and other radical Muslims conspired to destroy several New York landmarks on the same day. Funding for the operation apparently came from Iran and was funneled through Sudan, attempting to punish the United States for its policies toward the Middle East.

October 3, 1993: Osama bin Laden’s operatives trained Somali tribesmen who conducted ambushes of U.S. peacekeeping forces in Somalia in support of clan leader Mohamed Farah Aideed, causing the death of 18 American Army Rangers, and the dragging of dead American soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu. An indictment of his followers alleged the United States–an $infidel nation!–had a nefarious plot to occupy Islamic countries, as demonstrated by its involvement in the peacekeeping operation in Somalia and the Persian Gulf War. The incident led to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia, which bin Laden called his group’s greatest triumph.

November 13, 1995: A car bombing of a military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia–which housed a U.S. military advisory group–killed 7 people (including 5 Americans) and wounded 42 others. Muslim militants seeking to topple the Saudi monarchy and push the infidel United States out of Saudi Arabia carried out the bombings. Three groups, including the Islamic Movement for Change, claimed responsibility. U.S. officials suspect that Osama bin Laden was involved….

We can fill in the rest. Years later, 9/11 ushered in the modern War on Terrorism, and Mr. Bush, with characteristic ignorance of the documented connection between American aggression in the Middle East and Islamic terrorism against America, only further augmented interventionist U.S. foreign policy. That the Bush Doctrine’s geopolitical social engineering, especially in Iraq, has been such an unqualified failure is not a surprise to anyone who has read this article thus far.

Another obvious problem with the Bush Doctrine and its exportation of Democracy is that nearly every Arab Muslim lives in a Non- Democracy, and thus America’s grand experiment looks, from the perspective of the common man, to simply be imperialist meddling with his local government. The Bush Doctrine, even if it somehow succeeded (i.e. when the “fight is won,” perhaps), would only guarantee a Pyrrhic victory at best. With every terrorist mastermind captured in Iraq, dozens of martyrs sign up to avenge his death and battle the American Empire. Iraq itself wasn’t even a haven for al-Qaida operatives until after America invaded it. While bin Laden, confirmed murderer of American civilians, roams the globe free, Mr. Bush is pleased that we’ve killed terrorist al- Zarqawi, whose horrific and disgusting attacks were all against America’s presence in Iraq, never threatening continental America itself. The Bush Administration, it seems, is really only successful at capturing terrorists of its own creation. Sadly, U.S. interventionism Iraq itself wasn’t even a haven for al-Qaida operatives until after America invaded it. The Bush Administration, it seems, is really only successful at capturing terrorists of its own creation.

Sadly, U.S. interventionism (Operation Terrorist Creation) is not limited to the occupation of Iraq. The CIA and NSA continue to interfere in the political affairs of various nations the world over, funding, training and assisting various anti-Islamic movements and governments, from the Caspian Sea to the Horn of Africa.

While such action may excite the intellectual tribalists in the neoconservative movement, the problem with such meddling is that the CIA-backed alternatives to Islamism, just like the CIAbacked alternatives to Communism, tend to usually be brutal nationalist dictators or military juntas, and are just as bad, or worse, than Islamism for the people we are supposedly “liberating.” As a result, our intervention only enhances political oppression, civil unrest and poverty, which, studies show, then only serves as a breeding ground for Islamic extremism. The whole nasty process only further convinces the Islamic diaspora that America is waging a war on Islam. This is not how to win the hearts and minds of the world’s people.

Our current policy, in its blind aggression and geopolitical ignorance, purports to fight terrorists “where they are making their stand,” but it only serves to make them more effective and numerous. Thanks to the Bush Doctrine, radical clerics, government bankrollers, and their potential recruits can now all observe a visible military and political occupation to justify their ongoing resistance against the Great Satan. In these backward societies deprived of freedom of information and thought, radical Islamofascist rhetoric, combined with clear evidence of American global occupation, is sadly enough for terrorists to gain alarming popular traction, financial support, and willing martyrs. This mobilization of terrorists, potentially creating hundreds of thousands of jihadists, if America’s belligerent foreign policy continues apace, is becoming the greatest threat the United States of America faces.

In intelligent recognition of this reality, America should immediately repudiate the Bush Doctrine and pursue a policy of intelligent disengagement. First, those terrorists and organizations which have committed or planned acts of aggression against the United States, such as al-Qaida, should be pursued with vigor; this is our most important mission and should be treated as such. Second, America must cease all nation-building, internal interference, and general military interventionism in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, in order to deprive terrorists of their fuel for jihad. Regimes, organizations and groups who do not threaten direct harm to the United States should not be the target of any U.S. military campaign. As we’ve repeatedly argued, the occupation of Iraq should immediately end.

As Americans, we all desire to win the war and to enjoy permanent security. But like Vietnam, Quebec, and Somalia, not all battles our government chooses to fight are winning ones; and like My Lai, Manzanar, and the Bay of Pigs, not all tactics our military prefers are desirable. An extension of that nugget of common sense dictates that as long as U.S. foreign policy glorifies the imperialist fallacies of neoconservatism, we libertarians will continue to rightly inveigh against it.

The Bush Administration’s blind allegiance to aggression over knowledge perverts not only the lessons of Sun Tsu, but also the American Founders’ original vision of a nation seeking only peaceful trading ties, the avoidance of entangling political alliances, and a national defense to respond powerfully only when directly provoked. The authentic patriot believes in these true American principles of intelligent self-defense, and knows that they alone can safely guide our nation through these troubled and dangerous times.

The author of The American Evolution, Matt Harrison is the founder and executive director of The Prometheus Institute, Los Angeles, CA, a nonprofit public policy institute. He has authored more than 200 articles and has been a guest on several talk radio shows and a guest blogger for CNN.

Related articles:

  1. Justice for Terrorists
  2. Terrorists and Criminals
  3. Go Bush?!…
  4. The Legacy of Bush 43
  5. American Universities: Shifting Balance Of Foreign Students

http://collegetimes.us/us-foreign-policy-makes-america-less-safe-in-the-war-on-terrorism/

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Karen Armstrong, The Label of Catholic Terror Was Never Used About the IRA

Precise intelligence is essential in any conflict. It is important to know who our enemies are, but equally crucial to know who they are not. It is even more vital to avoid turning potential friends into foes. By making the disciplined effort to name our enemies correctly, we will learn more about them, and come one step nearer, perhaps, to solving the seemingly intractable and increasingly perilous problems of our divided world.

exists.–Foreign Affairs, September/October 2006 John Mueller, Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them

Hypervigilance is threatening civil liberties, the economy, and lives. Terrorist threats are overblown; we can learn from the lessons of previous international threats that they are often exaggerated; and by applying these lessons, we can create policy that reduces fear and the cost of overreaction.

Death Toll From Road Accidents 390 Times That From Terrorism

The body count from road accidents in developed economies is 390 times higher than the death toll in these countries from international terrorism, says a study appearing in a specialist journal, Injury Prevention. In 2001, as many people died every 26 days on American roads as died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it says.

Peter Dale Scott and Robert Parry, A Long History of America’s Dark Side

This military tradition has explicitly defended the selective use of terror, whether in suppressing Native American resistance on the frontiers in the 19th Century or in protecting U.S. interests abroad in the 20th Century or fighting the “war on terror” over the last decade.

Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions

If the agenda can be restricted to the ambiguities of Arafat, the abuses and failures of the Sandinistas, the terrorism of Iran and Libya, and other properly framed issues, then the game [fooling the American public] is basically over; excluded from the discussion is the unambiguous rejectionism of the United States and Israel, and the terrorism and other crimes of the United States and its clients, not only far greater in scale but also incomparably more significant on any moral dimension for American citizens, who are in a position to mitigate or terminate these crimes. — p. 49

Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants

The use of terror is deeply ingrained in our [US] character. . . The first step is to use the police. They’re critical because they can detect discontent early and eliminate it before “major surgery” is necessary. If major surgery becomes necessary, we rely on the army. When we can no longer control the army . . . it’s time to overthrow the government.

The second step is to use the military. The US has always tried to establish relations with the military in foreign countries, because that’s one of the ways to overthrow a government that has gotten out of hand.

Peter Dale Scott, U.S. Responsibility For The Slaughters

American media are quick to cast light on the personal atrocities of others, who happen (not by coincidence) to be our enemies. We have been told much about the outrages committed by Nazi Germany and Japan during World War II, and then in the post-war era by Stalin and by China down through the Cultural Revolution and Tien-An-Men. The massacres in Cambodia, with their pyramids of skulls, have been succeeded in our media by the killing fields of East Africa, Bosnia, and Algeria. The massacres we do not hear about, at least at the time, are those for which the United States itself is responsible. This on-going, systematic suppression, from the Philippines in the 1950s to El Salvador in the 1980s, falsifies our understanding, not just of our own history, but of all managed atrocities throughout the world.

Head US Special Forces, 60 Minutes

[The special forces are used] to put down rebellions or to start one. — April 30, 1995 [On October 1, 1997, Gen. Henry H. Shelton became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.]

Major General Smedley D. Butler, Excerpt from 1933 speech

War is just a racket. . . . It has its ‘finger men’ to point out enemies, its ‘muscle men’ to destroy enemies, its ‘brain men’ to plan war preparations, and a ‘Big Boss’ Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism. . . . I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

[General Butler was one of the few Americans to be twice awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor.]

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Letter to United Nations Ambassadors

Two months have passed since the Security Council last reviewed the murderous sanctions against Iraq and more than 20,000 human beings have died as a direct result of its failure to end the sanctions that time. More than 10,000 of those who died in March and April are infants and children. The entire population of Iraq has suffered. Millions will not overcome the effects of the sanctions in their lifetimes which have been shortened by years. The history of this violent century does not reveal a more deadly, cruel, inhumane and degrading torture of the whole population of an entire nation inflicted by foreign power for so long a period of time. — May 1, 1996

http://www.twf.org/Library/Terrorism.html

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The “Green Peril”:
Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat

by Leon T. Hadar

Leon T. Hadar, a former bureau chief for the Jerusalem Post, is an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.


Executive SummaryNow that the Cold War is becoming a memory, America’s foreign policy establishment has begun searching for new enemies. Possible new villains include “instability” in Europe –ranging from German resurgence to new Russian imperialism– the “vanishing” ozone layer, nuclear proliferation, and narcoterrorism. Topping the list of potential new global bogeymen, however, are the Yellow Peril, the alleged threat to American economic security emanating from East Asia, and the so-called Green Peril (green is the color of Islam). That peril is symbolized by the Middle Eastern Moslem fundamentalist–the “Fundie,” to use a term coined by The Economist(1)–a Khomeini-like creature, armed with a radical ideology, equipped with nuclear weapons, and intent on launching a violent jihad against Western civilization.

George Will even suggested that the 1,000-year battle between Christendom and Islam might be breaking out once more when he asked, “Could it be that 20 years from now we will be saying, not that they’re at the gates of Vienna again, but that, in fact, the birth of Mohammed is at least as important as the birth of Christ, that Islamic vitality could be one of the big stories of the next generations?”(2)

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Released November 14, 2001
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: http://www.twf.org — Press Contact: Enver Masud

Terrorism: Theirs and Ours

by Eqbal Ahmad A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Jewish underground in Palestine was described as “TERRORIST.” Then new things happened.

By 1942, the Holocaust was occurring, and a certain liberal sympathy with the Jewish people had built up in the Western world. At that point, the terrorists of Palestine, who were Zionists, suddenly started to be described, by 1944-45, as “freedom fighters.” At least two Israeli Prime Ministers, including Menachem Begin, have actually, you can find in the books and posters with their pictures, saying “Terrorists, Reward This Much.” The highest reward I have noted so far was 100,000 British pounds on the head of Menachem Begin, the terrorist.

Then from 1969 to 1990 the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, occupied the center stage as the terrorist organization. Yasir Arafat has been described repeatedly by the great sage of American journalism, William Safire of the New York Times, as the “Chief of Terrorism.” That’s Yasir Arafat.

Now, on September 29, 1998, I was rather amused to notice a picture of Yasir Arafat to the right of President Bill Clinton. To his left is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-yahu. Clinton is looking towards Arafat and Arafat is looking literally like a meek mouse. Just a few years earlier he used to appear with this very menacing look around him, with a gun appearing menacing from his belt. You remember those pictures, and you remember the next one.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded men. These bearded men I was writing about in those days in The New Yorker, actually did. They were very ferocious-looking bearded men with turbans looking like they came from another century. President Reagan received them in the White House. After receiving them he spoke to the press. He pointed towards them, I’m sure some of you will recall that moment, and said, “These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”. These were the Afghan Mujahiddin. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the Evil Empire. They were the moral equivalent of our founding fathers!

In August 1998, another American President ordered missile strikes from the American navy based in the Indian Ocean to kill Osama Bin Laden and his men in the camps in Afghanistan. I do not wish to embarrass you with the reminder that Mr. Bin Laden, whom fifteen American missiles were fired to hit in Afghanistan, was only a few years ago the moral equivalent of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson! He got angry over the fact that he has been demoted from ‘Moral Equivalent’ of your ‘Founding Fathers’. So he is taking out his anger in different ways. I’ll come back to that subject more seriously in a moment.

You see, why I have recalled all these stories is to point out to you that the matter of terrorism is rather complicated. Terrorists change. The terrorist of yesterday is the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today. This is a serious matter of the constantly changing world of images in which we have to keep our heads straight to know what is terrorism and what is not. But more importantly, to know what causes it, and how to stop it.

The next point about our terrorism is that posture of inconsistency necessarily evades definition. If you are not going to be consistent, you’re not going to define. I have examined at least twenty official documents on terrorism. Not one defines the word. All of them explain it, express it emotively, polemically, to arouse our emotions rather than exercise our intelligence. I give you only one example, which is representative. October 25, 1984. George Shultz, then Secretary of State of the U.S., is speaking at the New York Park Avenue Synagogue. It’s a long speech on terrorism. In the State Department Bulletin of seven single-spaced pages, there is not a single definition of terrorism. What we get is the following:

Definition number one: “Terrorism is a modern barbarism that we call terrorism.”Ê

Definition number two is even more brilliant: “Terrorism is a form of political violence.” Aren’t you surprised? It is a form of political violence, says George Shultz, Secretary of State of the U.S.

Number three: “Terrorism is a threat to Western civilization.”

Number four: “Terrorism is a menace to Western moral values.”

Did you notice, does it tell you anything other than arouse your emotions? This is typical. They don’t define terrorism because definitions involve a commitment to analysis, comprehension and adherence to some norms of consistency. That’s the second characteristic of the official literature on terrorism.

The third characteristic is that the absence of definition does not prevent officials from being globalistic. We may not define terrorism, but it is a menace to the moral values of Western civilization. It is a menace also to mankind. It’s a menace to good order. Therefore, you must stamp it out worldwide. Our reach has to be global. You need a global reach to kill it. Anti-terrorist policies therefore have to be global. Same speech of George Shultz: “There is no question about our ability to use force where and when it is needed to counter terrorism.” There is no geographical limit. On a single day the missiles hit Afghanistan and Sudan. Those two countries are 2,300 miles apart, and they were hit by missiles belonging to a country roughly 8,000 miles away. Reach is global.

A fourth characteristic: claims of power are not only globalist they are also omniscient. We know where they are; therefore we know where to hit. We have the means to know. We have the instruments of knowledge. We are omniscient. Shultz: “We know the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters, and as we look around, we have no trouble telling one from the other.”

Only Osama Bin Laden doesn’t know that he was an ally one day and an enemy another. That’s very confusing for Osama Bin Laden. I’ll come back to his story towards the end. It’s a real story.

Five. The official approach eschews causation. You don’t look at causes of anybody becoming terrorist. Cause? What cause? They ask us to be looking, to be sympathetic to these people.

Another example. The New York Times, December 18, 1985, reported that the foreign minister of Yugoslavia, you remember the days when there was a Yugoslavia, requested the Secretary of State of the U.S. to consider the causes of Palestinian terrorism. The Secretary of State, George Shultz, and I am quoting from the New York Times, “went a bit red in the face. He pounded the table and told the visiting foreign minister, there is no connection with any cause. Period.” Why look for causes?

Number six. The moral revulsion that we must feel against terrorism is selective. We are to feel the terror of those groups, which are officially disapproved. We are to applaud the terror of those groups of whom officials do approve. Hence, President Reagan, “I am a contra.” He actually said that. We know the contras of Nicaragua were anything, by any definition, but terrorists. The media, to move away from the officials, heed the dominant view of terrorism.

The dominant approach also excludes from consideration, more importantly to me, the terror of friendly governments. To that question I will return because it excused among others the terror of Pinochet (who killed one of my closest friends) and Orlando Letelier; and it excused the terror of Zia ul-Haq, who killed many of my friends in Pakistan. All I want to tell you is that according to my ignorant calculations, the ratio of people killed by the state terror of Zia ul-Haq, Pino-chet, Argentinian, Brazilian, Indonesian type, versus the killing of the PLO and other terrorist types is literally, conservatively, one to one hundred thousand. That’s the ratio.

History unfortunately recognizes and accords visibility to power and not to weakness. Therefore, visibility has been accorded historically to dominant groups. In our time, the time that began with this day, Columbus Day

The time that begins with Columbus Day is a time of extraordinary unrecorded holocausts. Great civilizations have been wiped out. The Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, the American Indians, the Canadian Indians were all wiped out. Their voices have not been heard, even to this day fully. Now they are beginning to be heard, but not fully. They are heard, yes, but only when the dominant power suffers, only when resistance has a semblance of costing, of exacting a price. When a Custer is killed or when a Gordon is besieged. That’s when you know that they were Indians fighting, Arabs fighting and dying.

My last point of this section Ð U.S. policy in the Cold War period has sponsored terrorist regimes one after another. Somoza, Batista, all kinds of tyrants have been America’s friends. You know that. There was a reason for that. I or you are not guilty. Nicaragua, contra. Afghanistan, mujahiddin. El Salvador, etc.

Now the second side. You’ve suffered enough. So suffer more.

There ain’t much good on the other side either. You shouldn’t imagine that I have come to praise the other side. But keep the balance in mind. Keep the imbalance in mind and first ask ourselves, What is terrorism?

Our first job should be to define the damn thing, name it, give it a description of some kind, other than “moral equivalent of founding fathers” or “a moral outrage to Western civilization”. I will stay with you with Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: “Terror is an intense, overpowering fear.” He uses terrorizing, terrorism, “the use of terrorizing methods of governing or resisting a government.” This simple definition has one great virtue, that of fairness. It’s fair. It focuses on the use of coercive violence, violence that is used illegally, extra-constitutionally, to coerce. And this definition is correct because it treats terror for what it is, whether the government or private people commit it.

Have you noticed something? Motivation is left out of it. We’re not talking about whether the cause is just or unjust. We’re talking about consensus, consent, absence of consent, legality, absence of legality, constitutionality, absence of constitutionality. Why do we keep motives out? Because motives differ. Motives differ and make no difference.

I have identified in my work five types of terrorism

First, state terrorism. Second, religious terrorism; terrorism inspired by religion, Catholics killing Protestants, Sunnis killing Shiites, Shiites killing Sunnis, God, religion, sacred terror, you can call it if you wish. State, church. Crime. Mafia. All kinds of crimes commit terror. There is pathology. You’re pathological. You’re sick. You want the attention of the whole world. You’ve got to kill a president. You will. You terrorize. You hold up a bus. Fifth, there is political terror of the private group; be they Indian, Vietnamese, Algerian, Palestinian, Baader-Meinhof, the Red Brigade. Political terror of the private group. Oppositional terror

Keep these five in mind. Keep in mind one more thing. Sometimes these five can converge on each other. You start with protest terror. You go crazy. You become pathological. You continue. They converge. State terror can take the form of private terror. For example, we’re all familiar with the death squads in Latin America or in Pakistan. Government has employed private people to kill its opponents. It’s not quite official. It’s privatized. Convergence. Or the political terrorist who goes crazy and becomes pathological. Or the criminal who joins politics. In Afghanistan, in Central America, the CIA employed in its covert operations drug pushers. Drugs and guns often go together. Smuggling of all things often go together.

Of the five types of terror, the focus is on only one, the least important in terms of cost to human lives and human property [Political Terror of those who want to be heard]. The highest cost is state terror. The second highest cost is religious terror, although in the twentieth century religious terror has, relatively speaking, declined. If you are looking historically, massive costs. The next highest cost is crime. Next highest, pathology. A Rand Corporation study by Brian Jenkins, for a ten-year period up to 1988, showed 50% of terror was committed without any political cause at all. No politics. Simply crime and pathology

So the focus is on only one, the political terrorist, the PLO, the Bin Laden, whoever you want to take. Why do they do it? What makes the terrorist tick?

I would like to knock them out quickly to you. First, the need to be heard. Imagine, we are dealing with a minority group, the political, private terrorist. First, the need to be heard. Normally, and there are exceptions, there is an effort to be heard, to get your grievances heard by people. They’re not hearing it. A minority acts. The majority applauds.

The Palestinians, for example, the superterrorists of our time, were dispossessed in 1948. From 1948 to 1968 they went to every court in the world. They knocked at every door in the world. They were told that they became dispossessed because some radio told them to go away – an Arab radio, which was a lie. Nobody was listening to the truth. Finally, they invented a new form of terror, literally their invention: the airplane hijacking. Between 1968 and 1975 they pulled the world up by its ears. They dragged us out and said, Listen, Listen. We listened. We still haven’t done them justice, but at least we all know. Even the Israelis acknowledge. Remember Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, saying in 1970, ‘There are no Palestinians.’ They do not exist. They damn well exist now. We are cheating them at Oslo. At least there are some people to cheat now. We can’t just push them out. The need to be heard is essential. One motivation there.

Mix of anger and helplessness produces an urge to strike out. You are angry. You are feeling helpless. You want retribution. You want to wreak retributive justice. The experience of violence by a stronger party has historically turned victims into terrorists. Battered children are known to become abusive parents and violent adults. You know that. That’s what happens to peoples and nations. When they are battered, they hit back. State terror very often breeds collective terror.

Do you recall the fact that the Jews were never terrorists? By and large Jews were not known to commit terror except during and after the Holocaust. Most studies show that the majority of members of the worst terrorist groups in Israel or in Palestine, the Stern and the Irgun gangs, were people who were immigrants from the most anti-Semitic countries of Eastern Europe and Germany. Similarly, the young Shiites of Lebanon or the Palestinians from the refugee camps are battered people. They become very violent. The ghettos are violent internally. They become violent externally when there is a clear, identifiable external target, an enemy where you can say, ‘Yes, this one did it to me’. Then they can strike back.

Example is a bad thing. Example spreads. There was a highly publicized Beirut hijacking of the TWA plane. After that hijacking, there were hijacking attempts at nine different American airports. Pathological groups or individuals modeling on the others. Even more serious are examples set by governments. When governments engage in terror, they set very large examples. When they engage in supporting terror, they engage in other sets of examples.

Absence of revolutionary ideology is central to victim terrorism. Revolutionaries do not commit unthinking terror. Those of you who are familiar with revolutionary theory know the debates, the disputes, the quarrels, the fights within revolutionary groups of Europe, the fight between anarchists and Marxists, for example. But the Marxists have always argued that revolutionary terror, if ever engaged in, must be sociologically and psychologically selective. Don’t hijack a plane. Don’t hold hostages. Don’t kill children, for God’s sake. Have you recalled also that the great revolutions, the Chinese, the Vietnamese, the Algerian, the Cuban, never engaged in hijacking type of terrorism? They did engage in terrorism, but it was highly selective, highly sociological, still deplorable, but there was an organized, highly limited, selective character to it. So absence of revolutionary ideology that begins more or less in the post-World War II period has been central to this phenomenon.

My final question is – These conditions have existed for a long time. But why then this flurry of private political terrorism? Why now so much of it and so visible? The answer is modern technology. You have a cause. You can communicate it through radio and television. They will all come swarming if you have taken an aircraft and are holding 150 Americans hostage. They will all hear your cause. You have a modern weapon through which you can shoot a mile away. They can’t reach you. And you have the modern means of communicating. When you put together the cause, the instrument of coercion and the instrument of communication, politics is made. A new kind of politics becomes possible.

To this challenge rulers from one country after another have been responding with traditional methods. The traditional method of shooting it out, whether it’s missiles or some other means. The Israelis are very proud of it. The Americans are very proud of it. The French became very proud of it. Now the Pakistanis are very proud of it. The Pakistanis say, ‘Our commandos are the best.’ Frankly, it won’t work. A central problem of our time, political minds, rooted in the past, and modern times, producing new realities. Therefore in conclusion, what is my recommendation to America?

Quickly. First, avoid extremes of double standards. If you’re going to practice double standards, you will be paid with double standards. Don’t use it. Don’t condone Israeli terror, Pakistani terror, Nicaraguan terror, El Salvadoran terror, on the one hand, and then complain about Afghan terror or Palestinian terror. It doesn’t work. Try to be even-handed. A superpower cannot promote terror in one place and reasonably expect to discourage terrorism in another place. It won’t work in this shrunken world.

Do not condone the terror of your allies. Condemn them. Fight them. Punish them. Please eschew, avoid covert operations and low-intensity warfare. These are breeding grounds of terror and drugs. Violence and drugs are bred there. The structure of covert operations, I’ve made a film about it, which has been very popular in Europe, called Dealing with the Demon. I have shown that wherever covert operations have been, there has been the central drug problem. That has been also the center of the drug trade. Because the structure of covert operations, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Central America, is very hospitable to drug trade. Avoid it. Give it up. It doesn’t help.

Please focus on causes and help ameliorate causes. Try to look at causes and solve problems. Do not concentrate on military solutions. Do not seek military solutions. Terrorism is a political problem. Seek political solutions. Diplomacy works.

Take the example of the last attack on Bin Laden. You don’t know what you’re attacking. They say they know, but they don’t know. They were trying to kill Qadaffi. They killed his four-year-old daughter. The poor baby hadn’t done anything. Qadaffi is still alive. They tried to kill Saddam Hussein. They killed Laila Bin Attar, a prominent artist, an innocent woman. They tried to kill Bin Laden and his men. Not one but twenty-five other people died. They tried to destroy a chemical factory in Sudan. Now they are admitting that they destroyed an innocent factory, one-half of the production of medicine in Sudan has been destroyed, not a chemical factory. You don’t know. You think you know.

Four of your missiles fell in Pakistan. One was slightly damaged. Two were totally damaged. One was totally intact. For ten years the American government has kept an embargo on Pakistan because Pakistan is trying, stupidly, to build nuclear weapons and missiles. So we have a technology embargo on my country. One of the missiles was intact. What do you think a Pakistani official told the Washington Post? He said it was a gift from Allah. We wanted U.S. technology. Now we have got the technology, and our scientists are examining this missile very carefully. It fell into the wrong hands. So don’t do that. Look for political solutions. Do not look for military solutions. They cause more problems than they solve.

Please help reinforce, strengthen the framework of international law. There was a criminal court in Rome. Why didn’t they go to it first to get their warrant against Bin Laden, if they have some evidence? Get a warrant, then go after him. Internationally. Enforce the U.N. Enforce the International Court of Justice, this unilateralism makes us look very stupid and them relatively smaller.

Q&A

The question here is that I mentioned that I would go somewhat into the story of Bin Laden, the Saudi in Afghanistan and didn’t do so, could I go into some detail? The point about Bin Laden would be roughly the same as the point between Sheikh Abdul Rahman, who was accused and convicted of encouraging the blowing up of the World Trade Center in New York City. The New Yorker did a long story on him. It’s the same as that of Aimal Kansi, the Pakistani Baluch who was also convicted of the murder of two CIA agents. Let me see if I can be very short on this. Jihad, which has been translated a thousand times as “holy war,” is not quite just that. Jihad is an Arabic word that means, “to struggle.” It could be struggle by violence or struggle by non-violent means. There are two forms, the small jihad and the big jihad. The small jihad involves violence. The big jihad involves the struggles with self. Those are the concepts. The reason I mention it is that in Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last four hundred years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the Evil Empire. Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

I first met him in 1986. He was recommended to me by an American official of whom I do not know whether he was or was not an agent. I was talking to him and said, ‘Who are the Arabs here who would be very interesting?’ By here I meant in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said, ‘You must meet Osama.’ I went to see Osama. There he was, rich, bringing in recruits from Algeria, from Sudan, from Egypt, just like Sheikh Abdul Rahman. This fellow was an ally. He remained an ally. He turns at a particular moment. In 1990 the U.S. goes into Saudi Arabia with forces. Saudi Arabia is the holy place of Muslims, Mecca and Medina. There had never been foreign troops there. In 1990, during the Gulf War, they went in, in the name of helping Saudi Arabia defeat Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden remained quiet. Saddam was defeated, but the American troops stayed on in the land of the kaba (the sacred site of Islam in Mecca), foreign troops. He wrote letter after letter saying, Why are you here? Get out! You came to help but you have stayed on. Finally he started a jihad against the other occupiers. His mission is to get American troops out of Saudi Arabia. His earlier mission was to get Russian troops out of Afghanistan. See what I was saying earlier about covert operations?

A second point to be made about him is these are tribal people, people who are really tribal. Being a millionaire doesn’t matter. Their code of ethics is tribal. The tribal code of ethics consists of two words: loyalty and revenge. You are my friend. You keep your word. I am loyal to you. You break your word, I go on my path of revenge. For him, America has broken its word. The loyal friend has betrayed. The one to whom you swore blood loyalty has betrayed you. They’re going to go for you. They’re going to do a lot more.

These are the chickens of the Afghanistan war coming home to roost. This is why I said to stop covert operations. There is a price attached to those that the American people cannot calculate and Kissinger type of people do not know, don’t have the history to know.


Courtesy: University of Colorado. Eqbal Ahmad, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, also served as a managing editor of the quarterly Race and Class. A prolific writer, his articles and essays have been published in The Nation, Dawn (Pakistan), among several other journals throughout the world. He died in 1999.

[The prime minister of Turkey, Israel’s closest ally in the Middle East, has accused Ariel Sharon of “state terrorism” against Palestinians and likened their treatment to that of Jews under the Spanish inquisition.–Chris McGreal, “Turkish PM accuses Israel of practising state terrorism,” Guardian, June 4, 2004]

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Occupation, not Islam, Breeds Terrorism …

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Occupation breeds terror

Israel must leave the territories, and must do it soon – whether accompanied by concessions on the Palestinian side or not

Occupation breeds terrorIsrael must leave the territories, and must do it soon – whether accompanied by concessions on the Palestinian side or notShare
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Comments (340)Seth Freedman
Seth Freedman
guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 November 2007 07.00 GMT
Article historyWhen I first moved to this country, I was prepared to play my part by enlisting in the IDF and serving in the West Bank. While there, I saw for myself the effect my mere uniformed presence had on the Palestinians I encountered on a daily basis. Every interaction took place with me holding all the cards – it was me with the loaded gun in my hands; it was me barking instructions to “stop or I’ll shoot”, “lift up your shirt”, “don’t come another step closer”; it was me playing with my quarry as though they were puppets on the end of short, taut strings.However, I still believed that we “did what we had to do”, since it was a case of us or them, and we could never ease up in our actions for fear that the next Palestinian we encountered was the one with a bomb strapped to his chest. And so it continued, bursting into buildings to round up the residents and lock them in their own basement, so that we could take over the house and grab a few hours’ sleep in the middle of a mission – and all perfectly acceptable in the context of war.But that was when I saw the wide, silent eyes of the families’ children as we screamed at their father – their hero, their protector – and wrested from him the reins of power inside his own house. And that’s when it started to dawn on me just what kind of effect our actions were having on the next generation, who were guaranteed to end up hating us when all they saw was us herding them like cattle and imposing our will on them through the sights of our guns.Once I left the army, my forays into the West Bank were on more equal terms, as I sought to meet the very people whose towns I’d previously patrolled, to hear their stories about life under military rule. From Jenin to Bethlehem to Ramallah and beyond, the extent of the suffering and the depth of the torment was exposed to me time and again. There was no doubt in my mind that our mere presence in their daily routines was twisting the knife every time they encountered a soldier – and breeding extremism and radicalism all the while.The unspoken truth that every Israeli knows, uncomfortable as it may be to admit, is that occupation breeds terror. Every incursion, every raid, every curfew and collective punishment, drives the moderates into the welcoming arms of the militants, who promise to return their honour and their wounded pride by fighting the oppressors’ fire with fire of their own. And that fact alone should be enough to shake Israelis awake and realise that the occupation has to end, as much for our own security as for the sake of the Palestinians that we’re subjugating.Even those who only care about the safety of the Israeli people, and to hell with the Palestinians, should be backing the withdrawal of troops to the Green Line. They should know that the labyrinthine network of checkpoints is not actually making them safer, but is there just to make the Palestinians’ lives a misery, thus endangering Israeli lives further in the end. And they should recognise that while Israel’s presence continues to fester in the Palestinian territories like an open sore, there is little to no chance that the Palestinians will seek rapprochement and dialogue with their neighbours.And that means that any coexistence projects – such as those promoted by OneVoice, the Clubhouse network, and so on – are doomed to fail while the occupiers refuse to acknowledge the plight of the occupied. Israel has the upper hand whichever way you look at it, and to treat the situation as somehow balanced is to overlook totally the sheer injustice of it all.Of course, the Israelis have suffered decades of terrorism at the hands of extremist Palestinian groups, and as such have every right to demand their government protects them from similar atrocities in the future. But, for all that Israelis have had it bad, they haven’t seen every facet of their lives systematically destroyed at the hands of an uncaring occupying force. They haven’t seen their economy run into the ground by crippling border closures and sanctions, they haven’t been denied freedom of movement between their homes and farmlands, and they haven’t had to beg soldiers to let their wives through checkpoints in order to give birth in hospital.At the same time, the settlements are as much of a problem to a viable Palestinian state as anything, thanks to the watertight security their presence demands from the army, restricting Palestinian movement and cutting the West Bank into tiny ribbon-like strips. As one Palestinian said, in Emma Williams’ essential book on the region, “thanks to the settlers and their infrastructure, we’re locked so tight into the State of Israel we’re like a bug in concrete.”

But still the expansion continues, and still the stranglehold on the Palestinians persists. While the Israeli public stays silent, while their taxes swell the government’s coffers, they are tacitly aiding and abetting slow torture on a national scale. On top of the sporadic killing that the occupation inevitably causes, the killing of an entire people’s hopes and dreams takes place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

And it has to stop. Even though it’s no doubt too late to pull many of the current generation back from the brink of hate and enmity, there’s still time to ensure that today’s resentment doesn’t have to be instilled into the children of tomorrow. Playing the “fighting terror” card might win Knesset votes, but it doesn’t push things forward nor work out how to pave the way towards long-lasting future peace.

Israel must leave the territories, and they must do it soon – whether accompanied by concessions on the Palestinian side or not. The occupation is illegal, it is abhorrent, and it is utterly counterproductive if its aim is to bring security to Israelis. Anyone who ventures into the Palestinian towns and cities, who witnesses the devastation for themselves and hears the tragic tales from the horse’s mouth, knows this. And anyone who prefers to cover their ears or avert their eyes is only doing damage to both sides in the long run. Israel will never have peace whilst it crushes Palestinian aspirations – and both sides deserve far better lives than those they are being forced to endure at present.

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LEAFLET FOR SOLDIERS
by Yesh Guvl (“There is a limit !”), Israeli support group for soliders who refuse service in the occupied territories (2002) See: http://www.yesh-gvul.org/english.html
SOLDIER
We all want to defend our country. We’re all sick and tired of terrorism. We all want peace. But do our actions permit of an end to the cycle of bloodshed ?
Since 1967, Israel has ruled over 3.5 million Palestinians, running their lives by means of a forcible occupation, with continual violations of human rights.
The occupation regime has merely exacerbated Israel’s security problems; at this time, it endangers the life of each one of its citizens, yours included !  SOLDIER, it’s in your hands
Ask yourself whether your actions in the course of your military service enhance national security ? Or do those actions merely fuel the enmity and the acts of violence between us and our Palestinian neighbours ?
YOU CAN STOP THE VIOLENCE
SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION BREEDS TERRORISM
When you take part in extrajudicial killings (“liquidation” in the army’s terms); When you take part in demolishing residential homes; When you open fire at unarmed civilian population or residential homes; When you uproot orchards When you interdict food supplies or medical treatment –
YOU ARE TAKING PART IN ACTIONS DEFINED IN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS (SUCH AS THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION) AND IN ISRAELI LAW, AS WAR CRIMES.
As far back as 40 years ago, an Israeli court ruled that a soldier is forbidden to obey a flagrantly illegal order.
Soldier – do you consider such war crimes justifiable ?
Don’t acts of “liquidation” provoke suicide bombings ? Is it justifiable to demolish the homes and vandalise the property of entire families ? Can one justify the killing of children, women, old people – or, overall, of unarmed civilians ? What are the “security” grounds to justify starving entire villages and depriving the sick of medical care ?
Soldier: don’t these daily acts of repression, which are part of the routine of the occupation – curfew and blockade, land confiscation, preventing people from working or studying, the run-around and humiliation at the roadblocks and the violent searches in Palestinian homes – fuel hatred of us ?
END THE OCCUPATION – END THE CYCLE OF BLOODSHED !
SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION CAUSES LOSS OF LIFE
Even the heads of the defence establishment concede that there is no military solution to terrorism.
“All the preventative work we’ve done this past year is like trying to empty out the sea with a teaspoon,” a senior security official admitted. (“Haaretz”, 19.12.2001)
Ami Ayalon, former head of the Shabak security police, says: “An ideology can’t be killed by killing leaders.”
Soldier, is there a people anywhere in the world that will not resist an occupation regime ? If you were in the Palestinians’ shoes, would you be willing to bow your head to a foreign ruler ?
Two years ago, we were convinced that the occupation of southern Lebanon was vital for our security. Twenty years ago, we were certain that our occupation of the Sinai peninsula guaranteed our security. But thanks to termination of our occupation of those areas, we have avoided shedding the blood of our soldiers.
Since the onset of the current intifada, over a thousand Israelis and Palestinians have been killed, most of them unarmed civilians taking no part in the fighting. As long as we hold on to the occupied Palestinian territories, we will continue to shed our own blood and that of the Palestinians.
END THE OCCUPATION – END THE BLOODSHED ! SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION UNDERMINES OUR COUNTRY
We are all concerned for the wellbeing of the state of Israel. We all want the state to invest more in education, social services, health, and development of our infrastructure. But to maintain the occupation, the state spends billions on upkeep of the army in the territories, on settlements, on laying bypass roads and all the rest.
The state is cutting back on civilian services to enlarge the military budget. The occupation, and the violence that it prompts, drag the economy down into recession. Investors are in flight, tourists stay away, entire sections of the economy are in collapse.
Wouldn’t it be preferable to use the money to reinforce our social structures ? Wouldn’t it be preferable to channel the funds to our crumbling health and education systems ? Is it just to neglect the aged, the handicapped and the unemployed in favour of further settlements ?
END THE OCCUPATION, PUBLIC ALLOTMENTS TO THE DISADVANTAGED, NOT THE SETTLEMENTS! SOLDIER, THE OCCUPATION UNDERMINES THE ARMY
The occupation is harmful to the army and its soldiers. Training is called off because soldiers spend so much time on routine duty in the territories – guarding settlements, protecting highways, and forays into Palestinian towns and villages.
Soldiers are required to serve under inhuman conditions – like the four soldiers of the armour corps who spent 234 uninterrupted hours in their tank. In order to sustain the occupation, they weren’t even allowed out to relieve themselves.
Military sources admit the occupation routine subjects soldiers to exhaustion – and exhaustion leads to a decline in fitness and causes accidents.
Wouldn’t it be better to dedicate the time to the country’s real defence needs ?
Ending the occupation will restore the army’s combat readiness. Wouldn’t it be better to reduce the burden borne by reservists and grant conscripts better conditions ?
END THE OCCUPATION –
REDUCE MILITARY SERVICE TO TWO YEARS !!
CUT DOWN THE BURDEN OF RESERVE DUTY!!
SOLDIER
There are acts that decent people don’t commit, even if they’re given orders ! Decent people don’t demolish homes; they don’t kill children, women and babies; they don’t starve the neighbouring people, and don’t deny medical care to people just like you and me. Such conduct weakens our country’s moral fibre.
These acts are actually harmful; even if we’re told they’re for “security purposes”. Every “liquidation” (killing) prompts a bombing. The child you wounded today is tomorrow’s terrorist. Anyone concerned for national security won’t do things that fuel terrorism.
SOLDIER – IT’S IN YOUR HANDS
We don’t have a sure fire recipe. Make up your own mind, guided by your conscience, your feelings, your convictions. We can’t take the decision for you. We can only tell you that many, very many soldiers, have said “NO !” to war crimes ! From the Lebanon war, right up to the present intifada, thousands of soldiers – conscripts and reservists – have plucked up the courage to say “NO !”
Anyone who decides to refuse, reaches that decision on his own. But when he does make up his mind, he will find us extending a helping hand, offering advice, support and help.
For those who gird on implement of war
-And that includes us –
Whether in fact,
Or by an acquiescent slap on the back,
Are propelled,
Mumbling ‘necessity’ or ‘revenge’,
Into the domain of war criminals.
Nathan Alterman, 1948
Refusing to kill

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and on and on

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Learn The Truth About War – Find Out Who The Real Terrorists Are.

Uploaded by  on Jul 29, 2011

Since being in Iraq and Afghanistan over 1 million civilians have been killed and thousands of soldiers have lost their lives to empire, to the bankers and elite who make a profit from human suffering, they are the real terrorists..This video was dedicated to those who have lost their lives to these criminals…. The final video with the girl speaking was not edited by me it was made the Youtube user TheParadigmShift it is an excerpt from an amazing video, which I recommend everyone watches.

This is a well done video. It appears here because it speaks the truth. Truth is what I seek. Truth needs to be told – far and wide. As an American it really hurts to watch this, but it needs watching. Please share it with your friends, put it on Facebook and Twitter and on your own blogs and sites. Thanks. You know it’s important. Most people just do not know about these things. Tell them. Thanks.

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“The real terrorist was me” : US Soldier

Posted September 3, 2010 by Hala in TV/MoviesLeave a Comment

wow…

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The real terrorist was me US Soldier – Subtitulado

Posted by Dr Mark Daniels on August 6, 2011Leave a comment (2)Go to comments

I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. Racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These were people, these were human beings. I’ve since been plagued by guilt, any time I see an elderly man, li…ke the one who couldn’t walk, who we rolled onto a stretcher, and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt any time I see a mother with her childen, like the one who cried hysterically, and screamed that we’re worse than Saddam, as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt any time I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street. We were told we were fighting terrorists.. the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism was this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country, it has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government; it is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber, or a battleship; it is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or tomahawk missile. While all those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them. Those who send us to war, do not have to pull the trigger, or lob a mortar round; they do not have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war. They need a public who’s willing to send their soldiers 
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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“The real terrorist was me”: Confessions of a US soldier

Posted by 

“I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. Racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These were people, these were human beings. I’ve since been plagued by guilt, any time I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn’t walk, who we rolled onto a stretcher, and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt any time I see a mother with her childen, like the one who cried hysterically, and screamed that we’re worse than Saddam, as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt any time I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street.

We were told we were fighting terrorists.. the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism was this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country, it has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government; it is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber, or a battleship; it is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or tomahawk missile.

While all those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them. Those who send us to war, do not have to pull the trigger, or lob a mortar round; they do not have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war. They need a public who’s willing to send their soldiers into harm’s way. They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed, without question…

They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon, when the ranks of the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on Earth, but there will only be a war, if soldiers are willing to fight.. And the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering, care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy.

Understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interest. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die, to control the market of another country, and convincing us to kill and die, is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior.

Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, have nothing to gain from this occupation. The vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation. In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose limbs, endure trauma, and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag-draped coffins lowered into the earth.

Millions in this country without health care, jobs, or access to education, have watched this government squander over FOUR-HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS A DAY ON THIS OCCUPATION. [IRAQ]

Poor and working people in this country, are send to kill poor and working people in another country, to make the rich richer; and without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people, than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.

I threw families onto the street in Iraq, only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country, and it’s a tragic, and unnecessary foreclosure crisis.

We need to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land, they’re not people whose names we don’t know, and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well, and people we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable. The enemy is the CEO’s who lay us off from our jobs when it’s profitable; it’s the insurance companies who deny us health care when it’s profitable; it’s the banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable.

Our enemy is not five thousand miles away, they are right here at home. When we organize, and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government, and we can create a better world.”

Text of the speech made by a US soldier.

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The Real Terrorist was ME! An Amazing Speech by an Iraq Veteran.

“The Real Terrorist Was Me”
Speech By War Veteran

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us
– Mike Prysner

Posted July 29, 2010

Please Support the Veterans at:
http://www.ivaw.org/

AMAZING SPEECH BY WAR VETERAN

I tried hard to be proud of my service but all i can feel is shame

I seem i claim by guilt everytime i see an eldery man like the one that could’t walk and we brought by the stretcher and we called the Iraq’s Police to take him away

I feel guilt everytime i see a mother with her children like the one who cried hystericly and screaming that we are worst than Saddam, as we forced her from her home.

I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street.

We are told we are fighting terrorists; the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is in this occupation.

Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger, or lab a mortal round.

They don’t have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war.

They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers in the harms way.

They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question.

They can spend millions on a single bomb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akm3nYN8aG8&feature=player_embedded

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26047.htm

THE BRITISH VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR!

The descent of Britain’s Afghan campaign into a Vietnam-style madness
By CAPTAIN DOUG BEATTIE MC

‘I really wanted to believe the greater good was being served in Afghanistan. But I wasn’t convinced; not by a long shot,’ said Doug Beattie
That night, as I lay staring into the inky blackness, the horrors replayed themselves time and again in my mind. I kept coming back to the futility of it all. The waste of lives – on all sides. How had things got so bad that children were prepared to act and die in such a hideous manner?

Soon afterwards news came that Sergeant Jon Mathews had been killed in Marjah. He left behind a wife and young daughter. Then it was announced that the base was being closed. So what had been the point of ever setting it up? Of allowing ourselves to get bogged down in yet another enemy town with limited manpower and no easy way of being re-supplied? In my mind it had been a waste of time, a waste of resources and a waste of Jon’s life.

http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m58338&hd=&size=1&l=e

US AND UK GOVERNMENT DO NOT CARE ABOUT SOLDIERS , THEY CARE ABOUT PROFIT AND SELF-IMAGE.
SO LONG AS THIER DEFENCE STOCK PORTFOLIOS ARE MAKING MONEY AND THEY DO NOT LOOK STUPID IN PUBLIC (LIKE ADMITTING THEY WHERE WRONG OR LYING OR BEING BLACKMAILED!!) LET THE WAR AND THE SLAUGHTER CONTINUE , SO SOME MORE SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS GET MUTILATED…NO BIG DEAL FOR OUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES

BUT WE THE PEOPLE AND THE SOLDIERS WILL BE PAYING THE PRICE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!!!

“By now most people know that DU has damaged tens of thousands of our own troops and caused soaring cancer rates in target populations, including the people of Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Over 130,000 veterans of the first Gulf War have been declared “unfit for service” because of medical conditions which independent scientists and physicians connect to exposure to depleted uranium.

What is less well known is the staggering rate of birth defects in the children of the veterans of these wars. The British are reporting rates as high as 65%. It seems that breathing in the radioactive dust from exploded DU shells not only causes decapacitating illnesses, but massive genetic damage as well.

How the military poisons its own troops. “U.S War Crimes”

http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=11812

The Roots of Gulf War Illness.
The US military has a long tradition of using its soldiers as medical guinea pigs.

In recent years, with the involvement of pharmaceutical executives like Donald Rumsfeld with the Department of Defense, the trend has accelerated. Now hundreds of thousands of US servicemen and women receive vaccines that are untested and experimental in nature.

On October 16, 2006, the Department of Defense announced that it will resume its previously court-halted anthrax vaccination program and that troops who do not agree to receive the six-injection series voluntarily will be faced with disciplinary action.

Untested vaccinations are believed to be one of the source of Gulf War Illness, a crippling condition which disabled tens of thousands of soldiers after the first Gulf War.

To learn more, visit this site: www.beyondtreason.com.

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/health-in-the-21st-cenutry-is-killing-us/

BE PREPARED TO LOOSE ANOTHER 100 SOLDIERS THIS SUMMER. ITS THE AFGHAN GROUSE SEASON , AND OUR TROOPS ARE THE TARGETS!!

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/tis-the-killing-season-afghanistans-grouse-season-2/

SOLDIERS ARE HUMAN BEINGS TOO, AND THEY KNOW THAT THIER POLITIONS HAVE SENT THEM OFF TO SLAUGHTER . IT PUTS AN AMAZING MENTAL STRAIN ON SOLDIERS WHEN THEY REALISED THEY ARE THE BAD GUYS!!!!
THUS THE US MILITARY SEEMS TO HAVE A SUICIDE DIVISION EVEN AL QUADA OR THE TALIBAN WOULD BE PROUD OF!!!

18 veterans commit suicide each day

By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Monday Apr 26, 2010 8:00:40 EDT

Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/04/military_veterans_suicide_042210w/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/darwin-award-for-soldiers-and-israel-will-natural-selection-end-war-and-israel/

SO WHO BENEFITS FROM THESE WARS?

POLITIONS ,DEFENCE CONTRACTORS AND DRUG DEALERS BENEFIT-

WASHINGTON – U.S. lawmakers have a financial interest in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a review of their accounts has revealed.

Members of Congress invested nearly 196 million dollars of their own money in companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars a day from Pentagon contracts to provide goods and services to U.S. armed forces, say nonpartisan watchdog groups.
Lawmakers charged with overseeing Pentagon contractors hold stock in those very firms, as do vocal critics of the war in Iraq, says the Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP).

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/us-government-making-a-killing-on-war/

Blair certainly did what he “thought was right” for Tony Blair. As Peter Oborne pointed out in March : “We now know that the wretched Blair has multiplied his personal fortune many times over by trading off the connections he made while in Downing Street. Shockingly, he fought a long battle to conceal the source of his new-found wealth, and only this month did it finally become public that one of his largest clients was a South Korean oil company, the UI Energy Corporation, with extensive interests in Iraq … he has also made £1million from advising the Kuwaiti royal family. It can be fairly claimed that Blair has profiteered as a result of the Iraq War in which so many hundreds of thousands of people died … in the league of shame, Tony Blair is arguably the worst of them all.”

Tony Blair tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1260204/Tony-Blairs-legacy-sleaze-cleaned-up.html#ixzz0tAqgpoDn

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/raoul-moat-tony-blair-or-the-police-who-is-the-biggest-murderer/

BLAIR also spent a great deal of effort covering up PEDOPHILE RINGS ,that seemed to point straight to his advisors and cabinet ministers.

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/uk-government-blackmailed-into-war-blair-covers-mps-paedophile-ring-and-the-dunblane-massacre/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/tony-blair-i-told-you-so-and-so-did-millions-of-others/

DRUGS DEALERS ARE MAKING MASSIVE PROFITS-“Afghan drug trafficking brings US $50 billion a year”
The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR’s operations in Afghanistan.
http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-08-20/afghanistan-us-drug-trafficking.html
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/dying-for-drugs-drugs-war-finance-and-your-government-representative/

AND DO THEY REDUCE TERRORISM? ..NO!!!

Baroness Manningham-Buller said the terrorist threats resulting from the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan left MI5 “swamped”
Iraq inquiry: Ex-MI5 boss says war raised terror threat
Baroness Manningham-Buller said the terrorist threats resulting from the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan left MI5 “swamped”
The invasion of Iraq “substantially” increased the terrorist threat to the UK, the former head of MI5 has said.

Giving evidence to the Iraq inquiry, Baroness Manningham-Buller said the action “radicalised” a generation of young people, including UK citizens.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10693001

SOLDIERS ,ITS TIME TO PUT DOWN THE WEAPONS AND COME HOME . ITS NOT YOUR FAULT  AND ITS NOT YOUR WAR!!!!

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/the-real-uk-legacy-of-the-iraq-and-afghan-wars-death-stalks-our-streets-and-the-world/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/military-heroes-or-welfare-zeros/

OTHERS ,WHO SHOULD OF AND CLAIMED TOO, KNOW BETTER SENT YOU OUT TOO FIGHT. THEY LIED AND THEY PROFITED BIG TIME!!!!

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/are-us-wars-in-iraq-and-afghanistan-well-intended-mistakes-what-we-now-know-from-the-evidence/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/the-last-act-of-any-government-is-to-loot-the-nation-do-you-have-the-feeling-youre-being-robbed/

ITS NOT LIKE WE HAVE NOT BEEN HEAR BEFORE!!!!

THE SOLDIER

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
and the women come out to cut up what remains,
jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
and go to your gawd like a soldier.

THE POLITION

”Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?”
(Epitaphs of War, Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936.)

THE REAL GAME PLAN EXPLAINED
The Divide and Rule .The NWO capitalist, communist con!! Stalin was a good state capitalist!
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/a-short-history-of-global-domination-or-rockefella-rothschild-and-the-capitalist-communist-nwo-con/
USA spreading death and destruction aka democracy since 1945
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/us-government-spreading-freedom-and-democracy-since-1945/
The system keeps repeating. Here is the 1933 game plan , exactly the same as today!
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/33/
Here is the obvious evidence for a 911 INSIDE JOB!!
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/911-the-case-for-an-inside-job/

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“We were told we were fighting Terrorists but the real terrorist was me” US Soldier speaks out

8022011

Let us not forget what Wikileaks has exposed and the price Bradley Manning is paying for revealing the loss suffered by the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The WAR Of TERROR must end and those responsible for engineering such crimes against humanity should be held accountable.
This soldier is absolutely inspiring. This is a must WATCH video… please share

– WACA –

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Wikileaks exposes the real terrorists in Afghanistan

By Nick Everett

“I’ve been waiting for [this] for a long time”, tweeted Daniel Ellsberg, in reference to the release of more than 92,000 pages of classified US military documents by the whistle-blower website Wikileaks, on July 25.

Ellsberg, who famously leaked thousands of pages of a classified document revealing the secret history of the Vietnam War (the Pentagon Papers) in 1971, told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman: “It is the first release in 39 years on the scale of the Pentagon Papers. How many times in these years should there have been the release of thousands of pages showing our being lied into war in Iraq, as in Vietnam, and the nature of the war in Afghanistan?”

Wikileaks’ “Afghanistan War Diary” is an archive of reports written mostly by soldiers on the ground between 2004 and 2009, detailing killings of civilians, including children, the growing strength of the resistance to the occupation and covert support for the Taliban from Pakistan’s military. Its release has left White House and Pentagon spokespeople floundering to defend the nine-year war, which the US military and its NATO allies are losing.

At first, they claimed that the documents didn’t reflect the reality of the war, since they predated the Obama administration’s “surge” of combat troops announced late last year. Then national security adviser General James Jones condemned the disclosure, saying it “could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security”. At the same time, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “There’s no broad new revelations in this”. Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference, “[Wikileaks founder and chief editor Julian] Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is [Wikileaks] might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family”.

Slaughter of the innocents

But — as the leaked documents reveal — it is not Wikileaks that has blood on its hands. It’s the Obama administration, which continues to send troops to fight and die for its imperial interests in both Afghanistan and Iraq. With public support for the war already waning, this leak can only strengthen the call for the troops to come home.

Following the release, Assange told Amy Goodman: “Most civilian casualties occur in instances where one, two, 10 or 20 people are killed — they rarely numerically dominate the list of events … The way to really understand this war is by seeing that there is one killed after another, every day, going on and on.” Assange described a massacre, which he referred to as a “Polish My Lai”. On August 16, 2007, after returning to a village where they had suffered a roadside bomb that morning, Polish troops — part of the NATO occupation troops in Afghanistan — launched mortars into the village, striking a house where a wedding party was under way.

In another incident in 2007, reported in the Guardian, a convoy of US Marines was struck by a minivan rigged with explosives near the city of Jalalabad. As they raced the six miles back to their base, the Marines opened fire with automatic weapons, spraying bullets at anything in their path, including “teenage girls in fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road”. In what the Guardian described as a “bloodbath”, “nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded”. The Wikileaks documents demonstrate a cover-up by the US military, which, according to the Guardian, initially reported that, simultaneously with the suicide explosion, “the patrol received small arms fire from three directions”. The six-mile rampage back to the base — which the Guardian notes was later the subject of a 17-day military inquiry and 12,000-page report — was described as simply, “The patrol returned to JAF [Jalalabad air field].”

The documents also illustrate how the massacre and initial cover-up sparked public fury among Afghan civilians at their US occupiers. Demonstrators ran through the streets of Jalalabad breaking windows and blocking roads.

A month later, in April 2007, the Afghan Human Rights Commission published a report into the shooting which said the victims included a 16-year-old woman carrying a bundle of grass and a 75-year-old man walking back from the shops. By then, a US army colonel had admitted to the Afghan puppet government that the shootings were a “terrible, terrible mistake” and “a stain on our honour”. Two thousand dollars were paid to the families of each victim. Yet all of the Marines involved in the incident were later exonerated by the military of any wrongdoing.

The Polish “My Lai” and the massacre near Jalalabad are only two war crimes among many. According to theGuardian, the documents show at least 144 separate instances of the killing of innocent Afghan civilians, ranging from individual shootings at the hands of CIA paramilitaries to mistaken air strikes that wiped out entire families and villages.

Air strikes

In July 2008, American planes attacked an Afghan bridal party of 70 to 90 people on a road near the Pakistani border. The bride and at least 27 other members of the party, including children, were killed. A month later, a memorial service for a tribal leader in the village of Azizabad in Afghanistan’s Herat province was hit by repeated US air strikes that killed at least 90 civilians, including 15 women and up to 60 children, according to a United Nations report. Among the dead were 76 members of one extended family, headed by a “wealthy businessman with construction and security contracts with the nearby American base at Shindand airport”, according to New York Times journalist Carlotta Gall. A local tribal leader told Gall: “It is quite obvious, the Americans bombed the area due to wrong information. I am 100 percent confident that someone gave the information due to a tribal dispute … These people they killed were enemies of the Taliban.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai denounced the strikes against Azizabad and fired two Afghan commanders, including the top ranking officer in western Afghanistan, for “negligence and concealing facts”. An investigation launched by Karzai concluded that more than 90 Afghan civilians had died. The US military initially denied any civilians had died, claiming 30 Taliban “militants” had been killed. This estimate was then revised to 25 Taliban fighters and five “non-combatants”, including a woman and two children. A military “investigation” released findings on August 29, 2008, that supposedly corroborated this casualty count.

Ironically, the US military claimed that its now discredited findings at Azizabad “were corroborated by an independent journalist embedded with the U.S. force”, That “independent journalist” (working for Fox News) was Oliver North, who gained notoriety not only for his role in the Reagan administration’s cover-up of the Iran-Contra scandal, but for his testimony in defence of one of the Marines accused of carrying out a massacre of Vietnamese at Son Thang in February 1970.

This year more reports of civilian casualties have emerged. In February, US helicopters shot at a convoy of mini-buses, killing up to 27 civilians, including women and children. Also in February, in a special operations night raid, two pregnant women and a teenage girl, as well as a police officer and his brother, were shot dead in their home in a village in Paktia province. The soldiers reportedly dug the bullets out of the bodies, washed the wounds with alcohol, and tried to cover up the incident.

On July 23, two days before the release of the Wikileaks documents, a NATO missile attack killed 52 civilians in a small town in Helmand province, in southern Afghanistan. Women and children from eight families were packed into a house to escape a US incursion into the village when the residence was demolished from the sky. “They have ruined us, and they have killed small children and innocent women”, a 57-year-old resident told reporters, after he dragged the bodies of his relatives and neighbours from the carnage, according to a report in the New York Times. This incident, like so many others, was initially denied by US and NATO spokespeople and is now being “investigated”.

Previous Afghan war commander General Stanley McChrystal, after being sacked by the Obama administration, admitted candidly, “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force”. McChrystal’s replacement, General David Petraeus, has promised to escalate the violence in order to subdue the Afghan resistance and force it to make a deal with Washington. The Wikileaks documents also reveal that the Pentagon set up a secret commando unit, Task Force 373 – made up of Army and Navy special operatives whose task is to assassinate individuals from a list of 2000 targets.

Changed strategy?

Obama used Wikileaks’ disclosures to announce a “change in strategy”.

Thirty-six hours after Wikileaks released the Afghan War Diary, the US House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that funds the war in Afghanistan with an extra US$33 billion and 30,000 more troops, for another year. This “change in strategy” follows a “surge” of 60,000 additional troops deployed to Afghanistan in late 2009.

With each additional deployment, troop casualties mount. July 2010 was the deadliest month of the entire war for both US and NATO troops. The US death count of at least 66 surpassed the June record of 50 killed. US soldiers are being maimed at four times the rate of 2009, and the number of wounded in 2009 was almost three times that of 2008. Ten Australian troops have been killed since June, nearly half the 21 fatalities suffered by Australian forces since 2001. More than 150 Australian soldiers have been wounded.

After the death of three Australian commandos in a helicopter crash on June 21, the Australian defence minister, John Faulkner, told ABC Radio: “It is absolutely critical for the safety and security of Australians and Australia to help prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a training ground and operation base for international terrorists”. Throughout the federal election campaign, both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott used the funerals of troops killed in Afghanistan to pledge their commitment to the war. But their calls for Australians to support the occupation are not being heeded. On the same day the three commandos were killed, a poll conducted by Essential Research found that 60% of Australians want the troops withdrawn from Afghanistan.

What the Wikileaks documents so clearly reveal — and the US and Australian governments have been determined to hide — is that the occupation troops are the real terrorists in Afghanistan today. Only their withdrawal can bring peace for the people of Afghanistan.

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so much more but you search for yourself to be convinced

 and reflect and return to your own soul which must stand for the accounting on the Final Judgement of the ONE God

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BOOK:

An engaging book for investigation:

Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It

by Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman

Their work fundamentally changes how we understand the root causes of the most important terrorist campaigns today. Through a close analysis of suicide campaigns by Al Qaeda and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, Chechnya, and Sri Lanka, the authors provide powerful new evidence that religion alone motivates only a tiny majority of these attacks.

Instead, the root cause is foreign military occupation, which triggers secular and religious people to carry out suicide attacks.

Cutting the Fuse proves that the increase in suicide terrorism attacks is not due to radical Islam or jihadism but the main cause for over 90% of the suicide campaigns is due to military occupation of regions that terrorists prize or have concern for.

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

April 1, 2010 9:02 AM RSS feed for this thread Subscribe
Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers… more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation… Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note

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CATO ORG BOOK

Does U.S. Intervention Overseas
Breed Terrorism?
The Historical Record

by Ivan Eland

Ivan Eland is director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute.


Executive Summary

According to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, terrorism is the most important threat the United States and the world face as the 21st century begins. High-level U.S. officials have acknowledged that terrorists are now more likely to be able to obtain and use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons than ever before.

Yet most attention has been focused on combating terrorism by deterring and disrupting it beforehand and retaliating against it after the fact. Less attention has been paid to what motivates terrorists to launch attacks. According to the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board, a strong correlation exists between U.S. involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States. President Clinton has also acknowledged that link. The board, however, has provided no empirical data to support its conclusion. This paper fills that gap by citing many examples of terrorist attacks on the United States in retaliation for U.S. intervention overseas. The numerous incidents cataloged suggest that the United States could reduce the chances of such devastating–and potentially catastrophic–terrorist attacks by adopting a policy of military restraint overseas.

Full Text of Foreign Policy Brief No. 50 (PDF, 24 pgs, 93 Kb)

http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-050es.html

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Letter leaflet from Israelis againt occupation of Palestine

EXCERPTS FROM THE LEAFLET

SOLDIER:

We all want to defend our country. We’re all sick and tired of terrorism. We all want peace. But do our actions permit of an end to the cycle of bloodshed?

Since 1967, Israel has ruled over 3.5 million Palestinians, running their lives by means of a forcible occupation, with continual violations of human rights.

Ask yourself whether your actions in the course of your military service enhance national security? Or do those actions merely fuel the enmity and the acts of violence between us and our Palestinian neighbors?

SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION BREEDS TERRORISM!

When you take part in extrajudicial killings (“liquidation,” in the army’s terms), when you take part in demolishing residential homes, when you open fire at unarmed civilian population or residential homes, when you uproot orchards, when you interdict food supplies or medical treatment, you are taking part in actions defined in international conventions (such as the 4th Geneva Convention) and in Israeli law as war crimes.

Soldier, is there a people anywhere in the world that will not resist an occupation regime? If you were in the Palestinians’ shoes, would you be willing to bow your head to a foreign ruler?….

http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2002/Israeli-Antiwar-Movement25feb02.htm

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The War Nobody Won
Part 2: The new Agincourt


By Henry C K Liu

Part 1: Chaos, crime and incredulity

…. As the NSSUSA puts it: “No people on Earth yearn to be oppressed, aspire to servitude, or eagerly await the midnight knock of the secret police.” It’s this association of power with universal principles, Bush argues, that will cause other great powers to go along with whatever the United States has to do to preempt terrorists and tyrants, even if it does so alone. For, as was the case through most of the Cold War, there’s something worse out there than US hegemony.

The invasion of Iraq punctured the myth behind this theory. It showed the world that US hegemony spells arbitrary misapplication of moral values and selective US occupation in the name of liberation. The inescapable conclusion is that superpower hegemony breeds terrorism rather than suppresses it…..

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3104.htm

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“And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we’ll fight them there, we’ll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.” (Applause.) — President George W. Bush

Despite plenty of muscular rhetoric, President Bush’s strategy in the War on Terrorism demonstrates a dangerous ignorance of the unique military, tactical, and political aspects of the terrorist threat, and breeds a dangerous and chaotic foreign policy which has only served to put our nation in greater danger.

Back in the 6th century BC, in his classic, The Art of War, Sun Tsu observed, “Know your enemy, and in a thousand battles you will not be defeated.” Sadly, our current Commander-in-Chief ignores the Chinese grand master’s lesson, and actively eschews the acquisition of useful knowledge about our terrorist enemy. After the 9/11 Commission found that the CIA and FBI could have prevented the attacks of September 11th, had they only more effectively shared and communicated their intelligence to the White House, the Bush Administration could have ensured a dynamic and efficient system of American intelligence simply by reforming and/or streamlining the two agencies. Instead, the Administration did nothing to improve either agency, instead creating an entirely new government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, whose most obvious contribution to homeland security to date is a puerile, and now universally-ignored, color-coded Alert Level system.

Not surprisingly, the enhanced state of perpetual ignorance within America’s intelligence community quickly took its toll, proceeding to deliver terribly flawed pre-war intelligence to the White House, which then spawned an utterly disastrous occupation of Iraq. All of this, of course, was in addition to our continued inability to capture, or even locate, America’s Public Enemy 1, Osama bin Laden. Sun Tsu is rolling in his grave.

The atrocious ignorance continues with the Administration’s inability to grasp the fundamental distinction between fighting terrorists and fighting enemy nation-states. In the wars of yesteryear, an enemy nation had a standing army, a native population, static boundaries, and permanent institutions, all of which helped to create an enemy who could be effectively destroyed with a sustained military campaign. But the problem with terrorists, unlike nationals of a belligerent foreign nation, is that they are not a permanent, distinct class. Terrorists are recruited, shaped, molded and trained by underground organizations, usually working without state sanction, and thus there is no fixed stock of “enemy combatants” capable of comprehensive military liquidation. As William F. Buckley, Jr. brilliantly observed, “Individual terrorists were, only yesterday, engaged in ordinary occupations, shocking friends and family when they struck as terrorists.” Victory, then, will be achieved not with a specific death toll or geographic occupation, but by ensuring that Islamofascism remains a detested minority in every country in which it hopes to gain support. Victory is depriving the Islamofascists the ideological fuel with which they recruit the ordinary citizens to join the ranks of the jihad.

Terrorism itself is only a tactic of violence; it finds its roots in an ideology and thus cannot be defeated by military might alone. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan, founded in 1975 in Sri Lanka as the first terrorist organization to make widespread use of suicide bombing, are amazingly still blowing themselves up as part of their independence movement there (talk about dedication!), simply because they are still not independent from Sri Lanka, and thus can still recruit their martyrs with an effective narrative of foreign oppression and victimization. The near-infinite willingness of a people to willingly slaughter themselves in an ideological protest against foreign occupation has been confirmed over and over, from the Algerian resistance to French occupation, to America’s own experience in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, most of the fuel for the global jihad is supplied by current American foreign policy in the Middle East. It is true, as some allege, that Islamists hate nearly every feature of Western society, from our politics to our culture, and as a result, it is easy to say that Islamic terrorism against America is a fait accompli stemming from a fanatical worldview that hates everything we stand for. But while Islamists indeed harbor grand visions of world empire under Allah, their delusions of global theocracy have been swirling around the Middle East ever since Muhammad began claiming his divinity; only recently did Islamic terrorism emerge as a dangerous threat to America. As late as the 1950s, Arab nations still sought out American mediation in their international disputes, respecting our independence and fairness, despite presumably still harboring atavistic religious hatred toward Our American Freedoms. Seven decades later, Uncle Sam is reviled like no one else in the world.

Libertarians, like Ron Paul, rightly point out that the difference between the good ol’ days of respect for America and the current days of Death to America is a U.S. foreign policy of interference in the Middle East. Rudy Giuliani and his supporters would like to believe otherwise. But nothing is more devastating in the obliteration of Rudy G’s arguments than the facts.

Back in 1998, Cato Institute scholar Ivan Eland had already been looking at the facts, and as a result, he had already begun to note the growing trend of America’s terrorist threat, corresponding directly and invariably with American intervention into the Middle East. Unlike both Bush and Clinton, Eland was already keenly aware of al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and their growing threat to American interests. (If only Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney read the Cato Institute.) Here are some partial excerpts of his prescient work, from his 1998 paper Does U.S. Intervention Overseas Breed Terrorism? The Historical Record:

July 2, 1915: The Senate reception room in the U.S. Capitol was damaged by a homemade bomb built by Erich Muenter, a former Harvard professor who was upset by sales of U.S. munitions to the Allies in World War I.

June 5, 1968: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, former attorney general and senior policy adviser to President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, who had grown up on the West Bank and regarded Kennedy as a collaborator with Israel.

March 1971: A bomb exploded in a U.S. Senate restroom, causing extensive damage. The bombing came at a time of rising opposition to U.S. policies in Vietnam.

November 4, 1979: Supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, capturing hostages that were not freed until January 1981. The embassy was captured as a protest against long-time U.S. support for the unpopular shah of Iran.

July 22, 1980: Ali Akbar Tabatabai, a former press counselor at the Iranian embassy in the United States during the shah’s reign, was assassinated by the Islamic Guerrillas of America (IGA) after he had supplied U.S. officials with a manifesto of the IGA that advocated strategically planned terrorism on U.S. soil and assassinations of U.S. officials, stating, Any American can be targeted… no American is innocent… as long as U.S. foreign policies are to the detriment of the Islamic community.

April 8 and October 23, 1983: Islamic militants, funded by Iran and supported by Syria, suicide bombed the U.S. embassy and U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 290 people and wounding 200 more. The attack remains the deadliest post-World War II attack on Americans overseas. The Americans were supporting the Christian government in Lebanon against the Muslim militias by training and arming the Lebanese National Army. The U.S. Marines were later withdrawn from Beirut, prompting a Hezbollah spokesman to brag that the $martyrs! had finally forced the Marines out of Lebanon.

April 5, 1986: Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi sponsored the bombing of the La Belle nightclub in West Berlin, which was frequented by U.S. servicemen. The United States retaliated for the La Belle bombing with air strikes against Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya. In retaliation for the U.S. air strikes on Libya, an American hostage in Lebanon was sold to Libya and executed; Libyans attempted to blow up the U.S. embassy in Lomé, Togo; a Libyan agent, Abu Nidal, hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, killing several Americans; The Japanese Red Army, under contract from Abu Nidal, planted a bomb at the USO military club in Naples, Italy, on the two-year anniversary of the air strikes, killing five; and two Libyan agents bombed Pan Am Flight 103, killing 270 people, 200 of whom were Americans.

March 10, 1989: A pipe bomb exploded beneath a van owned by the commander of the U.S.S. Vincennes, who had shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf (killing 290 civilians) during U.S. participation in the $tanker war! against Iran. March 12, 1991: During the Gulf War, a U.S. Air Force sergeant was blown up by a remotecontrolled bomb placed at the entrance of his residence in Athens, Greece. $November 17!, the deadliest terrorist group in Greece, November 17, which attacks U.S. targets because of American imperialism-nationalism!, claimed responsibility for the attack.

February 26, 1993: A group of Islamic terrorists detonated a massive van bomb in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. The Egyptian perpetrators were trying to kill 250,000 people by collapsing the towers. Ramzi Yousef, the leader of the terrorists, said the intent was to inflict Hiroshima-like casualties to punish the United States for its foreign policy toward the Middle East. The perpetrators considered augmenting the explosion with radiological or chemical agents that would have increased the casualties.

April 15, 1993: Seventeen Iraqis were arrested as part of government plot to assassinate former president George Bush on a visit to Kuwait, in retaliation for the Gulf War against Iraq.

June 1993: Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman–a militant Egyptian cleric–and other radical Muslims conspired to destroy several New York landmarks on the same day. Funding for the operation apparently came from Iran and was funneled through Sudan, attempting to punish the United States for its policies toward the Middle East.

October 3, 1993: Osama bin Laden’s operatives trained Somali tribesmen who conducted ambushes of U.S. peacekeeping forces in Somalia in support of clan leader Mohamed Farah Aideed, causing the death of 18 American Army Rangers, and the dragging of dead American soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu. An indictment of his followers alleged the United States–an $infidel nation!–had a nefarious plot to occupy Islamic countries, as demonstrated by its involvement in the peacekeeping operation in Somalia and the Persian Gulf War. The incident led to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia, which bin Laden called his group’s greatest triumph.

November 13, 1995: A car bombing of a military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia–which housed a U.S. military advisory group–killed 7 people (including 5 Americans) and wounded 42 others. Muslim militants seeking to topple the Saudi monarchy and push the infidel United States out of Saudi Arabia carried out the bombings. Three groups, including the Islamic Movement for Change, claimed responsibility. U.S. officials suspect that Osama bin Laden was involved….

We can fill in the rest. Years later, 9/11 ushered in the modern War on Terrorism, and Mr. Bush, with characteristic ignorance of the documented connection between American aggression in the Middle East and Islamic terrorism against America, only further augmented interventionist U.S. foreign policy. That the Bush Doctrine’s geopolitical social engineering, especially in Iraq, has been such an unqualified failure is not a surprise to anyone who has read this article thus far.

Another obvious problem with the Bush Doctrine and its exportation of Democracy is that nearly every Arab Muslim lives in a Non- Democracy, and thus America’s grand experiment looks, from the perspective of the common man, to simply be imperialist meddling with his local government. The Bush Doctrine, even if it somehow succeeded (i.e. when the “fight is won,” perhaps), would only guarantee a Pyrrhic victory at best. With every terrorist mastermind captured in Iraq, dozens of martyrs sign up to avenge his death and battle the American Empire. Iraq itself wasn’t even a haven for al-Qaida operatives until after America invaded it. While bin Laden, confirmed murderer of American civilians, roams the globe free, Mr. Bush is pleased that we’ve killed terrorist al- Zarqawi, whose horrific and disgusting attacks were all against America’s presence in Iraq, never threatening continental America itself. The Bush Administration, it seems, is really only successful at capturing terrorists of its own creation. Sadly, U.S. interventionism Iraq itself wasn’t even a haven for al-Qaida operatives until after America invaded it. The Bush Administration, it seems, is really only successful at capturing terrorists of its own creation.

Sadly, U.S. interventionism (Operation Terrorist Creation) is not limited to the occupation of Iraq. The CIA and NSA continue to interfere in the political affairs of various nations the world over, funding, training and assisting various anti-Islamic movements and governments, from the Caspian Sea to the Horn of Africa.

While such action may excite the intellectual tribalists in the neoconservative movement, the problem with such meddling is that the CIA-backed alternatives to Islamism, just like the CIAbacked alternatives to Communism, tend to usually be brutal nationalist dictators or military juntas, and are just as bad, or worse, than Islamism for the people we are supposedly “liberating.” As a result, our intervention only enhances political oppression, civil unrest and poverty, which, studies show, then only serves as a breeding ground for Islamic extremism. The whole nasty process only further convinces the Islamic diaspora that America is waging a war on Islam. This is not how to win the hearts and minds of the world’s people.

Our current policy, in its blind aggression and geopolitical ignorance, purports to fight terrorists “where they are making their stand,” but it only serves to make them more effective and numerous. Thanks to the Bush Doctrine, radical clerics, government bankrollers, and their potential recruits can now all observe a visible military and political occupation to justify their ongoing resistance against the Great Satan. In these backward societies deprived of freedom of information and thought, radical Islamofascist rhetoric, combined with clear evidence of American global occupation, is sadly enough for terrorists to gain alarming popular traction, financial support, and willing martyrs. This mobilization of terrorists, potentially creating hundreds of thousands of jihadists, if America’s belligerent foreign policy continues apace, is becoming the greatest threat the United States of America faces.

In intelligent recognition of this reality, America should immediately repudiate the Bush Doctrine and pursue a policy of intelligent disengagement. First, those terrorists and organizations which have committed or planned acts of aggression against the United States, such as al-Qaida, should be pursued with vigor; this is our most important mission and should be treated as such. Second, America must cease all nation-building, internal interference, and general military interventionism in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, in order to deprive terrorists of their fuel for jihad. Regimes, organizations and groups who do not threaten direct harm to the United States should not be the target of any U.S. military campaign. As we’ve repeatedly argued, the occupation of Iraq should immediately end.

As Americans, we all desire to win the war and to enjoy permanent security. But like Vietnam, Quebec, and Somalia, not all battles our government chooses to fight are winning ones; and like My Lai, Manzanar, and the Bay of Pigs, not all tactics our military prefers are desirable. An extension of that nugget of common sense dictates that as long as U.S. foreign policy glorifies the imperialist fallacies of neoconservatism, we libertarians will continue to rightly inveigh against it.

The Bush Administration’s blind allegiance to aggression over knowledge perverts not only the lessons of Sun Tsu, but also the American Founders’ original vision of a nation seeking only peaceful trading ties, the avoidance of entangling political alliances, and a national defense to respond powerfully only when directly provoked. The authentic patriot believes in these true American principles of intelligent self-defense, and knows that they alone can safely guide our nation through these troubled and dangerous times.

The author of The American Evolution, Matt Harrison is the founder and executive director of The Prometheus Institute, Los Angeles, CA, a nonprofit public policy institute. He has authored more than 200 articles and has been a guest on several talk radio shows and a guest blogger for CNN.

Related articles:

  1. Justice for Terrorists
  2. Terrorists and Criminals
  3. Go Bush?!…
  4. The Legacy of Bush 43
  5. American Universities: Shifting Balance Of Foreign Students

http://collegetimes.us/us-foreign-policy-makes-america-less-safe-in-the-war-on-terrorism/

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Karen Armstrong, The Label of Catholic Terror Was Never Used About the IRA

Precise intelligence is essential in any conflict. It is important to know who our enemies are, but equally crucial to know who they are not. It is even more vital to avoid turning potential friends into foes. By making the disciplined effort to name our enemies correctly, we will learn more about them, and come one step nearer, perhaps, to solving the seemingly intractable and increasingly perilous problems of our divided world.

exists.–Foreign Affairs, September/October 2006 John Mueller, Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them

Hypervigilance is threatening civil liberties, the economy, and lives. Terrorist threats are overblown; we can learn from the lessons of previous international threats that they are often exaggerated; and by applying these lessons, we can create policy that reduces fear and the cost of overreaction.

Death Toll From Road Accidents 390 Times That From Terrorism

The body count from road accidents in developed economies is 390 times higher than the death toll in these countries from international terrorism, says a study appearing in a specialist journal, Injury Prevention. In 2001, as many people died every 26 days on American roads as died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it says.

Peter Dale Scott and Robert Parry, A Long History of America’s Dark Side

This military tradition has explicitly defended the selective use of terror, whether in suppressing Native American resistance on the frontiers in the 19th Century or in protecting U.S. interests abroad in the 20th Century or fighting the “war on terror” over the last decade.

Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions

If the agenda can be restricted to the ambiguities of Arafat, the abuses and failures of the Sandinistas, the terrorism of Iran and Libya, and other properly framed issues, then the game [fooling the American public] is basically over; excluded from the discussion is the unambiguous rejectionism of the United States and Israel, and the terrorism and other crimes of the United States and its clients, not only far greater in scale but also incomparably more significant on any moral dimension for American citizens, who are in a position to mitigate or terminate these crimes. — p. 49

Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants

The use of terror is deeply ingrained in our [US] character. . . The first step is to use the police. They’re critical because they can detect discontent early and eliminate it before “major surgery” is necessary. If major surgery becomes necessary, we rely on the army. When we can no longer control the army . . . it’s time to overthrow the government.

The second step is to use the military. The US has always tried to establish relations with the military in foreign countries, because that’s one of the ways to overthrow a government that has gotten out of hand.

Peter Dale Scott, U.S. Responsibility For The Slaughters

American media are quick to cast light on the personal atrocities of others, who happen (not by coincidence) to be our enemies. We have been told much about the outrages committed by Nazi Germany and Japan during World War II, and then in the post-war era by Stalin and by China down through the Cultural Revolution and Tien-An-Men. The massacres in Cambodia, with their pyramids of skulls, have been succeeded in our media by the killing fields of East Africa, Bosnia, and Algeria. The massacres we do not hear about, at least at the time, are those for which the United States itself is responsible. This on-going, systematic suppression, from the Philippines in the 1950s to El Salvador in the 1980s, falsifies our understanding, not just of our own history, but of all managed atrocities throughout the world.

Head US Special Forces, 60 Minutes

[The special forces are used] to put down rebellions or to start one. — April 30, 1995 [On October 1, 1997, Gen. Henry H. Shelton became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.]

Major General Smedley D. Butler, Excerpt from 1933 speech

War is just a racket. . . . It has its ‘finger men’ to point out enemies, its ‘muscle men’ to destroy enemies, its ‘brain men’ to plan war preparations, and a ‘Big Boss’ Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism. . . . I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

[General Butler was one of the few Americans to be twice awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor.]

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Letter to United Nations Ambassadors

Two months have passed since the Security Council last reviewed the murderous sanctions against Iraq and more than 20,000 human beings have died as a direct result of its failure to end the sanctions that time. More than 10,000 of those who died in March and April are infants and children. The entire population of Iraq has suffered. Millions will not overcome the effects of the sanctions in their lifetimes which have been shortened by years. The history of this violent century does not reveal a more deadly, cruel, inhumane and degrading torture of the whole population of an entire nation inflicted by foreign power for so long a period of time. — May 1, 1996

http://www.twf.org/Library/Terrorism.html

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The “Green Peril”:
Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat

by Leon T. Hadar

Leon T. Hadar, a former bureau chief for the Jerusalem Post, is an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.


Executive Summary

Now that the Cold War is becoming a memory, America’s foreign policy establishment has begun searching for new enemies. Possible new villains include “instability” in Europe –ranging from German resurgence to new Russian imperialism– the “vanishing” ozone layer, nuclear proliferation, and narcoterrorism. Topping the list of potential new global bogeymen, however, are the Yellow Peril, the alleged threat to American economic security emanating from East Asia, and the so-called Green Peril (green is the color of Islam). That peril is symbolized by the Middle Eastern Moslem fundamentalist–the “Fundie,” to use a term coined by The Economist(1)–a Khomeini-like creature, armed with a radical ideology, equipped with nuclear weapons, and intent on launching a violent jihad against Western civilization.

George Will even suggested that the 1,000-year battle between Christendom and Islam might be breaking out once more when he asked, “Could it be that 20 years from now we will be saying, not that they’re at the gates of Vienna again, but that, in fact, the birth of Mohammed is at least as important as the birth of Christ, that Islamic vitality could be one of the big stories of the next generations?”(2)

Full Text of Policy Analysis No. 177 (HTML)

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Released November 14, 2001
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: http://www.twf.org — Press Contact: Enver Masud

Terrorism: Theirs and Ours

by Eqbal Ahmad A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Jewish underground in Palestine was described as “TERRORIST.” Then new things happened.

By 1942, the Holocaust was occurring, and a certain liberal sympathy with the Jewish people had built up in the Western world. At that point, the terrorists of Palestine, who were Zionists, suddenly started to be described, by 1944-45, as “freedom fighters.” At least two Israeli Prime Ministers, including Menachem Begin, have actually, you can find in the books and posters with their pictures, saying “Terrorists, Reward This Much.” The highest reward I have noted so far was 100,000 British pounds on the head of Menachem Begin, the terrorist.

Then from 1969 to 1990 the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, occupied the center stage as the terrorist organization. Yasir Arafat has been described repeatedly by the great sage of American journalism, William Safire of the New York Times, as the “Chief of Terrorism.” That’s Yasir Arafat.

Now, on September 29, 1998, I was rather amused to notice a picture of Yasir Arafat to the right of President Bill Clinton. To his left is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-yahu. Clinton is looking towards Arafat and Arafat is looking literally like a meek mouse. Just a few years earlier he used to appear with this very menacing look around him, with a gun appearing menacing from his belt. You remember those pictures, and you remember the next one.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded men. These bearded men I was writing about in those days in The New Yorker, actually did. They were very ferocious-looking bearded men with turbans looking like they came from another century. President Reagan received them in the White House. After receiving them he spoke to the press. He pointed towards them, I’m sure some of you will recall that moment, and said, “These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”. These were the Afghan Mujahiddin. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the Evil Empire. They were the moral equivalent of our founding fathers!

In August 1998, another American President ordered missile strikes from the American navy based in the Indian Ocean to kill Osama Bin Laden and his men in the camps in Afghanistan. I do not wish to embarrass you with the reminder that Mr. Bin Laden, whom fifteen American missiles were fired to hit in Afghanistan, was only a few years ago the moral equivalent of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson! He got angry over the fact that he has been demoted from ‘Moral Equivalent’ of your ‘Founding Fathers’. So he is taking out his anger in different ways. I’ll come back to that subject more seriously in a moment.

You see, why I have recalled all these stories is to point out to you that the matter of terrorism is rather complicated. Terrorists change. The terrorist of yesterday is the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today. This is a serious matter of the constantly changing world of images in which we have to keep our heads straight to know what is terrorism and what is not. But more importantly, to know what causes it, and how to stop it.

The next point about our terrorism is that posture of inconsistency necessarily evades definition. If you are not going to be consistent, you’re not going to define. I have examined at least twenty official documents on terrorism. Not one defines the word. All of them explain it, express it emotively, polemically, to arouse our emotions rather than exercise our intelligence. I give you only one example, which is representative. October 25, 1984. George Shultz, then Secretary of State of the U.S., is speaking at the New York Park Avenue Synagogue. It’s a long speech on terrorism. In the State Department Bulletin of seven single-spaced pages, there is not a single definition of terrorism. What we get is the following:

Definition number one: “Terrorism is a modern barbarism that we call terrorism.”Ê

Definition number two is even more brilliant: “Terrorism is a form of political violence.” Aren’t you surprised? It is a form of political violence, says George Shultz, Secretary of State of the U.S.

Number three: “Terrorism is a threat to Western civilization.”

Number four: “Terrorism is a menace to Western moral values.”

Did you notice, does it tell you anything other than arouse your emotions? This is typical. They don’t define terrorism because definitions involve a commitment to analysis, comprehension and adherence to some norms of consistency. That’s the second characteristic of the official literature on terrorism.

The third characteristic is that the absence of definition does not prevent officials from being globalistic. We may not define terrorism, but it is a menace to the moral values of Western civilization. It is a menace also to mankind. It’s a menace to good order. Therefore, you must stamp it out worldwide. Our reach has to be global. You need a global reach to kill it. Anti-terrorist policies therefore have to be global. Same speech of George Shultz: “There is no question about our ability to use force where and when it is needed to counter terrorism.” There is no geographical limit. On a single day the missiles hit Afghanistan and Sudan. Those two countries are 2,300 miles apart, and they were hit by missiles belonging to a country roughly 8,000 miles away. Reach is global.

A fourth characteristic: claims of power are not only globalist they are also omniscient. We know where they are; therefore we know where to hit. We have the means to know. We have the instruments of knowledge. We are omniscient. Shultz: “We know the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters, and as we look around, we have no trouble telling one from the other.”

Only Osama Bin Laden doesn’t know that he was an ally one day and an enemy another. That’s very confusing for Osama Bin Laden. I’ll come back to his story towards the end. It’s a real story.

Five. The official approach eschews causation. You don’t look at causes of anybody becoming terrorist. Cause? What cause? They ask us to be looking, to be sympathetic to these people.

Another example. The New York Times, December 18, 1985, reported that the foreign minister of Yugoslavia, you remember the days when there was a Yugoslavia, requested the Secretary of State of the U.S. to consider the causes of Palestinian terrorism. The Secretary of State, George Shultz, and I am quoting from the New York Times, “went a bit red in the face. He pounded the table and told the visiting foreign minister, there is no connection with any cause. Period.” Why look for causes?

Number six. The moral revulsion that we must feel against terrorism is selective. We are to feel the terror of those groups, which are officially disapproved. We are to applaud the terror of those groups of whom officials do approve. Hence, President Reagan, “I am a contra.” He actually said that. We know the contras of Nicaragua were anything, by any definition, but terrorists. The media, to move away from the officials, heed the dominant view of terrorism.

The dominant approach also excludes from consideration, more importantly to me, the terror of friendly governments. To that question I will return because it excused among others the terror of Pinochet (who killed one of my closest friends) and Orlando Letelier; and it excused the terror of Zia ul-Haq, who killed many of my friends in Pakistan. All I want to tell you is that according to my ignorant calculations, the ratio of people killed by the state terror of Zia ul-Haq, Pino-chet, Argentinian, Brazilian, Indonesian type, versus the killing of the PLO and other terrorist types is literally, conservatively, one to one hundred thousand. That’s the ratio.

History unfortunately recognizes and accords visibility to power and not to weakness. Therefore, visibility has been accorded historically to dominant groups. In our time, the time that began with this day, Columbus Day

The time that begins with Columbus Day is a time of extraordinary unrecorded holocausts. Great civilizations have been wiped out. The Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, the American Indians, the Canadian Indians were all wiped out. Their voices have not been heard, even to this day fully. Now they are beginning to be heard, but not fully. They are heard, yes, but only when the dominant power suffers, only when resistance has a semblance of costing, of exacting a price. When a Custer is killed or when a Gordon is besieged. That’s when you know that they were Indians fighting, Arabs fighting and dying.

My last point of this section Ð U.S. policy in the Cold War period has sponsored terrorist regimes one after another. Somoza, Batista, all kinds of tyrants have been America’s friends. You know that. There was a reason for that. I or you are not guilty. Nicaragua, contra. Afghanistan, mujahiddin. El Salvador, etc.

Now the second side. You’ve suffered enough. So suffer more.

There ain’t much good on the other side either. You shouldn’t imagine that I have come to praise the other side. But keep the balance in mind. Keep the imbalance in mind and first ask ourselves, What is terrorism?

Our first job should be to define the damn thing, name it, give it a description of some kind, other than “moral equivalent of founding fathers” or “a moral outrage to Western civilization”. I will stay with you with Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: “Terror is an intense, overpowering fear.” He uses terrorizing, terrorism, “the use of terrorizing methods of governing or resisting a government.” This simple definition has one great virtue, that of fairness. It’s fair. It focuses on the use of coercive violence, violence that is used illegally, extra-constitutionally, to coerce. And this definition is correct because it treats terror for what it is, whether the government or private people commit it.

Have you noticed something? Motivation is left out of it. We’re not talking about whether the cause is just or unjust. We’re talking about consensus, consent, absence of consent, legality, absence of legality, constitutionality, absence of constitutionality. Why do we keep motives out? Because motives differ. Motives differ and make no difference.

I have identified in my work five types of terrorism

First, state terrorism. Second, religious terrorism; terrorism inspired by religion, Catholics killing Protestants, Sunnis killing Shiites, Shiites killing Sunnis, God, religion, sacred terror, you can call it if you wish. State, church. Crime. Mafia. All kinds of crimes commit terror. There is pathology. You’re pathological. You’re sick. You want the attention of the whole world. You’ve got to kill a president. You will. You terrorize. You hold up a bus. Fifth, there is political terror of the private group; be they Indian, Vietnamese, Algerian, Palestinian, Baader-Meinhof, the Red Brigade. Political terror of the private group. Oppositional terror

Keep these five in mind. Keep in mind one more thing. Sometimes these five can converge on each other. You start with protest terror. You go crazy. You become pathological. You continue. They converge. State terror can take the form of private terror. For example, we’re all familiar with the death squads in Latin America or in Pakistan. Government has employed private people to kill its opponents. It’s not quite official. It’s privatized. Convergence. Or the political terrorist who goes crazy and becomes pathological. Or the criminal who joins politics. In Afghanistan, in Central America, the CIA employed in its covert operations drug pushers. Drugs and guns often go together. Smuggling of all things often go together.

Of the five types of terror, the focus is on only one, the least important in terms of cost to human lives and human property [Political Terror of those who want to be heard]. The highest cost is state terror. The second highest cost is religious terror, although in the twentieth century religious terror has, relatively speaking, declined. If you are looking historically, massive costs. The next highest cost is crime. Next highest, pathology. A Rand Corporation study by Brian Jenkins, for a ten-year period up to 1988, showed 50% of terror was committed without any political cause at all. No politics. Simply crime and pathology

So the focus is on only one, the political terrorist, the PLO, the Bin Laden, whoever you want to take. Why do they do it? What makes the terrorist tick?

I would like to knock them out quickly to you. First, the need to be heard. Imagine, we are dealing with a minority group, the political, private terrorist. First, the need to be heard. Normally, and there are exceptions, there is an effort to be heard, to get your grievances heard by people. They’re not hearing it. A minority acts. The majority applauds.

The Palestinians, for example, the superterrorists of our time, were dispossessed in 1948. From 1948 to 1968 they went to every court in the world. They knocked at every door in the world. They were told that they became dispossessed because some radio told them to go away – an Arab radio, which was a lie. Nobody was listening to the truth. Finally, they invented a new form of terror, literally their invention: the airplane hijacking. Between 1968 and 1975 they pulled the world up by its ears. They dragged us out and said, Listen, Listen. We listened. We still haven’t done them justice, but at least we all know. Even the Israelis acknowledge. Remember Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, saying in 1970, ‘There are no Palestinians.’ They do not exist. They damn well exist now. We are cheating them at Oslo. At least there are some people to cheat now. We can’t just push them out. The need to be heard is essential. One motivation there.

Mix of anger and helplessness produces an urge to strike out. You are angry. You are feeling helpless. You want retribution. You want to wreak retributive justice. The experience of violence by a stronger party has historically turned victims into terrorists. Battered children are known to become abusive parents and violent adults. You know that. That’s what happens to peoples and nations. When they are battered, they hit back. State terror very often breeds collective terror.

Do you recall the fact that the Jews were never terrorists? By and large Jews were not known to commit terror except during and after the Holocaust. Most studies show that the majority of members of the worst terrorist groups in Israel or in Palestine, the Stern and the Irgun gangs, were people who were immigrants from the most anti-Semitic countries of Eastern Europe and Germany. Similarly, the young Shiites of Lebanon or the Palestinians from the refugee camps are battered people. They become very violent. The ghettos are violent internally. They become violent externally when there is a clear, identifiable external target, an enemy where you can say, ‘Yes, this one did it to me’. Then they can strike back.

Example is a bad thing. Example spreads. There was a highly publicized Beirut hijacking of the TWA plane. After that hijacking, there were hijacking attempts at nine different American airports. Pathological groups or individuals modeling on the others. Even more serious are examples set by governments. When governments engage in terror, they set very large examples. When they engage in supporting terror, they engage in other sets of examples.

Absence of revolutionary ideology is central to victim terrorism. Revolutionaries do not commit unthinking terror. Those of you who are familiar with revolutionary theory know the debates, the disputes, the quarrels, the fights within revolutionary groups of Europe, the fight between anarchists and Marxists, for example. But the Marxists have always argued that revolutionary terror, if ever engaged in, must be sociologically and psychologically selective. Don’t hijack a plane. Don’t hold hostages. Don’t kill children, for God’s sake. Have you recalled also that the great revolutions, the Chinese, the Vietnamese, the Algerian, the Cuban, never engaged in hijacking type of terrorism? They did engage in terrorism, but it was highly selective, highly sociological, still deplorable, but there was an organized, highly limited, selective character to it. So absence of revolutionary ideology that begins more or less in the post-World War II period has been central to this phenomenon.

My final question is – These conditions have existed for a long time. But why then this flurry of private political terrorism? Why now so much of it and so visible? The answer is modern technology. You have a cause. You can communicate it through radio and television. They will all come swarming if you have taken an aircraft and are holding 150 Americans hostage. They will all hear your cause. You have a modern weapon through which you can shoot a mile away. They can’t reach you. And you have the modern means of communicating. When you put together the cause, the instrument of coercion and the instrument of communication, politics is made. A new kind of politics becomes possible.

To this challenge rulers from one country after another have been responding with traditional methods. The traditional method of shooting it out, whether it’s missiles or some other means. The Israelis are very proud of it. The Americans are very proud of it. The French became very proud of it. Now the Pakistanis are very proud of it. The Pakistanis say, ‘Our commandos are the best.’ Frankly, it won’t work. A central problem of our time, political minds, rooted in the past, and modern times, producing new realities. Therefore in conclusion, what is my recommendation to America?

Quickly. First, avoid extremes of double standards. If you’re going to practice double standards, you will be paid with double standards. Don’t use it. Don’t condone Israeli terror, Pakistani terror, Nicaraguan terror, El Salvadoran terror, on the one hand, and then complain about Afghan terror or Palestinian terror. It doesn’t work. Try to be even-handed. A superpower cannot promote terror in one place and reasonably expect to discourage terrorism in another place. It won’t work in this shrunken world.

Do not condone the terror of your allies. Condemn them. Fight them. Punish them. Please eschew, avoid covert operations and low-intensity warfare. These are breeding grounds of terror and drugs. Violence and drugs are bred there. The structure of covert operations, I’ve made a film about it, which has been very popular in Europe, called Dealing with the Demon. I have shown that wherever covert operations have been, there has been the central drug problem. That has been also the center of the drug trade. Because the structure of covert operations, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Central America, is very hospitable to drug trade. Avoid it. Give it up. It doesn’t help.

Please focus on causes and help ameliorate causes. Try to look at causes and solve problems. Do not concentrate on military solutions. Do not seek military solutions. Terrorism is a political problem. Seek political solutions. Diplomacy works.

Take the example of the last attack on Bin Laden. You don’t know what you’re attacking. They say they know, but they don’t know. They were trying to kill Qadaffi. They killed his four-year-old daughter. The poor baby hadn’t done anything. Qadaffi is still alive. They tried to kill Saddam Hussein. They killed Laila Bin Attar, a prominent artist, an innocent woman. They tried to kill Bin Laden and his men. Not one but twenty-five other people died. They tried to destroy a chemical factory in Sudan. Now they are admitting that they destroyed an innocent factory, one-half of the production of medicine in Sudan has been destroyed, not a chemical factory. You don’t know. You think you know.

Four of your missiles fell in Pakistan. One was slightly damaged. Two were totally damaged. One was totally intact. For ten years the American government has kept an embargo on Pakistan because Pakistan is trying, stupidly, to build nuclear weapons and missiles. So we have a technology embargo on my country. One of the missiles was intact. What do you think a Pakistani official told the Washington Post? He said it was a gift from Allah. We wanted U.S. technology. Now we have got the technology, and our scientists are examining this missile very carefully. It fell into the wrong hands. So don’t do that. Look for political solutions. Do not look for military solutions. They cause more problems than they solve.

Please help reinforce, strengthen the framework of international law. There was a criminal court in Rome. Why didn’t they go to it first to get their warrant against Bin Laden, if they have some evidence? Get a warrant, then go after him. Internationally. Enforce the U.N. Enforce the International Court of Justice, this unilateralism makes us look very stupid and them relatively smaller.

Q&A

The question here is that I mentioned that I would go somewhat into the story of Bin Laden, the Saudi in Afghanistan and didn’t do so, could I go into some detail? The point about Bin Laden would be roughly the same as the point between Sheikh Abdul Rahman, who was accused and convicted of encouraging the blowing up of the World Trade Center in New York City. The New Yorker did a long story on him. It’s the same as that of Aimal Kansi, the Pakistani Baluch who was also convicted of the murder of two CIA agents. Let me see if I can be very short on this. Jihad, which has been translated a thousand times as “holy war,” is not quite just that. Jihad is an Arabic word that means, “to struggle.” It could be struggle by violence or struggle by non-violent means. There are two forms, the small jihad and the big jihad. The small jihad involves violence. The big jihad involves the struggles with self. Those are the concepts. The reason I mention it is that in Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last four hundred years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the Evil Empire. Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

I first met him in 1986. He was recommended to me by an American official of whom I do not know whether he was or was not an agent. I was talking to him and said, ‘Who are the Arabs here who would be very interesting?’ By here I meant in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said, ‘You must meet Osama.’ I went to see Osama. There he was, rich, bringing in recruits from Algeria, from Sudan, from Egypt, just like Sheikh Abdul Rahman. This fellow was an ally. He remained an ally. He turns at a particular moment. In 1990 the U.S. goes into Saudi Arabia with forces. Saudi Arabia is the holy place of Muslims, Mecca and Medina. There had never been foreign troops there. In 1990, during the Gulf War, they went in, in the name of helping Saudi Arabia defeat Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden remained quiet. Saddam was defeated, but the American troops stayed on in the land of the kaba (the sacred site of Islam in Mecca), foreign troops. He wrote letter after letter saying, Why are you here? Get out! You came to help but you have stayed on. Finally he started a jihad against the other occupiers. His mission is to get American troops out of Saudi Arabia. His earlier mission was to get Russian troops out of Afghanistan. See what I was saying earlier about covert operations?

A second point to be made about him is these are tribal people, people who are really tribal. Being a millionaire doesn’t matter. Their code of ethics is tribal. The tribal code of ethics consists of two words: loyalty and revenge. You are my friend. You keep your word. I am loyal to you. You break your word, I go on my path of revenge. For him, America has broken its word. The loyal friend has betrayed. The one to whom you swore blood loyalty has betrayed you. They’re going to go for you. They’re going to do a lot more.

These are the chickens of the Afghanistan war coming home to roost. This is why I said to stop covert operations. There is a price attached to those that the American people cannot calculate and Kissinger type of people do not know, don’t have the history to know.


Courtesy: University of Colorado. Eqbal Ahmad, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, also served as a managing editor of the quarterly Race and Class. A prolific writer, his articles and essays have been published in The Nation, Dawn (Pakistan), among several other journals throughout the world. He died in 1999.

[The prime minister of Turkey, Israel’s closest ally in the Middle East, has accused Ariel Sharon of “state terrorism” against Palestinians and likened their treatment to that of Jews under the Spanish inquisition.–Chris McGreal, “Turkish PM accuses Israel of practising state terrorism,” Guardian, June 4, 2004]

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Fighting Terror with Terror
by Dennis Loo
“I looked at him, lost in astonishment…His very existence was
improbable, inexplicable, and altogether bewildering. He was an insoluble
problem. It was inconceivable how he had existed, how he had succeeded
in getting so far, how he had managed to remain — why he did not
instantly disappear.” Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness
Bush and Cheney have not yet disappeared. A good thing, the White House tells
us, for six years have elapsed since 9/11 without another terrorist attack on the U.S. But
the absence of an attack doesn’t necessarily prove their case. Eight years passed between
1993 when the World Trade Center was first bombed and September 11, 2001. How do
we know then whether they’re winning or losing? How do we know whether, like Kurtz
in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, we will once again confront “the horror, the horror?”
For some time now, prominent anti-terrorism experts who served under Bush
have been sounding the alarm that the White House is losing its “war on terror” and that
both its offense and defense are fatally flawed. Michael Scheuer, a senior CIA analyst in
charge of tracking down Osama bin Laden, the man who, of all people, ought to know,
was so provoked and distressed that he left the CIA and went public – with the CIA’s
blessings – writing Imperial Hubris: Why the U.S. is Losing the War on Terror. He
concludes his book with these words: “the United States of America remains bin Laden’s
only indispensable ally.” That is not a typo. He said ally.1
1 “One of the great intellectual failures of the American intelligence community… is to
assume if someone hasn’t attacked us, it’s …because we’ve defeated him,” says Scheuer.
“Bin Laden has consistently shown himself to be immune to outside pressure. When he
wants to do something, he does it on his own schedule.” (60 Minutes interview November
14, 2004, available at
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/12/60minutes/printable655407.shtml.)
2
Clark Kent Ervin, former Inspector General of the Department of Homeland
Security, who also left his post in frustration, wrote in his blog: “The full extent of our
Iraq misadventure may only be known one day when an attack at home that might
otherwise have been prevented is not.”2 Ervin points out in his book, Open Target, that
the easiest way for terrorists to get a nuclear device into the U.S. is by sea and warns that
only 6% of shipments at our docks are inspected. “Every year approximately nine million
cargo containers arrive at American’s 361 seaports from all over the world – about
26,000 a day.”3 He goes on to recount that a year after 9/11, ABC News tested how
vulnerable we were to importation of a nuclear device. They transported a container of
depleted uranium to the U.S. from Istanbul. Customs failed to detect the device. A year
later ABC repeated the experiment, this time sending a DU (depleted uranium) device via
Jakarta. Customs again failed to detect the device.4
Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar under Clinton and Bush states: “[Al
Qaeda] is in many ways a tougher opponent than the original threat we faced before
September 11, and we are not doing what is necessary to make America safe from that
threat.”5
The Bush White House has treated these fervent warnings the way the Greeks in
mythology reacted to Cassandra’s warnings of impending disasters – Cassandra was
always right, but never listened to. As Scheuer, Ervin and Clarke point out, and as nearly
any Iraqi or Muslim can tell us, we are creating new recruits for anti-state terrorist groups
2 http://opentarget.blogspot.com/, “Declare Victory and Go Home,” February 13, 2007.
3 Clark Kent Ervin, Open Target, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 118.
4 Ibid, pp. 118-120.
5 Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, NY: The Free Press.
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everyday by our policies. Scheuer reiterates this again and again in his book: it is not who
we are that provokes Bin Laden, it’s what we are doing.
This isn’t hard to understand. Kurtz’s horror is daily being visited upon Iraqis.
More than a million Iraqis have died because of our 2003 invasion, a country, need it be
said, that had nothing to do with 9/11, and at latest count, close to 4,000 American
service personnel have been killed. As the National Intelligence Council – the CIA
director’s think tank – concluded in its January 12, 2005 report, our ongoing occupations
in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned Iraq into a breeding ground for terrorists6 the way
dropping bloody fish heads into the ocean produces sharks roiling the waters. Scheuer,
among others, further notes the disjuncture between Bush’s talk of liberty and democracy
and the U.S. government’s unwavering support for brutal, parasitic regimes in Middle
Eastern countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and elsewhere (e.g., Pakistan) that fuels anger in
these countries and provides an ongoing, open offense and rallying cry against the U.S.
What would the average American think if Germany invaded us, using cluster
bombs on dense urban areas, treating any American as an enemy and our cities as free
fire zones, picked Americans up at random in the streets and tortured them, killed an
equivalent number of Americans as we have in Iraq (i.e., taking out the entire population
of New York City), set up permanent bases, built the largest embassy in the world on our
soil, and declared that it intended to stay indefinitely? How many Americans would be
waging a determined, militant resistance against our invaders and occupiers? (When H.G.
Wells wrote The War of the Worlds it was prompted by his desire to convey to the people
of imperialist countries how it must feel to be a Third World country invaded by a foreign
6 http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/011505Z.shtml
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power. Some of the people still deluded into thinking that it’s alright to invade innocent
countries and okay to torture people would do well to re-read H.G. Wells’ classic.)
What is Terror Anyway?
Since 9/11 Bush and Cheney have been waging a “global war on terror,” but
what, really, is terror? The term has been used so indiscriminately in public discourse that
it needs to be given a shower, a haircut and a fresh set of clothes so that it can appear in
decent company and be of some use again. The stakes involved and the need for
intellectual and emotional clarity could hardly be greater.
Let’s first consider how our government defines terrorism. Inherent in these
definitions are clues to part of the problem we face as a people with this “war on terror.”
The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against
persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any
segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
The key word in the FBI definition is “unlawful,” not “coerce” or “intimidate”
since governments, as well as terrorists, use force. It isn’t violence, intimidation, or
coercion per se that makes something terroristic. It is whether or not that force can be
rationalized as lawful or legitimate. If it’s seen as legitimate, then violence is not
terroristic, no matter how unjust, excessive or random. The question here then is: what
makes something “unlawful?” The rules of engagement for soldiers in war and the
procedures promulgated by law enforcement (police, FBI, ATF and so on) are essential to
legitimizing state use of force – otherwise, the public could see the actions of soldiers and
law enforcement as arbitrary and capricious. The intentional irony here is that in the fog
of chaos the very existence of these rules legitimates their violation in the breach.
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Police use of force can be rationalized as being in the public interest since it’s
carried out under the color of law. Likewise, when military forces bomb and kill civilians
in times of war we are told that war is a messy business and “mistakes” are inevitable. In
the huge gray areas of real conflicts, the existence of tidy procedures provides a
convenient fiction that justifies varying degrees of random savagery. Legitimacy or
illegitimacy is not an inherent property of the act or acts; legitimacy or illegitimacy are
subject to interpretation.
The U.S. State Department defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically
motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or
clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience” (Title 22 of the United
States Code, Section 2656f(d)).
The State Department’s definition is better than the FBI’s, but it implicitly
excludes state-sponsored terror since the agents of such terror are state actors.
Britannica Dictionary defines terrorism this way:
“Terrorism, n. the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of
fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political
objective. Terrorism has been practiced by political organizations with
both rightist and leftist objectives, by nationalistic and religious groups, by
revolutionaries, and even by state institutions such as armies,
intelligence…”
This is better still, but neither it nor the State Department’s definition specifies that a key
characteristic of terrorism is its indifference to the injury or death of innocent victims or
even terrorism’s deliberate targeting of innocents.
Finally, here is the USA PATRIOT Act’s definition for a new crime dubbed
“domestic terrorism:” “acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal
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laws … [if such acts] … appear to be intended …to influence the policy of a government
by intimidation or coercion.”
Obviously, by this definition, any act of civil disobedience and any political
protest could be readily categorized as “domestic terrorism” since they are all designed to
influence the government’s policy. Someone, after all, can always trip and get hurt.
Lobbyists, obviously, intend to influence government policy. The PATRIOT Act’s
definition for “domestic terrorism” is so broad that it robs the term terrorism of all real
meaning and makes it instead a catch-all label that can be used against almost any
dissenters or advocates of policy that those in power do not appreciate. Environmental or
animal rights activists, for example, do not target people. What they engage in might
more properly be described as sabotage. Yet because a spray can might blow up while a
saboteur is using it to deface a Humvee, for example, they could be (and have been)
classified as “ecoterrorists” or “domestic terrorists.” If truckers, to use a different
example, were to engage in a strike action or demonstration in which they used their
trucks to block traffic in D.C. for an hour or more, this could arguably be seen as
dangerous to human life and be treated as terrorism. Indeed, a group of demonstrators in
Salt Lake City a few years ago were prosecuted as “domestic terrorists” for interfering
with commercial businesses retail sales on the street where they were demonstrating.
Simply put, the PATRIOT Act’s definition of terrorism renders the term meaningless
except as an amorphous bogeyman.
Terrorism properly defined is
The systematic use of force against persons or property with the intent to
induce a general climate of fear in a population in order to produce a
particular political objective. Such actions are carried out with either
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deliberate indifference to the fates of, or involve the conscious targeting
of, noncombatant individuals.
I include the explicit mention of innocent civilians in my definition because terrorism
differs from political violence in that it is designed to induce fear by the injury or death
of innocents.
This definition has the virtue of bypassing the question of legitimacy since, as
everyone knows, “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” By bypassing
the question of legitimacy, it allows us to more impartially define whether something is
terrorist or not. Of course, it isn’t really possible to offer a definition that everyone will
accept. Some people will never accept a definition that includes the actions of their own
government.
War and State/Anti-State Terror
Wars are commonly depicted in bravado terms that overlook or drastically
minimize any casualties, especially among civilians. Witness, for example, then Fox
News’ Tony Snow’s cheerleading the initial quick toppling of Saddham Hussein on April
13, 2003:
“Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom
that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless
victory. The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics’
complaints.”
The toppling of Hussein and the invasion were not relatively bloodless.
If innocents are hurt or killed or their property damaged and states are called to
account for it happening, their explanations are likely to be that these acts were the
product of rogue individuals, “collateral damage,” or the innocents hurt or killed were
being used as “human shields” by the individual(s) the state was really targeting. States
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invariably respond that they had no intent to hurt, kill or damage innocents. It was
accidental or unavoidable through no fault of theirs.
Of course in the course of war, even states that are being as careful as they can be
and are not trying to deceive will sometimes inadvertently hurt innocents. The issue here
is not individual acts then, it is one of state policy. Is the policy one that intends to do
harm, or reflects utter indifference and criminal recklessness with respect, to civilians? If
so, then it’s terrorism.
Anti-state terrorism and state terrorism share, at a minimum, an indifference to
civilians’ fates and in most instances they both deliberately target civilians. The object in
both cases is to strike fear in the population in order to provoke a particular political
response. Anti-state terrorists intend for the fear and disruption they cause within the
population to provoke the state into granting certain political concessions. In most
instances, anti-state terrorists want to cause a state to be toppled. States that use terrorism
intend for it to cause their opponents and their supporters to give up their fight. State use
of terror is deliberately indiscriminate: you are supposed to be terrified that you or your
love ones could be the next target, merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Both anti-state terrorism and state terrorism share therefore a fundamentally
identical attitude towards the people – people are political objects to be acted upon, rather
than subjects to whom we can appeal. They are best moved through the generous
application of fear. Anti-state and state terrorism both evidence contempt and cynicism
towards people. In that sense anti-state and state terrorism are both profoundly, deeply,
anti-democratic and anti-humane.
9
Bush and Cheney’s war on terror is the obverse side of the coin from Bin Laden’s
jihad. Osama Bin Laden has on a number of occasions subtly signaled his pleasure with
Bush and Cheney’s policies. Recruiting soldiers to his jihad is far easier with Bush and
Cheney in charge. Both sides of this global war on terror – Bush/Cheney and al-Qaeda –
present a unity of opposites: each needs the other and profits from the existence of the
other. The CIA, in fact, concluded that Bin Laden’s October 2004 videotaped message
just prior to the November 2004 presidential elections was actually intended to help
Bush.7 “Atiyah,” a top Osama Bin Laden lieutenant, states in an intercepted Dec. 11,
2005 letter that “prolonging the war is in our interest.”8 And in May 2007 Ayman al-
Zawahiri, an al-Qaeda leader, released a message stating that they hoped that American
troops would remain in Iraq longer so that they can kill enough Americans to make our
invasion produce changes to our policies.9
Bush and Cheney’s approach has been to use the fear of attacks to consolidate
their power and control – witness the PATRIOT Act and illegal spying – rather than to
take obvious steps that would truly help make America safer, such as safeguarding port
cargo security. Their priorities in response to 9/11 make it clear they are not even
7Robert Parry, “Al-Qaeda’s Fragile Foothold,” October 4, 2006,
http://consortiumnews.com/2006/071406.html
8 Ibid.
9 “Zawahiri expressed some mock anguish over what he sees as a too-early US
withdrawal from Iraq.
“Such an action, he said, ‘Will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American
forces which we have caught in a historic trap. We ask Allah that they only get out of it
after losing two or three hundred thousand killed.’” Michael Scheuer, “Al-Qaeda message
aimed at US living rooms,” Asia Times, May 10, 2007,
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IE10Ak08.html.
10
particularly interested in preventing another attack. Indeed, in recent weeks, several
people who support or represent the White House have made it astonishingly clear that
another 9/11 would be good and necessary because it would justify the White House’s
policies:
Dennis Milligan, new Arkansas GOP Chairman: “[A]ll we need is some attacks
on American soil like we had on [9/11], and the naysayers will come around very quickly
to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been
made by men and women to protect this country.” (June 3, 2007).
Rick Santorum, ex-Senator from Pennsylvania: “Between now and November, a
lot of things are going to happen, and I believe that by this time next year, the American
public’s going to have a very different view of this war, and it will be because, I think, of
some unfortunate events, that like we’re seeing unfold in the UK. But I think the
American public’s going to have a very different view.” (July 7, 2007, speaking on the
Hugh Hewitt Show).
Lt.-Col. Doug Delaney, War Studies Program Chair, Royal Military College in
Kingston, Ontario: “The key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like
9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago.” (Delaney paraphrased by Toronto
Star reporter, Andrew Chung.) “If nothing happens, it will be harder still to say this is
necessary,” adds Delaney. (July 8, 2007). (Boldfacing added)
A Sacramento Democratic strategist, paraphrased by one of the pro-impeachment
Democrats at a recent Democratic gathering, offering the following as one of the reasons
why he thinks impeachment is foolhardy for the Democratic Party: “there will be another
terrorist attack between now and next November…the public will run into the arms of the
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Republicans as a cause of that, and … Democrats are essentially helpless to do anything
about that.” (July 17, 2007).
Jack Goldsmith, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel in 2003 and 2004, in
his book The Terror Presidency quotes David Addington, Cheney’s current Chief of
Staff, as saying in a February 2004 meeting: “We’re one bomb away from getting rid of
that obnoxious [FISA] court.”10
Or, as Nazi Leader Hermann Goring put it in 1946:
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders . . . tell them they
are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the
country to danger.”11
The corollary to the Bush administration’s rights violations and illegal
surveillance at home are violations of the rules of war that amount to state terror. The
U.S. military in Abu Ghraib and at GITMO and in their assault on Fallujah and Hilla,
where they specifically suspended international rules of war by aiming phosphorous
missiles at people and shooting at anyone who moved, rule through terror. In the case of
Hilla, where they used cluster bombs on civilian areas, the object was to quickly crush
any resistance to their drive to Baghdad because they did not think that American public
opinion would tolerate a protracted war campaign. In the case of the siege of Fallujah, the
point was to punish the people of Fallujah for their support of the insurgents.
10 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/
content/article/2007/09/04/AR2007090402292_pf.html
11 A conversation Gustave Gilbert held with Goering in his cell on the evening of April 18, 1946, recorded
in Gilbert’s book, Nuremberg Diary (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1947), pp. 255–256.
12
A state that uses terror reveals itself to be in a particularly precarious state. It’s
precarious because it must resort to means exceeding those that states normally employ in
order to carry out their policies and/or in order to retain their power. This so-called war
on terror cannot be won the way it is being waged. Indeed, it only guarantees the spread
of anti-state terror and its growing virulence indefinitely. It’s like fighting a fire by
thinking that you can drown the fire with barrels and barrels of gasoline. As the
conflagration grows ever higher, Bush and Cheney call out: “We need more gasoline
here!”
The Bigger the Failure, the Greater Their Success
A vicious paradox characterizes this White House: the more they fail, the more
they succeed in getting what they wanted all along and the more grounds they marshal
and spin to justify their continued leadership. After Katrina ravaged an unprotected New
Orleans, Bush stated that he wanted to see the Posse Comitatus Act overturned – the Civil
War law that prohibits the use of military forces in domestic affairs. Soldiers are ill-suited
by training and mission to handle domestic matters. The “grave and deteriorating”
situation in Iraq where American and other forces are charged with handling domestic
affairs to a large extent are further living evidence of this.
Bush got his wish in the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 that he
signed into law in a private ceremony the same day he signed the Military Commissions
Act of 2006 in October 2006.12 The Warner Act, unbeknownst to nearly the entire U.S.
population, gives the president the power to declare a “public emergency” and take
control of National Guard Units – the National Guard is ordinarily under the control of
12 http://www.bordc.org/threats/hr5122.php
13
state governors – to conduct mass roundups, arrests and detentions. The Warner Act, in
other words, is a martial law enabling act.13 The Act calls for the president to inform a
handful of members of Congress if he does declare a “public emergency” to reveal what
he’s doing and why he’s doing it. In his signing statement, 14 however, Bush declared that
he reserves the right not to tell anyone in Congress why he’s declared martial law and
what he’s doing.
A tragically all too plausible and all too possible scenario whereby the president
invokes the Warner Act would be a nuclear device being set off in a U.S. city, killing tens
or hundreds of thousands immediately and endangering millions more. Bin Laden, as
Scheuer has pointed out, has already received permission to use nukes.
“You’ve written no one should be surprised when Osama bin Laden and al
Qaeda detonate a weapon of mass destruction in the United States,” says
Kroft. “You believe that’s going to happen?”

“I think it’s pretty close to being inevitable,” says Scheuer.

“[Bin Laden] secured from a Saudi sheik named Hamid bin Fahd a rather
long treatise [a fatwa issued in May 2003]… that [bin Laden] was
perfectly within his rights to use [nukes]. Muslims argue that the United
States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so
reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans.”15
What would Bush do in case of another 9/11? Imagine the chaos that would ensue
after a nuclear (or chemical or biological) attack. Bush would most likely declare martial
law, suspend civil rights, civil liberties, muzzle the press and, if it occurs close enough to
13 http://www.towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/911/
14 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061017-9.html
15 60 Minutes interview November 14, 2004, available at
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/12/60minutes/printable655407.shtml.
14
November 2008, quite possibly also suspend elections. The Democratic Party would
undoubtedly join the chorus demanding the most draconian anti-terrorism measures
possible in order to “prove” their patriotism. The country would stand “united in outrage”
and at one with the martial law president who promises us, against the (video) backdrop
of a major American city in ruins, to find and punish the perpetrators of this terrible act
and to wage an unremitting, indefinite war against terror. All bets would be off and all
prior “normality,” all pretences of “checks and balances” and due process would be a
quaint and increasingly distant memory.
If Bush and Cheney, in other words, fail once again to prevent a terrorist attack on
the U.S., they would be rewarded with their fondest wish: unbridled dictatorial powers.
The fact that their approval ratings are today at historic lows would be wiped away in one
day. In George Orwell’s classic, 1984, Big Brother declares, “War is peace.” In Bush’s
America, “failure is success.”
Should this scenario come to pass, no one can say that we weren’t warned.
Warnings of the 9/11 attacks were numerous, dire and ignored. The most blatant of these
was the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Bulletin that warned Bush that Bin Laden
might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The PDB was entitled “Bin Laden
Determined to Strike in the United States.”16 It specifically mentioned the World Trade
Center.
Despite what they knew before 9/11, the Bush White House did nothing to alert
NORAD of potential hijacking, nor did they step up security at the airports. Suspects
were not followed up with, despite repeated and urgent requests to do so from FBI field-
16 http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/80601pdb.html
15
agents who were shocked to find Arabs taking flight lessons with no interest in learning
how to land.
Condi Rice, in spite of the foregoing, declared on May 16, 2002 to the 9/11
Commission: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an
airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” Rice insisted that nobody knew
who, when and where and therefore their inaction was appropriate – they didn’t have
Mohammed Atta’s exact itinerary after all.
As Thomas Kean, former Republican Governor of New Jersey and 9/11
Commission Chairman, concluded, 9/11 “was not something that had to happen…. There
are people that, if I was doing the job, would certainly not be in the position they were in
at that time because they failed. They simply failed,” Kean said.
The Losing War on Terror: Is It Cultural Myopia?
Scheuer attributes the counter-productiveness of Bush and Cheney’s war on terror
to cultural myopia. Cultural myopia certainly helps to explain the disastrous wars on
Afghanistan and Iraq: an arrogance and laziness of mind that treats everything and
everyone in the world through the lens of American values, practices and behaviors.
“With regret,” the Russian official said, “I have to say that you are going to get the hell
kicked out of you [in Afghanistan].” One of the Americans responded… “We’re going to
kill them,” the U.S. official asserted. “We’re going to put their heads on sticks. We’re
going to rock their world.”17 This kind of grotesque arrogance can explain much about
why we’re losing these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it does not explain why the neocons
wanted to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place prior to 9/11. It does not
17Scheuer, op cit, p. 29, quoting from Bob Woodward’s Bush at War, p. 103.
16
explain their outsourcing their pursuit of Bin Laden and their willful substitution of Bin
Laden as Public Enemy No. 1 with Saddham Hussein. Cultural myopia and arrogance can
account for tactical blunders but they do not explain the overall strategy.
Bush and Cheney knew when they launched their campaign to parlay the anger
and fear of Americans as a result of 9/11 into an invasion of Iraq that Saddham Hussein
and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. They elected to go after Iraq under the signboard of
the “war on terror” knowing that al-Qaeda was elsewhere. Bush and Cheney’s so-called
preventive war doctrine that rationalizes their unprovoked aggression on countries that
pose no threat to the U.S. therefore bears no relationship in actual fact to the dangers
posed by al-Qaeda and by anti-state terrorism in general. Incompetence and cultural
arrogance do not comprise the central reason for their bungling this “war on terror.” As
Scheuer points out, Bush and Cheney need their putative enemy Osama Bin Laden just as
much as Bin Laden needs his foil in Bush and Cheney.
The anti-terrorism measures employed by the White House are not just
dramatically counter-productive; their anti-terror measures appear to be designed
primarily to repress and control the U.S. population and other countries. The White
House ordered the NSA to carry out massive warrantless surveillance of Americans’
phone calls before 9/11. 18 Bush has openly mused that a dictatorship would be fine, as
18 USA Today first reported on this on May 11, 2006, “NSA has Massive Database of
Americans’ Phone Calls,” http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-
nsa_x.htm. Subsequently, it came to light in lawsuits and briefs that the NSA sought to
initiate this illegal spying seven months before 9/11. Qwest Communications’ CEO
Joseph Nacchio states that he met with the NSA on February 27, 2001 and was asked to
participate in this. He refused. AT&T and Verizon, however, complied. See “Documents:
Qwest was Targeted,” by Sarah Burnett and Jeff Smith, Rocky Mountain News, October
11, 2007:
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/tech/article/0,2777,DRMN_23910_5719566,
17
long as he was the dictator.19 Moreover, since taking office he and Cheney have
aggressively and consistently asserted unrestricted executive powers, claiming under the
Federalist Society’s doctrine of the “unitary executive” that Bush’s role as commander
and chief grants him the right to make law and override the law at his sole discretion. On
May 9, 2007, with little fanfare, and no protests from the Democratic Party, Bush issued
two new presidential directives, the National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 5120
and Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD–20. These allow Bush to decide on
his own say so when and if a national emergency has occurred and give him the power to
carry on governance without any role for Congress or any other branch of the government
whatsoever. Dictatorship is the term most apropos here. The Bush administration’s
shocking actions and policies are not, however, an aberration. They are actually a
continuation and acceleration at a higher level of policies begun in earnest under Reagan
and carried forward with somewhat different attributes by Clinton.
Whether Bush and Cheney are failing to prevent disasters out of sheer
incompetence, reckless arrogance, or because they know that their war on terror is a fraud
and they wage it merely as a cover for their real objectives does not, in one sense, matter.
Did they fail to prevent 9/11 because they could not connect the dots that would have
00.html, “Did the NSA Retaliate Against Qwest?” by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger
Report, October 11, 2007: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/13201.html
and “Former Phone Chief Says Spy Agency Sought Surveillance Help Before 9/11,” by
Scott Shane, New York Times, October 14, 2007:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/business/14qwest.html.
19 Bush has said this out loud at least three times. See
http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/2002/10/29_Dictator.html.
20 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html.
http://www.ww4report.com/node/3940
18
been glaringly obvious to even a high school student of ordinary intelligence? Were they
too distracted by their other plans? In any case, the net result for the rest of us is the
same: a dangerous and unprecedented policy of repression and coercion, with no end in
sight.
Consider the following highly abbreviated list: the legalization and ongoing
practice of torture, the doctrine and practice of pre-emptive attacks, targeting of civilians
during war, the open and ongoing violation of the 1978 FISA law through the warrantless
surveillance of hundreds of millions of Americans, the stripping of habeas corpus rights
and the consequent indefinite detentions, the Warner Act, NSPD-51, the USA PATRIOT
Act, the Protect America Act of 2007, and hundreds of signing statements that override
the laws passed by Congress. Breaching long-standing civil liberties and fundamental
beliefs in American governance risks generating severe fissures in the social compact.
Clearly, we face an extraordinary situation, one unlike any this country has ever
seen. Civil liberties and rights that were won through the American Revolution and were
secured through the battle for the Bill of Rights are now gone. But what exactly is this
extraordinary situation? Is it the presence and actions of anti-state terrorists such as al-
Qaeda? Or is it the actions undertaken by our government in alleged response to anti-state
terrorists?
Can we afford to wait out Bush and Cheney’s term in the White House? Every
single day that they remain in office is another day that innocent people are being
tortured, global warming goes unheeded, and the problems they are exacerbating
intensely fester and threaten to explode into a disaster that will make Katrina and 9/11,
horrific as they were, appear surprisingly small by comparison.

Fighting Terror with Terror

by Dennis Loo

“I looked at him, lost in astonishment…His very existence was

improbable, inexplicable, and altogether bewildering. He was an insoluble

problem. It was inconceivable how he had existed, how he had succeeded

in getting so far, how he had managed to remain — why he did not

instantly disappear.” Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness

Bush and Cheney have not yet disappeared. A good thing, the White House tells

us, for six years have elapsed since 9/11 without another terrorist attack on the U.S. But

the absence of an attack doesn’t necessarily prove their case. Eight years passed between

1993 when the World Trade Center was first bombed and September 11, 2001. How do

we know then whether they’re winning or losing? How do we know whether, like Kurtz

in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, we will once again confront “the horror, the horror?”

For some time now, prominent anti-terrorism experts who served under Bush

have been sounding the alarm that the White House is losing its “war on terror” and that

both its offense and defense are fatally flawed. Michael Scheuer, a senior CIA analyst in

charge of tracking down Osama bin Laden, the man who, of all people, ought to know,

was so provoked and distressed that he left the CIA and went public – with the CIA’s

blessings – writing Imperial Hubris: Why the U.S. is Losing the War on Terror. He

concludes his book with these words: “the United States of America remains bin Laden’s

only indispensable ally.” That is not a typo. He said ally.1

1 “One of the great intellectual failures of the American intelligence community… is to

assume if someone hasn’t attacked us, it’s …because we’ve defeated him,” says Scheuer.

“Bin Laden has consistently shown himself to be immune to outside pressure. When he

wants to do something, he does it on his own schedule.” (60 Minutes interview November

14, 2004, available at

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/12/60minutes/printable655407.shtml.)

2

Clark Kent Ervin, former Inspector General of the Department of Homeland

Security, who also left his post in frustration, wrote in his blog: “The full extent of our

Iraq misadventure may only be known one day when an attack at home that might

otherwise have been prevented is not.”2 Ervin points out in his book, Open Target, that

the easiest way for terrorists to get a nuclear device into the U.S. is by sea and warns that

only 6% of shipments at our docks are inspected. “Every year approximately nine million

cargo containers arrive at American’s 361 seaports from all over the world – about

26,000 a day.”3 He goes on to recount that a year after 9/11, ABC News tested how

vulnerable we were to importation of a nuclear device. They transported a container of

depleted uranium to the U.S. from Istanbul. Customs failed to detect the device. A year

later ABC repeated the experiment, this time sending a DU (depleted uranium) device via

Jakarta. Customs again failed to detect the device.4

Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar under Clinton and Bush states: “[Al

Qaeda] is in many ways a tougher opponent than the original threat we faced before

September 11, and we are not doing what is necessary to make America safe from that

threat.”5

The Bush White House has treated these fervent warnings the way the Greeks in

mythology reacted to Cassandra’s warnings of impending disasters – Cassandra was

always right, but never listened to. As Scheuer, Ervin and Clarke point out, and as nearly

any Iraqi or Muslim can tell us, we are creating new recruits for anti-state terrorist groups

2 http://opentarget.blogspot.com/, “Declare Victory and Go Home,” February 13, 2007.

3 Clark Kent Ervin, Open Target, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 118.

4 Ibid, pp. 118-120.

5 Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, NY: The Free Press.

3

everyday by our policies. Scheuer reiterates this again and again in his book: it is not who

we are that provokes Bin Laden, it’s what we are doing.

This isn’t hard to understand. Kurtz’s horror is daily being visited upon Iraqis.

More than a million Iraqis have died because of our 2003 invasion, a country, need it be

said, that had nothing to do with 9/11, and at latest count, close to 4,000 American

service personnel have been killed. As the National Intelligence Council – the CIA

director’s think tank – concluded in its January 12, 2005 report, our ongoing occupations

in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned Iraq into a breeding ground for terrorists6 the way

dropping bloody fish heads into the ocean produces sharks roiling the waters. Scheuer,

among others, further notes the disjuncture between Bush’s talk of liberty and democracy

and the U.S. government’s unwavering support for brutal, parasitic regimes in Middle

Eastern countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and elsewhere (e.g., Pakistan) that fuels anger in

these countries and provides an ongoing, open offense and rallying cry against the U.S.

What would the average American think if Germany invaded us, using cluster

bombs on dense urban areas, treating any American as an enemy and our cities as free

fire zones, picked Americans up at random in the streets and tortured them, killed an

equivalent number of Americans as we have in Iraq (i.e., taking out the entire population

of New York City), set up permanent bases, built the largest embassy in the world on our

soil, and declared that it intended to stay indefinitely? How many Americans would be

waging a determined, militant resistance against our invaders and occupiers? (When H.G.

Wells wrote The War of the Worlds it was prompted by his desire to convey to the people

of imperialist countries how it must feel to be a Third World country invaded by a foreign

6 http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/011505Z.shtml

4

power. Some of the people still deluded into thinking that it’s alright to invade innocent

countries and okay to torture people would do well to re-read H.G. Wells’ classic.)

What is Terror Anyway?

Since 9/11 Bush and Cheney have been waging a “global war on terror,” but

what, really, is terror? The term has been used so indiscriminately in public discourse that

it needs to be given a shower, a haircut and a fresh set of clothes so that it can appear in

decent company and be of some use again. The stakes involved and the need for

intellectual and emotional clarity could hardly be greater.

Let’s first consider how our government defines terrorism. Inherent in these

definitions are clues to part of the problem we face as a people with this “war on terror.”

The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against

persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any

segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

The key word in the FBI definition is “unlawful,” not “coerce” or “intimidate”

since governments, as well as terrorists, use force. It isn’t violence, intimidation, or

coercion per se that makes something terroristic. It is whether or not that force can be

rationalized as lawful or legitimate. If it’s seen as legitimate, then violence is not

terroristic, no matter how unjust, excessive or random. The question here then is: what

makes something “unlawful?” The rules of engagement for soldiers in war and the

procedures promulgated by law enforcement (police, FBI, ATF and so on) are essential to

legitimizing state use of force – otherwise, the public could see the actions of soldiers and

law enforcement as arbitrary and capricious. The intentional irony here is that in the fog

of chaos the very existence of these rules legitimates their violation in the breach.

5

Police use of force can be rationalized as being in the public interest since it’s

carried out under the color of law. Likewise, when military forces bomb and kill civilians

in times of war we are told that war is a messy business and “mistakes” are inevitable. In

the huge gray areas of real conflicts, the existence of tidy procedures provides a

convenient fiction that justifies varying degrees of random savagery. Legitimacy or

illegitimacy is not an inherent property of the act or acts; legitimacy or illegitimacy are

subject to interpretation.

The U.S. State Department defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically

motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or

clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience” (Title 22 of the United

States Code, Section 2656f(d)).

The State Department’s definition is better than the FBI’s, but it implicitly

excludes state-sponsored terror since the agents of such terror are state actors.

Britannica Dictionary defines terrorism this way:

“Terrorism, n. the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of

fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political

objective. Terrorism has been practiced by political organizations with

both rightist and leftist objectives, by nationalistic and religious groups, by

revolutionaries, and even by state institutions such as armies,

intelligence…”

This is better still, but neither it nor the State Department’s definition specifies that a key

characteristic of terrorism is its indifference to the injury or death of innocent victims or

even terrorism’s deliberate targeting of innocents.

Finally, here is the USA PATRIOT Act’s definition for a new crime dubbed

“domestic terrorism:” “acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal

6

laws … [if such acts] … appear to be intended …to influence the policy of a government

by intimidation or coercion.”

Obviously, by this definition, any act of civil disobedience and any political

protest could be readily categorized as “domestic terrorism” since they are all designed to

influence the government’s policy. Someone, after all, can always trip and get hurt.

Lobbyists, obviously, intend to influence government policy. The PATRIOT Act’s

definition for “domestic terrorism” is so broad that it robs the term terrorism of all real

meaning and makes it instead a catch-all label that can be used against almost any

dissenters or advocates of policy that those in power do not appreciate. Environmental or

animal rights activists, for example, do not target people. What they engage in might

more properly be described as sabotage. Yet because a spray can might blow up while a

saboteur is using it to deface a Humvee, for example, they could be (and have been)

classified as “ecoterrorists” or “domestic terrorists.” If truckers, to use a different

example, were to engage in a strike action or demonstration in which they used their

trucks to block traffic in D.C. for an hour or more, this could arguably be seen as

dangerous to human life and be treated as terrorism. Indeed, a group of demonstrators in

Salt Lake City a few years ago were prosecuted as “domestic terrorists” for interfering

with commercial businesses retail sales on the street where they were demonstrating.

Simply put, the PATRIOT Act’s definition of terrorism renders the term meaningless

except as an amorphous bogeyman.

Terrorism properly defined is

The systematic use of force against persons or property with the intent to

induce a general climate of fear in a population in order to produce a

particular political objective. Such actions are carried out with either

7

deliberate indifference to the fates of, or involve the conscious targeting

of, noncombatant individuals.

I include the explicit mention of innocent civilians in my definition because terrorism

differs from political violence in that it is designed to induce fear by the injury or death

of innocents.

This definition has the virtue of bypassing the question of legitimacy since, as

everyone knows, “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” By bypassing

the question of legitimacy, it allows us to more impartially define whether something is

terrorist or not. Of course, it isn’t really possible to offer a definition that everyone will

accept. Some people will never accept a definition that includes the actions of their own

government.

War and State/Anti-State Terror

Wars are commonly depicted in bravado terms that overlook or drastically

minimize any casualties, especially among civilians. Witness, for example, then Fox

News’ Tony Snow’s cheerleading the initial quick toppling of Saddham Hussein on April

13, 2003:

“Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom

that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless

victory. The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics’

complaints.”

The toppling of Hussein and the invasion were not relatively bloodless.

If innocents are hurt or killed or their property damaged and states are called to

account for it happening, their explanations are likely to be that these acts were the

product of rogue individuals, “collateral damage,” or the innocents hurt or killed were

being used as “human shields” by the individual(s) the state was really targeting. States

8

invariably respond that they had no intent to hurt, kill or damage innocents. It was

accidental or unavoidable through no fault of theirs.

Of course in the course of war, even states that are being as careful as they can be

and are not trying to deceive will sometimes inadvertently hurt innocents. The issue here

is not individual acts then, it is one of state policy. Is the policy one that intends to do

harm, or reflects utter indifference and criminal recklessness with respect, to civilians? If

so, then it’s terrorism.

Anti-state terrorism and state terrorism share, at a minimum, an indifference to

civilians’ fates and in most instances they both deliberately target civilians. The object in

both cases is to strike fear in the population in order to provoke a particular political

response. Anti-state terrorists intend for the fear and disruption they cause within the

population to provoke the state into granting certain political concessions. In most

instances, anti-state terrorists want to cause a state to be toppled. States that use terrorism

intend for it to cause their opponents and their supporters to give up their fight. State use

of terror is deliberately indiscriminate: you are supposed to be terrified that you or your

love ones could be the next target, merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Both anti-state terrorism and state terrorism share therefore a fundamentally

identical attitude towards the people – people are political objects to be acted upon, rather

than subjects to whom we can appeal. They are best moved through the generous

application of fear. Anti-state and state terrorism both evidence contempt and cynicism

towards people. In that sense anti-state and state terrorism are both profoundly, deeply,

anti-democratic and anti-humane.

9

Bush and Cheney’s war on terror is the obverse side of the coin from Bin Laden’s

jihad. Osama Bin Laden has on a number of occasions subtly signaled his pleasure with

Bush and Cheney’s policies. Recruiting soldiers to his jihad is far easier with Bush and

Cheney in charge. Both sides of this global war on terror – Bush/Cheney and al-Qaeda –

present a unity of opposites: each needs the other and profits from the existence of the

other. The CIA, in fact, concluded that Bin Laden’s October 2004 videotaped message

just prior to the November 2004 presidential elections was actually intended to help

Bush.7 “Atiyah,” a top Osama Bin Laden lieutenant, states in an intercepted Dec. 11,

2005 letter that “prolonging the war is in our interest.”8 And in May 2007 Ayman al-

Zawahiri, an al-Qaeda leader, released a message stating that they hoped that American

troops would remain in Iraq longer so that they can kill enough Americans to make our

invasion produce changes to our policies.9

Bush and Cheney’s approach has been to use the fear of attacks to consolidate

their power and control – witness the PATRIOT Act and illegal spying – rather than to

take obvious steps that would truly help make America safer, such as safeguarding port

cargo security. Their priorities in response to 9/11 make it clear they are not even

7Robert Parry, “Al-Qaeda’s Fragile Foothold,” October 4, 2006,

http://consortiumnews.com/2006/071406.html

8 Ibid.

9 “Zawahiri expressed some mock anguish over what he sees as a too-early US

withdrawal from Iraq.

“Such an action, he said, ‘Will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American

forces which we have caught in a historic trap. We ask Allah that they only get out of it

after losing two or three hundred thousand killed.’” Michael Scheuer, “Al-Qaeda message

aimed at US living rooms,” Asia Times, May 10, 2007,

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IE10Ak08.html.

10

particularly interested in preventing another attack. Indeed, in recent weeks, several

people who support or represent the White House have made it astonishingly clear that

another 9/11 would be good and necessary because it would justify the White House’s

policies:

Dennis Milligan, new Arkansas GOP Chairman: “[A]ll we need is some attacks

on American soil like we had on [9/11], and the naysayers will come around very quickly

to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been

made by men and women to protect this country.” (June 3, 2007).

Rick Santorum, ex-Senator from Pennsylvania: “Between now and November, a

lot of things are going to happen, and I believe that by this time next year, the American

public’s going to have a very different view of this war, and it will be because, I think, of

some unfortunate events, that like we’re seeing unfold in the UK. But I think the

American public’s going to have a very different view.” (July 7, 2007, speaking on the

Hugh Hewitt Show).

Lt.-Col. Doug Delaney, War Studies Program Chair, Royal Military College in

Kingston, Ontario: “The key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like

9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago.” (Delaney paraphrased by Toronto

Star reporter, Andrew Chung.) “If nothing happens, it will be harder still to say this is

necessary,” adds Delaney. (July 8, 2007). (Boldfacing added)

A Sacramento Democratic strategist, paraphrased by one of the pro-impeachment

Democrats at a recent Democratic gathering, offering the following as one of the reasons

why he thinks impeachment is foolhardy for the Democratic Party: “there will be another

terrorist attack between now and next November…the public will run into the arms of the

11

Republicans as a cause of that, and … Democrats are essentially helpless to do anything

about that.” (July 17, 2007).

Jack Goldsmith, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel in 2003 and 2004, in

his book The Terror Presidency quotes David Addington, Cheney’s current Chief of

Staff, as saying in a February 2004 meeting: “We’re one bomb away from getting rid of

that obnoxious [FISA] court.”10

Or, as Nazi Leader Hermann Goring put it in 1946:

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders . . . tell them they

are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the

country to danger.”11

The corollary to the Bush administration’s rights violations and illegal

surveillance at home are violations of the rules of war that amount to state terror. The

U.S. military in Abu Ghraib and at GITMO and in their assault on Fallujah and Hilla,

where they specifically suspended international rules of war by aiming phosphorous

missiles at people and shooting at anyone who moved, rule through terror. In the case of

Hilla, where they used cluster bombs on civilian areas, the object was to quickly crush

any resistance to their drive to Baghdad because they did not think that American public

opinion would tolerate a protracted war campaign. In the case of the siege of Fallujah, the

point was to punish the people of Fallujah for their support of the insurgents.

10 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/

content/article/2007/09/04/AR2007090402292_pf.html

11 A conversation Gustave Gilbert held with Goering in his cell on the evening of April 18, 1946, recorded

in Gilbert’s book, Nuremberg Diary (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1947), pp. 255–256.

12

A state that uses terror reveals itself to be in a particularly precarious state. It’s

precarious because it must resort to means exceeding those that states normally employ in

order to carry out their policies and/or in order to retain their power. This so-called war

on terror cannot be won the way it is being waged. Indeed, it only guarantees the spread

of anti-state terror and its growing virulence indefinitely. It’s like fighting a fire by

thinking that you can drown the fire with barrels and barrels of gasoline. As the

conflagration grows ever higher, Bush and Cheney call out: “We need more gasoline

here!”

The Bigger the Failure, the Greater Their Success

A vicious paradox characterizes this White House: the more they fail, the more

they succeed in getting what they wanted all along and the more grounds they marshal

and spin to justify their continued leadership. After Katrina ravaged an unprotected New

Orleans, Bush stated that he wanted to see the Posse Comitatus Act overturned – the Civil

War law that prohibits the use of military forces in domestic affairs. Soldiers are ill-suited

by training and mission to handle domestic matters. The “grave and deteriorating”

situation in Iraq where American and other forces are charged with handling domestic

affairs to a large extent are further living evidence of this.

Bush got his wish in the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 that he

signed into law in a private ceremony the same day he signed the Military Commissions

Act of 2006 in October 2006.12 The Warner Act, unbeknownst to nearly the entire U.S.

population, gives the president the power to declare a “public emergency” and take

control of National Guard Units – the National Guard is ordinarily under the control of

12 http://www.bordc.org/threats/hr5122.php

13

state governors – to conduct mass roundups, arrests and detentions. The Warner Act, in

other words, is a martial law enabling act.13 The Act calls for the president to inform a

handful of members of Congress if he does declare a “public emergency” to reveal what

he’s doing and why he’s doing it. In his signing statement, 14 however, Bush declared that

he reserves the right not to tell anyone in Congress why he’s declared martial law and

what he’s doing.

A tragically all too plausible and all too possible scenario whereby the president

invokes the Warner Act would be a nuclear device being set off in a U.S. city, killing tens

or hundreds of thousands immediately and endangering millions more. Bin Laden, as

Scheuer has pointed out, has already received permission to use nukes.

“You’ve written no one should be surprised when Osama bin Laden and al

Qaeda detonate a weapon of mass destruction in the United States,” says

Kroft. “You believe that’s going to happen?”

“I think it’s pretty close to being inevitable,” says Scheuer.

“[Bin Laden] secured from a Saudi sheik named Hamid bin Fahd a rather

long treatise [a fatwa issued in May 2003]… that [bin Laden] was

perfectly within his rights to use [nukes]. Muslims argue that the United

States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so

reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans.”15

What would Bush do in case of another 9/11? Imagine the chaos that would ensue

after a nuclear (or chemical or biological) attack. Bush would most likely declare martial

law, suspend civil rights, civil liberties, muzzle the press and, if it occurs close enough to

13 http://www.towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/911/

14 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061017-9.html

15 60 Minutes interview November 14, 2004, available at

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/12/60minutes/printable655407.shtml.

14

November 2008, quite possibly also suspend elections. The Democratic Party would

undoubtedly join the chorus demanding the most draconian anti-terrorism measures

possible in order to “prove” their patriotism. The country would stand “united in outrage”

and at one with the martial law president who promises us, against the (video) backdrop

of a major American city in ruins, to find and punish the perpetrators of this terrible act

and to wage an unremitting, indefinite war against terror. All bets would be off and all

prior “normality,” all pretences of “checks and balances” and due process would be a

quaint and increasingly distant memory.

If Bush and Cheney, in other words, fail once again to prevent a terrorist attack on

the U.S., they would be rewarded with their fondest wish: unbridled dictatorial powers.

The fact that their approval ratings are today at historic lows would be wiped away in one

day. In George Orwell’s classic, 1984, Big Brother declares, “War is peace.” In Bush’s

America, “failure is success.”

Should this scenario come to pass, no one can say that we weren’t warned.

Warnings of the 9/11 attacks were numerous, dire and ignored. The most blatant of these

was the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Bulletin that warned Bush that Bin Laden

might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The PDB was entitled “Bin Laden

Determined to Strike in the United States.”16 It specifically mentioned the World Trade

Center.

Despite what they knew before 9/11, the Bush White House did nothing to alert

NORAD of potential hijacking, nor did they step up security at the airports. Suspects

were not followed up with, despite repeated and urgent requests to do so from FBI field-

16 http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/80601pdb.html

15

agents who were shocked to find Arabs taking flight lessons with no interest in learning

how to land.

Condi Rice, in spite of the foregoing, declared on May 16, 2002 to the 9/11

Commission: “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an

airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” Rice insisted that nobody knew

who, when and where and therefore their inaction was appropriate – they didn’t have

Mohammed Atta’s exact itinerary after all.

As Thomas Kean, former Republican Governor of New Jersey and 9/11

Commission Chairman, concluded, 9/11 “was not something that had to happen…. There

are people that, if I was doing the job, would certainly not be in the position they were in

at that time because they failed. They simply failed,” Kean said.

The Losing War on Terror: Is It Cultural Myopia?

Scheuer attributes the counter-productiveness of Bush and Cheney’s war on terror

to cultural myopia. Cultural myopia certainly helps to explain the disastrous wars on

Afghanistan and Iraq: an arrogance and laziness of mind that treats everything and

everyone in the world through the lens of American values, practices and behaviors.

“With regret,” the Russian official said, “I have to say that you are going to get the hell

kicked out of you [in Afghanistan].” One of the Americans responded… “We’re going to

kill them,” the U.S. official asserted. “We’re going to put their heads on sticks. We’re

going to rock their world.”17 This kind of grotesque arrogance can explain much about

why we’re losing these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it does not explain why the neocons

wanted to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place prior to 9/11. It does not

17Scheuer, op cit, p. 29, quoting from Bob Woodward’s Bush at War, p. 103.

16

explain their outsourcing their pursuit of Bin Laden and their willful substitution of Bin

Laden as Public Enemy No. 1 with Saddham Hussein. Cultural myopia and arrogance can

account for tactical blunders but they do not explain the overall strategy.

Bush and Cheney knew when they launched their campaign to parlay the anger

and fear of Americans as a result of 9/11 into an invasion of Iraq that Saddham Hussein

and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. They elected to go after Iraq under the signboard of

the “war on terror” knowing that al-Qaeda was elsewhere. Bush and Cheney’s so-called

preventive war doctrine that rationalizes their unprovoked aggression on countries that

pose no threat to the U.S. therefore bears no relationship in actual fact to the dangers

posed by al-Qaeda and by anti-state terrorism in general. Incompetence and cultural

arrogance do not comprise the central reason for their bungling this “war on terror.” As

Scheuer points out, Bush and Cheney need their putative enemy Osama Bin Laden just as

much as Bin Laden needs his foil in Bush and Cheney.

The anti-terrorism measures employed by the White House are not just

dramatically counter-productive; their anti-terror measures appear to be designed

primarily to repress and control the U.S. population and other countries. The White

House ordered the NSA to carry out massive warrantless surveillance of Americans’

phone calls before 9/11. 18 Bush has openly mused that a dictatorship would be fine, as

18 USA Today first reported on this on May 11, 2006, “NSA has Massive Database of

Americans’ Phone Calls,” http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-

nsa_x.htm. Subsequently, it came to light in lawsuits and briefs that the NSA sought to

initiate this illegal spying seven months before 9/11. Qwest Communications’ CEO

Joseph Nacchio states that he met with the NSA on February 27, 2001 and was asked to

participate in this. He refused. AT&T and Verizon, however, complied. See “Documents:

Qwest was Targeted,” by Sarah Burnett and Jeff Smith, Rocky Mountain News, October

11, 2007:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/tech/article/0,2777,DRMN_23910_5719566,

17

long as he was the dictator.19 Moreover, since taking office he and Cheney have

aggressively and consistently asserted unrestricted executive powers, claiming under the

Federalist Society’s doctrine of the “unitary executive” that Bush’s role as commander

and chief grants him the right to make law and override the law at his sole discretion. On

May 9, 2007, with little fanfare, and no protests from the Democratic Party, Bush issued

two new presidential directives, the National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 5120

and Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD–20. These allow Bush to decide on

his own say so when and if a national emergency has occurred and give him the power to

carry on governance without any role for Congress or any other branch of the government

whatsoever. Dictatorship is the term most apropos here. The Bush administration’s

shocking actions and policies are not, however, an aberration. They are actually a

continuation and acceleration at a higher level of policies begun in earnest under Reagan

and carried forward with somewhat different attributes by Clinton.

Whether Bush and Cheney are failing to prevent disasters out of sheer

incompetence, reckless arrogance, or because they know that their war on terror is a fraud

and they wage it merely as a cover for their real objectives does not, in one sense, matter.

Did they fail to prevent 9/11 because they could not connect the dots that would have

00.html, “Did the NSA Retaliate Against Qwest?” by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger

Report, October 11, 2007: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/13201.html

and “Former Phone Chief Says Spy Agency Sought Surveillance Help Before 9/11,” by

Scott Shane, New York Times, October 14, 2007:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/business/14qwest.html.

19 Bush has said this out loud at least three times. See

http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/2002/10/29_Dictator.html.

20 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html.

http://www.ww4report.com/node/3940

18

been glaringly obvious to even a high school student of ordinary intelligence? Were they

too distracted by their other plans? In any case, the net result for the rest of us is the

same: a dangerous and unprecedented policy of repression and coercion, with no end in

sight.

Consider the following highly abbreviated list: the legalization and ongoing

practice of torture, the doctrine and practice of pre-emptive attacks, targeting of civilians

during war, the open and ongoing violation of the 1978 FISA law through the warrantless

surveillance of hundreds of millions of Americans, the stripping of habeas corpus rights

and the consequent indefinite detentions, the Warner Act, NSPD-51, the USA PATRIOT

Act, the Protect America Act of 2007, and hundreds of signing statements that override

the laws passed by Congress. Breaching long-standing civil liberties and fundamental

beliefs in American governance risks generating severe fissures in the social compact.

Clearly, we face an extraordinary situation, one unlike any this country has ever

seen. Civil liberties and rights that were won through the American Revolution and were

secured through the battle for the Bill of Rights are now gone. But what exactly is this

extraordinary situation? Is it the presence and actions of anti-state terrorists such as al-

Qaeda? Or is it the actions undertaken by our government in alleged response to anti-state

terrorists?

Can we afford to wait out Bush and Cheney’s term in the White House? Every

single day that they remain in office is another day that innocent people are being

tortured, global warming goes unheeded, and the problems they are exacerbating

intensely fester and threaten to explode into a disaster that will make Katrina and 9/11,

horrific as they were, appear surprisingly small by comparison.

<>

a

On Terrorism and the State

(Chapter X of Remedy to Everything)

by Gianfranco Sanguinetti

“The wily Shafts of state, those Juggler’s Tricks
Which we call deep Design and Politicks
(As in a Theatre the Ignorant Fry,
Because the Cords escape their Eye
Wonder to see the Motions fly) . . .
Methinks, when you expose the Scene,
Down the ill-organ’d Engines fall;
Off fly the Vizards and discover all,
How plain I see thro’ the Deceit!
How shallow! and how gross the Cheat!. . .
Look where the Pully’s ty’d above!
Oh what poor Engines move
The Thoughts of Monarchs, and Design of States,
What pretty Motives rule their Fates!. . .
Away the frighted Peasants fly,
Scar’d at th’ unheard-of Prodigy. . .
Lo, it appears!
See, how they tremble! How they quake!”

Swift, Ode to the Honourable Sir William Temple, 1689.

All acts of terrorism, all the outrages which have struck and which strike the imagination of men, have been and are either offensive actions or defensive actions. If they form part of an offensive strategy, experience has shown for a long time that they are always doomed to fail. If, on the other hand, they form part of a defensive strategy, experience shows that these acts can expect some success, which, however, is only momentary and precarious. The attempts of the Palestinians and the Irish, for instance, are offensive acts of terrorism; on the other hand the Piazza Fontana bomb [1] and the kidnapping of Moro [2], for instance, are defensive acts.

However, it is not only the strategy which changes, according to whether it is a matter of offensive or defensive terrorism, but also the strategists. The desperate and the deluded resort to offensive terrorism; on the other hand it is always and only States which resort to defensive terrorism, either because they are deep in some grave social crisis, like the Italian State, or else because they fear one, like the German State.

The defensive terrorism of States is practised by them either directly or indirectly, either with their own arms or with others. If States resort to direct terrorism, this must be directed at the population — as happened, for instance, with the massacre of the Piazza Fontana, that of the Italicus [3] and with that of Brescia. [4] If, however, States decide to resort to indirect terrorism, this must be apparently directed against themselves — as happened, for instance, in the Moro affair.

The outrages that are accomplished directly by the detached corps and parallel services of the State are not usually claimed by anybody, but are each time, imputed or attributed to some or other convenient “culprit” like Pineilli or Valpreda. [5] Experience has proved that this is the weakest point of such terrorism, and that which determines the extreme fragility of it in the political usage that one wants to make of it. It is starting from the results of the same experience that the strategists of the parallel services of the State seek, from now on, to lend a greater credibility, or at least, a lesser verisimilitude, to their own either by claiming them directly through such-and-such initials of a ghostly group, or even by making them claimed by an existing clandestine group, whose militants apparently are, and sometimes believe themselves to be, extraneous to the designs of the State apparatus.

All secret terrorist groupuscules are organised and directed by a clandestine hierarchy of veritable militants of clandestinity, which reflects perfectly the division of labour and roles proper to this social organisation: above it is decided and below it is carried out. Ideology and military discipline shield the real summit from all risk, and the base from all suspicion. Any secret service can invent “revolutionary” initials for itself and undertake a certain number of outrages, which the press will give good publicity to, and after which, it will be easy to form a small group of naive militants, that it will direct with the utmost ease. But in the case of a small terrorist group spontaneously formed, there is nothing in the world easier for the detached corps of the State than to infiltrate it and, thanks to the means which they dispose of, and the extreme freedom of manoeuvre which they enjoy, to get near the original summit, and to substitute themselves there, either by specific arrests activated at the right moment, or through the assassination of the original leaders, which, as a rule, occurs after an armed conflict with the “forces of order,” forewarned about such an operation by their infiltrated elements.

From then on, the parallel services of the State find they have, at their disposal, a perfectly efficient organism to do as they please with, composed of naive or fanatical militants, which asks for nothing other than to be directed. The original little terrorist group, born of the mirages of its militants about the possibilities of realising an effective strategic offensive, changes strategists and becomes nothing other than a defensive appendage of the State, which manoeuvres it with the utmost agility and ease, according to its own necessities of the moment, or what it believes to be its own necessities.

From the Piazza Fontana to the kidnapping of Moro, only the contingent objectives that defensive terrorism obtained have changed, but what can never change in the defensive is the goal. And the goal, from December 12th 1969 to March 16th 1978, and still today, has in fact always remained the same, which is to make the whole population, who, nowadays, can no longer suffer, or is struggling against, this State, believe that it has at least an enemy in common with this State, and from which this State defends it on the condition that it is no longer called into question by anyone. The population, which is generally hostile to terrorism, and not without reason, must then agree that, at least in this, it needs the State, to which it must thus delegate the widest powers so that it might confront with vigour the arduous task of the common defence against an obscure, mysterious, perfidious, merciless, and, in a word, chimeric, enemy. In view of a terrorism always presented as absolute evil, evil in-itself and for-itself, all the other evils fade into the background and are even forgotten; since the fight against terrorism coincides with the common interest, it already is the general good, and the State, which magnanimously conducts it, is good in-itself for-itself. Without the wickedness of the devil, God’s infinite bounty could not appear and be appreciated as is fitting.

The State, along with its economy, weakened to the extreme by all the attacks it has been undergoing daily for ten years, from the proletariat on the one hand, and from the incapacity of its managers on the other, can thus silence both in solemnly taking upon itself the staging of the spectacle of the common and sacrosanct defence against the terrorist monster, and in the name of this holy mission, can exact from all its subjects a further portion of their tiny freedom, which will reinforce police control over the entire population. “We are at war,” and at war with an enemy so powerful that all other disagreement or conflict would be an act of sabotage or desertion: it is only in order to protest against terrorism that one has the right to resort to a general strike. Terrorism and “the emergency,” a state of perpetual emergency and “vigilance,” these are the only existing problems, or at the very least, the only ones with which it is permitted and necessary to be pre-occupied. All the rest does not exist, or is forgotten and in any case is silenced, distanced, repressed in the social unconscious, in the face of the gravity of the question of “public order.” And faced with the universal duty of its defence, all are invited to partake of denunciation, baseness, and fear: cowardice becomes, for the first time in history, a sublime quality, fear is always justified, the only “courage” which may not be despicable is that of approving and supporting all the lies, all the abuses, and all the infamies of the State. Since the present crisis spares no country of the planet, no geographical frontier of peace, war, freedom or truth any longer exists: this frontier lies within every country, and every State is arming itself and declaring war on truth.

So-and-so does not believe in the occult power of the terrorists? Well he will have to change his mind in view of the subtly-filmed images that show three German terrorists about to board a helicopter, and who are so powerful that they even succeed in then escaping from the German secret services, more skilful at filming their prey than in capturing it.

So-and-so does not believe that a hundred or two hundred terrorists have the capacity to deal a mortal blow to our institutions? Well let him see what five or six of them are capable of doing in a few minutes to Moro and his escort, and he must then admit that the danger for the institutions (so much loved furthermore by more than 50 million Italians) is a real and terrible danger. Perhaps there is still somebody else who may wish to maintain the contrary? He’s an accomplice of the terrorists! Everybody will agree then that the State cannot let itself be brought down without defending itself: and, whatever it may cost, this defence is a sacred and imperative duty for everybody. And this because the Republic is public, the State is for all, everyone is the State and the State is all, because all enjoy its advantages, so equally shared out: isn’t that democracy? And this is why the people is sovereign, but beware if it does not defend it!

Are you convinced? Or perhaps you still believe, after Moro, poor citizens in want of critique, that it is still and always the State, as from the time of the Piazza Fontana, which carries out these outrages? Vile suspicions! This impairs the dignity of the institutions: Zaccagnini weeps, here’s his photograph, Cossiga as well, watch him on the news, and cease once and for all putting all the blame for everything on those who never hesitate to sacrifice someone else’s life in the name of the defence of our very democratic institutions! Or perhaps you may still believe, poor citizens, that we ministers, we generals, we secret agents of Anti-terrorism — by antiphrasis — would be likely to sacrifice Aldo Moro, this remarkable statesman of the highest sentiments, this example of moral rectitude, our friend, patron, protector, and, when this was necessary, our defender? [6]

This is precisely what every good citizen, who never doubts, always votes, who pays, if he is not rich, and who, in any event, remains silent, should think. Suspicions about the State are allowed in connection with the Piazza Fontana, because the victims were ordinary citizens: but surely one could not also suspect the State when the victim is its most prestigious representative! Kennedy? That’s a thing of the past.

It is uniquely for this reason that Moro’s agony lasted such a long time, in order that everyone should have the possibility to follow at leisure the entire spectacle of the kidnapping, and the feigned discussion about the negotiation, in reading pathetic letters and merciless messages of the ghostly Red Brigades (RBs) which channelled the indignation of simple people and the poor in spirit, thereby giving the whole story some vague verisimilitude, and a reason for the collective psychodrama to manifest itself, contemplation and, most importantly, general passivity continuing to hold good.

If Moro had been killed at the same time as his policemen, in the Via Fani, everybody would have thought of a settling of accounts, of which history is full, between capitalist gangs and rival centres of decision — as actually took place. In this case, the death of Moro would have been judged like that of Enrico Mattei, [7] neither more nor less. No-one has yet noted however, that if today some power-group or other was to find itself, out of its own necessities or interests, in the position of having to eliminate an Enrico Mattei, or a Kennedy, it would certainly not do it as it did it then, but it would attribute it to, or make such an assassination claimed by, securely and with the greatest of ease, such-and-such secret little terrorist group. [8] That is why, then, this long kidnapping had to be staged, stressing sometimes the pitiless nature, sometimes the pathetic, sometimes the “firmness” of the government, and, when it was judged that people must be finally convinced of the “revolutionary” origin and the responsibility of the “extremists,” only then did Moro’s jailers get the “green light” to dispose of him. And you, Andreotti, [9] who are less naive than unembarrassed, don’t come and tell me that all this seems new to you, and don’t play at outraged virtue, if you please!

The dust cloud stirred up in the country, which revolved around the question of knowing whether or not to negotiate — a question that still delights cretins — was the thing which should have succeeded the best, and was that which, on the contrary, failed the most: it is here that the artificial aspect of the entire machination, barely staged in the wings, appeared better than the production. The party which rejected negotiation, namely the leaders of the DC [10] and the PCI [11], rejected it because it knew very well that the staging of the drama foresaw the epilogue to it which we were effectively presented with, and because they also knew that, given the situation, it ought not to miss the opportunity of appearing, una tantum, inflexible at another’s expense: and that is why we have been able to behold Zaccagnini and Cossiga, Berlinguer [12] and Pecchioli revelling unrestrainedly in the dignity of the Republican institutions — already so well-represented moreover by the president of the time, Leone. [13] The leaders of the party which rejected negotiation knew, furthermore, that they ought not to miss the opportunity of having a dead Moro, so much less dangerous to them now than a live one, since a dead friend is worth more than a living enemy. If in fact, as a hypothesis, Moro had been set free, something quite impossible however, the Stalinists and the Christian Democrats were fully aware that they would have had to deal with a triply-dangerous man because of his popularity being reinforced by his very adventure, having been discredited in all manners by his friends whilst he was unable to defend himself, and therefore hereafter an open enemy of his friends and Stalinist ex-allies. Therefore, given the situation, no-one has the right to blame Andreotti and Berlinguer, as they were only acting in their own interest; what they can be reproached for, in any case, is for having done it so badly, in other words in such a manner as to have brought about more doubts and suspicions than applause in their sudden and unexpected conversion to an inflexibility which — not possibly issuing either from their character or from their past, or from the pretended will to safeguard the institutions, which they flout in their deeds at every turn — must forcibly issue from their unavoidable interests.

As for Berlinguer in particular, he did not miss the opportunity of proving himself to be, once again, as if everybody was not already convinced of it, the most inept politician of the century: in fact it was as clear as daylight from the start that the kidnapping of Moro was, above all, a fine coup carried out against the “historic compromise,” not of course by left-wing extremists — who in any case would have kidnapped Berlinguer to punish him for his “betrayal” — but by a power-group with interests which are irrationally hostile to the compromise with the so-called Communists. And I say irrationally, because such a policy could certainly not be a breach of the interests of capitalism: but obviously the diligent Berlinguer has not yet managed to convince all political sectors, military circles and power-groups of this, in spite of the fact that he has dedicated himself to this task, and to this task alone, for a lustra. Thus Aldo Moro, already designated for a long time as the maker of the government “of national unity,” paid the price for it just when he was about to bring the enterprise safely into port: “whence one may derive a general rule, which never fails or at least rarely: that he who causes another to become powerful brings about his own ruin,” as Machiavelli says, and it is not by chance, where he speaks De principatibus mixtis, in the same way as the present majority in the government is mixed. With Moro’s disappearance, all the other political leaders partisan to the Christian Democrat or other “overtures,” were at the same time warned: because those who decided upon and put into action the kidnapping of Moro have, by this same token, shown that they could, at any moment, do worse. Craxi [14] was the first to understand this, but all politicians understood it. And Berlinguer, instead of denouncing this straight away, instead of admitting that this was the fatal blow to his policy, preferred once again to remain silent, pretending to believe all the official versions, making a show of his zeal in the witch-hunt, inciting the population to informing, nobody knows about what or whom, continuing to spin out his own lies, supporting the intransigence of the Christian Democrats, and hurling invectives against the extremists, with the naive illusion of thereby reassuring these occult sectors which had kidnapped Moro. But the strategists of the Via Fani operation were jeering at Berlinguer’s abstract goodwill against subversion, because they knew that he knew, and because they also knew that when it is a question of real subversion, of that which harms the economy, Berlinguer can no longer prevent anything at all that wild-cat workers do. It is not enough to want to defeat subversion, Berlinguer, you must show that you can defeat it: the laurels of abstract will are made out of dry leaves which were never green, you imbecile!

In fact, as everyone has been able to verify, the PCI has not ceased, since then, to endure the bitter consequences of its own stupid dishonesty: during the kidnapping, it was wildly accused by the bourgeois press of being, in a word, the one responsible, for having nourished in its militants all manner of illusions about social revolution, obtaining these fine results; then it lost the elections; after that the abject Craxi (who already during the abduction, was ogling the side of the party of negotiation, which he knew to be impossible, but which permitted him to differentiate himself from the others) went over to the offensive in accusing the Stalinists of everything, but disguising everything in hazy ideological disputes serving as pretexts, which are even more laughable because they issue from a man of his intellectual and cultural standing. But, every time, the one who lost out in this was always Berlinguer; and the PCI, because it did not wish to be fought by its allies in the government, also unlearnt how to fight; and, at every defeat it endured, one witnessed the fairly comical scene where Piccoli and Andreotti would caress Berlinguer’s neck, advising him not to despair, and above all, to continue in this way. And yet, in spite of all these set-backs, the Stalinists still continue today stubbornly pretending to believe that Moro was killed by left-wing extremists: so one could say that the never-ending series of failures that the PCI incurs is really merited, as it is a non-entity as a “party of struggle,” and non-existent as a “party of government.” [15] What to me seems less comprehensible and more unjustified than all the rest is the fact that the Stalinists bemoan this unashamedly, and always pose as victims, without ever saying of what they are the victims — in other words of their own incapability on the one hand, and of the intrigues of their enemies on the other: enemies who are much less incapable and undecided than they, as the operation of the Via Fani, amongst others, attests and certifies.

The party of negotiation, however, outlived its defeat, deriving some strength from the weakness of the opposite party, and is represented by Craxi, for reasons of mere convenience, and by Lotta Continua [16], by reason of its extremist stupidity that prevents even these militants from noticing that they are an integral part of the spectacle that they want to fight, and from which, however, they nourish themselves in large handfuls. Around this party of negotiation assembled, naturally, many intellectuals, whose perspicacity is known and whose depth of thought does not have to be shown: to which characteristics is added, in this case, the most crass ignorance of history, even less excusable furthermore on the part of those who have their word to say about everything and do business out of their own supposed knowledge. I shall explain: what unites, above all, bourgeois reactionaries, the good souls of the progressive bourgeoisie, fashionable intellectuals, contemplative supporters of armed struggle and the militants who complain about it, is precisely the fact of believing that, in connection with Moro, and for the first time on the matter of terrorism, the State did not lie; therefore, for all these fine people, the kidnapping was the work of revolutionaries, about whom the dismal Toni Negri [17] said that “we have underestimated their efficiency. . . . We are willing to do our own self-criticism,” for having “underestimated” their “efficiency.” So they are all, voluntarily or involuntarily, the victims of this nth lie of the State: the extra-parliamentarians and left-wing intellectuals certainly admit that the State always makes use of terrorism, post festum, but they cannot conceive that it resorts to terrorism by killing its “most prestigious” representative. And this is why I speak of historical ignorance: not one of them knows, or in any case, not one of them has remembered the infinite myriad of examples where States in crisis, and in social crisis, have eliminated precisely their most reputed representatives, with the intention and the hope of raising and channelling a general but generally ephemeral indignation against the “extremists” and malcontents. To only cite one of thousands of these historical examples, I shall recall here that the Czarist secret services, the redoubtable Okhrana, feeling (with terror and not without reason) the revolution of 1905 coming, had no less a person than the Minister of the Interior, Plehve, killed on 28 July 1904, and, as if that did not seem sufficient for them, shortly after, on the 17th February 1905, they had the Grand Duke Serge, the Czar’s uncle, a very influential man and head of the Moscow military district, killed. These outrages, perfectly undertaken, were decided upon, carried out and claimed by the “Combat Organisation” of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the leadership of which the well-known Azev had just acceded to, a truly ingenious engineer and Okhrana agent, in replacement of the revolutionary Guerchuni, conveniently arrested a short while beforehand. [18]

I cite this unique but admirable example of provocation because, if one were to cite all the notorious examples of the last century, five hundred pages would not be enough; and I have also chosen it because the Italy of 1978 exhibits a vague but real resemblance to the Russia of 1904-5. And, in any case, it must again be noted that every power in difficulty always resembles any other power whatsoever in difficulty, in the same way as their behaviour and their manner of proceeding always resemble each other.

The logic that the strategists of this spectacle follow nowadays is simple, plain and ancient: provided one does not recognise what precisely their real difficulties are, and what the irremediable contradictions are in which this old society flounders, the masters of the terrorist spectacle flatly offer us the most contradictory things: that the terrorism of 1978 was the inevitable consequence of the proletarian revolts of 1977, [19] and that the bombing of the Piazza Fontana was the logical result of the burning year 1969. Nothing could be more false! The revolts of 1977 are the consequence of the Hot Autumn, and the kidnapping of Moro is the follow-up of the provocation of the Piazza Fontana. History proceeds through dialectical contradictions, but the spectacle, like scholastic philosophers, flatly proclaims: post hoc, ergo propter hoc, after this fact therefore because of this fact; the fault is ascribed to the fact. In 1977, the young proletarian generation rose up in rebellion against its misery? Well then in 1978 these same enraged young people kidnapped Moro! And it is of little consequence that the Red Brigades had nothing to do with the revolts of 1977, which they accuse, on the contrary, of “spontaneism”: the young proletarians of 1977 were subversive, the RBs are made up of young people, the RBs are the subversive elements of 1977. In no way, gentlemen of the government! And you, the general officers of the parallel services, since you always deceive yourselves, you would like the whole world to be like you! And whosoever denounces your provocations is straight away accused of being himself the provocateur, because reality is always upside down in the spectacle.

The truth is that, as in 1977, your armchair began to shake under your ass, gentlemen of the government, and the earth under your feet, you, yes, you indeed: you passed onto the counter-offensive in killing one of yours this time — and exactly that one of yours whom you (and your secret auxiliaries) considered the most likely to rouse popular indignation (no-one would have blinked an eyelid if Rumor [20] had been kidnapped or even Fanfani), and that the one who was the most responsible for the present “political framework” — who, as you can see, does not please all the capitalist sectors which you and your military organisms are called to defend. So it could be said at this juncture that Moro was the Italian homologue of Allende: [21] and behind the accusation of serving the interests of the bourgeoisie and capital, instead of those of the proletariat, there was in fact, and badly camouflaged, the inverse accusation, namely that of not having served capitalist interests as well as some capitalists would have liked it.

On the 16th March last year, the day of the Via Fani operation, I could not refrain from immediately thinking of two things: first of all of the fact that finally the secret services had been reorganised, and that they had recovered a little after the affair of the 12th December 1969, and from the humiliations which ensued (and, here too, and once again, reality is inverted by the spectacle: the success of the coup of the Via Fani is in fact attributed to the non-existence of the secret services). And secondly I thought of that passage in Candide where it is affirmed that “in this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time to give courage to the others.”

Sciascia, [22] who is the most well-known Italian reader of Voltaire, is certainly not the most astute one since, having forgotten this passage and the whole reality, loses himself in such or such phrase from Moro’s letters, without discovering further the entirety of the facts, which no detail observed under the microscope could show or give an inkling of. And, in fact, even today Sciascia believes that Craxi or others really had an interest in, or the intention of, having dealings with “the revolutionaries,” and he gets indignant, with a verve worthy of a better pleading, about the little friendship displayed for Moro by his friends, which is an irrelevant detail, instead of reserving his indignation for the essential — namely for the fact that with this provocation not only he, but the entire world have been deceived, police laws have been passed, as well as the hypocritical and infamous appeals of intellectuals and the Pope against “extremism,” a hundred innocent people are in prison forever, and so forth. Tell me something, Sciascia: what importance can there be for history or even for truth in the fact that Aldo Moro had had also, amongst other misfortunes, that of being surrounded by unfaithful or dishonest “friends”? Is it perhaps something new that the Roman political world should be made up of scoundrels and assassins? Have you never read, Sciascia, what the Cardinal de Retz, who was a finer pamphleteer than you, had remarked three centuries ago, namely that “there are many people in Rome to whom it would be pleasing to assassinate those who are fallen”? New Emile Zola, you do not accuse the enemies of Dreyfus, but his calumnious friends, you do not accuse the criminal and responsible ones, but those who did the simple wrong of calumniating and dishonouring the victim, post festum, amongst which also abound the chroniclers of Corriere, a newspaper in which you nevertheless write, to say the least. And if you regret, Sciascia, the fact that Moro had the friends he had, why then don’t you start to set a good example yourself, by ceasing, for instance, to fraternise with the indecent and unspeakable Bernard-Henri Levy?

But I have already said the unsayable about intellectuals, and to add anything else is superfluous.

As for little groups with extremist pretensions, who have all flung themselves with abandonment into theological dissertations on violence and the strategy of “revolutionary” terrorism, I shall merely recall that their comprehension of reality had already proved itself several years ago, beginning with the Piazza Fontana, then next at every subsequent occasion, like when they rejoiced at the assassination of Calabresi, [23] without pausing too much to think that the commissioner had been eliminated by his own bosses, for whom he had become cumbersome from then onwards (he had participated in the coup staged against Valpreda, the assassination of Pinelli, and something else: a few weeks before being killed in his turn, it was Calabresi himself who “recognised” Feltrinelli [24] in the unrecognisable corpse of Segrate, for which all the newspapers congratulated themselves for his “memory, his sagacity,” etc., without one of them ever wondering whether it was a matter of memory, and sagacity, or on the contrary of quite another thing).

These alienated extra-parliamentarians always lose themselves in all that the Stalinists say on the subject of terrorism, because they do not know that the PCI is capable only of lying, and the only thing they can never believe is the simple truth: for instance that the RBs are teleguided, that Moro was eliminated by the parallel services, and that they themselves are fatheads, good for being thrown into prison each time this is useful. [25]

The Stalinists, after the “red trail” of the Piazza Fontana collapsed miserably, and although they did not protest against the fact that Valpreda was imprisoned for three years, brought out of their bag the “black trail,” and then we had our extra-parliamentarians making exactly the “black trail” their own, and running behind the Stalinists to scream that “fascism shall not pass.” Of course I do not exclude at all that some fascist or other may have participated in such or such terrorist act, “black” or “red”: but this fact is of no importance, because we all know that in the same way that our State makes use of notorious fascists in the capacity of generals, prefects, [26] magistrates and police commissioners, it makes use of them as much in the capacity of secret agents, infiltrated elements and terrorist manpower — and this without this State and this terrorism being defined as fascist. [27]

The Stalinists, starting from the time when they could not be accused of not knowing what is fascist, nor of being incapable of distinguishing what is merely relating to the police from that which is fascist, must therefore be accused of having lied in saying that the provocation of the Piazza Fontana was “fascist-style” — and of having lied clumsily because they did not say “it is fascist,” but “it is fascist-style.” The fact that General Micelli, today openly fascist, was already so when he was head of the SID [28], is certainly not what determined his action when he was directing the secret services: since the secret services receive orders and carry out what politicians tell them to do. But the Stalinists’ lie, on the subject of the Piazza Fontana, was certainly not without motive for being clumsy: because they wished to silence what they knew perfectly well, and because they also found themselves attacked — and one knows with what violence — by wild-cat workers, they had to sanction in 1969 the ghostly “fascist peril,” in the face of which they could reconstitute “the unity of the working class” under their directives. A week after the 12th December, the metal-workers of the private sector, who were the avant-garde of the movement and its most resolute part, were compelled to renounce all strikes, starting with the one declared for the 19th December, and to accept the contract imposed by the trade-unions. Longo and Amendola were fully aware that if they had told the truth on the spot, on the 13th December 1969 the civil war would have begun, and they know very well even today that those who ask, like they, to be invited to eat at one end of the State’s table surely cannot say in a loud voice that the plates are dirty: thus they can, on the other hand, say secretly in a hushed voice “the plates are dirty, we know: if you invite us we shan’t say anything,” as effectively happened.

Since the Stalinists said nothing in 1969, the “party with clean hands” [29] had to then continue to say nothing and lie about all further provocations and assassinations perpetrated by the secret services of this very State whose recognition they are today demanding to obtain for their omerta, [30] and of which they want to share the crumbs with the Christian Democrats.

For a long while, the Situationists were the only ones, in Europe, to denounce the Italian State as being the exclusive author and beneficiary of artificial modern terrorism and all its spectacle. And we had designated Italy to the revolutionaries of all countries as the European laboratory of counter-revolution, and as the privileged field of experimentation of modern police techniques — and this starting exactly from the 19th December 1969, the date of the publication of our manifesto entitled Is the Reichstag Burning?

The last sentence of this manifesto, “comrades, don’t let yourselves stop here,” is the only thing, without exception, which has been contradicted by history: this movement ceased exactly on that day, and it could not have been otherwise, starting from the moment when we were the only ones to have been fully aware of what the operation of the Piazza Fontana meant and to say it, without having any other means at our disposal than a “stolen roneo,” as has been mentioned in the manifesto quoted. [31] As the people say, “those who have the bread do not have the teeth, and those who have the teeth do not have the bread”: and all those courageous extra-parliamentarians of that time who had newspapers and rags did not have the teeth and did not publish anything pertinent about this massacre, preoccupied as they were, and as they are, with the search for the “correct strategy” to impose on the proletariat, which, for them is only good for being directed, and what’s more by them!

Because of their incurable inferiority complex vis-a-vis the PCI’s capacity for lying, effectively superior to their own, the extra-parliamentarians thus accepted on the spot the version of the facts claimed by the PCI, according to which the bombs were “fascist-style,” and therefore could not be the deeds of the secret services of this “democratic” State, so democratic even that it is never worried about what they recount, that they are the only ones to be considered “dangerous” for the spectacle, of which they are the ill-rewarded but indispensable confederates. Their false explanation of the facts was, however, in perfect agreement with the veritable ideology of these groupuscules, all infatuated with Mao, Stalin and Lenin then, as they are nowadays with Guattari, Negri and Scalzone, or with their miserable “private life” and their ridiculous “brothels.” Since, therefore, these pretended “extremists” did not want to tell the truth, and did not know how to accuse this State openly of being the terrorist, they did not know how to combat it with any tangible result whatsoever: because to say that this bomb was “fascist” was as much of a falsehood as to say that it was “anarchist,” and all lies, as opposite as they might appear, are always bound up in the sabotage of the truth. And only the truth is revolutionary, only the truth is capable of causing harm to power, only the truth has the capacity to stir the fury of the Stalinists and bourgeois. And the proletariat, forever deceived and betrayed by all, has learnt to seek the truth all alone, and it is impermeable to lies, however “extremist” they may claim to be. In the same way, and by the same guilty ineptitude, all the extra-parliamentarians of 1978 happily fell into the trap of the kidnapping of Moro, “work of comrades who make mistakes.” Can’t you perceive, you great ninnies, that you are the only “comrades who make mistakes,” again this time? But your epitaph, brave extra-parliamentarians, has already been written by Dante:

But you bite the bait, so well that the hook
of the old adversary pulls you towards him;
and thus to brake or to remember has little effect.

Victims of their own false consciousness, which always expresses itself in ideology, the extra-parliamentarians could not however avoid for long the questions posed by spectacular terrorism, and so from 1970 onwards they began to consider the question of terrorism in-itself, in the empyrean of ideology, in a wholly metaphysical manner, completely abstracted from the reality of things. And when the truth about the massacre of the Piazza Fontana at last came to light, when all the lies adopted on this subject had fallen one after the other, neither the good souls of the intellectual-progressive bourgeoisie, nor the scarecrows of Lotta Continua and consorts were capable of posing the questions once and for all in its real, that is to say scandalous, terms: that the democratic Republic did not hesitate to enact a massacre when this seemed useful to it, because when all the laws of the State are in danger, “there only exists for the State one sole and inviolable law: the survival of the State” (Marx). And this is precisely what this famous “sense of the State” is that was saddled onto Moro and with which the philistines are now decorating his corpse. In ten years no one has wanted to unleash a “Dreyfus affair” concerning the behaviour of our secret services, whose chiefs were stealing in and out of prison with the general indifference of all the privileged owners of the “sense of the State,” this sublime sixth sense with which our politicians are endowed, unlike common mortals, who are mutilated by it, like those who were mutilated, but by another thing, in the Agricultural Bank, and who did not die. Or perhaps there is somebody who is convinced that this mysterious “sense of the State” is something other than I have said it to be? “Moro had the sense of the State” and “Berlinguer has the sense of the State”: if this does not mean what I have said, they are empty phrases, which is the same as saying that such girl has “the sense of the cunt” and myself that of my balls, and that Tina Anselmi [32] has no sense even if she creates a sensation.

Since the extra-parliamentarians at first did not believe they knew, then knew without believing, and finally believed without concluding that the State itself inaugurated terrorism in Milan, the entire country entered this period of apparent madness and mad appearances: the entire question of terrorism became the object of academic diatribes and ardent invectives, which led some, the bourgeoisie and the Stalinists, to hypocritically condemn terrorism “whatever colour it may be” — and if it was not precisely they who had encouraged and shielded it by giving it each time the colour which was the most convenient — and others, those who believed themselves to be “extremists,” to toy with the idea that “State terrorism is to be answered with proletarian terrorism.” And this comes just at the right time for our secret services: the first small clandestine terrorist groups, the RBs and NAP [33] had scarcely been formed when the police, the carabinieri and the detached corps vied with each other to be the first to infiltrate these little paramilitary groups, either with the aim of forestalling their acts, or with that of teleguiding them, according to the necessities and desiderata of the moment and of the powerful.

Thus everyone was able to see how the NAP were radically wiped out, either by arresting their members in order to exhibit them afterwards in ignoble fashion in such-and-such a trial, or else by directly doing some target practice on them, a much sought-after spectacle where the “forces of law and order” displayed themselves for the pleasure of the most lurid of bourgeoisies. [34]

However this happened in a different manner with the Red Brigades: only two of the infiltrators of this group are known, that is to say, Posetta and the Christian Brother Girotto [35], who, although crass enough as agents provocateurs, were capable of making Curcio [36] and the other members, of what is fitting to be called the “historic group,” fall into the trap — all militants with no experience of clandestinity, and also barely “ferocious” as terrorists. Notwithstanding this the RBs were never dismantled after having been decapitated, and this certainly not because of the prudence of the other militants, who are not any less naive than their leaders who fell into the first trap set, but by the decision of their new leaders. So then why should the State, already in difficulty for other reasons, have lost this golden opportunity which presented itself to dispose thenceforward of a terrorist organism having an autonomous physiognomy and appearance, well-infiltrated and tranquilly directed from afar? I do not believe at all that General Dalla Chiesa [37] is the “warrior genius” of whom Karl von Clausewitz used to speak, but he had certainly read Clausewitz with more attention and profit than Curcio, and he has greater means to put at the disposal of his talents. General Dalla Chiesa, along with his colleagues in SISDE, SISME and CESIS [38], jeers at all the proclamations of ideologues of armed struggle about their affirmed intention of “carrying the attack to the heart of the State,” above all because he knows that the State has no heart, not even in metaphor, and next because he knows full well, like Andreotti and Berlinguer, that the only attack capable of fatally wounding the State is today uniquely that which consists of denouncing its terrorist practices, and violently denouncing them — as, for example, I am doing at this moment.

General Dalla Chiesa, although he may be more well-up on tactics than on strategy, and though he confuses strategy with stratagem, substituting guile for the art of war, nevertheless knows perfectly well that terrorism is the substitute for war in a period where great world wars are impossible, or at any rate, no longer permit making one proletariat massacred by another in exhausting and bloodthirsty battles. Our general and the other strategists of the high political police also know that spectacular terrorism is always anti-proletarian, and that it is the pursuit of politics by other means: pursuit, however, of the anti-proletarian politics of all States. That this State has need of modern artificial terrorism is proved above all by the fact that it is precisely here, in Italy, that it was invented ten years ago — and it is known that the Italian bourgeoisie replaces in invention what it lacks in capacity: it was again the Italian bourgeoisie which invented fascism, which then had so much success in Germany, Spain, Portugal etc., everywhere where it was necessary to crush a proletarian revolution. And the terrorist spectacle has already had an immediate success with the German government, which does not envy our situation, but envies our imagination (in other words, that of our secret services, as in the 1920s, when it envied us for Mussolini), which permits our government to sail in the shit without drowning in it.

That this State has need of terrorism is on the other hand something which each of its representatives is quite convinced of from now on, by experience if not by reasoning, and this since the happy outcome, immediate and miraculous, of the operation of the Piazza Fontana. The proof of it is that if there has not been any “Dreyfus affair” concerning this, this certainly does not arise from the fact that the matter was less scandalous, but rather from the fact that all the parties, for different reasons, have understood that if this bomb had saved the State, which each of them defends in their own fashion, the truth about this bomb was itself alone capable of destroying it definitively. And if there has not been any “Dreyfus affair,” this also arises from the fact that, in our enslaved intelligentsia, no Emile Zola “in attendance” ever requested or wanted to exact a truthful conclusion about the Piazza Fontana: Giorgio Bocca modestly made his book on terrorism start from 1970, and, as for the other mandarins of culture, they have always preferred, faced with the blinding light of the Reichstag burning, to look for glow-worms, like Pasolini and Scaiscia, without even finding any, obviously, but while always discoursing about the responsibilities of pollution in this disappearance, and advancing deep lamentations against it, “polemising” amenably, without ever denouncing the terrorist pollution, of which they are all thus accomplices and victims at the same time.

I should like the parallel services and generals — who will read Remedy to Everything [39] attentively, and at any rate the chapter which concerns them — to lend their attention for a moment to two things I am going to tell them about the frailty of their strategy: first of all, Dalla Chiesa, take good note of what Clausewitz has taught you, in the chapter he dedicates to the ruse:

In as much as one would like to imagine . . . that generals fight with dissimulation, ruse and perspicacity, one must still admit that these qualities are little evident in history. . . . The reason is not difficult to find . . . in reality it is dangerous to distract considerable forces for a long period, in the sole aim of deceiving the enemy: since there is always the danger of its being done in vain, these forces subsequently failing to be there at the crucial moment. This sober truth, which must always be present in the mind of the one who conducts war, robs perspicacious military leaders of all desire to engage in the double game of deceitful mobility. . . . In a word, the pieces on the strategic chess-board lack this mobility which would be the indispensable condition for the success of the ruse and the stratagem . . . [the ruse] does not harm, if it does not exist to the detriment of other qualities of the heart which is all too often the case.

The second thing to consider, in connection with a strategy which is founded upon provocation, is as old as the world: Seneca already remarked — and if I quote him, it is because, being Nero’s counsellor, he was well-up on State terrorism and provocations — that it is “easier not to embark upon this path than to stop, once embarked upon it.” Like a drug, artificial terrorism needs and requires to be administered in always more massive and more frequent doses,

because the future ill appears slighter than the one already done

as Dante would say. So do your sums again, politicians and generals, and you will see that they are wrong.

If then, as I have shown, the State needs terrorism, it also needs not to be caught red-handed every time, so as to then keep up a good front as its ministers, like Rumor and Tanassi, did at Catanzaro, equalled in this only by Generals Malizia, Maletti [40] and Micelli. And what better opportunity for the State, than that offered by a group like the RBs, decapitated and available, with its former leaders in prison and in ignorance about everything? I will still remark that, even if the former leaders were free, since two infiltrators sufficed to bring about their downfall, one alone, less vulgar than Brother Machinegun and Pisetta, would have sufficed to order them about wherever it was wanted for them to go, and without them ever suspecting anything. I know very well that the infiltrators known up to the present, as well as the major part of agents provocateurs in office, have never set the Thames on fire; but our clandestine militants, as one has seen, are not more astute than they. And even if they were all Lenins, as they imagine themselves to be, it should still be noted that the Bolsheviks were widely infiltrated and on several occasions: Roman Malinovski, worker and Okhrana agent, was part of the Bolshevik Central Committee, profiting from the most blind trust on Lenin’s part, and despatching hundreds of militants and leaders to Siberia — and, to a suspicion voiced by Bukharin, Lenin replied that that was “unworthy of a conscientious militant: if you persist it is you who will be denounced as a traitor,” according to what Lenin’s wife, Nadezhda Krupskaia, said. But Malinovski’s case was not an isolated one: in 1917 opening the secret archives of the Okhrara, Lenin was dumbfounded, not without reason, at discovering that, of fifty-five professional provocateurs officially on duty, and regularly appointed, seventeen “were working” amongst the Social Revolutionaries, and a good score were sharing out amongst themselves the control of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and of course not amongst the rank-and-file militants! And Lenin had the bitter surprise of having to note that the provocateurs were always exactly these very “comrades” to whom he, who was so wise and so expert on the matter of clandestinity, used to accord the greatest esteem and the greatest confidence as a result of services rendered and the daring shown on several occasions.

Nowadays, those practices that, in those times, passed for extremely refined sophistication’s of the Okhrana, are no longer much more than primitivism’s: the modern parallel services of the State, of every State, have a quantity of means, and personages from every class and of all social appearances at their disposal, well-equipped in the use of arms and ideas, often much more capable than the naive militants, who also bear the brunt of it. The organisational form of the party, always hierarchical, is in fact that which lends itself best to infiltration and manipulation — exactly the opposite of what the bourgeois press says: all the cells at the base, formed of clandestine militants, are kept apart and in ignorance of everything, without any possibility of dialogue and debate, and everything functions perfectly thanks to the most blind discipline and to the most opportune orders given by an inaccessible summit, which is usually lodged in such-and-such ministry or power-group. And if ever some provocateur arouses suspicions, always some providential arrest occurs, placed well in the limelight by the press, which extricates him from danger and absolves him of all suspicion — then he is even put into action again, thanks to an incredible and “heroic” escape. And often provocateurs, too, do not come out of it unscathed.

Here is then one more reason why I would put any subversive of good faith on his guard against organising hierarchically and clandestinely in some sort of “party”: clandestinity can be, under certain conditions, a necessity, whilst all hierarchy is always and only of benefit to this world is to be overthrown. Infiltration is practically impossible, or is discovered immediately, in revolutionary groups who do without militants and leaders, and which are founded on the qualitative: “the only limit to participation in the total democracy of revolutionary organisation is the effective recognition and self-appropriation, by all its members, of the coherence of its critique, a coherence which must prove itself in critical theory rightly so-called and in the relation between theory and practical activity” (Debord).

In several of the RBs “caches” were recovered (and this is not new) an abundance of ultra-confidential material, issuing from police quarters, central police stations and even from ministries — which, strangely, never were raided or ransacked by the RBs. In view of such eloquent facts, spectacular information always claimed to explain them by emphasising the ultra-efficient organisation of the terrible RBs, and by adding, in order to enhance this wonderful god-send for publicity, the fact that these clandestine militants, so hunted-down but so tentacular, have infiltrated everywhere, even ministries and central police stations. I have to laugh, in view of such an explanation of such a gloomy reality, and so clumsily camouflaged. Once more the intelligence of fifty million Italians is being abused, who are not Germans eager to saturate themselves with the poisoned feeding-bottle of the television, of Corriere and Unita, and those who ascribe such stupidity to ordinary people in fact reveal only their own — which, for having gone so far, must certainly not be so ordinary. Once more power speaks by means of counter-truth: it is not the RBs who have infiltrated the central police stations and ministries, but agents of the State, issuing from central police stations and ministries, who have infiltrated by design the RBs, and not only into the summit for sure!

And if for ten years the great merciless struggle against the terrorist monster, a struggle so much glorified in words, only resulted in hypertrophying this “monster,” if the trial of the Piazza Fontana never even veritably began, this results again from the fact, which I do not know whether is more comical or repugnant, that those who have always been entrusted with this merciless fight, are those very secret services who always directed and actuated terrorism, and certainly not due to pretended “deviations” or “corruptions,” but, truly militarily, by simply executing orders given. And all the militants who are exhibited to the public in the cages of the law-courts, as if they were fierce beasts, naive boys who were wished to be watched growing old in Italian prisons, are always and certainly the least implicated — and this even if they are designated, in turn, as “the leaders” and “the strategists” (nothing is easier than to make a naive fanatic believe that he took part in such-and-such an operation, merely because he left the tract claiming it).

And our general officers quite enjoy themselves counting up the medals and certificates of high merit that they collect, either by feeding terrorism, or “by discovering” at the opportune moment “the culprits.”

In this phenomenon, which can excite the virtuous indignation of hypocrites, there is in reality nothing new, and it has repeated itself for centuries in periods of corruption and decadence of all States. Sallust, for instance, who is the historian of the corruption and the crisis of the Republic of Rome, tells how the censor Lucius Marcius Filippus denounced Lepidus, a felon general, in these fine terms to the Senate:

I should like above all, O senators . . . that criminal designs should be turned back against their authors. And yet the entire Republic is shaken and disconcerted by these seditious provocations, and precisely by the action of those who should have been the first to prevent them . . . and you, in giving doubtful and irresolute growls, in entrusting yourselves to the words and verses of auguries, you desire peace instead of defending it, and you do not understand that with your flabby proclamations you strip yourselves of all dignity, and him of all fear . . . for when scoundrels are rewarded it is not easy to remain upright without any returns . . . I do not know then if I must call your behaviour fearfulness, baseness or madness. . . . And you, Lepidus, traitor to all . . . you claim to re-establish by such a war this concord which is rendered null and void by the very means with which it was obtained. What impudence!

That is it exactly: the social peace that terrorism can procure “is rendered null and void by the very means with which it was obtained,” with this difference that today the impudent ones are all MPs of the republic and orators who inveigh against terrorism, extending it thus as well into their discourses, always affecting not to know what the entire country is saying since this famous year 1969. Listen a bit to what a modern Lepidus says, the honest Leo Valiani, who was not ashamed of regretting, in July 1978 in the Corriere, the “too lenient sentences” pronounced against some executants:

[These sentences] encourage subversives to persevere, to always dare more. We are not asking the judges” — Valiani valiantly continues — “to convict someone without being convinced of his guiltiness. But when the Republic is, as it is at this moment, at grips with clandestine organisations such as these who have sown the seeds of death in the Piazza Fontana. . . any indulgence regarding those who have militated in such subversive organisations is suicidal.

And what indulgence can surpass, Godammit, that of this Valiani, an expert in Stalinist and bourgeois terrorism, fellow-traveller of these two terrorisms and accomplice of all the lies on this matter, who still affects not to know, and he is the only one in Italy, that the “clandestine organisation which sowed the seeds of death in the Piazza Fontana” is none other than the organisation of Admiral Henke, who was then in command of the famous SID — which, out of decency, that is to say out of indecency, has now had its name changed? And they still want to carry on, for the next ten years, with the same twaddle of Valiani’s, this time about Moro’s execution? What parliamentarian, what honourable scoundrel, amongst all those who reproach each other for their own “indulgence,” speaking without rhyme nor reason about the “safeguarding of the Republic,” has up till now dared expose himself, by accusing and naming the assassins of ten years ago?

The fact is that, precisely, the safeguarding of this criminal Republic hereafter depends solely upon their capacity to still cover up these assassins and those of Moro — along with those of Calabresi, Occorsio, Coco, Feltrinelli, Pinelli, etc., and this our ministers and honourable parliamentarians know quite well, they who continue to say nothing in order to collect new remuneration’s which will go to complete their already substantial share.

Our regime, since the great scare of 1969, has always bestowed immense confidence on its high political police, and in its capacity for always finding technical and spectacular solutions to all historical and social questions: our regime therefore is in the process of committing the same error as the Czarist regime, which consecrated all its attention and care into building the best and most powerful secret police in the world, as was the Okhrara in its time; this allowed the Czar to continue to survive on a daily basis and without anything changing for one decade more, but his fall was all the more violent and definitive. As a bourgeois thinker, Benjamin Constant, used to say,

only an excess of despotism can prolong a situation which is tending to break up, and maintain under the same domination, classes that everything is conspiring to separate. . . . This remedy, even more harmful than evil, no longer has any durable efficacity. The natural order of things avenges itself for outrages that it has been made to undergo, and the more violent the compression was, the more terrible the reaction proves itself to be.

And in Italy, ten years of high police politics are beginning to make themselves felt, including their harmful and uncontrollable effects: the State is still there, with more authority and less reputation than ever, but its veritable adversaries have multiplied in number, their consciousness has increased, and, with it, the efficacity and violence of their attacks; and, in periods where it is the police who have conducted politics, it is always a total collapse which has followed.

Today the sinister Craxi seeks easy applause in affecting to perceive that in Russia, a scandalous novelty, transgressions of opinion are considered State crimes. But don’t you see, poor Craxi, that here in Italy it is State crimes that are considered transgressions of opinions. Is this not perhaps a fact less unworthy of your virtuous indignation? Ridiculous Craxi! Whom would you have believe that your soul is immaculate? You who strut about with your worthy crony Mitterand, do you think that it has been forgotten that Mitterand is a gangster, who, a few years ago, hired other, more obscure gangsters to simulate an attack against him? [41] No-one believes you, Craxi, when you declare that sine macula enim sum ante thronum! [42] And all of you party leaders, you are like Mitterand: when it is not you who instigate the attempts, but a rival, you always keep silent, and then you speak about firmness of the State in the face of your own provocations!

That in Italy State crimes are considered mere transgressions of opinion, this is what is also proved, along with all the rest, by this simple precise fact: when, in 1975, under the pseudonym of Censor, [43] I published the historical, and not legal, proofs that it was the SID that committed the massacre of the Piazza Fontana, all the newspapers and journalists reported my conclusions widely but they were much more scandalised by the fact that an anonymous personage, apparently near to power, should dare to openly accuse the SID, than by the quite blatant tact that the State organised, and had carried out, a fine massacre so as to emerge unscathed from a very grave social crisis. And the journalist Massimo Riva has admirably expressed the thinking of all his colleagues, in wondering in connection with the Censor affair, in Corriere, what mysterious manoeuvre of power it heralded: “What is behind this? The fear of publicly speaking the truth? A warning between big pundits of the regime?” It was not my scandalous assertions and conclusions, but my anonymity, which provoked the scandal, or rather, the rumpus that was made around the identity of Censor only served to mask the scandal of what I was denouncing. All preferred to advance clumsy conjectures about my identity, if only to avoid speaking about what I had said: “A warning between big pundits of the regime?”: this is the crux of the question, according to Riva and the others, and what creates a scandal is only the end of the omerta amongst the powerful, and not the crimes committed by them.

But the best, as usual, is Alberto Ronchey, at whom we should be amazed if he did not manage to astound us: he said about my proofs that “whatever the responsibilities and intrigues of the SIFAR-SID or other detached corps may be,in spite of this, “as for bombs, kidnappings … if one could really believe in a ‘State terrorism’ we would be in the presence of a criminal system of government, and no-one ought to have anything to do with such a power: neither the Communists, the Socialists or the others.[44] What is really incredible, is surely not the terrorism of the State, but Ronchey’s way of reasoning: since he, the Communists and the Socialists have something to do with such a power, therefore, according to Ronchey, this is a sufficient guarantee that a State terrorism is not credible, therefore it does not exist, “whatever may be the responsibilities and intrigues of the SID” To reason like Ronchey: God is credible, therefore he exists. On the matter of terrorism and the State one really has the impression of having returned to the discussions about the existence of God and the Devil. Are they real? Do they exist? And if they exist, are they really credible? The poet says most wisely that

Of course it was true, but believable it was not
to those who were not masters of their reason.

I cannot manage to understand where the Roncheys hope to arrive at with their theological logic: I never said that the secret services were behind each outrage, given that today even a Molotov cocktail or a sabotaging of production are considered as “outrages”: but I said, and I have been saying it for more than ten years, that all the spectacular acts of terrorism are either teleguided or perpetrated directly by our secret services. And it should be well noted that I do not say “by secret services” which could belong to some far-off or exotic country, but by ours, yes, those of Italy, whose touch and stench, skill and clumsiness, tactical ingenuity and strategic stupidity I always recognise.

Observe, for example, how the SID came to execute the operation of the Piazza Fontana: by successive trial-runs and approximations. They had decided to do a massacre amongst the population, and they prepared for it with two general rehearsals: the bombs of April 25th, 1969 at the [trade] Fair and at the bank at Milan station, and the bombs in the trains in August of the same year. The secret services thus prepared public opinion with these backgrounds, [45] and prepared themselves technically.

And what general rehearsals then did the kidnapping of Moro have? It, too, had its general rehearsals, because our parallel services, which could not be more recognisable, even if they change objectives, always have the same manner of proceeding — something for which Machiavelli would never forgive them. In April 1977 the kidnapping of De Martino without bloodshed was already a general rehearsal: in their rehearsals, the secret services never want to cause bloodshed, on April 25, 1969, no one died, nor did anyone in August. The rehearsal, however, always indicates the objective which will be struck: in 1969 the population, in 1977-78 a politician. The very day of the kidnapping of De Martino, claimed afterwards by about a hundred ghostly groups, I denounced it as a general rehearsal of the secret services in a poster printed and distributed in Rome. [46] The second rehearsal which indicated the chosen objective very well — namely a politician — was the bomb, whose publicity was so well assured, in the office of the Minister of the Interior of the time, Cossiga. Then came the coup against Moro, and there was bloodshed, because it was no longer a general rehearsal.

With the thrust of the menacing revolts of the beginning of 1977, the secret services, who for ten years have always been on their guard and never inactive, began to stir themselves with decision in a more precise direction: and the two provocations cited, which are not the only ones in which they took part, are however those which best denote the chosen objective and the outcome of events.

It can be said therefore wittingly that the kidnapping of Moro was the least unforeseeable thing in the world, since it was the least unforeseen where one can do what one wants, that is to say in the realm of power. At first it was feared that De Martino, a friend of the Stalinists, might obtain the presidency of the Republic, and by making him part with several hundreds of millions of Lira in order to recover his son, the reputation of this “socialist” was destroyed; after this Moro was publicly designated as the successor to Leone, less ransomable however than De Martino or Leone, which-is-to-say more dangerous for being stronger; moreover Moro had the responsibility for the agreement with the Stalinists, and, as president of the Republic, he would have had still more. Two and two make four, even in politics; March 16 1978: the President must die, to parody the title of a book of Andreotti’s. Six months after the operation of the Via Fani, at a time when the anti-Stalinist politics of Craxi were undergoing their first tests, Amintore Fanfani, who in Tuscany is nicknamed the Ghost, was hurling his first and vigorous attacks against the government, against the secretariat of the DC, against the “emergency cabinet,” against the “rapprochement” effected by Moro, denouncing “the abuses of unanimism,” the inefficiency of the “equivocal” government of “national unity,” and announcing the supersession “of a political season” — winning the applause of the Craxists and arousing the “fears” of the Stalinists. Although Fanfani may be the Italian politician who, after Berlinguer, has amassed the greatest number of failures, he is not a cretin: much more intelligent than able, and less far-seeing than ingenious, the Ghost has only drawn the political conclusions of the Moro affair, so true it is that terrorism is the pursuit of politics by other means.

As long as there shall exist a power separated from individuals, it will surely not be individuals who will fail it: no functionary of power or of capital is irreplaceable or indispensable in the maintenance of its domination, neither Kennedy, nor Mattei, nor Moro, nor any of those who are still alive and active. What, in a period of troubles, becomes indispensable to a power that does not want to renew itself, is precisely the elimination of certain men, either because they are too implicated and too shown-up, like Rumor, or because by wanting a “renewal,” however minimal it might be, they arouse some fear or a certain mistrust in certain sectors of power: and it is known that the most reactionary sectors are always also the best armed. Moro’s “overtures” were thus perceived as being opposed to certain interests and a concession to a “change” — and this in spite of the fact that historically it was precisely any change that such overtures were trying to prevent, but without too much conviction and without sufficient guarantees — that is to say, in a different manner to that desired by one fraction of power and by certain of the military.

In history, every power always behaves like all the other powers have behaved, and as the present police politics of provocation follows its course, which I have already shown to be unstoppable, similarly for its powerful strategists, semi-lucid and semi-unaware, but completely dominated by fear, the necessity ripens of having to dispose of, in Mafia manner, some of those very men they had still been making use of the day before. In all this there is nothing new, and it is a further confirmation of the old precept according to which “he who is the cause of another’s becoming powerful brings about his own ruin”; neither Moro, nor any of his colleagues, ever prevented the political police from becoming so powerful in the space of ten years; not one of them ever protested against nor fought a phenomenon that all, on the contrary, nourished: Moro was the first victim of some importance that such a politics struck down, but he was not the only victim. The strategists of terror had already got rid of other personages, less important but none the less utilised previously; we have before our very eyes several examples of this still fresh: the liquidation of Calabresi, the distant and mysterious death of the fascist Nardi, accused of Calabresi’s assassination, the “suicide” of a good number of SID officers, the fatal “accidents” which happened to several witnesses at the Piazza Fontana trial, the spectacular and simultaneous attempts against the magistrates Coco and Occorsio, [47] which, out of a desire for symmetry ever-present in the spectacle of “opposite extremism’s,” were claimed by the RBs and the fascists. It is worth remarking that these two magistrates were involved with terrorism and not in a small way: Coco with the shady and incongruous affair of the kidnapping of Sossi, [48] and Occorsio with the dirty trick staged with great showmanship against “the human beast” Pietro Valpreda. Naturally, the entire lying media always presents as the confirmation of the official version of the facts precisely that which denies it: Coco “would not yield” to the RBs, so they took their revenge — and one does not understand why, to avenge themselves, they did not kill the judge Sossi: I take a hostage and I blackmail you: if you do not accept the blackmail, it is you that I kill, and not the hostage: illogical but spectacular logic.

As for Occorsio, he was, these last days, conducting an enquiry into the fascists, so these latter had an interest in killing him — but, for mercy’s sake, let nobody put forward the slightest suspicion. To wit, that if Occorsio was taking care, last of all, of the fascists after having taken so much care of the anarchists, but with just as bad results, it is because somebody therefore had suggested to him to take care of the fascists, in order next to be able to make them claim his death, thereby giving it an explanation (one could not quite however accuse Valpreda of having also killed Occorsio; Valpreda is from now on a “culprit,” worn-out, unusable; if tomorrow one were to read that he killed his mother-in-law, there would be no one in Italy who would believe it).

The judges who are busying themselves today with the Moro affair are the least enviable people in Italy, and they should be very careful: from now on they must take care not to get lost in their inquiries and not to displease certain sectors of power; next they should pay attention to all and everything, because for the State the first opportunity to get rid of them will be the right one: and the RBs “will claim” their death immediately, which will be explained in this matter to public opinion. And from now on in Italy all which can be explained is also justified — and if the explanation is abusive, since no one answers it back, it is an explanation without right of appeal, a lie which is no longer contradicted and cannot be any more. If one can contradict it, it is not contradicted, if it is contradicted, it is not “credible,” if it is not “credible” it does not exist — to speak like Ronchey. Few things amongst those foreseen by Orwell in 1984 have not yet been verified; take for instance the following passage:

In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war . . . she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government itself, ‘just to keep people frightened’. This was an idea that had literally never occurred to him.

A few extra-parliamentarians, lost behind their puerile illusions and the fetishist theology of armed struggle, would perhaps like to object that, since they believe in armed struggle, others more “extreme” than they can effectively practise it and be responsible for everything, including the kidnapping of Moro. I wish to point out here that I have never doubted, neither in public nor in private, the imbecility of our extra-parliamentarians taken as a whole; but it is worthwhile observing that they never doubt what the spectacle recounts about itself and about them. Only take heed of this, brave alienated militants: if Moro had actually been kidnapped and killed, as you believe, by free and autonomous revolutionaries, like the State has told you, then it would also ensue that, for the first time in ten years, the State did not lie on the question of terrorism. But this, being unheard of and absurd, is to be excluded.

The sad truth is that, on the contrary, you have always believed the lies, about Valpreda, about Feltrinelli, about the RBs and so on: and even the official newspaper of the anarchists, Umanita Nova, hastened to take precautions, after the Piazza Fontana, in dissociating its “responsibilities” from those of Valpreda — thus furnishing proof of a courage proportional to its intelligence.

Many militants of the extreme left think they are very smart for having understood that Pinelli did not throw himself from the fourth floor of the Central Police Headquarters on his own; but they will never manage to beat this record for smartness since, shortly after, they praised our secret services when they killed Commissioner Calabresi. Our bourgeoisie and the Stalinists, who have already given so many proofs of their incapability, therefore have many reasons for consoling themselves by considering the stupidity of their pretended “extremist” adversaries, which compensates, in some way, for their own — even if it does not cancel it out. And in fact, in ten years no extra-parliamentarian groupuscule has ever managed to harm this State in the slightest, because not one was capable of encouraging in any manner whatsoever the practical struggles of wild-cat workers, and even less of contributing to the progress of theoretical consciousness.

Impotent and clumsy, the militants today accuse the State of being morally “responsible” for Moro’s death for not having saved him, and not for having killed him, in the same way as in 1970 they were accusing the State of “moral responsibility” in the Piazza Fontana massacre, certainly not for having ordered it, but for not having ordered the arrest of certain fascists implicated in this affair, at least on the judicial plane. These politicians who take pleasure in mimicking the gestures of politicians who have “made it” continue to ignore the fact that morality has nothing to do with politics, but rather with the justificatory ideology of a policy, that is to say, with all the lies which every politics normally has need of. That is why they speak always and only about the “moral responsibility” of the State, and thus become co-responsible for all its lies.

But let us try for one moment to consider, by means of an unreal hypothesis, that the kidnapping of Moro was conceived and carried out by subversives. And in this case there would be several questions to be asked — which are precisely the only ones the contemplative militants have never asked themselves, busy as they are admiring everything that they are not capable of, or else disagreeing with all that in which they do not take part: that is to say everything.

First of all, one should ask oneself how it is possible that in two months subversives were not capable of accusing Moro of anything else than of serving the interests of the bourgeoisie instead of those of the proletariat – as if that was a particularity of Moro’s, as if in Parliament there was no one else “guilty” of this “crime”! The absurdity of such an accusation renders it totally unbelievable: Aldo Moro never claimed nor made anyone believe that he was defending the interests of workers, unlike Stalinists and extra-parliamentarians. To accuse him of such a crime is the same as accusing the rich of not being poor, or an enemy of not being your ally. If it was in order to bring such an accusation against him that these hypothetical “subversives” staged Moro’s “trial,” they could have spared themselves the effort and killed him in the Via Fani along with his bodyguards. But, as I have already said, behind this accusation lurks the contrary accusation: Moro’s kidnappers were in reality accusing him of not serving the interests of the bourgeoisie sufficiently, and certainly not for doing this too well.

Furthermore, the clumsy parody of “proletarian justice,” awkwardly staged by Moro’s jailers, did not even attempt to make him spit out the truth about the massacre of the Piazza Fontana, nor about a hundred other facts just as scandalous, which any man of power normally has knowledge of, facts which would have been highly instructive for the proletariat. In connection with this, it must be remarked that if Moro in one of his earliest letters was scared about having to speak of “displeasing and dangerous” truths, this in no way was disquieting to anyone in the government, which shows that our ministers did not fear anything of all this, because they knew they had nothing to fear. In their proclamations, Moro’s kidnappers never knew how to nor wished to address themselves to workers, to whom they have never said anything interesting; after having affirmed with assurance that “nothing will be hidden from the people,” Moro’s jailers straightaway began, through his intermediary, a long secret correspondence with all the men of power of the DC, for whom this deed was a warning, and the kidnapping was to last until all were convinced of this: the first proof they were to give of their conviction was precisely that of not “negotiating,” and they all in fact hastened to give it. The conditions for the freeing of the hostage, which would have taken place, officially, if the State had agreed to free about fifteen imprisoned militants, only seemed to be laid down in order not to be accepted, not for sure because they were unacceptable, but rather because, not being of any interest whatsoever to any sector of the proletariat, they could not claim the support of any movement of spontaneous or only violent struggle in the country — a movement which, moreover, Moro’s jailers did not even purport to instigate. Where the kidnappers betrayed their identity as agents of power, and in the clumsiest manner, was in the acute desire they have shown for being officially recognised by all the constituted powers, from the PCI to the DC, from the Pope to Waldheim: this fact alone admirably proves that not only do they recognise the legitimacy of all powers, but that they are pre-occupied only in being recognised by them, and certainly not by the proletariat. For their part, the party bosses betrayed themselves when they admitted that this kidnapping had the goal of dividing the political forces of the government, then adding that in this it would have failed, whilst it is exactly in this that the kidnapping succeeded: the Christian Democrats and the Craxists quickly understood that they should part company, quietly but firmly, with the Stalinists; if Moro’s jailers had been subversives, such a division could certainly not have interested them, because any subversive knows that the only division liable to create disorder is that which one should accomplish between exploited and exploiters — and certainly not between the different parties which only represent, in the spectacle, the different forces which serve to maintain the same exploitation, by only changing the beneficiaries of it. Finally, if Moro’s kidnappers had been subversives, they certainly would not have missed the opportunity to release him, since Moro, slandered by all his friends and betrayed by his allies of the day before, would have openly fought all those he had protected up until then. However, by killing him, the artisans of the coup of the Via Fani conveniently helped all the powers out of a difficulty, and particularly the DC, to whom Moro was useful dead, but very harmful alive.

In any case, if Moro’s kidnappers had been subversives they certainly would not have chosen the freedom of Curcio and others as the object of negotiation, giving power an excellent pretext for sending them packing and not “to lose their honour”: if they had chosen to make unacceptable demands, they should have demanded something quite other than the freeing of these single fifteen prisoners — and those who make unacceptable demands always take care that they should not be easily refusable either, as was that of the freeing of these few brigatisti. But Moro’s kidnappers in reality did not want anything that they were officially demanding: what they did want, they knew quite well they could not openly demand, so as not to unmask themselves — and what they wanted they have obtained, today. And shortly before Moro’s jailers were to get rid of him, all the real terms of the blackmail had become inverted with relation to the spectacular and official terms of the blackmail towards DC; and the real terms had become these: either you change your policy, or we shall free Moro, and you will see that it will be he who shall change policy. And things being thus, the Christian Democrat and “socialist” leaders wisely preferred that it should be they who change policy at Moro’s expense, in view of the risk that it might be Moro who changes it, but at their expense. This is the way the world goes, despite all the flapping of wings of the Capitoline geese who claim the contrary.

All our incapable extra-parliamentarians, dazzled like primitives by the technical success of the operation of the Via Fani, have not been able to see beyond, in considering that those who have so many means and tactical capacities at their disposal would surely not place them in the service of such a poor and senseless strategy as that one intended to be attributed to the RBs, but rather would place all this at the service of a more wide-ranging political design. But the extra-parliamentarians, in view of the operational efficiency displayed in the Via Fani and by the sequel, naturally preferred to attribute this latter to “comrades who make mistakes” rather than to enemies who do not make mistakes, and who quietly screw them all. Here as well, our leftists have taken their poor desires for reality, without suspecting that reality always surpasses their desires, but not in the manner they desire. And if they were less ignorant, they would not overlook as much, and so wrongly, the capacities of the Italian parallel services: they would know, for instance, that the only really successful war operations accomplished by Italy during the last conflict were commando actions effected by the Navy. It seems to me to be scarcely necessary to recall how this brilliant tradition was admirably transmitted from the Navy to the secret services, headed at first by Admiral Henke, who was never an imbecile, then by Admiral Casardi, who is even more capable — with the ignominious interregnum of a general as incapable as Vito Micelli, who in fact had to succumb to his own incapability, and to the prudence of Andreotti, who did not take long to perceive it. In fact Andreotti did not have General Micelli arrested for being responsible for “deviations” of the SID — which had begun well before, as Andreotti is well aware — but he had him arrested precisely because Micelli risked, through a blunder, blowing the lid off the great stewing-pot of the secret services. [49] And once again Andreotti has shown himself to be a sharper politician than he would wish to appear, in making his attack against Micelli pass for solicitude about constitutional allegiance, and thereby gaining expected sympathies from the left. Andreotti’s sole error, as usual, was an error of false modesty and of vanity: he rejoiced too much after Micelli’s arrest, overplaying the simpleton and repeatedly declaring that he, out of prudence, had never wanted to involve himself with the secret services: a scandalous declaration for a head of government, but necessary to someone who, being involved with them, saw “cose che’l tacere e bello,” [50] but things so scandalous that they can only be silenced by pretending not to know of them. And Andreotti knows very well that the scandal of ignorance is the price he must pay in order to feign ignorance of certain scandals. He remains however like the comic in that fable where the fox disguises himself as a lamb in order to be better accepted amongst the wolves.

Leaving aside the admirals, it must still be noted that in Italy there are also excellent superior officers of the Carabinieri, not all of whom are like Micelli or Labruna [51], and it is only the Micellis and the Labrunas who fall into the trap. Then again, there is a more profound and more dialectical argument in favour of the leadership of our secret services: if this period requires certain men to practice terrorism, it is also capable of creating the men terrorism has need of. And it should not be believed that the operation of the Via Fani was a superhuman masterpiece of operational capability: up until yesterday even Idi Amin Dada was able to allow himself certain technical successes, at which the poor militants of Lotta Continua will never cease to be amazed.

Much less naive than extra-parliamentarians, a large number of workers whom I have met in the most varied situations, have straight-away come to the conclusion that “Aldo Moro, it is they who have kidnapped him,” meaning by this of course those who have power. And to think that even yesterday such workers voted, and on the whole voted PCI!

The rift, hereafter irreparable, which exists in the country between all those who have the right to speak (politicians, the powerful and all their lackeys, journalists or others), on the one hand, and all those who are denied the right to speak, on the other, expresses itself perfectly in the fact that the former, far-removed from ordinary people and protected by the barrier of their bodyguards, no longer know what the latter say and think, in the street, the restaurant or their workplace. And thus the lies of power have flown off at a tangent, entering some kind of autonomous orbit under the impact of centrifugal force, an orbit which no longer touches upon any pole of the “real country,” where truth can thus make its way much more easily since no obstacle obstructs or intimidates it. However, the spectacle has become autistic, that is to say, it is afflicted by this syndrome of schizophrenic psychopathology according to which the ideas and actions of the patient can no longer be modified by reality, from which he is irremediably separated, compelled to live in his own world outside the world. The spectacle, like King Oedipus, has gouged its own eyes, and blindly continues in its own terrorist delirium: like King Oedipus, it no longer wishes to look at reality, and, like President Andreotti, it says it does not want to know anything about the secret services, even proclaiming that they have been dismantled and non-existent for several years. If, like King Oedipus, the spectacle no longer wishes to look at reality, it is that it only wants to be looked at, contemplated, admired and accepted for what it pretends to be. It wants thus to be listened to, without even listening however, and it is not too much perturbed even about no longer being listened to: what seems to matter most to the spectacle is to relentlessly pursue its paranoiac journey. At the very moment when it is the police who claim to make history, any historical fact is explained by power in a police manner. The Hungarian researcher into psychiatry, Joseph Gabel says that, according to what he defines as the “police conception of history,” history is no longer constituted “by the ensemble of objective forces, but by good or bad individual action,” where each event “is placed under the sign of miracle or of catastrophe”: interpretation of the event then no longer consists of its historical explanation, but is ascribed to red or black magic. Thus, for power, the Piazza Fontana bomb was the miracle which allowed the trade-unions to renounce all strikes, and the State to avoid civil war; the death of Moro, on the other hand, heralded a mysterious catastrophe which, thanks to the skill and inflexibility of our politicians, was averted from us. And it is of no importance that a large number “of the plebs” — to use here a fortunate expression of the Stalinist Amendola — had said, as I have heard it said thousands of times, that “as for myself, if they kill Moro, it doesn’t matter to me: that’s their business.” “The country resisted, it knew how to react”: what a fine joke! The only reaction of this mythological “country” was, most wisely, never to believe anything more of all that it is told.

In a parallel manner to the catastrophic or miraculous explanations of history, the spectacle reaches the point of no longer knowing whom it rules, no longer grasping reality and the thoughts it must master urgently; and, as Machiavelli says, “where one knows the least, one suspects the most”: the entire population, and all young people in particular, become suspect in the eyes of power. At the same time, if artificial terrorism claims to be the only real phenomenon, all spontaneous revolts, like those of Rome and Bologna in 1977, become according to this “police conception of history” a plot, artificially hatched and led by “occult forces” yet “quite identifiable” — as Stalinists today still maintain. Everything that power does not forecast, because it has not organised it, therefore becomes a “plot” against it; on the other hand, artificial terrorism, being organised and directed by the masters of the spectacle, is a real and spontaneous phenomenon that these latter continually feign to fight, for the simple reason that it is easier to defend oneself from a simulated enemy than from a real one. And for the real enemy, the proletariat, power would like to refuse it even the status of enemy: if workers declare themselves to be against this demented terrorism, then “they are with the State,” if they are against the State, then “they are terrorists,” that is to say enemies of the common good, public enemies. And against a public enemy, everything is permitted, everything is authorised.

Gabel says further that “the police conception of history represents the most complete form of political alienation . . .:the unfavourable event can only be explained by exterior action (the plot); it is experienced (by the patient) as an unexpected catastrophe, unmerited. And so it is that any spontaneous strike becomes an insult to the “working class,” so well represented by the trade unions, and any wildcat struggle is “provocative,” “corporative,” “unjust” and “unmerited.” All this fits exactly into the clinical framework of autistic schizophrenia: “the syndrome of external action . . . is the clinical expression of the irruption of the dialectic in a reified world which cannot admit of the event unless as a catastrophe” (J. Gabel, False Consciousness). The irruption of the dialectic corresponds however to nothing other than the irruption of struggle in a reified world, which it is more exact to call a spectacular-commodity world, which cannot admit of struggle, not even in the realm of thought. So this spectacular society is not even capable of thinking any more: someone who reasons logically, for example, only accepts the identity between two things when it is based on the identity of the subjects; however the spectacle, which is para-logical, establishes the identity in basing it on the identity of the predicates, and thus says: “the devil is black, black is the devil” or “the Jew is bad, the bad is the Jew” or even “terrorism is catastrophic, the catastrophe is terrorism.” Leaving aside terrorism, all the rest would be fine: unfortunately, there is this terrorism: so what can be done about it?

If I say: “a policeman must have a clear criminal record, Mario Bianchi is a policeman, therefore he has a clean criminal record”; the schizophrenic, on the other hand, will say: “Mario Bianchi has a clean criminal record, therefore he is a policeman.” It is thus that the spectacle, stricken with autism, says: “Those who kidnapped Moro are terrorists, the RBs are terrorists, Moro was kidnapped by the RBs.” No identification is a misuse, for the spectacle, except one, which is the only one not to be, and here it is: the State has been declaring for years that it is fighting the RBs, it infiltrated them several times without ever attempting to dismantle them, therefore the State makes use of the RBs, as a cover, because the RBs are useful to this State, therefore RBs = the State. That power fears, above all, this identification, it has confessed in a thousand ways, for instance when it invented this neurotic and clumsy slogan: “either with the State, or with the RBs,” which is tantamount to saying “either with me, or else with me.”

Long before the advent of the spectacle, religion, which has always been a prototype of functional ideology for all the old powers, had invented the devil, the foremost and supreme agent provocateur, who was to assure the most complete triumph of the kingdom of God; religion did nothing other than project into the metaphysical world the simple necessity of any concrete and real power. Thus, Cicero needed to amplify the risk constituted by Cataline, in order to magnify his own glory as saviour of the fatherland, and multiply in that way his own abuses. For any power, the only real catastrophe is to be swept out of history; and each power, once weakened and feeling the imminence of this real catastrophe, has always tried to consolidate itself in pretending to wage an unequal struggle against a very convenient adversary: but such a struggle always was also the last oration pro domo sua [52] that this power would declare. History is full of similar examples.

Just as scandal is necessary for the greater glory of God — says Paul-Louis Courier –, so are conspiracies for the maintenance of the political police. Hatching them, stifling them, setting up the plot and discovering it, this is the high art of office; these are the ins and outs of the science of statesmen; it is transcendent politics perfected only a short while ago at home, that the jealous Englishman seeks to imitate and counterfeit, only vulgarly. . . . Ministers, as soon as it is known what they want to do, suddenly cannot or nor longer wish to do it. Politics known is politics lost; State affairs, State secrets. . . . Decency is obligatory in a constitutional government. [53]

Courier was speaking thus in 1820, in the height of the Restoration; today, out of fear of a new and more formidable revolution, the same practices as then are used, on a much larger scale, in order to obtain a preventative restoration. The “transcendent politics” of those days is the immanent politics of the spectacle, which always presents itself, like Dante used to say about God, as “the adversary of all evils” — and therefore all that opposes the spectacle is evil, according to its autistic logic. And in view of this unpitying preventative restoration, in view of this infamous series of provocations, massacres, assassinations and lies that seek to camouflage a reality which is as clear as daylight, in view of all this here we have sociological “studies” on terrorism multiplying, and all the servile and progressive journalists, who care more for their security than for plain reality of the facts, rivalling each other in the expression of a “certain sympathy” for “armed struggle” and clandestinity, as the unspeakable Georgio Bocca said, under the pretext that it reminds him of his epic struggle in the Resistance. Men like Bocca are, so to speak, “legitimised” when, under the reign of fear, they declare they have some sympathy for this terrorism, because they earn 4 or 5 million Lira a month and because they feel that this terrorism will ensure for them that this will continue. But the one who has nothing is deceived by these men, who always lie, for the sake of peddling their filth unbothered, at other people’s expense: people like you, Bocca, don’t get killed, that would be doing them too much honour! Nobody wants to see you die, but, for my part if I ever meet you on the street, you may be sure that I shall teach you how to live, you fathead.

And here we have, on the other hand, the lawyer Giannino Guiso telling us about the ideological sublimities of Curcio, and the sociologist Sabino Acquaviva launching into grandiloquent “explanations” about terrorism, whilst this pedant Scialoja, a journalist with the Expresso, holds forth on the “strategies” of armed struggle, and they all pretend to be in the know about the secret matters of the social revolution, all seeking to lend credibility to artificial terrorism as a prelude to the revolution:

Vous serez etonnes, quand vous serez au bout,
de ne nous avoir rien persuade du tout. [54]

I only have this to say to you, respected mystifiers: unlike you, I have known in the last thirteen years a large part of the revolutionaries of Europe very well — known equally well to all the police forces — who have contributed the most, by theory and by practice, in reducing capitalism to its present conditions: not one of them, without any exception, have ever practised or even less hailed spectacular modern terrorism — which seems evident to me. There are no secret matters of revolution: all that which today is secret belongs to power, that-is-to-say to counter-revolution. And all the police forces know this perfectly well.

From now on you may rest assured about one thing, gentlemen of the government: as long as your State shall exist, and I am alive, I shall never tire of denouncing the terrorism of your parallel services, whatever the cost: for this is precisely the foremost interest of the proletariat and of social revolution, at this time and in this country. And this exactly because, as Courier used to say, “politics known is politics lost.” And if this criminal State wants to go on lying, killing and provoking the entire population, it shall be compelled from now on to cast off its “democratic” mask and act in its own name against workers and abandon the present spectacle of the party game in which the secret services harbour their illusions of the existence of a few naive militants of “armed struggle” in order to give verisimilitude to their provocations, and then throw hundreds of people into prison, whilst our policemen do target practice whilst awaiting the civil war.

From 1969 on, the spectacle, in order to still be believed, had to attribute to its enemies incredible actions, and in order to still be accepted, it had to credit proletarians with unacceptable actions, and thereby ensure sufficient publicity so that people who allow themselves to become frightened always choose “the lesser evil,” namely the present state of affairs. When the real heads of the RBs ordered that unarmed people should be shot in the legs, something which is only befitting of police cowardice, and certainly not of revolutionary courage, when the real heads of the RBs ordered such attacks, which hit minor industrial leaders, they knew very well what they wanted: to scare this part of the middle class who, not enjoying the advantages of the upper class, do not have sufficient class consciousness, and thus win it over in view of the civil war. The fragility of such artificial terrorism resides however in this: once you proceed with such politics, it becomes even more well-known, and therefore judged, and all that had constituted the strength of this politics now constitutes its weakness, whilst the great advantages it assured its strategists turn into a major inconvenience.

The present President of the Republic, Pertini, a naive man, is always and only afraid of fascism, as he only fears what he knows: however from now on he should fear what he does not know and get to know as quickly as possible what he must fear today: not any more an open dictatorship but a formidable masked despotism of the secret services, a despotism all the stronger for using its power to affirm vigorously that it does not exist. [55] It was not at all by chance that Fanfani, almost imperceptibly, invented in September 1978 a new important post which had no precedent in our institutional history: that of “advisor to the president of the Republic for problems of democratic order and security.” And neither was it by chance that, to fill this position, Fanfani called upon Lieutenant-General Arnaldo Ferrara, who is considered, militarily, the best officer of the Carabinieri and one of the best in Europe. In flanking the old Pertini with the young General Ferrara, “a man with ice-cold eyes and refined tastes,” as he has been described, Fanfani not only institutionalised a situation of fact, in sanctioning the power attained by the parallel services, but also made the first step to consummate his old dream of a presidential Republic: Arnaldo Ferrara, this intelligent and refined officer, who even recently had refused to head the SISDE and had not yielded to Andreotti’s insistence in order not to renounce his own ambitions, this field-officer who “has penetrated into the most secret secrets of the State and the men who represent it” — as Roberto Fabiani assures us — is in fact the new president of the Republic. Furthermore, Ferrara today holds powers that no president of the Republic ever had in the past — powers that his function of “adviser,” which is honorary only in appearance, guarantees him in reality much more and better than any other office, assuring him at the same time a freedom of action whose limits are difficult to determine, but easy to exceed. Faced with such a state of affairs, the proletariat can only fight it on open ground or get used to it, bearing all the heavy consequences.

And here is then, if one really wants to know it, the precise end being served in bedecking the presidency of this Republic with a man “above all suspicion”: it has served to hide its goal, and its painless transformation into a police State, whilst maintaining the spectacle of “democratic” appearances. The honourable Pertini, since he has always remained on the fringe of his own party, and since he is perhaps the only politician who, never having had real power, has always been a stranger to the practices of the parallel services, is also therefore the man who least knows these practices, and the one who therefore offers the best qualifications required in order to be manipulated, without noticing it, by this occult power. The detached corps of the State, having attained their present power, can only continue to make use of the same tactic of infiltration used successfully in relation to the RBs, by extending them today to all the institutions of the State. In these conditions, not only will terrorism not cease, but it will increase quantitatively and qualitatively: [56] and one can already foresee that if a social revolution does not arrive to put an end to this tragic farce, the presidency of Pertini will mark the most deadly period of the Republic. And don’t come and tell me that what I say “is most serious”: I know that perfectly well, but I also know that to remain silent, like all the others do, is even more serious, and that the most serious phenomenon is that which all take part in without ever denouncing it. There is no longer anything secret in this phenomenon, which however still remains unadmitted in the general consciousness: and as Bernard Shaw said, “there are no better kept secrets than the ones everybody knows.” And consciousness always comes too late.

In such conditions, the foremost duty of any conscious subversive is to unpityingly cast out of the minds of people called to action any illusion about terrorism. As I have already said elsewhere, historically, terrorism has never had any revolutionary efficacity, except where every other form of manifestation of subversive activity had been rendered impossible by a complete repression; and therefore where a notable part of the proletarian population had been brought to be silently on the side of the terrorists. [57] But this is no longer, or is not yet, the case of present-day Italy. Furthermore it is fitting to note that the revolutionary efficacity of terrorism has always been very limited, as the entire history of the end of the nineteenth century shows.

The bourgeoisie, which established its domination in France in 1793 by means of terrorism, must however again resort to this weapon, in a defensive strategic context, in the historical period where its power is universally called into question by these same proletarian forces its own development has created. In a parallel manner the secret services of the bourgeois State cover their terrorism by opportunely using the most naive militants of a Leninism completely discomfited by history — a Leninism that also used, between 1918 and 1921, the same terrorist anti-working class method to destroy the Soviets and seize hold of the State and the capitalist economy in Russia.

All States have always been terrorist but they have been so most violently at their birth and at the imminence of their death. And those who today, either out of despair or because they are victims of the propaganda the regime propagates in favour of terrorism as the nec plus ultra of subversion, contemplate artificial terrorism with uncritical admiration, even attempting sometimes to practise it, do not know that they are only competing with the State on its own terrain, and do not know that, on its own terrain, not only is the State the strongest but that it will always have the last word. And all that which does not destroy the spectacle reinforces it: and the unparalleled reinforcement of all the State’s powers of control, which has occurred these last few years under the pretext of spectacular terrorism, is already used against the entire proletarian movement, which is today the most advanced and the most radical in Europe.

It is certainly not a question of “disagreeing” with terrorism in a stupid and abstract manner, like the militants of Lotta Continua do, and still less of admiring the “comrades who make mistakes,” as do the so-called Autonomes — who thus give the infamous Stalinists a pretext for preaching systematic denunciation — but it is a matter of judging it purely on its results, of seeing who benefits from it, of clearly saying who practises terrorism, and what use the spectacle makes of it; and then it is a matter of drawing conclusions once and for all.

Obliging everyone to continually take a position for or against mysterious and obscure incidents, prefabricated in reality for this precise end, this is the real terrorism, to continually compel the entire working class to declare itself against such and such attack, which everyone, except the parallel services, has no part in, this is what allows power to maintain generalised passivity and the contemplation of this indecent spectacle, this is what permits trade-union bureaucrats to reunite, under their anti-working class directives, the workers of each factory in struggle where a boss regularly gets shot in the legs.

When Lenin, in 1921, at the time of the repression of the Kronstadt soviet, pronounced the famous “here or there with a rifle, but not with the workers’ opposition, we have had enough of the workers’ opposition,” he showed himself to be less dishonest than Berlinguer, who says “either with the State or with the RBs,” because Lenin was not afraid to declare that his sole aim was the liquidation of the workers’ opposition. Very well then, starting from this exact moment, he who affirms he is “with the State” knows that he is also with terrorism, and with the most putrid State terrorism ever set up against the proletariat; he knows that he is with those responsible for the deaths at the Piazza Fontana, on the Italicus and at Brescia, and for the assassinations of Pinelli and a hundred others, and let him not come and plague us any more because we have had enough of crocodile tears about the “martyrs of the Via Fani,” of provocations, vile intimidations, assassinations, prison, the shameless hypocrisy about the defence of “democratic institutions,” and all the rest.

And as for us subversives, who are exactly with the workers’ opposition, and not with the State, let us demonstrate this above all and on every occasion, by always unmasking all acts of terrorism by the services of the State, to whom we will gladly leave the monopoly of terror, thereby making shame even more shameful by consigning it to publicity: the publicity it deserves.

When our turn comes, we shall not lack arms, nor valiant fighters: we are not the slaves of the commodity-fetishism of arms, but we shall procure them as soon as it will be necessary, and in the most simple manner of all: by taking them from you, generals, policemen, and bourgeois, because you already have enough of them to suffice all the workers of Italy. “We have no respect; we do not expect any from you. When our turn comes, we will not embellish violence” (Marx).

A thousand Via Fanis and a thousand Piazza Fontanas cannot profit capitalism as much as one sole anti-bourgeois and anti-Stalinist wildcat strike can harm it, or a simple violent and successful sabotage of production. The oppressed consciousness of thousands are awakening and revolting every day against exploitation: and wild-cat workers know perfectly well that social revolution does not make its way by accumulating corpses along its path, which is a prerogative of Stalino-bourgeois counter-revolution, a prerogative that no revolutionary has ever disputed.

And as for those who have joined up with alienated and hierarchical militantism in the period of its bankruptcy, they could only become subversives on the condition that they get out of it, and only if they succeed in negating practically the conditions the spectacle itself has laid down on what is today designated by the vague but precise term “dissidence,” which is by its nature always impotent.

From now on, whosoever in Italy does not use all the intelligence they have at their disposal to rapidly understand the truth which lurks behind each State lie, whosoever does not do this is an ally of the enemies of the proletariat. And whosoever still claims to want to fight alienation in an alienated manner, through militantism and ideology, will quickly perceive that they have renounced all real combat. It will certainly not be militants who will make the social revolution, nor the secret services and Stalinist police who will prevent it!


Translated from Italian into French by Jean-Francois Martos, and published by Le fin mot de l’Histoire, January 1980. Translated from French into English by Michel Prigent and Lucy Forsyth (T.N.), and published September 1982 by Chronos Press. English translation thoroughly proof-read and copy-edited by Bill Not Bored, May 2004.

Footnotes by Gianfranco Sanguinetti, except those by the original translators (T.N.) or by Johnny Boredom [J.B.] July 2004.


[1] The bombing of a busy bank in Milan’s Piazza Fontana on 12 December 1969, which resulted in 16 deaths and 88 serious injuries, signalled the beginning of the so-called “Strategy of Tension” — the general aim of this strategy, developed in the face of working class militancy, was to create a heightened sense of fear, disorientation and atomisation amongst the general population resulting form spectacular terrorist acts, leading to an increased identification with the authority of the state. While some on the far-right initially may have hoped that this would lead to a military take-over, this strategy became a more general response by the state and para-state agencies in periods of social unrest and political crisis uniting fascists, conservatives, and democrats. The Piazza Fontana bombing took place within the context of escalating class struggle and the deepening social crisis of the “Hot Autumn” of 1969. After the bombing, the police turned their attention to anarchist circles with remarkable speed, backed up by a hysterical media campaign. Anarchists, including Pietro Valpreda and railway worker Giuseppe Pinelli, were held for questioning in connection with the bombings. Pinelli ‘jumped’ to his death from the fourth floor office of the police station in which he was being questioned. (Pinelli’s murder prompted Dario Fo to write his satirical play, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist.) After the state’s farcical attempt to pin the blame on anarchists fell apart, the finger was pointed at fascists. The ‘fascists’ behind the bombing turned out to be working for the Italian secret state. The cover-up of the Piazza Fontana bombing would last decades. A short flyer issued by the Italian section of the Situationist International entitled Is the Reichstag Burning? was posted in Milan a few days after the bombing. The authors of this text — Eduardo Rothe and Puni Cesoni — denounced the bombing as a state provocation, unlike the vast majority of the Left at the time, which generally accepted police and media lies at face value. [J.B..]

[2] On 16 March 1978, Christian Democratic Party leader Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse, “RBs” for short, founded in 1970), in an operation notable for its brutality and military precision. Moro was an advocate of the so-called “Historic Compromise” in Italian politics. This was to involve a governing alliance between the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the two biggest parties in Italy during the 1970’s. Moro correctly perceived the completely reformist and essentially conservative nature of the Communist Party, which was a social-democratic party with large scale electoral support in the post-WWII period. He hoped that this policy would temper the radicalism of the working class by channelling workers demands through the structures of the PCI and its unions. Powerful and intransigent factions of the Italian ruling class, as well as the American ruling class, were totally opposed to PCI participation in government. Moro became increasingly preoccupied with opposition to his policy. After being held captive for fifty five days, Moro’s body was found in the trunk of a car on Rome’s Via Caetani on 9 May, symbolically halfway between the headquarters of the Christian Democratic and Communist Parties. Significantly, in 1964 a secret plot called “Piano Solo” (Plan Solo), organised by the fascist, intelligence chief and carabinieri leader General De Lorenzo, called for the assassination of Moro, who had promised an “opening to the left” (i.e. the Socialist Party), a precursor of the “Historic Compromise.” The planned coup was called off at the last minute due to a compromise between the Socialist Party and the Christian Democrats. De Lorenzo went on to create a secret organisation named “La Rosa Dei Venti” (Rose of the Winds), which aimed at grouping together those intransigently hostile to the PCI. This conspiracy was a direct precursor to the Strategy of Tension and was integrated into the NATO “stay behind” networks known in Italy as “Operation Gladio” (see note [9] below). In 1990, during renovation of an apartment on the Via Montenevoso, Rome (a so-called “lair” of the Red Brigades), photocopies of previously unknown letters written by Aldo Moro during his captivity were discovered, along with weapons and money. Despite being concealed behind a simple panel, the cache had not been discovered during a “thorough” search of the apartment twelve years previously. [J.B.]

[3] On 4 August 1974 a bomb was placed on an Italicus express train, resulting in 12 deaths and 105 injuries. The bombing was carried out by “fascists”. Behind these fascists were the puppet masters of the Masonic lodge and the effective parallel government of the time, P2 — “Potere Due,” a Masonic Lodge, the Grandmaster of which was Lucio Gelli, whose members where drawn from all the main political parties, except the Communists, and all the branches of the state, especially the military and secret services (and that counted one Silvio Berlusconi amongst its members). P2 for a time formed the effective parallel government of Italy. [J.B.]

[4] On 28 May 1974 a bomb went off in Brescia during a trade union anti-fascist rally, leaving eight dead and over one hundred injured. The bombing was claimed by a previously unknown fascist group, Ordine Nero (Black Order), which was later exposed as a secret service front. [J.B.]

[5] Anarchists initially accused of being behind the Piazza Fontana bombing. See note [1] above. [J.B.]

[6] Allusion to the defence of the secret services carried out by Moro in Parliament when they were accused of supporting General de Lorenzo’s failed coup d’etat in 1964 (T.N.).

[7] Very powerful head of the State’s oil enterprise (ENI) killed before 1968, in other words before the spectacle of terrorism (T.N.).

[8] Didn’t the bankrupt [Michele] Sindona, a notorious liar, quite recently set up his own abduction in the U.S.A. (to which he had fled) to avoid a trial where he was to answer for the bankruptcy of the Franklin bank? A so-called “proletarian” group claimed his kidnapping, but no one believed it, since in America the press had not yet been so tamed in this domain as in Italy (T.N.).

[9] Giulio Andreotti (1919- ), Christian Democrat leader and many times President of Italy. In 1990, after a series of denials, then Prime Minister Andreotti made a partial admission of the existence of the secret NATO sponsored “stay behind” network code named “Operation Gladio” in Italy (after the two-sided Roman sword). In the initial agreement that formed NATO in 1949, there was a secret clause that required that, before a nation could join, it must establish its own national security service capable of “Civil Emergency Planning,” that is, of “intervening effectively […] in the event of external socialist aggression or internal political upheavals.” As a result, Operation Gladio was formally established in 1956, involving American and domestic intelligence organisations, as well as committed “anti-communists.” The latter group inevitably contained a significant number of fascists. Many were drawn from the ranks of veterans of Mussolini’s last stand, the Salo Republic. Armed with weapons located in hundreds of secret arms dumps around the country, they were originally established to go into action in the event of an Eastern Bloc invasion or domestic “subversion.” Andreotti — a P2 member — attempted to legitimise the Gladio Networks, in a clear damage-limitation exercise. Andreotti was implicated in the March 1979 murder of journalist, one-time P2 member and publisher of Osservatore Politico Mino Pecorelli, but was later cleared in court. Pecorelli had revealed details of the P2 conspiracy shortly before his assassination, in an attempt to blackmail participants. The week before his murder, Pecorelli ran the headline Assassinations, bombings, coup attempts — the shadow of freemasonry hovered over them all: from Piazza Fontana to the Occorsio murder, from the Borghese coup to kidnappings. . .” The “Borghese coup” was the 7 December 1970 coup d’etat attempted by Prince Valerio Borghese, a former WWII naval commander and the founder of National Front, a right-wing group. [J.B.]

[10] Christian Democrat Party [J.B.]

[11] Italian Communist Party [J.B.]

[12] Enrico Berlinguer (1922-84), leader of the PCI during the 1970’s. Advocate of so-called “Eurocommunism”, meaning independence from Moscow — even going so far as to advocate continued Italian membership of NATO — and an openly reformist, social-democratic ideology and practice. [J.B.]

[13] Who had to resign soon after for barefaced corruption (T.N.).

[14] Benito Craxi (1934-2000), anti-Communist leader of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) from 1973 until his resignation in 1993, due to being implicated in the corruption scandals of the early 1990’s. Sentenced to 14 years imprisonment while in exile in Tunisia, where he died. [J.B.]

[15] Slogan[s] of the PCI (T.N.)

[16] Extra-parliamentary Leftist group active from 1969 until 1976 [J.B.]

[17] After the publication of this book, Negri paid dearly for the fact of having swallowed everything in connection with Moro (T.N.). Negri was arrested on 7 April 1979 and, along with dozens of other intellectuals involved in the Workers Autonomy movement, was accused of “armed insurrection against the powers of the State.” Mass arrestes followed over the following months. To support these accusations, Negri’s accusers portrayed him as the secret leader of the Red Brigades — at one point accusing him of being directly involved in the Moro kidnapping, and even telephoning the Moro family on behalf of the RBs! After a four-year battle, which he waged from a jail cell, Negri was acquitted of all charges and released. When the Italian Chamber of Deputies subsequently voted to send him back to prison, he fled to France. In absentia, Negri was convicted of re-instated charges under (still in-effect) emergency laws that allow convictions solely based upon the testimony of accused persons who have “repented” their crimes and turned State’s evidence. In 1997, in the hope that his action would bring an end to the decades-old deadlock, Negri returned to Italy and turned himself in. Granted no leniency whatsoever, he was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison, a sentence he began serving in July 1997. Negri has written his own reflections on the period in question, available in English in a collection of his more important earlier writings — Revolution Retrieved (Red Notes, 1988). His more recent look at the same period is available on-line — Reviewing the experience of Italy in the 1970’s. Some of Negri’s writings can be found in English translation at the Class Against Class website. For a more balanced, though critical view of Negri and the Italian Autonomist movement than Sanguinetti’s, see Steve Wright’s Negri’s Class Analysis: Italian Autonomist Theory in the Seventies and his book Storming Heaven: Class composition and the struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism (2002) [J.B.]

[18] Guerchuni, arrested of course thanks to Azev, warmly recommended that his comrades place exactly this same Azev at the head of the Combat Organisation, and this in view of the courage and daring he had shown in transporting from Switzerland to Russia arms, explosives and publications of the party, whose Central Committee was still in exile in Geneva.

[19] Reference to the wave of class struggle, and general social upheavals involving young workers, women and other groups. The gulf between this movement and the Italian Communist Party — “The Party of Struggle,” as the slogan went — became increasingly obvious during this time, as the Party became engaged in ever-more desperate and futile attempts to gain access to central government. Finally, the PCI became the ‘party of repression’ (e.g. in Bologna during 1977, the PCI authorities sent in armoured cars to clear barricades set up after a young far-left militant was killed during clashes with the police.) When the Moro assassination of the following year saw the PCI’s chances of participation in the central government evaporate, they became the most fanatical advocates of the persecution of the extra-parliamentary far-left, giving its full support to the extremely repressive “emergency legislation” and encourging party members to grass on militant workers and activists of the far-left. Sanguinetti examines the central role of the PCI in this judicial persecution in his 1980 Preface to the French Edition of On Terrorism [J.B.]

[20] Mariano Rumor, a Christian Democrat politician [J.B.]

[21] Reference to General Pinochet’s US-backed coup d’etat in Chile in 1973, overthrowing the elected centre-left Popular Unity government led by Salvador Allende [J.B.]

[22] Leonardo Sciascia (1921-89), Sicilian author of several short novels analysing post-war Italian society and politics, notably The Knight and Death, Equal Danger, The Day of the Owl and To Each His Own. Also author of the essay The Moro Affair, to which Sanguinetti is referring here. [J.B.]

[23] Luigi Calabresi, the cop who was questioning Pinelli at the time of his “suicide,” was assassinated outside his Milan home in May 1972. Initially, the finger was pointed at the extra-parliamentary Leftist group Lotta Continua. In 1974 two fascists, Gianni Nardi and Bruno Stefano, as well as a German woman, Gudrun Kiess, were charged with the murder of Calabresi, but the charges are later dropped without explanation. Nardi, the son of a billionaire industrialist and an associate of the state asset and neo-Nazi, Stefano delle Chiaie, was later killed in mysterious circumstances. In 1988, ex-Lotta Continua militants Adriano Sofri, Giorgio Pietrostefani and Ovidio Bompressi were arrested and charged with involvement in the assassination. A series of farcical trials, convictions and acquittals followed over the next decade. The charges were based on the accusations of their ex-comrade, Leonardo Marino, whose testimony was riddled with contradictions and outright lies. During the trials, it became clear that Marino had undergone extensive coaching by the police. The trio were eventually imprisoned for their supposed involvement in Calabresi’s murder. During a ceremony inaugurating a bust to commemorate Calabresi outside Milan police headquarters in 1973, Gianfranco Bertoli, a self-proclaimed “individualist anarchist,” threw a hand-grenade into the crowd, killing four bystanders. In 1990 would emerge that Bertoli had once worked for Italian military intelligence and was a member of the Gladio networks. [J.B.]

[24] Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, millionaire publisher with Leftist sympathies. Killed in 1972, apparently during an attempt to blow up an electricity pylon on his own land, as part of an Armed Partisan Group (GAP) action. Sanguinetti is clearly casting doubt on this version of events, suspecting, like many others, that he had been assassinated. At the time of Feltrinelli’s death, sections of the media insinuated that the Situationists might be behind his death, basing this disinformation on the fact that the Situationists, and Sanguinetti in particular, had had an acrimonious exchange with members of Feltrinelli’s publishing house concerning the translation of some situationist publications. Feltrinelli wasn’t the only publisher with radical sympathies to die in mysterious circumstances. In 1984 Gerard Lebovici, a prominent Parisian film producer and publisher who was personally and politically close to ex-Situationist Guy Debord, was shot by still unidentified assassins, Needless to say, sections of the French media lost no time in insinuating that Debord was behind the murder of his fried. For more on the assassination of Lebovici, see Jean-Francois Martos, Words and Bullets: the Condemned of the Lebovici Affair (1984), and Guy Debord, Considerations on the Assassination of Gerard Lebovici (1985). [J.B.]

[25] This has been clearly verified since the publication of this book, by the waves of mass arrests of 7 April and 21 December 1979 (T.N.).

[26] Regional administrators (T.N.).

[27] There have been various attempts to explain state involvement in far-right terrorism in terms of infiltration of the state by fascists, the actions of so-called ‘rouge elements’, etc. Liberals and leftists are particularly keen on this sort of apologetic obfuscation. The Gladio revelations make clear that this is nonsense. A more accurate picture of events would been provided by the neo-fascist terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra: “every bombing in Italy after 1969 was linked to one group…The orders are given by an apparatus belonging to the state, specifically by a secret parallel structure of the Interior Ministry.” It should be noted that the objectives of far-right organisations are broadly identical to those leading the state, and that many of the supporters and activists of fascist organisations are drawn from the states’ apparatus of repression, makes it very easy for them to be infiltrated and manipulated by state agents. [J.B.]

[28] Defence Intelligence Service (Servizio Informazioni Difesa). The organisation was disbanded in 1977 after knowledge of its involvement in the Piazza Fontana bombing and other acts of terrorism became well known, with two organisations taking its place — SISDE and SISMI. For more information, see note [38] below. In September 1974, General Vito Micelli was charged with involvement in a failed 1970 coup attempt by the veteran Fascist Valerio Borghese and state asset Stefano delle Chiaie’s neo-Nazi Avanguardia Nazionale organisation. During his trial, Micelli defended himself, disclosing the existence of a “Parallel SID” formed as a result of a secret agreement with the United States within the framework of NATO (i.e. Operation Gladio). [J.B.]

[29] Slogan of the PCI (T.N.).

[30] Code of silence (T.N.).

[31] In January 1970 Bombs, blood, capital appeared, a tract of Ludd’s which openly accused the secret services of the massacre, the sole exception to the general rout.

[32] Christian Democrat Minister (T.N.)

[33] Armed Proletarian Nuclei.

[34] This bloodthirsty spectacle was offered in a drip-feed, but repeatedly: when the police waited for Abatangelo outside the Florence bank and killed two of his comrades; when Mantini’s sister was shot down in cold-blood in her secret hide-out in Rome, and in a dozen other cases. And they still perhaps want to have it believed that it is by chance, and not due to infiltration, that the “Benemerita” [Carabinieri – the national para-military police force] achieved these successes?

[35] Salvano Girotto, an agent provocateur nicknamed “Brother Machine Gun” [J.B.]

[36] Renato Curcio, co-founder of the Red Brigades. Arrested in 1974, an action that allowed Mario Moretti and his strategy of constant military escalation to dominate the group. It was suggested at the time, and subsequently confirmed, that Moretti was a CIA-connected agent provocateur. [J.B.]

[37] Carabineri general in charge of “anti-terrorism” and credited with the defeat of the Red Brigades. Assassinated in 1982, ostensibly by the Mafia, shortly after giving evidence to the commission set up to investigate Moro’s assassination. [J.B.]

[38] Three of the official secret services, to which must be added UCIGOS, DIGOS and others secret enough for their names to remain unknown (T.N.). DIGOS (Direzione per le investigazoni generali e per le operazioni speciali) “anti-terrorist” police unit. SISDE (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democrarica — Democratic Information and Security Service) the secret service of the Ministry of the Interior; SISME (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare — Military Information and Security Service) the secret service of the Ministry of Defence. The Italian secret services have gone through a bewildering series of name changes in the post-war period, in response to revelations of their involvement in domestic terrorism and other scandals. SISDE and SISME were created in 1977, to replace the SID (Servizio Informazioni Difesa — Defence Intelligence Service) the image of which had been damaged by revelations concerning involvement in the Piazza Fontana bombing. SID was created in 1965, having previously been known as SIFAR (Servizio Informazioni Forze Armate — Armed Forces Information Service), the military intelligence service which was created in 1949. Due to their knowledge of “subversives”, many of the personnel were drawn form the Fascist intelligence services such as SIM (Servizio Information Militari — Military Information Service), a pattern repeated throughout occupied Europe. [J.B.]

[39] On Terrorism and the State is but one chapter in a much longer book called Remedy to Everything, the subtitle of which was Discourses on the next chances of ruining capitalism in Italy. It was never published. The original Preface and On Terrorism were published together in 1979 with the full title On Terrorism and the State: the theory and practice of terrorism divulged for the first time. According to the publisher of the French edition, Gerard Lebovici, the sections of Remedy published as On Terrorism were “incontestably of the greatest interest”. Guy Debord, who collaborated with Sanguinetti after the dissolution of the Situationist International, of which they were both members, and who influenced Sanguinetti greatly, criticised On Terrorism as being “extremely deficient theoretically” along with its “pretentious tone…he has the insolence to treat — and reduce to a ridiculous schemata — the historical and strategic question of armed struggle in general and the particular case of all terrorism as it has existed in many diverse forms throughout history.” [J.B.]

[40] General Gianadelio Maletti, P2 member and former head of military counter-intelligence (SID) during the early 1970’s. In 2001, during the trial of fascists implicated in the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, Maletti claimed that “The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left and, for this purpose, it may have made use of rightwing terrorism…I believe this is what happened in other countries as well.” Maletti obviously had reason to focus attention on the American role in the Strategy of Tension, thereby downplaying the role of domestic forces [J.B.]

[41] As if by some fortunate coincidence, whilst this book was being printed in French (1980), Craxi devised an attempt against himself (T.N.)

[42] “I now am without stain before the throne.” Biblical passage quoted by Bossuet in Oraisons Funebres. (T.N.)

[43] ‘Censor’ (Gianfranco Sanguinetti), Rapporto Veridico sulle ultime opportunita di salvare il capitalismo in Italia, Milan, July 1975; second, third and fourth editions, Mursia, October 1975; also Prove dell ‘inesistenza di Censor, enunciate dal suo autore, Milan, January 1976. These two texts have been published in French: Veridique Rapport sur les Dernieres Chances de Sauver Ie Capitalisme en Italia and Preuves de I’inexistence de Censor par son auteur, Paris, Champ Libre, 1976. (T.N.) Recently translated into English as The Real Report on the Last Chance to Save Capitalism in Italy (Flatland Books, 1997). See also NOT BORED!’s translation. [J.B.]

[44] Cf. A. Ronchey, Accade in Italia, 1968-1977.

[45] In English in the text (T.N.)

[47] Vittorio Occorsio, a judge, was shot dead in June 1976. The neo-Nazi group Ordine Nuovo (New Order) claimed responsibility, but Occorsio’s on-going investigation into “fascist” terrorism had uncovered links between far-right groups, the secret state, organised crime and the Italian Masonic Lodge P2 [J.B.]

[48] In their first major operation, the Red Brigades kidnapped Mario Sossi, a right-wing Genoese magistrate, who was held and then released without any concessions from the authorities. It was later revealed that the secret services planned to kidnap a left-wing lawyer in contact with the RBs, in order to force Sossi’s release. [J.B.]

[49] See note [28] above [J.B.]

[50] “Things it is good to silence (Dante)

[51] Captain Antonino Labruna, fascist, P2 member and SID officer implicated in “the strategy of tension.” Agent responsible for leasing directly with many of Italy’s leading fascists, including the neo-Nazi Stefano delle Chiaie. [J.B.]

[52] For its own house, for its own cause. (T.N.)

[53] Paul-Louis Courier, Pamphlets politiques.

[54] “You will be surprised, when you have reached the end, at not having convinced us of anything.” Quotation from Paul-Louis Courier, in French in the text. (T.N.)

[55] The revelations concerning the Masonic Lodge P2 and the Gladio networks were to confirm Sanguinetti’s views. [J.B.]

[56] Subsequent events were to prove Sanguinetti’s prophecy grimly prescient. On 2 August 1980 a powerful bomb exploded in the second class waiting room at Bologna railway station, resulting in 85 deaths and 200 injuries. Fascists ostensibly carried out the bombing. A series of right-wingers were later convicted (and then acquitted). However, it soon became clear that more powerful interests lay behind the attack. It was established that the explosives used were from a Gladio arsenal, and subsequent investigations implicated the Masonic Lodge P2, and its Grand Master Lucio Gelli. [J.B.]

[57] Cf. the manifesto distributed on 23 September 1977 in Bologna, Rome and Milan, entitled Benvenuti nella citta piu libera del mondo (Welcome to the freest city in the world).


To Contact NOT BORED:
Info@notbored.org
ISSN 1084-7340.
Snail mail: POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998

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Seeing isn’t believing

A year on from 7/7, wild rumours are circulating about who planted the bombs and why. Some people even claim this picture of the four bombers was faked. Mark Honigsbaum, who accidentally triggered at least one of the conspiracy theories, investigates

A CCTV image of the London bombers at Luton station on July 7.

A CCTV image of the London bombers at Luton station on July 7. Photograph: Getty
On July 10 last year, Bridget Dunne opened the Sunday newspapers eager for information about the blasts that had brought death and mayhem to London three days earlier. Like many people that weekend, Dunne was confused by the conflicting reports surrounding what had initially been described as a series of “power surges” on the tube. Why were the Metropolitan Police saying that these surges, which were now being attributed to bombs, had occurred simultaneously at 8.50am, when they had originally been described as taking place over the space of 26 minutes?Dunne, a 51-year-old foster carer, was also having trouble squaring the Met’s statement on July 8 that there was “no evidence to suggest that the attacks were the result of suicide bombings” with the growing speculation that Islamic suicide bombers and al-Qaida were to blame for the blasts that had hit the London underground and a bus in Tavistock Square. The Met Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, had talked himself of “these people who oppose our way of life”.”I’m not a conspiracy theorist,” insists Dunne. “I was just trying to make a cohesive, coherent story from the facts.”But while the papers that Sunday were full of interviews with people who had survived the bombs, and there was plenty of speculation about Osama bin Laden’s involvement, Dunne could find nothing about the times of the tube trains in and out of King’s Cross on the morning of July 7.When, a few days later, police released the now famous CCTV image of Shehzad Tanweer, Mohammad Sidique Khan, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain entering Luton station, her suspicions deepened. How had police identified the bombers so quickly? And how was it that amid the carnage of twisted metal and bloody body parts they had been able to recover credit cards and other ID placing the men at the scene of the crime?Suspecting something was not right, Dunne, who lives in Camden, north London, wrote to her local paper. “Do you think we are being told the truth over these bombings?” she asked. “There are so many unanswered questions that just don’t make any sense.”

Dunne’s letter was immediately picked up by a blogger called Blaugustine and within days she found herself the recipient, via the internet, of other intriguing snippets, such as the claim that on the morning of 7/7 a former Scotland Yard anti-terrorism branch official had been staging a training exercise based on bombs going off simultaneously at precisely the stations that had been targeted. Convinced more than ever that something was not right, Dunne decided to share her thoughts with her new friends on the internet.

“I have only one reason for starting this blog,” she wrote last August. “It is to ascertain the facts behind the events in London on and since the July 7 2005 … That the times of trains were totally absent from the public domain was one of the factors which led to my suspicions that what we were being told happened was not what actually happened.”

It was a few days after the blasts that I first became aware of the disconnect between what most people believe and accept happened on 7/7 – that four British-born Muslim men decided, of their own volition and for reasons that we may never fully understand, to detonate a series of suicide bombs on the London underground – and what people like Dunne suspect happened.

Like many Londoners, I never reached my office on the morning of July 7 but arrived at the tube at 9.30am to find it already closed. Dispatched by the Guardian’s newsdesk directly to Edgware Road, I arrived just as passengers from the bombed westbound Circle line train were emerging from the temporary triage centre that had been set up in Marks & Spencer by a former firefighter, Paul Dadge.

As with other major London crime scenes – the Israeli embassy bombing in Kensington, the Paddington rail crash, the Brixton nail bombing – the situation was one of confusion and flux. The police had only just begun to cordon off the station, while the fire brigade was attributing the incident to a power surge, even though it was already obvious to all but the greenest commuter that three simultaneous incidents on the tube made little sense even by London underground’s woeful performance standards.

I asked passengers what they had seen and experienced and was told by two survivors from the bombed train that, at the moment of the blast, the covers on the floor of their carriage had flown up – the phrase they used was “raised up”. There was no time to check their statements as moments later the police widened the cordon and I was directed to the opposite pavement, outside the Metropole hotel.

Moments later, Davinia Turrell, the famous “woman in the mask”, emerged from M&S together with other injured passengers and I followed them into the hotel. It was from there that at around 11am I phoned a hurried, and what I now know to be flawed, audio report to the Guardian. In the report, broadcast on our website, I said that it “was believed” there had been an explosion “under the carriage of the train”. I also said that “some passengers described how the tiles, the covers on the floors of the train, flew up, raised up”.

It later became clear from interviewing other passengers who had been closer to the seat of the explosion that the bomb had actually detonated inside the train, not under it, but my comments, disseminated over the internet where they could be replayed ad nauseam, were already taking on a life of their own.

“Did July 7 bombs explode under trains?” read a posting that referred to my report a few weeks later. “Eyewitness accounts appear to contradict the theory that suicide bombers were responsible for killing 39 [sic] passengers on London’s tube network that day.”

Another went even further: “How Black Ops staged the London bombings: Staged terror events – like magic tricks – rely on misdirection to throw people off the track … The bombs on the underground were not in the tube carriages. They were under the floors of the carriages.”

Soon, internet chatrooms and blog sites were buzzing with even more bizarre theories: the bombers thought they were delivering drugs but were deceived, set up and murdered; or they thought they were carrying dummy “bombs” designed to test London’s defences; or the plot was monitored by any number of secret services, from M15 to the CIA to Mossad, who let it happen in order to foment anti-Muslim feeling. Then there are the claims by 9/11 conspiracy theorists that 7/7, like the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, were all part of a cunning scheme to further the pro-Iraq war agenda of the Bush/Blair governments and the “New World Order”.

In the past week we have had two more claims. The first came in a book by US journalist Ron Suskind, alleging that Khan was considered so dangerous by the FBI that in 2003 the US placed him on a “no fly list” – a claim that was promptly rubbished by the FBI as a case of mistaken identity.

Then, on Saturday, this paper reported that a computer technician who helped to encrypt emails at an Islamic bookshop in Leeds where Khan and Tanweer used to hang out became so alarmed by their calls for jihad that in October 2003 he delivered a dossier to West Yorkshire anti-terrorist police. Martin Gilbertson’s claims have not been denied. West Yorkshire police simply admitted it couldn’t say whether or not his dossier had “made its way into the intelligence system”.

Given such confusion, the proliferation of 7/7 conspiracy theories is hardly surprising. Ever since the Kennedy assassination, people’s faith in the official narratives surrounding seismic political events has been steadily eroding. In their place have come what Don DeLillo, in Libra, his brilliant psychological novel about Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, calls “theories that gleam like jade idols”. Such theories are seductive precisely because, as DeLillo puts it, they are “four-faced, graceful”. Employing a 20/20 hindsight whose starting point is always cui bono – who benefits? – they masquerade as an interrogation of the facts but are actually a labyrinth of mirrors.

But whereas in 1988, when Libra was published, it took years for conspiracy theories to come together through the sluggish medium of print and telephone, today such networks can be created instantaneously with a few clicks of a mouse.

At first sight, Dunne appears as far removed from this paranoid ether-world as you could imagine. Ushering me into her flat, she says she would dearly love to “turn the clock back to before July 7, before I had all these questions” and, for a moment, I believe her.

“Before my letter was published in the Camden New Journal, I had little idea of how the internet or blogs worked,” she tells me. “I was surprised to discover how many people shared my concerns.”

Today, however, Dunne appears extremely internet savvy. She has invited a colleague to our meeting – a blogger with long dark hair who gives his name only as the Antagonist. From Dunne’s blog you can link directly to the Antagonist and other bookmarked sites including that of the July 7 Truth Campaign.

At first glance this appears to be an objective guide to everything that happened on 7/7 and afterwards. But click a little deeper and it soon becomes apparent that the campaign, with its linked people’s inquiry forum and petition calling for the release of “all the evidence” about 7/7, considers the official Home Office account, in which the blame is laid squarely on the four suicide bombers pictured entering Luton station, to be just a “story”.

The first “hole” in the narrative is the Home Office’s claim that on July 7 the quartet boarded a 7.40am Thameslink train to King’s Cross. According to Dunne, when an independent researcher visited Luton and demanded a train schedule from Thameslink, he was told that the 7.40am had never run and that the next available train, the 7.48, had arrived at King’s Cross at 8.42 – in other words too late for the bombers to have boarded the three tube trains that exploded, according to the official timings, eight minutes later at Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square.

The next problem is the CCTV picture. If you look closely at the image, Dunne says, you will see that the railings behind Khan, the man in the white baseball cap, appear to run in front of his left arm while another rail appears to slice through his head. “It’s just a theory but some people believe the image was faked in Photoshop,” she tells me.

To Dunne’s way of thinking, this theory is bolstered by the fact that police have never released the further CCTV footage showing the four emerging on to the concourse at King’s Cross where, according to the home office narrative, they are seen hugging and appear “euphoric”. Then there is the “fact” that in the only other CCTV sequence of the bombers taken on June 28 (the day police believe they made a test run to London), only three men – Khan, Tanweer and Lindsay – are seen entering Luton station. Hasib Hussain, who would detonate a rucksack bomb on the top deck of the No 30 bus, providing the only above-ground image of what Sir Ian Blair would later call “the largest criminal inquiry in English history”, is nowhere to be seen.

“I know people who have spoken to Hasib Hussain’s family,” says Dunne. “He was in the middle of his college career. He was taking driving lessons. I don’t have a conspiracy theory, but until I’ve seen all the evidence and can personally join the dots I can’t say that he or any of these men were suicide bombers.”

Dunne and the Antagonist aren’t the only ones who would like to see all the evidence. Rachel North, who was travelling in the front carriage of the Piccadilly line train with Lindsay when he detonated his bomb deep beneath Russell Square, and who miraculously escaped with only minor injuries, has also called for an independent public inquiry.

But unlike Dunne she does not think there is any mystery about what happened. “We all know what happened,” she says. “We were there. What we want to know is why it happened.”

She says that conspiracy theorists have repeatedly twisted her words to make out there was no bomb on her train and even that she is a professional M15 disinformation agent. When she challenged these claims, she says she was subjected to vitriolic abuse. As a consequence, she refuses to have anything to do with the July 7 Truth Campaign or related sites, arguing that they risk undermining the legitimacy of survivors’ calls for a public inquiry.

“I have had endless run-ins with these people,” she says. “Some of them are fairly well intentioned, if eccentric, others hugely offensive. I worry that they are making all of us look like conspiracy theorists and/or traumatised people who shouldn’t be taken seriously.”

She argues that given that inquests have yet to be held, and the ongoing mass-murder inquiry, it is hardly surprising that the police have withheld evidence from the public domain. Quite apart from the distress that the release of CCTV images might cause relatives, North says she has been told there are people in the background of the King’s Cross CCTV sequence whom police are still trying to trace.

Police have also kept back details of what the bombers were wearing in order to be sure that witness statements taken from people who may have seen them on the Thameslink train can be corroborated. “Train timetables rarely bear any relation to real life,” says North dismissively. “Where conspiracy theorists go with this is that the train never ran, so the bombers were never on the train, or the bombers were lured to Luton and then taken away and killed and their body parts were placed on the tube later to incriminate Muslims. They just take these small anomalies, which is what you will get in any rolling, multi-sourced news investigation, and make it into evidence of a conspiracy.”

North isn’t the only person with first-hand experience of 7/7 whose testimony has been called into question. Paul Dadge, the “hero of Edgware Road” (it was his idea to set up the temporary triage centre in M&S), who was photographed leading Davinia Turrell from M&S to the Metropole hotel, has also been on the receiving end. On internet bulletin boards people have questioned why he is wearing blue surgical gloves in the picture (reproduced on the cover of G2) and wonder why Turrell, who is now 25, appears “so old” and where she got the mask from.

“Basically, people were saying the picture was made up by the government to forward the campaign against terrorism in Iraq,” Dadge tells me when we meet near his office in west London.

Dadge never reached work on 7/7 but was forced to interrupt his journey at Baker Street. Travelling on a westbound Hammersmith & City line train just behind the bombed Circle line train, he left the station at 8.53am and began walking towards Paddington when he noticed the fire engines heading towards Edgware Road and decided to investigate. To this day, his abiding memory, like my own, is one of confusion and chaos. In his testimony to the London Assembly, Dadge told the inquiry team looking into the failings of the emergency response that he felt he had no choice but to take command of the situation as the police were clearly overstretched and it was “becoming difficult to establish who was passing public, and who was involved in the incident”.

For the record, Dadge who works for the internet provider AOL and whose job there, ironically, involves monitoring discussion threads, says he was not part of any “black ops” but obtained the gloves from a paramedic in M&S. The same paramedics provided Turrell with the mask to protect her burns. Yet although Dadge, like North, has been a target for vitriol – some objected to his being described as a hero – he doesn’t seem to mind.

“I don’t read the conspiracy theories and get upset,” he says. “I read them and I’m intrigued.”

Indeed, it is natural after an event as cataclysmic and unexpected as 7/7 to want to interrogate what happened. But interrogation is not the same as understanding, and after a certain point you must move on.

As I leave Dunne’s flat, she tells me that she and the Antagonist are in the process of refining the July 7 Truth Campaign site and are still uncovering new “facts”. “I can’t explain it but something shifted for me that day,” she says.

When I get home, I decide to take a look. Under the heading Some Hypotheses is a list of alternative theories. Number one is “al-Qaida mastermind recruited British Muslims as suicide bombers”. Number three is “homegrown and autonomous action by four British Muslims with no mastermind.” But it is hypothesis eight that attracts my attention: “The four men were chosen or lured to be patsies in a classic ‘false flag operation’.”

Beneath the headline is an extract from a newspaper interview with a passenger on the Aldgate train, reporting that the metal around the hole in the bomb carriage was “pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train”. But it is the next entry that I find most alarming. Highlighted in blue is the sentence: “Mark Honingsbaum [sic] also recorded several witnesses speaking of explosions under the floor of the train.”

I click on the link and listen once again to my off-the-cuff recording from the Metropole hotel. Then I press the button and loop the broadcast a second time. In the internet age, it seems, some canards never die.

Print thisPrintable version

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No Justice No Peace

Salaam ala man itabi’a al Huda

A must see and listen

Please forward.

The Real Truth of Wars Dr Dahlia Wasfi

Born in 1971 in New York of a Jewish-American mother and Muslim Iraqi father.

http://www.safeshare.tv/w/qjnEABgxUS

And more complete here

http://wn.com/Dr_Dahlia_Wasfi__The_Truth_About_US_Occupation

Some highlights …

… WOT cover to our military  aggression to gain control of resources of western Asia …

Poor of this country to kill poor of those Muslim countries

… Blood for oil …

For most of world we are the terrorists…

….Remaining silent … is criminal …

… Legitimate resistance to illegal occupation …

… struggling against oppressive hand  of empire ….

… Terrorist cells in Washington DC …

… No justice no peace

http://www.safeshare.tv/w/qjnEABgxUS

Transcript:

NOTE:

We have been saying many of these things for years, every since the illegal unjust occupation of Afghanistan that was planned before Pearl Harbor like event of 911 that the neo con Project for a New American Century wished for and got just as they had hoped in order to reenergize the military upgrade and strategic occupations in the Middle east (interesting coincidence) , but her way is very powerful , very moving, straight to the point …

How many innocent Muslims have been killed unjustly and suffered by these crimes against humanity she destrcibes, by the same people who are the huge corporations, the too big to fail and jail banksters in collusion with the Military Industrial Government Financial complex.

This is the cartel that the Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting about since their destructive immoral greed  is destroying the earth and all people that they deem counterproductive to their agenda of control.

I actually cried with tears for the power and truth of it, and its implications, and how it is exactly is as what I have been saying, is what many people are now saying, and times, places and people are a-moving quickly to the appointed End Time Events prophesized about in the Quran and Sunnah, and may Allah be praised the Most Almighty and Glorious, and may the salutations of peace and blessings be upon His Prophet Muhammad and his family and faithful followers.

Assalaam alaikum

See

https://terrorismbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com

https://occupationbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com

<><><>

Partial Transcript

For more search about it please

We have an obligation to every last victim of this illegal aggression, because all of this carnage has been done in our name.

Since World War II, 90 percent of the casualties of war are unarmed civilians, a third of them children. Our victims have done nothing to us. From Palestine to Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia to wherever our next target may be, their murders are not collateral damage. They are the nature of modern warfare.

They don’t hate us because of our freedoms. They hate us because every day, we are funding and committing crimes against humanity.

The so-called war on terror is a cover for our military aggression to gain control of the resources of Western nations. This is sending the poor of this country to kill the poor of those Muslim countries. This is trading blood for oil. This is genocide, and to most of the world, we are the terrorists.

In these times, remaining silent about our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal, and in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing violations of the UN charter and international law, how dare any American criticize the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation? How dare we condemn anyone else’s violence?

Our so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and our other colonies around the world, and our inner cities here at home are struggling against the oppressive hand of empire, demanding respect for their humanity. They are labeled insurgents or terrorists for resisting rape and pillage by the white establishment, but they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice.

The civilians at the other end of our weapons don’t have a choice. But American soldiers have choices, and while there may have been some doubt five years ago, today, we know the truth. Our soldiers don’t sacrifice for duty, honor and country. They sacrifice for Kellogg, Brown and Root. They don’t fight for America–they fight for their lives and their buddies beside them because we put them in a war zone.

They’re not defending our freedoms–they are laying the foundations for 14 permanent military bases to defend the freedoms of ExxonMobil and British Petroleum. They’re not establishing democracy, they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue after the military occupation has ended.

Iraqi society today, thanks to American help, is defined by house raids, death squads, checkpoints, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets and constant violence. We must dare to speak out in support of the Iraqi people, who resist and endure the horrific existence we brought upon them through our bloodthirsty imperial crusade.

We must dare to speak out in support of the American war resisters–the real military heroes, who uphold their oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, including those terrorist cells in Washington, D.C., more commonly known as the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

I close with a quote from Frederick Douglass, but if you want more information, please visit my Web site at liberatethis.com.

Frederick Douglass said: “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its mighty waters.

“The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”

Every one of us must keep demanding, keep fighting, keep thundering, keep plowing, keep speaking and keep struggling until justice is served. No justice, no peace.

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some highlights …

… WOT cover to our military  aggression to gain control of resources of western Asia …

Poor of this country to kill poor of those Muslim countries

… Blood for oil …

For most of world we are the terrorists…

….Remaining silent … is criminal …

… Legitimate resistance to illegal occupation …

… struggling against oppressive hand  of empire ….

… Terrorist cells in Washington DC …

… No justice no peace

http://www.safeshare.tv/w/qjnEABgxUS

Transcript:

NOTE:

We have been saying many of these things for years, every since the illegal unjust occupation of Afghanistan that was planned before Pearl Harbor like event of 911 that the neo con Project for a New American Century wished for and got just as they had hoped in order to reenergize the military upgrade and strategic occupations in the Middle east (interesting coincidence) , but her way is very powerful , very moving, straight to the point …

How many innocent Muslims have been killed unjustly and suffered by these crimes against humanity she destrcibes, by the same people who are the huge corporations, the too big to fail and jail banksters in collusion with the Military Industrial Government Financial complex.

This is the cartel that the Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting about since their destructive immoral greed  is destroying the earth and all people that they deem counterproductive to their agenda of control.

I actually cried with tears for the power and truth of it, and its implications, and how it is exactly is as what I have been saying, is what many people are now saying, and times, places and people are a-moving quickly to the appointed End Time Events prophesized about in the Quran and Sunnah, and may Allah be praised the Most Almighty and Glorious, and may the salutations of peace and blessings be upon His Prophet Muhammad and his family and faithful followers.

Assalaam alaikum

See

https://terrorismbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com

https://occupationbreedsterrorism.wordpress.com

<><><>

Partial Transcript

For more search about it please

We have an obligation to every last victim of this illegal aggression, because all of this carnage has been done in our name.

Since World War II, 90 percent of the casualties of war are unarmed civilians, a third of them children. Our victims have done nothing to us. From Palestine to Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia to wherever our next target may be, their murders are not collateral damage. They are the nature of modern warfare.

They don’t hate us because of our freedoms. They hate us because every day, we are funding and committing crimes against humanity.

The so-called war on terror is a cover for our military aggression to gain control of the resources of Western nations. This is sending the poor of this country to kill the poor of those Muslim countries. This is trading blood for oil. This is genocide, and to most of the world, we are the terrorists.

In these times, remaining silent about our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal, and in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing violations of the UN charter and international law, how dare any American criticize the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation? How dare we condemn anyone else’s violence?

Our so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and our other colonies around the world, and our inner cities here at home are struggling against the oppressive hand of empire, demanding respect for their humanity. They are labeled insurgents or terrorists for resisting rape and pillage by the white establishment, but they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice.

The civilians at the other end of our weapons don’t have a choice. But American soldiers have choices, and while there may have been some doubt five years ago, today, we know the truth. Our soldiers don’t sacrifice for duty, honor and country. They sacrifice for Kellogg, Brown and Root. They don’t fight for America–they fight for their lives and their buddies beside them because we put them in a war zone.

They’re not defending our freedoms–they are laying the foundations for 14 permanent military bases to defend the freedoms of ExxonMobil and British Petroleum. They’re not establishing democracy, they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue after the military occupation has ended.

Iraqi society today, thanks to American help, is defined by house raids, death squads, checkpoints, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets and constant violence. We must dare to speak out in support of the Iraqi people, who resist and endure the horrific existence we brought upon them through our bloodthirsty imperial crusade.

We must dare to speak out in support of the American war resisters–the real military heroes, who uphold their oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, including those terrorist cells in Washington, D.C., more commonly known as the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

I close with a quote from Frederick Douglass, but if you want more information, please visit my Web site at liberatethis.com.

Frederick Douglass said: “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its mighty waters.

“The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”

Every one of us must keep demanding, keep fighting, keep thundering, keep plowing, keep speaking and keep struggling until justice is served. No justice, no peace.

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Learn The Truth About War – Find Out Who The Real Terrorists Are.

Uploaded by  on Jul 29, 2011

Since being in Iraq and Afghanistan over 1 million civilians have been killed and thousands of soldiers have lost their lives to empire, to the bankers and elite who make a profit from human suffering, they are the real terrorists..This video was dedicated to those who have lost their lives to these criminals…. The final video with the girl speaking was not edited by me it was made the Youtube user TheParadigmShift it is an excerpt from an amazing video, which I recommend everyone watches.

This is a well done video. It appears here because it speaks the truth. Truth is what I seek. Truth needs to be told – far and wide. As an American it really hurts to watch this, but it needs watching. Please share it with your friends, put it on Facebook and Twitter and on your own blogs and sites. Thanks. You know it’s important. Most people just do not know about these things. Tell them. Thanks.

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“The real terrorist was me” : US Soldier

Posted September 3, 2010 by Hala in TV/MoviesLeave a Comment

wow…

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The real terrorist was me US Soldier – Subtitulado

Posted by Dr Mark Daniels on August 6, 2011Leave a comment (2)Go to comments

I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. Racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These were people, these were human beings. I’ve since been plagued by guilt, any time I see an elderly man, li…ke the one who couldn’t walk, who we rolled onto a stretcher, and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt any time I see a mother with her childen, like the one who cried hysterically, and screamed that we’re worse than Saddam, as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt any time I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street. We were told we were fighting terrorists.. the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism was this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country, it has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government; it is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber, or a battleship; it is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or tomahawk missile. While all those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them. Those who send us to war, do not have to pull the trigger, or lob a mortar round; they do not have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war. They need a public who’s willing to send their soldiers 
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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“The real terrorist was me”: Confessions of a US soldier

Posted by 

“I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. Racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These were people, these were human beings. I’ve since been plagued by guilt, any time I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn’t walk, who we rolled onto a stretcher, and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt any time I see a mother with her childen, like the one who cried hysterically, and screamed that we’re worse than Saddam, as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt any time I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street.

We were told we were fighting terrorists.. the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism was this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country, it has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government; it is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber, or a battleship; it is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or tomahawk missile.

While all those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them. Those who send us to war, do not have to pull the trigger, or lob a mortar round; they do not have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war. They need a public who’s willing to send their soldiers into harm’s way. They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed, without question…

They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon, when the ranks of the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on Earth, but there will only be a war, if soldiers are willing to fight.. And the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering, care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy.

Understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interest. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die, to control the market of another country, and convincing us to kill and die, is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior.

Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, have nothing to gain from this occupation. The vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation. In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose limbs, endure trauma, and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag-draped coffins lowered into the earth.

Millions in this country without health care, jobs, or access to education, have watched this government squander over FOUR-HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS A DAY ON THIS OCCUPATION. [IRAQ]

Poor and working people in this country, are send to kill poor and working people in another country, to make the rich richer; and without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people, than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.

I threw families onto the street in Iraq, only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country, and it’s a tragic, and unnecessary foreclosure crisis.

We need to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land, they’re not people whose names we don’t know, and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well, and people we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable. The enemy is the CEO’s who lay us off from our jobs when it’s profitable; it’s the insurance companies who deny us health care when it’s profitable; it’s the banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable.

Our enemy is not five thousand miles away, they are right here at home. When we organize, and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government, and we can create a better world.”

Text of the speech made by a US soldier.

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The Real Terrorist was ME! An Amazing Speech by an Iraq Veteran.

“The Real Terrorist Was Me”
Speech By War Veteran

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us
– Mike Prysner

Posted July 29, 2010

Please Support the Veterans at:
http://www.ivaw.org/

AMAZING SPEECH BY WAR VETERAN

I tried hard to be proud of my service but all i can feel is shame

I seem i claim by guilt everytime i see an eldery man like the one that could’t walk and we brought by the stretcher and we called the Iraq’s Police to take him away

I feel guilt everytime i see a mother with her children like the one who cried hystericly and screaming that we are worst than Saddam, as we forced her from her home.

I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street.

We are told we are fighting terrorists; the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is in this occupation.

Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger, or lab a mortal round.

They don’t have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war.

They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers in the harms way.

They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question.

They can spend millions on a single bomb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akm3nYN8aG8&feature=player_embedded

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26047.htm

THE BRITISH VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR!

The descent of Britain’s Afghan campaign into a Vietnam-style madness
By CAPTAIN DOUG BEATTIE MC

‘I really wanted to believe the greater good was being served in Afghanistan. But I wasn’t convinced; not by a long shot,’ said Doug Beattie
That night, as I lay staring into the inky blackness, the horrors replayed themselves time and again in my mind. I kept coming back to the futility of it all. The waste of lives – on all sides. How had things got so bad that children were prepared to act and die in such a hideous manner?

Soon afterwards news came that Sergeant Jon Mathews had been killed in Marjah. He left behind a wife and young daughter. Then it was announced that the base was being closed. So what had been the point of ever setting it up? Of allowing ourselves to get bogged down in yet another enemy town with limited manpower and no easy way of being re-supplied? In my mind it had been a waste of time, a waste of resources and a waste of Jon’s life.

http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m58338&hd=&size=1&l=e

US AND UK GOVERNMENT DO NOT CARE ABOUT SOLDIERS , THEY CARE ABOUT PROFIT AND SELF-IMAGE.
SO LONG AS THIER DEFENCE STOCK PORTFOLIOS ARE MAKING MONEY AND THEY DO NOT LOOK STUPID IN PUBLIC (LIKE ADMITTING THEY WHERE WRONG OR LYING OR BEING BLACKMAILED!!) LET THE WAR AND THE SLAUGHTER CONTINUE , SO SOME MORE SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS GET MUTILATED…NO BIG DEAL FOR OUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES

BUT WE THE PEOPLE AND THE SOLDIERS WILL BE PAYING THE PRICE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!!!

“By now most people know that DU has damaged tens of thousands of our own troops and caused soaring cancer rates in target populations, including the people of Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Over 130,000 veterans of the first Gulf War have been declared “unfit for service” because of medical conditions which independent scientists and physicians connect to exposure to depleted uranium.

What is less well known is the staggering rate of birth defects in the children of the veterans of these wars. The British are reporting rates as high as 65%. It seems that breathing in the radioactive dust from exploded DU shells not only causes decapacitating illnesses, but massive genetic damage as well.

How the military poisons its own troops. “U.S War Crimes”

http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=11812

The Roots of Gulf War Illness.
The US military has a long tradition of using its soldiers as medical guinea pigs.

In recent years, with the involvement of pharmaceutical executives like Donald Rumsfeld with the Department of Defense, the trend has accelerated. Now hundreds of thousands of US servicemen and women receive vaccines that are untested and experimental in nature.

On October 16, 2006, the Department of Defense announced that it will resume its previously court-halted anthrax vaccination program and that troops who do not agree to receive the six-injection series voluntarily will be faced with disciplinary action.

Untested vaccinations are believed to be one of the source of Gulf War Illness, a crippling condition which disabled tens of thousands of soldiers after the first Gulf War.

To learn more, visit this site: www.beyondtreason.com.

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/health-in-the-21st-cenutry-is-killing-us/

BE PREPARED TO LOOSE ANOTHER 100 SOLDIERS THIS SUMMER. ITS THE AFGHAN GROUSE SEASON , AND OUR TROOPS ARE THE TARGETS!!

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/tis-the-killing-season-afghanistans-grouse-season-2/

SOLDIERS ARE HUMAN BEINGS TOO, AND THEY KNOW THAT THIER POLITIONS HAVE SENT THEM OFF TO SLAUGHTER . IT PUTS AN AMAZING MENTAL STRAIN ON SOLDIERS WHEN THEY REALISED THEY ARE THE BAD GUYS!!!!
THUS THE US MILITARY SEEMS TO HAVE A SUICIDE DIVISION EVEN AL QUADA OR THE TALIBAN WOULD BE PROUD OF!!!

18 veterans commit suicide each day

By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Monday Apr 26, 2010 8:00:40 EDT

Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/04/military_veterans_suicide_042210w/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/darwin-award-for-soldiers-and-israel-will-natural-selection-end-war-and-israel/

SO WHO BENEFITS FROM THESE WARS?

POLITIONS ,DEFENCE CONTRACTORS AND DRUG DEALERS BENEFIT-

WASHINGTON – U.S. lawmakers have a financial interest in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a review of their accounts has revealed.

Members of Congress invested nearly 196 million dollars of their own money in companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars a day from Pentagon contracts to provide goods and services to U.S. armed forces, say nonpartisan watchdog groups.
Lawmakers charged with overseeing Pentagon contractors hold stock in those very firms, as do vocal critics of the war in Iraq, says the Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP).

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/us-government-making-a-killing-on-war/

Blair certainly did what he “thought was right” for Tony Blair. As Peter Oborne pointed out in March : “We now know that the wretched Blair has multiplied his personal fortune many times over by trading off the connections he made while in Downing Street. Shockingly, he fought a long battle to conceal the source of his new-found wealth, and only this month did it finally become public that one of his largest clients was a South Korean oil company, the UI Energy Corporation, with extensive interests in Iraq … he has also made £1million from advising the Kuwaiti royal family. It can be fairly claimed that Blair has profiteered as a result of the Iraq War in which so many hundreds of thousands of people died … in the league of shame, Tony Blair is arguably the worst of them all.”

Tony Blair tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1260204/Tony-Blairs-legacy-sleaze-cleaned-up.html#ixzz0tAqgpoDn

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/raoul-moat-tony-blair-or-the-police-who-is-the-biggest-murderer/

BLAIR also spent a great deal of effort covering up PEDOPHILE RINGS ,that seemed to point straight to his advisors and cabinet ministers.

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/uk-government-blackmailed-into-war-blair-covers-mps-paedophile-ring-and-the-dunblane-massacre/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/tony-blair-i-told-you-so-and-so-did-millions-of-others/

DRUGS DEALERS ARE MAKING MASSIVE PROFITS-“Afghan drug trafficking brings US $50 billion a year”
The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR’s operations in Afghanistan.
http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-08-20/afghanistan-us-drug-trafficking.html
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/dying-for-drugs-drugs-war-finance-and-your-government-representative/

AND DO THEY REDUCE TERRORISM? ..NO!!!

Baroness Manningham-Buller said the terrorist threats resulting from the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan left MI5 “swamped”
Iraq inquiry: Ex-MI5 boss says war raised terror threat
Baroness Manningham-Buller said the terrorist threats resulting from the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan left MI5 “swamped”
The invasion of Iraq “substantially” increased the terrorist threat to the UK, the former head of MI5 has said.

Giving evidence to the Iraq inquiry, Baroness Manningham-Buller said the action “radicalised” a generation of young people, including UK citizens.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10693001

SOLDIERS ,ITS TIME TO PUT DOWN THE WEAPONS AND COME HOME . ITS NOT YOUR FAULT  AND ITS NOT YOUR WAR!!!!

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/the-real-uk-legacy-of-the-iraq-and-afghan-wars-death-stalks-our-streets-and-the-world/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/military-heroes-or-welfare-zeros/

OTHERS ,WHO SHOULD OF AND CLAIMED TOO, KNOW BETTER SENT YOU OUT TOO FIGHT. THEY LIED AND THEY PROFITED BIG TIME!!!!

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/are-us-wars-in-iraq-and-afghanistan-well-intended-mistakes-what-we-now-know-from-the-evidence/

http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/the-last-act-of-any-government-is-to-loot-the-nation-do-you-have-the-feeling-youre-being-robbed/

ITS NOT LIKE WE HAVE NOT BEEN HEAR BEFORE!!!!

THE SOLDIER

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
and the women come out to cut up what remains,
jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
and go to your gawd like a soldier.

THE POLITION

”Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?”
(Epitaphs of War, Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936.)

THE REAL GAME PLAN EXPLAINED
The Divide and Rule .The NWO capitalist, communist con!! Stalin was a good state capitalist!
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/a-short-history-of-global-domination-or-rockefella-rothschild-and-the-capitalist-communist-nwo-con/
USA spreading death and destruction aka democracy since 1945
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/us-government-spreading-freedom-and-democracy-since-1945/
The system keeps repeating. Here is the 1933 game plan , exactly the same as today!
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/33/
Here is the obvious evidence for a 911 INSIDE JOB!!
http://cuthulan.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/911-the-case-for-an-inside-job/

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“We were told we were fighting Terrorists but the real terrorist was me” US Soldier speaks out

8022011

Let us not forget what Wikileaks has exposed and the price Bradley Manning is paying for revealing the loss suffered by the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The WAR Of TERROR must end and those responsible for engineering such crimes against humanity should be held accountable.
This soldier is absolutely inspiring. This is a must WATCH video… please share

– WACA –

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Wikileaks exposes the real terrorists in Afghanistan

By Nick Everett

“I’ve been waiting for [this] for a long time”, tweeted Daniel Ellsberg, in reference to the release of more than 92,000 pages of classified US military documents by the whistle-blower website Wikileaks, on July 25.

Ellsberg, who famously leaked thousands of pages of a classified document revealing the secret history of the Vietnam War (the Pentagon Papers) in 1971, told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman: “It is the first release in 39 years on the scale of the Pentagon Papers. How many times in these years should there have been the release of thousands of pages showing our being lied into war in Iraq, as in Vietnam, and the nature of the war in Afghanistan?”

Wikileaks’ “Afghanistan War Diary” is an archive of reports written mostly by soldiers on the ground between 2004 and 2009, detailing killings of civilians, including children, the growing strength of the resistance to the occupation and covert support for the Taliban from Pakistan’s military. Its release has left White House and Pentagon spokespeople floundering to defend the nine-year war, which the US military and its NATO allies are losing.

At first, they claimed that the documents didn’t reflect the reality of the war, since they predated the Obama administration’s “surge” of combat troops announced late last year. Then national security adviser General James Jones condemned the disclosure, saying it “could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security”. At the same time, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “There’s no broad new revelations in this”. Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference, “[Wikileaks founder and chief editor Julian] Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is [Wikileaks] might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family”.

Slaughter of the innocents

But — as the leaked documents reveal — it is not Wikileaks that has blood on its hands. It’s the Obama administration, which continues to send troops to fight and die for its imperial interests in both Afghanistan and Iraq. With public support for the war already waning, this leak can only strengthen the call for the troops to come home.

Following the release, Assange told Amy Goodman: “Most civilian casualties occur in instances where one, two, 10 or 20 people are killed — they rarely numerically dominate the list of events … The way to really understand this war is by seeing that there is one killed after another, every day, going on and on.” Assange described a massacre, which he referred to as a “Polish My Lai”. On August 16, 2007, after returning to a village where they had suffered a roadside bomb that morning, Polish troops — part of the NATO occupation troops in Afghanistan — launched mortars into the village, striking a house where a wedding party was under way.

In another incident in 2007, reported in the Guardian, a convoy of US Marines was struck by a minivan rigged with explosives near the city of Jalalabad. As they raced the six miles back to their base, the Marines opened fire with automatic weapons, spraying bullets at anything in their path, including “teenage girls in fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road”. In what the Guardian described as a “bloodbath”, “nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded”. The Wikileaks documents demonstrate a cover-up by the US military, which, according to the Guardian, initially reported that, simultaneously with the suicide explosion, “the patrol received small arms fire from three directions”. The six-mile rampage back to the base — which the Guardian notes was later the subject of a 17-day military inquiry and 12,000-page report — was described as simply, “The patrol returned to JAF [Jalalabad air field].”

The documents also illustrate how the massacre and initial cover-up sparked public fury among Afghan civilians at their US occupiers. Demonstrators ran through the streets of Jalalabad breaking windows and blocking roads.

A month later, in April 2007, the Afghan Human Rights Commission published a report into the shooting which said the victims included a 16-year-old woman carrying a bundle of grass and a 75-year-old man walking back from the shops. By then, a US army colonel had admitted to the Afghan puppet government that the shootings were a “terrible, terrible mistake” and “a stain on our honour”. Two thousand dollars were paid to the families of each victim. Yet all of the Marines involved in the incident were later exonerated by the military of any wrongdoing.

The Polish “My Lai” and the massacre near Jalalabad are only two war crimes among many. According to theGuardian, the documents show at least 144 separate instances of the killing of innocent Afghan civilians, ranging from individual shootings at the hands of CIA paramilitaries to mistaken air strikes that wiped out entire families and villages.

Air strikes

In July 2008, American planes attacked an Afghan bridal party of 70 to 90 people on a road near the Pakistani border. The bride and at least 27 other members of the party, including children, were killed. A month later, a memorial service for a tribal leader in the village of Azizabad in Afghanistan’s Herat province was hit by repeated US air strikes that killed at least 90 civilians, including 15 women and up to 60 children, according to a United Nations report. Among the dead were 76 members of one extended family, headed by a “wealthy businessman with construction and security contracts with the nearby American base at Shindand airport”, according to New York Times journalist Carlotta Gall. A local tribal leader told Gall: “It is quite obvious, the Americans bombed the area due to wrong information. I am 100 percent confident that someone gave the information due to a tribal dispute … These people they killed were enemies of the Taliban.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai denounced the strikes against Azizabad and fired two Afghan commanders, including the top ranking officer in western Afghanistan, for “negligence and concealing facts”. An investigation launched by Karzai concluded that more than 90 Afghan civilians had died. The US military initially denied any civilians had died, claiming 30 Taliban “militants” had been killed. This estimate was then revised to 25 Taliban fighters and five “non-combatants”, including a woman and two children. A military “investigation” released findings on August 29, 2008, that supposedly corroborated this casualty count.

Ironically, the US military claimed that its now discredited findings at Azizabad “were corroborated by an independent journalist embedded with the U.S. force”, That “independent journalist” (working for Fox News) was Oliver North, who gained notoriety not only for his role in the Reagan administration’s cover-up of the Iran-Contra scandal, but for his testimony in defence of one of the Marines accused of carrying out a massacre of Vietnamese at Son Thang in February 1970.

This year more reports of civilian casualties have emerged. In February, US helicopters shot at a convoy of mini-buses, killing up to 27 civilians, including women and children. Also in February, in a special operations night raid, two pregnant women and a teenage girl, as well as a police officer and his brother, were shot dead in their home in a village in Paktia province. The soldiers reportedly dug the bullets out of the bodies, washed the wounds with alcohol, and tried to cover up the incident.

On July 23, two days before the release of the Wikileaks documents, a NATO missile attack killed 52 civilians in a small town in Helmand province, in southern Afghanistan. Women and children from eight families were packed into a house to escape a US incursion into the village when the residence was demolished from the sky. “They have ruined us, and they have killed small children and innocent women”, a 57-year-old resident told reporters, after he dragged the bodies of his relatives and neighbours from the carnage, according to a report in the New York Times. This incident, like so many others, was initially denied by US and NATO spokespeople and is now being “investigated”.

Previous Afghan war commander General Stanley McChrystal, after being sacked by the Obama administration, admitted candidly, “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force”. McChrystal’s replacement, General David Petraeus, has promised to escalate the violence in order to subdue the Afghan resistance and force it to make a deal with Washington. The Wikileaks documents also reveal that the Pentagon set up a secret commando unit, Task Force 373 – made up of Army and Navy special operatives whose task is to assassinate individuals from a list of 2000 targets.

Changed strategy?

Obama used Wikileaks’ disclosures to announce a “change in strategy”.

Thirty-six hours after Wikileaks released the Afghan War Diary, the US House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that funds the war in Afghanistan with an extra US$33 billion and 30,000 more troops, for another year. This “change in strategy” follows a “surge” of 60,000 additional troops deployed to Afghanistan in late 2009.

With each additional deployment, troop casualties mount. July 2010 was the deadliest month of the entire war for both US and NATO troops. The US death count of at least 66 surpassed the June record of 50 killed. US soldiers are being maimed at four times the rate of 2009, and the number of wounded in 2009 was almost three times that of 2008. Ten Australian troops have been killed since June, nearly half the 21 fatalities suffered by Australian forces since 2001. More than 150 Australian soldiers have been wounded.

After the death of three Australian commandos in a helicopter crash on June 21, the Australian defence minister, John Faulkner, told ABC Radio: “It is absolutely critical for the safety and security of Australians and Australia to help prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a training ground and operation base for international terrorists”. Throughout the federal election campaign, both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott used the funerals of troops killed in Afghanistan to pledge their commitment to the war. But their calls for Australians to support the occupation are not being heeded. On the same day the three commandos were killed, a poll conducted by Essential Research found that 60% of Australians want the troops withdrawn from Afghanistan.

What the Wikileaks documents so clearly reveal — and the US and Australian governments have been determined to hide — is that the occupation troops are the real terrorists in Afghanistan today. Only their withdrawal can bring peace for the people of Afghanistan.

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so much more but you search for yourself to be convinced

 and reflect and return to your own soul which must stand for the accounting on the Final Judgement of the ONE God

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Imperialism: A Beginner’s Guide

1 Mar

An image of torture and execution from the Philippine–American War.

In waging its resistance to capitalist exploitation abroad, the worker’s movement has heavily involved itself in anti-imperialism in its actions and stances. In resisting this force, it is essential for us to have a coherent and consistent understanding of imperialism. What is it? What are its forms? What brought it about and how are we to resist it? These questions and more have been engaged in full by the classical theorists of Marxism-Leninism and expounded upon in detail. As such, we at do not pretend that we can summarize every aspect of this phenomena in adequate detail in only one article. Rather, this article is intended as a beginner’s guide to understanding imperialism in general terms. For more information, it is highly recommended that the reader consult the works of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Enver Hoxha on the topic, as well as other Marxist-Leninists who have engaged the subject of imperialism in our time. Imperialism: What is it?

To put it simply, imperialism is the highest evolution of the capitalist system beyond the borders of individual nation-states, allowing for the exploitation of workers and material resources trans-nationally. As capitalists consolidate their institutions and corporations into monopolies, fueling this expanding network of corporate conglomerates through the emergence of a finance industry which gives industrialists additional capital toward these ends, there is increased incentive to exploit material and human resources abroad. What imperialism does is create a means for powerful capitalists in some countries to expand their empire into others, benefitting from the labor power and raw materials which would otherwise belong to another nation-state utilized for that state’s own industry, leading to drastically higher profits for the imperialists.

Waterboarding by US Troops in the Philippines. They called it “the water cure.”

Imperialism as Capitalism’s Evolution

Imperialism is an inevitable evolution in a capitalist system. What drives this inevitability is the profit motive itself. Where the technology allows for the potential for reaping profits outside of the confines of national and state boundaries, where the need arises for commodities, for means of production and labor resources outside of the immediate surroundings of capitalists in their own country, the incentive to push beyond exists. As well, the existence of other imperialist powers works to encourage increasingly colonialist attitudes towards those countries that already exist in a subservient position to imperialist powers. Why sit idly by when there is a profit to be made, and why sit on their hands when their rivals might take the opportunity sooner? Imperialist War & Transnational Exploitation

This drive for colonies and client states has been a major motivation for war in post-feudal society. The early 20th century saw much in the way of imperialist competition over colonies and protectorates in Africa, Asia and Latin America by Germany, Great Britain, France, and other European countries.

Heroro survivors after an escape through the desert during Germany’s Herero & Namaqua Genocide.

It was in this context that the first genocides of the 20th century, those perpetrated by Germany against the Herero and Nama peoples, took place and set precedents for later genocides which would take place in that century. The drive for profits and power lead the leading capitalists to pour their funds into colonialist projects reaching over much of the face of the earth. The United States played its part in the imperialist blood-letting as well, committing troops to the Philippines in 1899 as well as utilizing the opportunities presented in World War I and World War 2 to expand its influence into Europe and elsewhere. Nationalism and Racism: Imperialism’s fig-leaves

In order to get their populations to go along with bloody acts of imperialism, nationalism and notions of racial superiority have been implemented to justify the domination of other peoples. In 1899, the same year as the United States began its involvement in the colonial domination of the Philipines, Rudyard Kipling published a poem entitled “The White Man’s Burden.” While there are those intellectuals who will defend Kipling for writing this as satire, the essential message of the poem is that imperialism is a positive mechanism for raising up backward and “savage” peoples. He writes:

Take up the White Man’s burden–

In patience to abide,

To veil the threat of terror

And check the show of pride;

By open speech and simple,

An hundred times made plain

To seek another’s profit,

And work another’s gain.

Take up the White Man’s burden–

The savage wars of peace–

Fill full the mouth of Famine

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest

The end for others sought,

Watch sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hopes to nought.

This argument, that imperialism endeavors to colonize peoples “for their own good” and is necessary to raise people up from “backwardness” has been used in many an imperialist war. In the United States, as an emerging bourgeois state was trying to capture land and mineral resources from lands occupied by indigenous peoples, the massacre of Native peoples in the process of manifest destiny was made out to be, in part, a means of “taming the wild man.” What followed after decades of massacre, the indoctrination and abuse of children through boarding schools, theft of land and betrayal of treaties was not an “uplifting” of native peoples, but their destruction. Now, as imperialism suggests war as a means of “spreading democracy” in “backward regions of the globe,” one must heed the lesson that imperialism is not about helping the colonized, lest that “help” be helping them into a shallow grave. National Liberation

In their defense against the bloody threat posed by imperialism, the workers and colonized peoples of the world have taken up one principle weapon to defending their lives, livelihoods and homelands from invasion and colonization. That force is national liberation, which comes as the result of a nation’s people organizing and fighting on behalf of their national sovereignty and independence from imperialist powers. It is national liberation movements that pose the greatest means of defense for peoples facing imperialist domination. When these movements continually exert pressure on invaders, from protests and strikes to taking up arms against their armies, national liberation movements sap energy from imperialist forces and make their occupations increasingly more costly. From the Eastern Front in World War II to decolonization in Africa and Asia, from Vietnam to Iraq, Afghanistan to Palistine and elsewhere, national liberation struggles have fought to throw off the chains of imperialism. While some collaborate and preach reformist non-solutions to the travesty of colonialist violence and conquest, there are those willing to sacrifice their lives for liberation.

Internationalism

Imperialism can and must be fought on more fronts than this. Workers of all countries should lend their voices and action to both resisting the implementation of imperialist programs and policies on behalf of their own nation (like, for instance, protesting against the latest imperialist war) and supporting the struggles of those who fight on the front lines against imperialist invasion in their own countries. This force, this solidarity of workers the world over against imperialism and colonialism, is a prime example of internationalism. Internationalism is the consummate thorn in the side of imperialism both in practical and ideological terms. It not only works to resist nationalism and racism, the ideological grease that lubricates imperialism’s gears, but it also brings the battle to imperialism’s doorstep.

We saw such internationalism in the US anti-war movement during Vietnam and see it manifested today in the modern anti-war movement and solidarity work to lend support to movements abroad fighting imperialism. Just as imperialism does everything in its power to break national liberation movements through violence and economic repression (blockades, etc) imperialism also works to battle efforts of solidarity with colonized peoples at home, as we have seen through notorious domestic surveillance programs like COINTELPRO and in the recent raids on peaceful anti-war activists by Obama’s FBI. Carry on the Struggle against Imperialism!

Imperialism is capitalism’s bloodiest and most hegemonic form. It is the most powerful and sadistic force arrayed against the workers of the world. It is a threat to us all, whether we are a Palestinian family fearing massacre at the hands of Israeli White Phosphorus attacks or an anti-war activist having the jack-boots of state-repression kicking down the door for daring to lend your voice to the cause of national liberation. This force is one that requires all of our work to resist, for there can be no peace nor justice in a world of the dominators and the dominated.

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Anti-US demonstration in Baghdad, 2003

Anti-invasion protests in Baghdad in 2003. Photograph: EPA

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Demonstrators protest US troop increase for Afghanistan in Los Angeles

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Ron Paul
Ron Paul “They’re Terrorist Because We’re Occupiers!
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MOXNews.com December 28, 2009 CNN
Ben Stein, Apologize to Ron Paul for your Vicious Attack: the
Ben Stein, Apologize to Ron Paul for your Vicious Attack: the “anti-Semitic argument”
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tinyurl.com Ben Stein, Apologize to Ron Paul http://www.facebook.com http://www.facebook.com transcript from a website that had used the wrong word, the correct spelling is: vicious http://www.Tinyurl.com Hitler History Lesson (From Understanding Power – see link below) “The reasons for the warm American response to Fascism and Nazism that are detailed in these books are explained quite openly in the internal US government planning record. For instance, a 1937 Report of the State Department’s European Division described the rise of Fascism as the natural reaction of “the rich and middle classes, in self-defense” when the “dissatisfied masses, with the example of the Russian revolution before them, swing to the Left.” Fascism therefore “must succeed or the masses, this time reinforced by the disillusioned middle classes, will again turn to the Left.” The Report also noted that “if Fascism cannot succeed by persuasion [in Germany], it must succeed by force.” It concluded that “economic appeasement should prove the surest route to world peace,” a conclusion based on the belief that Fascism as a system was compatible with US interests.” representativepress.blogspot.com
Libertarian Ron Paul:
Libertarian Ron Paul: “They’re terrorists because we’re occupiers” (CNN, Larry King, 12/28/2009)
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Ron Paul: “Why they hate us?” “They’re terrorists because we’re occupiers.” ——————— They are talking about Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab (The Underwear Christmas Day Bomber): TRANSCRIPT (mark 5:14) PAUL: One thing that is missing here is never asking the question what is the motive? AbdulMutallab…he said why he was — he did it. He said it was because we bombed Yemen two weeks ago. That was his motive. Osama bin Laden said that he has a plan for America. First, he wants to bog us down in the Middle East in a no-win war. He wants to bankrupt this country, demoralize us, as well as have us do things that motivate people to join his radical movement. It seems like we’ve fallen into his trap. Why is it off base? Today, when the gentleman indicated that he did it because of the bombing, you know what the administration said? They dismissed it. It can’t possibly be so. If you dismiss motivations for why they hate us, we can never resolve this. There’s hate on both sides. You have to ask the question, why do they hate? And they usually come up with a reason. And we’re foolish not to take that into consideration. KING: Ben? STEIN: Well, that’s — I have never heard anything quite like that in my whole life. What he’s saying, basically, is we are doing something wrong by defending ourselves. Look, if these terrorists are trying to kill the government of Yemen, we’ve got to help defend them. They’re our friends. We can’t just let al Qaeda run wild. If we try to stop <b>…</b>
Ron Paul on Afghanistan: Osama Bin Laden and the Russians must be laughing at us - 9/14/2009
Ron Paul on Afghanistan: Osama Bin Laden and the Russians must be laughing at us – 9/14/2009
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http://www.RonPaul.com Ron Paul Finally we’re going to talk about something other than medical care. The summer was saturated with the news and discussions in all the town hall meetings about what we’re going to do about healthcare in this country. Even though that is a very important subject and it’s going to continue for few months longer, right now though, the Congress is starting into a debate which I consider every bit as important, if not a lot more important. And that has to do with Afghanistan. They’re talking about debating whether or not we should send more troops into Afghanistan. And fortunately, I see some of the Democrats now splitting from the President on this issue. The President has always maintained that we need more troops; this is the “good war”. He called it the long war, but it’s the good war. Not like Iraq, that was the bad war. And now that there is a split there is a chance that we might be able to slow up this interventionism in this region. But right now though it looks like the President will prevail because Presidents generally do prevail because they’ll scare the people and they’ll say “If you don’t, our national security will be threatened”. The one thing for certain is that our national security is not threatened by us not being in Afghanistan. Our national security is much more threatened by us being in Afghanistan. Or for that reason, any place in that region at all. That’s where our real problems come from. It is argued that they need 240000 <b>…</b>
Ron Paul on Terrorism
Ron Paul on Terrorism
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Congressman Ron Paul gives his thoughts on Yemen, the attempted airline bombing, the motivations of Al Qaeda, the radicalization of the Middle East, and the negation of our liberties to government provided “security.”
Ron Paul Imagine Kinetic Typography
Ron Paul Imagine Kinetic Typography
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Imagine Imagine for a moment that somewhere in the middle of Texas there was a large foreign military base, say Chinese or Russian. Imagine that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of “keeping us safe” or “promoting democracy” or “protecting their strategic interests.” Imagine that they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized innocent Americans, including women and children, most of the time with little to no repercussions or consequences. Imagine that they set up check points on our soil and routinely searched and ransacked entire neighborhoods of homes. Imagine if Americans were fearful of these foreign troops, and overwhelmingly thought America would be better off without their presence. Imagine if some Americans were so angry about them being in Texas that they actually joined together to fight them off, in defense of our soil and sovereignty, because leadership in government refused or were unable to do so. Imagine that those Americans were labeled terrorists or insurgents for their defensive actions, and routinely killed, or captured and tortured by the foreign troops on our land. Imagine that the occupiers’ attitude was that if they just killed enough Americans, the resistance would stop, but instead, for <b>…</b>
Ron Paul on Iraq - 'We're over there for occupation' (1-Sept-10)(GLOBAL FOCUS series - Iraq)
Ron Paul on Iraq – ‘We’re over there for occupation’ (1-Sept-10)(GLOBAL FOCUS series – Iraq)
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TheYouArchive2010 – taking the ‘PULSE’ of the ‘PLANET’ This series has been uploaded following a request and information received that it was not easily available. If you are aware of a title on any subject which is not generally available, or can’t be found on YouTube – Please contact us and we’ll see if we can locate and then upload it. * ADVICE FOR REASONS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR OUR ‘YOUTUBE’ ACCOUNTS ARE OFTEN ‘DELETED’ IF YOU LIKE THE ‘INFORMATION’ PROVIDED & SUBSCRIBE – WE ADVISE THAT YOU EITHER MAKE A NOTE OF OR SUBSCIBE TO ‘ALTERNATIVE’ BACK UP ACCOUNTS – TO ENSURE YOU ‘RECIEVE’ FUTURE ‘UPDATES’ YouInformation TheYouIndex TheYouFiles TheYouDataBank TheYouArchive2010
END WAR Iraq Wants Occupiers Out; Oppose Extended Presence Of Military-Industrial Complex
END WAR Iraq Wants Occupiers Out; Oppose Extended Presence Of Military-Industrial Complex
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How To Go To Heaven: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com http://www.deseretnews.com Gates: US troops could remain in Iraq after 2011 April 8, 2011 MOSUL, Iraq — US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, visiting Iraq on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, said Friday the United States could extend its troop presence in the country beyond the scheduled 2011 pullout. Gates said that if Iraq wants American troops to remain, a deal could be negotiated for the long term or for as little as two or three years. While all US troops are scheduled to be out of Iraq by the end of this year under a deal negotiated in 2008 by the administration of President George W. Bush, it became clear during Gates’ two-day Iraq visit that an extension is increasingly likely — despite repeated public statements by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials that US troops are not needed any longer. In remarks to US troops at Camp Marez, Gates said that in his talks with a full range of top Iraqi officials they had indicated an interest in an extended US troop presence. “We’re open to that,” Gates said. “It obviously would be a presence that’s a fraction of the size that we have here now.” He mentioned no numbers, but there currently are about 47000 US troops in the country. One soldier asked Gates how much longer the US would stay if asked. “That would be part of any negotiation,” Gates replied. He said it could be for “a finite period of time” at an agreed number of troops, or it <b>…</b>
Ron Paul exposes United Nations plan to destroy US 1990s.mp4
Ron Paul exposes United Nations plan to destroy US 1990s.mp4
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OH THE HYPOCRISY!
OH THE HYPOCRISY!
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MOXNews.com December 29, 2009 MSNBC Rachel Maddow

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NEW YORK Organizers say 300-thousand people marched against the Iraq war today in New York. The protesters demanded that President Bush withdraw U-S troops immediately. Reverend Al Sharpton, who was among the marchers, called the war “illegal, immoral and unethical.”

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anti-war rally sponsored by ANSWER in San Francisco on Sunday, March 18, 2007.

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9-11 Truth is the greatest Anti-War message.

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says it all

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US soldiers kill 16 Afghan civilians in revenge [Peace and war, Human rights, Media] — Administrator @ 9:47 am

Afghan refugees demonstrate against being sent back to unsafe Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken:

Highway massacre sparks anti-US protests in Afghanistan5 March 2007

The slaughter of some 16 civilians and the wounding of at least two dozen more by US troops in Afghanistan Sunday sparked angry protests demanding a withdrawal of the occupation forces and the ouster of Washington’s puppet, President Hamid Karzai.

The killings took place on a main highway between the Afghan town of Jalalabad and the Pakistani border after a suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives near a convoy of US Marines.

Both eyewitnesses to the incident and some Afghan officials described the US troops firing indiscriminately at civilians in their vehicles and on foot in angry retaliation for the suicide attack.

See also here.Associated Press reports:

Afghan journalists covering the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack and shooting in eastern Afghanistan said U.S. troops deleted their photos and video and warned them not to publish or air any images of U.S. troops or a car where three Afghans were shot to death.

Other Afghan civilians elsewhere also killed: here.And here.

And here.

Northern Afghanistan: here.

Tariq Ali on Afghanistan: here.

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Jewish protests against Israel not reported by press.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFpfy1SBCgo

Terrorists or FREEDOM FIGHTERS, ours or theirs?

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protest Cardiff Protest posters in Cardiff Photograph: Hannah Waldram/guardian.co.uk

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THOUSANDS IN MANCHESTER PROTEST FOR GAZA

Filed under: Manchester, Palestine — Andy Newman @ 3:25 pm

mancs-gaza-demo-2.jpg

mancs-gaza-demo.jpg

PICTURES BY RICHARD SEARLE

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Foreign Occupation main reason for ‘blowback’ Terrorism

BOOK:

An engaging book for investigation:

Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It

by Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman

Their work fundamentally changes how we understand the root causes of the most important terrorist campaigns today. Through a close analysis of suicide campaigns by Al Qaeda and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, Chechnya, and Sri Lanka, the authors provide powerful new evidence that religion alone motivates only a tiny majority of these attacks.

Instead, the root cause is foreign military occupation, which triggers secular and religious people to carry out suicide attacks.

Cutting the Fuse proves that the increase in suicide terrorism attacks is not due to radical Islam or jihadism but the main cause for over 90% of the suicide campaigns is due to military occupation of regions that terrorists prize or have concern for.

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

April 1, 2010 9:02 AM RSS feed for this thread Subscribe
Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers… more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation… Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note

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Extensive research into the causes of suicide terrorism proves Islam isn’t to blame — the root of the problem is foreign military occupations.

BY ROBERT A. PAPE | OCTOBER 18, 2010

Although no one wants to talk about it, 9/11 is still hurting America. That terrible day inflicted a wound of public fear that easily reopens with the smallest provocation, and it continues to bleed the United States of money, lives, and goodwill around the world. Indeed, America’s response to its fear has, in turn, made Americans less safe and has inspired more threats and attacks.

In the decade since 9/11, the United States has conquered and occupied two large Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), compelled a huge Muslim army to root out a terrorist sanctuary (Pakistan), deployed thousands of Special Forces troops to numerous Muslim countries (Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, etc.), imprisoned hundreds of Muslims without recourse, and waged a massive war of ideas involving Muslim clerics to denounce violence and new institutions to bring Western norms to Muslim countries. Yet Americans still seem strangely mystified as to why some Muslims might be angry about this situation.

In a narrow sense, America is safer today than on 9/11. There has not been another attack on the same scale. U.S. defenses regarding immigration controls, airport security, and the disruption of potentially devastating domestic plots have all improved.

But in a broader sense, America has become perilously unsafe. Each month, there are more suicide terrorists trying to kill Americans and their allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Muslim countries than in all the years before 2001 combined. From 1980 to 2003, there were 343 suicide attacks around the world, and at most 10 percent were anti-American inspired. Since 2004, there have been more than 2,000, over 91 percent against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries.

Yes, these attacks are overseas and mostly focused on military and diplomatic targets. So too, however, were the anti-American suicide attacks before 2001. It is important to remember that the 1995 and 1996 bombings of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen were the crucial dots that showed the threat was rising prior to 9/11. Today, such dots are occurring by the dozens every month. So why is nobody connecting them?

U.S. military policies have not stopped the rising wave of extremism in the Muslim world. The reason has not been lack of effort, or lack of bipartisan support for aggressive military policies, or lack of funding, or lack of genuine patriotism.

No. Something else is creating the mismatch between America’s effort and the results.

For nearly a decade, Americans have been waging a long war against terrorism without much serious public debate about what is truly motivating terrorists to kill them. In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, this was perfectly explicable — the need to destroy al Qaeda’s camps in Afghanistan was too urgent to await sober analyses of root causes.

But, the absence of public debate did not stop the great need to know or, perhaps better to say, to “understand” the events of that terrible day. In the years before 9/11, few Americans gave much thought to what drives terrorism — a subject long relegated to the fringes of the media, government, and universities. And few were willing to wait for new studies, the collection of facts, and the dispassionate assessment of alternative causes. Terrorism produces fear and anger, and these emotions are not patient.

A simple narrative was readily available, and a powerful conventional wisdom began to exert its grip. Because the 9/11 hijackers were all Muslims, it was easy to presume that Islamic fundamentalism was the central motivating force driving the 19 hijackers to kill themselves in order to kill Americans. Within weeks after the 9/11 attacks, surveys of American attitudes show that this presumption was fast congealing into a hard reality in the public mind. Americans immediately wondered, “Why do they hate us?” and almost as immediately came to the conclusion that it was because of “who we are, not what we do.” As President George W. Bush said in his first address to Congress after the 9/11 attacks: “They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”

Thus was unleashed the “war on terror.”

The narrative of Islamic fundamentalism did more than explain why America was attacked and encourage war against Iraq. It also pointed toward a simple, grand solution. If Islamic fundamentalism was driving the threat and if its roots grew from the culture of the Arab world, then America had a clear mission: To transform Arab societies — with Western political institutions and social norms as the ultimate antidote to the virus of Islamic extremism.

This narrative had a powerful effect on support for the invasion of Iraq. Opinion polls show that for years before the invasion, more than 90 percent of the U.S. public believed that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction (WMD). But this belief alone was not enough to push significant numbers to support war.

What really changed after 9/11 was the fear that anti-American Muslims desperately wanted to kill Americans and so any risk that such extremists would get weapons of mass destruction suddenly seemed too great. Although few Americans feared Islam before 9/11, by the spring of 2003, a near majority — 49 percent — strongly perceived that half or more of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims were deeply anti-American, and a similar fraction also believed that Islam itself promoted violence. No wonder there was little demand by congressional committees or the public at large for a detailed review of intelligence on Iraq’s WMD prior to the invasion.

The goal of transforming Arab societies into true Western democracies had powerful effects on U.S. commitments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Constitutions had to be written; elections held; national armies built; entire economies restructured. Traditional barriers against women had to be torn down. Most important, all these changes also required domestic security, which meant maintaining approximately 150,000 U.S. and coalition ground troops in Iraq for many years and increasing the number of U.S. and Western troops in Afghanistan each year from 2003 on.

Put differently, adopting the goal of transforming Muslim countries is what created the long-term military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, the United States would almost surely have sought to create a stable order after toppling the regimes in these countries in any case. However, in both, America’s plans quickly went far beyond merely changing leaders or ruling parties; only by creating Western-style democracies in the Muslim world could Americans defeat terrorism once and for all.

There’s just one problem: We now know that this narrative is not true.

New research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology independent of this crucial circumstance. Although this pattern began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, a wealth of new data presents a powerful picture.

More than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation, according to extensive research that we conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, where we examined every one of the over 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to the present day. As the United States has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide have risen dramatically — from about 300 from 1980 to 2003, to 1,800 from 2004 to 2009. Further, over 90 percent of suicide attacks worldwide are now anti-American. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the local region threatened by foreign troops, which is why 90 percent of suicide attackers in Afghanistan are Afghans.

Israelis have their own narrative about terrorism, which holds that Arab fanatics seek to destroy the Jewish state because of what it is, not what it does. But since Israel withdrew its army from Lebanon in May 2000, there has not been a single Lebanese suicide attack. Similarly, since Israel withdrew from Gaza and large parts of the West Bank, Palestinian suicide attacks are down over 90 percent.

Some have disputed the causal link between foreign occupation and suicide terrorism, pointing out that some occupations by foreign powers have not resulted in suicide bombings — for example, critics often cite post-World War II Japan and Germany. Our research provides sufficient evidence to address these criticisms by outlining the two factors that determine the likelihood of suicide terrorism being employed against an occupying force.

The first factor is social distance between the occupier and occupied. The wider the social distance, the more the occupied community may fear losing its way of life. Although other differences may matter, research shows that resistance to occupations is especially likely to escalate to suicide terrorism when there is a difference between the predominant religion of the occupier and the predominant religion of the occupied.

Religious difference matters not because some religions are predisposed to suicide attacks. Indeed, there are religious differences even in purely secular suicide attack campaigns, such as the LTTE (Hindu) against the Sinhalese (Buddhists).

Rather, religious difference matters because it enables terrorist leaders to claim that the occupier is motivated by a religious agenda that can scare both secular and religious members of a local community — this is why Osama bin Laden never misses an opportunity to describe U.S. occupiers as “crusaders” motivated by a Christian agenda to convert Muslims, steal their resources, and change the local population’s way of life.

The second factor is prior rebellion. Suicide terrorism is typically a strategy of last resort, often used by weak actors when other, non-suicidal methods of resistance to occupation fail. This is why we see suicide attack campaigns so often evolve from ordinary terrorist or guerrilla campaigns, as in the cases of Israel and Palestine, the Kurdish rebellion in Turkey, or the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

One of the most important findings from our research is that empowering local groups can reduce suicide terrorism. In Iraq, the surge’s success was not the result of increased U.S. military control of Anbar province, but the empowerment of Sunni tribes, commonly called the Anbar Awakening, which enabled Iraqis to provide for their own security. On the other hand, taking power away from local groups can escalate suicide terrorism. In Afghanistan, U.S. and Western forces began to exert more control over the country’s Pashtun regions starting in early 2006, and suicide attacks dramatically escalated from this point on.

The research suggests that U.S. interests would be better served through a policy of offshore balancing. Some scholars have taken issue with this approach, arguing that keeping boots on the ground in South Asia is essential for U.S. national security. Proponents of this strategy fail to realize how U.S. ground forces often inadvertently produce more anti-American terrorists than they kill. In 2000, before the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, there were 20 suicide attacks around the world, and only one (against the USS Cole) was directed against Americans. In the last 12 months, by comparison, 300 suicide attacks have occurred, and over 270 were anti-American. We simply must face the reality that, no matter how well-intentioned, the current war on terror is not serving U.S. interests.

The United States has been great in large part because it respects understanding and discussion of important ideas and concepts, and because it is free to change course. Intelligent decisions require putting all the facts before us and considering new approaches. The first step is recognizing that occupations in the Muslim world don’t make Americans any safer — in fact, they are at the heart of the problem.

Eric J. Tilford/U.S. Navy/Getty Images

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/10/18/it_s_the_occupation_stupid?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full

Robert A. Pape teaches at the University of Chicago and is co-author, with James K. Feldman, of Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.

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CATO ORG BOOK

Does U.S. Intervention Overseas
Breed Terrorism?
The Historical Record

by Ivan Eland

Ivan Eland is director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute.


Executive Summary

According to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, terrorism is the most important threat the United States and the world face as the 21st century begins. High-level U.S. officials have acknowledged that terrorists are now more likely to be able to obtain and use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons than ever before.

Yet most attention has been focused on combating terrorism by deterring and disrupting it beforehand and retaliating against it after the fact. Less attention has been paid to what motivates terrorists to launch attacks. According to the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board, a strong correlation exists between U.S. involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States. President Clinton has also acknowledged that link. The board, however, has provided no empirical data to support its conclusion. This paper fills that gap by citing many examples of terrorist attacks on the United States in retaliation for U.S. intervention overseas. The numerous incidents cataloged suggest that the United States could reduce the chances of such devastating–and potentially catastrophic–terrorist attacks by adopting a policy of military restraint overseas.

Full Text of Foreign Policy Brief No. 50 (PDF, 24 pgs, 93 Kb)

http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-050es.html

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Letter leaflet from Israelis againt occupation of Palestine

EXCERPTS FROM THE LEAFLET

SOLDIER:

We all want to defend our country. We’re all sick and tired of terrorism. We all want peace. But do our actions permit of an end to the cycle of bloodshed?

Since 1967, Israel has ruled over 3.5 million Palestinians, running their lives by means of a forcible occupation, with continual violations of human rights.

Ask yourself whether your actions in the course of your military service enhance national security? Or do those actions merely fuel the enmity and the acts of violence between us and our Palestinian neighbors?

SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION BREEDS TERRORISM!

When you take part in extrajudicial killings (“liquidation,” in the army’s terms), when you take part in demolishing residential homes, when you open fire at unarmed civilian population or residential homes, when you uproot orchards, when you interdict food supplies or medical treatment, you are taking part in actions defined in international conventions (such as the 4th Geneva Convention) and in Israeli law as war crimes.

Soldier, is there a people anywhere in the world that will not resist an occupation regime? If you were in the Palestinians’ shoes, would you be willing to bow your head to a foreign ruler?….

http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2002/Israeli-Antiwar-Movement25feb02.htm

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The War Nobody Won
Part 2: The new Agincourt


By Henry C K Liu

Part 1: Chaos, crime and incredulity

…. As the NSSUSA puts it: “No people on Earth yearn to be oppressed, aspire to servitude, or eagerly await the midnight knock of the secret police.” It’s this association of power with universal principles, Bush argues, that will cause other great powers to go along with whatever the United States has to do to preempt terrorists and tyrants, even if it does so alone. For, as was the case through most of the Cold War, there’s something worse out there than US hegemony.

The invasion of Iraq punctured the myth behind this theory. It showed the world that US hegemony spells arbitrary misapplication of moral values and selective US occupation in the name of liberation. The inescapable conclusion is that superpower hegemony breeds terrorism rather than suppresses it…..

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3104.htm

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“And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we’ll fight them there, we’ll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.” (Applause.) — President George W. Bush

Despite plenty of muscular rhetoric, President Bush’s strategy in the War on Terrorism demonstrates a dangerous ignorance of the unique military, tactical, and political aspects of the terrorist threat, and breeds a dangerous and chaotic foreign policy which has only served to put our nation in greater danger.

Back in the 6th century BC, in his classic, The Art of War, Sun Tsu observed, “Know your enemy, and in a thousand battles you will not be defeated.” Sadly, our current Commander-in-Chief ignores the Chinese grand master’s lesson, and actively eschews the acquisition of useful knowledge about our terrorist enemy. After the 9/11 Commission found that the CIA and FBI could have prevented the attacks of September 11th, had they only more effectively shared and communicated their intelligence to the White House, the Bush Administration could have ensured a dynamic and efficient system of American intelligence simply by reforming and/or streamlining the two agencies. Instead, the Administration did nothing to improve either agency, instead creating an entirely new government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, whose most obvious contribution to homeland security to date is a puerile, and now universally-ignored, color-coded Alert Level system.

Not surprisingly, the enhanced state of perpetual ignorance within America’s intelligence community quickly took its toll, proceeding to deliver terribly flawed pre-war intelligence to the White House, which then spawned an utterly disastrous occupation of Iraq. All of this, of course, was in addition to our continued inability to capture, or even locate, America’s Public Enemy 1, Osama bin Laden. Sun Tsu is rolling in his grave.

The atrocious ignorance continues with the Administration’s inability to grasp the fundamental distinction between fighting terrorists and fighting enemy nation-states. In the wars of yesteryear, an enemy nation had a standing army, a native population, static boundaries, and permanent institutions, all of which helped to create an enemy who could be effectively destroyed with a sustained military campaign. But the problem with terrorists, unlike nationals of a belligerent foreign nation, is that they are not a permanent, distinct class. Terrorists are recruited, shaped, molded and trained by underground organizations, usually working without state sanction, and thus there is no fixed stock of “enemy combatants” capable of comprehensive military liquidation. As William F. Buckley, Jr. brilliantly observed, “Individual terrorists were, only yesterday, engaged in ordinary occupations, shocking friends and family when they struck as terrorists.” Victory, then, will be achieved not with a specific death toll or geographic occupation, but by ensuring that Islamofascism remains a detested minority in every country in which it hopes to gain support. Victory is depriving the Islamofascists the ideological fuel with which they recruit the ordinary citizens to join the ranks of the jihad.

Terrorism itself is only a tactic of violence; it finds its roots in an ideology and thus cannot be defeated by military might alone. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan, founded in 1975 in Sri Lanka as the first terrorist organization to make widespread use of suicide bombing, are amazingly still blowing themselves up as part of their independence movement there (talk about dedication!), simply because they are still not independent from Sri Lanka, and thus can still recruit their martyrs with an effective narrative of foreign oppression and victimization. The near-infinite willingness of a people to willingly slaughter themselves in an ideological protest against foreign occupation has been confirmed over and over, from the Algerian resistance to French occupation, to America’s own experience in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, most of the fuel for the global jihad is supplied by current American foreign policy in the Middle East. It is true, as some allege, that Islamists hate nearly every feature of Western society, from our politics to our culture, and as a result, it is easy to say that Islamic terrorism against America is a fait accompli stemming from a fanatical worldview that hates everything we stand for. But while Islamists indeed harbor grand visions of world empire under Allah, their delusions of global theocracy have been swirling around the Middle East ever since Muhammad began claiming his divinity; only recently did Islamic terrorism emerge as a dangerous threat to America. As late as the 1950s, Arab nations still sought out American mediation in their international disputes, respecting our independence and fairness, despite presumably still harboring atavistic religious hatred toward Our American Freedoms. Seven decades later, Uncle Sam is reviled like no one else in the world.

Libertarians, like Ron Paul, rightly point out that the difference between the good ol’ days of respect for America and the current days of Death to America is a U.S. foreign policy of interference in the Middle East. Rudy Giuliani and his supporters would like to believe otherwise. But nothing is more devastating in the obliteration of Rudy G’s arguments than the facts.

Back in 1998, Cato Institute scholar Ivan Eland had already been looking at the facts, and as a result, he had already begun to note the growing trend of America’s terrorist threat, corresponding directly and invariably with American intervention into the Middle East. Unlike both Bush and Clinton, Eland was already keenly aware of al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and their growing threat to American interests. (If only Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney read the Cato Institute.) Here are some partial excerpts of his prescient work, from his 1998 paper Does U.S. Intervention Overseas Breed Terrorism? The Historical Record:

July 2, 1915: The Senate reception room in the U.S. Capitol was damaged by a homemade bomb built by Erich Muenter, a former Harvard professor who was upset by sales of U.S. munitions to the Allies in World War I.

June 5, 1968: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, former attorney general and senior policy adviser to President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, who had grown up on the West Bank and regarded Kennedy as a collaborator with Israel.

March 1971: A bomb exploded in a U.S. Senate restroom, causing extensive damage. The bombing came at a time of rising opposition to U.S. policies in Vietnam.

November 4, 1979: Supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, capturing hostages that were not freed until January 1981. The embassy was captured as a protest against long-time U.S. support for the unpopular shah of Iran.

July 22, 1980: Ali Akbar Tabatabai, a former press counselor at the Iranian embassy in the United States during the shah’s reign, was assassinated by the Islamic Guerrillas of America (IGA) after he had supplied U.S. officials with a manifesto of the IGA that advocated strategically planned terrorism on U.S. soil and assassinations of U.S. officials, stating, Any American can be targeted… no American is innocent… as long as U.S. foreign policies are to the detriment of the Islamic community.

April 8 and October 23, 1983: Islamic militants, funded by Iran and supported by Syria, suicide bombed the U.S. embassy and U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 290 people and wounding 200 more. The attack remains the deadliest post-World War II attack on Americans overseas. The Americans were supporting the Christian government in Lebanon against the Muslim militias by training and arming the Lebanese National Army. The U.S. Marines were later withdrawn from Beirut, prompting a Hezbollah spokesman to brag that the $martyrs! had finally forced the Marines out of Lebanon.

April 5, 1986: Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi sponsored the bombing of the La Belle nightclub in West Berlin, which was frequented by U.S. servicemen. The United States retaliated for the La Belle bombing with air strikes against Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya. In retaliation for the U.S. air strikes on Libya, an American hostage in Lebanon was sold to Libya and executed; Libyans attempted to blow up the U.S. embassy in Lomé, Togo; a Libyan agent, Abu Nidal, hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, killing several Americans; The Japanese Red Army, under contract from Abu Nidal, planted a bomb at the USO military club in Naples, Italy, on the two-year anniversary of the air strikes, killing five; and two Libyan agents bombed Pan Am Flight 103, killing 270 people, 200 of whom were Americans.

March 10, 1989: A pipe bomb exploded beneath a van owned by the commander of the U.S.S. Vincennes, who had shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf (killing 290 civilians) during U.S. participation in the $tanker war! against Iran. March 12, 1991: During the Gulf War, a U.S. Air Force sergeant was blown up by a remotecontrolled bomb placed at the entrance of his residence in Athens, Greece. $November 17!, the deadliest terrorist group in Greece, November 17, which attacks U.S. targets because of American imperialism-nationalism!, claimed responsibility for the attack.

February 26, 1993: A group of Islamic terrorists detonated a massive van bomb in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. The Egyptian perpetrators were trying to kill 250,000 people by collapsing the towers. Ramzi Yousef, the leader of the terrorists, said the intent was to inflict Hiroshima-like casualties to punish the United States for its foreign policy toward the Middle East. The perpetrators considered augmenting the explosion with radiological or chemical agents that would have increased the casualties.

April 15, 1993: Seventeen Iraqis were arrested as part of government plot to assassinate former president George Bush on a visit to Kuwait, in retaliation for the Gulf War against Iraq.

June 1993: Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman–a militant Egyptian cleric–and other radical Muslims conspired to destroy several New York landmarks on the same day. Funding for the operation apparently came from Iran and was funneled through Sudan, attempting to punish the United States for its policies toward the Middle East.

October 3, 1993: Osama bin Laden’s operatives trained Somali tribesmen who conducted ambushes of U.S. peacekeeping forces in Somalia in support of clan leader Mohamed Farah Aideed, causing the death of 18 American Army Rangers, and the dragging of dead American soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu. An indictment of his followers alleged the United States–an $infidel nation!–had a nefarious plot to occupy Islamic countries, as demonstrated by its involvement in the peacekeeping operation in Somalia and the Persian Gulf War. The incident led to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia, which bin Laden called his group’s greatest triumph.

November 13, 1995: A car bombing of a military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia–which housed a U.S. military advisory group–killed 7 people (including 5 Americans) and wounded 42 others. Muslim militants seeking to topple the Saudi monarchy and push the infidel United States out of Saudi Arabia carried out the bombings. Three groups, including the Islamic Movement for Change, claimed responsibility. U.S. officials suspect that Osama bin Laden was involved….

We can fill in the rest. Years later, 9/11 ushered in the modern War on Terrorism, and Mr. Bush, with characteristic ignorance of the documented connection between American aggression in the Middle East and Islamic terrorism against America, only further augmented interventionist U.S. foreign policy. That the Bush Doctrine’s geopolitical social engineering, especially in Iraq, has been such an unqualified failure is not a surprise to anyone who has read this article thus far.

Another obvious problem with the Bush Doctrine and its exportation of Democracy is that nearly every Arab Muslim lives in a Non- Democracy, and thus America’s grand experiment looks, from the perspective of the common man, to simply be imperialist meddling with his local government. The Bush Doctrine, even if it somehow succeeded (i.e. when the “fight is won,” perhaps), would only guarantee a Pyrrhic victory at best. With every terrorist mastermind captured in Iraq, dozens of martyrs sign up to avenge his death and battle the American Empire. Iraq itself wasn’t even a haven for al-Qaida operatives until after America invaded it. While bin Laden, confirmed murderer of American civilians, roams the globe free, Mr. Bush is pleased that we’ve killed terrorist al- Zarqawi, whose horrific and disgusting attacks were all against America’s presence in Iraq, never threatening continental America itself. The Bush Administration, it seems, is really only successful at capturing terrorists of its own creation. Sadly, U.S. interventionism Iraq itself wasn’t even a haven for al-Qaida operatives until after America invaded it. The Bush Administration, it seems, is really only successful at capturing terrorists of its own creation.

Sadly, U.S. interventionism (Operation Terrorist Creation) is not limited to the occupation of Iraq. The CIA and NSA continue to interfere in the political affairs of various nations the world over, funding, training and assisting various anti-Islamic movements and governments, from the Caspian Sea to the Horn of Africa.

While such action may excite the intellectual tribalists in the neoconservative movement, the problem with such meddling is that the CIA-backed alternatives to Islamism, just like the CIAbacked alternatives to Communism, tend to usually be brutal nationalist dictators or military juntas, and are just as bad, or worse, than Islamism for the people we are supposedly “liberating.” As a result, our intervention only enhances political oppression, civil unrest and poverty, which, studies show, then only serves as a breeding ground for Islamic extremism. The whole nasty process only further convinces the Islamic diaspora that America is waging a war on Islam. This is not how to win the hearts and minds of the world’s people.

Our current policy, in its blind aggression and geopolitical ignorance, purports to fight terrorists “where they are making their stand,” but it only serves to make them more effective and numerous. Thanks to the Bush Doctrine, radical clerics, government bankrollers, and their potential recruits can now all observe a visible military and political occupation to justify their ongoing resistance against the Great Satan. In these backward societies deprived of freedom of information and thought, radical Islamofascist rhetoric, combined with clear evidence of American global occupation, is sadly enough for terrorists to gain alarming popular traction, financial support, and willing martyrs. This mobilization of terrorists, potentially creating hundreds of thousands of jihadists, if America’s belligerent foreign policy continues apace, is becoming the greatest threat the United States of America faces.

In intelligent recognition of this reality, America should immediately repudiate the Bush Doctrine and pursue a policy of intelligent disengagement. First, those terrorists and organizations which have committed or planned acts of aggression against the United States, such as al-Qaida, should be pursued with vigor; this is our most important mission and should be treated as such. Second, America must cease all nation-building, internal interference, and general military interventionism in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, in order to deprive terrorists of their fuel for jihad. Regimes, organizations and groups who do not threaten direct harm to the United States should not be the target of any U.S. military campaign. As we’ve repeatedly argued, the occupation of Iraq should immediately end.

As Americans, we all desire to win the war and to enjoy permanent security. But like Vietnam, Quebec, and Somalia, not all battles our government chooses to fight are winning ones; and like My Lai, Manzanar, and the Bay of Pigs, not all tactics our military prefers are desirable. An extension of that nugget of common sense dictates that as long as U.S. foreign policy glorifies the imperialist fallacies of neoconservatism, we libertarians will continue to rightly inveigh against it.

The Bush Administration’s blind allegiance to aggression over knowledge perverts not only the lessons of Sun Tsu, but also the American Founders’ original vision of a nation seeking only peaceful trading ties, the avoidance of entangling political alliances, and a national defense to respond powerfully only when directly provoked. The authentic patriot believes in these true American principles of intelligent self-defense, and knows that they alone can safely guide our nation through these troubled and dangerous times.

The author of The American Evolution, Matt Harrison is the founder and executive director of The Prometheus Institute, Los Angeles, CA, a nonprofit public policy institute. He has authored more than 200 articles and has been a guest on several talk radio shows and a guest blogger for CNN.

Related articles:

  1. Justice for Terrorists
  2. Terrorists and Criminals
  3. Go Bush?!…
  4. The Legacy of Bush 43
  5. American Universities: Shifting Balance Of Foreign Students

http://collegetimes.us/us-foreign-policy-makes-america-less-safe-in-the-war-on-terrorism/

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Karen Armstrong, The Label of Catholic Terror Was Never Used About the IRA

Precise intelligence is essential in any conflict. It is important to know who our enemies are, but equally crucial to know who they are not. It is even more vital to avoid turning potential friends into foes. By making the disciplined effort to name our enemies correctly, we will learn more about them, and come one step nearer, perhaps, to solving the seemingly intractable and increasingly perilous problems of our divided world.

exists.–Foreign Affairs, September/October 2006 John Mueller, Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them

Hypervigilance is threatening civil liberties, the economy, and lives. Terrorist threats are overblown; we can learn from the lessons of previous international threats that they are often exaggerated; and by applying these lessons, we can create policy that reduces fear and the cost of overreaction.

Death Toll From Road Accidents 390 Times That From Terrorism

The body count from road accidents in developed economies is 390 times higher than the death toll in these countries from international terrorism, says a study appearing in a specialist journal, Injury Prevention. In 2001, as many people died every 26 days on American roads as died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it says.

Peter Dale Scott and Robert Parry, A Long History of America’s Dark Side

This military tradition has explicitly defended the selective use of terror, whether in suppressing Native American resistance on the frontiers in the 19th Century or in protecting U.S. interests abroad in the 20th Century or fighting the “war on terror” over the last decade.

Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions

If the agenda can be restricted to the ambiguities of Arafat, the abuses and failures of the Sandinistas, the terrorism of Iran and Libya, and other properly framed issues, then the game [fooling the American public] is basically over; excluded from the discussion is the unambiguous rejectionism of the United States and Israel, and the terrorism and other crimes of the United States and its clients, not only far greater in scale but also incomparably more significant on any moral dimension for American citizens, who are in a position to mitigate or terminate these crimes. — p. 49

Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants

The use of terror is deeply ingrained in our [US] character. . . The first step is to use the police. They’re critical because they can detect discontent early and eliminate it before “major surgery” is necessary. If major surgery becomes necessary, we rely on the army. When we can no longer control the army . . . it’s time to overthrow the government.

The second step is to use the military. The US has always tried to establish relations with the military in foreign countries, because that’s one of the ways to overthrow a government that has gotten out of hand.

Peter Dale Scott, U.S. Responsibility For The Slaughters

American media are quick to cast light on the personal atrocities of others, who happen (not by coincidence) to be our enemies. We have been told much about the outrages committed by Nazi Germany and Japan during World War II, and then in the post-war era by Stalin and by China down through the Cultural Revolution and Tien-An-Men. The massacres in Cambodia, with their pyramids of skulls, have been succeeded in our media by the killing fields of East Africa, Bosnia, and Algeria. The massacres we do not hear about, at least at the time, are those for which the United States itself is responsible. This on-going, systematic suppression, from the Philippines in the 1950s to El Salvador in the 1980s, falsifies our understanding, not just of our own history, but of all managed atrocities throughout the world.

Head US Special Forces, 60 Minutes

[The special forces are used] to put down rebellions or to start one. — April 30, 1995 [On October 1, 1997, Gen. Henry H. Shelton became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.]

Major General Smedley D. Butler, Excerpt from 1933 speech

War is just a racket. . . . It has its ‘finger men’ to point out enemies, its ‘muscle men’ to destroy enemies, its ‘brain men’ to plan war preparations, and a ‘Big Boss’ Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism. . . . I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

[General Butler was one of the few Americans to be twice awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor.]

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Letter to United Nations Ambassadors

Two months have passed since the Security Council last reviewed the murderous sanctions against Iraq and more than 20,000 human beings have died as a direct result of its failure to end the sanctions that time. More than 10,000 of those who died in March and April are infants and children. The entire population of Iraq has suffered. Millions will not overcome the effects of the sanctions in their lifetimes which have been shortened by years. The history of this violent century does not reveal a more deadly, cruel, inhumane and degrading torture of the whole population of an entire nation inflicted by foreign power for so long a period of time. — May 1, 1996

http://www.twf.org/Library/Terrorism.html

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The “Green Peril”:
Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat

by Leon T. Hadar

Leon T. Hadar, a former bureau chief for the Jerusalem Post, is an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.


Executive SummaryNow that the Cold War is becoming a memory, America’s foreign policy establishment has begun searching for new enemies. Possible new villains include “instability” in Europe –ranging from German resurgence to new Russian imperialism– the “vanishing” ozone layer, nuclear proliferation, and narcoterrorism. Topping the list of potential new global bogeymen, however, are the Yellow Peril, the alleged threat to American economic security emanating from East Asia, and the so-called Green Peril (green is the color of Islam). That peril is symbolized by the Middle Eastern Moslem fundamentalist–the “Fundie,” to use a term coined by The Economist(1)–a Khomeini-like creature, armed with a radical ideology, equipped with nuclear weapons, and intent on launching a violent jihad against Western civilization.

George Will even suggested that the 1,000-year battle between Christendom and Islam might be breaking out once more when he asked, “Could it be that 20 years from now we will be saying, not that they’re at the gates of Vienna again, but that, in fact, the birth of Mohammed is at least as important as the birth of Christ, that Islamic vitality could be one of the big stories of the next generations?”(2)

Full Text of Policy Analysis No. 177 (HTML)

© 1992 The Cato Institute
Please send comments to webmaster

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Released November 14, 2001
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: http://www.twf.org — Press Contact: Enver Masud

Terrorism: Theirs and Ours

by Eqbal Ahmad A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Jewish underground in Palestine was described as “TERRORIST.” Then new things happened.

By 1942, the Holocaust was occurring, and a certain liberal sympathy with the Jewish people had built up in the Western world. At that point, the terrorists of Palestine, who were Zionists, suddenly started to be described, by 1944-45, as “freedom fighters.” At least two Israeli Prime Ministers, including Menachem Begin, have actually, you can find in the books and posters with their pictures, saying “Terrorists, Reward This Much.” The highest reward I have noted so far was 100,000 British pounds on the head of Menachem Begin, the terrorist.

Then from 1969 to 1990 the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, occupied the center stage as the terrorist organization. Yasir Arafat has been described repeatedly by the great sage of American journalism, William Safire of the New York Times, as the “Chief of Terrorism.” That’s Yasir Arafat.

Now, on September 29, 1998, I was rather amused to notice a picture of Yasir Arafat to the right of President Bill Clinton. To his left is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-yahu. Clinton is looking towards Arafat and Arafat is looking literally like a meek mouse. Just a few years earlier he used to appear with this very menacing look around him, with a gun appearing menacing from his belt. You remember those pictures, and you remember the next one.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded men. These bearded men I was writing about in those days in The New Yorker, actually did. They were very ferocious-looking bearded men with turbans looking like they came from another century. President Reagan received them in the White House. After receiving them he spoke to the press. He pointed towards them, I’m sure some of you will recall that moment, and said, “These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”. These were the Afghan Mujahiddin. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the Evil Empire. They were the moral equivalent of our founding fathers!

In August 1998, another American President ordered missile strikes from the American navy based in the Indian Ocean to kill Osama Bin Laden and his men in the camps in Afghanistan. I do not wish to embarrass you with the reminder that Mr. Bin Laden, whom fifteen American missiles were fired to hit in Afghanistan, was only a few years ago the moral equivalent of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson! He got angry over the fact that he has been demoted from ‘Moral Equivalent’ of your ‘Founding Fathers’. So he is taking out his anger in different ways. I’ll come back to that subject more seriously in a moment.

You see, why I have recalled all these stories is to point out to you that the matter of terrorism is rather complicated. Terrorists change. The terrorist of yesterday is the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today. This is a serious matter of the constantly changing world of images in which we have to keep our heads straight to know what is terrorism and what is not. But more importantly, to know what causes it, and how to stop it.

The next point about our terrorism is that posture of inconsistency necessarily evades definition. If you are not going to be consistent, you’re not going to define. I have examined at least twenty official documents on terrorism. Not one defines the word. All of them explain it, express it emotively, polemically, to arouse our emotions rather than exercise our intelligence. I give you only one example, which is representative. October 25, 1984. George Shultz, then Secretary of State of the U.S., is speaking at the New York Park Avenue Synagogue. It’s a long speech on terrorism. In the State Department Bulletin of seven single-spaced pages, there is not a single definition of terrorism. What we get is the following:

Definition number one: “Terrorism is a modern barbarism that we call terrorism.”Ê

Definition number two is even more brilliant: “Terrorism is a form of political violence.” Aren’t you surprised? It is a form of political violence, says George Shultz, Secretary of State of the U.S.

Number three: “Terrorism is a threat to Western civilization.”

Number four: “Terrorism is a menace to Western moral values.”

Did you notice, does it tell you anything other than arouse your emotions? This is typical. They don’t define terrorism because definitions involve a commitment to analysis, comprehension and adherence to some norms of consistency. That’s the second characteristic of the official literature on terrorism.

The third characteristic is that the absence of definition does not prevent officials from being globalistic. We may not define terrorism, but it is a menace to the moral values of Western civilization. It is a menace also to mankind. It’s a menace to good order. Therefore, you must stamp it out worldwide. Our reach has to be global. You need a global reach to kill it. Anti-terrorist policies therefore have to be global. Same speech of George Shultz: “There is no question about our ability to use force where and when it is needed to counter terrorism.” There is no geographical limit. On a single day the missiles hit Afghanistan and Sudan. Those two countries are 2,300 miles apart, and they were hit by missiles belonging to a country roughly 8,000 miles away. Reach is global.

A fourth characteristic: claims of power are not only globalist they are also omniscient. We know where they are; therefore we know where to hit. We have the means to know. We have the instruments of knowledge. We are omniscient. Shultz: “We know the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters, and as we look around, we have no trouble telling one from the other.”

Only Osama Bin Laden doesn’t know that he was an ally one day and an enemy another. That’s very confusing for Osama Bin Laden. I’ll come back to his story towards the end. It’s a real story.

Five. The official approach eschews causation. You don’t look at causes of anybody becoming terrorist. Cause? What cause? They ask us to be looking, to be sympathetic to these people.

Another example. The New York Times, December 18, 1985, reported that the foreign minister of Yugoslavia, you remember the days when there was a Yugoslavia, requested the Secretary of State of the U.S. to consider the causes of Palestinian terrorism. The Secretary of State, George Shultz, and I am quoting from the New York Times, “went a bit red in the face. He pounded the table and told the visiting foreign minister, there is no connection with any cause. Period.” Why look for causes?

Number six. The moral revulsion that we must feel against terrorism is selective. We are to feel the terror of those groups, which are officially disapproved. We are to applaud the terror of those groups of whom officials do approve. Hence, President Reagan, “I am a contra.” He actually said that. We know the contras of Nicaragua were anything, by any definition, but terrorists. The media, to move away from the officials, heed the dominant view of terrorism.

The dominant approach also excludes from consideration, more importantly to me, the terror of friendly governments. To that question I will return because it excused among others the terror of Pinochet (who killed one of my closest friends) and Orlando Letelier; and it excused the terror of Zia ul-Haq, who killed many of my friends in Pakistan. All I want to tell you is that according to my ignorant calculations, the ratio of people killed by the state terror of Zia ul-Haq, Pino-chet, Argentinian, Brazilian, Indonesian type, versus the killing of the PLO and other terrorist types is literally, conservatively, one to one hundred thousand. That’s the ratio.

History unfortunately recognizes and accords visibility to power and not to weakness. Therefore, visibility has been accorded historically to dominant groups. In our time, the time that began with this day, Columbus Day

The time that begins with Columbus Day is a time of extraordinary unrecorded holocausts. Great civilizations have been wiped out. The Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, the American Indians, the Canadian Indians were all wiped out. Their voices have not been heard, even to this day fully. Now they are beginning to be heard, but not fully. They are heard, yes, but only when the dominant power suffers, only when resistance has a semblance of costing, of exacting a price. When a Custer is killed or when a Gordon is besieged. That’s when you know that they were Indians fighting, Arabs fighting and dying.

My last point of this section Ð U.S. policy in the Cold War period has sponsored terrorist regimes one after another. Somoza, Batista, all kinds of tyrants have been America’s friends. You know that. There was a reason for that. I or you are not guilty. Nicaragua, contra. Afghanistan, mujahiddin. El Salvador, etc.

Now the second side. You’ve suffered enough. So suffer more.

There ain’t much good on the other side either. You shouldn’t imagine that I have come to praise the other side. But keep the balance in mind. Keep the imbalance in mind and first ask ourselves, What is terrorism?

Our first job should be to define the damn thing, name it, give it a description of some kind, other than “moral equivalent of founding fathers” or “a moral outrage to Western civilization”. I will stay with you with Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: “Terror is an intense, overpowering fear.” He uses terrorizing, terrorism, “the use of terrorizing methods of governing or resisting a government.” This simple definition has one great virtue, that of fairness. It’s fair. It focuses on the use of coercive violence, violence that is used illegally, extra-constitutionally, to coerce. And this definition is correct because it treats terror for what it is, whether the government or private people commit it.

Have you noticed something? Motivation is left out of it. We’re not talking about whether the cause is just or unjust. We’re talking about consensus, consent, absence of consent, legality, absence of legality, constitutionality, absence of constitutionality. Why do we keep motives out? Because motives differ. Motives differ and make no difference.

I have identified in my work five types of terrorism

First, state terrorism. Second, religious terrorism; terrorism inspired by religion, Catholics killing Protestants, Sunnis killing Shiites, Shiites killing Sunnis, God, religion, sacred terror, you can call it if you wish. State, church. Crime. Mafia. All kinds of crimes commit terror. There is pathology. You’re pathological. You’re sick. You want the attention of the whole world. You’ve got to kill a president. You will. You terrorize. You hold up a bus. Fifth, there is political terror of the private group; be they Indian, Vietnamese, Algerian, Palestinian, Baader-Meinhof, the Red Brigade. Political terror of the private group. Oppositional terror

Keep these five in mind. Keep in mind one more thing. Sometimes these five can converge on each other. You start with protest terror. You go crazy. You become pathological. You continue. They converge. State terror can take the form of private terror. For example, we’re all familiar with the death squads in Latin America or in Pakistan. Government has employed private people to kill its opponents. It’s not quite official. It’s privatized. Convergence. Or the political terrorist who goes crazy and becomes pathological. Or the criminal who joins politics. In Afghanistan, in Central America, the CIA employed in its covert operations drug pushers. Drugs and guns often go together. Smuggling of all things often go together.

Of the five types of terror, the focus is on only one, the least important in terms of cost to human lives and human property [Political Terror of those who want to be heard]. The highest cost is state terror. The second highest cost is religious terror, although in the twentieth century religious terror has, relatively speaking, declined. If you are looking historically, massive costs. The next highest cost is crime. Next highest, pathology. A Rand Corporation study by Brian Jenkins, for a ten-year period up to 1988, showed 50% of terror was committed without any political cause at all. No politics. Simply crime and pathology

So the focus is on only one, the political terrorist, the PLO, the Bin Laden, whoever you want to take. Why do they do it? What makes the terrorist tick?

I would like to knock them out quickly to you. First, the need to be heard. Imagine, we are dealing with a minority group, the political, private terrorist. First, the need to be heard. Normally, and there are exceptions, there is an effort to be heard, to get your grievances heard by people. They’re not hearing it. A minority acts. The majority applauds.

The Palestinians, for example, the superterrorists of our time, were dispossessed in 1948. From 1948 to 1968 they went to every court in the world. They knocked at every door in the world. They were told that they became dispossessed because some radio told them to go away – an Arab radio, which was a lie. Nobody was listening to the truth. Finally, they invented a new form of terror, literally their invention: the airplane hijacking. Between 1968 and 1975 they pulled the world up by its ears. They dragged us out and said, Listen, Listen. We listened. We still haven’t done them justice, but at least we all know. Even the Israelis acknowledge. Remember Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, saying in 1970, ‘There are no Palestinians.’ They do not exist. They damn well exist now. We are cheating them at Oslo. At least there are some people to cheat now. We can’t just push them out. The need to be heard is essential. One motivation there.

Mix of anger and helplessness produces an urge to strike out. You are angry. You are feeling helpless. You want retribution. You want to wreak retributive justice. The experience of violence by a stronger party has historically turned victims into terrorists. Battered children are known to become abusive parents and violent adults. You know that. That’s what happens to peoples and nations. When they are battered, they hit back. State terror very often breeds collective terror.

Do you recall the fact that the Jews were never terrorists? By and large Jews were not known to commit terror except during and after the Holocaust. Most studies show that the majority of members of the worst terrorist groups in Israel or in Palestine, the Stern and the Irgun gangs, were people who were immigrants from the most anti-Semitic countries of Eastern Europe and Germany. Similarly, the young Shiites of Lebanon or the Palestinians from the refugee camps are battered people. They become very violent. The ghettos are violent internally. They become violent externally when there is a clear, identifiable external target, an enemy where you can say, ‘Yes, this one did it to me’. Then they can strike back.

Example is a bad thing. Example spreads. There was a highly publicized Beirut hijacking of the TWA plane. After that hijacking, there were hijacking attempts at nine different American airports. Pathological groups or individuals modeling on the others. Even more serious are examples set by governments. When governments engage in terror, they set very large examples. When they engage in supporting terror, they engage in other sets of examples.

Absence of revolutionary ideology is central to victim terrorism. Revolutionaries do not commit unthinking terror. Those of you who are familiar with revolutionary theory know the debates, the disputes, the quarrels, the fights within revolutionary groups of Europe, the fight between anarchists and Marxists, for example. But the Marxists have always argued that revolutionary terror, if ever engaged in, must be sociologically and psychologically selective. Don’t hijack a plane. Don’t hold hostages. Don’t kill children, for God’s sake. Have you recalled also that the great revolutions, the Chinese, the Vietnamese, the Algerian, the Cuban, never engaged in hijacking type of terrorism? They did engage in terrorism, but it was highly selective, highly sociological, still deplorable, but there was an organized, highly limited, selective character to it. So absence of revolutionary ideology that begins more or less in the post-World War II period has been central to this phenomenon.

My final question is – These conditions have existed for a long time. But why then this flurry of private political terrorism? Why now so much of it and so visible? The answer is modern technology. You have a cause. You can communicate it through radio and television. They will all come swarming if you have taken an aircraft and are holding 150 Americans hostage. They will all hear your cause. You have a modern weapon through which you can shoot a mile away. They can’t reach you. And you have the modern means of communicating. When you put together the cause, the instrument of coercion and the instrument of communication, politics is made. A new kind of politics becomes possible.

To this challenge rulers from one country after another have been responding with traditional methods. The traditional method of shooting it out, whether it’s missiles or some other means. The Israelis are very proud of it. The Americans are very proud of it. The French became very proud of it. Now the Pakistanis are very proud of it. The Pakistanis say, ‘Our commandos are the best.’ Frankly, it won’t work. A central problem of our time, political minds, rooted in the past, and modern times, producing new realities. Therefore in conclusion, what is my recommendation to America?

Quickly. First, avoid extremes of double standards. If you’re going to practice double standards, you will be paid with double standards. Don’t use it. Don’t condone Israeli terror, Pakistani terror, Nicaraguan terror, El Salvadoran terror, on the one hand, and then complain about Afghan terror or Palestinian terror. It doesn’t work. Try to be even-handed. A superpower cannot promote terror in one place and reasonably expect to discourage terrorism in another place. It won’t work in this shrunken world.

Do not condone the terror of your allies. Condemn them. Fight them. Punish them. Please eschew, avoid covert operations and low-intensity warfare. These are breeding grounds of terror and drugs. Violence and drugs are bred there. The structure of covert operations, I’ve made a film about it, which has been very popular in Europe, called Dealing with the Demon. I have shown that wherever covert operations have been, there has been the central drug problem. That has been also the center of the drug trade. Because the structure of covert operations, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Central America, is very hospitable to drug trade. Avoid it. Give it up. It doesn’t help.

Please focus on causes and help ameliorate causes. Try to look at causes and solve problems. Do not concentrate on military solutions. Do not seek military solutions. Terrorism is a political problem. Seek political solutions. Diplomacy works.

Take the example of the last attack on Bin Laden. You don’t know what you’re attacking. They say they know, but they don’t know. They were trying to kill Qadaffi. They killed his four-year-old daughter. The poor baby hadn’t done anything. Qadaffi is still alive. They tried to kill Saddam Hussein. They killed Laila Bin Attar, a prominent artist, an innocent woman. They tried to kill Bin Laden and his men. Not one but twenty-five other people died. They tried to destroy a chemical factory in Sudan. Now they are admitting that they destroyed an innocent factory, one-half of the production of medicine in Sudan has been destroyed, not a chemical factory. You don’t know. You think you know.

Four of your missiles fell in Pakistan. One was slightly damaged. Two were totally damaged. One was totally intact. For ten years the American government has kept an embargo on Pakistan because Pakistan is trying, stupidly, to build nuclear weapons and missiles. So we have a technology embargo on my country. One of the missiles was intact. What do you think a Pakistani official told the Washington Post? He said it was a gift from Allah. We wanted U.S. technology. Now we have got the technology, and our scientists are examining this missile very carefully. It fell into the wrong hands. So don’t do that. Look for political solutions. Do not look for military solutions. They cause more problems than they solve.

Please help reinforce, strengthen the framework of international law. There was a criminal court in Rome. Why didn’t they go to it first to get their warrant against Bin Laden, if they have some evidence? Get a warrant, then go after him. Internationally. Enforce the U.N. Enforce the International Court of Justice, this unilateralism makes us look very stupid and them relatively smaller.

Q&A

The question here is that I mentioned that I would go somewhat into the story of Bin Laden, the Saudi in Afghanistan and didn’t do so, could I go into some detail? The point about Bin Laden would be roughly the same as the point between Sheikh Abdul Rahman, who was accused and convicted of encouraging the blowing up of the World Trade Center in New York City. The New Yorker did a long story on him. It’s the same as that of Aimal Kansi, the Pakistani Baluch who was also convicted of the murder of two CIA agents. Let me see if I can be very short on this. Jihad, which has been translated a thousand times as “holy war,” is not quite just that. Jihad is an Arabic word that means, “to struggle.” It could be struggle by violence or struggle by non-violent means. There are two forms, the small jihad and the big jihad. The small jihad involves violence. The big jihad involves the struggles with self. Those are the concepts. The reason I mention it is that in Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last four hundred years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the Evil Empire. Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

I first met him in 1986. He was recommended to me by an American official of whom I do not know whether he was or was not an agent. I was talking to him and said, ‘Who are the Arabs here who would be very interesting?’ By here I meant in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said, ‘You must meet Osama.’ I went to see Osama. There he was, rich, bringing in recruits from Algeria, from Sudan, from Egypt, just like Sheikh Abdul Rahman. This fellow was an ally. He remained an ally. He turns at a particular moment. In 1990 the U.S. goes into Saudi Arabia with forces. Saudi Arabia is the holy place of Muslims, Mecca and Medina. There had never been foreign troops there. In 1990, during the Gulf War, they went in, in the name of helping Saudi Arabia defeat Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden remained quiet. Saddam was defeated, but the American troops stayed on in the land of the kaba (the sacred site of Islam in Mecca), foreign troops. He wrote letter after letter saying, Why are you here? Get out! You came to help but you have stayed on. Finally he started a jihad against the other occupiers. His mission is to get American troops out of Saudi Arabia. His earlier mission was to get Russian troops out of Afghanistan. See what I was saying earlier about covert operations?

A second point to be made about him is these are tribal people, people who are really tribal. Being a millionaire doesn’t matter. Their code of ethics is tribal. The tribal code of ethics consists of two words: loyalty and revenge. You are my friend. You keep your word. I am loyal to you. You break your word, I go on my path of revenge. For him, America has broken its word. The loyal friend has betrayed. The one to whom you swore blood loyalty has betrayed you. They’re going to go for you. They’re going to do a lot more.

These are the chickens of the Afghanistan war coming home to roost. This is why I said to stop covert operations. There is a price attached to those that the American people cannot calculate and Kissinger type of people do not know, don’t have the history to know.


Courtesy: University of Colorado. Eqbal Ahmad, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, also served as a managing editor of the quarterly Race and Class. A prolific writer, his articles and essays have been published in The Nation, Dawn (Pakistan), among several other journals throughout the world. He died in 1999.

[The prime minister of Turkey, Israel’s closest ally in the Middle East, has accused Ariel Sharon of “state terrorism” against Palestinians and likened their treatment to that of Jews under the Spanish inquisition.–Chris McGreal, “Turkish PM accuses Israel of practising state terrorism,” Guardian, June 4, 2004]

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Occupation, not Islam, Breeds Terrorism …

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Occupation breeds terror

Israel must leave the territories, and must do it soon – whether accompanied by concessions on the Palestinian side or not

Occupation breeds terrorIsrael must leave the territories, and must do it soon – whether accompanied by concessions on the Palestinian side or notShare
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Comments (340)Seth Freedman
Seth Freedman
guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 November 2007 07.00 GMT
Article historyWhen I first moved to this country, I was prepared to play my part by enlisting in the IDF and serving in the West Bank. While there, I saw for myself the effect my mere uniformed presence had on the Palestinians I encountered on a daily basis. Every interaction took place with me holding all the cards – it was me with the loaded gun in my hands; it was me barking instructions to “stop or I’ll shoot”, “lift up your shirt”, “don’t come another step closer”; it was me playing with my quarry as though they were puppets on the end of short, taut strings.However, I still believed that we “did what we had to do”, since it was a case of us or them, and we could never ease up in our actions for fear that the next Palestinian we encountered was the one with a bomb strapped to his chest. And so it continued, bursting into buildings to round up the residents and lock them in their own basement, so that we could take over the house and grab a few hours’ sleep in the middle of a mission – and all perfectly acceptable in the context of war.But that was when I saw the wide, silent eyes of the families’ children as we screamed at their father – their hero, their protector – and wrested from him the reins of power inside his own house. And that’s when it started to dawn on me just what kind of effect our actions were having on the next generation, who were guaranteed to end up hating us when all they saw was us herding them like cattle and imposing our will on them through the sights of our guns.Once I left the army, my forays into the West Bank were on more equal terms, as I sought to meet the very people whose towns I’d previously patrolled, to hear their stories about life under military rule. From Jenin to Bethlehem to Ramallah and beyond, the extent of the suffering and the depth of the torment was exposed to me time and again. There was no doubt in my mind that our mere presence in their daily routines was twisting the knife every time they encountered a soldier – and breeding extremism and radicalism all the while.The unspoken truth that every Israeli knows, uncomfortable as it may be to admit, is that occupation breeds terror. Every incursion, every raid, every curfew and collective punishment, drives the moderates into the welcoming arms of the militants, who promise to return their honour and their wounded pride by fighting the oppressors’ fire with fire of their own. And that fact alone should be enough to shake Israelis awake and realise that the occupation has to end, as much for our own security as for the sake of the Palestinians that we’re subjugating.Even those who only care about the safety of the Israeli people, and to hell with the Palestinians, should be backing the withdrawal of troops to the Green Line. They should know that the labyrinthine network of checkpoints is not actually making them safer, but is there just to make the Palestinians’ lives a misery, thus endangering Israeli lives further in the end. And they should recognise that while Israel’s presence continues to fester in the Palestinian territories like an open sore, there is little to no chance that the Palestinians will seek rapprochement and dialogue with their neighbours.And that means that any coexistence projects – such as those promoted by OneVoice, the Clubhouse network, and so on – are doomed to fail while the occupiers refuse to acknowledge the plight of the occupied. Israel has the upper hand whichever way you look at it, and to treat the situation as somehow balanced is to overlook totally the sheer injustice of it all.Of course, the Israelis have suffered decades of terrorism at the hands of extremist Palestinian groups, and as such have every right to demand their government protects them from similar atrocities in the future. But, for all that Israelis have had it bad, they haven’t seen every facet of their lives systematically destroyed at the hands of an uncaring occupying force. They haven’t seen their economy run into the ground by crippling border closures and sanctions, they haven’t been denied freedom of movement between their homes and farmlands, and they haven’t had to beg soldiers to let their wives through checkpoints in order to give birth in hospital.At the same time, the settlements are as much of a problem to a viable Palestinian state as anything, thanks to the watertight security their presence demands from the army, restricting Palestinian movement and cutting the West Bank into tiny ribbon-like strips. As one Palestinian said, in Emma Williams’ essential book on the region, “thanks to the settlers and their infrastructure, we’re locked so tight into the State of Israel we’re like a bug in concrete.”But still the expansion continues, and still the stranglehold on the Palestinians persists. While the Israeli public stays silent, while their taxes swell the government’s coffers, they are tacitly aiding and abetting slow torture on a national scale. On top of the sporadic killing that the occupation inevitably causes, the killing of an entire people’s hopes and dreams takes place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.And it has to stop. Even though it’s no doubt too late to pull many of the current generation back from the brink of hate and enmity, there’s still time to ensure that today’s resentment doesn’t have to be instilled into the children of tomorrow. Playing the “fighting terror” card might win Knesset votes, but it doesn’t push things forward nor work out how to pave the way towards long-lasting future peace.

Israel must leave the territories, and they must do it soon – whether accompanied by concessions on the Palestinian side or not. The occupation is illegal, it is abhorrent, and it is utterly counterproductive if its aim is to bring security to Israelis. Anyone who ventures into the Palestinian towns and cities, who witnesses the devastation for themselves and hears the tragic tales from the horse’s mouth, knows this. And anyone who prefers to cover their ears or avert their eyes is only doing damage to both sides in the long run. Israel will never have peace whilst it crushes Palestinian aspirations – and both sides deserve far better lives than those they are being forced to endure at present.

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LEAFLET FOR SOLDIERS
by Yesh Guvl (“There is a limit !”), Israeli support group for soliders who refuse service in the occupied territories (2002) See: http://www.yesh-gvul.org/english.html
SOLDIER
We all want to defend our country. We’re all sick and tired of terrorism. We all want peace. But do our actions permit of an end to the cycle of bloodshed ?
Since 1967, Israel has ruled over 3.5 million Palestinians, running their lives by means of a forcible occupation, with continual violations of human rights.
The occupation regime has merely exacerbated Israel’s security problems; at this time, it endangers the life of each one of its citizens, yours included !  SOLDIER, it’s in your hands
Ask yourself whether your actions in the course of your military service enhance national security ? Or do those actions merely fuel the enmity and the acts of violence between us and our Palestinian neighbours ?
YOU CAN STOP THE VIOLENCE
SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION BREEDS TERRORISM
When you take part in extrajudicial killings (“liquidation” in the army’s terms); When you take part in demolishing residential homes; When you open fire at unarmed civilian population or residential homes; When you uproot orchards When you interdict food supplies or medical treatment –
YOU ARE TAKING PART IN ACTIONS DEFINED IN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS (SUCH AS THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION) AND IN ISRAELI LAW, AS WAR CRIMES.
As far back as 40 years ago, an Israeli court ruled that a soldier is forbidden to obey a flagrantly illegal order.
Soldier – do you consider such war crimes justifiable ?
Don’t acts of “liquidation” provoke suicide bombings ? Is it justifiable to demolish the homes and vandalise the property of entire families ? Can one justify the killing of children, women, old people – or, overall, of unarmed civilians ? What are the “security” grounds to justify starving entire villages and depriving the sick of medical care ?
Soldier: don’t these daily acts of repression, which are part of the routine of the occupation – curfew and blockade, land confiscation, preventing people from working or studying, the run-around and humiliation at the roadblocks and the violent searches in Palestinian homes – fuel hatred of us ?
END THE OCCUPATION – END THE CYCLE OF BLOODSHED !
SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION CAUSES LOSS OF LIFE
Even the heads of the defence establishment concede that there is no military solution to terrorism.
“All the preventative work we’ve done this past year is like trying to empty out the sea with a teaspoon,” a senior security official admitted. (“Haaretz”, 19.12.2001)
Ami Ayalon, former head of the Shabak security police, says: “An ideology can’t be killed by killing leaders.”
Soldier, is there a people anywhere in the world that will not resist an occupation regime ? If you were in the Palestinians’ shoes, would you be willing to bow your head to a foreign ruler ?
Two years ago, we were convinced that the occupation of southern Lebanon was vital for our security. Twenty years ago, we were certain that our occupation of the Sinai peninsula guaranteed our security. But thanks to termination of our occupation of those areas, we have avoided shedding the blood of our soldiers.
Since the onset of the current intifada, over a thousand Israelis and Palestinians have been killed, most of them unarmed civilians taking no part in the fighting. As long as we hold on to the occupied Palestinian territories, we will continue to shed our own blood and that of the Palestinians.
END THE OCCUPATION – END THE BLOODSHED ! SOLDIER: THE OCCUPATION UNDERMINES OUR COUNTRY
We are all concerned for the wellbeing of the state of Israel. We all want the state to invest more in education, social services, health, and development of our infrastructure. But to maintain the occupation, the state spends billions on upkeep of the army in the territories, on settlements, on laying bypass roads and all the rest.
The state is cutting back on civilian services to enlarge the military budget. The occupation, and the violence that it prompts, drag the economy down into recession. Investors are in flight, tourists stay away, entire sections of the economy are in collapse.
Wouldn’t it be preferable to use the money to reinforce our social structures ? Wouldn’t it be preferable to channel the funds to our crumbling health and education systems ? Is it just to neglect the aged, the handicapped and the unemployed in favour of further settlements ?
END THE OCCUPATION, PUBLIC ALLOTMENTS TO THE DISADVANTAGED, NOT THE SETTLEMENTS! SOLDIER, THE OCCUPATION UNDERMINES THE ARMY
The occupation is harmful to the army and its soldiers. Training is called off because soldiers spend so much time on routine duty in the territories – guarding settlements, protecting highways, and forays into Palestinian towns and villages.
Soldiers are required to serve under inhuman conditions – like the four soldiers of the armour corps who spent 234 uninterrupted hours in their tank. In order to sustain the occupation, they weren’t even allowed out to relieve themselves.
Military sources admit the occupation routine subjects soldiers to exhaustion – and exhaustion leads to a decline in fitness and causes accidents.
Wouldn’t it be better to dedicate the time to the country’s real defence needs ?
Ending the occupation will restore the army’s combat readiness. Wouldn’t it be better to reduce the burden borne by reservists and grant conscripts better conditions ?
END THE OCCUPATION –
REDUCE MILITARY SERVICE TO TWO YEARS !!
CUT DOWN THE BURDEN OF RESERVE DUTY!!
SOLDIER
There are acts that decent people don’t commit, even if they’re given orders ! Decent people don’t demolish homes; they don’t kill children, women and babies; they don’t starve the neighbouring people, and don’t deny medical care to people just like you and me. Such conduct weakens our country’s moral fibre.
These acts are actually harmful; even if we’re told they’re for “security purposes”. Every “liquidation” (killing) prompts a bombing. The child you wounded today is tomorrow’s terrorist. Anyone concerned for national security won’t do things that fuel terrorism.
SOLDIER – IT’S IN YOUR HANDS
We don’t have a sure fire recipe. Make up your own mind, guided by your conscience, your feelings, your convictions. We can’t take the decision for you. We can only tell you that many, very many soldiers, have said “NO !” to war crimes ! From the Lebanon war, right up to the present intifada, thousands of soldiers – conscripts and reservists – have plucked up the courage to say “NO !”
Anyone who decides to refuse, reaches that decision on his own. But when he does make up his mind, he will find us extending a helping hand, offering advice, support and help.
For those who gird on implement of war
-And that includes us –
Whether in fact,
Or by an acquiescent slap on the back,
Are propelled,
Mumbling ‘necessity’ or ‘revenge’,
Into the domain of war criminals.
Nathan Alterman, 1948
Refusing to kill

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United Nations: Root cause of Palestinian violence is Israeli occupation
Source: South-North Development Monitor – SUNS
Kanaga Raja
Geneva, 28 Feb – Israel must address the occupation and violation of human rights and international humanitarian law it engenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and “not invoke the justification of terrorism as a distraction, as a pretext for failure to confront the root cause of Palestinian violence – the occupation”.This message was highlighted by United Nations Special Rapporteur John Dugard in his latest reporton the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.Arguably, said the report by the Special Rapporteur, Israel has violated the most fundamental rules of international humanitarian law, which constitute war crimes in terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and article 85 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Additional Protocol I).

The report (A/HRC/7/17) is to be taken up at the Human Rights Council which holds its first substantive session for this year on 3-28 March.

In his report, the UN human rights expert said that the human rights situation in the West Bank has worsened, despite expectations that it would improve following the removal of Hamas from the Government of the West Bank.

Settlements expand, the construction of the wall continues, and checkpoints increase in number. Military incursions and arrests have intensified, and some 11,000 Palestinian prisoners remain in Israeli jails, said Dugard.

The Special Rapporteur’s report is based on his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories from 25 September 2007 to 1 October 2007.

Addressing the issue of terrorism, the human rights expert said that terrorism is a scourge, a serious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Palestinians are guilty of terrorizing innocent Israeli civilians by means of suicide bombs and Qassam rockets.

Likewise, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are guilty of terrorizing innocent Palestinian civilians by military incursions, targeted killings and sonic booms that fail to distinguish between military targets and civilians.

“All these acts must be condemned and have been condemned,” said Dugard, pointing out that “common sense, however, dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by Al Qaeda, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation.”

“While such acts cannot be justified, they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation,” he said, citing history as being replete with examples of military occupation that have been resisted by violence – acts of terror.

The German occupation was resisted by many European countries in the Second World War; the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) resisted South Africa’s occupation of Namibia; and Jewish groups resisted British occupation of Palestine – inter alia, by the blowing up of the King David Hotel in 1946 with heavy loss of life, by a group masterminded by Menachem Begin, who later became Prime Minister of Israel.

This is why every effort should be made to bring the occupation to a speedy end. Until this is done, peace cannot be expected, and violence will continue, said Dugard, adding that Israel cannot expect perfect peace and the end of violence as a precondition for the ending of the occupation.

In the present international climate it is easy for a State to justify its repressive measures as a response to terrorism – and to expect a sympathetic hearing. Israel exploits the present international fear of terrorism to the full. But this will not solve the Palestinian problem, said the rights expert.

“Israel must address the occupation and the violation of human rights and international humanitarian law it engenders, and not invoke the justification of terrorism as a distraction, as a pretext for failure to confront the root cause of Palestinian violence – the occupation.”

With regards to the situation in Gaza, Dugard said that the evacuation of Israeli settlements and the withdrawal of the permanent IDF presence from Gaza in 2005, has now given rise to the argument that Gaza is no longer occupied territory. On 15 September 2005, Prime Minister Sharon told the General Assembly that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza meant the end of its responsibility for Gaza.

The Special Rapporteur countered this by saying that Israel remains the occupying Power as technological developments have made it possible for Israel to assert control over the people of Gaza without a permanent military presence.

Israel’s effective control has been demonstrated by amongst others its substantial control of Gaza’s six land crossings; control through military incursions, rocket attacks and sonic booms; complete control of Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters; and control of the Palestinian Population Registry – the definition of who is “Palestinian” and who is a resident of Gaza and the West Bank is controlled by the Israeli military.

The report noted that IDF military incursions into Gaza have continued regularly over the past year; 290 Palestinians were killed in Gaza in 2007. Of this number, at least a third were civilians. In the past two years, 668 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in Gaza. Over half – 359 people – were not involved in hostilities at the time they were killed. Of those killed, 126 were minors; 361 were killed by missiles fired from helicopters; and 29 of those killed were targeted for assassination.

The report also noted that during the same period, Palestinians fired some 2,800 Qassam rockets and mortar shells into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Four Israeli civilians were killed by Qassam rockets and hundreds were injured.

All the crossings into and out of Gaza are controlled by Israel. Rafah, the crossing point for Gazans to Egypt, and Karni, the commercial crossing for the import and export of goods, are the principal crossing points. From mid-June to early August 2007, some 6,000 Palestinians were stranded on the Egyptian side of the border, without adequate accommodation or facilities and denied the right to return home.

On 19 September, Israel declared Gaza to be a hostile territory and announced that, as a consequence, it would reduce the supply of fuel and electricity to Gaza. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, fuel supplies have been reduced by more than 50% since the decision to cease fuel supplies on 25 October 2007.

Pointing to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the report said that over 80% of the population of Gaza is dependent on food aid from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Although critical humanitarian food supplies are being allowed in, only 41% of Gaza’s food import needs are currently being met.

The closure of crossings also prevents Gazan farmers and manufacturers from exporting their goods to markets outside Gaza. It prevents materials from entering Gaza and this has resulted in the end of most construction works and the closure of factories. According to the Palestinian Federation of Industries, 95% of Gaza’s industrial operations have been suspended as a result of restrictions, said the report.

Health-care clinics are in short supply of pediatric antibiotics, and 91 key drugs are no longer available. Previously, seriously ill patients were allowed to leave Gaza to receive treatment in Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan and other countries through the Rafah and Erez crossings. Rafah is now completely closed and the Israeli authorities deny passage through Erez to all but the most “severe and urgent cases”.

The World Health Organization reports that while 89.4% of patients who applied for permits during the period January-May 2007 were granted permits, only 77.1% of those who applied were granted permits during October 2007.

Dugard said that this has resulted in a drastic increase in the number of patients who have died as a result of restrictions: according to the Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights, since June 2007, 44 people have died as a result of denial or delay of access to medical care by the Israeli authorities and 13 died in November alone.

Addressing the legal consequences of Israel’s actions, the report said that while the firing of rockets into Israel by Palestinian militants without any military target, which has resulted in the killing and injury of Israelis, cannot be condoned and constitutes a war crime, serious questions arise over the proportionality of Israel’s military response and its failure to distinguish between military and civilian targets.

“It is highly arguable that Israel has violated the most fundamental rules of international humanitarian law, which constitute war crimes in terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and article 85 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Additional Protocol I),” said the report.

As to the situation in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the report said that it was widely expected that the human rights situation would improve in the West Bank following the exclusion of Hamas from the Government of the West Bank.

Unfortunately, Israel has not taken steps to dismantle the infrastructure of occupation. On the contrary, it has maintained and expanded the instruments that most seriously violate human rights – military incursions, settlements, the separation wall, restrictions on freedom of movement, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the demolition of houses.

Military incursions in the West Bank have intensified since June 2007. For instance, in November, the IDF carried out 786 raids in the West Bank in the course of which one person was killed, 67 injured and 398 arrested; public and private properties were damaged; curfews were imposed; and countless innocent civilians were terrorized by armed soldiers and dogs.

The report noted that there are 149 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Despite promises by Israel to freeze settlement growth, the number of settlers has increased by 63% since 1993 to its present population of 460,000. At present, new construction is under way in 88 settlements and the average growth rate in the settlements is 4.5% compared with the average growth rate of 1.5% in Israel itself.

The report also said that checkpoints and roadblocks seriously obstruct the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the West Bank, with disastrous consequences for both personal life and the economy. There are 561 such obstacles to freedom of movement, comprising over 80 manned checkpoints and some 476 unmanned locked gates, earth mounds, concrete blocks and ditches.

The wall that Israel is at present building, largely in Palestinian territory, is clearly illegal, said Dugard. The wall is planned to extend for 721 kilometres, and at present, 59% of the wall has been completed. When the wall is finished, an estimated 60,000 West Bank Palestinians living in 42 villages and towns will reside in the closed zone between the wall and the Green Line. This area will constitute 10.2% of Palestinian land in the West Bank, he added.

The construction of the wall, the expansion of settlements, the restrictions on freedom of movement, house demolitions and military incursions have had a disastrous impact on the economy, health, education, family life and standard of living of Palestinians in the West Bank, said the report.

The report also estimated that since 1967, over 700,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned. At present, there are some 11,000 prisoners in Israeli jails, a number which includes 376 children, 118 women, 44 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and some 800 “administrative detainees” (that is, persons not convicted for any offence, held for renewable periods of up to six months).

Full report (pdf format)

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What really drives suicide terrorists?

Robert Pape
Wed 15 Dec 2010

Failing to understand the real motive of suicide terrorists – anger over Western occupation of their land – means missing major attacks because we’re looking for the wrong targets.

From the 9/11 hijackers to the double agent whose suicide attack in Afghanistan killed seven CIA employees last December, many people want to know what drives some Muslims – many of whom are middle class and well educated – to kill themselves in attacks on Americans and others in the West.

After examining 2,200 suicide attacks around the world since 1980 – the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted – I’ve concluded that the answer is both simple and disturbing. What drives them is deep anger at the presence of Western combat forces in the Persian Gulf region and other predominately Muslim lands.

Popular accounts of these suicide terrorists give the impression that most of them are globe-trotting extremists radicalized by militant networks to strike outside their homeland for religious or other transnational causes. These accounts are false.

What the evidence shows

In the 2,200 suicide attacks since 1980, over 90 percent of the attackers carried out strikes in their home countries, often just miles from their homes, to resist foreign occupation of land they prize.

Hence, Lebanese carried out the suicide attacks against Israel’s occupation of Lebanon; Turkish Kurds carried out the suicide attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party against the Turkish military presence in their home areas; and Iraqis, Saudis, Syrians, Kuwaitis, and Jordanians carried out the suicide attacks against America’s military occupation of Iraq and the US threat to countries adjacent to Iraq.

Afghanistan is a prime example. We can identify 93 suicide attackers who have killed themselves to strike targets, mostly US and Western troops, in Afghanistan in recent years.

More than 90 percent are Afghan nationals and another 5 percent are from border regions of the country, while only 5 percent are from areas of the world beyond the immediate zone of conflict.

In other words, suicide terrorism in Afghanistan is not part of some global jihad looking for a place to land, but regional opposition to foreign military presence.

We’re missing the real threat

Transnational suicide terrorists do exist. But, they are exceptions to the rule. Understanding that transnational suicide attackers are “black swans” has important implications for explaining their existence. For years, many have sought to explain how an individual becomes a transnational terrorist by seeking to track points along a spectrum of radicalization.

The basic idea is that there is a large pool of potential extremists who become progressively radicalized either through elite manipulation (religious leaders in mosques) or through social and economic alienation. Hence, policymakers embrace the idea of eavesdropping on many thousands of Muslims in the United States and Europe. This has done little to find terrorists, but a lot to scare many loyal citizens.

The fundamental problem with the “spectrum of radicalization” approach is that it is looking for many “white swans” that do not exist, while missing the rare black swans that might.

Consider the London suicide attacks in July 2005. Even if we restrict the pool of potential extremists to the 1.6 million Muslims living in Britain then, the spectrum of radicalization approach would expect more “homegrown” suicide attackers by orders of magnitude. After all, tens of thousands of British Muslims had met fundamentalist leaders in mosques, lost their jobs, or faced social difficulties that they might view as related to their ethnic or religious backgrounds. But just four men launched the attack.

Further, after a year-long investigation, MI5 found little evidence that any of the four London bombers were economically or socially alienated in significant ways. Mohammad Khan, the leader, was a mentor at a primary school with an exemplary employment record. Shezhad Tanweer drove his own red Mercedes to work in one of his father’s several businesses and was a trophy-winning cricket player. Another was known for going to night clubs and talking about girls and cars. None had a history of outbursts or violence, or other signs of significant opposition to British life.

What they did share was deep anger at Western occupation of kindred Muslim populations. Mr. Kahn and Mr. Tanweer left martyr videos to explain their motives.

“Your … governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world,” Khan said. “Until we feel security, you will be our targets.”

Recent so-called homegrown terrorists in the United States also reveal little social alienation, but deep anger at foreign occupation. Faisal Shahzad, who was sentenced to life in prison for planning the failed May 1 Times Square car bomb, cited US military activity in his family’s native Pakistan and the presence of US troops in various Muslim countries as reasons for his desire to kill American civilians.

While religion contributes in many cases to increased feelings of loyalty toward a kindred community that may be oceans away from an individual’s country of citizenship, the primary cause of these horrible phenomena is foreign occupation.

US approach is counterproductive

The US approach in countering this threat has done more harm than good. By simultaneously occupying two Muslim countries and cracking down on Muslim Americans, the US has angered elements of an entire population and made it more likely that they would feel more loyalty to their kindred communities abroad.

Further, aggressive surveillance missed the one behavior trait that the American and British transnational terrorists had in common: self-initiated efforts to communicate with representatives of Al Qaeda and other known terrorist groups to receive approval for their actions.

Counterterrorism operations should focus on what makes these rare events dangerous – that is, the point at which politically active groups seek detailed information and actual materials for lethal action, commonly from international terrorist organizations or their local representatives.

Law enforcement attempts to track large numbers of young Muslim men would incorrectly profile and target an entire community. Such manpower takes resources away from the most productive counterterrorism measure: the search for specific preparations for violent acts.

Robert A. Pape is professor of political science at the University of Chicago and co-author of “Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.”

December 12, 2010, The Christian Science Monitor

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UN report calls Palestinian terrorism result of occupation

Israel dismisses analysis, details misfire in Gaza

Email|Print| Text size – + By Bradley S. Klapper Associated Press / February 27, 2008

GENEVA – A report commissioned by the United Nations says Palestinian terrorism is the inevitable result of Israeli occupation, an assertion that Israel rejected yesterday as inflammatory.

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The report, posted on the UN Human Rights Council’s website, says that while Palestinian terrorist acts are deplorable, “they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid, or occupation.”

The report accuses the Jewish state of acts and policies consistent with all three.

As long as there is occupation, there will be terrorism, says the author, John Dugard, an independent investigator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a South African lawyer who campaigned against apartheid in the 1980s.

Dugard says in the report that “common sense . . . dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by Al Qaeda, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid, or military occupation.”

The report calls for Israeli occupation to end, citing the country’s checkpoints and roadblocks restricting Palestinian movement, house demolitions, and the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.

Until the occupation is ended, “peace cannot be expected, and violence will continue,” the report says.

Israel’s UN ambassador in Geneva rejected Dugard’s analysis and questioned his objectivity.

“Dugard will better serve the cause of peace by ceasing to inflame the hatred between Israelis and Palestinians, who have embarked on serious talks to solve this contentious situation,” Itzhak Levanon said.

The 25-page report will be presented next month to the 47-nation rights council, which has been criticized – even by its founder, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – for spending most of its time reproaching Israel over alleged abuses.

Dugard was appointed in 2001 as an unpaid analyst to investigate only violations by the Israeli side, prompting Israel and the United States to dismiss his reports as one-sided.

Also yesterday, the Israeli military said no one is to blame for the Israeli military shelling of two houses in November 2006 in which 21 sleeping Palestinian civilians were killed.

The shelling in Gaza was “not intentional and was directly due to a rare and severe failure in the artillery fire control system,” the military said in releasing the findings of an internal inquiry. There will be no military police inquiry, the statement said.

The shelling, which occurred during a large-scale Israeli ground operation in northern Gaza against Palestinian rocket squads, provoked the wrath of international groups and human rights organizations. Since then, Israel has rarely used artillery against Gaza.

The shells crashed into houses in the town of Beit Hanoun, about four miles from Israel, after midnight on Nov. 8, 2006, killing mostly women and children.

The explosions left holes in the buildings and sent panicked residents scurrying outside.

The military said it was aiming at rocket squads firing from northern Gaza.

© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

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The military is not a surgical tool of political engineering

Assuming an expensive role as world police gifts propaganda opportunities to extremists – and its ultimate logic is endless war

Anti-US demonstration in Baghdad, 2003 Anti-invasion protests in Baghdad in 2003. Photograph: EPAThe road to strategic hell is paved with good intentions. Consider the words of General Sir David Richards, the chief of defence staff. We can’t defeat al-Qaida and its ilk, he believes, but we can contain it. In other words, we might never destroy it physically or ideologically but we can limit its potency and lethality “to the point that our lives and our children’s lives” are “led securely”. Amen to that.But what does “containment” look like? It is a moveable idea. During the cold war, containment meant different things to George Kennan, its intellectual architect, and the later US presidents who expanded and militarised it.At its best, it is a practical idea. It holds that, without exhausting or overextending ourselves, we can bound a threat and curtail its ability to operate, then wait patiently for it to wither into an irrelevance or nuisance. It works well with a self-defeating enemy, be it the Soviet Union with its doomed Marxist-Leninist system and imperial overstretch, or al-Qaida, a movement that habitually alienates the very Muslims it claims to represent. Containment is not only about outlasting the enemy, but about keeping costs down and avoiding self-defeating behaviour.But General Richards’s containment is more ambitious. It involves “upstream prevention”, “education and democracy” and – judging by his other recent remarks – maybe a future military intervention in Yemen. He doesn’t favour more military interventions now, but it would be “barmy to say that one day we wouldn’t be back in that position”.

This means using our (depleted) wealth, our (reduced) military and our (dubious) confidence that we know what is good for others. Containment means surgically rescuing failed states, or preventing their failure. It means protecting and strengthening friendly regimes on the turbulent frontier. After all, didn’t 9/11 happen because terrorist training camps sprang up in central Asia? Containment now means disrupting that chain reaction.

This fits with the UK’s recently unveiled national security strategy. It sees an uncertain and chaotic world, and backs prevention. But while it sees the world as dangerously unpredictable and non-linear, it treats our behaviour as rational and its results predictable. In other words, we bring order into chaos. What could go wrong?

As it happens, plenty. As a matter of cost, it generates expensive and protracted commitments. Entanglement and intervention usually cost more and take longer than we think. President Bill Clinton said US troops would be in Bosnia for only 12 months, but they were there for 10 years. The Taliban, we were told years ago, were a busted flush. The overestimation of our power and the underestimation of resistance has been a signature tune of the war on terror.

And there are other dangers. What if, in appointing ourselves as world police, we are agents of chaos rather than order? Our activism will probably have perverse results, unintended consequences and blowback. It could create accidental guerrillas. It could drive neighbouring countries into new confrontations with us. Democracy promotion can promote communal violence or unwelcome new regimes. Evidence of these dangers litters the decade.

Confident activism carries an added danger of moral hazards. Adroit armed groups can exploit and escalate conflicts to draw us in, using their victimhood strategically to wag the dog.

An endless project of armed social engineering is not containment. It is a liberal crusade – more like rollback, to use another cold war term. It certainly will be, by the time our enemies’ propaganda is broadcast. Those who believe we should counter terror this way do not intend endless war. But that is where their logic leads. If Yemen tomorrow, what of Somalia or Nigeria or the Sudan, other potential incubators of terrorist networks?

Radical Islam feeds on many things and is not reducible to a reaction against western interlopers. Richards is right in that respect – militant jihad will always be with us. But military occupation energises and flatters it. And if we follow terrorists with battalions everywhere they go, it concedes to them the initiative to bleed us further.

And why should we think failed or weak states are intolerable to our national security anyway? The 9/11 attacks were not fundamentally “caused” by a weak state in Afghanistan (which incidentally was more strongly ruled then than now). The critical spaces that terrorists used to strike western interests were flight schools in Florida and meeting places in Hamburg. The US could have interrupted it earlier with more effective law enforcement and inter-agency co-operation. And since 9/11, the US and its allies have reformed themselves, steadily marginalising al-Qaida into a third-order pest.

States that implode into violent disorder are not hospitable to terrorist networks that need sanctuary and security to train and plot. And given that Islamist terrorists are often highly modern, well-educated professionals who use the tools of modernity even as they yearn for a lost medieval empire, it is not clear that we can buy them off by making Muslims abroad richer, more modern and more middle class. A decade of this strategy should be a warning against naïve sociology and the promiscuous use of military force to back it.

So what’s the alternative? It’s time for restraint over activism, for power conservation over its expenditure, for doing no harm over doing good. It means combating terrorism with ordinary police work and intelligence sharing and calibrated disruption. We should focus our military most on what it does most effectively: secure our territory and sea lanes, deter other states and exist as a wise insurance policy for emergencies. Let’s try that for the next 10 years, and see where it takes us.

It also means being restrained in how we think. The world may be chaotic. But we are part of that chaos. Except in atypical circumstances, the military is not a surgical tool of political engineering, but a bludgeon wielded by specialists in violence. We therefore don’t have the power to alter the political condition of others at our own timetable.

If we want to contain own worst enemy, it is time to look in the mirror.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and do not represent King’s College London or the Joint Services Command and Staff College

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/15/we-may-never-destroy-al-qaida

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MYTHS AND REALITIES IN THE AFGHAN DEBATE

Myth #1
United States can afford to stay in Afghanistan for as long it takes to win.
Reality: U.S. national security depends most fundamentally on our economic strength. An open-ended commitment in Afghanistan demands vast resources better used at home and for purposes that contribute effectively to our security. It depletes our military and distracts our political leadership from more pressing challenges. And it adds massively to federal deficits and to the national debt, without building anything of enduring value for future generations.

Myth #2
The Obama administration and the U.S. military have a feasible strategy and a clear timetable to end the war.
Reality: The current strategy is not working, and the administration has not identified the end-state it is seeking to achieve or the circumstances that would make withdrawal possible. The U.S. government emphasizes that withdrawal in summer 2011 will depend on conditions prevailing at the time. The current strategy and the stated timetable are out of synch; objectives need to be updated to realities on the ground to ensure that a drawdown in the summer of 2011 proceeds in a timely and effective manner.

Myth #3
The “surge” in Iraq proves that counterinsurgency strategies can work; all we have to do is stay the course.
Reality: The “surge” in Iraq was only a partial success, predicated as much on a program to pay wages to almost 100,000 Sunni that had been fighting against us as it was on an increase in troops. Conditions in Afghanistan are far more challenging. There was a reduction in violence in Iraq, but the “surge” failed to produce meaningful political reconciliation. Escalation in Afghanistan has achieved few results so far, and there is no reason to think this will change.

The effectiveness of the “surge” in Iraq depended heavily on the simultaneous political turn of the Sunnis against the counterinsurgency. Ethnic and sectarian faultlines in Afghanistan are far more complicated and tribal structures are far more fragmented than in Iraq, making a similar political turn among insurgents very remote. Political reconciliation in Afghanistan will have to proceed community by community.

Myth #4
The Taliban is a group of religious fanatics who can never be appeased through negotiations.
Reality: All societies contain some extremists who cannot be appeased, but they usually represent tiny minorities. Many factions within the Taliban have already shown a willingness to negotiate. They may be won over by proposals that will give them a share of political power, greater local autonomy, and the prospect of economic gain. The Taliban is not a unified movement but instead a label that is applied to many armed groups and individuals that are only loosely aligned and do not necessarily have a fondness for the fundamentalist ideology of the most prominent Taliban leaders. Participants also include a long list of tribal chiefs, militia leaders, and warlords, many of whom (including the Haqqani and Hekmatyar organizations) are a living legacy of the insurgency against the Soviets.

Myth #5
There is no meaningful difference between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They are part of a growing alliance of religious extremists that hate America and must be defeated at all costs.
Reality: Al Qaeda and the Taliban are not the same – and in fact have many differences and disagreements. The Taliban is a coalition of political-military and tribal organizations that seeks power in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is a global terrorist organization seeking to end Western influence in the Middle East and overthrow existing Arab governments. Only Al Qaeda threatens the United States directly.

Myth #6
If we leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will take over, Al Qaeda will re-establish itself there, and new and deadly attacks on America will be more likely.
Reality: The Taliban are unpopular in much of Afghanistan and unlikely to take over the country. They might regain power in some areas, but Al Qaeda cannot recreate its former haven because—unlike before 9/11—the United States can easily detect and destroy bases and training sites with air power or special forces. Further, our large-scale military presence there may actually be increasing the overall danger that we face back home. Anger at U.S. military action in Central Asia inspired Faisal Shahzad, a U.S. citizen, to attempt an unsuccessful car bomb attack in Times Square. Other home-grown terrorists appear to have been inspired by similar motivations.

Myth #7
Our large-scale presence in Afghanistan is the only thing that will ensure women’s rights.
Reality: The worst thing for women is for Afghanistan to remain paralyzed in a civil war in which there evolves no organically rooted support for their social advancement. Women’s rights are central to the progress of Afghanistan, and the international community should continue to support this progress. While our proposal calls for a greatly reduced military presence, we nevertheless propose an international peacekeeping force that will be sufficient for the continuance of a number of key initiatives, including women’s progress.

Myth #8
Withdrawal from Afghanistan will be seen as a great victory for Al Qaeda and enhance its popularity and prestige. If we scale back our engagement in Afghanistan, they will simply follow us home.
Reality: It is our military presence that is actively aiding Taliban recruitment and encouraging disparate extremist groups to back one another. The Afghan mujaheddin did not “follow the Soviets home” after they withdrew. The same will be true once the United States reduces its military footprint and eventually disengages. In fact, military disengagement will undermine Al Qaeda’s claims that the United States is trying to “dominate” the Muslim world. A smaller U.S. footprint in the Muslim world will make Americans safer, not encourage terrorist attacks against American targets at home and abroad.

Myth #9
The U.S. scaling back its military mission in Afghanistan will threaten Pakistan’s stability and jeopardize control of its nuclear arsenal.
Reality: A prolonged and unwinnable war is more likely to undermine stability in Pakistan than would the prompt scaling down of the U.S. military mission. There are many other steps that the United States could take to help secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal that would be far less expensive and more effective than keeping a large military force in Afghanistan.

Fortunately, the danger of a radical takeover of the Pakistani government is small. Islamist extremism in Pakistan is concentrated within the tribal areas in its northwest frontier, and largely confined to its Pashtun minority (which comprises about 15 percent of the population). The Pakistani army is primarily Punjabi (roughly 44 percent of the population) and remains loyal. At present, therefore, this second strategic interest is not seriously threatened.

Myth #10
Reducing the military effort in Afghanistan will cause allies to doubt our credibility and staying power. Some might even be tempted to cut deals with our adversaries.
Reality: Public support for the allied mission in Afghanistan is lagging in almost all partner countries. The United States will strengthen its credibility among allies by coming forward with a realistic and pragmatic strategy for scaling back and eventually ending the mission. With some NATO countries already heading for the exit, a U.S. aimed at eventual departure is more likely to keep the coalition intact than one that aims at unrealizable objectives. The U.S. will gain the most credibility with our allies from making decisions that are recognized as wise, even if they represent a change in direction.

Myth #11
If the Obama administration scales back the mission in Afghanistan, Republicans will portray it as “soft” and the Democratic Party will pay a big political price in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Reality: Our strategy in Afghanistan should be based on U.S. national interests, not partisan politics. Moreover, the war is increasingly unpopular with the American people. Voters will support a strategy that reduces costs, emphasizes counter-terrorism, and begins to bring U.S. troops home.


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CONCLUSION

The United States should by no means abandon Afghanistan, but it is time to abandon the current strategy that is not working. Trying to pacify Afghanistan by force of arms will not work. A costly military campaign there is more likely to jeopardize America’s vital security interests than to protect them. The Study Group believes that the United States should pursue more modest goals that are both consistent with America’s true interests and far more likely to succeed.

Additional citations, references and information can be found at our website http://www.afghanistanstudygroup.com.


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This report was published on August 16 2010.

November 23, 2010, 9:00 pm

Worse Than Vietnam

By ROBERT WRIGHT

Robert WrightRobert Wright on culture, politics and world affairs.

“We did the Cole and we wanted the United States to react. And if they reacted, they are going to invade Afghanistan and that’s what we want … . Then we will start holy war against the Americans, exactly like the Soviets.”
— Mohammed Atef, military commander of Al Qaeda, in November of 2000

You have to give the people at Al Qaeda this much: They plan ahead. And they stick with their goals. If bombing the U.S.S. Cole failed to get American troops mired in Afghanistan, maybe 9/11 would do the trick?

You might say. Last week at the NATO summit President Obama pushed the light at the end of the tunnel further down the tracks. By the end of 2014, he now tells us, American combat operations in Afghanistan will cease.

It’s not as if we need those four years to set any records. At just over nine years of age, this war is already the longest in American history. And this Saturday we’ll eclipse the Soviet Union’s misadventure in Afghanistan; the Soviets brought their own personal Vietnam to an end after nine years and seven weeks.

Is Afghanistan, as some people say, America’s second Vietnam? Actually, a point-by-point comparison of the two wars suggests that it’s worse than that.

For starters, though Vietnam was hugely destructive in human terms, strategically it was just a medium-sized blunder. It was a waste of resources, yes, but the war didn’t make America more vulnerable to enemy attack.

The Afghanistan war is as bad as the Vietnam War except for the ways in which it’s worse.

The Afghanistan war does. Just as Al Qaeda planned, it empowers the narrative of terrorist recruiters — that America is at war with Islam. The would-be Times Square bomber said he was working to avenge the killing of Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And Major Nidal Hasan, who at Fort Hood perpetrated the biggest post-9/11 terrorist attack on American soil, was enraged by the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

And how many anti-American jihadists has the war created on the battlefield itself? There’s no telling, but recent headlines suggest this admittedly impressionistic conclusion: We’re creating them faster than we’re killing them. And some of these enemies, unlike the Vietcong, could wind up killing Americans after the war is over — in South Asia, in the Middle East, in Europe, in America.

Hawks sometimes try to turn this logic to their advantage: It’s precisely because our enemies could remain dangerous after the war that we have to deny them a “platform” — an Afghanistan that’s partly or wholly under Taliban control; Communists weren’t going to use Vietnam as a base from which to attack America, but we saw on 9/11 that Afghanistan can be used that way.

Actually, we didn’t. The staging ground for the 9/11 attacks was Germany — and some American flight schools — as much as Afghanistan. The distinctive challenge posed by terrorism is that the enemy doesn’t need to occupy much turf to harm us. (For a good deflating of the various catastrophe scenarios that would supposedly unfold after American withdrawal from Afghanistan, see this handy list of myths about the war, part of a highly sensible report published recently by the Afghanistan Study Group.)

Both the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars were fought in the name of a good cause. There was indeed a hostile force that had to be kept at bay — communism and terrorism, respectively. And in each case the mistake was overestimating the intrinsic power of that force.

In the case of communism, this mistake became vivid to me in 1990, when I walked into the finest department store in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), went to the home appliance section and saw no washing machines but only stacks and stacks of washboards. Our enemy had wed its fate to an economic system that was bound to drag it further and further behind us. All we really had to do was stay vigilant and wait for it to self-destruct.

So too with jihadism; Al Qaeda’s ideology offers nothing that many of the world’s Muslims actually want — except, perhaps, when they feel threatened by the West, a feeling that isn’t exactly dulled by the presence of American troops in Muslim countries.

There are, of course, people who say that it wouldn’t have been enough to let communism self-destruct. This view, which credits Ronald Reagan with turning up the heat on the Soviets in Latin America and Afghanistan, has a grain of truth: imposing costs on a crumbling economic system can hasten the crumbling.

But look at the price we paid for slightly accelerating the inevitable. In Afghanistan, we now realize, our proxy war against the Soviet Union — our support of the mujahedeen — helped create Al Qaeda. In retrospect, this was a kind of segue between the cold war and the war on terrorism, and it illuminates that crucial difference between the two: when you’re dealing with state-based communism, nonessential intervention is wasteful; when you’re dealing with non-state-based terrorism, such intervention can be actively counterproductive.

Of course, wastefulness is a pretty bad thing in its own right. Spending on Vietnam helped fuel inflation that was eventually subdued only with a stiff monetary policy that brought much unemployment. And the cost of the Afghanistan war already exceeds the cost of the Vietnam and Korean Wars combined, even in inflation-adjusted dollars. At $100 billion a year (seven times the gross domestic product of Afghanistan) this war is feeding a deficit that will eventually take its toll in real, human terms. I encourage Tea Partiers and other fiscal conservatives to ponder the tension between deficit hawkism and military hawkism.

All told, then: in terms of the long-run impact on America’s economic and physical security, the Afghanistan war is as bad as the Vietnam War except for the ways in which it’s worse.

Still, the strategy in whose name both wars were launched, containment, makes sense if wisely calibrated. A well tuned terrorism containment strategy — dubbed containment 2.0 by the foreign policy blogger Eric Martin — would require strong leadership in the White House and in Congress. It would mean convincing Americans that — sometimes, at least — we have to absorb terrorist attacks stoically, refraining from retaliation that brings large-scale blowback.

That’s a tough sell, because few things are more deeply engrained in human nature than the impulse to punish enemies. So maybe the message should be put like this: Could we please stop doing Al Qaeda’s work for it?

Postscript: Patrick Porter of King’s College, London has made a very acute assessment of the dangers of an overactive containment policy in the war on terrorism. And the aforementioned report of the Afghanistan Study Group can be found in PDF form here. The Study Group’s blog is here. And here is a new Afghanistan report from the Center for American Progress. The quote from Mohammed Atef at the outset of this piece is sometimes attributed to Osama Bin Laden, but apparently that attribution is erroneous, as the original source, Peter Bergen’s oral history “The Osama bin Laden I Know,” attributes it to Atef (p. 255). And, finally, my calculation of the duration of the Soviet-Afghanistan war, whose endpoints are subject to interpretation, takes Dec. 27, 1979, as the beginning and Feb. 15, 1989, as the end.

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Warfare, corruption breed terrorism

Published: Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 11:31 AM     Updated: Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 11:56 AM
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David Oliver Relin’s “Message to Obama” (Opinion, Dec. 28) surely reflects not only his humanitarian concern for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also delivers some well deserved criticism of U.S. policies in the region. But, like the man upon whom he places his hope for change, he fails to recognize the elephant in the room that is at the heart of what he
calls the “growing crisis.”

The elephant is his own nation’s military occupation of Afghanistan and its daily violation of Pakistani sovereignty. By tracing U.S. policy after 9/11 solely to “rebuilding” Afghanistan, he conveniently ignores that we invaded a country that did not attack us and imposed upon it an exiled oil company consultant from Chicago as president. He’s right that the people of the
region “share a common extremist enemy” but that enemy is the occupiers, not the indigenous groups fighting to expel the foreign fighters. In this case, the “root causes of terrorism” are not just poverty and ignorance but rather the terror warfare and endemic corruption the U.S. invasion has laid upon the poor of those lands.

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Relin hopes Obama can solve the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India so that Pakistan can turn its military against its own people in the Northwest border areas. In a nation where many consider the fight against the “extremists” as doing the bidding of the “Crusaders” and want no part of it, that sounds like a recipe for civil war.

Relin sees the poppy industry as another target of an escalated U.S. campaign and acknowledges the complicity of the Karzai group in it. That is another consequence of our occupation: one of the actual achievements of the Taliban confirmed by international officials was the elimination of that business.

So he hopes Obama could replace the corrupt Karzai with a “new candidate” — an act likely to confirm the popular belief abroad that we are an imperialist power.

Finally, despite his best efforts, our writer fails to even raise the real question that confronts President Obama: Why are we in Afghanistan/Pakistan? Bush justified the Afghan invasion and overthrow of the Taliban on the vague claim that it “harbored” Al-Qaeda — but the Afghans themselves were not involved in 9/11. And now that they are regrouping and gaining popular
support, our occupation exists only to prop up an unpopular and corrupt narco-state. Other political leaders are coming to understand that, and that’s why Relin predicts Obama “may not be able to convince our reluctant allies to commit combat forces.”

I join with Relin when he says it’s time to send “a surge of humanitarian help to the poorest areas” of the region. But make sure it goes to the poor — not to the former exiles and NGOs that waste so much to distribute it. Instead, call it war reparations, give it directly to local tribal leaders and make clear to their people how much they get, and bring the troops home.

That’s how I hope President Obama will produce “the change we can believe in.”

Michael Munk, a retired college professor, is the author of “The Portland Red Guide.” www.michaelmunk.com

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UN: Israeli Occupation, Policy Causes ‘Terror’

ME Online | 29.02.2008 20:07 | Anti-militarism

In the current situation, Israel imposed illegal measures of Collective Punishment on Gaza months ago, in order to “suffocate Hamas”, despite warnings from its own defense staff that this policy would provoke a violent response.Israel is now attempting to justify an attack on Gaza it planned before the Annapolis Conference on the rockets its policy provoked.Sadly, the media has been, up to this point, willing to help them do this.

“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” –Rabbi Ya’acov Perin in his eulogy at the funeral of mass murderer Dr. Baruch Goldstein.”Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country. … Behind the terrorism [by the Arabs] is a movement, which though primitive is not devoid of idealism and self sacrifice.”– David Ben Gurion. Quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky’s Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan’s “Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.
UN report says Israeli occupation causes terrorReport: terrorists acts against Israel are inevitable consequence of Tel Aviv’s colonialism, apartheid, occupation.

GENEVA – A report commissioned by the United Nations says Palestinian terrorism is the “inevitable consequence” of Israeli occupation — a claim Israel rejected Tuesday as inflammatory.

(“Inflammatory”? Israel’s racist and violent policies are inflammatory.)

The report — posted on the UN Human Rights Council’s Web site — says that while Palestinian terrorist acts are deplorable, “they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation.”

The report accuses the Zionist state of acts and policies consistent with all three.

As long as there is occupation, there will be terrorism, says the author, John Dugard, an independent investigator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a South African lawyer who campaigned against apartheid in the 1980s.

Dugard says in the report that “common sense … dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by al-Qaida, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation.”

The report calls for an end to the Israeli occupation, citing the country’s checkpoints and roadblocks restricting Palestinian movement, house demolitions and the “Judaization” (continuing annexation, illegal construction of Settlements) of Jerusalem.

Until the occupation is ended, “peace cannot be expected, and violence will continue,” the report says.

Israel’s UN ambassador in Geneva rejected Dugard’s analysis.

(Just as he rejects International Law, peace, and concepts such as morality …)

The 25-page report will be presented next month to the 47-nation rights council.

Dugard was appointed in 2001 as an unpaid expert to investigate only violations by the Israeli side.

Israel refused to allow Dugard to conduct a UN-mandated fact-finding mission on its Gaza offensive in 2006.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=24527

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