Eye In The Storm: Though the Heavens fall
Posted: Monday, October 1, 2001
Submitted by: RAS JAHAZIEL
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by Gladstone Holder
We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe havens to terrorism. Every nation in every region has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.
President George Bush II speaking about his retaliation measures for the havoc wreaked upon the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11. The words appear to constitute a wild and dangerous threat.
If a threat by one individual to another is justifiable, would not a threat by the Head of a country armed with every conceivable type of lethal weapon who assumes the authority to sign an executive order identifying groups to be regarded as terrorists qualify as justiciable also?
This from an administration which has refused to follow the just routine of furnishing the evidence to support its claim of knowing the identity of its 'prime suspect'. Furthermore, who but the most fawning of lackeys could support it in that outrage when thousands of witnesses could bring proof that the plaintiff's country easily qualifies as the world's leading terrorist nation?
"Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists" is not only illogical. It would be funny if it did not border on blasphemy. For every Christian child is familiar with the spiritual truth it echoes.
The United States is not God nor Jesus Christ. Like any other nation, it is peopled by erring men and women. What its president does not appear to know is the difference between the secular and the sacred, nor the spiritual, the legal nor even the illegal.
One of history's simplest lessons seems to be the one most difficult for mankind to learn: Power tends to corrupt, absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.
The United States, precisely because it is militarily by far the strongest among the world's nations, needs to be closely watched by the world to see it does not exert unlawful authority abroad. At home, more than 200 years ago, the founding fathers of what promised to be a great nation said of its president "In questions of power, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down by the chains of the Constitution". At the same time, when unity against a common enemy is required, its mainstream press refers to him as the most powerful man in the world, to the adulation if its citizens and in contradiction of the fact of recent history.
And so, in response to the catastrophic bombing, the United States has threatened lasting lessons to Afghanistan as well as to all terrorists everywhere, not of course, including the United States.
Said the president: "There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. They are recruited from their own nations and neighbourhoods and brought to camp in places like Afghanistan where they are trained in the tactics of terror".
He did not, of course, tell his fellow Americans that Osama bin Laden, like General Manuel Noriega now in a United States prison for drug trafficking, to the great benefit of his hosts, was on the payroll of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA). It is now planned to restore to the CIA the authority to carry out assassinations abroad.
Nor did he disclose that there are more than 100 centres in the United States for the training of terrorists who then served its interests in foreign lands. Nor that the CIA trained SAVAK, the ruthless secret police of the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi while United States manufacturers sold billions of dollars in arms to that country.
The story of the Shah, SAVAK and the United States is but one of many told of Cuba, Indonesia, a number of countries in Africa and even of the US invasion of Grenada in 1983. The book is Endless Enemies: The Making Of An Unfriendly World (1986) by Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal. Of this incursion he wrote:
"The result was unique in the recent history of American intervention: our troops were genuinely welcomed by the local citizens and, even more amazing we won. If all foreign intervention turned out the way the Grenadan invasion appears to have turned out, the policy will be tough to argue against, even on moral grounds. So it is important to emphasise that Grenada was unique, and to understand why it was unique. This is especially so because even now it's clear that the America people were broadly misled by their government about Grenada, in ways that might create the false impression that the Grenadan experience is transferable to other situations".
Kwitny would be very unlikely to call September 11 an expected happening. Nor would he be unique in seeing that a certain faction in the US might have needed that happening to serve their large purposes. And are the American people being misled again? The orchestrated media propaganda blitz to stir them to revenge was implacable, but as the days go by and they have time to think about what they've seen and heard, there may be a growing number who perceive the unwisdom of that anger the President admitted to experiencing when he saw the falling towers.
The President now has an overwhelming force in place to take bin Laden - 'dead or alive'. The United States is not welcome in Afghanistan and against a people prepared to sell their lives dearly, President Bush, despite denials by spokesman, may perhaps prefer to allow the rebel Northern Alliance forces to remove the governing Taliban. And for the same reason that President Richard Nixon was pleased to see President Salvador Allende replaced by General Augusto Pinochet.
In his book The Price of Power, Seymour Hersh remarks that Cord Meyer, one of Richard Helms's CIA deputies was surprised by what he had been ordered to do, since "the idea of a military overthrow had not occurred to us as a possible solution". In the eyes of many critics, wrote Hersh, the fact that a group of mature government officials would enthusiastically carry out such a policy without question provided an excellent reason for abolishing the CIA's authority to conduct covert operations.
It is the banning of such convert operations that is now being reviewed in the twilight of September 11 - "a day that will live in infamy," like Pearl Harbor.
How many Afghans, civilians or otherwise, must die by the bullet or by famine for this insubstantial and indiscriminate cause? This is the question humane people and humanitarian agencies are asking. Is the US impervious to reason, self-examination and spiritual insight?
It is interesting that rather than seek or pseudo-legal cover under the aegis of the security council to bomb the Afghan people in order to kill or kidnap 'prime suspect' Osama bin Laden, Bush is, according to a broadcast report, prepared to go it alone. This may be a greater risk than his father took - the two cases are not exactly parallel - in the kidnapping of General Noriega in 1989.
As Orwell knew, some pigs are more equal than others and President Bush II may feel that though President Slobodan Milosovec is now before the Hague Tribunal for crimes against humanity in war, she may be exempt or immune, even though he said the United States is at war. The United States may be privileged. The criterion usually rests on "good faith".
In his latest book Rogue States - The Rule of Force In World Affairs (2000) Professor Noam Chomsky asks: How should we assess the "good faith" of the only country to have vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on all states to obey international law? What about its historical record?
In this context I have a statement issues on 25 September 2001 by the spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
"The Secretary-General was pleased by the decision of the United States Congress to authorise payment of $582 million, in partial settlement of the dues owed to the United Nations. He wishes to thank Ted Turner for his remarkable role in facilitating this payment, and salutes him for his visionary leadership as a true global citizen.
The Secretary-General hopes that all outstanding financial issues between the United States and the United Nations can be resolved as soon as possible, in order to put this issue behind us once and for all".
Turner's role was not disclosed. As I read it, however, that letter was less of thanks than it was of "chastisement that doth [not] hide its head".
Let me summarise my position. Any state that would acquiesce in the handing over of a 'suspect' without proof of his case is in favour of fascism and contemptuous of justice and decency.
Any country aligning itself with President Bush's United States without strong evidence of bin Laden's guilt or that of his 'suspected associates' is as much a terrorist state as is America.
It is as simple as that - and as fundamental.
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