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IS NOT JUSTICE (from www.madre.org)
President Bush has made it clear that the
ASKING OURSELVES WHY (from www.madre.org)
Why would people want to wage this attack against the
Consider the historical record: Since World War II, the
a just world, the accomplices of the people who committed this act would
be brought to justice. (In point of fact, the people who actually did it
are dead.) But we don't live in a just world. In the world we live in, bringing
those responsible to justice will almost certainly be a case of the cure
is worse than the disease.
Most importantly, retaliation continues and reinforces the cycle of violence. Far from guaranteeing the safety of
reason is the law of unintended consequences. The best recent example of
this is Osama bin Laden himself. As is well known, at least in the movement,
bin Laden is a direct product of the
CAN A NON-MILITIARY OPTION BE PURSUED? (from www.commondreams.org)
Perhaps the lesson to be learned from
appalling how little mainstream media have discussed relying on the rule
of law -- international law -- to pursue the foreign terrorists. Few reports
have pointed out that there is one body under international law that can
authorize military action: the United Nations Security Council. If the
AFGHANISTAN DAY A FLASHBACK
In 1982, invading
March 10, 1982: A Proclamation By the
President of the
In December 1979, the
The Afghan people have defied the
It is therefore altogether fitting that the European Parliament, the Congress of the United States and parliaments elsewhere in the world have designated March 21, 1982, as Afghanistan Day, to commemorate the valor of the Afghan people and to condemn the continuing Soviet invasion of their country. Afghanistan Day will serve to recall not only these events, but also the principles involved when a people struggles for the freedom to determine its own future, the right to be free of foreign interference and the right to practice religion according to the dictates of conscience.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the
War does not end the cycle of vengeance as is historically seen in previous such wars.
War does not target terrorists through air attacks; Civilians are the overwhelming casualties
1. It is also important that the United States not retaliate militarily in a blind, dramatic matter as has been done in the past. In 1997, in retaliation of the terrorist attacks of two U.S. embassies in Africa, the U.S. bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan which supplied more than half the antibiotics and vaccines for that impoverished country. [FOIL edit. It may be added that the US voted against setting up UN and other commissions to inquire into the civilian casualties.]
2. The Clinton administration falsely claimed it was a chemical weapons plant controlled by an exiled Saudi terrorist. In 1986, the U.S. bombed two Libyan cities, killing scores of civilians. Though the U.S. claimed it would curb Libyan-backed terrorism, Libyan intelligence operatives ended up blowing up a U.S. airliner in retaliation.
3. Military responses usually result only in a spiral of violent retaliation. Similarly, simply bombing other countries after the fact will not protect lives. Indeed, it will likely result in what Pentagon planners euphemistically call "collateral damage," i.e., the deaths of civilians just as innocent as those murdered in New York City. And survivors bent on revenge.
(All quotes above from Stephen Zunes, a senior policy analyst and Middle East editor of the Foreign Policy in Focus Project. He is an associate professor of Politics and chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. This is an excerpt from an FPIF opinion piece published by the Baltimore Sun September 12, 2001. The entire article is available at http://www.fpif.org/index.html)
4. Where was the justified rage of commentators, analysts, and talking heads when the United States attacked civilians on a massive scale during the Gulf War, even referring to Basra, a city of 800,000, as a "military target." Where was it when they deliberately destroyed the water treatment systems of the country, and then spent ten years carefully rationing the chlorine needed to treat the water and the medicines that could be used to fight an explosion of water-borne disease, while over 1 million Iraqi civilians died?
(Quote from Rahul Mahajan, an antiwar activist who serves on the National Board of Peace Action and the Coordinating Committee of the National Network to End the War Against Iraq. (Identification only). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Entire article at http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0912-07.htm)
Reassuring words from governments going to war have never been truthful
1. Back in early August 1945, President Truman had this to say: "The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, in so far as possible, the killing of civilians." Actually, the U.S. government went out of its way to select Japanese cities of sufficient size to showcase the extent of the A-bomb's deadly power. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hundreds of thousands of civilians died -- immediately or eventually -- as a result of the atomic bombings.
2. While top U.S. officials spoke of fervent desires to protect civilians from harm in Southeast Asia, the Pentagon inflicted massive carnage on the populations of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon tirelessly proclaimed their eagerness for "peace with honor." Most of those who died were civilians.
3. When U.S. troops invaded Panama in December 1989, the USA's major media and policymakers in Washington ignored the hundreds of civilians who died in the assault.
4. Scarcely more than a year later, during the Gulf War, most of the people killed by Uncle Sam were civilians and frantically retreating soldiers. Pentagon officials quietly estimated that 200,000 Iraqis had died in six weeks. During the past decade, damage to Iraq's civilian infrastructure and ongoing sanctions have cost the lives of at least several hundred thousand children.
5. In the spring of 1999, we were told, the U.S.-led bombing of Yugoslavia aimed only at military targets. The explanations were often Orwellian -- not just from the Clinton administration and NATO, but also from news media. Consider the opening words of the lead front-page article in the New York Times one Sunday in April 1999: "NATO began its second month of bombing against Yugoslavia today with new strikes against military targets that disrupted civilian electrical and water supplies..." The concept was remarkable: The bombing disrupted "civilian" electricity and water, yet the targets were "military" -- a very convenient distinction for PR purposes, but irrelevant to the civilians who perished due to destruction of basic infrastructure.
In human terms, the emerging U.S. military scenarios are ghastly .No amount of vehement denials can change the reality that huge numbers of civilians are now in the Pentagon's cross hairs.
(All quotes from Norman Solomon: Killing civilians: Behind the reassuring words)