Face it: U.S. foreign policy contributes to acts of terrorism
By Charley Reese
Published inThe Orlando Sentinel, August 18, 1998
Contrary to the rhetoric of the Clinton administration and the Beltway Babblers, terrorism is not a criminal act in the ordinary sense. Terrorism is a political act, a response to U.S. foreign policy. It is an act of war waged by people too weak to have a conventional army or one large enough to take on the United States. Therefore, capturing an individual terrorist does not even address the problem. People who execute terrorist actions are expendable, replaceable soldiers. Catch one, kill one, and two will take his place.
Because the terrorism is political, so, too, is the solution. One ends terrorism by ending the policies that create it.
Yes, I know, many Americans believe that we and our government are so good, so beneficent, so kind, so idealistic that it is an absolute mystery why anyone in the world would dislike us, much less hate us enough to kill.
The Clinton administration perpetuates this wrong evaluation of reality by implying that terrorists are evil and mad, like some demons, who, for no rational reason, strike out at the innocent. They like to say, as if they were heroic defenders en route to liberate France, ``We will not be deterred.'' Notice, however, that they never say what we will not be deterred from doing.
Maintaining cruel sanctions on Iraq that already have cost half a million innocent lives? Those sanctions alone are enough to spawn terrorism for the next 40 years. The sanctions are unjust, injuring and killing people who are innocent of any wrong doing. They are stupid, because they only strengthen Saddam Hussein's government. The sanctions have enraged not only Iraqis but also Arabs throughout the Middle East who are sick of the U.S. double standards, lies and hypocrisy.
For example, the United Nations nuclear inspectors recently gave Iraq a clean bill of health, certifying they have no nuclear weapons and no physical plants to produce them. They recommended closing the book on the nuclear issue. The United States said, ``No.'' So many U.S. officials have said publicly that the United States will not agree to lift the sanctions no matter what Iraq does that I don't know why they even maintain the pretense of looking for weapons.
Actual U.S. foreign policy is far from idealistic. We arbitrarily sided with former Nazi allies in the Balkan civil war and bombed Serbs who fought with us in two wars. We slapped sanctions on Sudan allegedly because someone in Washington doesn't like its internal human-rights policies that, you can be sure, are far more humane than China's or those of some of the African dictators we so ardently supported. I suspect the real reason is the current government won't cut a deal on the oil discovered in Sudan many years ago.
Why do Iranians hate Americans? We overthrew their government in the 1950s and installed a dictator whom we backed for decades while he executed and tortured his opponents. Why does anyone expect the survivors of a U.S.-imposed tyrant to like the United States?
The one-sided support of Israel, even when Israel is clearly an aggressor or an abuser of human rights, creates enemies. When your wife and children are killed with U.S. weapons wielded by a government backed by the United States and protected from U.N. sanctions by the United States, it doesn't sit too well.
What I hope people will get from this column is this: Foreign policy does affect your life. It can get you or your children killed. It can make it unsafe for you to travel. Don't tell the parents of those Americans who died on Pan Am Flight 103 that foreign policy has no effect on Americans.
A U.S. government that actually lived up to our ideals and treated people justly would eliminate terrorism. All the security measures and macho rhetoric in the world can't and won't eliminate it.
Just Leave Iraq Alone
by Charley Reese
Should President Clinton order the bombing of Iraq, he will be acting as a cold-blooded terrorist and will be guilty of first-degree murder.
The only difference will be Clinton, unlike most terrorists, doesn't have the guts to do his own killing. Let me kig out a few facts for you from the pile of horse manure the U.S. government has unloaded to hide the truth about this latest flap with Iraq.
First, Iraq did not --- I say again, did not ---halt United Nations inspections. All Iraq said was that the Americans on the team were not acting in good faith and would not be allowed to participate. Continue the inspections without the Americans. That was the Iraqi position.
It was the United Nations, not Iraq, which chose to halt the inspections. Now, if they really thought Iraq was about to whip up a weapon of mass destruction, why did they halt inspections? They could have continued the inspections while protesting the exclusion of the Americans. Instead the United Nations pulled out. The obvious inference to be drawn is that the United Nations, despite its lies to the contrary, does not really think Iraq has any weapons of mass destruction.
And let's look at the issue of whether or not the United States was acting in good faith. Why do you suppose Iraq reached that conclusion? Perhaps because after nearly seven years of full-time inspections and the supervised destruction of missiles, manufacturing plants, warheads and stores of chemical weapons, the United States still refuses to lift sanctions on the grounds that somewhere in this little country something may be hidden. But there is an even better reason to justify the Iraqi position.
Earlier this year Madeleine Albright made an official, public speech in which she plainly and explicitly the sanctions were not going to be lifted no matter what the Iraqis do as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power. You do understand plain English, Albright said, and the president confirmed it in a message to Congress, that the United States will not lift the sanctions no matter how cooperative the Iraqis are, no matter what proof there is they have no weapons of mass destruction. In short, inspections are a pretense.
And why, after Clinton just finished wallowing all over a Chinese dictator with an infinitely worse human rights record than Saddam Hussein, does the United states refuse to even discuss the issue with Iraq? Why did we prevent an Iraqi official from addressing the Security Council? Whatever happened to the idea of constructive engagement? Free speech?
So bottom line is you had a disagreement over the composition of an inspection team but no refusal to be inspected. For that, Clinton, the great military strategist, moved ships and planes to the Persian Gulf to threaten defenseless people with death.
Death for what? For being Iraqis, I suppose. There is something about Iraq which makes the moral decadence in American society rise to the surface like pus in an infected wound. Journalists, both conservative and liberal, suddenly advocate murder and like the contemptible cowards safely on the fringe of a lynch mob, scream for blood. That is despicable behavior.
Do you understand how ridiculous we look in the eyes of the world, making such a fuss over a small country run by a quite ordinary dictator no unlike 100 others we do business with? Even Kuwait has told the United States not to use military force against Iraq. Make no mistake: The life of an Iraqi is as precious in the eyes of God as any other. And we're in enough trouble with Him already for murdering half a million Iraqi children with the sanctions. How's that for mass destruction?
(Charley Reese is a nationally syndicated columnist.)
Courtesy of Nationalist News Service
Nothing to Do with Weapons, Everything to do With Oil