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Terrorists: New and Old PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Friday, 29 July 2005 02:42
Terrorists: New and Old

PEJ News
- Dr. F.H. Knelman - The recent terrorist bombings in London have spawned a global dialogue. Many observers have come to believe that this kind of violence is closely associated with the Islamic religion. A superficial analysis would seem to bear this out. But we must examine the issue much more closely.
The lives of the innocent are most sacred. In a situation of formal or informal combat those who have chosen violent means expose themselves to violent ends. This is true in war and revolution. But for those non-participants who become victims, there is no excuse and the perpetrators must be condemned. It is by this criterion that I personally condemn the perpetrators of the violent acts that took place in London recently. However it is also by this criterion that I condemn the 25,000 Iraqi civilians killed in that war by largely U.S. and British forces. A possibility is that Bush and Blair have their own system of human values. Comparing the sixty Londoners killed to the 25,000 Iraqis, in Blair?s equation, one English person is equal to approximately 400 Iraqis. We do not have an accurate number for the Iraqi military who have been killed since the invasion began but it is at least as large and very probably larger than the civilian toll. To date 1600 U.S. soldiers have died. Our equation therefore indicates one U.S. soldier is equal to fifteen Iraqis. However there is more to this equation than simple arithmetic. The invasion of Iraq was a violation of international law and the U.N. Charter. It was based on multiple lies. Therefore the U.S. is responsible for all the deaths on all sides.

But we cannot discount the murder of civilians by insurgents in Iraq. This is also murder and cannot be rationalized as an act of war. As the first sentence in this article asserted, ?the lives of the innocent are sacred.? Women, children and other non-combatants killed in war or revolution are victims of murder. But we must reaffirm that the ultimate cause of the acts of insurgents was the illegal invasion of Iraq. History has taught us over and over again that the consequence of organized armed attack on a country guarantees an opposition which often uses unacceptable means to resist. After the act of terror in Spain the existing government fell and the new government removed its troops from Iraq. Spain has not been subject to terrorist attacks since then. This is the same process that led to the terrorist attack on London. Blair denies this because he has to. Many people have accused the Islamic religion as the reason for the above terrorist attacks and the role of the insurgents in Iraq. In fact the Irish Republican Army (IRA) committed far greater acts of terror and violence in London and Belfast. And it is Christian fundamentalists that support U.S. terrorism. Moreover it was a White Christian country that spawned the Nazi regime which murdered some six million Jews. This dwarfs any acts by Islamic groups. Nor should we forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an unnecessary radioactive holocaust launched against Japan by the U.S., in which some 300,000 civilians were killed while many continued to die from radioactive poisoning. Nor should we forget U.S. support for violent regimes in Central and South America, which committed horrendous acts of violence against their people. We reassert that the real villain of the current terrorism is George W. Bush while Blair is a disgraceful accomplice. The British people, who had previously opposed the war in Iraq by a large majority of their citizens, seem to prefer the stiff upper lip and good taste criteria to exposing Blair?s responsibility. The preferred response would have been to have Blair rejected as leader of his party.

Returning to the record of the U.S., that country has the highest murder rate among the highly industrialized countries in the world. And even more telling, the U.S. condones the torture of prisoners of war, another violation of the Geneva Convention. According to a report on ?60 Minutes?, July 24, 2005, a secret CIA organization, ?Rendition?, first created by Clinton but used excessively by Bush, condones the torture of prisoners by a select group of countries. Among these are Egypt, Jordan, Uzbakistan and others, where there are experts on torture. When the former head of Rendition was interviewed on the show his response to the question, ?Do you condone torture?? was ?Yes, when it saves Americans? (The U.S. uber alles. Heil to the Chief).

We have arrived at a sad conclusion. There is no viable collective transnational means to right the wrongs of the Right, no matter where these occur. Pax Americana has ruled out any such means. This function was the hope we had for the United Nations. But in the real world today, to quote Bush, ?The United Nations is irrelevant.? And those countries which compose the phony ?coalition? in Iraq are equally in contempt of international law and the U.N. Charter. The only judgement day that will probably occur is that Iraq will become another Viet Nam or the result of the 2008 presidential election will reverse U.S. policy.
Last Updated on Friday, 29 July 2005 02:42

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