Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Low Crime Rate in Fallujah

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
November 30, 2004
Low Crime Rate in Fallujah

Abut Talat and I, snarled in the horrendous daily traffic of Baghdad,
decide to laugh about it. “Maybe we should consider a camel,” he
ponders, “That way we don’t have to feed it benzene!” We both start
laughing while our car hasn’t moved for several minutes.

An Iraqi Police truck races by on the wrong side of the road, sirens
blaring…to do what?

“Plus, a camel is better than a horse because it has 6 stomachs,” he
adds, starting to sound serious about this, “That way it can go for even
longer!” I have tears now from laughing so hard, while Abu Talat holds
his hands up, signaling for me to wait, “Or even better, each car should
have two donkeys to tow it, so we never need benzene again!”

We both lurch forward in our seats with laughter as I bang my hands on
the dash board. It’s either laugh or cry in Iraq. Without our joking, we
would have lost it a long time ago.

While the humanitarian crisis facing families who remain trapped inside
Fallujah grinds on, US-backed interim prime minister Ayad Allawi
announced yesterday that the crime rate in Fallujah was down after the
US siege of the city. Remember that not long ago, Allawi also announced
that every person killed in Fallujah was a fighter, ie-not one civilian
was killed.

As heavy traffic of Apache helicopters roars incessantly over Baghdad,
fierce clashes continue against the occupation forces while the interim
prime minister is in Jordan, attempting to persuade Iraqis living there
to participate in the upcoming elections.

With at least 134 US soldiers killed in Iraq this month so far, yet
another huge car bomb detonated into a military convoy on the dreaded
airport road. While witnesses reported seeing several bodies lying on
the ground at the scene, the military has yet to announce any casualty
counts. Another car bomb in Beji detonated near a US patrol, killing 4
Iraqis and wounding at least 19, including 2 US soldiers.

Allawi continues to insist that violence in Iraq is decreasing since the
siege of Fallujah.

After picking up some friends, we are snarled in more horrendous traffic
near the airport road on our way to another refugee camp. Razor wire
stretches across the road as helicopters and military hardware are
clustered just up the road. While the military cut most of the trees
along the road to prevent attacks, car bombs are something they can’t stop.

Meanwhile, the military refused to allow yet another aid convoy into
Fallujah. They were turned back because the military personnel told them
the Ministry of Health would be allowed to send a relief convoy in “8 or
9 days.”

There are at least 150 families trapped within the city, and the
military refuses to let any of them out. While a few ambulances were
allowed into one section of the city a few days ago, there are at least
three main neighborhoods that the military is keeping a tight lid on.
Refugees continue to report the use of napalm and phosphorous weapons-of
seeing dead bodies with no bullet holes in them, just scorched patches
of skin.

More refugees at the Amiryah bomb shelter camp in Baghdad are telling
the same horror stories. A man who fled the city says, “Fallujah is in a
disaster!” He holds his hands out and pleads, “We call on all NGO’s and
aid organizations to help Fallujans! We just want to return to our land;
we know our homes are destroyed, but we’d rather sleep in tents in our
own city.”

The scene at the nearby Melouki Mosque is chaos. Crowds of men stand
outside gates holding their food ration papers in the air to prove they
are from Fallujah in order to receive small heaters, stoves, foodstuffs
and blankets. Thankfully, an international NGO managed to donate funds
to purchase much of these desperately needed supplies for refugees.

Medicine have also been purchased with the donations for Iraqi doctors to
dispense to the refugees.

Sheikh Hussein who is in charge of the relief effort at the mosque is
struggling to cope with the crisis.

We stand in a small courtyard behind the mosque away from the crowds
talking. I notice a white military surveillance balloon nearby, as
helicopters rumble overhead.

“Some people not even from Fallujah are so desperate they are coming
here to get supplies and pretending to be refugees,” he tells us.

Women and children are crying outside the gates as men grapple for the
small heaters and stoves.

I am reminded of what occurred in Lidice, Czechoslovakia during World
War II. Similar to what the US military has done to Fallujah, the German
Nazis leveled Lidice as payback collective punishment for the death of a
high ranking member of the German security administration, Reinhard
Heydrich, who was killed by Czech patriots in 1942.

Last March, four mercenaries were brutally killed in Fallujah, which led
to the first US siege of the city in April as collective payback for the
attack. Mostly for political reasons that siege was ceased, which set
the stage for the recent attack on the city.

Similarly, Heydrich was assassinated by Czech patriots who were accused
of being aided by the village of Lidice. Thus, Hitler ordered the
village to be erased, and all men in the city over the age of 16 were

Musar, a woman at the mosque standing nearby is weeping. “My 5 cousins
and uncle are trapped there,” she cries, “They are not fighters but the
Americans won’t let them out. And now the soldiers are coming to our
refugee camp and detaining people!”

Musar begins to plead with us, “They took all the doctors out of the
hospitals. My brother is a doctor there and they made him leave his
work.” She stops because she is sobbing, then continues, “We have
nothing! You must help us. I need my cousins and my uncle! Where are
they? I just want to see them. None of them are fighters.”

The Chimp_junta sticking its illegal nose into foreign elections and weapons? Is this high comedy? is Bushworld.

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **

International Weapons Conventions in Iran, Iraq

November 29, 2004

By: Omar Khan

In no less than hundreds of articles over the past few weeks, our press
has tirelessly reported on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, or
rather—in characteristic shorthand—on “Iran’s efforts to develop the
capability to make nuclear weapons” (Foreign Affairs, 11/24). Early on
the morning of the November 29th, however, in “Iran Backs Away From a
Demand on A-Bomb Fuel,” the New York Times announced that a settlement
between Iran and Britain, France, and Germany (EU-3) had been reached:
Iranians had agreed to suspend all research on uranium enrichment. One
hopes that with this agreement, daily scrutiny of hypothetical Iranian
weapons might also give way to some observations of actual American
weapons being deployed nearby.

For by many accounts, the use of unconventional weapons has likely been
a US pastime in “The War on Terror” during even its most recent
episodes. Dahr Jamail of Inter Press News Service has recorded Fallujan
experiences of poison gas and bombs that “exploded into large fires that
burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns”—a trademark of
napalm and phosphorus bombs. Though many Americans will no doubt say
such claims are dubious, they have reason to: no outside medical
personnel or observers have yet been allowed into Fallujah to even allow
for further discussion of the matter. Less dubious is the continued use
of depleted uranium munitions, which as Vishnu Bhagwat, former Indian
Chief of Naval Staff, has written amounted in 2003 alone to the
equivalent of nearly 250,000 Nagasaki bombs. But depleted uranium is
nothing new, having been used extensively in southern Iraq during the
first Gulf War. The Department of Environmental Engineering at the
University of Baghdad has accordingly measured radiation levels in and
near the city of Basra to range from hundreds to thousands of times the
normal levels. Dr. Jawad Kadhim Al-Ali, Director of the Oncology Center
in Basra, has theorized depleted uranium as a reason that the death rate
from cancers in Basra has now reached 19 times that of 1988. It was also
in Basra that a previous study led by Dr. Alim Yacoup found the
incidence of leukaemia among children to have doubled between 1990 and
1999. Perhaps it is such reports that have led Dr. Asaf Durakovic, the
nuclear-medicine expert of the Veterans’ Administration, to characterize
DU as a “threat to humanity.” According to an oft cited August 2002 UN
report, the use of DU munitions breaches the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the UN Charter, the Genocide Convention, the Convention
against Torture, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, the Conventional
Weapons Convention of 1980, and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907.

In relation to the situation in Iran, one is reminded of the saying that
history is written by the victors: while the New York Times writes of
Iran’s “long history of concealment” in its relation to international
weapons conventions, there is little need for such concealment by United
States Government for its violations of such conventions as they go
almost entirely unreported. This double standard at work in the
application of such conventions is emphasized by a closer look at the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the basis for the present attention on
Iran. Article 4(1) says that “Nothing in this Treaty shall be
interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the
Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes”; Article 4(2) says that “All the Parties to the
Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in,
the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and
technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” it
goes on, “with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas
of the world.” It would seem that the United States, rather than Iran,
would be bound by the terms of the treaty, which obligate it—as a
signer—to undertake to facilitate the fullest possible exchange of
equipment, materials, and so forth to Iran, one such developing country
of the world. According to the aforementioned New York Times article,
like all other coverage of the standoff in this country, such an
exchange was of course not a right, much less a possibility. That right
was instead Iran’s “demand,” one that last week “came in two letters to
the International Atomic Energy Agency from Iran's atomic energy agency,
whose hard-liners oppose any concessions to outsiders.” But as these
hard-liners, like other Iranians, have apparently conceded to their US
and European watch dogs, the question arises with regard to Iraq, where
any comparable watch dogs can be found to concede to. Principle two of
the Nuremburg Tribunal tells us that “the fact that internal law does
not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under
international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from
responsibility under international law.” A dying hope of Iraqis today
would not be so ambitious as to imagine respite in the face of our
longstanding war crimes, but instead an interruption of the silence that
sanctions them.

Torture, Dehumanization, and Chimp_junta's Willing Participation in Admitted War Crimes

The New York Times: Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantanamo: "By NEIL A. LEWIS

Published: November 30, 2004

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 - The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion 'tantamount to torture' on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The finding that the handling of prisoners detained and interrogated at Guantanamo amounted to torture came after a visit by a Red Cross inspection team that spent most of last June in Guantanamo.

The team of humanitarian workers, which included experienced medical personnel, also asserted that some doctors and other medical workers at Guantanamo were participating in planning for interrogations, in what the report called 'a flagrant violation of medical ethics.'

Doctors and medical personnel conveyed information about prisoners' mental health and vulnerabilities to interrogators, the report said, sometimes directly, but usually through a group called the Behavioral Science Consultation Team, or B.S.C.T. The team, known informally as Biscuit, is composed of psychologists and psychological workers who advise the interrogators, the report said."

Hated, Reviled: Bush to Visit Small Canadian Town Where Marchers And Protests Are Easier to Control

Mass protests to greet Bush in Canada

Oppose US imperialism by mobilizing the international working class

By Richard Dufour
30 November 2004

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We encourage readers of the World Socialist Web Site to download this article as a PDF leaflet and distribute it widely.

Two types of reception await US President George W. Bush when he comes to Canada this morning for a two-day state visit.

From Canada’s ruling elite, Bush can expect red-carpet treatment and fulsome applause.

The popular reaction will be altogether different. Thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of angry protestors, will take to the streets to denounce Bush, giving voice to the deep-rooted popular opposition to the US’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Polls have consistently shown that if Canadians had had the opportunity to vote in the US presidential election considerably less than a quarter would have backed Bush.

Fears of this popular opposition finding an echo in Canada’s legislature led White House officials to turn down a Liberal government request that Bush address parliament. The US president will instead deliver the main speech of his Canadian visit in the provincial town of Halifax, where some US-bound airline passengers were diverted after the attacks of September 11, 2001. In “thanking” the town for its hospitality, Bush will not doubt trot out his well-worn “war on terror” mantra—the pretext his administration has used to mount aggressive actions around the world and to curtail civil liberties at home.

That Bush’s handlers feel compelled to hustle him off to Halifax speaks volumes about the fear and isolation of his administration. In Canada, like virtually everywhere else in the world, Bush is reviled for he heads a government that has raped Iraq, promoted Christian fundamentalism, lavished the rich with tax cuts and presided over the rampant growth of corporate criminality.

Above all, Bush handlers don’t want working people in the US to learn of the extent of the global opposition to the current administration, for fear it would stimulate the opposition at home. Bush was returned as president not because a majority of the American people approve of his militarist, neo-conservative agenda, but because he faced no real opposition. Democratic contender John Kerry ran a campaign in which he portrayed himself as “Bush lite.”

From Washington’s standpoint, Bush’s visit to Canada has largely to do with the need to muster international support for his failed Iraq policy. As was noted by the Globe & Mail, Canada’s leading financial daily newspaper, “the trip is part of a broader plan to smooth out bumpy relations with Washington’s key allies after a first term marred by discord over international affairs, particularly the war in Iraq.”

Prime Minister Paul Martin is expected to greet Bush with a promise to send Canadian personnel to Iraq to help oversee the planned January 30 Iraqi election. This would serve to provide some international legitimacy to what will be a charade—given that the elections are to be staged-managed by the US and even as its military employs deadly, indiscriminate violence against ordinary Iraqis who dare raise their voices against the foreign occupation.

Having secured political support from Canada, a country that at the eleventh hour balked at joining the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration hopes to be in a better position to pressure its weightier critics on the Iraq question, above all France and Germany.

Canada is also expected to bolster its military presence in Afghanistan, another front in Bush’s all-encompassing “war on terror.”

In return, the Canadian government hopes to win favors from Washington. For Canada’s ruling elite, maintaining good relations with the United States—Canada-US trade accounts for 40 percent of Canada’s GNP—is a necessity. With increasing anxiety, the most powerful sections of Canadian capital have been urging Ottawa to enter into a new economic, military and geopolitical partnership with the US, so as to ensure that Canada is within the Fortress America that the US political and economic elite is erecting

Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien headed the most right-wing, pro-big business government since the Great Depression. His government cut tens of billions from public spending, slashed jobless benefits, reduced corporate and personal taxes by $100 billion over five years, embraced NAFTA, gave the police and the courts a battery of new powers in the name of fighting terrorism, and in support of the US invasion of Afghanistan launched the biggest Canadian military operation since the Korean War. Yet because Chrétien occasionally took foreign policy stances different from that of Washington and clung to a Canadian nationalist rhetoric tinged with anti-Americanism, Canadian big business grew concerned that bilateral relations with the US were being put at risk.

Those concerns reached their high point after September 11 2001, when tightened US security measures led to long line-ups at the border, disrupting two-way trade and integrated production lines between the two countries. Another vexing issue for Canada’s corporate elite has been the lingering trade conflicts, including the hefty anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the US on Canadian exports of softwood lumber and the long delay in reopening the border to Canadian cattle exports following a case of Mad Cow Disease found on a ranch in Alberta in May 2003.

Ultimately Chrétien was forced to resign and replaced by his long-time finance minister Paul Martin, who promised that repairing relations with the Bush administration would be among his top priorities.

There was an element of self-delusion in the Canadian elite’s obsession to get rid of Chrétien—as if the deteriorating relationship with the US was simply the result of Chrétien’s inability to get along personally with Bush or his too-strident nationalist rhetoric.

The truth is the frictions in Canada-US relations and the calls from the likes of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) for Canada to abandon its traditional multilateralist posture and ally even more closely with the US are product of a sea change in inter-state relations that is rooted in the ever-intensifying struggle among corporations and capitalist nation states for markets, natural resources and pools of labor to exploit. If the US has repudiated its decades-old policy of leading alliances of the major capitalist powers and now seeks to use its military might unilaterally to assert its control over the oil reserves of the Middle East and Central Asia, it is because the US is increasingly hobbled by gargantuan trade, budget and current accounts deficits. The US elite hopes to use the Pentagon’s military superiority to offset its eroding economic power.

In response to this new situation, the elites of France and Germany are striving to develop the European Union as an economic and military challenger to America on the world arena. Others, such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, have joined the US-led war in Iraq in the hopes of securing a privileged relationship with the US, including support for colonial-type operations of their own in their “spheres of influence.”

The options before Canada’s ruling class—because of its geographic proximity to, and unparalleled economic dependence on, the US—are more restricted. While the Liberals continue to talk about the need for Canada to chart its own course, they are rapidly moving toward implementing the CCCE’s demand for a new partnership with the US, although their hope is that Mexico can be included as well, so as to partially offset US power. As for the Official Opposition Conservatives, they routinely attack the Martin Liberals for not imitating Blair and Howard.

Working people in Canada must oppose the Martin Liberal government’s support for the US occupation of Iraq and the plans of Canada’s elite to tie Canada even more tightly to a US-led economic, military and geopolitical bloc.

But in opposing US imperialism working people in Canada must carefully distinguish between those who fight for the unity of the international working class against capitalism and those who oppose Washington and Wall Street from the standpoint of defending their own predatory interests or who would channel the working class into the blind alley of nationalism.

Take the case of such imperialist rivals of the US as France and Germany. To the extent that they opposed American policy in Iraq, they did so for their own purposes. They are not opposed to the imperialist principle of invading weaker countries, plundering their resources and oppressing their peoples—as long as they stand to benefit from it and their economic interests are secured. France’s current intervention in its former African colony of Côte d’Ivoire is a case in point.

In Canada, the social-democratic New Democratic Party is making an appeal to the popular hostility to the Bush administration. Canada’s social democrats, like their counterparts in the British Labour Party and France’s Socialist Party, hurtled toward the right during the 1990s and where they were in government—especially Ontario and British Columbia—imposed massive social spending cuts and antiunion laws. They used last year’s colossal antiwar demonstrations to try to refurbish their left credentials. But for a decade the NDP had supported the UN sanctions regime that punished Iraq’s civilian population and ultimately helped pave the way for the US-British invasion.

Now, bending to the Canadian elite’s demands for Bush to be treated with respect, NDP leader Jack Layton has ordered his MPs to mind their manners, pleaded for a face-to-face meeting with the US president, and virtually dropped any mention of Iraq. No doubt to raise such delicate matters as the lies Bush used to launch his war on Iraq, the US torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib, or the massacre of thousands of civilians in Fallujah and other Iraqi cities would be “disrespectful.”

Various “left” groups that call themselves socialist, but work hand in glove with the union bureaucracy and the NDP, have a more radical-sounding prescription: to the Bush administration, and the corporate elite’s “sell-out” of Canada, they counterpose the fight for “Canadian sovereignty,” on the grounds that the Canadian nation state is the incarnation of “progressive values.”

This is a retrograde and reactionary perspective that would turn Canadian workers away from the struggle to unite their struggles with those of workers in the US, Mexico and across the globe and instead lead them to make common cause with sections of Canadian capital.

The Canadian nation state was forged by the Canadian bourgeoisie through an alliance with the greatest colonial empire in history. It has served as the platform from which Canadian capital has advanced its own imperialist interests on the world stage, including through enthusiastic participation in the two world wars of the last century. The moderately better social benefits workers enjoy in Canada as compared with those in the US are not due to progressive Canadian values. They are rather a product of the titanic struggles of the working class in the 1960s and 1970s—struggles that the union bureaucracy and NDP ultimately were able to politically derail. In so doing they promoted a remodelled Canadian nationalism that, unlike the until then prevailing Tory version of a British North American nation not infected by US republicanism and egalitarianism, cast Canada as a liberal, pacific counterpoint to US imperialism.

Last but not least, the perspective of Canadian sovereignty cuts across the objective logic of economic development, which is creating an ever-more economically integrated world.

Under capitalism and the nation-state system in which it is historically rooted, the development of global production has become an instrument for corporations to slash wages and working conditions and fuels economic and military conflicts among the various rival national capitalist cliques. The answer to the assault on the social position of the working class and militarism lies, however, not in seeking to restrain the productive forces within the narrow confines of the nation state, but to create the basis for a rational use of the resources of the world economy by freeing them from the shackles of private ownership and nation states.

All those in Canada—workers, young people, artists, professionals and intellectuals—who are genuinely horrified by the barbaric actions of the US government in places such as Iraq must never forget there are two Americas. There is the America of the top 1 percent which owns 40 percent of the country’s wealth. And there is working and struggling America, whose sons and daughters are being sent far away from home to kill and be killed.

A genuine struggle against US imperialism and its ally, Canada’s financial and corporate establishment, must be based on a conscious alliance with the one force that is more powerful than US tanks and missiles—the US working class. And it must be aimed at the root of the crisis, the failed capitalist profit system and the outmoded nation-state political structures. This requires a new political strategy based on the international unity of the working class and the struggle for social equality. This is the perspective of international socialism fought for by the Socialist Equality Party.

Corrupt Chimp_junta: The POT, calls the KETTLE, Black

US intervenes in disputed Ukraine election: Who the hell asked you, Mr. Powell?

By Joseph Kay
30 November 2004

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If it were not for its reactionary political implications, US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s declaration last week that the Ukraine presidential election is unacceptable because it does not meet the high standards of the Bush administration would be a moment of high comedy. Here is the American Secretary of State, the chief international spokesman of an administration that first came to power after a stolen election, declaring the Ukrainian election to be illegitimate “because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse.”

One can only imagine the response within US ruling circles had Russia or China or the European Union declared in December 2000 that the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore was a flagrant violation of democratic rights, and as such the awarding of the White House to George W. Bush did not meet “international standards” and was “completely unacceptable.” Secretary Powell owes his elevated status as the principal diplomatic representative of US imperialism to that piece of flagrant electoral manipulation.

Documented fraud and abuse perpetrated in the 2000 elections included: the organized intimidation of working class voters in the state of Florida, the intervention by the Republican Party to halt the legal recounting of ballots, the organization of thugs by the Republican Party to intimidate local election boards and the final decision by a partisan 5-4 Supreme Court vote to hand the election to George W. Bush even though he lost the popular vote. The fraud and intimidation carried out in Florida was presided over by the Republican candidate’s brother, Governor Jeb Bush, and his state campaign coordinator, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.

While perhaps not sinking to the level of the 2000 elections, there is substantial evidence of manipulations in the 2004 elections. One of the principle pieces of evidence used by the Bush administration to back its claims of fraud in the Ukrainian elections is the disparity between the official results, which gave the victory to current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, and exit polls, which suggest that the American and EU-backed candidate Victor Yushchenko won by a substantial margin. And yet the very same disparity occurred in the 2004 American elections! While Bush won according to the official tally, exit polls in several major states that went to Bush put Democratic candidate John Kerry ahead by a substantial margin.

This does not even address the way in which elections are manipulated in the US at a much more systemic level: the enormous inflows of corporate cash, the manipulation of public opinion through the mass media, the systematic exclusion of oppositional parties and viewpoints, and the anti-democratic character of the Electoral College. All of these combine to ensure that the only possible contenders in an American election are those chosen by the giant corporations and banks.

The pretense of the Bush administration to stand for democracy in Ukraine is even more hypocritical when considered in the light of the US record throughout the 20th century. Decade after decade, and especially from the time the Cold War began in 1947, the United States has worked assiduously to promote the interests of American corporations and banks at the expense of the democratic aspirations of people around the world.

The US-backed assassination of democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973 is only the most notorious in a litany of CIA operations to overthrow elected governments in Iran, Guatemala, Greece, Turkey, South Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic and Panama, among others. The US government supported flagrantly antidemocratic regimes in most of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. No right-wing dictatorship was too brutal or bloodthirsty to receive American support—not Franco’s Spain, not apartheid South Africa, not the medieval tyranny of Saudi Arabia.

Now Bush’s “war on terror” provides a new pretext for enlisting despots and dictators among America’s allies. This includes such longtime “friends” as Egypt’s Mubarak, and new recruits like General Musharraf of Pakistan and the ex-Stalinist dictator Karimov of Uzbekistan. Last year the Bush administration blessed the dynastic succession of power in oil-rich Azerbaijan, where the former Stalinist leader Haider Aliyev handed over the presidency to his son in a crudely rigged election. Most recently, the elections in Afghanistan, praised in the American press as a great democratic victory for the US-backed Hamid Karzai, were widely recognized as coerced, carried out at gunpoint under the watchful eye of the American military.

As for the upcoming elections in Iraq, the US government is not willing to content itself with fraud and abuse—it is employing the time-tested measures of political extermination, fertilizing the soil of the January elections with the blood of masses of Iraqi resistance fighters. Just last week, two leading opponents of the stooge regime of Iyad Allawi were assassinated in the northern city of Mosul. An estimated 100,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion last year, and thousands more in the complete annihilation of the city of Fallujah last month.

Powell himself has become notorious for his role in promoting the invasion of Iraq. The denunciation of electoral “fraud and abuse” is made by an individual who managed during his tenure as Secretary of State to completely disabuse anyone who had illusions in his personal integrity. He lied openly and brazenly, before hundreds of millions of people, in his prewar declaration to the UN Security Council on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

It is not necessary to argue that the Ukrainian election was a model of democratic procedures, or to support the Russian-backed candidate Yanukovich, to recognize the hypocrisy of the American position. One can say with a high degree of certainty that there was a significant amount of fraud involved in the Ukraine voting—and that it likely took place on both sides. There is no doubt that Russian president Vladimir Putin exerted a great deal of influence in ensuring the Yanukovich was declared the winner—just as the US and European Union did in funneling financial aid and political backing to Yushchenko.

However, the conflict over Ukraine between Russia on the one hand and the US and Europe on the other has nothing to do with democracy vs. authoritarianism. What is involved is a conflict of interests, centered on the country’s importance as an agricultural and industrial region, its crucial position in an important gas transit system, and its general geostrategic location as a border country to Russia, Eastern Europe and the Black Sea.

American interest in the region is a part of the same global strategy expressed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The collapse of the Soviet Union has been met with the determination of the American ruling elite to expand its influence, not only in the oil-rich Middle East, but in the areas of the former Soviet Union that have long been tacitly consigned to Russia’s own sphere of influence: Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia.

While American officials and the media have denounced in strident terms Russian “neo-imperialism” in Eastern Europe, nothing is said of the intervention of the United States in the same region. Following the war in Afghanistan, the US has installed permanent military bases in many of the Central Asian states once part of the Soviet Union. Last year, the US instigated the so-called “Rose Revolution” in Georgia which brought to power the American-backed government of Mikhail Saakashvili. Since then, Saakashvili has carried out a right-wing economic policy that has produced devastating consequences for broad sections of the population. No doubt these same policies would be pursued in Ukraine under Yushchenko, as the country is opened up to Western corporations and capital.

The WSWS urges its readers to carry out a simple exercise. Go to Google and search for the phrase “US-Ukraine relations.” For added interest, one might add the term “oil” or “gas.” Links will appear to a flood of documents on the extensive interest that the US has taken in Ukraine in recent years. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor under President Jimmy Carter, has taken a particular interest in Ukraine, visiting the country in May of this year. He advocated closer ties between the US and Ukraine, at the expense of Russia.

Brzezinski’s visit was in line with words written in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard. He noted then that Ukraine was one of five crucial “pivots” in the Eurasian region, control of which he considered critical to control of the world. He noted in particular the importance of an independent and pro-western Ukraine in undermining the power of Russia: “Without Ukraine,” he wrote, “Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”

Brzezinski’s visit followed closely on the heels of Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who met with opposition leader Yushchenko. Armitage held a press conference in which he discussed Ukraine’s integration with the NATO and the World Trade Organization. Armitage has since been in the forefront of those raising questions about the legitimacy of the presidential election.

Armitage’s boss Colin Powell has announced that the US will not recognize the results of the Ukrainian elections. By what right does the American government in general and the Bush administration in particular—justifiably despised by the vast majority of the world’s population for its arrogance and brutality—reserve to itself the power to recognize or not recognize elections in Ukraine or anywhere else?

Combined with arrogance there is, as in Iraq, sheer recklessness involved in the US policy in Ukraine. By encouraging an intransigent position on the part of the Yushchenko camp—and outraging the legitimate social and political concerns of the largely Russian-speaking working class of the Donbas and eastern Ukraine—the Bush administration increases the danger of a bloody civil war or partition of the country along ethno-linguistic lines. This would be a monumental tragedy on the model of the former Yugoslavia, but in a country twice as large, on the borders of Russia, and with access to much of the arsenal of the former Soviet Union.

Open Letter to the Democrat National Committee, ATTN Terry McAuliffe:

This is getting more disgusting by the day.

Get your candidate, the cowardly lion Kerry, the FUCK out of his cave and onto TV to DEMAND that fair vote counts in OHIO be taken.
The nauseating performance of this candidate and his handlers, ie you, Mr. McAuliffe, continues to sicken and upset many hundreds of thousands of his 'supporters.'
Kerry: Stop sitting on the $50 million dollars you son of a bitch, and get out and do your job.
Hire lawyers for the recount in Ohio.
Personally, I DEMAND A REFUND OF MY $150....
Please reply with a url for a form to get my money back, or a phone number in your HQ that I can personally call to arrange for a refund.

(I hope anyone who reads this letter copy/pastes it into their browser and sends it to the DNC via their website "Contact Us" email. We need a few hundred thousand serious people to log on and ask for *REFUNDS.*

Maybe the next step will be a lawsuit against the DNC to force refunds...Any takers out there in the "Legal Community?" How 'bout you, John Edwards? Haven't heard from you lately...want a client for a gigantic class action lawsuit!?!
If they think I am kidding, they are very very wrong.)

Mr. McAuliffe, you have done NOTHING but send me idiotic 'warm and fuzzy' emails since Kerry slipped away on November 3.
Kerry, we don't want you to fucking 'hug' all of us real tight. That thought is just too much for most of us to bear.
Just do what you are paid to do, Mr Bush Lite, and win the fucking election.
(I will post this call to action to as many on line blogs as possible...) I hope there is a national outcry for refunds from you lazy mofos.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Bush Fails to Zip--As Japanese and World Leaders Laugh at him. Posted by Hello

A Bush Family Special Values Concert

Information Clearing House gives us

"The Iraqi Lullaby"

Photos By Bush. Song by Laura Bush and the Mothers of America.

Quicktime player or RealPlayer needed for true enjoyment.

Dahr Jamail: “We are living a disaster.”

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **

November 29, 2004

“We are living a disaster.”

The cold winter winds sweep over Baghdad and the refugee camps strewn
about the city. Date palms sway as dust blows down the clogged streets
where people huddle in their cars while waiting in petrol lines several
miles long.

The cost of fuel now in the black market is 10 times what it normally
is, and people either pay it or wait for 8 hours in a gas line, with no
guarantee that the station of their choice won’t run dry before they get
a chance to fill their tank.

Traffic jams form often when military patrols rumble down the
street…cars stacked up behind them, nobody daring to venture too close
to the heavy machine guns wielded by soldiers with their faces covered
by goggles and masks. Already today 2 soldiers were killed and three
wounded by a roadside bomb in the northwest section of the capital.
Also, up near Kut in eastern Iraq, another soldier was killed and two
wounded in a “vehicle accident.”

The fuel crisis is driving the cost of everything up-vegetables, fruit,
meat, you name it.

“We are living a disaster,” says Abu Abdulla, an unemployed engineer at
a kebob stand today near the so-called green zone, “The price for
benzene is 10 times now what it was on the black market, but there are
10 times less jobs and who is making 10 times as much money?”

Another man drinking chai nearby immediately starts talking about the
resistance. “They think destroying Fallujah will stop the resistance? We
already see the resistance spreading everywhere now,” he says, his
cigarette waving about in the air, “Even if they bomb every city in
Iraq, the resistance will continue to spread.”

While Iraq appears to be conveniently slipping off the radar of the
mainstream media, the failed occupation continues to grind on towards an
end which nobody here can see.

Everywhere I go the signs of a society in decline abound. Even at a
clinic where I had to go in order to obtain an HIV test to extend my
visa, there is a telling event.

A doctor walks in and asks the nurse who is taking my blood what she
does with the used needles. “We sterilize them after use then they are
incinerated,” she replies. He waves his hand back and forth while
telling her, “No more. We are now instructed by the Ministry of
Environment there are no facilities for this, so we are to sterilize
them and reuse them.”

We finish and walk outside, passing the Kalashnikov wielding guards
(which are in front of nearly every building in Baghdad), fight our way
through some traffic then try to find some black market petrol. We run
out during our futile seeking-there are even less black marketers as the
shortage grows more severe by the day.

Abut Talat explains in frustration how his son drove his car too much
last night as he pulls his plastic jug and siphon tube from the trunk.
We nervously watch cars pass while waiting to grab a couple of liters
from someone…hoping for a fuel handout rather than a kidnapping.

Finally amidst this desperate fuel shortage a generous couple pulls over
and give us some of the precious liquid and we’re off to get scalped at
the black market.

Driving over a bridge near the so-called green zone I spot a building
with missile holes in it-a gutted reminder, one of many, of the invasion
nearly 2 years ago. The same propaganda banner for the US-backed
al-Iraqia TV network hangs in the usual place-right where an old
propaganda banner for Saddam Hussein once hung.

It hasn’t changed since I first photographed it last year. “The can’t
work on that building,” says Abu Talat, “Because they are afraid the
workers will be resistance spies, because from the top of that building
you can see everything in the green zone.”

Apache helicopters rumble low over the city, their “whumping” blades
leaving wakes of car alarms through the streets.

Back at my hotel I indulge my daily ritual of asking the owner if I have
hot water yet. The cold showers are getting old now that the temperature
has dropped and it remains chilly.

This morning I was awakened by the usual 7am gun battles nearby. They
usually coincide with the morning mortar ritual of blasts hitting the
so-called green zone.

Now as I type this evening, a huge explosion rattles my walls. A gun
battle with heavy automatic weapons kicks off down the street, and the
usual wailing sirens of ambulances and Iraqi Police begin blaring across
the city-streaming in this direction.

Chimp_junta High 5's exit of CBS anchorman Dan Rather

The inglorious exit of CBS anchorman Dan Rather

Longtime CBS newsman Dan Rather abruptly announced last week that he will end his tenure as anchorman of the CBS Evening News on March 9, the 24th anniversary of his debut as the network’s principal news reader. The 73-year-old journalist had reportedly been planning to complete 25 years as an anchorman before stepping down, working until March 2006, and the network has taken few measures to prepare a successor.

Rather’s abrupt departure is the latest in a long line of actions taken by media conglomerates in recent years bowing to objections from the government or from corporate, military or intelligence interests to any serious investigation of the practices of the American ruling elite.

Molly Ivans--Mourning in America

WorkingForChange-Mourning in America: "AUSTIN, Texas -- Do you know how to cure a chicken-killin' dog? Now, you know you cannot keep a dog that kills chickens, no matter how fine a dog it is otherwise.

Some people think you cannot break a dog that has got in the habit of killin' chickens, but my friend John Henry always claimed you could. He said the way to do it is to take one of the chickens the dog has killed and wire the thing around the dog's neck, good and strong. And leave it there until that dead chicken stinks so bad that no other dog or person will even go near that poor beast. Thing'll smell so bad the dog won't be able to stand himself. You leave it on there until the last little bit of flesh rots and falls off, and that dog won't kill chickens again.

The Bush administration is going to be wired around the neck of the American people for four more years, long enough for the stench to sicken everybody. It should cure the country of electing Republicans.

And at least Democrats won't have to clean up after him until it is real clear to everyone who made the mess."


Chimp_Junta: Let the Journalists Know WE WILL KILL YOU--And Do It With A Smirk

Iraq: Reporters Without Borders condemns US report on killing of journalists

By Mike Ingram
27 November 2004

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

The global press organisation, Reporters Without Borders, has condemned a final US report on the killing of two cameramen—Jose Couso of the Spanish TV station Telecinco and Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian working for Reuters news agency—and the wounding of three other journalists on April 8, 2003.

The cameramen died when US tanks opened fire on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, where journalists were staying at the height of the war against Iraq.

The organisation said it was “extremely disappointed” that the report, consisting of an initial investigation on April 11, 2003 and a revised version the following month, found that “no fault or negligence” could be attributed to the US army.

The report, provided by the Coalition Forces Land Component Command, was only made available after a year-long legal battle by Reporters Without Borders, which petitioned for its release under the Freedom of Information Act. In its own investigation in January, Reporters Without Borders established that the attack could have been avoided if the A 4-64 troops attached to the 4th battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division had been told by the Pentagon and the army command that the hotel, on the opposite side of the Tigris river, was full of journalists.

That investigation found that the shelling of the hotel was “not a deliberate attack” on journalists and the media, but the result of a breakdown of communications.

The US army’s second report of May 2003 revealed that the army had known since April 11 that the soldiers had tried to neutralise one or two people with binoculars, taken for enemy “observers”, and that the order to fire was given with “no knowledge that the building was a hotel or that the journalists had been moved into it”.

The sworn testimony of a soldier on May 26 said that “at no time was there any discussion” of no-fire areas or protected sites on the other side of the river, yet the lieutenant-general in charge of the May investigation made no separate inquiry into this and it was omitted from the final conclusions. The officer’s name, along with those of two others, has been censored in the text of the report.

Following the report’s endorsement by a military lawyer on June 5, 2003, the US army said the shelling was targeted at “what was believed to be an enemy firing platform and observation point”. It added that the soldiers “understood the rules of engagement specifically as it applied to the right to self-defence” and that it was “clearly a proportionate and justifiable measured response”.

There was “no violation of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and disciplinary or administrative action required,” the report said. After praising the “magnificent courage and restraint” of the combat operations, the lieutenant-general said that “responsibility for the incident rests with an enemy that chose to fight in a city, needlessly exposing the civilian population, including journalists, to the hazards of war”.

The report then reiterated the “recommendation” that “non-embedded media personnel routinely inform the proper military and civilian authorities of their locations during combat operations”.

Reporters Without Borders says the conclusion “is very hard to swallow when many journalists in the hotel had done exactly that during the fighting... several had informed their employers, some of them in the United States, of the hotel’s GPS location. The pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera had consistently told the Pentagon of the composition and location of its crews, but its Baghdad offices were nonetheless bombed, killing a reporter.”

The organisation is still waiting the results of US army investigations into the deaths of four journalists killed in three separate incidents:

* Tarek Ayyoub, an Al-Jazeera correspondent killed when US warplanes bombed the station’s offices on April 8, 2003.

* Ali Al-Khatib and Ali Abdel Aziz of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Arabiya, shot dead by US troops at a checkpoint on March 18, 2003 while covering a rocket attack on a Baghdad hotel.

* Mazen Dana, a Reuters cameraman shot dead by US troops in front of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on August 17, 2003.

The Reporters Without Borders website carries an annual report on Iraq dated May 5, 2004 which lists 12 journalists killed, at least five of these by US forces, with at least 17 wounded and two missing. Some 25 journalists and assistants have been arrested by the occupying powers and many physically assaulted by US troops. The report also documents systematic harassment and obstruction of journalists by the occupying powers.

Given this background, it is not possible to accept the finding of Reporters Without Borders’ own investigation, that the shelling of the Palestine Hotel was “not a deliberate attack.”

As the World Socialist Web Site said at the time, “The claim by the Pentagon that the attack on three separate sources of independent journalism in one day was accidental is beneath contempt. The Bush administration has done everything it can to prevent any honest reporting of the war against Iraq and in the process has mounted repeated bombings of media installations, arrested and physically beaten reporters and had already been accused of deliberately killing reporters prior to April 8.”

See also:
Embedding, repression and murder: How the US military degraded journalism in Iraq
[11 April 2003]

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Abu Hanifa and its terrorists (Special Report)

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **

(I am devoting quite a lot of space and bandwith to this article from Dahr. It is definately worth your time.)*aj*

Another brilliant analysis from Omar Khan...

Abu Hanifa and its terrorists

What gives violence legitimacy? Last Friday, in Baghdad, Iraqis
attending mosque were interrupted by a US-led military assault. Several
accounts of the event circulated in the hours following. Among them I
would like to briefly compare two: one by an independent journalist and
a second by a major newspaper.

*Of organizations and operations*

“As US Forces Raided a Mosque”
opens with the statement that “U.S. soldiers raided the Abu Hanifa
mosque in Baghdad during Friday prayers, killing at least four and
wounding up to 20 worshippers.” As a sequence of events, the episode is
explained with an onset (“about 50 U.S. soldiers with 20 Iraqi National
Guardsmen entered the mosque”) at a specified time (“12:30 pm”). A
witness describes what follows: “Everyone starting yelling 'Allah u
Akbar' (God is great) because they were frightened. Then the soldiers
started shooting the people praying!” He continues, saying “they are
holding our heads to the ground”; as this witness and others were
collected, he recounts that he was able to escape detention when a young
boy claimed to be of his relation. Testimony from two further witnesses
corroborates this account, as does the extended audio version
<> of this report that
includes a recording of gunfire inside the mosque. In both versions of
the report, it is noted that the US military prevented medical personnel
from entering the mosque to treat the wounded. Then “about 30 men were
led out with hoods over their heads and their hands tied behind them.
Soldiers loaded them into a military vehicle and took them away around
3.15 pm.” After almost three hours, Red Crescent officials were able to
attend to those inside the mosque, confirming nine wounded and four dead.

“GI’s and Iraqis Raid Mosque, Killing 3,”
though similarly titled, provides a different account. The article
begins by amplifying its explicit subject (“American and Iraqi troops
raided a prominent Sunni mosque in Baghdad on Friday”) for which a
possible cause is given (it “may have been aimed at a cleric said to
have incited insurgent violence”). This cause is then visited,
substantiated: “In Mosul, in the north, Iraqi commanders staged numerous
raids in search of rebel hideouts as up to a dozen decapitated bodies
were found strewn about the city.” Returning 200 miles to the south, the
article describes a “chaotic raid” following a “melee”; “blood
splattered on the floor” (whose is unsaid) follows from the actions of
“enraged worshipers” rather than that of those who opened fire on them.
Note the Iraqi agency implicated, in contrast to the previous article:
Iraqi rather than American soldiers are said to have opened fire, and it
is Iraqis rather than Americans who supply the rationale. Such rationale
is at once given at the highest level, “Ayad Allawi said imams who
incited violence would be arrested,” and by an ordinary Iraqi: “Louay
Ibrahim, an Iraqi police officer who was praying” recounts that “the
imam at the mosque was giving a sermon that urged his audience to make
Mosul and other Iraqi cities into embattled places.” US-appointed
authorities appear representative (the perspective of the Prime minister
is that of the praying police officer) as their account substantiates a
cause: acts of violence of the sort discovered in Mosul—which it is
suggested, finds their origin in Abu Hanifa. That is to say the assault
on Abu Hanifa is represented first as a response to murderousness
elsewhere in Iraq, and upon a second, more studied look, as a necessary
preventative to such murderousness. The killings in Abu Hanifa—the
subject of the report—appear a slight cost, relatively benign (however
unfortunate) beside the evils unearthed in Mosul.

The account follows this course. The “enraged worshipers” of Abu Hanifa
are further implicated by their association with Saddam Hussein, who
outside the mosque “stood atop a car to greet supporters” during his
last public appearance. Several more paragraphs are devoted to grisly
violence of Mosul, further underscoring the necessity of military action
taken at the mosque. Indeed, the “swirl of violence” continues south to
Baghdad, where Abu Hanifa is revisited after nine and a half paragraphs
with descriptions that “worshipers had resisted,” causing shootings and
similar “rough treatment.”

Whereas the first article represents violence merely as such, the second
contains it within a larger, grander narrative of an American mission in
Iraq. Thus, in the latter account, there is little or no place for more
mundane details—the denial of medical care to those wounded inside the
mosque, and that men were afterward bound, hooded, and detained. That
those subject to the shootings were civilians likewise did not suit the
heroism of mission, heroism that is depicted in the print edition of the
article by an adjacent photo of two US soldiers, steadily converging on
a Mosul mosque, their long shadows following them. This second article,
moreover, depicts the shootings as part of an immediate response to
“resistance” on the part of frenzied worshipers (‘worshiper’ itself
being a word which suggests a certain measure of zeal beyond what we
would expect of, for instance, a ‘churchgoer’). In this account, Iraqi
soldiers do all of the shooting—there is but passing mention that
American soldiers even entered the mosque. And most fundamentally, the
second article is a departure from the first and a literal departure
from Abu Hanifa in the view it offers of the episode: the attack on a
house of worship is no more than a frame for expounding on “the
militants’ organization” and operations in Mosul and
elsewhere—operations whose organization, it is suggested, comes in part
from prayer services of the sort that US military interrupted. This
account—falling under the heading “Insurgents” in its print
version—thereby gives legitimacy to the violence represented therein.

*“Terrorism is a modern barbarism that we call terrorism.” —George
Shutlz, as United States Secretary of State, 1984^1 *

The first article was published by Dahr Jamail,^2 the second by the New
York Times.^3 This second account—as an article from the Times, and as
such a source of countless derivations in regional and local media—might
be called the authoritative, or if you like, official account of last
Friday’s episode at Abu Hanifa. Like so many other authoritative or
official accounts of violence, this contained within it the word
“terrorist.” In this instance, “terrorist financiers” are referred to
passingly as part of the rationale for the United States to deploy
violence against those in the Abu Hanifa mosque and elsewhere. But the
subjects of violence in Abu Hanifa were civilians; why is it that the
attack on them is not described as terrorist?

Eqbal Ahmad has said of the word terrorism that “inconsistency
necessarily evades definition. If you are not going to be consistent,
you’re not going to define.”^4 This is true of public discussion of the
past week’s discussion of violence in Iraq as it is of public discussion
generally. There are, however, official definitions of terrorism that
have been published if rarely discussed. The US Joint Chiefs of Staff, a
panel of the highest-ranking members of each branch of the armed forces,
defines terrorism as “the calculated use of violence or threat of
unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or intimidate
governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally
political, religious, or ideological.”^5 The US State Department has
used another definition of terrorism, that which is contained in Title
22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(d): “The term ‘terrorism’
means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against
noncombatant^* targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents,
usually intended to influence an audience. The term ‘international
terrorism’ means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more
than one country. The term ‘terrorist group’ means any group practicing,
or that has significant subgroups that practice, international

Both definitions are reminders of the most recent invasion of
Fallujah—which Richard Myers, current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, called “very, very successful”—in which the exit of male
and the entry of medical personnel were denied, and the use of
unconventional weapons reported to be widespread. On the number of
Fallujans killed in the past few days, Lieutenant General John Sattler
assured that “a number of 1,200 has been thrown out multiple times. I
would say that that's probably a safe number,” at least 800 of whom are
thought to be civilian. Mr. Sattler described such success as the result
of vigilance in the face of “the tactic that the enemy has been using is
at nighttime the enemy tries to go to ground and hide”: “we have no
intention of letting the enemy sleep at night because our technology
permits us to own the night
In the second definition of terrorism given above, the asterisk beside
“noncombatant” has a corresponding footnote: “for purposes of this
definition, the term ‘noncombatant’ is interpreted to include, in
addition to civilians, military personnel who at the time of the
incident are unarmed and/or not on duty.” Operations of the sort
explained by Mr. Sattler in Fallujah (and on a smaller scale, in the Abu
Hanifa mosque) would be terrorist according to the criteria of the State
Department as they target those unengaged in armed conflict—regardless
of their political affiliations—as is implied in the previous
definition, which characterizes terrorism as attack on “societies.”
These operations, moreover, ably fit the psychological objective common
to both definitions—that terrorism is used to “intimidate” and is
“intended to influence an audience”: these collective punishments, like
many others in Iraq, are designed to send “a very powerful message
that we are serious.” ^8

However, there is a stipulation in the State Department definition of
terrorism that exempts the actions of the US military in Fallujah and
Abu Hanifa: such actions are terrorist provided that they are undertaken
by “subnational groups or clandestine agents.” This condition
disqualifies the actions of US armed forces as terrorist, even though
such actions would qualify as “attack directed against a civilian
population” and the “deportation or forcible transfer of population
against humanity as considered by the International Criminal Court.^9
The assumption that terrorism cannot come from a state, explicit in at
least one definition, tacitly circumscribes public discussion of
terrorism, and accordingly of what constitutes legitimate and
illegitimate uses of violence. It seems that such legitimacy depends
less on the violence deployed than on who deploys it.

Max Weber has defined the state as a “human community that successfully
claims a monopoly of the legitimate use of physical violence within a
given territory.” It then should be of little surprise that the language
of terrorism is language of the state. But this is today both less true
and more true than would seem: the language of terrorism is unavailable
to some states while it has been used by the United States against
fellow states. The US government has extended its monopoly on violence
from “a given territory” to every territory^10 , doing so under the
rubric of legitimate violence deployed by a state under international
conventions (war) against an illegitimate use of violence (terrorism).
The first violence of “The War on Terrorism,” it appears, is its
violence unto language.

(1) In "Terrorism: Theirs and Ours," a lecture delivered at the
University of Colorado, Eqbal Ahmad, October 12, 1998.

(2) Dahr Jamail, November 19, 2004.

(3) “GI’s and Iraqis Raid Mosque, Killing 3,” New York Times, James
Glanz and Richard A. Oppel, Jr., November 20, 2004.

(4) "Terrorism: Theirs and Ours."

(5) In A Primer on Homeland Security, Institute for Homeland Security.
This is called the “institute preferred definition.”

(6) In Patterns of Global Terrorism, US State Department, where it is
said that “the US Government has employed this definition of terrorism
for statistical and analytical purposes since 1983.”

(7) Defense Department Operational Update Briefing, Lieutenant General
John Sattler, November 18, 2004. “We own the night” was also the
expression of the plainclothes unit of the New York Police Department
that in 1999 shot 41 bullets at unarmed 22 year old Amadou Diallo in his

(8) “U.S. forces storm into western Fallujah,” Associated Press, Jim
Krane, November 7, 2004.

(9) See articles 7(1) and 7(2) of the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court <>:
"Deportation or forcible transfer of population" means forced
displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive
acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds
permitted under international law; "Attack directed against any civilian
population" means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission
of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population,
pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to
commit such attack.

(10) As George Bush said on November 6, 2001, “all nations, if they want
to fight terror, must do something...Over time it's going to be
important for nations to know they will be held accountable for
inactivity. You're either with us or against us in the fight against
terror,” reported by “Bush says it is time for action,” CNN, November 6,
2001. Iraqi law has been rewritten accordingly; in Executive Order
number 91, for instance, the designation “terrorist” is applied to
prohibit all violence uninitiated by the US military or the Iraqi Armed
Forces that act on its behalf.

Posted by Omar_Khan at November 26, 2004 06:03 PM