The terror in (horrible) context-- Part 3

Steve Gilman sgilman at
Fri Sep 21 10:56:32 EDT 2001

PART 3..........................................

	Nothing that I have written is meant to disparage or disrespect those
who were victims and those who suffered death or the loss of a loved one
during this week's events. It is not meant to "justify" any action by
who bombed the Twin Towers or the Pentagon. It is meant to put it in a
context. If we believe that the actions were those of "madmen", they are
"madmen" who are able to keep a secret for 2 years or more among over 100
people, as they trained to execute a complex plan. While not the acts of
madmen, they are apparently the acts of "fanatics" who, depending on who
they really are, can find real grievances, but whose actions are

Osama Bin Laden at this point has been accused by the media and the
government of being the mastermind of Tuesday's bombings. Given the
government's track record on lying to the America people, that should not
be accepted as fact at this time. If indeed Bin Laden is the mastermind of
this action, he is responsible for the deaths of perhaps 10,000 people-a
shocking and horrible crime. Ed Herman in his book The Real Terror
Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda does not justify any terrorism
points out that states often engage in "wholesale" terror, while those
governments define as "terrorist" engage is "retail" terrorism. While
qualitatively the results are the same for the individual victims of
terrorism, there is a clear quantitative difference. And as Herman and
others point out, the seeds, the roots, of much of the "retail" terror are
in fact found in the "wholesale" terror of states. Again this is not to
justify, in any way, the actions of last Tuesday, but to put them in a
context and suggest an explanation.

	Perhaps most shocking and horrific, if indeed Bin Laden is the mastermind
of Tuesday's actions; he has clearly had significant training in
logistics, armaments, and military training, etc. by competent and expert
military personnel. And indeed he has. During the 1980s, he was recruited,
trained and funded by the CIA in Afghanistan to fight against the
Russians. As
long as he visited his terror on Russians and his enemies in Afghanistan,
he was "our man" in that country.

	The same is true of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, who was a CIA asset in
Iraq during the 1980s. Hussein could gas his own people, repress the
population, and invade his neighbor (Iran) as long as he did it with U.S.

	The same was true of Manuel Noriega of Panama, who was a contemporary and
CIA partner of George H. Bush in the 1980s. Noriega's main crime for Bush,
the father, was not that he dealt drugs (he did, but the U.S. and Bush
knew this before 1989), but that Noriega was no longer going to cooperate
in the ongoing U.S. terrorist contra war against Nicaragua. This
information is not unknown or really controversial among elite policy
makers. To repeat, this not to justify any of the actions of last Tuesday,
but to put it
in its horrifying context.

	As shocking as the events of last Tuesday were, they are likely to
even more horrific actions by the U.S. government that will add
significantly to the 8,000,000 figure stated above. This response may well
be qualitatively and quantitatively worst than the events of Tuesday. The
New York Times headline of 9/14/01 states that, "Bush And Top Aides
Proclaim Policy Of Ending States That Back Terror" as if that was a
rationale, measured, or even sane option. States that have been identified
for possible elimination are "a number of Asian and African countries,
Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and even Pakistan." This is beyond shocking and
horrific-it is just as potentially suicidal, homicidal, and more insane
than the hijackers themselves.

	Also, qualitatively, these actions will be even worse than the original
bombers if one accepts the mainstream premise that those involved are
"madmen", "religious fanatics", or a "terrorist group." If so, they are
acting as either individuals or as a small group. The U.S. actions may
continue the homicidal policies of a few thousand elites for the past 50
years, involving both political parties.

	The retail terror is that of desperate and sometime fanatical small
and individuals who often have legitimate grievances, but engage in
individual criminal and illegitimate activities; the wholesale terror is
that of "rational" educated men where the pain, suffering, and deaths of
millions of people are contemplated, planned, and too often, executed, for
the purpose of furthering a nebulous concept called the "national
interest". Space does not allow a full explanation of the elites Orwellian
concept of the "national interest", but it can be summarized as the
protection and expansion of hegemony and an imperial empire.

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