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The 9-11 bombings Are Not Acts of War

The 9-11 bombings Are Crimes Against Humanity



Quotations

 

I prefer law to war under all circumstances. . .

--Benjamin Ferencz, Nuremberg Prosecutor, 9/19/01

 

Substitute "Terrorism" for "Communism" and "Iraqi" for "Vietnamese" in the following, and ponder anew the true costs and consequences of pursuing a Pax Americana and invading Iraq.


"This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:

``Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.'' . . .

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. . . .

"War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. . . .

"We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate."

--Martin Luther King, 4/4/67

 

What does it say about our society and culture that since 1991, a "World-Trade-Center's worth of Iraqi children continue to die every month" as a direct result of the crimes against humanity perpetrated under the direction of the last three Presidents of the United States? What does this fact mean to each and every person in this nation-state who pays annual taxes, the largest portion of which goes to the ongoing expansion of the United States military? As tax-paying members of the United States, can we reconcile our culpability for these Iraqi deaths with the deaths of people one year ago in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania?
--David Ratcliffe, 2/02

 

The media, never much good at analysis, are more and more breathless and incoherent. On CNN, even the stolid Jim Clancy started to hyperventilate when an Indian academic tried to explain how Iraq was once our ally and `friend' in its war against our Satanic enemy Iran. `None of that conspiracy stuff,' snuffed Clancy. Apparently, `conspiracy stuff' is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.

--Gore Vidal, 10/27/02

 

`Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices' who participate in `the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy' to commit any of the crimes proscribed by the Nuremberg Charter `are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such plan.' The language concerning involvement in a criminal conspiracy, Boyle said, comes straight from Supreme Court-approved U.S. law, namely the Pinkerton rule.

The White House lawyers are well aware that they are engaging in `an on-going criminal conspiracy to conduct a war of aggression,' Boyle said, adding, `The New York Times finally conceded that the reason the United States sabotaged the International Criminal Court (ICC) is because senior members of the Bush administration are afraid that they risk criminal prosecution.' The notion that the U.S. government rejects the ICC because it places military personnel at risk of prosecution is `nonsense,' Boyle said. It is the highly paid civilian planners at the Pentagon and the White House who have most to fear from the ICC because of their involvement in planning war crimes, according to Boyle.

--Francis Boyle, 10/18/02

 

We have only outdone the Romans in turning metaphors such as the war on terrorism, or poverty, or Aids into actual wars on targets we appear, often, to pick at random in order to maintain turbulence in foreign lands.

--Gore Vidal, 10/27/02

 

This dossier has presented detailed and reliable information about the large number of civilians killed in U.S. bombing and missile attacks on Afghanistan since October 7th. Naturally, some might seek to dismiss parts or all of the report by attacking the sources employed. But, to do so would mean having to accuse news agencies from many countries, reporters from many countries, and newspapers from many countries of lying. We have sought to cite whenever possible multiple sources. The specific, detailed stories provided by victims, on-lookers, and refugees lend credibility.

Natasha Walter[86] has eloquently stated our responsibility:

"They are far away from us, it's true, but their grief still rises from television screens and news reports. And this time around, we are implicated. These people are suffering from terror visited on them from the West. Yes, I know they have also suffered over the years from the evils of their fundamentalist rulers but we now share the blame for their plight. If it were not for the missiles the West has sent into Kandahar and Kunduz, these children whose faces we now see in our newspapers would not have had to take to the roads, desperately trudging the hills and deserts and sitting in tents on a bare plain.

And don't think that just because they have suffered so much during the last generation that their grief is any the less now. Or because they don't get obituaries in The New York Times that each of the civilian lives lost in Afghanistan isn't as precious to their loved ones as the people who died in the Twin Towers."

--Marc W. Herold, Dec 2001

 

Bin Laden does not have the capabilities for an operation of this magnitude. When I hear Bush talking about al-Qaeda as if it were Nazi Germany or the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, I laugh because I know what is there. Bin Laden has been under surveillance for years: every telephone call was monitored and al-Qaeda has been penetrated by US intelligence, Pakistani intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Egyptian intelligence. They could not have kept secret an operation that required such a degree of organisation and sophistication.

--Mohammed Heikal, 10/10/01

 

What we have seen since September 11, if you add up everything that Ashcroft, Bush, Gonzales and their coterie of Federalist Society lawyers have done here, is a coup d'etat against the United States Constitution. There is no question about it. When you add in the Ashcroft police state bill ["USA Patriot Act"] that was passed by Congress -- and several members of Congress admitted, "We never even read this thing when we voted for it" -- that's really what we're seeing now, Dennis, a constitutional coup d'etat. There is no other word for it.
--Francis A. Boyle, 11/14/01

 

In America, the arms industry, the oil industry, the major media networks, and, indeed, US foreign policy, are all controlled by the same business combines. Therefore, it would be foolish to expect this talk of guns and oil and defence deals to get any real play in the media. In any case, to a distraught, confused people whose pride has just been wounded, whose loved ones have been tragically killed, whose anger is fresh and sharp, the inanities about the "clash of civilisations" and the "good v evil" discourse home in unerringly. They are cynically doled out by government spokesmen like a daily dose of vitamins or anti-depressants. Regular medication ensures that mainland America continues to remain the enigma it has always been -- a curiously insular people, administered by a pathologically meddlesome, promiscuous government.

--Arundhati Roy, 10/23/01

 

A major war supposedly "against international terrorism" has been launched by a government which is harboring international terrorism as part of its foreign policy agenda. In other words, the main justification for waging war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.
--Michel Chossudovsky, 10/9/01

 

Appallingly little attention has been devoted in the mainstream media to obtaining justice through international law and UN sanctioned processes. Many experts of international law insist that the Bush administration has yet to present evidence to substantiate its claim that this is an act of war -- not a crime against humanity.
         Francis Boyle, the renowned professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, said: "Even if the Bush administration were to publicly provide clear and convincing evidence that Mr Bin Laden and his organisation were somehow behind the terrorist bombings in New York and Washington, the United States government would still have no valid justification or excuse for committing acts of war against Afghanistan. Both the United Nations Charter of 1945 and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 [text-only] absolutely require the United States to exhaust all means for the peaceful resolution of this dispute. So far the Bush administration has not even begun this legally mandated process."

--Jihan Alaily, 10/4/01

 

On October 26th, a date which will live in infamy, the President signed the USA/PATRIOT act, officially known as HR 3162. And you should well note that, according to Representative Ron Paul (R) of Texas as reported on November 9th by Kelly O'Meara ["Police State" --ratitor] of the Washington Times Insight Magazine, the bill had not even been printed and members of the House could not read it before they were compelled to vote on it. O'Meara wrote, "Meanwhile, efforts to obtain copies of the new bill were stonewalled even by the committee that wrote it." Most of its provisions have nothing to do with fighting terrorism. Under this so-called anti-terrorist measure:

  • Any federal law enforcement agency may enter your home or business when you are not there, collect evidence, not tell you about it, and then use that evidence to convict you of a crime; (This nullifies the 4th Amendment to the Constitution). And, says the ACLU, it doesn't even have to be a terrorism investigation, just a criminal investigation. [Section 213, The Sneak and-Peek provision].

  • Any federal law enforcement agency may, if they suspect that you are committing a crime, monitor all of you internet traffic and read your emails. They may also intercept all of your cell phone calls as well. No warrant is required. (This violates the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution) [Section 202 and 216] [See FTW on Carnivore, Vol. IV, No.2 April 30, 2001].

  • The FBI or any other federal law enforcement agency may come to your business and seize any of your business records if they claim it is connected with a terrorist investigation -- and they can arrest you if you tell anyone that they were there. (this violates the First and the Fourth Amendments to the Constitution) [Title II, Section 501]

  • The CIA can now operate inside the U.S. and spy on American citizens. And, as directed by AG Ashcroft on November 13, it is also permitted to share its intelligence files with local law enforcement agencies (and vice versa). The CIA has spied on Americans for decades, but the fruits of that spying have never been admissible in court. Now law enforcement will have the ability rewrite the intelligence as a probable cause statement, conduct an investigation and introduce it as evidence. This, from material that was collected outside the rules of search and seizure. (There goes the Exclusionary rule of the Fourth Amendment). [Titles 2 & 9].

  • The foundation for an international secret political police agency is laid by allowing the CIA to receive wiretap information from any local agency and then share it with the intelligence services of any foreign country. [Section 203]
--Michael Ruppert, 11/20/01

 

But who is Osama bin Laden really? Let me rephrase that. What is Osama bin Laden? He's America's family secret. He is the American president's dark doppelgänger. The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns, bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while. (The Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA. The heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on drugs"....)

--Arundhati Roy, 9/29/01

 

  1.   We must not again allow public emotion or the public media to caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some nations of Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies. Our schools should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts, and language of the Islamic nations. And our leaders should have the humility and the wisdom to ask the reasons some of those people have for hating us.
--Wendell Berry, 9/26/01

 

We shouldn't let them kill our principles at the same time they kill our people. And our principles are respect for the rule of law. Not charging in blindly and killing people because we are blinded by our tears and our rage.

--Benjamin Ferencz Interview, 9/19/01

 

  1. The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on that day.

  2. This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living in a "new world order" and a "new economy" that would "grow" on and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be "unprecedented."

  3. The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors who believed this proposition did not acknowledge that the prosperity was limited to a tiny percent of the world's people, and to an ever smaller number of people even in the United States; that it was founded upon the oppressive labor of poor people all over the world; and that its ecological costs increasingly threatened all life, including the lives of the supposedly prosperous.
--Wendell Berry, 9/26/01

 

What has happened here is not war in its traditional sense. This is clearly a crime against humanity. War crimes are crimes which happen in war time. There is a confusion there. This is a crime against humanity because it is deliberate and intentional killing of large numbers of civilians for political or other purposes. That is not tolerable under the international systems. And it should be prosecuted pursuant to the existing laws.

--Benjamin Ferencz Interview, 9/19/01

 

Our choice now seems to be between a "new war" and a new world. As always, the forces of reaction and wealth are telling us we have no choice but war, and no right or power to decide. They are calling for a secret investigation, a secret conviction, a secret method of execution, and a totally secret war abroad. The American people as a whole are the only ones in the world who have the right to decide on a national response to this tragedy, and it must be one that takes into account the rights of all the other peoples and nations of the world.
--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

Avoid any action that creates further suffering which would include the White House & Pentagon's "systematic war on terrorism" which is already in motion as we breathe. Avoid WAR at all costs.

--Anne Waldman, 9/18/01

 

At a House hearing on June 6, Representative Cynthia McKinney, Democrat of Georgia, referred to the document "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" and said: "Attacking the Iraqi public drinking water supply flagrantly targets civilians and is a violation of the Geneva Convention and of the fundamental laws of civilized nations." . . . For more than ten years, the United States has deliberately pursued a policy of destroying the water treatment system of Iraq, knowing full well the cost in Iraqi lives. The United Nations has estimated that more than 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a result of sanctions, and that 5,000 Iraqi children continue to die every month for this reason. No one can say that the United States didn't know what it was doing.
--Thomas J. Nagy, 9/01

 

For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it's an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it's reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America's economic and military dominance -- the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon -- were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government's record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things -- to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)?

--Arundhati Roy, 9/29/01

 

Lost in the barrage of recent history, the role of the CIA in supporting and developing international terrorist organisations during the Cold war and its aftermath is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media. . . . A blatant example of media distortion is the so-called "blowback" thesis: "intelligence assets" are said to "have gone against their sponsors"; "what we've created blows back in our face."[1] In a twisted logic, the US government and the CIA are portrayed as the ill-fated victims . . .

The "blowback" thesis is a fabrication. The evidence amply confirms that the CIA never severed its ties to the "Islamic Militant Network". Since the end of the Cold War, these covert intelligence links have not only been maintained, they have in become increasingly sophisticated.

New undercover initiatives financed by the Golden Crescent drug trade were set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus (controlled by the CIA) essentially "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia."

--Michel Chossudovsky, 10/9/01

 

  1. National self-righteousness, like personal self-righteousness, is a mistake. It is misleading. It is a sign of weakness. Any war that we may make now against terrorism will come as a new installment in a history of war in which we have fully participated. We are not innocent of making war against civilian populations. The modern doctrine of such warfare was set forth and enacted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, who held that a civilian population could be declared guilty and rightly subjected to military punishment. We have never repudiated that doctrine.

  2. It is a mistake also -- as events since September 11 have shown -- to suppose that a government can promote and participate in a global economy and at the same time act exclusively in its own interest by abrogating its international treaties and standing apart from international cooperation on moral issues.

  3. And surely, in our country, under our Constitution, it is a fundamental error to suppose that any crisis or emergency can justify any form of political oppression. Since September 11, far too many public voices have presumed to "speak for us" in saying that Americans will gladly accept a reduction of freedom in exchange for greater "security." Some would, maybe. But some others would accept a reduction in security (and in global trade) far more willingly than they would accept any abridgement of our Constitutional rights.
--Wendell Berry, 9/26/01

 

CAREFULLY CONCEALED in the theatrics of war, the bombast of propaganda, and the lights and sirens of new security measures is the simple fact that America has suffered an unprecedented defeat at the hands of those armed with the most meager of weapons. It was a defeat not only deeply humiliating in its character but totally unnecessary in its origins.

These facts are not erased by the moral failures of our foe. We have not been the victims of the unpredictable, spontaneous combustion of evil, but rather of a long series of missteps and misjudgments of which the angry, bitter, and deranged simply took advantage.

Neither can these facts be mitigated by a continued loyalty to the very leadership that so endangered the country by its disastrous policies, inadequate preparation, and taunting arrogance. What happened on September 11 did not have to happen and until we face that truth, and deal with its implications, we will leave in fear and danger.

--Sam Smith, 10/17/01

 

We are challenged now to make or influence a national response. But the real issues are local and decentralized in their solutions. Justice here also leads to peace; it is all that ever can. Democracy lets all those affected by decisions make them, and excludes those not affected save by advantage or greed. Privilege is the real violence in any society, local or global. Any market that disrupts ecologies, economies, resources, quality of life, human and civil rights, and equitable distribution of the created wealth, is not free.

--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

That we have been attacked is certain. But before we send out the cruise missiles to prove how big our national machismo is, we had better make sure we are aimed at the right party, and not just being suckered into bombing someone that the real planners and perpetrators of the World Trade Center attack want to trick us into bombing. Because if, in the heat of the moment and the lust for vengeance we surrender our basic American principles such as demand for proof beyond a reasonable doubt, then we ourselves will have damaged America and what it stands for far more than those who attacked the World Trade Center could ever do themselves. What the hijackers could not knock down, we will have thrown down ourselves. If we do that, then those who planned and carried out the attacks against the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon will have won, even if we hunt them down and kill them.

 

Since the Cold War era, Washington has consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at same time placing him on the FBI's "most wanted list" as the World's foremost terrorist.

--Michel Chossudovsky, 9/12/01

 

Consider who will gain most from a War. Think of the agenda of the current USA political administration and how a War promotes this agenda. Consider that the USA already spends more on military arms & other forms of "national security" than the rest of the world combined (although, as we see, this security is not infallible or ironclad). We have over half a million troops world wide in several hundred countries, scores of military bases & installations . . . A fleet larger in tonnage & firepower than all the navies of the world combined -- missile cruisers, nuclear submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, destroyers, spy ships that sail every ocean. US bomber squadrons & long range missiles that can reach any target . . . heat-seeking missiles with million dollar computers, "monster bombs", armour-piercing antitank projectiles made from radioactive nuclear waste (thousands were used in the Gulf War which contaminated ground water & soil in Iraq & Kuwait with uranium deplection that caused cancer in civilians) . . . We can wreak terrible destruction if our military power is unleashed.

--Anne Waldman, 9/18/01

 

The protracted war . . . will also change economic relations here in the United States, throwing us back into the permanent war economy of the Cold War years, and a severe economic slump.
        This agenda always stresses military expenditures at the cost of industrial infrastructure useful to the civilian world, and cuts into the social services, education and medical research and care that could instead be the benefit of our vast reserves of wealth. With a federal budget so bloated Congress could afford to cut future taxes, send us the rebate in advance, and still fund the Pentagon and CIA, the increases in education and social welfare were far outstripped by the tax cuts. However, in the face of the "new war", the Congress suddenly found $40 billion not available for these other programs. Voices abound in the corridors of power calling for increased military spending, new weaponry of destruction, exotic defenses, increased and intrusive security measures, and an "unleashing" of the CIA for covert spying and operations, including assassinations.

--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

Speak with friends, communities, children. Circulate information and "strategies" for peace. Stay in touch internationally. Stay informed. Be vigilant. Artists should be most vocal at this time and show that there are alternative ways to pursue a saner, wiser world.

--Anne Waldman, 9/18/01

 

In a cruel irony, while the Islamic jihad -- featured by the Bush Adminstration as "a threat to America" -- is blamed for the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, these same Islamic organisations constitute a key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.

--Michel Chossudovsky, 9/12/01

 

We have to apply the existing rules. To call them "terrorists" is also a misleading term. There's no agreement on what terrorism is. One man's terrorism is another man's heroism. I'm sure that bin Laden considers himself a saint and so do many of his followers. We try them for mass murder. That's a crime under every jurisdiction and that's what's happened here and that is a crime against humanity.

 

One of the most durable features of the U.S. culture is the inability or refusal to recognize U.S. crimes. The media have long been calling for the Japanese and Germans to admit guilt, apologize, and pay reparations. But the idea that this country has committed huge crimes, and that current events such as the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks may be rooted in responses to those crimes, is close to inadmissible.

--Edward S. Herman, 9/14/01

 

Consider how a War will bolster the Missile Shield-Star Wars mentality, weapons in space etc. Uncompassionate globalization, & ongoing environmental neglect will have the upper hand . . .

--Anne Waldman, 9/18/01

 

While the Mujahideen are busy fighting America's war in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, the FBI -- operating as a US based Police Force -- is waging a domestic war against terrorism, operating in some respects independently of the CIA which has -- since the Soviet-Afghan war -- supported international terrorism through its covert operations.

--Michel Chossudovsky, 9/12/01

 

It's up to us. Thomas Jefferson said it best long ago, "I know of no safe depository for the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." He also noted that, "If you believe that people cannot be trusted to govern themselves, then can they be trusted to govern others?"

--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

Even the British government admitted the case against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda would not stand up in court, and as a matter of fact it was routinely derided in the British press. There was nothing there. Now I don't know myself who was behind the terrorist attacks on September 11. And it appears we are never going to find out. Why? Because Congress in its wisdom has decided not to empanel a joint committee of both Houses of Congress with subpoena power giving them access to whatever documents they want throughout any agency of the United States government -- including FBI, CIA, NSA, DSA -- and to put these people under oath and testify as to what happened under penalty of perjury. We are not going to get that investigation, and yet today we are waging war against Afghanistan on evidence that Secretary of State Powell publicly stated is not even circumstantial.

--Francis Boyle, 10/18/01

 

Since 11 September, the "war on terrorism" has provided a pretext for the rich countries, led by the United States, to further their dominance over world affairs. . . . Today international trade is worth more than 11.5bn a day. A tiny fraction if this, 0.4 per cent, is shared with the poorest countries. American and G8 capital controls 70 per cent of world markets, and because of the rules demanding the end of tariff barriers and subsidies in poor countries while ignoring protectionism in the west, the poor countries lose 1.3bn a day in trade.

By any measure, this is a war of the rich against the poor. Look at the casualty figures. The toll, says the World Resources Institute, is more than 13 million children every year, or 12 million under the age of five, according to United Nations estimates.

"If 100 million have been killed in the formal wars of the 20th century", wrote Michael McKinley, "why are they to be privileged in comprehension over the annual [death] toll of children from structured adjustment programmes since 1982?" McKinley's paper, Triage: A Survey of the "New Inequality" as Combat Zone was presented to a conference in Chicago this year and deserves wider reading (he teaches at the Australian National University). It vividly describes the acceleration of western economic power in the Clinton years, which, since 11 September, has passed a threshold of danger for millions of people.

Last month's World Trade Organisation meeting in Doha in the Gulf state of Quatar, was disastrous for the majority of humanity. The rich nations demanded and got a new "round" of "trade liberalisation", which is the power to intervene in the economies of poor countries, to demand privatisation and the destruction of public services.

--John Pilger, 12/27/01

 

If the United States wishes to effectively prevent such tragedies in the future, it must choose the moral high ground and refuse to retaliate with more violence. By standing for real justice, legal as well as social, this country can rise above the practice and experience of the hundreds of other nations trapped into this same nightmare of hate, fear and terror. That decision, more than any other can disarm Osama bin Laden and his counterparts in other countries. If America offers justice and hope to the disenfranchised of the world, it can easily command more loyalty than the purveyors of violence. Instead, the current leadership is forcing America and many other countries into a position of protracted violence against innocent and guilty people alike. This will not only destabilize the current balance of power, but it will increase the ranks of the violent factions.

--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

The black-and-white TV footage is grainy and faded, but it still jumps off the screen -- a portentous clash between a prominent reporter and a maverick politician. On the CBS program "Face the Nation," journalist Peter Lisagor argued with a senator who stood almost alone on Capitol Hill, strongly opposing the war in Vietnam from the outset.

"Senator, the Constitution gives to the president of the United States the sole responsibility for the conduct of foreign policy," Lisagor said.

"Couldn't be more wrong," Wayne Morse broke in. "You couldn't make a more unsound legal statement than the one you have just made. This is the promulgation of an old fallacy that foreign policy belongs to the president of the United States. That's nonsense."

Lisagor: "To whom does it belong then, senator?"

Morse: "It belongs to the American people. . . . And I am pleading that the American people be given the facts about foreign policy."

Lisagor: "You know, senator, that the American people cannot formulate and execute foreign policy."

Morse: "Why do you say that? . . . I have complete faith in the ability of the American people to follow the facts if you'll give them. And my charge against my government is -- we're not giving the American people the facts."

--Norman Solomon, 9/14/01

 

[O]ur unnecessary dependence on oil as an energy source, and the monopoly of oil distribution and price worldwide help to create and sustain the situation that has contributed to recent events.
        As an example, at Texas A&M University, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of the "victory" of the Gulf War to "protect our national interests" in Kuwait (meaning oil). He revealed there for the first time the amount of oil used to carry out the war, a total of 3.5 billion gallons of oil. That is more oil than is known to exist in Kuwait. Is the goal of such wars to protect our access to oil so that we have the oil necessary to fight the wars? Not only is the percentage of global oil used by the United States disproportionate (60% used by 6% of the world's people), but so is the percentage of American military usage of that oil (estimated at 60% in 1985).

--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

--XXX, 9/23/01

 

There are many models for successful community and conflict resolution, for grievance, mediation and restitution, for economies of scale, for alternate means of exchange, for cooperative ventures and community credit, for democratic referendum and direct participation, for decentralization of power and decision making, for open communication, for inclusion and education. We do not lack the tools or the models, only the hope and the will. Those, like all else, belong to the people themselves.

--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

On Friday, the Senate voted 98-0 for a war resolution. It says: "The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."
        This resolution, written as a blank check, is payable with vast quantities of human corpses.

--Norman Solomon, 9/14/01

 

Have the trillions of dollars spent on this National Security State and Defense Department since the end of WWII really protected us and given us security? Or have they engendered the conditions that put us in more danger?
--John Judge, 9/23/01

 

The final and most profound lesson of these events is one that it will be hardest for government to accept -- this government in particular. It is that the only real defense against external attack is serious, continuing and courageous effort to find political solutions for national and ideological conflicts that involve the United States.

--William Pfaff, 9/12/01

 

Analyze the issues -- the history, the karma (cause & effect) -- that has lead to such resentment and hatred of the USA (its power, hegemony, cultural imperialism, exploitation of other peoples & resources, environmental degradation etc). See the webs of suffering that cause such catastrophic events.

--Anne Waldman, 9/18/01

 

"I don't know why we think, just because we're mighty, that we have the right to try to substitute might for right," Morse said on national television in 1964. "And that's the American policy in Southeast Asia -- just as unsound when we do it as when Russia does it."
        Three years later, he declared: "We're going to become guilty, in my judgment, of being the greatest threat to the peace of the world. It's an ugly reality, and we Americans don't like to face up to it. I hate to think of the chapter of American history that's going to be written in the future in connection with our outlawry in Southeast Asia."
        Such heresy infuriated many powerful politicians -- and journalists -- while Wayne Morse did all he could to block a war train speeding to catastrophe.
        Now, in the autumn of 2001, there's no one stepping forward from the Senate to help block the war train. We'll need to do it ourselves.

--Norman Solomon, 9/14/01

 

The Pentagon planners, who want always to operate in secret and dictate the terms to the rest of us, know who the real enemy is. It is not terrorists or religious fanatics. It is not foreign countries with their limited stockpiles of weapons, most of which the US sold or gave them. As Walt Kelly's cartoon character Pogo once noted, "the enemy . . . is us".

--John Judge, 9/23/01



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