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|Does this country (USA) have the moral authority to lead the world?|
|11/01/01 at 15:07:15|
Does this country (USA) have the moral authority to lead the world?
by Stephen Gowans
It claims to be conducting a war on terrorism against a network (al-
Qaeda) it helped create to fight proxy wars on its behalf (in
Afghanistan and the Balkans.)
It says it must bring anthrax terrorists to justice, but has the
world's largest stockpile of smallpox, anthrax, and other biological
weapons. It continues to experiment with new weaponized pathogens. It
refuses to agree to measures to strengthen a biological weapons
treaty. And there's evidence it has used biological weapons (in the
It has called some its past adversaries empires, bent on world
domination (the Soviet Union), but it has 200,000 soldiers
permanently stationed in dozens of countries around the globe. Its
global military presence expands every year, encircling one of the
few countries left to challenge its hegemony -- Russia.
In one country alone (South Korea), which it has occupied for over
five decades, it has 45,000 soldiers.
The country's wars are always said to be fought for some high moral
purpose: to stop ethnic cleansing, to prevent tyranny, to uphold
international law, to defeat communist expansion, to root out
terrorism, but somehow, while this is being done, the country always
seems, as John Flynn once put it, to capture its enemies' markets
while blundering into their oil wells.
It's always strapped for cash when it comes to social spending, health
care and Social Security, but can find billions at the drop of a hat
for a new weapons program.
Its colossal military is more than two and half times larger than the
militaries of the next nine largest potential adversaries combined
(Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Cuba.)
Its military spending, combined with that of its allies (NATO, Japan,
South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia), is five times greater than
that of the next nine largest potential adversaries together. Yet, it
says, it's always under threat.
In the last five decades, it has attacked no less than two dozen
countries. In the last four years, it has bombed four countries
(Afghanistan, Sudan, Yugoslavia, Iraq) one of them in two separate
campaigns (Afghanistan), and one almost daily (Iraq.)
Even though the raison d'tre of the major military alliance it leads
(NATO) has vanished, the alliance is more robust than ever, and is
It refuses to sign a treaty banning land mines.
It refuses to sign the Kyoto Accords, limiting greenhouse gasses.
It uses cluster bombs -- bombs consisting of dozens of tiny land mine-
like bomblets -- which continue to kill, usually children, well after
a war is finished.
It has 30,000 tons of chemical weapons.
It has the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. It refuses to
sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
It refuses to renounce the first strike use of nuclear weapons. It
won't commit to refraining from using nuclear weapons against non-
nuclear weapon states.
It is the only country to ever use nuclear weapons.
It says it doesn't target civilians, but, in maintaining the world's
largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, is prepared to kill
civilians in countless numbers.
In one major campaign lasting over ten years (Vietnam War), it carpet
bombed three countries (North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos), killing at
least three million civilians. A decade earlier, it carpet bombed
North Korea so thoroughly it ran out of targets to bomb.
It issues ultimata to other countries (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan), and
when the ultimata are rejected, it says the other side refused to
negotiate. When the other side begs to negotiate, it's bombed.
It promotes the deception that a country can be bombed around the
clock with only a few civilian casualties. It announces in advance of
a bombing campaign that some civilian deaths are inevitable, and
then, when they occur, say they were accidental and unintended.
It bombs civilian infrastructure -- water treatment facilities, power
plants, dams, flood control systems, irrigation, water storage,
pumping stations, sewage facilities, bridges, transportation
facilities, petrochemical plants, fertilizer factories, auto-plants,
as well as hospitals, schools, old folks homes, Red Cross buildings,
and residential neighborhoods. After reducing its enemies to rubble,
it imposes sanctions to hinder the rebuilding of all that was
destroyed (Yugoslavia, Iraq), until a puppet regime is installed
It enforces one sanctions regime (Iraq) that is estimated to have
contributed to the deaths of 1.5 million civilians. One of the
country's leaders (Madeleine Albright) said the deaths are "worth it."
If it doesn't like another country's economic policies, it tars the
leadership as tyrants and brutes, declares the country a
dictatorship, and raises concern about human rights violations
(Yugoslavia, Belarus) and railroads the leaders into jail
(Yugoslavia) or arranges to have them overthrown in a coup (Iran,
Chile, Guatemala, Yugoslavia.) Authoritarian countries whose leaders
are tyrants and brutes and who routinely trample human rights are
called friends and allies if they have the right economic policies
(Iran, Chile, Guatemala, Philippines, El Salvador, Haiti.) Their
leaders don't go to jail (Pinochet.)
It routinely intervenes in the elections of other countries, funding
political parties, NGO's and media, but prohibits other countries from
intervening in its own elections.
It commits war crimes unrestrainedly, free from censure and
prosecution, because it controls the international body that
establishes war crimes tribunals. It refuses to sign a treaty to
establish a international criminal court that could prosecute war
crimes free from its interference.
Its media is described as practicing "suck-up" journalism, afraid to
be too critical of the country's leadership, for fear of being frozen
out and refused access to "news makers." The media regards itself as
duty-bound by patriotism to assist in the production and
dissemination of propaganda in times of war, a now permanent
The majority of its population consists of honest, humane, peace-
loving people, who are poles apart from the barbarous, sociopaths who
run the country. They are kept in a fog as to what's being done in
their name. If they knew, they wouldn't stand for it for a moment.
This, the leadership knows, and so spends liberally on public
relations to keep the population pliable and in the dark.
It has the largest prison population per capita in the world.
In one of its largest states (California), it spends more on prisons
The infant mortality rate in its capital is higher than that of a
third world country it has blockaded economically for four decades
(Cuba), and whose politics it doesn't like.
Criticism of the country's foreign policy is dealt with by assigning
dismissive labels to the critics (anti-American, communists), threats
of legal sanction (charges of sedition), or threats of deportation
(to Cuba.) The criticisms themselves are never addressed.
The country forces the poor and wretched of the world to adopt austere
economic policies that it, itself, would never adopt, for fear of
economic ruin. The polices have the effect of intensifying the misery
of the world's poor, while increasing the wealth of the country's
The country claims to have a free press, but only the wealthiest can
own the press. Not surprisingly, the press reflects the interests of
the wealthy. It's said that anyone can become leader of the country,
but only those who can ingratiate themselves with the wealthiest
citizens can raise the funds and backing to occupy the country's
highest offices. The president, the cabinet, and most elected
representatives, have either been bought by, or are members of, the
country's economic elite.
The country's foreign policies have caused illimitable suffering
throughout much of the world for decades. This has led to it being
reviled over the greater part of the globe. Its leader (George W.
Bush) can only reply, "I don't know why. We're doing such a good job."
Mr. Steve Gowans is a writer and political activist who lives in
|Re: Does this country (USA) have the moral authority to lead the world?|
|11/01/01 at 16:33:17|
|Perhaps this may be deleted by the Mods,|
but the real reason for attacking Afghanistan and Sudan in the past was that Bill Clinton's steamy affair with an intern 'Monica Lewinsky' got a bit out of hand. That's why he wanted to divert the countrys attention elsewhere i.e. just bomb someone.
And if that man, Clinton was known as Americas Leader, where are the morals gone of that country. America says it stands up for freedom, free speach and democracy, but it also stood on that fateful day for, adultery, zinah and having no shame in commiting vile sexual acts whoever you are, where ever you are. Is this what we want in the world our leaders commiting zinah and being unfaithful to their families ?.
Oh by the way the Islam asks women to cover themselves, but of course that is seen as being oppressed in the free world. However, in the free world you can wear a tight skirt(or should I say just pants), loose top and commit zinah and fornication and no one is going to raise an eyebrow, astagfirullah. In fact people will now shake your hands and say well done.
Islam the only solution, to the worlds problems.
|Re: Does this country (USA) have the moral authority to lead the world?|
|11/02/01 at 08:31:41|
[quote]It has called some its past adversaries empires, bent on world
domination (the Soviet Union), but it has 200,000 soldiers
permanently stationed in dozens of countries around the globe.
with regard to this - here's an interesting article a friend sent me
Shocked and Horrified
Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D.
September 15, 2001
Like all Americans, on Tuesday, September 11, I was shocked and
horrified to watch the WTC Twin Towers attacked by hijacked planes and
resulting in the deaths of perhaps up to 10,000 innocent people.
I had not been that shocked and horrified since January 16, 1991, when then
President Bush attacked Baghdad, and the rest of Iraq and began killing
200,000 people during that "war" (slaughter). This includes the infamous
"highway of death" in the last days of the slaughter when U.S. pilots
literally shot in the back retreating Iraqi civilians and soldiers. I
continue to be horrified by the sanctions on Iraq, which have resulted in
the death of over 1,000,000 Iraqis, including over 500,000 children, about
whom former Secretary of State Madeline Allbright has stated that their
deaths "are worth the cost".
Over the course of my life I have been shocked and horrified by a variety
of U.S. governmental actions, such as the U.S. sponsored coup against
democracy in Guatemala in 1954 which resulted in the deaths of over
120,000 Guatemalan peasants by U.S. installed dictatorships over the course
Last Tuesday's events reminded me of the horror I felt when the U.S.
overthrew the governments of the Dominican Republic in 1965 and helped to
murder 3,000 people. And it reminded me of the shock I felt in 1973,
when the U.S. sponsored a coup in Chile against the democratic government of
Salvador Allende and helped to murder another 30,000 people, including
Last Tuesday's events reminded me of the shock and horror I felt in 1965
when the U.S. sponsored a coup in Indonesia that resulted in the murder of
over 800,000 people, and the subsequent slaughter in 1975 of over
250,000 innocent people in East Timor by the Indonesian regime with the
complicity of President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissenger.
I was reminded of the shock and horror I felt during the U.S. sponsored
terrorist contra war (the World Court declared the U.S. government a war
criminal in 1984 for the mining of the harbors) against Nicaragua in
the1980s which resulted in the deaths of over 30,000 innocent people
(oras the U.S. government used to call them before the term "collateral
damage" was invented--"soft targets".
I was reminded of being horrified by the U. S. war against the people of
El Salvador in the 1980s, which resulted in the brutal deaths of over
80,000 people, or "soft targets".
I was reminded of the shock and horror I felt during the U.S. sponsored
terror war against the peoples of southern Africa (especially Angola)
that began in the 1970's and continues to this day and has resulted in the
deaths and mutilations of over 1,000,000. I was reminded of the shock
and horror I felt as the U.S. invaded Panama over the Christmas season of
1989 and killed over8,000 in an attempt to capture George H. Bush's CIA
partner, now turned enemy, Manual Noriega.
I was reminded of the horror I felt when I learned about how the Shah of
Iran was installed in a U.S. sponsored brutal coup that resulted in the
deaths of over 70,000 Iranians from 1952-1979. And the continuing shock
as I learned that the Ayatollah Khomani, who overthrew the Shah in 1979,
and who was the U.S. public enemy for decade of the 1980s, was also on the
CIA payroll, while he was in exile in Paris in the 1970s.
I was reminded of the shock and horror that I felt as I learned about
how the U.S. has "manufactured consent" since 1948 for its support of
Israel, to the exclusion of virtually any rights for the Palestinians in
native lands resulting in ever worsening day-to-day conditions for the
people of Palestine. I was shocked as I learned about the hundreds of
towns and villages that were literally wiped off the face of the earth in
early days of Israeli colonization. I was horrified in 1982 as the
villagers of Sabra and Shatila were massacred by Israeli allies with
direct Israeli complicity and direction. The untold thousands whodied on
that day match the scene of horror that we saw last Tuesday. But those
were not repeated over and over again on the national media to inflame
the American public.
The events and images of last Tuesday have been appropriately compared
to the horrific events and images of Lebanon in the 1980s with resulted in
the deaths of tens of thousand of people, with no reference to the fact that
the country that inflicted the terror on Lebanon was Israel, with U.S.
backing. I still continue to be shocked at how mainstream commentators
refer to "Israeli settlers" in the "occupied territories" with no sense
of irony as they report on who are the aggressors in the region.
Of course, the largest and most shocking war crime of the second half of
the 20th century was the U.S. assault on Indochina from 1954- 1975,
especially Vietnam, where over 4,000,000 people were bombed, napalmed,
crushed, shot and individually "hands on" murdered in the "Phoenix
Program" (this is where Oliver North got his start). Many U.S. Vietnam
were also victimized by this war and had the best of intentions, but the
policy makers themselves knew the criminality of their actions and policies
revealed in their own words in "The Pentagon Papers," released by Daniel
Ellsberg of the RAND Corporation. In 1974 Ellsberg noted that our
Presidents from Truman to Nixon continually lied to the U.S. public
about the purpose and conduct of the war. He has stated that, "It is a
to the American people that our leaders perceived that they had to lie to
us, it is not a tribute to us that we were so easilymisled."
I was continually shocked and horrified as the U.S. attacked and bombed
with impunity the nation of Libya in the 1980s, including killing the
infant daughter of Khadafi. I was shocked as the U.S. bombed and invaded
Grenada in 1983. I was horrified by U.S. military and CIA actions in
Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Sudan, Brazil, Argentina, and Yugoslavia.
The deaths in these actions raninto the hundreds of thousands.
The above list is by no means complete or comprehensive. It is merely a
list that is easily accessible and not unknown, especially to the
economic and intellectual elites. It has just been conveniently eliminated
the public discourse and public consciousness. And for the most part, the
analysis that the U.S. actions have resulted in the deaths of primarily
civilians (over 90%) is not unknown to these elites nd policy makers. A
conservative number for those who have been killed by U.S. terror and
military action since World War II is 8,000,000 people.
Repeat--8,000,000 people. This does not include the wounded, the imprisoned,
the displaced, the refugees, etc. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in 1967,
the Vietnam War, "My government is the World's leading purveyor of
Shocking and horrifying
Nothing that I have written is meant to disparage or disrespect those
who were victims and those who suffered death or the loss of a loved one
during this week's events. It is not meant to "justify" any action by those
bombed the Twin Towers or the Pentagon. It is meant to put it in a
context. If we believe that the actions were those of "madmen", they are
who are able to keep a secret for 2 years or more among over 100 people,
as they trained to execute a complex plan. While not the acts of madmen,
they are apparently the acts of "fanatics" who, depending on who they really
are, can find real grievances, but whose actions are illegitimate.
Osama Bin Laden at this point has been accused by the media and the
government of being the mastermind of Tuesday's bombings. Given the
government's track record on lying to the America people, that should
not be accepted as fact at this time. If indeed Bin Laden is the mastermind
of this action, he is responsible for the deaths of perhaps 5,000 people, a
shocking and horrible crime. Ed Herman in his book The Real Terror
Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda does not justify any terrorism but
points out that states often engage in "wholesale" terror, while those whom
governments define as "terrorist" engage is "retail" terrorism. While
qualitatively the results are the same for the individual victims of
terrorism, there is a clear quantitative difference. And as Herman and
others point out, the seeds, the roots, of much of the "retail" terror
are in fact found in the "wholesale" terror of states. Again this is not to
justify, in any way, the actions of last Tuesday, but to put them in a
context and suggest an explanation.
Perhaps most shocking and horrific, if indeed Bin Laden is the
mastermind of Tuesday's actions; he has clearly had significant training in
logistics, armaments, and military training, etc. by competent and expert
personnel. And indeed he has. During the 1980s, he was recruited,
trained and funded by the CIA in Afghanistan to fight against the Russians.
long as he visited his terror on Russians and his enemies in Afghanistan, he
was "our man" in that country.
The same is true of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, who was a CIA asset in Iraq
during the 1980s. Hussein could gas his own people, repress the
population, and invade his neighbor (Iran) as long as he did it with U.S.
The same was true of Manuel Noriega of Panama, who was a contemporary
and CIA partner of George H. Bush in the 1980s. Noriega's main crime for
Bush, the father, was not that he dealt drugs (he did, but the U.S. and Bush
knew this before 1989), but that Noriega was no longer going to cooperate in
the ongoing U.S. terrorist contra war against Nicaragua. This information
not unknown or really controversial among elite policy makers. To
repeat, this not to justify any of the actions of last Tuesday, but to put
in its horrifying context.
As shocking as the events of last Tuesday were, they are likely to
generate even more horrific actions by the U.S. government that will add
significantly to the 8,000,000 figure stated above. This response may
well be qualitatively and quantitatively worst than the events of Tuesday.
The New York Times headline of 9/14/01 states that, "Bush And Top Aides
Proclaim Policy Of Ending States That Back Terror" as if that was a
rationale, measured, or even sane option. States that have been
identified for possible elimination are "a number of Asian and African
like Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and even Pakistan." This is beyond shocking
and horrific-it is just as potentially suicidal, homicidal, and more insane
than the hijackers themselves.
Also, qualitatively, these actions will be even worse than the original
bombers if one accepts the mainstream premise that those involved are
"madmen", "religious fanatics", or a "terrorist group." If so, they are
acting as either individuals or as a small group. The U.S. actions may
continue the homicidal policies of a few thousand elites for the past 50
years, involving both political parties.
The retail terror is that of desperate and sometime fanatical small
groups and individuals who often have legitimate grievances, but engage in
individual criminal and illegitimate activities; the wholesale terror is
that of "rational" educated men where the pain, suffering, and deaths of
millions of people are contemplated, planned, and too often, executed,
for the purpose of furthering a nebulous concept called the"national
interesp". Space does not allow a full explanation of the elites Orwellian
of the "national interest", but it can be summarized as the protection and
expansion of hegemony and an imperial empire.
The American public is being prepared for war while being fed a
continuous stream of shocking and horrific repeated images of Tuesday's
and heartfelt stories from the survivors and the loved ones of those who
lost family members. These stories are real and should not be diminished. In
fact, those who lost family members can be considered a representative
sample of humanity of the 8,000,000 who have been lost previously. If we
multiply by 800-1000 times the amount of pain, angst, and anger being
currently felt by the American public, we might begin to understand how
much of the rest of the world feels as they are continually victimized.
Some particularly poignant images are the heart wrenching public stories
that we are seeing and hearing of family members with pictures and
flyers searching for their loved ones. These images are virtually the same
those of the "Mothers of theDisappeared" who searched for their
(primarily) adult children in places such as Argentina, where over
11,000 were "disappeared" in 1976-1982, again with U.S. approval. Just as
mothers of Argentina deserved our respect and compassion, so do the
relatives of those who are searching for their relatives now. However we
should not allow ourselves to be manipulated by the media and U.S.
government into turning real grief and anger into a national policy of
wholesale terror and genocide against innocent civilians in Asia and
Africa. What we are seeing in military terms is called "softening the
target." The target here is the American public and we are being
ideologically and emotionally prepared for the slaughter that may
None of the previously identified Asian and African countries are
democracies, which means that the people of these countries have
virtually no impact on developing the policies of their governments, even if
we assume that these governments are complicit in Tuesday's actions. When
one examines the recent history of these countries, one will find that the
American government had direct and indirect influences on creating the
conditions for the existence of some of these governments. This is
especially true of the Taliban government of Afghanistan itself.
The New York Metropolitan Area has about 21,000,000 people or about 8 %
of the U.S. population. Almost everyone in America knows someone who has
been killed, injured or traumatized by the events of Tuesday. I know
that I do. Many people are callingfor "revenge" or "vengeance" and comments
such as "kill them all" have been circulated on the TV, radio, and
email. A few morepotentially benign comments have called for "justice." This
is only potentially benign since that term may be defined by people such as
Bush and Colin Powell. Powell is an unrepentant participant in the
Vietnam War, the terrorist contra war against Nicaragua, and the Gulf war,
each level becoming more responsible for the planning and execution of the
Those affected, all of us, must do everything in our power to prevent a
wider war and even greater atrocity, do everything possible to stop the
genocide if it starts, and hold those responsible for their potential
war crimes during and after the war. If there is a great war in 2001 and it
is not catastrophic (a realpossibility), the crimes of that war will be
revisited upon the U.S. over the next generation. That is not some kind
of religious prophecy or threat, it is merely a straightforward political
analysis. If indeed it is Bin Laden, the world must not deal only with
him as an individual criminal, but eliminate the conditions that create the
injustices and war crimes that will inevitably lead to more of these
types of attacks in the future. The phrase "No Justice, No Peace" is more
a slogan used in a march, it is an observable historical fact. It is time
to end the horror...
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