10.04.2005

A Way Forward (3)


Power to the People...

A true victory in the “war on terror” would involve eradicating the US terrorist state and criminally prosecuting those who have perpetrated the associated war crimes. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and many others in that foul administration belong in Guantanamo Bay with those they have alleged to be terrorists. The most dangerous terrorists on Earth move about freely, wield great power, enjoy immense wealth, and reside openly in Washington, DC. Corrupt, bellicose, avaricious war-mongers represent a fraction of the US population yet they harbor almost all of the power and wealth in the world's only remaining superpower nation. Arrests and prosecutions through US and international courts, tax revolts, protests, nation-wide strikes/walkouts by union and non-union employees alike, massive consumer boycotts, increased education of the American public, increased unity amongst the proponents of social justice, and the emergence of a powerful spiritual leader whose true goal is to achieve social justice are needed to excise the cancer in Washington which plagues the world.
That is just a small part of "Viewing Terrorism through a Different Lens" by Jason Miller at Tom Paine's Corner. It's a long post, but worth the read on several counts. First, he clearly defines "terrorism" as "a two way street":
Admittedly, the perpetrators of 9/11 (if one believes that Arab terrorists actually committed the act), the members of the resistance in Iraq who have bombed Iraqi civilians, and members of Hamas who have killed Israeli civilians, have committed acts of terror. However, the number of murders they have committed pales in comparison to the "collateral damage" inflicted by the US government and the civilians killed by its proxies. Besides, not all acts committed by Hamas or similar groups are acts of terrorism. Some of the acts the US government labels as "terrorism" are carried out by sovereign nations (or oppressed people) defending themselves against imperial aggressors.

What is my conclusion? Both the US government and Arab organizations (which truly commit terrorist acts) are abominations because they kill for political or ideological gain.
Second, he carefully enumerates the specific reasons why the Arab (and by extension, Muslim) world might be a tad annoyed with the US government:
Since the internal combustion engine became an indispensable aspect of economic vitality, the United States government has invaded, exploited, manipulated and cheated Arab nations in its ongoing quest to purloin their precious oil. Preying upon internal strife and ongoing unrest amongst varying factions and sects of the Islamic faith, the US government has raped the people of the Middle East for decades. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Acts of retaliation against the US are the result of victimized people attempting to thwart their over-powering, deceitful oppressors in Washington . . .

Consider the fact that the power-brokers in Washington DC have long supported, and continue to support, a repressive monarchy in Saudi Arabia known as the House of Saud. Washington maintains this incestuous relationship with these iron-fisted rulers to ensure a steady supply of crude oil and to guarantee they have an ally to host regional military bases from which to further their goal of global hegemony . . .

Perhaps the most poignant and timely illustration of the US government fueling Arab antipathy is Iraq. In 1963, the US helped sponsor a coup which brought Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party to power. King Hussein of Jordan has confirmed that the CIA located Iraqi Communists for the Ba'athists, who in turn tortured and killed these members of their opposition. Once Saddam came to power in 1979, the US became his staunch ally, pushing for Iran's defeat in the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980's. Providing money (via loans from Middle Eastern US allies), conventional weapons (through US allies), and the precursors to biological weapons (directly from the CDC) to Hussein (despite realizing he was committing genocide by killing tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and using chemical weapons against Iran), the US government again showed its willingness to support a brutal tyranny to further its own interests . . .

Iran, a member of the triumvirate Bush cited as the "Axis of Evil", is another Arab victim of US state terrorism. In 1953, through Operation Ajax, the CIA led a coup which replaced Iran's nationalist leader, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, with Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the infamous Shah of Iran. The Shah outlawed the existence of rival political parties and created SAVAK, his secret police force. SAVAK vigorously pursued and crushed dissent against the Shah's government. The Shah routinely tortured dissidents in the infamous Evin Prison. US government support of the Shah and of his "Westernization" of Iraq both infuriated the populace of Iraq and eventually led to the Shah's ouster in 1979. His successor was the virulently anti-American Ayatollah Khomeni. Violence spawns violence. Hatred begets hatred . . .
He finishes with a warning that we have "a lot of wood to chop" if we are to dismantle the fascist juggernaut. The suggestions he offers in the paragraph I first quoted, especially boycotts and strikes (they work in Europe), are examples of popular actions that challenge the dominant party structures all around.

Chop, chop, chop.