cj#824> Terrorism: Orwellian logic and pre-planned reprisals

1998-08-29

Richard Moore

Dear cj,

Two different levels of propaganda are highlighted in the two reports
below.  The first deals with the illogic behind the media definitions of
"terrorism" and "retaliation".  The second deals with deception regarding
the reprisals, the intent behind them, and the evidence that the reprisals
were already planned prior to the bombings that allegedly "caused" them.
Note especially:

    Russian military analysts say that the promptness of this response to
    terrorism proves the U.S. attack was fully planned and prepared months
    ago and the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania were only a pretext for a
    final go ahead.

It may be far-fetched to allege Western intelligence services actually
carried out the bombings, and the evidence now seems to show Bin Laden was
responsible, but is it far-fetched to assume Western intelligence was aware
the bombings were being planned?

Is it credible to believe all the detailed knowledge we're being shown on
television regarding terrorist bases and networks was only uncovered
subsequent to the bombings?  Is it credible to assume that this state of
ongoing war the US is so eager to enter into has been a spur-of-the-moment
development?  Is it not more sensible to take seriously the "Clash of
Civilizations" doctrine, long ago articulated, and see current events as a
scenario designed to implement that doctrine?

yours,
rkm

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Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 19:27:53 -0500
To: •••@••.•••
From: Mark Douglas Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Orwellian Logic (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 10:33:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Norman Solomon <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Orwellian Logic


ORWELLIAN LOGIC 101 -- A FEW SIMPLE LESSONS

By Norman Solomon  /  Creators Syndicate

     During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and
Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal
minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among
those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons.

     When terrorists attack, they're terrorizing. When we attack,
we're retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with
further attacks, they're terrorizing again. When we respond with
further attacks, we're retaliating again.

     When people decry civilian deaths caused by the U.S.
government, they're aiding propaganda efforts. In sharp contrast,
when civilian deaths are caused by bombers who hate America, the
perpetrators are evil and those deaths are tragedies.

     When they put bombs in cars and kill people, they're
uncivilized killers. When we put bombs on missiles and kill
people, we're upholding civilized values.

     When they kill, they're terrorists. When we kill, we're
striking against terror.

     At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about
who to hate and fear. When the United States found Osama bin
Laden useful during the 1980s because of his tenacious violence
against the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan, he was good, or at
least not bad -- but now he's really bad.

     No matter how many times they've lied in the past, U.S.
officials are credible in the present. When they vaguely cite
evidence that the bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was
making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for
us.

     Might doesn't make right -- except in the real world, when
it's American might. Only someone of dubious political
orientation would split hairs about international law.

     When the mass media in some foreign countries serve as
megaphones for the rhetoric of their government, the result is
ludicrous propaganda. When the mass media in our country serve as
megaphones for the rhetoric of the U.S. government, the result is
responsible journalism.

     Unlike the TV anchors spouting the government line in places
like Sudan and Afghanistan, ours don't have to be told what to
say. They have the freedom to report as they choose.

     "Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip," George
Orwell observed, "but the really well-trained dog is the one that
turns his somersault when there is no whip."

     Orwell noted that language "becomes ugly and inaccurate
because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our
language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." And
his novel "1984" explained that "the special function of certain
Newspeak words ... was not so much to express meanings as to
destroy them."

     National security. Western values. The world community. War
against terrorism. Collateral damage. American interests.

     What's so wondrous about Orwellian processes is that they
tend to be very well camouflaged -- part of the normal scenery.
Day in and day out, we take them for granted. And we're apt to
stay away from uncharted mental paths.

     In "1984," Orwell wrote about the conditioned reflex of
"stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any
dangerous thought ... and of being bored or repelled by any train
of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction."

     Orwell described "doublethink" as the willingness "to forget
any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes
necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long
as it is needed."

     In his afterword to "1984," Erich Fromm emphasized "the
point which is essential for the understanding of Orwell's book,
namely that `doublethink' is already with us, and not merely
something which will happen in the future, and in dictatorships."

     Fifty-two years ago, Orwell wrote an essay titled "Politics
and the English Language." Today, his words remain as relevant as
ever: "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the
defense of the indefensible."

     Repression and atrocities "can indeed be defended," Orwell
added, "but only by arguments which are too brutal for most
people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims
of political parties. Thus political language has to consist
largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy
vagueness."

     National security. Western values. The world community. War
against terrorism. Collateral damage. American interests.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 00:59:34 -0300
To: •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.••• (Jan Slakov)
Subject: Russian view of bombings

---<fwd>---
Date:   Fri, 28 Aug 1998 05:24:52 -0400
From: Eric Fawcett <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.••• [and others]
Subject: s4pNewsletter


Subject: U.S. bombs scared Russia: extract from CDI Russia Weekly

I have selected one item from several of great interest in the current
CDI Russia Weekly, a newsletter that you may like to subscribe to yourself.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CDI Russia Weekly #12, 28 August 1998,
Edited by David Johnson, Center for Defense Information,
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036, USA

The CDI Russia Weekly is an e-mail newsletter that carries news and
analysis on all aspects of today's Russia, including political,
economic, social, military, and foreign policy issues. With funding
from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, CDI Russia Weekly is a
project of the Washington-based Center for Defense Information (CDI),
a nonprofit research and education organization.
CDI's web page: http://www.cdi.org
e-mail: <•••@••.•••> as in the header of this message

Contents:
  1. Moscow Times editorial: Democracy Lives or Dies With Yeltsin.
  2. Moscow Times: Pavel Felgenhauer, DEFENSE DOSSIER: U.S. Bombs Scared
     Russia.
  3. The Guardian (UK): James Meek, Rebels who will answer only to Islam.
  4. RFE/RL: Paul Goble, Russia: Analysis From Washington -- When States
     Fail.
  5. St. Petersburg Times: Leonid Shebarshin, Confronting Russia's Role
     In Central Asian Conflicts.
  6. Sovetskaya Rossiya: "Gennadiy Zyuganov: Compromises Are Impossible."
  7. IntellectualCapital.com: Dmitry Trenin, Crossing the Swamp.
  8. RFE/RL: Floriana Fossato, Russia: Crisis Wipes Out People's Savings.
  9. RFE/RL NEWSLINE: LOW EXPECTATIONS FOR RUSSIAN-U.S. SUMMIT.

*****************************************************************************

For more articles from The Moscow Times, check out their website at
www.moscowtimes.ru

#2: Moscow Times, August 27, 1998
DEFENSE DOSSIER: U.S. Bombs Scared Russia
By Pavel Felgenhauer

Last Friday Yeltsin denounced the bombing of alleged terrorist targets
in Sudan and Afghanistan by the United States. Yeltsin said "his
attitude is negative as it would be to any act of terrorism, military
interference or failure to solve a problem through talks." Yeltsin's
press secretary, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, watered down Yeltsin's statement
and the free fall of the ruble virtually blackened out this news item in
Moscow.

In Washington, White House national security adviser Sandy Berger
predicted those comments would not sour the atmosphere when Yeltsin and
U.S. President Bill Clinton meet in Moscow early next month. In Moscow
many agree. It is reported that more than 70 U.S. Tomahawk cruise
missiles hit Afghan territory controlled by the Moslem fundamentalist
Taliban militia. But Moscow considers the Taliban a serious security
threat. For some time the Russian authorities have been helping the
anti-Taliban forces and feared that the United States was in its turn
secretly supporting the Taliban.

This alleged U.S.-Taliban alliance has surely been broken. It is
reported that as a result of the Tomahawk attack, the U.S. Unocal Corp.
has postponed all work on building a $2 billion pipeline to bring
Turkmen natural gas via Afghanistan to the Pakistan Indian Ocean port of
Karachi for export. This leaves the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom in full
control of all Turkmen gas exports. With Viktor Chernomyrdin back at the
helm in Moscow, what is good for Gazprom will also be, mostly,
officially considered good for Russia.

Badly bruised by scandal and crisis at home, Yeltsin and Clinton will,
most likely, do their best to make the coming summit a success the same
way former U.S. President Richard Nixon indulged in foreign policy and
detente with the Soviet Union as the Watergate scandal unfolded.

However, it should be remembered that Yeltsin made his uncompromising
remarks on board the Russian navy's flagship -- the Pyotr Veliky nuclear
cruiser -- after conferring with his military chiefs. The Russian
military also does not particularly like the Taliban. Still, the U.S.
military action is seen as setting a very dangerous precedent and also
as an example of possible future threats Russia may face.

The U.S. attack happened less than two weeks after the terrorist
bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The Washington Post has reported that
plans to attack the alleged terrorist targets linked to the Saudi
dissident millionaire Osama bin Laden were approved by a White House
national security team five days after the embassy bombings. Clinton
officially approved the plan of attack one week after the terrorist
bombings and one week before U.S. military action was taken.

Russian military analysts say that the promptness of this response to
terrorism proves the U.S. attack was fully planned and prepared months
ago and the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania were only a pretext for a
final go ahead.

The sea-launched Tomahawk cruise missile is not a weapon that one can
fire at an unforeseen enemy. This "smart" missile has a guidance system
with components that make course corrections for pinpoint accuracy. To
determine the missile's location, one component compares terrain with
satellite photographs of Earth stored in on board computers. Another
component receives data from GPS satellites that provide guidance.

This means that any Tomahawk attack should be preceded by a long period
of intelligence gathering and accurate spy satellite mapping to
determine the exact target positions and missile approach routes.
Persistent fog or low clouds can postpone targeting procedures for
weeks, sometimes months. It took months to prepare Tomahawk missile
attacks against Iraq after the August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, since the
previously prepared U.S. cruise missile targets were all in Russia and
not near Baghdad. Even if the U.S. authorities are right and the
demolished El Shifa Pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum was indeed involved
in making VX nerve gas, it obviously had no connection to the Kenya and
Tanzania bombings. No gas was used in those bombs. The plant was a
preplanned target and Russian generals are afraid their U.S.
counterparts have more such "terrorist targets" in military plans of
sudden worldwide "pinpoint" attacks. Future Tomahawk recipients may be
Russian friends, not the Taliban. A new, pro-Communist Russian
government may demand some response from its military, and that is a
prospect the rundown, unfed and unpaid Russian army fears most of all.

Pavel Felgenhauer is defense and national security affairs editor of
Segodnya [TODAY]


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