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Are we in danger of state terrorism?

June 15, 2001

THE EDITOR: The "infidel" has been attacked!!! Or has it? The ordinary working people of the United States have been made to suffer the brunt of yesterday's brutal terrorist attack.

I join with all the peace-loving people of the world in expressing sympathy and support for those ordinary people who have lost their lives and for those who have been working desperately to save lives. Terrorism, whether the acts of individuals, organised groups or states must be condemned and cannot be supported as a means of solving any problem or resolving any issue.

The act of terrorist violence carried out in New York and Washington yesterday must be condemned.

At the same time, the people of the US, the ordinary Joes and Janes who have paid with their lives and suffering, and all of us must understand that this was the inevitable backslash of a decades-long history of 'might-is-right' state terrorism by the Empire builders of the 'New World Order' of US global domination.

Taking the last decade or so alone, the US in defiance of international law, in defiance of condemnation internationally continued in the name of 'American values' to carry out acts of terror against populations in some cases allegedly in order to capture or punish single individuals. Perched safely behind the fences, armaments and soldiers yesterday, the US President condemned the attacks on US soil as "cowardly" "without warning".

One has to recall in 1989, that midnight when the people of Panama were awakened by the terrifying sound of the payloads unleashed by helicopter gunships using the "element of surprise", having their houses in the poorest barrios burnt by US soldiers by the next day and facing untold terror, allegedly to stop Noriega, a one-time recipient of the CIA payroll. That particular adventure as many as 20,000 Panamanian lives. Yesterday, I called a radio station and issued a word of caution to avoid getting caught up in the propaganda web that inevitably the wielders of power in the US, the Empire builders, would spin around the tragic attack.

By today, President Bush almost predictably moved from saying "we will hunt them and bring them to justice" to declaring yesterday's attack "an act of war".

The cries for reprisals, for revenge and terrorist bloodletting this time by the US military juggernaut, supported by an unprecedented NATO Article 5 declaration which will include military support, can be no more acceptable than the acts of those who carried out yesterday's acts of terror.

Tonight, one US official when asked about the 'rule of law' said that it only applies to US citizens and within the US. So the 'hunting and bringing to justice' now means that the US will seek revenge and "take out" anyone including any country that in any way may have been involved.

When asked about using international courts of justice, the same official said that does not apply. So why then was so much emphasis placed on getting Milosovich before the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague?

I hope that the radio station that jumped, perhaps unwittingly, on the bandwagon yesterday will equally condemn the vengeful slaughter that is being prepared for the terrorist act that it will be. The powers that be in the US have sought to establish that all questions between countries can be settled on the basis of 'might is right' and using military power.

The people of the world, however, who desire real and lasting peace must stand up and demand that trampling on the sovereignty of others, the use of overwhelming military power and weapons of terror to impose one's dictate must not be allowed.

Over the next few days, while we sympathise with the thousands of people who were directly and indirectly victims of the act of terror, let us resist the trap of supporting lynch mob politics of revenge, retaliation and state terrorism as a solution.

In our own politics, we have seen a sign of the danger. If it is found to be part of the internal squabble in the ruling party that the police were used against one of its own officials, then we too are in danger of becoming victim to state terrorism on our own soil.


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