Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Clear words -- Western trained to dismiss, dismiss

Noam Chomsky in one of his writing states that the
monopoly capitalist system of U.S is keen to use
terrorism as weapon to extend its intervention in the
areas where it cannot otherwise directly deploy its
armed forces or force its policies of coercion and

He, during his visit to India had said, "The literal
notion of terrorism, and one which is contained in
official U.S. documents, instructed that "terrorism
(is) the calculated use of violence or threat of
violence to attain goals that are political, religious
or ideological in nature (carried out) through
intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear."

Chomsky argued that American imperialist policy has
jettisoned this literal definition in favour of the
propagandist one, which is nothing but a truism. This
preferred version categorises anyone who is against the
U.S., its friends and allies, as a terrorist. Thus
U.S and its allies at the one hand find excuses to wage
war against terror and on the other hand use terror as
an instrument of intervention and arm twisting with the
nations not falling in line with the U S policies of
Global Monopoly Capitalist strong hold.

In India we have sufficient proof of having active US
lobbies and interest sharing partners, who get active
after the opening up of the Indian economy and its
aftermath. As it has been often noted that economic and
strategic U S partners, while preaching Global
equitable Market reach at international forums turn the
conditions of their own country in such manner that the
majority of the people remain excluded from the gains
and fruits of economic development that takes place in
these countries. To keep general masses away from these
fruits of their perpetual labour and toil, illiteracy,
religious bias and other social conflicts are used to
engage people in artificial and deliberately created
conflicts. Instead of strengthening the democratic
institutions these institutions are used by coercion to
get hold of them and then use these for narrow
interests of individuals and certain groups.

The Most Wanted List, International Terrorism Noam
Chomsky Tom Dispatch, February 26, 2008 On February
13, Imad Moughniyeh, a senior commander of Hizbollah,
was assassinated in Damascus. "The world is a better
place without this man in it," State Department
spokesperson Sean McCormack said: "one way or the
other he was brought to justice." Director of National
Intelligence Mike McConnell added that Moughniyeh has
been "responsible for more deaths of Americans and
Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception
of Osama bin Laden."

Joy was unconstrained in Israel too, as "one of the
U.S. and Israel's most wanted men" was brought to
justice, the London Financial Times reported. Under the
heading, "A militant wanted the world over," an
accompanying story reported that he was "superseded on
the most-wanted list by Osama bin Laden" after 9/11 and
so ranked only second among "the most wanted militants
in the world."

The terminology is accurate enough, according to the
rules of Anglo-American discourse, which defines "the
world" as the political class in Washington and London
(and whoever happens to agree with them on specific
matters). It is common, for example, to read that "the
world" fully supported George Bush when he ordered the
bombing of Afghanistan. That may be true of "the
world," but hardly of the world, as revealed in an
international Gallup Poll after the bombing was
announced. Global support was slight. In Latin America,
which has some experience with U.S. behavior, support
ranged from 2% in Mexico to 16% in Panama, and that
support was conditional upon the culprits being
identified (they still weren't eight months later, the
FBI reported), and civilian targets being spared (they
were attacked at once). There was an overwhelming
preference in the world for diplomatic/judicial
measures, rejected out of hand by "the world."

Following the Terror Trail

In the present case, if "the world" were extended to
the world, we might find some other candidates for the
honor of most hated arch-criminal. It is instructive to
ask why this might be true.

The Financial Times reports that most of the charges
against Moughniyeh are unsubstantiated, but "one of the
very few times when his involvement can be ascertained
with certainty [is in] the hijacking of a TWA plane in
1985 in which a U.S. Navy diver was killed." This was
one of two terrorist atrocities that led a poll of
newspaper editors to select terrorism in the Middle
East as the top story of 1985; the other was the
hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro, in
which a crippled American, Leon Klinghoffer, was
brutally murdered. That reflects the judgment of "the
world." It may be that the world saw matters somewhat

The Achille Lauro hijacking was a retaliation for the
bombing of Tunis ordered a week earlier by Israeli
Prime Minister Shimon Peres. His air force killed 75
Tunisians and Palestinians with smart bombs that tore
them to shreds, among other atrocities, as vividly
reported from the scene by the prominent Israeli
journalist Amnon Kapeliouk. Washington cooperated by
failing to warn its ally Tunisia that the bombers were
on the way, though the Sixth Fleet and U.S.
intelligence could not have been unaware of the
impending attack. Secretary of State George Shultz
informed Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir that
Washington "had considerable sympathy for the Israeli
action," which he termed "a legitimate response" to
"terrorist attacks," to general approbation. A few days
later, the UN Security Council unanimously denounced
the bombing as an "act of armed aggression" (with the
U.S. abstaining). "Aggression" is, of course, a far
more serious crime than international terrorism. But
giving the United States and Israel the benefit of the
doubt, let us keep to the lesser charge against their

A few days after, Peres went to Washington to consult
with the leading international terrorist of the day,
Ronald Reagan, who denounced "the evil scourge of
terrorism," again with general acclaim by "the world."

The "terrorist attacks" that Shultz and Peres offered
as the pretext for the bombing of Tunis were the
killings of three Israelis in Larnaca, Cyprus. The
killers, as Israel conceded, had nothing to do with
Tunis, though they might have had Syrian connections.
Tunis was a preferable target, however. It was
defenseless, unlike Damascus. And there was an extra
pleasure: more exiled Palestinians could be killed

The Larnaca killings, in turn, were regarded as
retaliation by the perpetrators: They were a response
to regular Israeli hijackings in international waters
in which many victims were killed -- and many more
kidnapped and sent to prisons in Israel, commonly to be
held without charge for long periods. The most
notorious of these has been the secret prison/torture
chamber Facility 1391. A good deal can be learned about
it from the Israeli and foreign press. Such regular
Israeli crimes are, of course, known to editors of the
national press in the U.S., and occasionally receive
some casual mention.

Klinghoffer's murder was properly viewed with horror,
and is very famous. It was the topic of an acclaimed
opera and a made-for-TV movie, as well as much shocked
commentary deploring the savagery of Palestinians --
"two-headed beasts" (Prime Minister Menachem Begin),
"drugged roaches scurrying around in a bottle" (Chief
of Staff Raful Eitan), "like grasshoppers compared to
us," whose heads should be "smashed against the
boulders and walls" (Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir). Or
more commonly just "Araboushim," the slang counterpart
of "kike" or "nigger."

Thus, after a particularly depraved display of
settler-military terror and purposeful humiliation in
the West Bank town of Halhul in December 1982, which
disgusted even Israeli hawks, the well-known
military/political analyst Yoram Peri wrote in dismay
that one "task of the army today [is] to demolish the
rights of innocent people just because they are
Araboushim living in territories that God promised to
us," a task that became far more urgent, and was
carried out with far more brutality, when the
Araboushim began to "raise their heads" a few years

We can easily assess the sincerity of the sentiments
expressed about the Klinghoffer murder. It is only
necessary to investigate the reaction to comparable
U.S.-backed Israeli crimes. Take, for example, the
murder in April 2002 of two crippled Palestinians,
Kemal Zughayer and Jamal Rashid, by Israeli forces
rampaging through the refugee camp of Jenin in the West
Bank. Zughayer's crushed body and the remains of his
wheelchair were found by British reporters, along with
the remains of the white flag he was holding when he
was shot dead while seeking to flee the Israeli tanks
which then drove over him, ripping his face in two and
severing his arms and legs. Jamal Rashid was crushed in
his wheelchair when one of Israel's huge U.S.-supplied
Caterpillar bulldozers demolished his home in Jenin
with his family inside. The differential reaction, or
rather non-reaction, has become so routine and so easy
to explain that no further commentary is necessary.

Car Bomb

Plainly, the 1985 Tunis bombing was a vastly more
severe terrorist crime than the Achille Lauro
hijacking, or the crime for which Moughniyeh's
"involvement can be ascertained with certainty" in the
same year. But even the Tunis bombing had competitors
for the prize for worst terrorist atrocity in the
Mideast in the peak year of 1985.

One challenger was a car-bombing in Beirut right
outside a mosque, timed to go off as worshippers were
leaving Friday prayers. It killed 80 people and wounded
256. Most of the dead were girls and women, who had
been leaving the mosque, though the ferocity of the
blast "burned babies in their beds," "killed a bride
buying her trousseau," and "blew away three children as
they walked home from the mosque." It also "devastated
the main street of the densely populated" West Beirut
suburb, reported Nora Boustany three years later in the
Washington Post.

The intended target had been the Shi'ite cleric Sheikh
Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, who escaped. The bombing
was carried out by Reagan's CIA and his Saudi allies,
with Britain's help, and was specifically authorized by
CIA Director William Casey, according to Washington
Post reporter Bob Woodward's account in his book Veil:
The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987. Little is known
beyond the bare facts, thanks to rigorous adherence to
the doctrine that we do not investigate our own crimes
(unless they become too prominent to suppress, and the
inquiry can be limited to some low-level "bad apples"
who were naturally "out of control").

"Terrorist Villagers"

A third competitor for the 1985 Mideast terrorism prize
was Prime Minister Peres' "Iron Fist" operations in
southern Lebanese territories then occupied by Israel
in violation of Security Council orders. The targets
were what the Israeli high command called "terrorist
villagers." Peres's crimes in this case sank to new
depths of "calculated brutality and arbitrary murder"
in the words of a Western diplomat familiar with the
area, an assessment amply supported by direct coverage.
They are, however, of no interest to "the world" and
therefore remain uninvestigated, in accordance with the
usual conventions. We might well ask whether these
crimes fall under international terrorism or the far
more severe crime of aggression, but let us again give
the benefit of the doubt to Israel and its backers in
Washington and keep to the lesser charge.

These are a few of the thoughts that might cross the
minds of people elsewhere in the world, even if not
those of "the world," when considering "one of the very
few times" Imad Moughniyeh was clearly implicated in a
terrorist crime.

The U.S. also accuses him of responsibility for
devastating double suicide truck-bomb attacks on U.S.
Marine and French paratrooper barracks in Lebanon in
1983, killing 241 Marines and 58 paratroopers, as well
as a prior attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut,
killing 63, a particularly serious blow because of a
meeting there of CIA officials at the time.

The Financial Times has, however, attributed the attack
on the Marine barracks to Islamic Jihad, not Hizbollah.
Fawaz Gerges, one of the leading scholars on the jihadi
movements and on Lebanon, has written that
responsibility was taken by an "unknown group called
Islamic Jihad." A voice speaking in classical Arabic
called for all Americans to leave Lebanon or face
death. It has been claimed that Moughniyeh was the head
of Islamic Jihad at the time, but to my knowledge,
evidence is sparse.

The opinion of the world has not been sampled on the
subject, but it is possible that there might be some
hesitancy about calling an attack on a military base in
a foreign country a "terrorist attack," particularly
when U.S. and French forces were carrying out heavy
naval bombardments and air strikes in Lebanon, and
shortly after the U.S. provided decisive support for
the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which killed some
20,000 people and devastated the south, while leaving
much of Beirut in ruins. It was finally called off by
President Reagan when international protest became too
intense to ignore after the Sabra-Shatila massacres.

In the United States, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon
is regularly described as a reaction to Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist attacks on
northern Israel from their Lebanese bases, making our
crucial contribution to these major war crimes
understandable. In the real world, the Lebanese border
area had been quiet for a year, apart from repeated
Israeli attacks, many of them murderous, in an effort
to elicit some PLO response that could be used as a
pretext for the already planned invasion. Its actual
purpose was not concealed at the time by Israeli
commentators and leaders: to safeguard the Israeli
takeover of the occupied West Bank. It is of some
interest that the sole serious error in Jimmy Carter's
book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid is the repetition
of this propaganda concoction about PLO attacks from
Lebanon being the motive for the Israeli invasion. The
book was bitterly attacked, and desperate efforts were
made to find some phrase that could be misinterpreted,
but this glaring error -- the only one -- was ignored.
Reasonably, since it satisfies the criterion of
adhering to useful doctrinal fabrications.

Killing without Intent

Another allegation is that Moughniyeh "masterminded"
the bombing of Israel's embassy in Buenos Aires on
March 17, 1992, killing 29 people, in response, as the
Financial Times put it, to Israel's "assassination of
former Hizbollah leader Abbas Al-Mussawi in an air
attack in southern Lebanon." About the assassination,
there is no need for evidence: Israel proudly took
credit for it. The world might have some interest in
the rest of the story. Al-Mussawi was murdered with a
U.S.-supplied helicopter, well north of Israel's
illegal "security zone" in southern Lebanon. He was on
his way to Sidon from the village of Jibshit, where he
had spoken at the memorial for another Imam murdered by
Israeli forces. The helicopter attack also killed his
wife and five-year old child. Israel then employed
U.S.-supplied helicopters to attack a car bringing
survivors of the first attack to a hospital.

After the murder of the family, Hezbollah "changed the
rules of the game," Prime Minister Rabin informed the
Israeli Knesset. Previously, no rockets had been
launched at Israel. Until then, the rules of the game
had been that Israel could launch murderous attacks
anywhere in Lebanon at will, and Hizbollah would
respond only within Israeli-occupied Lebanese

After the murder of its leader (and his family),
Hizbollah began to respond to Israeli crimes in Lebanon
by rocketing northern Israel. The latter is, of course,
intolerable terror, so Rabin launched an invasion that
drove some 500,000 people out of their homes and killed
well over 100. The merciless Israeli attacks reached as
far as northern Lebanon.

In the south, 80% of the city of Tyre fled and Nabatiye
was left a "ghost town," Jibshit was about 70%
destroyed according to an Israeli army spokesperson,
who explained that the intent was "to destroy the
village completely because of its importance to the
Shi'ite population of southern Lebanon." The goal was
"to wipe the villages from the face of the earth and
sow destruction around them," as a senior officer of
the Israeli northern command described the operation.

Jibshit may have been a particular target because it
was the home of Sheikh Abdul Karim Obeid, kidnapped and
brought to Israel several years earlier. Obeid's home
"received a direct hit from a missile," British
journalist Robert Fisk reported, "although the Israelis
were presumably gunning for his wife and three
children." Those who had not escaped hid in terror,
wrote Mark Nicholson in the Financial Times, "because
any visible movement inside or outside their houses is
likely to attract the attention of Israeli artillery
spotters, whoÉ were pounding their shells repeatedly
and devastatingly into selected targets." Artillery
shells were hitting some villages at a rate of more
than 10 rounds a minute at times.

All of this received the firm support of President Bill
Clinton, who understood the need to instruct the
Araboushim sternly on the "rules of the game." And
Rabin emerged as another grand hero and man of peace,
so different from the two-legged beasts, grasshoppers,
and drugged roaches.

This is only a small sample of facts that the world
might find of interest in connection with the alleged
responsibility of Moughniyeh for the retaliatory
terrorist act in Buenos Aires.

Other charges are that Moughniyeh helped prepare
Hizbollah defenses against the 2006 Israeli invasion of
Lebanon, evidently an intolerable terrorist crime by
the standards of "the world," which understands that
the United States and its clients must face no
impediments in their just terror and aggression.

The more vulgar apologists for U.S. and Israeli crimes
solemnly explain that, while Arabs purposely kill
people, the U.S. and Israel, being democratic
societies, do not intend to do so. Their killings are
just accidental ones, hence not at the level of moral
depravity of their adversaries. That was, for example,
the stand of Israel's High Court when it recently
authorized severe collective punishment of the people
of Gaza by depriving them of electricity (hence water,
sewage disposal, and other such basics of civilized

The same line of defense is common with regard to some
of Washington's past peccadilloes, like the destruction
in 1998 of the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.
The attack apparently led to the deaths of tens of
thousands of people, but without intent to kill them,
hence not a crime on the order of intentional killing
-- so we are instructed by moralists who consistently
suppress the response that had already been given to
these vulgar efforts at self-justification.

To repeat once again, we can distinguish three
categories of crimes: murder with intent, accidental
killing, and murder with foreknowledge but without
specific intent. Israeli and U.S. atrocities typically
fall into the third category. Thus, when Israel
destroys Gaza's power supply or sets up barriers to
travel in the West Bank, it does not specifically
intend to murder the particular people who will die
from polluted water or in ambulances that cannot reach
hospitals. And when Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of
the al-Shifa plant, it was obvious that it would lead
to a humanitarian catastrophe. Human Rights Watch
immediately informed him of this, providing details;
nevertheless, he and his advisers did not intend to
kill specific people among those who would inevitably
die when half the pharmaceutical supplies were
destroyed in a poor African country that could not
replenish them.

Rather, they and their apologists regarded Africans
much as we do the ants we crush while walking down a
street. We are aware that it is likely to happen (if we
bother to think about it), but we do not intend to kill
them because they are not worthy of such consideration.
Needless to say, comparable attacks by Araboushim in
areas inhabited by human beings would be regarded
rather differently.

If, for a moment, we can adopt the perspective of the world, we might ask which criminals are "wanted the world over."

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posted by u2r2h at 1:26 PM


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