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by Gary Sudborough
Tuesday, Dec. 02, 2008 at 1:17 AM
Terrorism caused by nation-states is vastly greater in scope and causes many more casualties than that caused by individuals or groups of individuals even though that caused by indivduals receives much more corporate attention and condemnation.
There are various types of terrorism. There is periodic terrorism by poor, technologically deficient people against targets of the rich like fancy hotels and restaurants and there is an unrelenting, everyday terrorism, mainly from the sky, on poor innocent people because they happen to live above an oil-rich or strategically important area for western capitalists. This everyday terrorism from aircraft, mainly from the United States and Britain, kills and maims many more people than do the periodic attacks on symbols of the rich and powerful, but oh, which gets the media attention? Does one see Iraqi, Afghani or Pakistani children maimed and blown to pieces like one sees the victims of the Mumbai terrorism? The media don't even cover it and it is not called terrorism, but war. One million Iraqis have been killed, but it receives almost no coverage when compared to the few hundred killed in Mumbai. Little Iraqi children suffer from horrible birth defects due to depleted uranium, but again just try to get some media coverage of these terrible events. In fact, the tons of depleted uranium dropped in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia are a threat to the genetic heritage of the whole world, since the atmosphere is global and the wind can carry radioactive particles anywhere around the planet. This is terrorism on a colossal scale. Wedding ceremonies, funeral processions and tribal gatherings are continually bombed in Afghanistan and the United States will always claim it is an accident. I have been following these events for years and these "accidents" occur every year. When something occurs time after time over a long period, it is likely not an accident. If a child of yours was killed or maimed by a bomb from a foreign power, would that not engender a desire for revenge. Terrorism breeds terrorism.
Another seldom remembered event was the so-called convoy of death in Afghanistan in the early months of the US occupation of that country. Hundreds of Taliban were crowded into a trailer truck like cattle and then were attempted to be moved from the north of the country to a prison near Herat. Not only was there no space to move, there were no air holes so people could breathe. When it became obvious they were smothering to death, an order was given to open fire and blow air holes in the trailer. This caused even more deaths. Finally, the survivors were herded into the desert, machine gunned and given a mass burial. A documentary was made of this event, but as usual the mass media didn't want the American people to see it.
There is another kind of terrorism practiced by the United States called torture. Terrorism is violence intended to intimidate, and torture fits this definition perfectly. The CIA tortures at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and various rendition centers around the world. Hooding people is a very insidious form of torture because deprivation of light can cause major depression in the brain and this is horribly painful. This is terrorism and it didn't start as Jane Mayer implies in her new book The Dark Side when George W. Bush came to power and America was virtuous until that time. The CIA has been torturing for years, particularly in Latin America. Dan Mitrione of the US Office of Public Safety taught the Uruguayan police how to torture the Tupamayo guerrillas by kidnapping homeless people off the streets and torturing them to death. Noam Chomsky in his book Turning the Tide gives the example of how the elite commandos in El Salvador, trained by the United States, killed a whole family suspected of sympathizing with the guerrillas, decapitated them and placed the heads around the dinner table just in front of the torsos. This is the epitome of intimidation and terrorism done on behalf of the United States. Michael Parenti also discusses the various forms of torture used by the CIA and their lackeys in Latin America including electric shock to the genitals and even tying one man's penis so he couldn't urinate, ruining his kidneys. Sister Diana Ortiz suffered horribly in Guatemala at the hands of the Guatemalan police and CIA. She was lowered into a pit of dead and dying human beings covered with rats and forced to stab a dying person with a machete. United States government terrorism has been going on for a very long time. When asked why priests and nuns were targeted, the Guatemalan special forces spokesman simply stated that it was because they were for the poor people and therefore, communists.
A man who survived the Mumbai disaster said it was pure evil. He was right. However, the greatest pure evil comes from the ruling class of the United States and the violence they can propagate through their agencies like the Pentagon and CIA.
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