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Opening Pandora's Box: The War on Terrorism

By       Message David Model     Permalink
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In recent days, boxes of explosives or possibly biological or chemical weapons have been showing up on airplanes, the point of origin of which is allegedly Yemen. There is nothing shocking or surprising about the attempt by presumably Muslims to strike out at the Western World. After all, the U.S. has been conducting a war on terrorism against their chimerical perception of a fanatical enemy Muslims extremists.

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Considering the war crimes against Iraq, Afghanistan, the drone attacks against Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, support for the Israelis in their war crimes against the Palestinians and the special op assassination forces ubiquitously targeting possible threats to American security, the expectation and presumption would be that there is a very high probability that this enemy would strike back.

Wherever the American's conduct foreign policy with non-compliant regimes, the conceptual framework for possible action ultimately elicits the use of force. Compromise, bargaining, negotiations and accepting some sacrifices to satisfy all parties is not in the lexicon of the American foreign policy and defense communities.

The unilateral, brutal, disproportionate use of force which violates international law to achieve objectives which exclusively serve American interests provokes a response in kind. The United Nations Charter created an excellent process for resolving differences between nation-states and only authorizes force in Chapter 7, Article 51 which states that: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security."

Examples abound of American use of force under the guise of protecting American security or of a humanitarian intervention when, in fact, the purpose of the mission was to protect or advance U.S. economic or strategic interests.

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Mohammad Mossadegh was democratically elected President of Iran in 1951 and was even voted Time Magazine's Man of the Year. To end the exploitation of Iran's oil by British Petroleum, he nationalized Iranian oil the same year. An outraged British Government requested assistance from the U.S. to recover its lost oil assets resulting in a CIA coup against Mossadegh. Following the coup, the U.S. installed and supported Mohammad Reza Shah, a brutal and repressive dictator, until 1979.

In 1954, the CIA organized the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz, the President of Guatemala for forcing the United Fruit Company (UFC) to sell off one fifteenth of their land back to the Guatemalan Government to be distributed to landless peasants. The UFC only used ten percent of their land each year. By supporting brutal dictators for the next forty years, the U.S. is complicit in the deaths of 300,000 Guatemalans.

From 1954 to the mid-1970s, America ravaged Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in a merciless and viciously cataclysmic inundation of bombing, killing over three million people, the purpose of which was to prevent communist North Vietnam from overtaking South Vietnam led by an American supported dictator. Preventing a communist Vietnam was ostensibly the key to an inevitable takeover of Southeast Asia by communism. The Geneva Accords of 1954, called for elections in all of Vietnam, but the U.S. refused to sign it for fear that Ho Chi Minh, the leader in the North, might win.

Patrice Lumumba, democratically elected leader of the Congo, was left-leaning ideologically and refused to take sides in the Cold war. In less than 10 weeks, following a victory in democratic elections in 1960, he paid the ultimate price for his non-compliance with the U.S. agenda in a CIA-organized assassination. The United States supported brutal dictators in the Congo until 2002. Over five million people died during that period.

Nicaragua became a victim of U.S. foreign policy when Daniel Ortega overthrew the corrupt and cruel dictator Somoza in 1979 and won the presidency in democratic elections. Using surrogates, namely the Contras, the U.S. decided to crush the Nicaraguan people in a war of attrition. Finally, in 1990, the people voted with their stomachs and not with their hearts and chose the American-supported candidate to end the draconian attacks of the Contras.

Noriega in Panama and Roldós in Ecuador were both assassinated in a similar fashion by the CIA due to their refusal to accept unquestionably the demands of the American Government to blindly accept orders from Washington.

In 1999, the Serbian people faced an inexorable deluge of bombs in a campaign roguishly described by President Clinton as a humanitarian intervention during which civilian targets were to be religiously avoided. Those targets included hospitals, schools, villages, marketplaces, electrical and heating oil utilities and to emphasize the need to focus only on military targets, rescue workers were bombed 15 minutes after the initial attack while they were trying to rescue the wounded. Allegedly, Serbia was guilty of crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Kosovo although Milosevic, the President of Serbia, was cleared of all charges at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

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Then there are Iraq and Afghanistan. The pretext for attacking Iraq vacillated frequently depending on the credibility of the propaganda of the moment while the real purpose was to establish an American-friendly government in Iraq and control their oil resources.

According to the Director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, there are between 50 to 100 members of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban are not terrorists but nationalists who along with many other Afghanis are committed to driving foreign troops off their soil and since the Taliban offered at least three times to close down all the terrorist camps in Afghanistan, questions about the legitimacy of America's attack and occupation of Afghanistan are moot. The oil in the CaspianBasin and the necessity of building a pipeline through Afghanistan are more realistic explanations for American policies.

Many more examples could be trotted out to demonstrate that American defense and foreign policy operate on the basis of the doctrine that American interests are to be pursued by any means necessary.

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I have been a professor of political science at Seneca College in Toronto. I have published five books the last of which "Selling Out: Consuming Ourselves to Death" was released in May/08. As well, I have been featured in CounterPunch, Z (more...)

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