The U.S. Army Manual.
Most people associate terrorism with violence allegedly committed by states and groups opposed to U.S. imperialist policies. America is on a Christian “mission” to promote, peace, democracy and human rights. However, a brief history of recent violence shows that, the United States is the world’s biggest sponsor and purveyor of terrorism.
As an offensive military “Superpower”, the U.S. claims to have immunity to commit acts of terrorism anywhere in the world. In flagrant violation of international law and treaties, the U.S. is trying to impose its own laws and rules on the world. With a massive military budget (equals the rest of the world combined), the U.S. has acquired near global monopoly on violence and acts of terrorism. The so-called “war on terror” is in fact a premeditated never-ending global war of terror. It is an open threat against any defenceless nation that dares to oppose U.S. imperialism.
The U.S. considers itself above the law. Any criticism of U.S. actions and policies will be met with blackmail, even military threat. “You are either with us or else”. Powerful nations like Russia and China are subjected to a demonising criminal smear campaign. The so-called U.S. “allies” are obedient vassals and lapdogs, not friends. Britain, France and Israel share the same ideology and act as complicit in U.S. terrorism and vice versa. No matter how criminal U.S. actions and policies are, Western politicians and Western media utter a standard false mantra: “U.S. actions and policies are legally and morally justified”. The propaganda is so effective that most people have been conditioned to believe that the U.S. is on a “mission” to “civilise” the world. Moreover, American terrorism is normalised, if not covered-up by an array of Zionist organisations and think-tanks, such as the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Criminal Court, National Endowment for Democracy, the Brookings Institute, etc. As propaganda tools, they are specialised in managing public perceptions selectively. The goal is to enforce the idea that terrorism is committed by the “others” (Muslims), and has no place in Western culture.
It is impossible to write about terrorism without mentioning history’s most criminal act of terrorism. In August 1945, the U.S. dropped two nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed instantly. The barbaric attacks caused a nuclear catastrophe that took thousands more lives in the months and years that followed. It was unnecessary and indefensible act of terrorism. The criminal pretext was that “Japan must be forced to accept peace” in a time when Japan was seriously negotiating to surrender. America’s real aim was to terrorise the Japanese population and intimidate the rest of the world, particularly the Soviet Union. To this day, the U.S. (and Israel) continues the practice of nuclear blackmail under the euphemism of “nuclear deterrence”. This, of course, allows the U.S. to spread terror around the world.
It is estimated that America’s reign of terror in Iraq, which began in 1990 caused the death of more than 3.5 million Iraqi civilians. The overwhelming majority were innocent women and children. The 13-years long genocidal sanctions took the lives of at least 2 million Iraqis, including 600,000 Iraq children under the age of 5. It was a deliberate infanticide. On 12 May 1996, Leslie Stahl of CNN asked the then U.N. Ambassador the Zionist Madeleine Albright on “60 Minutes” program about the death of Iraqi children. “We have heard that a half a million children have died. I’m mean that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. You know, is the price worth it”? Albright brazenly responded: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price we think, we think the price is worth it”.
Economic sanctions are one of America’s most potent tools of terrorism. From Cuba and Iraq to Iran and now Syria, sanctions proved to be genocidal. In addition to their impacts on the economy and lives of ordinary people, sanctions are an act of terrorism in which infants, children and the elderly die a silent death. Today, Iran is being subjected to the same prolonged acts of terrorism by the U.S. (and U.S. vassals) under the pretext that Iran is seeking to develop weapon of mass destructions. The same pack of lies was fabricated to justify U.S. terrorism to destroy Iraq.
After more than a decade of genocidal sanctions, Iraq was the perfect defenceless target. In March 2003, the U.S. committed another barbaric act of terrorism propagated by Western media and Western pundits as “Shock and Awe”. The illegal invasion and murderous Occupation of Iraq caused the death of at least 1.5 million Iraqis, mostly women and children. Iraq was deliberately destroyed and dismembered as a modern Arab nation. In 2011, the U.S. reorganised the military Occupation of Iraq and deployed some of its occupying forces to Kuwait. However, the U.S. continues to occupy Iraq (as a U.S. colonial dictatorship) and foment civil strife by arming and financing U.S. proxy terrorist groups that are inflicting horrendous violence on the Iraqi people. All based on a pack of lies fabricated by the US-British government and spread by the mainstream media. From the outset, the U.S. aim was to exploit Iraq resources and uses Iraq as a launching pad to attack other countries, including Iran and Syria.
On 18 July 2012, a well-planned terrorist attack at a meeting of senior government ministers in Damascus killed Defence Minister, General Daoud Rajha, his Deputy and brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, and former Syrian defence Minister, General Hassan Turkmani. Several other senior government ministers were critically wounded. The U.S., Britain, and France not only glorified and refused to condemn the terrorist attack but also used it to justify adopting UN Resolution 2043 to impose further sanctions against Syria and open the way for U.S.-NATO military aggression.
The terrorist attack had all the hallmarks of a U.S.-Israel terrorist operation and in line with President Barack Obama’s secret order authorising U.S. support for the terrorists to depose the Syrian Government of Bashar al-Assad. According to Younes Abouyoub of Columbia University in New York: “This may be a larger intelligence operation involving foreign intelligence services. First of all, the timing of this work, the fact that it targeted three major figures within the Syrian government, this shows these are professionals, not amateurs … this is not the act of one person or two, this is a very carefully planned and well-organized and implemented operation.” The Turkish newspaper Habberturk revealed that Mossad (the Israeli intelligence organisation) was responsible for the attack. It was part of U.S. covert operation; an act of terrorism by proxy designed to intimidate the Syrian Government and the Syrian people.
According Russian and German media, the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla on 25 May 2012 of more than 100 civilians, some of them women, children and entire families gunned down in their own homes was carried out by the U.S.-NATO sponsored terrorists. As always, the U.S. and its allies blamed the Syrian government and began expelling Syrian diplomats in their capitals.
According to Germany’s leading daily newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the German intelligence agency (the BND) estimates that, “around 90 terror attacks that “can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups” were carried out in Syria between the end of December 2011 and the beginning of July 2012. The terrorists are foreign mercenaries armed and financed by the U.S. and U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, Britain and France. In addition, the German navy (in the Mediterranean) and British intelligence are providing the terrorists with vital information on Syrian troop movements, according to Germany's Bild am Sonntag. The aim of the U.S. and its allies is to destroy the modern Arab state of Syria – in the same way they destroyed Iraq and Libya – and install a puppet regime subservient to U.S.-Israel fascist interests. The Israeli fascist regime, in particular, wants to destroy Syria and continues its illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights and control Syrian water resources.
For its part, the U.S. will continue to use “al-Qaeda” bogeyman, with the “Islamic extremism” label, to frighten the population and justify its armed aggression against peaceful nations. It is much easier to promote a “war on al-Qaeda” than a war on Islam, despite evidence that there is not a distinct entity called “al-Qaeda” that allows for the use of force. In other words, al-Qaeda is a U.S. fabrication used to deflect attention away from the ongoing war on Muslims. It is a catch-all term used to cover-up U.S. crimes. In reality, al-Qaeda is a U.S. proxy terrorist group (foot soldiers) constitutes of Western-trained and armed mercenaries from Britain, the U.S., Turkey, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia among other countries. In Libya the terrorists were often called the “rebels”. In Syria, in addition to being called “rebels”, the terrorists are also called “activists” and the “Free Syrian Army”, in Yemen they are called “al-Qaeda” and in Mali (Africa), they are called “Ansar Dine”. I mention Mali because in Mali al-Qaeda is the bogyman – helping fuel the violence – to justify the next U.S.-NATO invasion of the country. It is part of a global destabilisation agenda, modern-day colonialism.
Another form of terrorism that the U.S. has perfected with near monopoly is drone terrorism. Thousands of innocent civilians have been murdered by U.S. drone attacks around the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen. As a result of U.S. reign of drone terror and U.S.-generated violence people live in constant fear and insecurity as they go about their daily lives. “Every day we hear the voice of the drones at least six or seven times. We listen for the voice 24 hours a day. We are afraid at night as we lie in our beds”, said Rasul Mana, a resident of Sirkut Burakhel Supulga in Waziristan.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported recently that on Sunday 03 June 2012, a CIA drone attacked people gathered for funeral prayers of militant victims killed in an earlier attack. At least ten people killed. A mosque was also struck last week, killing at least three civilian worshippers. On Monday 04 June 2012, the TBIJ reported that, “U.S. drones attacked rescuers in Waziristan in western Pakistan minutes after an initial strike, killing 16 people in total according to the BBC”.
Armed attacks on rescue workers which is condemned by Western governments, particularly the U.S. as a savage act of terrorism has become one of the U.S. favourite acts of terrorism.
According to McClatchy News, on 06 June 2012, U.S. drones attacked a house in the village Sajawand in in Logar province, south of the Afghan Capital, Kabul, 18 civilians, including seven children (the youngest being 8 months), five women and six men were killed instantly. Several people rejected the U.S. claim that the house was used to discuss politics. It was an act of terrorism designed to terrorize the civilian population.
Since the beginning of 2012, there have been at least 60 U.S. attacks on Yemen, killing hundreds of Yemeni civilians, according to TBIJ. On 15 May 2012, two U.S. drone attacks on a house in the village of Abyan killed at least 15 people and injured many others. The attacks destroyed al-Razi hospital in Jaar and left the people in dire situation. The U.S. is propping up a despotic regime against a popular uprising in Yemen. In similar attacks on 05 August, at least 5 people have been killed and several others injured in Kismayo, an important port city on Somalia's Indian Ocean coast located some 500 kilometres south of capital, Mogadishu. In another drone attack on 05 August 2012, at least 9 people were killed in the outskirt of Afmadow, close to the border with Kenya.
Since 2004, the U.S. spy agency (the CIA) has killed more than 200 children in drone attacks outside of legitimate war zones. According to TBIJ, an estimated total of between 451 and 1,035 civilians were killed in at least 373 drone attacks the U.S. in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. In Pakistan alone, U.S. drone terrorism killed at least 957 people in 2010. As of February 2012, between 482 and 835 civilians, including 175 children have been killed in Pakistan.
To manipulate the public and erase the deaths of innocent civilians, the Obama Administration categorized “all military-age [Muslim] males in a strike zone as combatants” justifying U.S. terror as a legitimate war with minimum civilian casualties. In other words, all Muslim men in a country that the U.S. considered “combat zones” (e.g., Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen or Somalia) have been operationalized as guilty, and therefore worthy of death, simply for being of adults. In fact, John Brennan, President Obama’s “counterterrorism” adviser said in 2011 that not one civilian had been killed during one year of strike. This criminal policy allows the U.S. to cover-up its war crimes against the civilian population and enforced the lie that the U.S. is at war with “terrorists”.
America’s drone terror has been rightly called a “cowardly war” against defenseless civilians. In fact, evidence shows that the U.S. has deliberately and indiscriminately targeted the civilian population in its wars against defenceless nations for political gains. Writing in Truthout (17 August 2012), Gareth Porter, an independent investigative journalist and historian reported that “the majority of the deaths in the drone war in Pakistan have been civilian noncombatants - not ‘militants’, as the Obama administration has claimed”. Drone attacks are fundamentally immoral and not different from piloted aircraft or any other murderous attack targeting civilians.
It is important to note that the U.S. is not at war with Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia. All are sovereign nations. Drone attacks violate United Nations Security Council Resolution 748, UN Doc S/RES/508 (1992) on the definition and protection of a state’s sovereignty.
Drone attacks are criminal acts of terrorism in flagrant violations international law. The UN expert in Geneva had just labelled U.S. drone attacks as ‘a war crime’. Targeted killing is defined as the “intentional, premeditated, and deliberate use of lethal force … against a specific individual who is not in the physical custody of the perpetrator”, writes Philip Alston, a law professor at New York University and former UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial , Summary, or Arbitrary Executions.
Like all acts of terrorism, the aim of these criminal attacks is not only to terrorise the civilian population but also to intimidate and coerce the governments.
In addition to propaganda campaigns by Western media to normalise drone terrorism, a new breed of so-called terrorism “experts” is rapidly mushrooming around the world in defense of U.S. terrorism. Here, in Australia, an obscure academic, Dr Ashutosh Misra from the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security at Griffith University – one of the most anti-Muslim propaganda think-tanks in Australia – told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on 06 June 2012 that, U.S. drone attacks are “proportional” and “within international law”. Misra provided no evidence to his rubbish and false propaganda, which is designed to justify murder and manipulate public opinion. Misra is unashamedly promoting himself as an “expert” without the slightest knowledge of international law.
Drone attacks violate the international law principles of necessity and proportionality. Drone attacks violate Article 2 of the Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War by disregarding the human rights of the innocent civilians killed in the strikes.
Furthermore, drone attacks violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which prohibits “arbitrary” killing even during an armed conflict. “[T]ere is no basis in law for our government to declare war on individuals it considers a threat”, writes Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer (See: Killer Drone Attacks Illegal, Counterproductive). The executions of innocent human beings without trials are criminal acts in flagrant violation of international law and constitute war crimes.
Finally, terrorism violates Article 51 of the U.N Charter by making a mockery of the rules of self-defense. According to Marjorie Cohn, a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, the U.S. and its allies have no case for self-defence, because: “The necessity for self-defence must be ‘instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice for means, and had no moment for deliberation’”. It is evident that America is engages in global acts of terrorism aimed at advancing America’s imperialist ideology.
The U.S. cannot pretend to be preaching peace, democracy and human rights while continues sponsoring and practising terrorism. Only a non-violent America governs by democratic principles and abides by international law and treaties can contribute to world’s peace. It is time America stops the practice of terrorism.
Ghali Hassan is an independent political analyst living in Australia.
Ghali Hassan is an independent political analyst living in Australia.