cj#822> reader comments re/terrorism series

1998-08-26

Richard Moore

Dear cj,

This posting wraps up the series on terrorism, at least for the time being.
I'd still be interested in statements and forwards on this topic, for use
later.  I hope you find the material useful.

After this will come chapter 2 of the book: "Evolution of political power:
from national kingdoms to global corporate rule, via democracy".

It is so easy to miss the forest for the trees.  Whether or not you feel
Clinton's reprisals are justifiable, consider what it means to have a world
where the US can launch unilateral missile attacks whenever some President
claims to have a reaon.  Does this create a world in which we are all
safer?

rkm

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Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 14:27:22 -0500
From: Kathleen Geathers <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#817> responses to GRI/I.1 - "Evolution of Geopolitics"

Dear Richard,

I read all of your messages, and find them enlightening; however, after
missiles were unleashed on two soveriegn nations, like yesterday, I don't
think this country respects any boundaries. Peace is not a commodity
which enriches the coffers of the arms merchants. The irony is, this
country claimed to destroy training grounds for terrorists. At the same
time, the School of the Americas is allowed to continue training some of
the most vicious killers of the world, and as one of the protesters, we
are ignored, unless we get too close and are arrested.

What I am trying to say, unless the U.S. respects the rights of all
people, hope is lost.

Kathleen

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Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 11:24:45 -0500
From: "Charles D. Johnson" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#818> Would the real terrorists please stand up?
To: •••@••.•••

Dear Richard K. Moore -

Thank you for stating so clearly what many of us realize, but are unable
or unwilling to articulate so well.  Your piece will help many of us to
write letters to the ditor with more bite to them than would have been
possible without your analysis.

I look forward to the next one or two postings with more on terrorism,
and to the next chapters of your book.

Stop Globalization !!!

Charles Johnson

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From: •••@••.••• (Hugh Keane)
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 15:10:02 -0400 (EDT)
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#818> Would the real terrorists please stand up?

    I have a problem with the factual
basis of your statement concerning
the so called civilian factory in the
Sudan.

    Although I agree with your animosity
towards the economic globilization and
corporate control of previously national
states, I cannot avoid the fact that
there are ideologies that are equally
or greater in diminishing the chances
for the peoples of the world to achieve
democracy.

    The American People through their
goverment should and do have a right
to protect its citizens from criminals
who under the guise of relgion have
taken the lives of innocent people.

    I don't think siding with fanatics
whose only desire is to inflict a
totalitarian ideology on their own
people, is a method of making a
more livable world.

Hugh

----------

Dear Hugh,

All the reports I've seen identify the factory as being a civilian
pharmaceutical plant.  "The Observer", a mainstream British paper, includes
an interview with a Brit who visited the plant recently, and who said it
was strictly civilian.  The Observer also claims that Clinton admitted he
knew the plant was civilian, and even that he preferred such a target so it
wouldn't harm civilians with poisonous substances.  What are they saying
about the target on US TV?

Your concerns about bad ideologies and protecting innocents are of course
compelling.  That's why the propaganda is so successful -- it contains
elements of truth.

During the Cold War, we were told that the choice was between "our system"
and "Soviet tyranny".  Now we're told it's between "our system" and "Muslim
fundamentalism".  Children are told "Be good or the boogyman will get you."
These are false choices, simplistic slogans, no more than means of keeping
people suppressed.

Do you think the US actions are protecting US citizens?  To me, the
reprisals seem designed to be as provocative as possible, to inflame
passions, and may well bring about new waves of terrorism.  This advances
the US elite agenda of legitimizing arbitrary US intervention as a means of
maintaining its own version of global order.  Just as Saddam was carefully
preserved after Desert Storm, so Bin Laden has been carefully preserved.
Thus there's a boogyman who can be shown on TV and used as a pretext.

You said:
    >I don't think siding with fanatics
    >whose only desire is to inflict a
    >totalitarian ideology on their own
    >people, is a method of making a
    >more livable world.

I couldn't agree more.  I don't side with those who plant bombs, nor do I
side with those launch missile attacks.  In fact I think our Western
leaders are "fanatics whose only desire is to inflict a totalitarian
ideology on their own people".  Neoliberalism (market-forces capitalism) is
fanaticism, and globalization is leading rapidly a totalitarian global
regime.

In looking to the US to be our "protector from terrorism", one must
consider the role of the US in purposely creating the conditions out of
which terrorism arises.  The US has used its power, both overt and covert,
and this is a matter of unquestioned record, to create totalitarian regimes
all over the world.  It is the US (sometimes with help from Britain) who
put Marcos and Suharto in power, who installed the Shah, and then insured
that he got replaced by the Ayatollah.  It is the US who maintains medieval
regimes in the oil-producing states, who trained Latin America militaries
during the era of "the disappeared", and who brought about the current
fanatical regime in Afganistan.  The US has no right to create a world of
dictatorial regimes and then use the evilness of those regimes as an excuse
for its own adventurism.

What we need is an end to US intervention in other countries, not an
expansion of it.

yours,
rkm

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Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 16:06:33 -0500
To: •••@••.•••
From: Mark Douglas Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re: cj#818> Would the real terrorists please stand up?

 >Or consider the Iraq embargo, with the "end", evidently, of removing Saddam
>from power, but which is carried out forcefully against the whole civilian
>population of Iraq, primarily by the US.  Millions have died, many of them
 >children, in this massive act of intimidation.  This too, is state
  >terrorism, although it will never be called that in the media.


In my comparative urban studies, it is generally assumed that seige
warfare--the intentional starvation of a city for force its fall or
compliance--ended with the 'feudal' era. All that has changed is that shapes
of the military technologies and sizes of states have allowed seiges of
whole countrysides, under the name of 'strictly economic' embargos.

The way the idea of 'embargo' is framed is that is is solely
'economic,' that it has nothing to do with warfare.  Yet an embargo--the
intentional economic destabilitation of a nation-state to force political
compliance--by any other name is a seige and basically warfare under any
other name.  And exmaples of seige warfare can drag of for years. United
States examples of seige warfare are Cuba and Iraq.

Regards,

Mark Whitaker
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 00:35:00 -0700
From: Jeff Jewell <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#818> Would the real terrorists please stand up?

The hegemonic domination of the USA as the only terrorist state of any
significance rests solidly on its stunning success in selling its citizens on
its own propaganda.

Apparently some of American propaganda purveyors are even starting to believe
it themselves.  The epitome of such self delusion was expressed on the ABC
Nightline news program [hosted by Ted Koppel] by a spin doctor who suggested
that the recent 'retaliatory' bombing of Afhganistan and Sudan might usher in a
new and more 'proactive' phase of the American war against terrorism -- which
he termed "anticipatory self-defence"!

While Koppel was sufficiently objective to note that others might not see it
that way, neither he nor the talking-head expert nor presumably the vast
majority of the American audience were troubled by the shameful and disgusting
reality embodied in this utterly cynical concept.

  Jeff Jewell

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Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 09:28:56 -0400
To: •••@••.•••
From: Ruth Cohen <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#819> Parveez Syed: "US embassy bombings analysed"

There is nothing factual whatsoever in this piece of garbage and I am truly
amazed that Richard would be so prone to rush to the side of people who
spew forth this type of so called "analysis" that he would fall in with
complete madmen on the grounds that anything anti-American is perforce
accurate. What -- is he saying that the Americans did these bombings to
themselves so they could run in and take over the Middle East, right after
they have taken over ALbainia, no doubt?  He obviously wants to believe it,
since he says well, on the one hand he doesn't agree with the views
expressed by Parveez but on the other hand, well, he does consider him to
be a reliable source. I see a distinct problem here of metaphysical
speculation taking over from reasoned analysis, and the hurtful thing is
that it has an anti semitic basis.

Ruth Cohen

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Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 12:00:45 -0500
From: Kathleen Geathers <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#821> Two more reports on US reprisals

The entire situation is tragic. When one country, the U.S., without
debate in congress, can unilaterally go into other countries and bomb,
no country is safe because international law means nothing to us.

Kathleen

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Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 01:53:42 -0700
From: Jeff Jewell <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#820> Parveez Syed: Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan

Richard, re the 'Wag the Dog' notion that Clinton could use military action
to distract public attention from his scandals, I strongly believe that you
were exactly right that this notion is absurd -- and that he was nothing
more than a rubber stamp this decision.  Indeed, had he such power and take
such action, this would undoubtedly be judged to be a "high crime or
misdemeanor" -- i.e. an impeachable offense.

While Clinton may have thought it might spin to his advantage, I wouldn't be
surprised if his enemies who commanded it may well have realized that, given
Clinton's vulnerability coupled with public exposure to the  'Wag the Dog'
idea, military action would actually raise further doubts about his
integrity -- and, in any case, it was a golden opportunity for an
unjustified unilateral action -- where any blame would fall on him.

In this light, the fact that Parveez Syed touts the 'Wag the Dog' scenario
to me destroys the credibilty of that source.

------------

Dear Jeff,

If you require omniscience from all your information sources you won't have
many sources.  Parveez lives in London, and his grasp of the subtleties of
US domestic politics is not his claim to expertise.  What he does claim to
have is reliable sources in various intelligence services, and that's the
part of his analysis that I think is worth paying attention to.  I'm not
saying to believe it all, but to notice what kind of evidence he cites, and
keep that in mind along with other available evidence in evaluating the
situtation for yourself.

I have a friend whose mode of argument is to dismiss totally anyone when he
can find a single statement they've made that he can refute.  This makes it
comfortable for him to hold on to his existing beliefs, but it mystifies me
how he came to those beliefs.  Where did he find immaculate sources in the
first place?

rkm

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