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From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Sat Sep 7 13:31:45 2002
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 00:03:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: 0 Tolerance <talons2112@attbi.com>
Subject: Re: It's US against them, by jingo!
Organization: AT&T Broadband
Article: 144656
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The Great Charade

Extract from The New Rulers of the World by John Pilger (Macmillan, Australia, 2002), [5 September 2002]

It is nearly one year since September 11, and still the great charade plays on. Having appropriated our shocked and humane response to that momentous day, the rulers of the world have since ground our language into a paean of cliches and lies about the war on terrorism - when the most enduring menace, and source of terror, is them.

The fanatics who attacked the U.S. came mostly from Saudi Arabia, the spiritual home of al-Qaeda and paymaster of the Taliban, but no bombs fell on that oil-rich protectorate of the U.S. According to a U.S. study, 5000 civilians were bombed to death in stricken, impoverished Afghanistan, where not a single al-Qaeda leader of importance has been caught, or to anyone's knowledge, killed. Osama bin Laden got clean away, as did the Taliban ruler Mullah Omar.

After this stunning victory, hundreds of prisoners, including the Australian David Hicks, were shipped to a concentration camp at a U.S. naval base in Cuba where they have been held against all conventions of war and international law. No evidence of their alleged crimes has been produced. In the United States, more than 1000 people of Muslim background have disappeared; none has been charged. The Patriot

Act, undermining the Bill of Rights, has been rushed through Congress without debate. The FBI now has the power to go into libraries and find out who is reading what.

Meanwhile, the British and Australian governments made fools of their soldiers by insisting they follow U.S. orders and pursue uncooperative Afghan tribesmen opposed to this or that favoured warlord. This is what British squaddies in puttees and pith helmets did over a century ago when Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, described Afghanistan as one of the pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.

There is no war on terrorism. It is the great game sped up, and now more dangerous than ever, due to the rampant nature of world's only hyperpower, ensuring infinite dangers for us all.

Having delivered the Palestinians into the arms of Ariel Sharon, the Christian Right hypocrites aiding the plutocracy in Washington now turn their priorities to manufacturing more bombs and missiles to hurl at the 22 million suffering people of Iraq. Should anyone need reminding, this is a nation held hostage to U.S.-led sanctions every bit as barbaric as their dictator. Iraq has the world's second greatest proven reserves of oil - the reason for the attack is that the United States want another, less uppity thug to hand it over.

The Pentagon told former president Bill Clinton that an all-out attack on Iraq would kill at least 10,000 civilians. To justify a slaughter of this magnitude, journalists on both sides of the Atlantic have been used as conduits for rumours and lies in a sustained propaganda campaign. These ranged from allegations about an Iraqi connection with anthrax attacks in the U.S. to a link between John Doe Number 2 at the Oklahoma City bombing and the Iraqi Republican Guard. Both have been discredited.

The great charade is imperialism's return journey to respectability.

As the historian Frank Furedi reminds us in 'The New Ideology of Imperialism' it is not long ago that the moral claims of imperialism were seldom questioned in the West: Imperialism and the global expansion of the Western powers were represented in unambiguously positive terms as a major contributor to human civilisation. The quest went wrong when it was clear that fascism, with all its ideas of racial and cultural superiority, was imperialism too, and the word vanished from academic discourse. In the best Stalinist tradition, imperialism no longer existed. Today, the preferred euphemism is globalisation; or if an adjective is required, global village.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, a new opportunity arose. The economic and political crisis in the developing world, largely the result of post-colonialism, such as the blood-letting in the Middle East and the destruction of commodity markets in Africa, served as retrospective justification for imperialism. Although that word remains unspeakable, the Western intelligentsia, conservatives and liberals alike, boldly echo the preferred euphemism, globalisation.

>From U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, an ally of elitists who want to subdue tribal societies, to impeccably liberal commentators, the new imperialists share a concept whose true meaning relies on a comparison with those who are uncivilised, inferior and might challenge the globalist values of the West.

The great divisions opening up between the rich and poor are reduced to platitudes of how best we can deal with them - an attitude expressed in the return of elitism and racism towards indigenous and tribal peoples, and led aggressively by the World Bank and I.M.F.

There are many blueprints for the new imperialism, but none as cogent as that of Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to several U.S. presidents and one of the most influential gurus in Washington, whose 1997 book is said to have biblical authority among the George W. Bush gang and its endless war intelligentsia. In 'The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives' Brzezinski writes: Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some 500 years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power.

The key to controlling this vast area of the world is Central Asia.

Dominance of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan ensures not only new sources of energy and mineral wealth but guard posts over U.S. control of the oil of the Persian Gulf. What is most important to the history of the world? asked Brzezinski. The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet Empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe ...? The stirred-up Muslims replied on September 11 last year.

Nation states must be incorporated into the global order, says Brzezinski: To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.

Brzezinski is not from the lunar right. He is as mainstream as Bush.

He was President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, who in 1979 persuaded Carter to sign a secret executive order funding a new Islamic terrorist movement, the Mujihadeen, which the CIA trained in Pakistan and Virginia, and from which emerged Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Brzezinski's followers include John Negroponte, the mastermind of U.S. terror in Central America under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, now Bush's ambassador to the United Nations. It was Negroponte who first warned the world, after September 11, that the U.S. planned to attack any country it wished.

For those in thrall to, or neutered by, the supercult of the U.S, the most salient truths remain taboos. Perhaps the most important taboo is the longevity of the U.S. as both a terrorist state and a haven for terrorists. That the U.S. is the only state on record to have been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism (in Nicaragua) or to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on governments to observe international law, is unmentionable.

In the war against terrorism, said Bush, we're going to hunt down these evil-doers wherever they are, no matter how long it takes.

Strictly speaking, it should not take long, as more terrorists are given training and sanctuary in the U.S. than anywhere in the world.

They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals. Thiounn Prasith, Pol Pot's henchman an apologist at the U.N, lives in Mount Vernon, New York.

General Mansour Moharari, who ran the Shah of Iran's notorious prisons, is wanted by Iran, but is an honoured guest in the U.S.

There is no terrorist sanctuary to compare with Florida, currently governed by the President's brother, Jeb. General Jose Guillermo Garcia has lived in Florida since the 1990s. He was head of El Salvador's military during the 1980s when death squads closely linked to the army murdered thousands of people. General Prosper Avril, while dictator of Haiti, liked to display bloodied victims of his torture on television. When he was overthrown, he was flown to Florida by the U.S. government. In his book Rogue State, former senior State Department official Bill Blum describes a typical Florida trial of three anti-Castro terrorists who had hijacked a plane to Miami at knifepoint: Even though the kidnapped pilot was brought back from Cuba to testify against the men, the judge simply told the jurors the man was lying, and the jury deliberated for less than an hour before acquitting the defendants.

Al-Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan were kindergartens compared with the world's leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia. Known until recently as the School of the Americas, it trained 60,000 Latin American soldiers, policemen, paramilitaries and intelligence agents in terrorism.

In 1993, the U.N. Truth Commission on El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war: two-thirds of them had been trained at Fort Benning. In Chile, the school's graduates ran Pinochet's secret police and three principal concentration camps. In 1996, the U.S. government was forced under the Freedom of Information Act to release copies of the school's training manuals. For aspiring terrorists, these recommended blackmail, torture, execution and the arrest of witnesses' relatives.

The irony is that the U.S. is also the home of some of history's greatest human rights movements, such as the 1960s epic campaign for civil rights.

While I was in the U.S. earlier this year, it seemed the stirring had begun again. Almost 100 of the most distinguished names in literature, art, journalism and education penned to their compatriots and the world a statement called 'Not In Our Name' published this June in the Herald and other newspapers. The signatories state that their government has declared a war without limit and instituted stark new measures of repression. They also criticise the media for failing to challenge the direction the government has taken. They include the musicians Laurie Anderson and Mos Def, the actors Ossie Davis and Ed Asner, the writers Alice Walker, Russell Banks, Barbara Kingsolver and Grace Paley, and the playwrights Eve Ensler and Tony Kushner. Martin Luther King III, Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said and Rabbi Michael Lerner have added their names, making this the widest ranging group of opponents of government policy since September 11.

It is time we joined them.