The Unending War: War on Terror
I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but there is no internationally accepted definition of terrorism. This is because if you are going to define terrorism, you are liable to define some of your own actions as terrorism. And this will not do at all.
For example, in December 1987 the United Nations General Assembly passed a very strong resolution against terrorism, condemning the plague in the strongest terms, calling on every state to fight against it in every possible way. When it came to vote, one country, Honduras, abstained and two voted against it: United States and Israel. Are you surprised?
This was because of the article 8 of the resolution that mentions the elimination of colonialism, racism, and alien domination and occupation. This should tell you a lot about why UN can not come-up with a definition of terrorism. Here is the text of the article 8.
Article 8 of the UN resolution against terrorism: “Also urges all States, unilaterally and in co-operation with other States, as well as relevant United Nations organs, to contribute to the progressive elimination of the causes underlying international terrorism and to pay special attention to all situations, including colonialism, racism and situations involving mass and flagrant violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and those involving alien domination and occupation, that may give rise to international terrorism and may endanger international peace and security.”
Well this means that if you are fighting against an occupying power then you are not a terrorist. If you are fighting against colonialism, then you are not a terrorist. If you are fighting against racism, then you are not a terrorist. If you are fighting against flagrant human rights violation, then you area terrorist. The only way that you can avoid being labelled a terrorist is to be a good fellow and take it. Sandinistas of Nicaragua, when fighting for freedom were the terrorists. Nicaraguan Contras that were funded by CIA and committed horrendous atrocities were the freedom fighters. People that fought for a more just society in Bolivia , Uruguay , Guatemala , El Salvador , Honduras , Panama , and other places were all terrorists. Their governments torturing their citizens (and others’) and selling their countries on the cheap to multi-national conglomerates were the good guys fighting evil.
It seems that as long one uses aircraft, Armoured Personnel Carriers, and Tanks to kill civilians and destroy bridges and power stations, it is not terrorism. But if one kills the same civilians with a home made bomb, it is terrorism. Even if one kills civilians taking refuge in the UN compound it is not terrorism. Even if one kills un-armed UN observers, it is not terrorism. Let us face the truth; terrorism is what you want it to be. And the powers that coined the phrase “fight on terror” intend to use it for all its worth. Now terrorism is an all encompassing word covering everything from fighting occupation abroad to gang related shootings and animal-right activism in the US.
Since September 9/11, United States has systematically reduced its citizens’ liberties. The Patriot Act I, and II have taken away much of that freedom that made United States the Land of the Free. Already the draconian laws that were supposed to be used against the terrorists are being used against anyone thought to deserve a stronger punishment than the one provided under normal law. In United States the new laws are used against animal activists, teenagers, and to obtain information from law offices.
For example, in 2005, prosecutors in New Jersey used the anti terror law to prosecute a group of animal right activists.
“The six, members of a group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), are charged under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, amended in 2002 to include "animal enterprise terrorism," which outlaws disrupting firms like Huntingdon. If convicted, the group and its accused members face a maximum $250,000 fine and three years in prison.”
In another case four teenagers were charged with terrorism when police discovered that the four had planned to kill their classmates.
“The boys, between the ages of 14 and 16, were arrested Wednesday after police heard about the alleged plot from administrators at the school, where three of the teens are students. Authorities did not release their names because of their ages.
The boys initially were charged only with low-level crimes and were not eligible to be moved to adult court. Authorities said the teens planned to target students, and teachers and others.
The terrorism charge and other charges added Thursday -- two counts each of conspiracy to attempt murder -- are serious enough that prosecutors could ask a judge to move the case from family court to adult criminal court, where the penalties could be much stiffer.
Prosecutors have 30 days to consider whether to request moving the case; no decision on that was made by Thursday afternoon.”
In yet another case the Bronx District Attorney employed the anti-terror law in the trial of Edgar "Puebla" Morales, 22, and four other members of the "St. James Park" street gang.
"This case appears to be the first in which the Anti-terrorism Statute has been used against members of an organized gang who sought to dominate a neighbourhood through their criminal acts," Johnson said. Although the law was intended to be used against acts of political terror, Johnson said, "The terror perpetrated by gangs, which all too often occurs on the streets of New York, also fits squarely within the scope of this statute."
But these incidents are all in the US. What concerns us is international terrorism. After all that term is used to wreak havoc on different parts of the world. So let us ignore the UN and instead adopt the US definition as our standard definition of international terrorism.
(1) The term “international terrorism” means activities that—
A. involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
B. appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping;
C. occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum;
Well, now that we have established our definition of International Terrorism, we shall look at “some” (and by no means all) of the US government actions around the world and see if we can classify any of them as international terrorism.
I think planning assassination, attempted assassination or actually assassinating a foreign official (regardless of how horrible we may think they are), because of their political views, would classify as international terrorism. Don you agree?
Well, William Blum in his book “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”, has kindly provided us with a list of US actions overseas.
“The following is a list of prominent foreign individuals whose assassination (or planning for same) the United States has been involved in since the end of the Second World War. (CIA humorists have at times referred to this type of operation as “suicide involuntarily administered” to be carried out by the Agency’s Health Alteration Committee.)”
You must note here that all these activities are prior to 9/11 attack, and to be absolutely clear, (Please note that I am not saying that these actions by US in any shape or form justify terrorist attacks either in US or elsewhere.)
1949 Kim Koo, Korean opposition leader
1950s CIA/Neo-Nazi hit list of more than 200 political figures in West Germany to be “put out of the way” in the event of a Soviet invasion.
1950s Zhou Enali, Prime minister of China, several attempts on his life.
!950s, 1962 Sukrano, President of Indonasia
1951 Kim II Sung, Premier of North Korea
1953 Mohammad Mossadegh, Prime minister of Iran
!950s Carlo M. Recto, Philippines opposition leader
1955 Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime minister of India
1957 Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt
1959/63/69 Nordom Sihanouk, Leader of Cambodia
1960 Brig. Gen. Abdul Kari m Kassem, Leader of Iraq
1950s-70s Jose Figueres, President of Costa Rica, two attempts on his life
1961 Francoi “Papa Doc” Duvalier, leader of Haiti
1961 Patrice Lumumba, Prime minister of Congo
1961 Gen. Rafael Truijillo, leader of Dominican Republic
1963 Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam
1960s Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, many attempts on his life
1960s Raul Castro, High official in government of Cuba
1965 Fransisco Caamano, Dominican Republic opposition leader
1965-6 Charles de Gaulle, President of France
1967 Che Guevera, Cuban Leader
1970 Salador Allende, President on Chile
1970 General Rene Schneider, Chief of Army, Chile
1970s, 1981 General Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama
1972 General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Panama Intelligence
1975 Mobuto Sese Seko, President of Zaire
1976 Michle Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
1980-86 Moammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya
1982 Ayatollah Khomaini, Leader of Iran
1983 General Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan Army commander
1983 Miguel d’Escoto, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua
1984 The nine comandantes of Sandinista National Directorate
1985 Sheikh Mohammad Hussain Fadlallah, Lebanese Shiite Leader
1991 Sadam Hussain, leader of Iraq
1998 Osama Bin-Laden, leading Islamic militant
1999 Slobadan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia
Another case that we may consider as terrorism under US definition, is that of kidnapping and torturing foreign nationals. Imagine that you are a US citizen living in Canada. One day as you are walking in the street, you are kidnapped (because you are “suspected” of sympathising with the Basque separatists of Spain) and taken to Mexico where you are torturedfor a few months by Guatemalan secret service and then released (if you are extremely lucky). Would you call this terrorism? Well this is what is happening to Muslims all around the world. I doubt if you hear any of this on Fox News.
Consider the case of Mr. Khalid al-Masri, a German citizen who was kidnapped by CIA on the Macedonian border in 2003 . He was taken to Afghanistan where he was interrogated and tortured for five months before being finally released in Albania. Or consider the case of Egyptian cleric Mr. Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr who was kidnapped by CIA in Italy and taken to Egypt for torture and imprisonment in 2003.
These are just two cases that we know of. There have been over 1000 secret CIA flights within EU since 2001, transporting terror “suspects” for questioning overseas. Usually suspects are taken to countries where torture and illegal imprisonment are routine. How many have been kidnapped and imprisoned without being charged or even murdered is anybody’s guess.
One can continue and list, page after page, of atrocities that have been committed and is being committed under the banner of fight against Terror; but none is more horrendous than falsely accusing and then invading a country on the pretex of fighting terrorism. The fighting so far has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. There are plans afoot to do an Iraq to Iran. All the propaganda machines are now aiming for your approval to destroy Iran, and they are not holding back. Look at the latest propaganda:
“In a video taped message aired on al-Jazeera Saturday, one of the heads of the Iranian controlled al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri stated, "We announce to the Islamic nation the good news of the unification of a great faction of the knights of the Jamaa Islamiya...with the al-Qaeda group." The head of the Egyptian group is Muhammad al-Islambouli, the younger brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, the assassin of Egypt President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981.”
This article appeared in News Blaze. You can see how they now call Al Qaeda an Iranian creation. This is a preposterous lie of gigantic proportion. But the people buy it. The American people, even after the white house admitted that there was nothing in Iraq, still believe that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). A recent poll shows that the majority of the people in US have become independent of reality.
“Did Saddam Hussein's government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003?
Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq”.
The propaganda machine never stops. There are constant talks about Iran and terrorism; Iran and Nuclear weapons; Iran being the danger to the world, etc. We are being prepared for another war. Does any of this sound familiar? If we are not careful, they will start another war in the name of “war on terrorism” or “stopping nuclear weapon proliferation”.
WE know that Iran has nothing to do with Al Qaeda. WE know that they don’t have atomic weapons. WE also know that Israel has over 200 atomic bombs. WE know that Pakistan and India have A-Bombs. WE also know that US is good friends of all three, not to mention the Brazilians that are enriching Uranium.
We know a lot, but we don’t have the voice to say: enough is enough. The people like Murdoch have stolen our voice. We can only shout in the streets, for newspapers and TVs are closed to us. But, we can still reach others through places like this internet site and say: WE have had enough of your propaganda and lies. WE do not want war of civilizations. We do not want a war of religions. WE do not want destroyed houses and bridges. WE do not want dead children and refugees. WE WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE.
Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar lives in Norway. He is a consultant and a contributing writer for many online journals. He's a former associate professor of Nordland University, Norway. Bakhtiarspacefirstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Abbas Bakhtiar, all rights reserved.
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