Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 38

Version .

8
Typed by jakepuff. If you find an error (there will be a few) please correct it, and increase the version number by .. !homsky has an archive at
www."ma#.or#$chomsky, in which you can also read several of his other books. %ou can also si#n up to the "ma# sustainer pro#ram for &', and ask
!homsky (uestions yourself inside the )!homsky!hat) forum.
*+ ,oam !homsky
Copyright 2001 by Noam Chomsky
I would like to thank David Peterson and Shifra
Stern for invaluable assistane with urrent media
researh partiularly!
"N#$% C&#%S'(
C-,T.,T/
)ditor*s Note !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!+
+"11
1! N#, SINC) ,&) -$. #/ 1012!!!!!!!!!!!!11
2! IS ,&) -$. #N ,)..#.IS% -INN$12)3!!!!24
4! ,&) ID)#2#5IC$2 C$%P$I5N!!!!!!!!!!!!!26
7! C.I%)S #/ S,$,)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!4+
8! C&#IC) #/ $C,I#N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!8+
9! CI:I2I;$,I#NS )$S, $ND -)S,!!!!!!!!!!61
6! C#NSID).$12) .)S,.$IN,3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!+4
$ppendi< $!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11+
D)P$.,%)N, #/ S,$,) .)P#., #N /#.)I5N
,)..#.IS, #.5$NI;$,I#NS =#C,#1). 8> 2001?
$ppendi< 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!128
.)C#%%)ND)D .)$DIN5
$bout the $uthor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!126
.0IT-1)/ ,-T.
-hat follows is a set of interviews onduted with Noam Chomsky by a variety of interviewers during the first month
following the attaks of September 11> 2001 on the -orld ,rade Center and the Pentagon! ,he interviews were onduted
largely via email> many with foreign @ournalists who speak and write )nglish as a seond language! $lthough some
interviews were onduted as early as eight days after the attaks> edits> additions> and revisions onsistent with the latest
news ontinued up until the book left for the printer on #tober 18! $s a result> interviews dated September may ontain
referenes to #tober events! /urthermore> in the proess of editing> setions were ut in whih Auestions or answers were
repeated between interviews! &owever> oasionally a repeated fat or point has been intentionally left in> for emphasis! $s
Chomsky wrote me during the editing proess> B,hese fats have been ompletely removed from history! #ne has to
pratially sream them from the rooftops!B
5reg .uggiero
New (ork City
1!
,-T /I,!. T2. 341 -5 86
1ased on an interview with I1 %anifesto =Italy?>
September 1+> 2001
78 The fall of the 9erlin 3all didn)t claim any victims, but it did profoundly chan#e the #eopolitical scene. 0o you
think that the attacks of *+ could have a similar effect:
C&#%S'(C ,he fall of the 1erlin -all was an event of great importane and did hange the geopolitial sene> but not in
the ways usually assumed> in my opinion! I*ve tried to e<plain my reasons elsewhere and won*t go into it now!
,he horrifying atroities of September 11 are something Auite new in world affairs> not in the their sale and harater>
but in the target! /or the Dnited States> this is the first time sine the -ar of 1012 that the national territory has been under
attak> or even threatened! %any ommentators have brought up a Pearl &arbor analogy> but that is misleading! #n
Deember 6> 1+71> military bases in two D!S! olonies were attaked " not the national territory> whih was never
threatened! ,he D!S! preferred to all &awaii a Bterritory>B but it was in effet a olony! During the past several hundred
years the D!S! annihilated the indigenous population =millions of people?> onAuered half of %e<io =in fat> the territories
of indigenous peoples but that is another matter?> intervened violently in the surrounding region> onAuered &awaii and the
Philippines =killing hundreds of thousands of /ilipinos?> and> in the past half entury partiularly> e<tended its resort to
fore throughout muh of the world! ,he number of vitims is olossal! /or the first time> the guns have been direted the
other way! ,hat is a dramati hange!
,he same is true> even more dramatially> of )urope! )urope has suffered murderous destrution> but from internal wars!
%eanwhile )uropean powers onAuered muh of the world with e<treme brutality! -ith the rarest of e<eptions> they were
not under attak by their foreign vitims! )ngland was not attaked by India> nor 1elgium by the Congo> nor Italy by
)thiopia> nor /rane by $lgeria =also not regarded by /rane as Ba olonyB?! It is not suprising> therefore> that )urope
should be utterly shoked by the terrorist rimes of September 11! $gain> not beause of the sale> regrettably! )<atly what
this portends> no one an guess! 1ut that it is something strikingly new is Auite lear!
;y impression is that these attacks won)t offer us new political scenery, but that they rather confirm the e<istence of
a problem inside the =.mpire.= The problem concerns political authority and power. 3hat do you think:
,he likely perpetrators are a ategory of their own> but unontroversially> they draw support from a reservoir of bitterness
and anger over D!S! poliies in the region> e<tending those of earlier )uropean masters! ,here ertainly is an issue of
Bpolitial authority and power!B In the wake of the attaks> the Wall Street Journal surveyed opinions of Bmoneyed
%uslimsB in the regionC bankers> professionals> businessmen with ties to the Dnited States! ,hey e<pressed dismay and
anger about D!S! support for harsh authoritarian states and the barriers that -ashington plaes against the independent
development and politial demoray by its poliies of Bpropping up oppressive regimes!B ,heir primary onern> however>
was differentC -ashington*s poliies towards IraA and towards Israel*s military oupation! $mong the great mass of poor
and suffering people> similar sentiments are muh more bitter> and they are also hardly pleased to see the wealth of the
region flow to the -est and to small -estern"oriented elites and orrupt and brutal rulers baked by -estern power! So
there definitely are problems of the authority and power! ,he immediately announed D!S! reation was to deal with these
problems by intensifying them! ,hat is> of ourse> not inevitable! $ good deal depends on the outome of suh
onsiderations!
Is 4merica havin# trouble #overnin# the process of #lobali"ation+and I don)t mean just in terms of national security
or intelli#ence systems:
,he D!S! doesn*t govern the orporate globaliEation pro@et> though it of ourse has a primary role! ,hese programs have
been arousing enormous opposition> primarily in the South> where mass protests ould often be suppressed or ignored! In
the past few years> the protests reahed the rih ountries as well> and hene beame the fous of great onern to the
powerful> who now feel themselves on the defensive> not without reason! ,here are very substantial reasons for the
worldwide opposition to the partiular form of investor" rights BglobaliEationB that is being imposed> but this is not the plae
to go into that!
=Intelli#ent bombs= in Ira(, =humanitarian intervention= in >osovo. The ?./.4. never used the word =war= to
describe that. ,ow they are talkin# about war a#ainst a nameless enemy. 3hy:
$t first the D!S! used the word Brusade>B but it was Auikly pointed out that if they hope to enlist their allies in the Islami
world> it would be a serious mistake> for obvious reasons! ,he rhetori therefore shifted to Bwar!B ,he 5ulf -ar of 1++1
was alled a Bwar!B ,he bombing of Serbia was alled a Bhumanitarian intervention>B by no means a novel usage! ,hat was
a standard desription of )uropean imperialist ventures in the 1+th entury! ,o ite some more reent e<amples> the ma@or
reent sholarly work on Bhumanitarian interventionB ites three e<amples of Bhumanitarian interventionB in the immediate
pre"-orld -ar II periodC Fapan*s invasion of %anhuria> %ussolini*s invasion of )thiopia> and &itler*s takeover of the
Sudetenland! ,he author of ourse is not suggesting that the term is aptG rather> that the rimes were masked as
Bhumanitarian!B
-hether the 'osovo intervention indeed was Bhumanitarian>B possibly the first suh ase in history> is a matter of fatC
passionate delaration does not suffie> if only beause virtually every use of fore is @ustified in these terms! It is Auite
e<traordinary how weak the arguments are to @ustify the laim of humanitarian intent in the 'osovo aseG more aurately>
they sarely e<ist> and the offiial government reasons are Auite different! 1ut that*s a separate matter> whih I*ve written
about in some detail elsewhere! 1ut even the prete<t of Bhumanitarian interventionB annot be used in the normal way in
the present ase! So we are left with Bwar!B
,he proper term would be BrimeB"perhaps Brime against humanity>B as .obert /isk has stressed! 1ut there are laws for
punishing rimesC identify the perpetrators> and hold them aountable> the ourse that is widely reommended in the
%iddle )ast> by the :atian> and many others! 1ut that reAuires solid evidene> and it opens doors to dangerous AuestionsC
to mention only the most obvious one> who were the perpetrators of the rime of international terrorism ondemned by the
-orld Court 18 years ago3
/or suh reasons> it is better to use a vague term> like Bwar!B ,o all it a Bwar against terrorism>B however> is simply more
propaganda> unless the BwarB really does target terrorism! 1ut that is plainly not ontemplated beause -estern powers
ould never abide by their own offiial definitions of the term> as in the D!S! CodeH or $rmy manuals! ,o do so would at
one reveal that the D!S! is a leading terrorist state> as are its lients!
Perhaps I may Auote politial sientist %ihael StohlC B-e must reogniEe that by onvention" and it must be emphasiEed
only by onvention"great power use and the threat of the use of fore is normally desribed as oerive diplomay and not as
a form of terrorism>B though it ommonly involves Bthe threat and often the use of violene for what would be desribed as
terroristi purposes were it not great powers who were pursuing the very same tati>B in aord with the literal meaning of
the term! Dnder the =admittedly unimaginable? irumstanes that -estern intelletual ultures were willing to adopt the
literal meaning> the war against terrorism would take Auite a different form> along lines spelled out in e<tensive detail in
literature that does not enter the respetable anon!
""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
H BI$nJ at of terrorism> means any ativity that =$? involves a violent at or an at dangerous to human life that is a violation of the riminal laws of the Dnited
States or any State> or that would be a riminal violation if ommitted within the @urisdition of the Dnited States or of any StateG and =1? appears to be intended
=i? to intimidate or oere a ivilian populationG =ii? to influene the poliy of a government by intimidation or oerionG or =iii? to affet the ondut of a
government by assassination or kidnapping!B =Dnited States Code Congressional and $dministrative News> +0th Congress> Seond Session> 1+07> #t 1+> volume
2G par 4066> +0 S,$,! 2606 I-est Publishing Co!> 1+07J?!
,he Auote I @ust gave is ited in a survey volume alled Western State Terrorism> edited by $le< 5eorge and published by a
ma@or publisher 10 years ago> but unmentionable in the Dnited States! Stohl*s point is then illustrated in detail throughout
the book! $nd there are many others> e<tensively doumented from the most reliable soures"for e<ample> offiial
government douments" but also unmentionable in the D!S!> though the taboo is not so strit in other )nglish"speaking
ountries> or elsewhere!
,4T- is keepin# (uiet until they find out whether the attack was internal or e<ternal. 2ow do you interpret this:
I do not think that that is the reason for N$,#*s hesitation! ,here is no serious doubt that the attak was Be<ternal!B I
presume that N$,#*s reasons for hesitation are those that )uropean leaders are e<pressing Auite publily!
,hey reogniEe> as does everyone with lose knowledge of the region> that massive assault on %uslim population would
be the answer to the prayers of bin 2aden and his assoiates> and would lead the D!S! and its allies into a Bdiabolial trap>B
as the /renh foreign minister put it!
!ould you say somethin# about connivance and the role of 4merican secret service:
I don*t Auite understand the Auestion! ,his attak was surely an enormous shok and surprise to the intelligene servies of
the -est> inluding those of the Dnited States! ,he CI$ did have a role> a ma@or one in fat> but that was in the 1+00s>
when it @oined Pakistani intelligene and others =Saudi $rabia> 1ritain> et!? in reruiting> training> and arming the most
e<treme Islami fundamentalists it ould find to fight a B&oly -arB against the .ussian invaders of $fghanistan!
,he best soure on this topi is the book Dnholy -ars> written by longtime %iddle )ast orrespondent and author Fohn
Cooley! ,here is now> preditably> an effort under way to lean up the reord and pretend that the D!S! was an innoent
bystander> and a bit surprisingly> even respetable @ournals =not to speak of others? are soberly Auoting CI$ offiials to
BdemonstrateB that reAuired onlusion"in gross violation of the most elementary @ournalisti standards!
$fter that war was over> the B$fghanisB =many> like bin 2aden> not $fghans?> turned their attention elsewhereC for
e<ample> to Chehnya and 1osnia> where they may have reeived at least tati D!S! support! Not surprisingly> they were
welomed by the governmentsG in 1osnia> many were welomed by the governments> in 1osnia> many Islami volunteers
were granted itiEenship in gratitude for their military servies =Carlotta 5all> New York Times> #tober 2> 2001?!
$nd to western China> where they are fighting for liberation from Chinese dominationG these are Chinese %uslims> some
apparently sent by China to $fghanistan as early as 1+60 to @oin a guerrilla rebellion against the government> later @oining
the CI$"organiEed fores after the .ussian invasion in 1+6+ in support of the government .ussia baked"and installed>
muh as the D!S! installed a government in South :ietnam and then invaded to BdefendB the ountry it was attaking> to ite
a fairly lose analog! $nd in the southern Philippines> North $fria> and elsewhere> fighting for the same auses> as they
see it! ,hey also turned their attention to their prime enemies Saudi $rabia> )gypt> and other $rab states> and by the 1++0s>
also to the D!S! =whih bin 2aden regards as having invaded Saudi $rabia muh as .ussia invaded $fghanistan?!
3hat conse(uences do you foresee for the /eattle movement: 0o you think it will suffer as a result, or is it possible
that it will #ain momentum:
It is ertainly a setbak for the worldwide protests against orporate globaliEation> whih"again"did not begin in Seattle!
Suh terrorist atroities are a gift to the harshest and most repressive elements on all sides> and are sure to be e<ploited"
already have been in fat" to aelerate the agenda of militariEation> regimentation> reversal of soial demorati programs>
transfer of wealth to narrow setions> and undermining demoray in any meaningful form! 1ut that will not happen
without resistane> and I doubt that it will sueed> e<ept in the short term!
3hat are the conse(uences for the ;iddle .ast: In particular for the Israeli+@alestinian conflict:
,he atroities of September 11 were a devastating blow for the Palestinians> as they instantly reogniEed! Israel is openly
e<ulting in the Bwindow of opportunityB it now has to rush Palestinians with impunity! In the first few days after the +"11
attak> Israeli tanks entered Palestinian ities =Fenin> .amallah> Feriho for the first time?> several doEen Palestinians were
killed> and Israel*s iron grip on the population tightened> e<atly as would be e<peted! $gain> these are the ommon
dynamis of a yle of esalation violene> familiar throughout the worldC Northern Ireland> Israel"Palestine> the 1alkans>
and elsewhere!
2ow do you jud#e the reaction of 4mericans: They seemed pretty cool+headed, but as /askia /assen recently said in
an interview, =3e already feel as thou#h we are at war.=
,he immediate reation was shok> horror> anger> fear> a desire for revenge! 1ut publi opinion is mi<ed> and
ounterurrents did not take long to develop! ,hey are now even being reogniEed in mainstream ommentary! ,oday*s
newspapers> for e<ample!
In an interview you #ave to the ;e<ican daily Aa Bornada, you said that we are faced with a new type of war. 3hat
e<actly did you mean:
It is a new type of war for the reasons mentioned in response to your first AuestionC the guns are now aimed in a different
diretion> something Auite new in the history of )urope and its offshoots!
4re 4rabs, by definition, necessarily fundamentalist, the 3est)s new enemy:
Certainly not! /irst of all> no one with even a shred of rationality defines $rabs as Bfundamentalist!B Seondly> the D!S! and
the -est generally have no ob@etion to religious fundamentalism as suh! ,he D!S! in fat> is one of the most e<treme
religious fundamentalist ultures in the worldG not the state> but the popular ulture! In the Islami world> the most e<treme
fundamentalist state> apart from the ,aliban> is Saudi $rabia> a D!S! lient state sine its originsG the ,aliban are in fat an
offshoot of the Saudi version of Islam!
.adial Islamist e<tremists> often alled BfundamentalistsB were D!S! favorites in the 1+00s> beause they were the best
killers who ould be found! In those years> a prime enemy of the D!S! was the Catholi Churh> whih had sinned
grievously in 2atin $meria by adopting Bthe preferential option for the poor>B and suffered bitterly for that rime! ,he -est
is Auite eumenial in its hoie of enemies! ,he riteria are subordination and servie to power> not religion! ,here are
many other illustrations!
2!
IS ,&) -$. #N ,)..#.IS% -INN$12)3
1ased on separate interviews with Hartford Courant on September 20> 2001 and David 1arsamian on September 21> 2001
78 Is the nation)s so+called war on terrorism winnable: If yes, how: If no, then what should the 9ush administration
do to prevent attacks like the ones that struck ,ew %ork and 3ashin#ton:
C&#%S'(C If we want to onsider this Auestion seriously> we should reogniEe that in muh of the world the D!S! is
regarded as the leading terrorist state> and with good reason! -e might bear in mind> for e<ample> that in 1+09 the D!S! was
ondemned by the -orld Court for Bunlawful use of foreB =international terrorism? and then vetoed a Seurity Counil
resolution alling on all states =meaning the D!S!? to adhere to international law! #nly one of ountless e<amples!
1ut to keep to the narrow Auestion" to terrorism of others direted against us" we know Auite well how the problem should
be addressed> if we want to redue the threat rather than esalate it! -hen I.$ bombs were set off in 2ondon> there was no
all to bomb -est 1elfast> or 1oston> the soure of muh of the finanial support for the I.$! .ather> steps were taken to
apprehend the riminals> and efforts were made to deal with what lay behind the resort to terror! -hen a federal building
was blown up in #klahoma City> there were alls for bombing the %iddle )ast> and it probably would have happened if the
soure turned out to be there! -hen it was found to be domesti> with links to the ultra"right militias> there was no all to
obliterate %ontana or Idaho! .ather> there was a searh for the perpetrator> who was found> brought to ourt> and sentened>
and there were efforts to understand the grievanes that lie behind suh rimes and to address the problems! Fust about
every rime" whether a robbery in the streets or olossal atroities" has reasons> and ommonly we find that some of them
are serious and should be addressed!
,here are proper and lawful ways to proeed in the ase of rimes> whatever their sale! $nd there are preedents! $
lear e<ample is the one I @ust mentioned> one that should be entirely unontroversial> beause of the reation of the highest
international authorities!
Niaragua in the 1+00*s was sub@eted to violent assault by the D!S! ,ens of thousands of people died! ,he ountry was
substantially destroyed> it may never reover! ,he international terrorist attak was aompanied by a devastating eonomi
war> whih a small ountry isolated by a vengeful and ruel superpower ould sarely sustain> as the leading historians of
Niaragua> ,homas -alker for one> have reviewed in detail! ,he effets on their ountry are muh more severe even than
the tragedies in New (ork the other day! ,hey didn*t respond by setting of bombs in -ashington! ,hey went to the -orld
Court> whih ruled in their favor> ordering the D!S! to desist and pay substantial reparations! ,he D!S! dismissed the ourt
@udgment with ontempt> responding with an immediate esalation of the attak! So Niaragua then went to the Seurity
Counil> whih onsidered a resolution alling on states to observe international law! ,he D!S! alone vetoed it! ,hey went
to the 5eneral $ssembly> where they got a similar resolution that passed with the D!S! and Israel opposed two years in a row
=@oined one by )l Salvador?! ,hat*s the way a state ould have set up another riminal ourt! ,hose are the measures the
D!S! ould pursue> and nobody*s going to blok it! ,hat*s what they*re being asked to do by people throughout the region>
inluding their allies!
.emember> the governments in the %iddle )ast and North $fria> like the terrorist $lgerian government> whih is one of
the most viious of all> would be happy to @oin the D!S! in opposing terrorist networks whih are attaking them! ,hey*re
the prime targets! 1ut they have been asking for some evidene> and they want to do it in a framework of at least minimal
ommitment to international law! ,he )gyptian position is omple<! ,hey*re part of the primary system that organiEed the
radial Islami fores of whih the bin 2aden network was a part! ,hey were the first vitims of it when Sadat was
assassinated! ,hey*ve been ma@or vitims of it sine! ,hey*d like to rush it> but> they say> only after some evidene is
presented about who*s involved and within the framework of the DN Charter> under the aegis of the Seurity Counil!
,hat is the ourse one follows if the intention is to redue the probability of further atroities! ,here is another ourseC
reat with e<treme violene> and e<pet to esalate the yle of violene> leading to still further atroities suh as the one
that is initing the all to revenge! ,he dynami is very familiar!
3hat aspect or aspects of the story have been underreported by the mainstream press, and why is it important that
they be paid more attention:
,here are several fundamental AuestionsC
/irst> what ourses of ation are open to us> and what are their likely onseAuenes3 ,here has been virtually no
disussion of the option of adhering to the rule of law> as others do> for e<ample Niaragua> whih I @ust mentioned =failing>
of ourse> but no one will bar suh moves by the D!S!? or as )ngland did in the ase of the I.$> or as the D!S! did when it
was found that the #klahoma City bombing was domesti in origin! $nd innumerable other ases!
.ather> there has> so far> been a solid drumbeat of alls for violent reation> with only sare mention of the fat that this
will not only visit a terrible ost on wholly innoent vitims> many of them $fghan vitims of the ,aliban> but also that it
will answer the most fervent prayers of bin 2aden and his network!
,he seond Auestion isC Bwhy3B ,his Auestion is rarely raised in any serious way!
,o refuse to fae this Auestion is to hoose to inrease signifiantly the probability of further rimes of this kind! ,here
have been some e<eptions! $s I mentioned earlier> the Wall Street Journal, to its redit> reviewed the opinions of
Bmoneyed %uslims>B people who are pro"$merian but severely ritial of D!S! poliies in the region> for reasons that are
familiar to anyone who has paid any attention! ,he feelings in the streets are similar> though far more bitter and angry!
,he bin 2aden network itself falls into a different ategory> and in fat its ations for 20 years have aused great harm to
the poor and oppressed people of the region> who are not the onern of the terrorist networks! 1ut they do draw from a
reservoir of anger> fear> and desperation> whih is why they are praying for a violent D!S! reation> whih will mobiliEe
others to their horrendous ause!
Suh topis as these should oupy the front"pages" at least> if we hope to redue the yle of violene rather than to
esalate it!
&.
T2. I0.-A-CI!4A !4;@4IC,
1ased on separate interviews with .adio b+2 =1elgrade? on September 10> 2001> )lise /ried and Peter 'reysler for Deutshland/unk .adio =5ermany? on
September 20> 2001> and Gionarle del Popolo
=SwitEerland? on September 21> 2001
78 2ow do you see the media covera#e of this event: Is there a parallel to the Culf 3ar in =manufacturin#
consent=:
C&#%S'(C %edia overage is not Auite as uniform as )uropeans seem to believe> perhaps beause they are keeping to the
New (ork ,imes> National Publi .adio> ,:> and so on! )ven the New York Times oneded> this morning> that attitudes in
New (ork are Auite unlike those they have been onveying! It*s a good story> also hinting at the fat that the mainstream
media have not been reporting this> whih is not entirely true> though it has been true> pretty muh> of the New York Times!
,he Times now reports that Bthe drumbeat for war!!!is barely audible on the streets of New (ork>B and that alls for peae
Bfar outnumber demands for retribution>B even at the main Boutdoor memorial to loss and griefB for the vitims of the
atroity! In fat> that*s not unusual around the ountry! ,here is surely virtually unanimous sentiment> whih all of us share>
for apprehending and punishing the perpetrators> if they an be found! 1ut I think there is probably strong ma@ority
sentiment against lashing out blindly and killing plenty of innoent people!
1ut it is entirely typial for the ma@or media> and the intelletual lasses generally> to line up in support of power at a time
of rises and try to mobiliEe the population for the same ause! ,hat was true> with almost hysterial intensity> at the time of
the bombing of Serbia! ,he 5ulf -ar was not at all unusual!
$nd the pattern goes far bak in history!
4ssumin# that the terrorists chose the 3orld Trade !enter as a symbolic tar#et, how does #lobali"ation and cultural
he#emony help create hatred towards 4merica:
,his is an e<tremely onvenient belief for -estern intelletuals! It absolves them of responsibility for the ations that
atually do lie behind the hoie of the -orld ,rade Center! -as it bombed in 1++4 beause of onern over globaliEation
and ultural hegemony3 -as Sadat assassinated 20 years ago beause of globaliEation3 Is that why the B$fghanisB of the
CI$"baked fores fought .ussia in $fghanistan> or in Chehnya now3
$ few days ago the Wall Street Journal reported attitudes of the rih and privileged )gyptians who were at a %Donald*s
restaurant wearing stylish $merian lothes> et!> and who were bitterly ritial of the D!S! for ob@etive reasons of poliy>
whih are well"known to those who wish to knowC they had a report a few days earlier on attitudes of wealthy and privileged
people in the region> all pro"$merian> and harshly ritial of D!S! poliies! Is that a onern over BglobaliEation>B
%Donalds> and @eans3 $ttitudes in the street are similar> but far more intense> and have nothing at all to do with these
fashionable e<uses!
,hese e<uses are onvenient for the D!S! and muh of the -est! ,o Auote the lead analysis in the New York Times
=September 19?C Bthe perpetrators ated out of hatred for the values herished in the -est as freedom> tolerane> prosperity>
religious pluralism and universal suffrage!B D!S! ations are irrelevant> and therefore need not even be mentioned =Serge
Shmemann?! ,his is a omforting piture> and the general stane is not unfamiliar in intelletual historyG in fat> it is lose
to the norm! It happens to be ompletely at variane with everything we know> but has all the merits of self"adulation and
unritial support for power! $nd it has the flaw that adopting it ontributes signifiantly to the likelihood of further
atroities> inluding atroities direted against us> perhaps even more horrendous ones than those of +"11!
$s for the bin 2aden network> they have as little onern for globaliEation and ultural hegemony as they do for the poor
and oppressed people of the %iddle )ast who they have been severely harming for years! ,hey tell us what their onerns
are loud and learC they are fighting a &oly -ar against the orrupt> repressive> and Bun"IslamistB regimes of the region>
and their supporters> @ust as they fought a &oly -ar against the .ussians in the 1+00s =and are now doing in Chehnya>
western China> )gypt" in this ase sine 1+01> when they assassinated Sadat" and elsewhere?!
1in 2aden himself has probably never even heard of BglobaliEation!B ,hose who have interviewed him in depth> like
.obert /isk> report that he knows virtually nothing of the world and doesn*t are to! -e an hoose to ignore all the fats
and wallow in self"indulgent fantasies if we like> but at onsiderable risk to ourselves> among others! $mong other things>
we an also ignore> if we hoose> the roots of the B$fghanisB suh as bin 2aden and his assoiates> also not a seret!
4re the 4merican people educated to see this: Is there an awareness of cause and effect:
Dnfortunately not> @ust as )uropean people are not! -hat is ruially important to privileged elements in the %iddle )ast
region =and even more so on the streets? is sarely understood here> partiularly the most striking e<ampleC the ontrasting
D!S! poliies toward IraA and Israel*s military oupation!
In IraA> though -esterners prefer a different story> they see that D!S! poliy in the past ten years has devastated the
ivilian soiety while strengthening Saddam &ussein" who> as they know> the D!S! strongly supported through his worst
atroities> inluding the gassing of the 'urds in 1++0! -hen bin 2aden makes these points in the broadasts heard
throughout the region> his audiene understands> even those who despise him> as many do! $bout the D!S! and Israel> the
most important fats are sarely even reported and are almost universally unknown> to elite intelletuals in partiular!
People of the region do not> of ourse> share the omforting illusions prevalent in the D!S! about the BgenerousB and
BmagnanimousB offers at Camp David in the summer 2000> let alone other favored myths!
,here is e<tensive material in print on this> well doumented from unontroversial soures> but it is sarely known!
2ow do you see the reaction of the 4merican #overnment: 3hose will are they representin#:
,he Dnited States government> like others> primarily responds to the enters of onentrated domesti power! ,hat should
be a truism! #f ourse> there are other influenes> inluding popular urrents" that is true of all soieties> even brutal
totalitarian systems> and surely more demorati ones! Insofar as we have information> the D!S! government is now trying
to e<ploit the opportunity to ram through its own agendaC militariEation> inluding Bmissile defense>B ode words for the
militariEation of spaeG undermining soial demorati programsG also undermining onerns over the harsh effets of
orporate BglobaliEation>B or environmental issues> or health insurane> and so onG instituting measures that will intensify
the transfer of wealth to the very few =for e<ample> eliminating orporate ta<es?G and regimenting the soiety> so as to
eliminate publi debate and protest! $ll normal> and entirely natural! $s for a response> they are> I presume> listening to
foreign leaders> speialists on the %iddle )ast> and I suppose their own intelligene agenies> who are warning them that a
massive military response will answer bin 2aden*s prayers! 1ut there are hawkish elements who want to use the oasion to
strike out at their enemies> with e<treme violene> no matter how many innoent people suffer> inluding people here and in
)urope who will be vitims of the esalating yle of violene! $ll again in a very familiar dynami! ,here are plenty of
bin 2adens on both sides> as usual!
.conomic #lobali"ation has spread the 3estern model all over the world, and the ?./.4. has been its prime supporter,
sometimes with (uestionable means, often humiliatin# local cultures. 4re we facin# the conse(uences of the last
decades of 4merican strate#ic policy: Is 4merica an innocent victim:
,his thesis is ommonly advaned! I don*t agree! #ne reason is that the -estern model"notably> the D!S! model"is based on
vast state intervention into the eonomy! ,he Bneoliberal rulesB are like those of earlier eras! ,hey are double"edgedC
market disipline is good for you> but not for me> e<ept for temporary advantage> when I am in a good position to win the
ompetition!
Seondly> what happened on September 11 has virtually nothing to do with eonomi globaliEation> in my opinion! ,he
reasons lie elsewhere! Nothing an @ustify rimes suh as those of September 11> but we an think of the Dnited States as an
Binnoent vitimB only if we adopt the onvenient path of ignoring the reord of its ations and those of its allies> whih are>
after all> hardly a seret!
.verybody a#rees that nothin# will be the same after *+, from a restriction of ri#hts in daily life up to the #lobal
strate#y with new alliances and new enemies. 3hat is your opinion about this:
DEditor's note: Comsk!'s response to tis "uestion, edited ere, #e$an #! reiteratin$ a point made in an earlier inter%iew
tat Septem#er && was te first time sin'e te War of &(&) tat te national territor! of te *+S+ was atta'ked #! forei$n
for'es+ See pa$e &&+,
I do not think it will lead to a long"term restrition of rights internally in any serious sense! ,he ultural and institutional
barriers to that are too firmly rooted> I believe! If the D!S! hooses to respond by esalating the yle of violene> whih is
most likely what bin 2aden and his assoiates hope for> then the onseAuenes ould be awesome! ,here are> of ourse>
other ways> lawful and onstrutive ones! $nd there are ample preedents for them! $n aroused publi within the more free
and demorati soieties an diret poliies towards a muh more humane and honorable ourse!
3orldwide intelli#ence services and the international services and the international systems of control (.chelon, for
e<ample) could not foresee what was #oin# to happen, even if the international Islamic terrorism network was not
unknown. 2ow is it possible that the 9i# 9rother)s eyes were shut: 0o we have to fear, now, a 9i##er 9i# 9rother:
I frankly have never been overly impressed with onerns widely voied in )urope over )helon as a system of ontrol! $s
for worldwide intelligene systems> their failures over the years have been olossal> a matter I and others have written about
and that I annot pursue here!
,hat is true even when the targets of onern are far easier to deal with than the bin 2aden network> whih is not doubt so
deentraliEed> so laking in the hierarhial struture> and so dispersed throughout muh of the world as to have beome
largely impenetrable! ,he intelligene servies will no doubt be given resoures to try harder! 1ut a serious effort to redue
the threat of this kind of terrorism> as in innumerable other ases> reAuires an effort to understand and to address the auses!
9in Aaden, the devil8 is this an enemy or rather a brand, a sort of lo#o which identified and personali"es the evil:
1in 2aden may or may not be diretly impliated in these ats> but it is likely that the network in whih he was a prime
figure is"that is> the fores established by the Dnited States and its allies for their own purposes and supported as long as
they served those purposes! It is muh easier to personaliEe the enemy> identified as the symbol of ultimate evil> that to seek
to understand what lies behind ma@or atroities! $nd there are> naturally> very strong temptations to ignore one*s own role"
whih in this ase> is not diffiult to unearth> and indeed is familiar to everyone who has any knowledge of the region and
its reent history!
0oesn)t this war risk becomin# a new Vietnam: That trauma is still alive.
,hat is an analogy that is often raised! It reveals> in my opinion> the profound impat of several hundred years of imperial
violene on the intelletual and moral ulture of the -est! ,he war in :ietnam began as a D!S! attak against South
:ietnam> whih was always the main target of the D!S! wars> and ended by devastating muh of Indohina! Dnless we are
willing to fae that elementary fat> we annot talk seriously about the :ietnam war! It is true that the war proved ostly to
the D!S!> though the impat on Indohina was inomparably more awful! ,he invasion of $fghanistan also proved ostly to
the D!S!S!.!> but that is not the problem that omes to the fore when we onsider that rime!
7!
C.I%)S #/ S,$,)
1ased on e<erpts from an interview with David 1aramian on September 21> 2001
78 4s you know, there is ra#e, an#er and bewilderment in the ?./. since the /eptember events. There have been
murders, attacks on mos(ues and even a /ikh temple. The ?niversity of !olorado, which is located here in 9oulder, a
town which has a liberal reputation, has #raffiti sayin#, =Co home, 4rabs,= =9omb 4f#hanistan,= and =Co 2ome,
/and ,i##ers.= 3hat)s your perspective on what has evolved since the terrorist attacks:
C&#%S'(C It*s mi<ed! -hat you*re desribing ertainly e<ists! #n the other hand> ounterurrents e<ist! I know they do
where I have diret ontats> and hear the same from others!
IEditor's note: Comsk!'s response, edited ere, e'oes a 'omment e made in a pre%ious inter%iew in wi' e des'ri#es
te mood in New York Cit! and te emer$en'e of a pea'e mo%ement+ See pa$e )-,
,hat*s another kind of urrent> also supportive of people who are being targeted here beause they look dark or have a
funny name! So there are ounterurrents! ,he Auestion is> what an we do to make the right ones prevail3
0o you think it)s more than problematic to en#a#e in alliances with individuals who are called =unsavory
characters,= dru# traffickers and assassins, in order to achieve what is said to be a noble end:
.emember that some of the most unsavory haraters are in the governments of the region> as well as in our own
government> and the governments of our allies! If we*re serious about it> we also have to ask> -hat is a noble end3 -as it a
noble end to draw the .ussians into an B$fghan trapB in 1+6+> as ;bigniew 1rEeEinski laims he did3 Supporting
resistane against the .ussian invasion in Deember 1+6+ is one thing! 1ut initing the invasion> as 1rEeEinski laims
proudly that he did> and organiEing a terrorist army of Islami fanatis for your own purposes> is a different thing!
$nother Auestion we should be asking now> what about the alliane that*s being formed> that the D!S! is trying to put
together3 -e should not forget that the D!S! itself is a leading terrorist state! -hat about the alliane between the D!S!>
.ussia> China> Indonesia> )gypt> $lgeria> all of whom are delighted to see an international system develop sponsored by the
D!S! whih will authoriEe them to arry out there own terrorist atroities3 .ussia> for e<ample> would be very happy to have
D!S! baking for its murderous war in Chehnya! (ou have the same $fghanis fighting against .ussia> also probably
arrying out terrorist ats within .ussia! $s would perhaps India> in 'ashmir! Indonesia would be delighted to have
support for its massares in $eh! $lgeria> as @ust announed on the broadast we heard> would be delighted to have
authoriEation to e<tend its own state terrorism! IEditor's note: Te #road'ast Comsk! is referrin$ to was te news report
tat aired immediatel! #efore is and .arsamian's li%e inter%iew on /GN* 0.oulder, Colorado1+, ,he same with China>
fighting against separatist fores in its western provines> inluding B$fghanisB who China and Iran had organiEed to fight
the war against the .ussians> beginning maybe as early as 1+60> some reports indiate! $nd that runs through he world!
Not everyone will be admitted so easily into the oalition> howeverC we must> after all> maintain some standards! B,he
1ush administration warned I#n #tober 9J that the leftist Sandinista party in Niaragua> whih hopes to return to power in
eletions ne<t month> has maintained tiesB with terrorist states and organiEations> and therefore Bannot be ounted on to
support the international anti"terrorism oalition the administration has been attempting to forgeB =5eorge 5edda> $P>
#tober 9?! B$s we stated previously there is no middle ground between those who oppose terrorism and those who support
it>B State Department spokeswoman )liEa 'oh delared! ,hough the Sandinstas laims to have Babandoned the soialist
poliies and anti"$merian rhetori of the past> 'oh*s statement Iof #tober 9J indiated the administration has doubts
about the laims of moderation!B -ashington*s doubts are understandable! $fter all> Niaragua had so outrageously
attaked the D!S! that .onald .eagan was ompelled to delare a Bnational emergenyB on %ay 1> 1+08> renowned annually>
beause Bthe poliies and ations of the 5overnment of Niaragua onstitute an unusual and e<traordinary threat to the
national seurity and foreign poliy of the Dnited States!B &e also announed an embargo against Niaragua Bin response to
the emergeny situation reated by the Niaraguan 5overnment*s aggressive ativities in Central $meria>B namely its
resistane to D!S! attakG the -orld Court dismissed as groundless -ashington*s laims of other ativities! $ year earlier>
.eagan had designated %ay 1 as B2aw Day>B a elebration of our B200"year"old partnership between law and liberty>B
adding that without law there an be only Bhaos and disorder!B ,he day before> he elebrated 2aw Day by announing that
the Dnited States would disregard the proeedings of the -orld Court> whih went on to ondemn his administration for its
Bunlawful use of foreB and violation of treaties in its attak against Niaragua> instantly esalated in response to the Court
order to terminate the rime of international terrorism! #utside the D!S!> of ourse> %ay 1 is a day of solidarity with the
struggles of $merian workers!
It is> then> understandable that the D!S! should seek firm guarantees of good behavior before allowing a Sandinista"led
Niaragua to @oin the alliane of the @ust led by -ashington> whih is now weloming others to @oin the war it has been
waging against terrorism for 20 yearsC .ussia> China> Indonesia> ,urkey> and other worthy states> though of ourse not
everyone!
#r> take the BNorthern $llianeB that the D!S! and .ussia are now @ointly supporting! ,his is mostly a olletion of
warlords who arried out suh destrution and terror that muh of the population welomed the ,aliban! /urthermore> they
are almost ertainly involved in drug traffiking into ,a@ikistan! ,hey ontrol most of that border> and ,a@ikistan is reported
to be a"maybe the"ma@or transit point for the flow of drugs eventually to )urope and the Dnited States! If the D!S! proeeds
to @oin .ussia in arming these fores heavily and launhing some kind of offensive based on them> the drug flow is likely to
inrease under the ensuing onditions of haos and refugee flight! ,he Bunsavory haratersB are> after all> familiar from a
rih historial reord> and the same is true of the Bnoble ends!B
%our comment that the ?./. is a =leadin# terrorist state= mi#ht stun many 4mericans. !ould you elaborate on that:
,he most obvious e<ample> though far from the most e<treme ase> is Niaragua! It is the most obvious beause it is
unontroversial> at least to people who have even the faintest onern for international law! I)ditor*s noteC See page 27 for
Chomsky*s more detailed elaboration on this point!J It is worth remembering" partiularly sine it has been so uniformly
suppressed" that the D!S! is the only ountry that was ondemned for international terrorism by the -orld Court and that
re@eted a Seurity Counil resolution alling on states to observe international law!
,he Dnited States ontinues international terrorism! ,here are also what in omparison are minor e<amples! )verybody
here was Auite properly outraged by the #kalahoma City bombing> and for a ouple of days the headlines read> B#klahoma
City 2ooks 2ike 1eirut!B I didn*t see anybody point out that 1eirut also looks like 1eirut> and part of the reason is that the
.eagan administration had set off a terrorist bombing there in 1+08 that was very muh like #klahoma City> a truk
bombing outside a mosAue timed to kill the ma<imum number of people as they left! It killed 00 and wounded 280> mostly
women and hildren> aording to the report in the Wasin$ton Post 4 years later! ,he terrorist bombing was aimed at a
%uslim leri whom they didn*t like and whom they missed! It was not very seret! I don*t know what name you give to the
poliies that are a leading fator in the death of maybe a million ivilians in IraA and maybe a half a million hildren> whih
is the prie the Seretary of State says we*re willing to pay! Is there a name for that3 Supporting Israeli atroities is another
one!
Supporting ,urkey*s rushing of its own 'urdish population> for whih the Clinton administration gave the deisive
support> 00 perent of the arms> esalating as atroities inreased> is another! $nd that was a truly massive atroity> one of
the worst ampaigns of ethni leansing and destrution in the 1++0s> sarely known beause of the primary D!S!
responsibility" and when impolitely brought up> dismissed as a minor BflawB in our general dediation to Bending
inhumanityB everywhere!
#r take the destrution of the $l"Shifa pharmaeutial plant in Sudan> one little footnote in the reord of state terror>
Auikly forgotten! -hat would the reation have been if the bin 2aden network had blown up half the pharmaeutial
supplies in the D!S! and the failities for replenishing them3 -e an imagine> though the omparison is unfair> the
onseAuenes are vastly more severe in Sudan! ,hat aside> if the D!S! or Israel or )ngland were to be the target of suh an
atroity> what would the reation be3 In this ase we say> B#h> well> too bad> minor mistake> let*s go on to the ne<t topi> let
the vitims rot!B #ther people in the world don*t reat like that! -hen bin 2aden brings up that bombing> he strikes a
resonant hord> even among those who despise and fear himG and the same> unfortunately> is true of muh of the rest of his
rhetori!
,hough it is merely a footnote> the Sudan ase is nonetheless highly instrutive! #ne interesting aspet is the reation
when someone dares to mention it! I have in the past> and did so again in response to Aueries from @ournalists shortly after
+"11 atroities! I mentioned that the toll of the Bhorrendous rimeB of +"11> ommitted with Bwikedness and awesome
rueltyB =Auoting .obert /isk?> may be omparable to the onseAuenes of Clinton*s bombing of the $l"Shifa plant in $ugust
1++0! ,hat plausible onlusion eliited an e<traordinary reation> filling many web sites and @ournals with feverish and
faniful ondemnations> whih I*ll ignore! ,he only important aspet is that that single sentene" whih> on a loser look>
appears to be an understatement" was regarded by some ommentators as utterly sandalous! It is diffiult to avoid the
onlusion that at some deep level> however they may deny it to themselves> they regard our rimes against the weak to be
as normal as the air we breathe! #ur rimes> for whih we are responsibleC as ta<payers> for failing to provide massive
reparations> for granting refuge and immunity to the perpetrators> and for allowing the terrible fats to be sunk deep in the
memory hole! $ll of this is of great signifiane> as it has been in the past!
$bout the onseAuenes of the destrution of the $l"Shifa plant> we have only estimates! Sudan sought a DN inAuiry into
the @ustifiations for the bombing> but even that was bloked by -ashington> and few seem to have tried to investigate
beyond! 1ut we surely should! Perhaps we should begin by realling some virtual truisms> at least among those with a
minimal onern for human rights! -hen we estimate the human toll of a rime> we ount not only those who were literally
murdered on the spot but those who died as a result! ,hat is the ourse we adopt refle<ively> and properly> when we
onsider the rimes of offiial enemies" Stalin> &itler> and %ao> to mention the most e<treme ases! &ere> we do not
onsider the rime to be mitigated by the fat that it was not intended but was a refletion of institutional and ideologial
struturesC the Chinese famine of 1+80"1+91> to take an e<treme ase> is not dismissed on grounds that it was a BmistakeB
and that %ao did not BintendB to kill tens of millions of people! Nor is it mitigated by speulations about his personal
reasons for the orders that led to the famine! Similarly> we would dismiss with ontempt the harge that ondemnation of
&itler*s rimes in )astern )urope overlooks Stalin*s rimes! If we are even pretending to be serious> we apply the same
standards to ourselves> always! In this ase> we ount the number who died as a onseAuene of the rime> not @ust those
killed in 'hartoum by ruise missilesG and we do not onsider the rime to be mitigated by the fat that it reflets the
normal funtioning of poliymaking and ideologial institutions"as it did> even if there is some validity to the =to my mind>
dubious? speulations about Clinton*s personal problems> whih are irrelevant to this Auestion anyway> for the reasons that
everyone takes for granted when onsidering the rimes of offiial enemies!
-ith these truisms in mind> let*s have a look at some of the material that was readily available in the mainstream press! I
disregard the e<tensive analysis of the validity of -ashington*s prete<ts> of little moral signifiane in omparison to the
Auestion of onseAuenes!
$ year after the attak> Bwithout the lifesaving mediine Ithe destroyed failitiesJ produed> Sudan*s death toll from the
bombing has ontinued> Auietly> to rise!!! ,hus> tens of thousands of people"many of them hildren" have suffered and died
from malaria> tuberulosis> and other treatable diseases!!! I$l"ShifaJ provided affordable mediine for humans and all the
loally available veterinary mediine in Sudan! It produed +0 perent of Sudan*s ma@or pharmaeutial produts!!!
Santions against the Sudan make it impossible to import adeAuate amounts of mediines reAuired to over the serious gap
left by the plant*s destrution!!! I,Jhe ation taken by -ashington on $ugust 20> 1++0> ontinues to deprive the people of
Sudan of needed mediine! %illions must wonder how the International Court of Fustie in ,he &ague will elebrate this
anniversaryB =Fonathan 1elke> .oston Glo#e, $ugust 22> 1+++?!
5ermany $mbassador to Sudan writes that BIt is diffiult to assess how many people in this poor $frian ountry died as a
onseAuene of the destrution of the $l"Shifa fatory> but several tens of thousands seems a reasonable guessB =-erner
Daum> BDniversalism and the -est>B Har%ard 2nternational 3e%iew, Summer 2001?!
BI,Jhe loss of this fatory is a tragedy for the rural ommunities who need these mediinesB =,om Carnaffin> tehnial
manager with Bintimate knowledgeB of the destroyed plant> Auoted in )d :ulliamy> &enry %Donald> Shyam 1hatia> and
%artin 1right> 4ondon 5#ser%er> $ugust 24> 1++0> lead story> page 1?!
$l"Shifa Bprovided 80 perent of Sudan*s mediines> and its destrution has left the ountry with no supplies of
hloroAuine> the standard treatment for malaria>B but months later> the 1ritish 2abour government refused reAuests Bto
resupply hloroAuine in emergeny relief until suh time as the Sudanese an rebuild their pharmaeutial produtionB
=Patrik -intour> 5#ser%er, Deember 20> 1++0?!
,he $l"Shifa faility was Bthe only one produing ,1 drugs" for more than 100>000 patients> at about 1 1ritish pound a
month! Costlier imported versions are not an option for most of them" or for their husbands> wives and hildren> who will
have been infeted sine! $l"Shifa was also the only fatory making veterinary drugs in this vast> mostly pastoralist>
ountry! Its speialty was drugs to kill the parasites whih pass from herds to herders> one of the Sudan*s prinipal auses of
infant mortalityB =Fames $still> Guardian> #tober 2> 100?!
,he silent death toll ontinues to mount!
,hese aounts are by respeted @ournalists writing in leading @ournals! ,he one e<eption is the most knowledgeable of
the soures @ust ited> Fonathan 1elke> regional program manager for the Near )ast /oundation> who writes on the basis of
field e<periene in Sudan! ,he /oundation is a respeted development institution dating bak to -orld -ar I! It provides
tehnial assistane to poor ountries in the %iddle )ast and $fria> emphasiEing grassroots loally"run development
pro@ets> and operates with lose onnetions to ma@or universities> haritable organiEations> and the State Department>
inluding well"known %iddle )ast diplomats and prominent figures in %iddle )ast eduational and developmental affairs!
$ording to redible analyses readily available to us> then> proportional to population> the destrution of $l"Shifa is as if
the bin 2aden network> in a single attak on the D!S! aused Bhundreds of thousands of people"many of them hildren"to
suffer and die from easily treatable diseases>B though the analogy> as noted> is unfair! Sudan is Bone of the least developed
areas in the world! Its harsh limate> sattered populations> health haEards and rumbling infrastruture ombine to make
life for many Sudanese a struggle for survivalBG a ountry with endemi malaria> tuberulosis> and many other diseases>
where Bperiodi outbreaks of meningitis or holera are not unommon>B so affordable mediines are a dire neessity
=Fonathan 1elke and 'amal )l"/aki> tehnial reports from the field for the Near )ast /oundation?! It is> furthermore> a
ountry with limited arable land> a hroni shortage of potable water> a huge death rate> little industry> an unservieable
debt> wraked with $IDS> devastated by a viious and destrutive internal war> and under severe santions! -hat is
happening within is largely speulation> inluding 1elke*s =Auite plausible? estimate that within a year tens of thousands had
already Bsuffered and diedB as the result of the destrution of the ma@or failities for produing affordable drugs and
veterinary mediines!
,his only srathes the surfae!
&uman .ights -ath immediately reported that as an immediate onseAuene of the bombing> Ball DN agenies based in
'hartoum have evauated their $merian staff> as have many other relief organiEations>B so that Bmany relief efforts have
been postponed indefinitely> inluding a ruial one run by the D!S!"based International .esue Committee Iin a
government townJ where more than fifty southerners are dying dailyBG these are regions in Bsouthern Sudan> where the DN
estimates that 2!7 million people are at risk of starvation>B and the Bdisruption in assistaneB for the Bdevastated populationB
may produe a Bterrible risis!B
-hat is more> the D!S! bombing Bappears to have shattered the slowly evolving move toward ompromise between
Sudan*s warring sidesB and terminated promising steps towards a peae agreement to end the ivil war that had left 1!8
million dead sine 1+01> whih might have also led to Bpeae in Dganda and the entire Nile 1asin!B ,he attak apparently
Bshattered!!!the e<peted benefits of a politial shift at the heart of Sudan*s Islamist governmentB towards a Bpragmati
engagement with the outside world>B along with efforts to address Sudan*s domesti rises> to end support for terrorism> and
to redue the influene of radial Islamists =%ark &uband> 6inan'ial Times, September 0> 1++0?!
Insofar as suh onseAuenes ensued> we may ompare the rime in Sudan to the assassination of 2umumba> whih
helped plunge the Congo into deades of slaughter> still ontinuing> or the overthrow of the demorati government of
5uatemala in 1+87> whih led to 70 years of hideous atroitiesG and all too many others like it!
&usband*s onlusions are reiterated three years later by Fames $still> in the artile @ust ited! &e reviews Bthe politial
ost to a ountry struggling to emerge from totalitarian military ditatorship> ruinous Islamism and long"running ivil warB
before the missile attak> whih Bovernight Iplunged 'hartoumJ into the nightmare of impotent e<tremism it had been
trying to esape!B ,his Bpolitial ostB may have been even more harmful to Sudan than the destrution of its Bfragile
medial servies>B he onludes!
$still Auotes Dr! Idris )ltayeb> one of Sudan*s handful of pharmaologists and hairman of the board of $l"ShifaC the
rime> he says> is B@ust as muh an at of terrorism as at the ,win ,owers"the only differene is we know who did it! I feel
very sad about the loss of life Iin New (ork and -ashingtonJ> but in terms of numbers> and the relative ost to a poor
ountry> Ithe bombing in SudanJ was worse!B
Dnfortunately> he may be right about Bthe loss of life in terms of numbers>B even if we do not take into aount the longer"
term Bpolitial ost!B
)valuating Brelative ostB is an enterprise I won*t try to pursue> and it goes without saying that ranking rimes on some
sale is generally ridiulous> though omparison of the toll is perfetly reasonable and indeed standard in sholarship!
,he bombing also arried severe osts for the people of the Dnited States> as beame glaringly evident on September 11> or
should have! It seems to me remarkable that this has not been brought up prominently =if at all?> in the e<tensive disussion
of intelligene failures that lie behind the +"11 atroities!
Fust before the 1++0 missile strike> Sudan detained two men suspeted of bombing the $merian embassies in )ast $fria>
notifying -ashington> D!S! offiials onfirmed! 1ut the D!S! re@eted Sudan*s offer of ooperation> and after the missile
attak> Sudan Bangrily releasedB the suspets ='ames .isen> New York Times, Fuly 40> 1+++?G they have sine been identified
as bin 2aden operatives! .eently leaked /1I memos add another reason why Sudan Bangrily releasedB the suspets! ,he
memos reveal that the /1I wanted them e<tradited> but the State Department refused! #ne Bsenior CI$ soureB now
desribes this and other re@etions of Sudanese offers of ooperation as Bthe worst single intelligene failure in this whole
terrible businessB of September 11! BIt is the key to the whole thing right nowB beause of the voluminous evidene on bin
2aden that Sudan offered to produe> offers that were repeatedly rebuffed beause of the administration*s Birrational hatredB
of Sudan> the senior CI$ soure reports! Inluded in Sudan*s re@eted offers was Ba vast intelligene database on #sama bin
2aden and more than 200 leading members of his al"Kaeda terrorist network in the years leading up to the 11 September
attaks!B -ashington was Boffered thik files> with photographs and detailed biographies of many of his prinipal adres>
and vital information about al"Kaeda*s finanial interests in many parts of the globe>B but refused to aept the information>
out of Birrational hatredB of the target of its missile attak! BIt is reasonable to say that had we had this data we may have
had a better hane of preventing the attaksB of September 11> the same senior CI$ soure onludes =David .ose>
5#ser%er, September 40> reporting an 5#ser%er investigation?!
#ne an sarely try to estimate the toll of the Sudan bombing> even apart from the probable tens of thousands of
immediate Sudanese vitims! ,he omplete toll is attributable to the single at of terror"at least> if we have the honesty to
adopt the standards we properly apply to offiial enemies! ,he reation in the -est tells us a lot about ourselves> if we agree
to adopt another moral truismC look into the mirror!
#r to return to Bour little region over here whih never has bothered anybody>B as &enry Stimson alled the -estern
hemisphere> take Cuba! $fter many years of terror beginning in late 1+8+> inluding very serious atroities> Cuba should
have the right to resort to violene against the D!S! aording to D!S! dotrine that is sarely Auestioned! It is>
unfortunately> all to easy to ontinue> not only with regard to the D!S! but also other terrorist states!
In your book !ulture of Terrorism, you write that =the cultural scene is illuminated with particular clarity by the
thinkin# of the liberal doves, who set the limits for respectable dissent.= 2ow have they been performin# since the
events of /eptember :
Sine I don*t like to generaliEe> let*s take a onrete e<ample! #n September 19> the New York Times reported that the D!S!
has demanded that Pakistan ut off food aid to $fghanistan! ,hat had already been hinted before> but here it was stated flat
out! $mong other demands -ashington issued to Pakistan> it also Bdemanded!!!the eliminated of truk onvoys that provide
muh of the food and other supplies to $fghanistan*s ivlian populationB"the food that is keeping probably millions of
people @ust this side of starvation =Fohn 1urns> Islamabad> New York Times?! -hat does that mean3 ,hat means that
unknown numbers of starving $fghans will die! $re these ,aliban3 No> they*re vitims of the ,aliban! %any of them are
internal refugees kept from leaving! 1ut here*s a statement saying> #'> let*s proeed to kill unknown numbers> maybe
millions> of starving $fghans who are vitims of the ,aliban! -hat was the reation3
I spent almost the entire day afterwards on radio and television around the world! I kept bringing it up! Nobody in
)urope or the D!S! ould think of one word of reation! )lsewhere in the world there was plenty of reation> even around
the periphery of )urope> like 5reee! &ow should we have reated to this3 Suppose some power was strong enough to say>
2et*s do something that will ause a huge number of $merians to die of starvation! -ould you think it*s a serious problem3
$nd again> it*s not a fair analogy! In the ase of $fghanistan> left to rot after it had been ruined by the Soviet invasion and
e<ploited for -ashington*s war> muh of the ountry is in ruins and its people are desperate> already one of the worst
humanitarian rises in the world!
,ational @ublic 1adio, which in the *8Es was denounced by the 1ea#an administration as =1adio ;ana#ua on the
@otomac,= is also considered =out there= on the liberal end of respectable debate. ,oah 4dams, the host of 4ll Thin#s
!onsidered, asked these (uestions on /eptember F8 =/hould assassinations be allowed: /hould the !I4 be #iven
more operatin# leeway:
,he CI$ should not be permitted to arry out assassinations> but that*s the least of it! Should the CI$ be permitted to
organiEe a ar bombing in 1eirut like the one I @ust mentioned3
Not a seret> inidentallyG prominently reported in the mainstream> though easily forgotten! ,hat didn*t violate any laws!
$nd it*s not @ust the CI$! Should they have been permitted to organiEe in Niaragua a terrorist army that had the offiial
task> straight out of the mouth of the State Department> to attak Bsoft targetsB in Niaragua> meaning undefended
agriultural ooperatives and health linis3 .emember that the State Department offiially approved suh tasks
immediately after the -orld Court had ordered the D!S! to end its international terrorist ampaign and pay substantial
reparations!
-hat*s the name for that3 #r to set up something like the bin 2aden network> not him himself> but the bakground
organiEations3
Should the D!S! be authoriEed to provide Israel with attak heliopters used to arry out politial assassinations and
attaks on ivilian targets3 ,hat*s not the CI$! ,hat*s the Clinton administration> with no notieable ob@etion! in fat> it
wasn*t even reported> though the soures were impeable!
!ould you briefly define the political uses of terrorism: 3here dose it fit in the doctrinal system:
,he D!S! is offiially ommitted to what is alled Blow"intensity warfare!B ,hat*s the offiial dotrine! If you read the
standard definitions of low"intensity onflit and ompare them with the offiial definitions of BterrorismB in army manuals>
or the D!S! Code =see p! 19> footnote?> you find they*re almost the same! ,errorism is the use of oerive means aimed at
ivilian populations in an effort to ahieve politial> religious> or other aims! ,hat*s what the -orld ,rade Center attak
was> a partiularly horrifying terrorist rime!
,errorism> aording to the offiial definitions> is simply part of state ation> offiial dotrine> and not @ust that of the D!S!>
of ourse!
It is not> as is often laimed> Bthe weapon of the weak!B
/urthermore> all of these things should be well known! it*s shameful that they*re not! $nybody who wants to find out
about them an begin by reading the $le< 5eorge olletion mentioned earlier> whih runs through lots and lots of ases!
,hese are things people need to know if they want to understand anything about themselves! ,hey are known by the
vitims> of ourse> but the perpetrators prefer to look elsewhere!
8!
C&#IC) #/ $C,I#N
1ased on an interview with %ihael $lbert on September 22> 2001
Aet)s assume, for the sake of discussion, that bin Aaden was behind the events. If so, what reason mi#ht he have had:
It certainly can)t help poor and disempowered people anywhere, much less @alestinians, so what is his aim, if he
planned the action:
C&#%S'(C #ne has to be autious about this! $ording to .obert /isk> who has interviewed him repeatedly and at
length> #sama bin 2aden shares the anger felt throughout the region at the D!S! military presene in Saudi $rabia> support
for atroities against Palestinians> along with D!S!"led devastation of IraAi ivilian soiety! ,hat feeling of anger is shared
by rih and poor> and aross the politial and other spetrums!
%any who know the onditions well are also dubious about bin 2aden*s apaity to plan that inredibly sophistiated
operation from a ave somewhere in $fghanistan! 1ut that his networks was involved is highly plausible> and that he is an
inspiration for them> also! ,hese are deentraliEed> non"hierarhi strutures> probably with Auite limited ommuniation
links among them! It*s entirely possible that bin 2aden*s telling the truth when he says he didn*t know about the operation!
$ll that aside> bin 2aden is Auite lear about what he wants> not only to any westerners who want to interview him> like
/isk> but more importantly to the $rabi"speaking audiene that he reahes through the assettes that irulate widely!
$dopting his framework for the sake of disussion> the prime target is Saudi $rabia and other orrupt and repressive
regimes of the region> none of whih are truly BIslami!B $nd he and his network are intent on supporting %uslims
defending themselves against BinfidelsB wherever it may beC Chehnya> 1osnia> 'ashmir> -estern China> Southeast $sia>
North $fria> maybe elsewhere! ,hey fought and won a &oly -ar to drive the .ussians =)uropeans who are presumably not
relevantly different from 1ritish or $merians in their view? out of %uslim $fghanistan> and they are even more intent on
driving the $merians out of Saudi $rabia> a far more important ountry to them> as it is the home of the holiest Islami
sites!
his all for the overthrow of orrupt and brutal regimes of gangsters and torturers resonates Auite widely> as does his
indignation against the atroities that he and others attribute to the Dnited States> hardly without reason! It*s entirely true
that his rimes are e<tremely harmful to the poorest and most oppressed people of the region! ,he latest attaks> for
e<ample> were e<tremely harmful to the Palestinians! 1ut what looks like sharp inonsisteny from outside may be
pereived rather differently from within! 1y ourageously fighting oppressors> who are Auite real> bin 2aden may appear to
be a hero> however harmful his ations are to the poor ma@ority! $nd if the Dnited States sueeds in killing him> he may
beome even more powerful as a martyr whose voie will ontinue to be heard on the assettes that are irulating and
through other means! &e is> after all> as muh of a symbol as an ob@etive fore> both for the D!S! and probably muh of the
population!
,here*s every reason> I think> to take him at his word! $nd his rimes an hardly ome as a suprise to the CI$!
B1lowbakB from the radial Islami fores organiEed> armed> and trained by the D!S!> )gypt> /rane> Pakistan> and others
began almost at one> with the 1+01 assassination of President Sadat of )gypt> one of the most enthusiasti of the reators of
the fores assembled to fight a &oly -ar against the .ussians! ,he violene has been ontinuing sine without letup!
,he blowbak has been Auite diret> and of a kind very familiar from 80 years of history> inluding the drug flow and the
violene! ,o take one ase> the leading speialist on this topi> Fohn Cooley> reports that the CI$ offiers Bonsiously
assistedB the entry of the radial Islami )gyptian leri Sheikh #mar $bdel .ahman to the D!S! in 1++0 =*nol! Wars1+
&e was already wanted by )gypt on harges of terrorism! In 1++4> he was impliated in the bombing of the -orld ,rade
Center> whih followed proedures taught in the CI$ manuals that were> presumably> provided to the B$fghanisB fighting
the .ussians! ,he plan was to blow up the DN building> the 2inoln and &olland tunnels> and other targets as well! Sheikh
#mar was onvited of onspiray and given a long @ail sentene!
4#ain, if bin Aaden planned these actions, and especially if popular fears of more such actions to come are credible,
what is the proper approach to reducin# or eliminatin# the dan#er: 3hat steps should be taken by the ?./. or
others, domestically or internationally: 3hat would be the results of those steps:
)very ase is different> but lets* take a few analogies! -hat was the right way for 1ritain to deal with I.$ bombs in
2ondon3 #ne hoie would have been to send the .$/ to bomb the soure of their finanes> plaes like 1oston> or to
infiltrate ommandos to apture those suspeted of involvement in suh finaning and kill them or spirit them to 2ondon to
fae trial!
Putting aside feasibility that would have been riminal idioy! $nother possibility was to onsider realistially the
bakground onerns and grievanes> and to try to remedy them> while at the same time following the rule of law to punish
riminals! ,hat would make a lot more sense> one would think! #r take the bombing of the federal building in #klahoma
City! ,here were immediate alls for bombing the %iddle )ast> and it probably would have happened if even a remote hint
of a link had been found! -hen it was instead disovered to be a domestially devised attak> by someone with militia
onnetions> there was no all to obliterate %ontana and Idaho> or the B.epubli of ,e<as>B whih has been alling for
seession from the oppressive and illegitimate government in -ashington! .ather> there was a searh for the perpetrator>
who was found> brought to ourt> and sentened> and to the e<tend that the reation was sensible> there were efforts to
understand the grievanes that lie behind suh rimes and to address the problems! $t least> that is the ourse we follow if
we have any onern for genuine @ustie and hope to redue the likelihood of further atroities rather than inrease it! ,he
same priniples hold Auite generally> with due attention to variation of irumstanes! Speifially> they hold up in this
ase!
3hat steps, in contrast, is the ?./. #overnment seekin# to undertake: 3hat will be the results, if they succeed in
their plans:
-hat has been announed is a virtual delaration of war against all who do not @oin -ashington in its resort to violene>
however it hooses!
,he nations of the world fae a Bstark hoieBC @oin us in our rusade or Bfae the ertain prospet of death and
destrutionB =.! -! $pple> New York Times> September 17?! 1ush*s rhetori of September 20 forefully reiterates that
stane! ,aken literally> it*s virtually a delaration of war against muh of the world! 1ut I am sure we should not take it
literally! 5overnment planners do not want to undermine their own interests so grievously! -hat their atual plans are> we
do not know! 1ut I suppose they will take to heart the warnings they are reeiving from foreign leaders> speialists in the
region> and presumably their own intelligene agenies that a massive military assault> whih would kill many innoent
ivilians> would be e<atly Bwhat the perpetrators of the %anhattan slaughter must want above all! %ilitary retaliation
would elevate their ause> idoliEe their leader> devalue moderation and validate fanatiism! If ever history needed a atalyst
for a new and awful onflit between $rabs and the -est> this ould be itB =Simon Fenkins> Times I2ondonJ> September 17>
one of many who made these points insistently from the outset?!
)ven if bin 2aden is killed" maybe even more so if he is killed" a slaughter of innoents would only intensify the feelings
of anger> desperation and frustration that are rampant in the region> and mobiliEe others to his horrendous ause!
-hat the administration does will depend> in part at least> on the mood at home> whih we an hope to influene! -hat
the onseAuenes of their ations will be we annot say with muh onfidene> any more than they an! 1ut there are
plausible estimates> and unless the ourse of reason> law> and treaty obligations is pursued> the prospets ould be Auite
grim!
;any people say that the citi"ens of 4rab nations should have taken responsibility to remove terrorists from the
planet, or #overnments that support terrorists. 2ow do you react:
It makes sense to all upon itiEens to eliminate terrorists instead of eleting them to high offie> lauding and rewarding
them! 1ut I would not suggest that we should have Bremoved our eleted offiials> their advisers> their intelletual laAue>
and their lients from the planet>B or destroyed our own and other -estern governments beause of their terrorist rimes and
their support for terrorists worldwide> inluding many who were transferred from favored friends and allies to the ategory
of BterroristsB beause they disobeyed D!S! ordersC Saddam &ussein> and many others like him! &owever> it is rather unfair
to blame itiEens of harsh and brutal regimes that we support for not undertaking this responsibility> when we do not do so
under vastly more propitious irumstanes!
;any people say that all throu#h history when a nation is attacked, it attacks in kind. 2ow do you react:
-hen ountries are attaked they try to defend themselves> if they an! $ording to the dotrine proposed> Niaragua>
South :ietnam> Cuba> and numerous others should have been settings off bombs in -ashington and other D!S! ities>
Palestinians should be applauded for bombings in ,el $viv> and on and on! It is beause suh dotrines had brought )urope
to virtual self"annihilation after hundreds of years of savagery that the nations of the world forged a different ompat after
-orld -ar II> establishing"at least formally> the priniple that the resort to fore is barred e<ept in the ase of self"defense
against armed attak until the Seurity Counil ats to protet international peae and seurity! Speifially> retaliation is
barred! Sine the D!S! is not under armed attak> in the sense of $rtile 81 of the DN Charter> these onsiderations are
irrelevant"at least> if we agree that the fundamental priniples of international law should apply to ourselves> not only to
those we dislike!
International law aside> we have enturies of e<periene that tell us e<atly what is entailed by the dotrines now being
proposed and hailed by many ommentators! In a world with weapons of mass destrution> what it entails is an imminent
termination of the human e<periment" whih is> after all> why )uropeans deided half a entury ago that the game of
mutual slaughter in whih they had been indulging for enturies had better ome to an end> or else!
In the immediate aftermath of *+, many people were horrified to see e<pressions of an#er at the ?./. emanatin#
from various parts of the world, includin# but not confined to the ;iddle .ast. Ima#es of people celebratin# the
destruction of the 3orld Trade !enter leave people wantin# reven#e. 2ow do you react to that:
$ D!S!"baked army took ontrol in Indonesia in 1+98> organiEing the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people> mostly
landless peasants> in a massare that the CI$ ompared to the rimes of &itler> Stalin> and %ao! ,he massare> aurately
reported> eliited unontrolled euphoria in the -est> in the national media and elsewhere! Indonesian peasants had not
harmed us in any way! -hen Niaragua finally suumbed to the D!S! assault> the mainstream press lauded the suess of
the methods adopted to Bwrek the eonomy and proseute a long and deadly pro<y war until the e<hausted natives
overthrow the unwanted government themselves>B with a ost to us that is Bminimal>B leaving the vitims with Bwreked
bridges> sabotaged power stations> and ruined farms>B and thus providing the D!S! andidate with Ba winning issueBC ending
the Bimpoverishment of the people of NiaraguaB =Time?! -e are BDnited in FoyB at this outome> the New York Times
prolaimed! It*s easy to ontinue!
:ery few people around the world elebrated the rimes in New (orkG overwhelmingly> the atroities were passionately
deplored> even in plaes where people have been ground underfoot by -ashington*s boots for a long> long time! 1ut there
were undoubtedly feelings of anger at the Dnited States! &owever> I am aware of nothing as grotesAue as the two e<amples
I @ust mentioned> or many more like them in the -est!
Cettin# beyond these public reactions, in your view what are the actual motivations operatin# in the ?./. policy at
this moment: 3hat is the purpose of the =war on terror,= as proposed by 9ush:
,he Bwar on terrorB is neither new nor a Bwar on terror!B -e should reall that the .eagan administration ame to offie 20
years ago prolaiming that Binternational terrorismB =sponsored worldwide by the Soviet Dnion? is the greatest threat faed
by the D!S!> whih is the main target of terrorism> and its allies and friends! -e must therefore dediate ourselves to a war
to eradiate this Baner>B this BplagueB that is destroying iviliEation! ,he .eaganites ated on that ommitment by
organiEing ampaigns of international terrorism that were e<traordinary in sale and destrution> even leading to a -orld
Court ondemnation of the D!S!> while lending their support to innumerable others> for e<ample> in southern $fria> where
-estern"baked South $frian depredations killed a million and a half people and aused L90 billion of damage during the
.eagan years alone! &ysteria over international terrorism peaked in the mid"00s> while the D!S! and its allies were well in
the lead in spreading the aner they were demanding must be e<tirpated!
If we hoose> we an live in a world of omforting illusion! #r we an look at reent history> at the institutional strutures
that remain essentially unhanged> at the plans that are being announed"and answer the Auestions aordingly! I know of
no reason to suppose that there has been a sudden hange in long"standing motivations or poliy goals> apart from tatial
ad@ustments to hanging irumstanes!
-e should also remember that one e<alted task of intelletuals is to prolaim every few years that we have Bhanged
ourse>B the past is behind us and an be forgotten as we marh on towards a glorious future! ,hat is a highly onvenient
stane> though hardly an admirable or sensible one!
,he literature on all this is voluminous! ,here is no reason> beyond hoie> to remain unaware of the fats " whih are> of
ourse> familiar to the vitims> though few of them are in a position to reogniEe the sale or nature of the international
terrorist assault to whih they are sub@eted!
0o you believe that most 4mericans will, as conditions permit more detailed evaluation of options, accept that the
solution to terror attacks on civilians here is for the ?./. to respond with terror attacks a#ainst civilians abroad, and
that the solution to fanaticism is surveillance and curtailed civil liberties:
I hope not> but we should not underestimate the apaity of well"run propaganda systems to drive people to irrational>
murderous> and suiidal behavior! ,ake an e<ample that is remote enough so that we should be able to look at it with some
dispassionC -orld -ar I! It an*t have been that both sides were engaged in a noble war for the highest ob@etives! 1ut on
both sides> the soldiers marhed off to mutual slaughter with enormous e<uberane> fortified by the heers of the intelletual
lasses and those who they helped mobiliEe> aross the politial spetrum> from left to right> inluding the most powerful
left politial fore in the world> in 5ermany! )<eptions are so few that we an pratially list them> and some of the most
prominent among them ended up in @ail for Auestioning the nobility of the enterpriseC among them .osa 2u<emburg>
1ertrand .ussel> and )ugene Debs! -ith the help of -ilson*s propaganda agenies and the enthusiasti support of liberal
intelletuals> a paifist ountry was turned in a few months into raving anti"5erman hysteris> ready to take revenge on
those who had perpetrated savage rimes> many of them invented by the 1ritish %inistry of Information! 1ut that*s by no
means inevitable> and we should not underestimate the iviliEing effets of the popular struggles of reent years! -e need
not stride resolutely towards atastrophe> merely beause those are the marhing orders!
9!
CI:I2I;$,I#NS )$S, $ND -)S,
1ased on interviews with )uropean media September 20"22> 2001 with %arili %argomenou for $lpha ,: Station =5reee?> %iguel %ora for )l Pais =Spain?>
Natalie 2evisalles for 2iberation =/rane?
IEditor's note: 7s man! of tese "uestions were written #! 8ournalists wo speak En$lis as a se'ond lan$ua$e, in some
instan'es prases were edited for 'larit! wit e%er! effort to preser%e te intended meanin$+,
78 4fter the attack in the ?./.4., /ecretary of /tate !olin A. @owell said that the ?./. #overnment will revise the laws
for terrorism, includin# the law of *FG that prohibits assassinations of forei#ners. The .uropean ?nion is also about
to apply a new law on terrorism. 2ow mi#ht response to the attacks come to constrict our freedoms: 5or instance,
does terrorism #ive #overnment the ri#ht to put us under surveillance, in order to trace suspects and prevent future
attacks:
C&#%S'(C $ response that is too abstrat may be misleading> so let us onsider a urrent and Auite typial illustration of
what plans to rela< onstrains on state violene mean in pratie! ,his morning =September 21?> the New York Times ran an
opinion piee by %ihael -alEer> a respeted intelletual who is onsidered a moral leader! &e alled for an Bideologial
ampaign to engage all the arguments and e<uses for terrorism and re@et themBG sine> as he knows> there are no suh
arguments and e<uses for terrorism of the kind he has in mind> at least on the part of anyone amenable to reason> in effet
this translates as a all to re@et efforts to e<plore the reasons that lie behind terrorist ats that are direted against states he
supports! &e then proeeds> in onventional fashion> to enlist himself among those who provide Barguments and e<uses for
terrorism>B taitly endorsing politial assassination> namely> Israeli assassinations of Palestinians who Israel laims support
terrorismG no evidene is offered or onsidered neessary> and in many ases even the suspiions appear groundless! $nd
the inevitable Bollateral damageB"women> hildren> and others nearby" is treated in the standard way! D!S!"supplied attak
heliopters have been used for suh assassinations for 10 months!
-alEer puts the word BassassinationB in Auotes> indiating that in his view> the term is part of what he alls the Bfervid and
highly distorted aounts of the blokade of IraA and the Israeli"Palestinian onflit!B &e is referring to ritiism of D!S!"
baked Israeli atroities in the territories that have been under harsh and brutal military oupation for almost 48 years> and
of D!S! poliies that have devastated the ivilian soiety of IraA =while strengthening Saddam &ussein?! Suh ritiisms are
marginal in the D!S!> but too muh for him> apparently! 1y Bdistorted aounts>B perhaps -alEer has in mind oasional
referenes to the statement of Seretary of State %adeleine $lbright over national ,: when she was asked about the
estimates of a half million deaths of IraAi hildren as a result of the santions regime! She reogniEed that suh
onseAuenes were a Bhard hoieB for her administration> but said Bwe think the prie is worth it!B
I mention this single e<ample> easily multiplied> to illustrate the substantive meaning of the rela<ation of onstraints on
state ation! -e may reall that violent and murderous states Auite ommonly @ustify their ations as Bounter"terrorismBC
for e<ample> the NaEis fighting partisan resistane! $nd suh ations are ommonly @ustified by respeted intelletuals!
,hat is not anient history! In Deember 1+06> at the peak of onern over international terrorism> the DN 5eneral
$ssembly passed its ma@or resolution on the matter> ondemning the plague in the strongest terms and alling on all nations
to at forefully to overome it! ,he resolution passed 184"2=D!S! and Israel?> &onduras alone abstaining! ,he offending
passage states Bthat nothing in the present resolution ould in any way pre@udie the right to self"determination> freedom
and independene> as derived from the Charter of the Dnited Nations> of peoples foribly deprived of that right!!!>
partiularly peoples under olonial and raist regimes and foreign oupation or other forms of olonial domination>
nor!!!the right of these peoples to struggle to this end and to seek and reeive support Iin aordane with the Charter and
other priniples of international lawJ!B ,hese rights are not aepted by the D!S! and IsraelG or at the time> their South
$frian ally! /or -ashington> the $frian National Congress was a Bterrorist organiEationB but South $fria did not @oin
Cuba and others as a Bterrorist state!B -ashington*s interpretation of BterrorismB of ourse prevails> in pratie> with human
onseAuenes that have been severe!
,here is now muh talk about formulating a Comprehensive Convention against ,errorism> no small task! ,he reason>
arefully skirted in reports> is that the D!S! will not aept anything like the offending passage of the 1+06 resolution> and
none of its allies will aept it either if the definition of BterrorismB onforms to offiial definitions in the D!S! Code or army
manuals> but only if it an somehow be reshaped to e<lude the terrorism of the powerful and their lients!
,o be sure> there are many fators to be onsidered in thinking about your Auestion! 1ut the historial reord is of
overwhelming importane! $t a very general level> the Auestion annot be answered! It depends on speifi irumstanes
and speifi proposals!
9undesta# in Cermany already decided that Cerman soldiers will join 4merican forces, althou#h 8E percent of the
Cerman people do not a#ree with this, accordin# to a survey of the 5orsa Institute. 3hat are your thou#hts on this:
/or the moment> )uropean powers are hesitant about @oining -ashington*s rusade> fearing that by a massive assault against
innoent ivilians the D!S! will provide bin 2aden> or others like him> with a way to mobiliEe the desperate and angry
people to their ause> with onseAuenes that ould be even more horrifying!
3hat do you think about nations actin# as a #lobal community durin# a time of war: It is not the first time that
every country must ally with the ?./.4., or be considered an enemy, but now 4f#hanistan is declarin# the same thin#.
,he 1ush administration at one presented the nations of the world with a hoieC @oin us> or fae destrution! IEditor's
Note: Here Comsk! is referrin$ to a "uote pu#lised in te New (ork ,imes> Septem#er &9, )::&! See pa$e ;9+,
,he Bglobal ommunityB strongly opposes terror> inluding the massive terror of the powerful states> and also the terrible
rimes of September 11! 1ut the BglobalB ommunity does not at! -hen -estern states and intelletuals use the term
Binternational ommunity>B they are referring to themselves! /or e<ample> N$,# bombing of Serbia was undertaken by the
Binternational ommunityB aording to onsistent -estern rhetori> although those who did not have their heads buried in
the sand knew that it was opposed by most of the world> often Auite voally! ,hose who do not support the ations of wealth
and power are not part of Bthe global ommunity>B @ust as BterrorismB onventionally means Bterrorism direted against us
and our friends!B
It is hardly surprising that $fghanistan is attempted to mimi the D!S!> alling on %uslims for support! ,he sale> of
ourse> is vastly smaller! )ven as remote as they are from the world outside> ,aliban leaders presumably know full well that
the Islami states are not their friends! ,hese states have> in fat> been sub@eted to terrorist attak by the radial Islamist
fores that were organiEed and trained to fight a &oly -ar against the D!S!S!.! 20 years ago> and began to pursue their own
terrorist agenda elsewhere immediately> with the assassination of )gyptian president Sadat!
4ccordin# to you, an attack a#ainst 4f#hanistan is a =war a#ainst terrorism=:
$n attak against $fghanistan will probably kill a great many innoent ivilians> possibly enormous numbers in a ountry
where millions are already on the verge of death from starvation! -anton killing of innoent ivilians is terrorism> not a
war against terrorism!
!ould you ima#ine how the situation would be if the terrorist)s attack in the ?./.4. had happened durin# the ni#ht,
when very few people would be in the 3T!: In other words, if there were very few victims, would the 4merican
#overnment react in the same way: ?p to what point is it influenced by the symbolism of this disaster, the fact that it
was the @enta#on and the Twin Towers that were hit:
I doubt that it would have made any differene! It would have been a terrible rime even if the toll had been muh smaller!
,he Pentagon is more than a Bsymbol>B for reasons that need no omment! $s for the -orld ,rade Center> we sarely
know what the terrorists had in mind when they bombed it in 1++4 and destroyed it on September 11! 1ut we an be Auite
onfident that it had little to do with suh matters as BglobaliEation>B or Beonomi imperialism>B or Bultural values>B
matters that are utterly unfamiliar to bin 2aden and his assoiates> or other radial Islamists like those onvited for the
1++4 bombings> and of no onern that their atroities over the years have aused great harm to poor and oppressed people
in the %uslim world and elsewhere> again on September 11!
$mong the immediate vitims are Palestinians under military oupation> as the perpetrators surely must have known!
,heir onerns are different> and bin 2aden> at least> has been eloAuent enough in e<pressing them in many interviewsC to
overthrow the orrupt and repressive regimes of the $rab world and replae them with properly BIslamiB regimes> to
support %uslims in their struggles against BinfidelsB in Saudi $rabia =whih he regards as under D!S! oupation?>
Chehnya> 1osnia> western China> North $fria> and Southeast $siaG maybe elsewhere!
It is onvenient for -estern intelletuals to speak of Bdeeper ausesB suh as hatred of -estern values and progress! ,hat
is a useful way to avoid Auestions about the origin of the bin 2aden network itself> and about the praties that lead to anger>
fear> and desperation throughout the region> and provide a reservoir from whih radial Islami terrorist ells an
sometimes draw! Sine the answers to these Auestions are rather lear> and are inonsistent with preferred dotrine> it is
better to dismiss the Auestions as BsuperfiialB and Binsignifiant>B and to turn to Bdeeper ausesB that are in fat more
superfiial> even insofar as they are relevant!
/hould we call what is happenin# now a war:
,here is no preise definition of Bwar!B People speak of the Bwar on poverty>B the Bdrug war>B et! -hat is taking shape is
not a onflit among states> though it ould beome one!
!an we talk of the clash between two civili"ations:
,his is fashionable talk> but it makes little sense! Suppose we briefly review some familiar history! ,he most populous
Islami state is Indonesia> a favorite of the Dnited States ever sine Suharto took power in 1+98> as army"led massares
slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people> mostly landless peasants> with the assistane of the D!S! and with an outburst
of euphoria from the -est that is so embarrassing in retrospet that it has been effetively wiped out of memory! Suharto
remained Bour kind of guy>B as the Clinton administration alled him> as he ompiled one of the most horrendous reords of
slaughter> torture> and other abuses of the late 20th entury! ,he most e<treme Islami fundamentalist state> apart from the
,aliban> is Saudi $rabia> $ D!S! lient sine its founding! In the 1+00s> the D!S! $long with Pakistani intelligene =helped
by Saudi $rabia> 1ritain> and others?> reruited> armed> and trained the most e<treme Islami fundamentalists they ould
find to ause ma<imal harm to the Soviets in $fghanistan! $s Simon Fenkins observes in the 2ondon Times> those efforts
Bdestroyed a moderate regime and reated a fanatial one> from groups reklessly finaned by the $meriansB =most of the
funding was probably Saudi?! #ne of the indiret benefiiaries was #sama bin 2aden!
$lso in the 1+00s> the D!S! and D!'! gave strong support to their friend and ally Saddam &ussein"more seular> to be
sure> but on the Islami side of the BlashB"right through the period of his worst atroities> inluding the gassing of the
'urds> and beyond!
$lso in the 1+00s the D!S! fought a ma@or war in Central $meria> leaving some 200>000 tortured and mutilated orpses>
millions of orphans and refugees> and four ountries devastated! $ prime target of the D!S! attak was the Catholi Churh>
whih had ommitted the grievous sin of adopting Bthe preferential option for the poor!B
In the early +0s> primarily for ynial power reasons> the D!S! seleted 1osnian %uslims as their 1alkan lients> hardly to
their benefit!
-ithout ontinuing> e<atly where do we find the divide between BiviliEations!B $re we to onlude that there is a Blash
of iviliEationsB with the 2atin $merian Catholi Churh on one side> and the D!S! and the %uslim world> inluding its
most murderous and fanati religious elements> on the other side3 I do not of ourse suggest any suh absurdity! 1ut
e<atly what are we to onlude> on rational grounds3
0o you think we are usin# the word =civili"ation= properly: 3ould a really civili"ed world lead us to a #lobal war
like this:
No iviliEed soiety would tolerate anything I @ust mentioned> whih is of ourse only a tiny sample even of D!S! history> and
)uropean history is even worse! $nd surely no BiviliEed worldB would plunge the world into a ma@or war instead of
following the means presribed by international law> following ample preedents!
The attacks have been called an act of hate. 3here do you think this hate comes from:
/or the radial Islamists mobiliEed by the CI$ and its assoiates> the hate is @ust what they e<press! ,he D!S! was happy to
support their hatred and violene when it was direted against D!S! enemiesG it is not happy when the hatred it helped
nurture is direted against the D!S! and its allies> as it has been> repeatedly> for 20 years! /or the population of the region>
Auite a distint ategory> the reasons for their feelings are not obsure! ,he soures of those sentiments are also Auite well
known!
3hat do you su##est the citi"ens of the 3estern world could do to brin# back peace:
,hat depends what these itiEens want! If they want an esalating yle of violene> in the familiar pattern> they should
ertainly all on the D!S! to fall into bin 2aden*s Bdiabolial trapB and massare innoent ivilians! If they want to redue
the level of violene> they should use their influene to diret the great powers in a very different ourse> the one I outlined
earlier> whih> again> has ample preedents! ,hat inludes a willingness to e<amine what lies behind the atroities! #ne
often hears that we must not onsider these matters> beause that would be @ustifiation for terrorism> a position so foolish
and destrutive as sarely to merit omment> but unfortunately ommon! 1ut if we do not wish to ontribute to esalating
the yle of violene> with targets among the rih and powerful as well> that is e<atly what we must do> as in all other
ases> inluding those familiar enough in Spain! IEditor's note: Comsk! is #ein$ inter%iewed #! te Spanis press, and
tus is referen'es to Spain+,
Did the U.S. "ask for" these attacks? Are they consequences of American politics?
,he attaks are not BonseAuenesB of D!S! poliies in any diret sense! 1ut indiretly> of ourse they are onseAuenes> that
is not even ontroversial! ,here seems little doubt that the perpetrators ome from the terrorist network that has its roots in
the merenary armies that were organiEed> trained> and armed by the CI$> )gypt> Pakistan> /renh intelligene> Saudi
$rabian funding> and others! ,he bakgrounds of all of this remain somewhat murky! ,he organiEation of these fores
started in 1+6+> if we an believe President Carter*s National Seurity $dviser ;bigniew 1rEeEinski! &e laimed> maybe he
was @ust bragging> that in mid"1+6+ he had instigated seret support for %u@ahidin fighting against the government of
$fghanistan in an effort to draw the .ussians into what he alled an B$fghan trap>B a phrase worth remembering! &e*s very
proud of the fat that they did fall into the B$fghan trapB by sending military fores to support the government si< months
later> with onseAuenes that we know! ,he Dnited States> along with its allies> assembled a huge merenary army> maybe
100>000 or more> and they drew from the most militant setors they ould find> whih happened to be radial Islamists>
what are alled here Islami fundamentalists> from all over> most of them not from $fghanistan! ,hey*re alled B$fghanis>B
but like bin 2aden> many ome from elsewhere!
1in 2aden @oined sometime in the 1+00s! &e was involved in the funding networks> whih probably are the ones whih
still e<ist! ,hey fought a holy war against the .ussian oupiers! ,hey arried terror into .ussian territory! ,hey won the
war and the .ussian invaders withdrew! ,he war was not their only ativity! In 1+01> fores based in those same groups
assassinated President Sadat of )gypt> who had been instrumental in setting them up! In 1+04> one suiide bomber> maybe
with onnetions to the same fores> essentially drove the D!S! military out of 2ebanon! $nd it ontinued!
1y 1+0+> they had sueeded in their &oly -ar in $fghanistan! $s soon as the D!S! established a permanent military
presene in Saudi $rabia> bin 2aden and the rest announed that from their point of view> that was omparable to the
.ussian oupation of $fghanistan and they turned their guns on the $merians> as had already happened in 1+04 when the
D!S! had military fores in 2ebanon! Saudi $rabia is a ma@or enemy of the bin 2aden network> @ust as )gypt is! ,hat*s what
they want to overthrow> what they all the un"Islami governments of )gypt> Saudi $rabia> other states of the %iddle )ast>
and North $fria! $nd it ontinued!
In 1++6 they murdered roughly si<ty tourists in )gypt and destroyed the )gyptian tourist industry! $nd they*ve been
arrying out ativities all over the region> North $fria> )ast $fria> the %iddle )ast> the 1alkans> Central $sia> western
China> Southeast $sia> the D!S!> for years! ,hat*s one group! $nd that is an outgrowth of the wars of the 1+00s and> if you
an believe 1rEeEinski> even before> when they set the B$fghan trap!B /urthermore> as is ommon knowledge among
anyone who pays attention to the region> the terrorists draw from a reservoir of desperation> anger> and frustration that
e<tends from rih to poor> from seular to radial Islamist! ,hat is rooted in no small measure in D!S! poliies is evident
and onstantly artiulated to those willing to listen!
%ou said that the main practitioners of terrorism are countries like the ?./. that use violence for political motives,
3hen and where:
I find the Auestion baffling! $s I*ve said elsewhere> the D!S! is> after all> the only ountry ondemned by the -orld Court for
international terrorism"for Bthe unlawful use of foreB for politial ends> as the Court put it"ordering the D!S! to terminate
these rimes and pay substantial reparations! ,he D!S! of ourse dismissed the Court*s @udgment with ontempt> reating by
esalating the terrorist war against Niaragua and vetoing a Seurity Counil resolution alling on all states to observe
international law =and voting along> with Israel and in one ase )l Salvador> against similar 5eneral $ssembly resolutions?!
,he terrorist war e<panded in aordane with the offiial poliy of attaking Bsoft targetsB"undefended ivilian targets> like
agriultural olletives and health linis"instead of engaging the Niaraguan army! ,he terrorists were able to arry out
these instrutions> thanks to the omplete ontrol of Niaraguan air spae by the D!S! and the advaned ommuniations
eAuipment provided to them by their supervisors!
It should also be reogniEed that these terrorist ations were widely approved! #ne prominent ommentator> %ihael
'insley> at the liberal e<treme of the mainstream> argued that we should not simply dismiss State Department @ustifiations
for terrorist attaks on Bsoft targetsBC a Bsensible poliyB must Bmeet the test of ost"benefit analysis>B he wrote> an analysis
of Bthe amount of blood and misery that will be poured in> and the likelihood that demoray will emerge at the other
endB"BdemorayB as the D!S! understands that term> an interpretation illustrated Auite learly in the region! It is taken for
granted that D!S! elites have the right to ondut the analysis and pursue the pro@et if it passes their tests!
)ven more dramatially> the idea that Niaragua should have the right to defend itself was onsidered outrageous aross
the mainstream politial spetrum in the Dnited States! ,he D!S! pressured allies to stop providing Niaragua with arms>
hoping that it would turn to .ussia> as it didG that provides the right propaganda images! ,he .eagan administration
repeatedly floated rumors that Niaragua was reeiving @et fighters from .ussia" to protet its airspae> as everyone knew>
and to prevent D!S! terrorist attaks against Bsoft targets!B ,he rumors were false> but the reation was instrutive! ,he
doves Auestioned the rumors> but said that if they are true> of ourse we must bomb Niaragua> beause it will be a threat to
our seurity! Database searhes revealed that there was sarely a hint that Niaragua had the right to defend itself! ,hat
tells us Auite a lot about the deep"seated Bulture of terrorismB that prevails in -estern iviliEation!
,his is by no means the most e<treme e<ampleG I mention it beause it is unontroversial> given the -orld Court deision>
and beause the failed efforts of Niaragua to pursue lawful means> instead of setting off bombs in -ashington> provide a
model for today> not the only one! Niaragua was only one omponent of -ashington*s terrorist wars in Central $meria in
that terrible deade> leaving hundreds of thousands dead and four ountries in ruins!
During the same years the D!S! was arrying out large"sale terrorism elsewhere> inluding the %iddle )astC to ite one
e<ample> the ar bombing in 1eirut in 1+08 outside a mosAue> timed to kill the ma<imum number of ivilians> with 00 dead
and 280 asualties> aimed at a %uslim sheikh> who esaped! $nd it supported muh worse terrorC for e<ample> Israel*s
invasion of 2ebanon that killed some 10>000 2ebanese and Palestinian ivilians> not in self"defense> as was oneded at
oneG and the viious Biron fistB atroities of the years that followed> direted against Bterrorist villagers>B as Israel put it!
$nd the subseAuent invasions of 1++4 and 1++9> both strongly supported by the D!S! =until the international reation to the
Kana massare in 1++9> whih aused Clinton to draw bak?! ,he post"1+02 toll in 2ebanon alone is probably another
20>000 ivilians!
In the 1++0s> the D!S! provided 00 perent of the arms for ,urkey*s ounterinsurgeny ampaign against 'urds in its
southeast region> killing tens of thousands> driving 2"4 million out of their homes> leaving 2>800 villages destroyed =6 times
'osovo under N$,# bombs?> and with every imaginable atroity! ,he arms flow had inreased sharply in 1+07 as ,urkey
launhed its terrorist attak and begin to deline to previous levels only in 1+++> when the atroities had ahieved their goal!
In 1+++> ,urkey fell from its position as the leading reipient of D!S! arms =Israel")gypt aside?> replaed by Columbia> the
worst human rights violator in the hemisphere in the 1++0s> and by far the leading reipient of D!S! arms and training>
following a onsistent pattern!
In )ast ,imor> the D!S! =and 1ritain? ontinued their support of the Indonesian aggressors> who had already wiped out
about 1M4 of the population with their ruial help! ,hat ontinued right through the atroities of 1+++> with thousands
murdered even before the early September assault that drove 08 perent of the population from their homes and destroyed
60 perent of the ountry" while the Clinton administration kept to its position that Bit is the responsibility of the
government of Indonesia> and we don*t want to take that responsibility away from them!B
,hat was September 0> well after the worst of the September atroities had been reported! 1y then Clinton was oming
under enormous pressure to do something to mitigate the atroities> mainly from $ustralia but also from home! $ few days
later> the Clinton administration indiated to the Indonesian generals that the game was over! ,hey instantly reversed
ourse! ,hey had been strongly insisting that they would never withdraw from )ast ,imor> and they were in fat setting up
defenses in Indonesian -est ,imor =using 1ritish @ets> whih 1ritain ontinued to send? to repel a possible intervention
fore! -hen Clinton gave the word> they reversed ourse 100 degrees and announed that they would withdraw> allowing
an $ustralian"led DN peaekeeping fore to enter unopposed by the army! ,he ourse of events reveals very graphially the
latent power that was always available to -ashington> and that ould have been used to prevent 28 years of virtual genoide
ulminating in the new wave of atroities from early 1+++! Instead> suessive D!S! administrations> @oined by 1ritain and
others in 1+60 when atroities were peaking> preferred to lend ruial support> military and diplomati> to the killers"to Bour
kind of guy>B as the Clinton administration desribed the murderous President Suharto! ,hese fats> lear and dramati>
identify starkly the prime lous of responsibility for these terrible rimes of 28 years"in fat> ontinuing in miserable refugee
amps in Indonesian -est ,imor!
-e also learn a lot about -estern iviliEation from the fat that this shameful reord is hailed as evidene of our new
dediation to Bhumanitarian intervention>B and a @ustifiation for the N$,# bombing of Serbia!
I have already mentioned the devastation of IraAi ivilian soiety> with about 1 million deaths> over half of them young
hildren> aording to reports that annot simply be ignored!
,his is only a small e<ample!
I am> frankly> surprised that the Auestion an even be raised"partiularly in /rane> whih has made its own ontributions
to massive state terror and violene> surely not unfamiliar! IEditor's note: Comsk! is #ein$ inter%iewed #! 6ren' media
ere, tus te referen'es to 6ran'e+,
4re reactions unanimous in the ?./.: 0o you share them, partly or completely:
If you mean the reation of outrage over the horrifying riminal assault> and sympathy for the vitims> then the reations are
virtually unanimous everywhere> inluding the %uslim ountries! #f ourse every sane person shares them ompletely> not
Bpartly!B If you are referring to the alls for a murderous assault that will surely kill many innoent people"and> inidentally>
answer bin 2aden*s most fervent prayers" than there is no suh Bunanimous reation>B despite superfiial impressions that
one might derive from wathing ,:! $s for me> I @oin a great many others in opposing suh ations! $ great many!
-hat ma@ority sentiment is> no one an really sayC it is too diffuse and omple<! 1ut BunanimousB3 Surely not> e<ept
with regard to the nature of the rime!
0o you condemn terrorism: 2ow can we decide which act is terrorism and which one is an act of resistance a#ainst a
tyrant or an occupyin# force: In which cate#ory do you =classify= the recent strike a#ainst the ?./.4.:
I understand the term BterrorismB e<atly in the same sense defined in offiial D!S! doumentsC Bthe alulated use of
violene or threat of violene to attain goals that are politial> religious> or ideologial in nature! ,his is done through
intimidation> oerion> or instilling fear!B In aord with this"entirely appropriate"definition> the reent attak on ,he D!S!
is ertainly an at of terrorismG in fat> a horrifying terrorist rime! ,here is sarely any disagreement about this
throughout the world> nor should there be!
1ut alongside the literal meaning of the term> as @ust Auoted from D!S! offiial douments> there is also a propagandisti
usage> whih unfortunately is the standard oneC the term BterrorismB is used to refer to terrorist ats ommitted by enemies
against us or our allies! ,his propagandisti use is virtually universal! )veryone Bondemns terrorismB in this sense of the
term! )ven the NaEis harshly ondemned terrorism and arried out what they alled Bounter"terrorismB against the
terrorist partisans!
,he Dnited States basially agreed! It organiEed and onduted similar Bounter"terrorismB in 5reee and elsewhere in
the postwar years! IEditor's note: Te inter%iewer ere is a Greek 8ournalist, tus Comsk!'s referen'es to Gree'e+,
/urthermore> D!S! ounterinsurgeny programs drew Auite e<pliitly from the NaEi model> whih was treated with respetC
-ehrmaht offiers were onsulted and their manuals were used in designing postwar ounterinsurgeny programs
worldwide> typially alled Bounter"terrorism>B matters studied in important work by %ihael %Clintok> in partiular!
5iven these onventions> even the very same people and ations an Auikly shift from BterroristsB to Bfreedom fightersB and
bak again! ,hat*s been happening right ne<t door to 5reee in reent years!
,he '2$"DC' were offiially ondemned by the D!S! as BterroristsB in 1++0> beause of their attaks on Serb polie and
ivilians in an effort to eliit a disproportionate and brutal Serbian response> as they openly delared! $s late as Fanuary
1+++> the 1ritish"the most hawkish element in N$,# on this matter"believed that the '2$"DC' was responsible for more
deaths than Serbia> whih is hard to believe> but at least tells us something about pereptions at high levels in N$,#! If one
an trust the voluminous doumentation provided by the State Department> N$,#> the #SC)> and other -estern soures>
nothing materially hanged on the ground until the withdrawal of the ':% monitors and the bombing in late %arh 1+++!
1ut poliies did hangeC ,he D!S! and D!'! deided to launh an attak on Serbia> and the BterroristsB instantly beame
Bfreedom fighters!B $fter the war> the Bfreedom fightersB and their lose assoiates beame Bterrorists>B BthugsB and
BmurderersB as they arried out what from their point of view are similar ations for similar reasons in %aedonia> a D!S!
ally!
)veryone ondemns terrorism> but we have to ask what they mean! (ou an find the answer to your Auestion about my
views in many books and artiles that I have written about terrorism in the past several deades> though I use the term in the
literal sense> and hene ondemn all terrorist ations> not only those that are alled BterroristB for propagandisti reasons!
Is Islam dan#erous to 3estern civili"ation: 0oes the 3estern way of life pose a threat to mankind:
,he Auestion is too broad and vague for me to answer! It should be lear> however> that the D!S! does not regard Islam as an
enemy> or onversely!
$s for the B-estern way of life>B it inludes a great variety of elements> many highly admirable> many adopted with
enthusiasm in the Islami world> many riminal and even a threat to human survival!
$s for B-estern iviliEation>B perhaps we an heed the words attributed to 5andhi when he asked what he thought about
B-estern iviliEationBC he said that it might be a good idea!
6!
C#NSID).$12) .)S,.$IN,3
1ased on interviews with %ihael $lbert on September 40> 2001> and 5reg .uggiero on #tober 8> 2001
78 There has been an immense movement of troops and e<treme use of military rhetoric, up to comments about
terminatin# #overnments, etc. %et, now there appears to be considerable restraint...what happened:
C&#%S'(C /rom the first days after the attak> the 1ush administration has been warned by N$,# leaders> speialists on
the region> and presumably its own intelligene agenies =not to speak of many people like you and me? that if they reat
with a massive assault that kills many innoent people> they will be fulfilling the ardent wishes of bin 2aden and others like
him! ,hat would be true"perhaps even more so" if they happen to kill bin 2aden> still without having provided redible
evidene of his involvement in the rimes of September 11! &e would then be pereived as a martyr even among the
enormous ma@ority of %uslims who deplore those rimes! If he is silened by imprisonment or death> his voie will
ontinue to resound on tens of thousands of assettes already irulating throughout the %uslim world> and in many
interviews> inluding late September! $n assault that kills innoent $fghans would be virtually a all for new reruits to the
horrendous ause of the bin 2aden network and other graduates of the terrorist fores set up by the CI$ and its assoiates 20
years ago to fight a &oly -ar against the .ussians> meanwhile following their own agenda!
,he message appears to have finally gotten through to the 1ush administration> whih has"wisely from their point of
view"hosen to follow a different ourse!
&owever> BrestraintB seems to me a Auestionable word! #n September 19> the New York Times reported that B-ashington
has also demanded Ifrom PakistanJ a utoff of fuel supplies!!!and the elimination of truk onvoys that provide muh of the
food and other supplies to $fghanistan*s ivilian population!B .emarkably> that report eliited no detetable reation in the
-est> a grim reminder of the nature of the -estern iviliEations that leaders and intelletual elites laim to uphold! In the
following days> those demands were implemented! #n September 26> the same orrespondent reported that offiials in
Pakistan Bsaid today that they would not relent in their deision to seal off the ountry*s 1>700"mile border with $fghanistan>
a move reAuested by the 1ush administration beause> the offiials said> they wanted to be sure that none of %r! bin 2aden*s
men were hiding among the huge tide of refugeesB =Fohn burns> Islamabad?! B,he threat of military strikes fored the
removal of international aid workers> rippling assistane programsBG refugees reahing Pakistan Bafter arduous @ourneys
from $fghanistan are desribing senes of desperation and fear at home as the threat of $merian"led military attaks turns
their long"running misery into a potential atastropheB =Douglas /rantE> New York Times> September 40?! B,he ountry was
on a lifeline>B one evauated aid worker reports> Band we @ust ut the lineB =Fohn Sifton> New York Times <a$a=ine,
September 40?!
$ording to the world*s leading newspaper> then> -ashington ated at one to ensure the death and suffering of
enormous numbers of $fghans> millions of them already on the brink of starvation! ,hat is the meaning o the words @ust
Auoted> and many others like them!
&uge numbers of miserable people have been fleeing to the borders in terror after -ashington*s threat to bomb the shreds
of e<istene remaining in $fghanistan and to onvert the Northern $lliane into a heavily armed military fore! ,hey
naturally fear that if these fores are unleashed> now greatly reinfored> they might renew the atroities that tore the ountry
apart and led muh of the population to welome the ,aliban when they drove out the murderous warring fations that
-ashington and %osow now hope to e<ploit for their own purposes!
,heir reord is atroious! ,he e<eutive diretor of the arms division at &uman rights -ath> Foost &iltermann> a %iddle
)ast speialist> desribes the period of their rule from 1++2 to 1++8 as Bthe worst in $fghanistan*s history!B &uman .ights
groups report that their warring fations killed tens of thousands of ivilians> also ommitting mass rapes and other
atroities! ,hat ontinued as they were driven out by the ,aliban! ,o take one ase> in 1++6 they murdered 4000 prisoners
of war> aording to &.-> and they have also arried out massive ethni leansing suspeted of ,aliban sympathies> leaving
a trail of burned"out villages =see> among others> Charles Sennott> .oston Glo#e, #tober 9?!
,here is also every reason to suppose that ,aliban terror> already awful enough> sharply inreased in response to the same
e<petations that aused the refugee flight!
-hen they reah the sealed borders> refugees are trapped to die in silene! #nly a trikle an esape through remote
mountain passes! &ow many have already suumbed we annot guess! -ithin a few weeks the harsh winter will arrive!
,here are some reporters and aid workers in the refugee amps aross the borders! -hat they desribe is horrifying enough>
but they know> and we know> that they are seeing the luky ones> the few who were able to esape"and who e<press their
hopes that Beven the ruel $merians must feel some pity for our ruined ountryB and relent in this silent genoide =.oston
Glo#e, September 26> page 1?!
,he DN -orld /ood Program was able to truk hundreds of tons of food into $fghanistan in early #tober> though it
estimated that this aounted for only 18 perent of the ountry*s needs after the withdrawal of the international staff and
the three"week break in deliveries following +"11! &owever> the -/P announed that it halted all food onvoys and all
distribution of food by its loal staff beause of the air strikes of #tober 6! B,he nightmare senario of up to 1!8 million
refugees flooding out the ountry moved a step loser to realityB after the attaks> $/P reported> iting aid offiials! $ -/P
diretor said that after the bombing> the threat of humanitarian atastrophe> already severe> had Binreased on a sale of
magnitude I don*t even want to think about!B B-e are faing a humanitarian rises of epi proportions in $fghanistan with
6!8 million short of food and at risk of starvation>B a spokesman for the DN&C. warned! $ll agenies regard air drops as a
last resort> far preferring truk delivery> whih they say would be possible to most of the ountry! ,he 6inan'ial Times
reported that senior offiials of N5#s were BsathingB and BsornfulB in their reation to the muh"heralded D!S! air drop>
dismissing it as a Bpropaganda ploy rather than a way to get aid to $fghans who really need help>B a Bpropaganda toolB that
was Be<ploiting humanitarian aid for ynial propaganda purposesB while the air strikes Bhad halted the only means of
getting large volumes of food to $fghans" overland truk onvoysB of the -/P =BDN onern as air strikes bring relief effort
to halt>B B.elief workers hit at linking of food drops with air raids>B 6inan'ial Times, #tober +> iting #<fam> Dotors
without 1orders> Christian $id> Save the Children /und> and DN offiials?! $id agenies were Bsathingly ritial about the
nightly DS airdrops!B B,hey might as well @ust drop leaflets>B a 1ritish aid worker ommented> referring to the propaganda
messages on the pakages! B-/P offiials say Iair dropsJ would reAuire workers on the ground to ollet the foodB and
distribute it> and Bmust be made in daylightB and with adeAuate forewarning =BSkeptiism grows over DS food airdrops>B
6inan'ial Times, #tober 10?!
If these reations are aurate> then the immediate effet of the bombing and the air drops of food that aompanied it
was therefore to redue signifiantly the food supplies available to the starving population> at least in the short term> while
bringing the Bnightmare senarioB a step loser! #ne an only hope that the torture will stop before the worst fears are
realiEed> and that the suspension of desperately"needed food will be brief!
It is not easy to be optimisti about that> onsidering the attitudes e<pressed! /or e<ample> a New York Times report on an
inside page asually mentions that Bby the arithmeti of the Dnited Nations> there will soon be 6!8 million $fghans in aute
need of even a loaf of bread>!!!but with bombs falling>B food deliveries by truk =the only signifiant ontribution? have
redued by about half and there are only a few weeks before the harsh winter redues the possibility of food distribution
sharply =1arry 1earak> #t! 18> 10?! ,he further alulations are not given> but are not hard to arry out! -hatever
happens> the fat that these appear to be asual assumptions of planning and ommentary defies omment!
-e should also bear in mind that from the first days after the +"11 attak> there has been nothing to stop massive food
drops by air to the people imprisoned within the ountry that is one again being ruelly torturedG nor> apparently> the
delivery of far greater Auantities by truk> as the DN effort showed before it was suspended!
-hatever poliies are adopted from this point on> a humanitarian atastrophe has already taken plae> with worse to
ome! Perhaps the most apt desription was given by the wonderful and ourageous Indian writer and ativist $rundhati
.oy> referring to #peration Infinite Fustie prolaimed by the 1ush administrationC B-itness the infinite @ustie of the new
entury! Civilians starving to death while they*re waiting to be killedB=Guardian> September 2+?!
&er @udgment loses no fore from the fat that administration P. speialists realiEed that the phrase Binfinite @ustie>B
suggesting the self"image of divinity> was another propaganda error> like Brusade!B It was therefore hanged to Benduring
freedomB"in the light of the historial reord> a phrase that defies omment!
The ?, has indicated that the threat of starvation in 4f#hanistan is enormous. International criticism on this score
has #rown and now the ?./. and 9ritain are talkin# about providin# food aid to ward off hun#er. 4re they cavin# in
to dissent in fact, or only in appearance: 3hat is their motivation: 3hat will be the scale and impact of their
efforts:
,he Dnited Nations estimates that some 6"0 million are at risk of imminent starvation! ,he New York Times reports in a
small item =September 28? that nearly si< million $fghans depend on food aid from the DN> as well as 4!8 million in
refugee amps outside> many of whom fled @ust before the borders were sealed! ,he item reported that some food is being
sent to the amps outside $fghanistan! Planners and ommentators surely realiEe that they must do something to present
themselves as humanitarians seeking to avert the awesome tragedy that unfolded at one after the threat of bombing and
military attak> and the sealing of the borders they demanded! B)<perts also urge the Dnited States to improve its image by
inreasing aid to $fghan refugees> as well as by helping to rebuild the eonomyB =Cristian S'ien'e <onitor, September
20?! )ven without P. speialists to instrut them> administration offiials must omprehend that they should send some
food to the refugees who made it aross the border> and make at least some gesture towards providing food to starving
people withinC in order Bto save livesB but also to Bhelp the effort to find terror groups inside $fghanistanB =.oston Glo#e,
September 26> Auoting a Pentagon offiial> who desribes this as Bwinning the hearts and minds of the peopleB?! ,he New
York Times editors piked up the same theme the following day> 12 days after the @ournal reported that the murderous
operations were being put into effet!
#n the sale of aid> one an only hope that it is enormous> or the human tragedy may be immense in a few weeks! If the
government is sensible> there will be at least a show of the Bmassive air dropsB that offiials mention but have still not
arried out as of September 40> not for lak of means!
International le#al institutions would likely ratify efforts to arrest and try bin Aaden and others, supposin# #uilt
could be shown, includin# the use of force. 3hy does the ?./. avoid this recourse: Is it only a matter of not wishin#
to le#itimate an approach that could be used, as well, a#ainst our acts of terrorism, or are other factors at play:
%uh of the world has been asking the D!S! to provide some evidene to link bin 2aden to the rime> and if suh evidene
ould be provided> it would not be diffiult to rally enormous support for an international effort> under the rubri of the DN>
to apprehend and try him and his ollaborators!
It*s not impossible that this ould be done through diplomati means> as the ,aliban have been indiating in various ways>
though these moves are dismissed with ontempt in favor of the use of fore!
&owever> providing redible evidene is no simple matter! )ven if bin 2aden and his network are involved in the rimes
of +"11> it may be hard to produe redible evidene! $nd for all we know> most of the perpetrators may have killed
themselves in their awful missions!
&ow hard it is to provide redible evidene was revealed on #tober 8> when 1ritish Prime %inister ,ony 1lair
prolaimed with great fanfare that there is now Babsolutely no doubtB about the responsibility of bin 2aden and the ,aliban>
releasing doumentation based on what must be the most intensive investigative effort in history> ombining the resoures of
all -estern intelligene agenies and others! Despite the prima faie plausibility of the harge> and the unpreedented effort
to establish it> the doumentation is suprisingly thin! #nly a small fration of it even bears on the Sept! 11 rimes> and that
little would surely not be taken seriously if presented as a harge against -estern state riminals or their lients! ,he Wall
Street Journal aurately desribed the douments as Bmore like a harge than detailed evidene>B relegating the report to a
bak page! ,he Journal also points out> aurately> that it doesn*t matter> Auoting a senior D!S! offiial who says that B,he
riminal ase is irrelevant! ,he plan is to wipe out %r! bin 2aden and his organiEation!B ,he point of the doumentation is
to allow 1lair> the Seretary 5eneral of N$,#> and others to assure the world that the evidene is Blear and ompelling!B
It is highly unlikely that the ase presented will be redible to people of the %iddle )ast> as reported at one by .obert
/isk> or to others who look beyond headlines! 5overnments and their organiEations> in ontrast> have their own reasons to
fall into line! #ne might ask why -ashington*s propaganda speialists hose to have 1lair present the aseC perhaps to
sustain the image of holding bak some highly onvining evidene for Bseurity reasons>B or in the hope that he would
strike properly Churhillian poses!
In the bakground there are other minefields that planners must step through with are! ,o Auote $rundhati .oy again>
B,he ,aliban*s response to D!S! demands for the e<tradition of bin 2aden has been unharateristially reasonableC produe
the evidene> then we*ll hand him over! President 1ush*s response is that the demand is non"negotiable!B She also adds one
of the many reasons why this framework is unaeptable to -ashingtonC B-hile talks are on for the e<tradition of C)#s>
an India put in a side reAuest for the e<tradition of -arren $nderson of the D!S!3 &e was the hairman of Dnion Carbide>
responsible for the 1hopal gas leak that killed 19>000 people in 1+07! -e have ollated the neessary evidene! It*s all in
the files! Could we have him> please3B
-e needn*t invent e<amples! ,he &aitian government has been asking the D!S! to e<tradite )mmanuel Constant> one of
the most brutal of the paramilitary leaders while the =first? 1ush and Clinton administrations =ontrary to many illusions?
were lending tait support to the ruling @unta and its rih onstitueny! Constant was tried in absentia in &aiti and sentened
to life in prison for his role in massares! &as he been e<tradited3 ,o be sure> there are good reasons for the negative
answersC e<tradition might lead to e<posure of links that ould be embarrassing for -ashington! $nd after all> he was a
leading figure in the slaughter of only about 8>000 people"relative to population> a few hundred thousand in the Dnited
States!
Suh observations eliit frenEied tantrums at the e<tremist fringes of -estern opinion> some of them alled Bthe left!B 1ut
for -esterners who have retained their sanity and moral integrity> and for many of the traditional vitims> they are
meaningful and instrutive! 5overnment leaders presumably understand that!
,he single e<ample that .oy mentions is only the beginning> of ourseG and it is one of the lesser e<amples> not only
beause of the sale of the atroity> but beause it was not e<pliitly a rime of state! Suppose Iran were to reAuest the
e<tradition of high offiials of the Carter and .eagan administrations> refusing to present the ample evidene of the rimse
they were implementing"and it surely e<ists! #r suppose Niaragua were to demand the e<tradition of the newly"appointed
ambassador to the DN> a man whose reord inludes his servie as BproonsulB =as he was often alled? in the virtual
fiefdom of &onduras> where he surely was aware of the atroities of the state terrorists he was supportingG and more
signifiantly> inludes his duties as loal overseer of the terrorist war against Niaragua> launhed from &onduran bases!
-ould the D!S! agree to e<tradite them3 -ould the reAuest even eliit ridiule3
,hat is only the barest beginning! ,he doors are better left losed> @ust as it is best to maintain the impressive silene that
has reigned sine the appointment of a leading figure in managing the operations ondemned as terrorist by the highest
e<isting international bodies to lead a Bwar on terrorism!B )ven Fonathan Swift would be speehless!
,hat may be the reason why administration publiity e<perts preferred the ambiguous term BwarB to the more e<pliit
term BrimeB"Brime against humanityB as .obert /isk> %ary .obinson> and others have aurately depited it!
If the Taliban re#ime falls and bin Aaden or someone they claim is responsible is captured or killed, what ne<t: 3hat
happens to 4f#hanistan: 3hat happens more broadly in other re#ions:
,he sensible administration plan would be to pursue the ongoing program of silent genoide> ombined with humanitarian
gestures to arouse the applause of the usual horus who are alled upon to sing the praises of the noble leaders who are
dediated to Bpriniples and valuesB for the first time in history and ommitment to Bending inhumanityB everywhere!
,urkey is now very pleased to @oin -ashington*s B-ar against ,error>B even to send ground troops! ,he reason> Prime
%inister )evit said> is that ,urkey owes the D!S! a speial Bdebt of gratitudeB beause unlike )uropean ountries>
-ashington Bhad baked $nkara in its struggle against terrorism!B &e is referring to the 18"year war> peaking in the late
1++0s with inreasing D!S! aid> whih left tens of thousands dead> 2"4 million refugees> and 4>800 towns and villages
destroyed =seven times 'osovo under N$,# bombs?! ,urkey was also lavishly praised and rewarded by -ashington for
@oining the humanitarian effort in 'osovo> using the same D!S!"supplied /"19s that it had employed with suh effetiveness
in its own huge ethni leansing and state terror operations! ,he administration might also try to onvert the Northern
$lliane into a viable fore> and may try to bring in other warlords hostile to it> like -ashington*s former favorite
5ulbuddin &ekmatyar> now in Iran! Presumably 1ritish and D!S! ommandos will undertake missions within $fghanistan>
along with seletive bombing> but saled down so as not to reruit new fores for the ause of the radial Islamists!
D!S! ampaigns should not be too asually ompared to the failed .ussian invasion of the 1+00s! ,he .ussians were
faing a ma@or army of perhaps 100>000 men or more> organiEed> trained> and heavily armed by the CI$ and its assoiates!
,he D!S! is faing a ragtag fore in a ountry that has already been virtually destroyed by 20 years of horror> for whih we
bear no slight share of responsibility! ,he ,aliban fores> suh as they are> might Auikly ollapse e<ept for a small
hardened ore!
$nd one would e<pet that the surviving population would welome an invading fore if it is not too visibly assoiated
with the murderous gangs that tore the ountry to shreds before the ,aliban takeover! $t this point> many people would be
likely to welome 5enghis 'han!
-hat ne<t3 )<patriate $fghans and> apparently> some internal elements who are not part of the ,aliban inner irle have
been alling for a DN effort to establish some kind of transition government> a proess that might sueed in reonstruting
something viable from the wrekage> if provided with very substantial reonstrution aid> hanneled through independent
soures like the DN or redible N5#s! ,hat muh should be the minimal responsibility of those who have turned this
impoverished ountry into a land of terror> desperation> orpses> and mutilated vitims! ,hat ould happen> but not without
very substantial popular efforts in the rih and powerful soieties! /or the present> any suh ourse has been ruled out by the
1ush administration> whih has announed that it will not be engaged in Bnation buildingB"or> it seems so far =September
40?> an effort that would be far more honorable and humaneC substantial support> without interferene> for Bnation buildingB
by others who might atually ahieve some suess in the enterprise! 1ut urrent refusal to onsider this deent ourse is
not graven in stone!
-hat happens in other regions depends on internal fators> on the poliies of foreign ators =the D!S! primary among
them> for obvious reasons?> and the way matters proeed in $fghanistan! #ne an say little with muh onfidene> but for
many of the possible ourses it is possible to make some reasonable assessments about the likely outome" and there are a
great many possibilities> too many to try to review in brief omments!
In order to shape an international alliance, the ?./. has suddenly shifted positions with a number of countries in the
;iddle .ast, 4frica, and 4sia, offerin# a variety of political, military and monetary packa#es in e<chan#e for forms
of support. 2ow mi#ht these sudden moves be affectin# the political dynamics in those re#ions:

-ashington is stepping very deliately! -e have to remember what is at stakeC the world*s ma@or energy reserves> primarily
in Saudi $rabia but throughout the 5ulf region> along with not inonsiderable resoures in Central $sia! ,hough a minor
fator> $fghanistan has been disussed for years as a possible site for pipelines that will aid the D!S! in the omple<
maneuvering over ontrol of Central $sian resoures! North of $fghanistan> the states are fragile and violent! DEbekistan
is the most important! It has been ondemned by &uman .ights -ath for serious atroities and is fighting its own internal
Islami insurgeny! ,a@ikistan is similar> and is also a ma@or drug"traffiking outlet to )urope> primarily in onnetion with
the Northern $lliane> whih ontrols muh of the $fghan",a@ikistan border and has apparently been the ma@or soure of
drugs sine the ,aliban virtually eliminated poppy prodution! /light of $fghans to the north ould lead to all sorts of
internal problems! Pakistan> whih has been the main supporter of the ,aliban> has a strong internal radial Islami
movement! Its reation is unpreditable> and potentially dangerous> if Pakistan is visibly use as a base for D!S! operations in
$fghanistan> and there is muh well"advised onern over the fat that Pakistan has nulear weapons! ,he Pakistani
military> while eager to obtain military aid from the D!S! =already promised?> is wary> beause of stormy past relations> and
is also onerned over a potentially hostile $fghanistan allied with its enemy to the east> India! ,hey are not pleased that
the Northern $lliane is led by ,a@iks> DEbeks> and other $fghan minorities hostile to Pakistan and supported by India> Iran>
and .ussia> now the D!S! as well!
In the 5ulf region> even wealthy and seular elements are bitter about D!S! poliies and Auietly often e<press support for
bin 2aden> whom they detest> as Bthe onsiene of IslamB =New York Times> #tober 8> Auoting an international lawyer for
multinationals trained in the D!S!?! Kuietly> beause these are highly repressive statesG one fator in the general bitterness
towards the D!S! is its support for these regimes! Internal onflit ould easily spread> with onseAuenes that ould be
enormous> espeially if D!S! ontrol over the huge resoures of the region is threatened! Similar problems e<tend to North
$fria and Southeast $sia> partiularly Indonesia! )ven apart from internal onflit> an inreased flow of armaments to the
ountries of the region inreases the likelihood of armed onflit and the flow of weapons to terrorist organiEations and
narotraffikers! ,he governments are eager to @oin the D!S! Bwar against terrorismB to gain support for their own state
terrorism> often on a shoking sale =.ussia and ,urkey> to mention only the most obvious e<amples> though ,urkey has
always benefited from ruial D!S! support?!
@akistan and India, border countries armed with nuclear weapons, have been eye to eye in serious conflict for years.
2ow mi#ht the sudden and intense pressure that the ?./. is e<ertin# in the re#ion impact their already volatile
relationship:
,he main soure oft he onflit is 'ashmir> where India laims to be fighting Islami terrorism> and Pakistan laims that
India is refusing self"determination and has arried out large"sale terrorism itself! $ll the laims> unfortunately> are
basially orret! ,here have been several wars over 'ashmir> the latest one in 1+++> when both states had nulear weapons
availableG fortunately they were kept under ontrol> but that an hardly be guaranteed! ,he threat of nulear war is likely to
inrease if the D!S! persists in its militariEation of spae programs =euphemistially desribed as Bmissile defenseB?! ,hese
already inlude support for e<pansion of China*s nulear fores> in order to gain Chinese aAuiesene to the programs!
India will presumably try to math China*s e<pansion> then Pakistan> then beyond> inluding Israel! Its nulear apaities
were desribed by the former head of the D!S! Strategi Command as Bdangerous in the e<treme>B and one of the prime
threats in the region!
B:olatileB is right> maybe worse!
@rior to *+, the 9ush administration was bein# fiercely criti(ued, ally nations included, for its political
=unilateralism= + refusal to si#n on the >yoto protocol for #reenhouse emissions, intention to violate the 49; treaty
in order to militari"e space with a =missile defense= pro#ram, walkout of the racism conference in 0urban, /outh
4frica, to name only a few recent e<amples. ;i#ht the sudden ?./. alliance+buildin# effort spawn a new
=multilateralism= in which une<pected positive developments+like pro#ress for @alestinians+ mi#ht advance:
It*s worth realling that 1ush*s BunilateralismB was an e<tension of standard pratie! In 1++4> Clinton informed the DN
that the D!S! will"as before"at Bmultilaterally when possible but unilaterally when neessary>B and proeeded to do so! ,he
position was reiterated by DN $mbassador %adeleine $lbright and in 1+++ by Seretary of Defense -illiam Cohen> who
delared that the D!S! is ommitted to Bunilateral use of military powerB to defend vital interests> whih inlude Binsuring
uninhibited aess to key markets> energy supplies> and strategi resoures>B and indeed anything that -ashington might
determine to be within its own @urisdition! 1ut it is true that 1ush went beyond> ausing onsiderable an<iety among
allies! ,he urrent need to form a oalition may attenuate the rhetori but is unlikely to hange the poliies! %embers of
the oalition are e<peted to be silent and obedient supporters> not partiipants! ,he D!S! e<pliitly reserves to itself the
right to at as it hooses> and is arefully avoiding any meaningful reourse to international institutions> as reAuired by law!
,here are gestures to the ontrary> but they lak any redibility> though governments will presumably aept them> bending
to power> as they regularly do for their own reasons! ,he Palestinians are unlikely to gain anything! #n the ontrary> the
terrorist attak of September 11 was a rushing blow to them> as they and Israel reogniEed immediately!
/ince *+ /ecretary of /tate !olin @owell has been si#nalin# that the ?./. may adopt a new stance toward the pli#ht
of @alestinians. 3hat is your readin#:
%y reading is e<atly that of the offiials and other soures Auoted towards the end of the front"page story of the New York
Times! ,hey stressed that 1ush"Powell do not even go as far as Clinton*s Camp David proposals> lauded in the mainstream
here but ompletely unaeptable> for reasons disussed aurately in Israel and elsewhere> and as anyone ould see by
looking at a map" one reason> I suppose> why maps were so hard to find here> though not elsewhere> inluding Israel! #ne
an find more detail about this in artiles at the time of Camp David> inluding my own> and essays in the olletion edited
by .oane Carey> Te New 2ntifida!
The free flow of information is one of the first casualties of any war. Is the present situation in any way an e<ception:
.<amples:
Impediments to free flow of information in ountries like the D!S! are rarely traeable to governmentG rather> to self"
ensorship of the familiar kind! ,he urrent situation is not e<eptional"onsiderably better than the norm> in my opinion!
,here are> however> some startling e<amples of D!S! government efforts to restrit free flow of information abroad! ,he
$rab world has had one free and open news soure> the satellite ,: news hannel $l"FaEeera in Katar> modeled on 11C>
with an enormous audiene throughout the $rab"speaking world! It is the sole unensored soure> arrying a great deal of
important news and also live debates and a wide range of opinion>"broad enough to inlude Colin Powell a few days before
+"11 and Israeli Prime %inister 1arak =me too> @ust to delare an interest?! $l"FaEeera is also Bthe only international news
organiEation to maintain reporters in the ,aliban"ontrolled parts of $fghanistanB =Wall Street Journal?! $mong other
e<amples> it was responsible for the e<lusive filming of the destrution of 1uddhist statues that rightly infuriated the world!
It has also provided lengthy interviews with bin 2aden that I*m sure are perused losely by -estern intelligene agenies
and are invaluable to others who want to understand what he is thinking! ,hese are translated and rebroadast by 11C>
several of them sine +"11!
$l"FaEeera is> naturally> despised and feared by the ditatorships of the region> partiularly beause of its frank e<posures
of their human rights reords! ,he D!S! has @oined their ranks! 11C reports that B,he D!S! is not the first to feel aggrieved
by $l"FaEeera overage> whih has in the past provoked anger from $lgeria> %oroo> Saudi $rabia> 'uwait and )gypt for
giving airtime to politial dissidents!B
,he emir of Katar onfirmed that B-ashington has asked Katar to rein in the influential and editorially independent
$rabi $l"FaEeera television station>B 11C reported! ,he )mir> who also hairs the #rganiEation of Islami Conferene
that inludes 89 ountries> informed the press in -ashington that Seretary of State Powell had pressured him to rein in $l"
FaEeeraC to Bpersuade $l"FaEeera to tone down its overage>B $l"FaEeera reports! $sked about the reports of ensorship> the
emir saidC B,his is trueC -e heard from the D!S! administration> and also from the previous D!S! administrationB =11C>
#tober 7 iting .euters?!
,he only serious report I notied of this highly important news is in the Wall Street Journal =#tober 8?> whih also
desribes the reation of intelletuals and sholars throughout the $rab world =Btruly appalling>B et!?! ,he report adds> as
the Fournal had done before> that Bmany $rab analysts argued that it is> after all> -ashington*s pereived disregard for
human rights in offiially pro"$merian ountries suh as Saudi $rabia that fuels the rampant anti"$merianism!B ,here
has also been remarkably little use of the bin 2aden interviews and other material from $fghanistan available from $l"
FaEeera!
$fter $l"FaEeera broadast a tape of bin 2aden that was highly useful to -estern propaganda> and instantly reeived front"
page overage> the hannel Auikly beame famous! ,he New York Times ran a story headlined B$n $rab Station #ffers
5round"1reaking CoverageB =)laine Siolino> #tober +?! ,he report lauded the hannel as Bthe $rab world*s CNN> with
round"the"lok> all news and publi affairs programs that reah millions of viewers!B B,he network has built a reputation
for independent groundbreaking reporting that ontrasts sharply with other $rab"language television stations>B and Bhas
foused on sub@ets onsidered subversive in most parts of the $rab worldC the absene of demorati institutions> the
perseution of politial dissidents and the ineAuality of women!B ,he story notes that B$merian poliy makers have been
troubled by $l FaEeera*sB broadasts of bin 2aden interviews and the Banti"$merian oratoryB of analysts> guests> and
Ballers on freewheeling phone"in shows!B ,he rest is unmentioned> though there was a mild editorial admonition the ne<t
day!
So yes> there are barriers to free flow of information> but they annot be blamed on government ensorship or pressure> a
very marginal fator in the Dnited States!

3hat do you believe should be the role and priority of social activists concerned about justice at this time: /hould we
curb our criticisms, as some have claimed, or is this, instead, a time for renewed and enlar#ed efforts, not only
because it is a crises re#ardin# which we can attempt to have a very important positive impact, but also because lar#e
sectors of the public are actually far more receptive than usual to discussion and e<ploration, even if other sectors are
intransi#ently hostile:
It depends on what these soial ativists are trying to ahieve! If their goal is to esalate the yle of violene and to
inrease the likelihood of further atroities like that of September 11" and> regrettably> even worse ones with whih muh of
the world is all too familiar"then they should ertainly urb their analysis and ritiisms> refuse to think> and ut bak their
involvement in the very serious issues in whih they have been engaged! ,he same advie is warranted if they want to help
the most reationary and regressive elements of the politial"eonomi power system to implement plans that will be of
great harm to the general population here and in muh of the world> and may even threaten human survival! If> on the
ontrary> the goal of soial ativists is to redue the likelihood of further atroities> and to advane hopes for freedom>
human rights> and demoray> then they should follow the opposite ourse! ,hey should intensify their efforts to inAuire
into the bakground fators that lie behind these and other rimes and devote themselves with even more energy to the @ust
auses to whih they have already been ommitted! ,hey should listen to when the bishop of the southern %e<ian ity of
San Cristobal de las Casas> who has seen his share of misery and oppression> urges North $merians to Breflet on why they
are so hatedB after the D!S! Bhas generated so muh violene to protet its eonomi interestsB =%arion 2loyd> %e<io City>
.oston Glo#e> September 40?!
It is surely more omforting to listen to the words of liberal ommentators who assure us that B,hey hate us beause we
hampion a *new world order* of apitalism> individualism> seularism and demoray that should be the norm everywhereB
=.onald Steel> New York Times, September 17?! #r $nthony 2ewis> who assures us that the only relevane of our past
poliies is that they Bnegatively affet publi attitudes in the $rab world toward the oalition*s antiterrorism effortB =New
York Times> #tober 9?! -hat we have done> he delares onfidently> an have had no effet on the goals of the terrorists!
-hat they say is so utterly irrelevant that it an be ignored> and we an also dismiss the onformity between what they have
been saying and their speifi ations for 20 years of terror"hardly obsure> and reported e<tensively by serious @ournalists
and sholars! It is a neessary truth> reAuiring no evidene or argument> that the terrorists seek Bthe violent transformation
of an irremediably sinful and un@ust worldB and stand only for Bapoalypti nihilismB =Auoting %ihael Ignatieff with
approval?! Neither their professed goals and ations nor the learly artiulated attitudes of the population of the region"even
highly pro"$merian 'uwaitis"make the slightest bit of differene! -e must therefore disregard anything we have done that
might provoke suh responses!
%ore omforting> no doubt> but not more wise> if we are about what lies ahead!
,he opportunities are surely there! ,he shok of the horrendous rimes has already opened elite setors to refletion of a
kind that would have been hard to imagine not long ago> and among the general publi that is even more true! Fust to speak
about personal e<periene> aside from near"onstant interviews with national radio",:"press in )urope and elsewhere> I
have had onsiderably more aess even to mainstream media in the D!S! than ever before> and others report the same
e<periene!
#f ourse there will be those who demand silent obediene! -e e<pet that the ultra"right> and anyone with a little
familiarity with history will e<pet it from some left"intelletuals as well> perhaps in an even more virulent form! 1ut it is
important not to be intimidated by hysterial ranting and lies to keep as losely as one an to the ourse of truth and honesty
and onern for the human onseAuenes of what one does> or fails to do! $ll truisms> but worth bearing in mind!
1eyond the truisms> we turn to speifi Auestions> for inAuiry and ation!
4@@.,0IH 4
D)P$.,%)N, #/ S,$,)
.eport on /oreign ,errorist #rganiEations
.eleased by the #ffie of the Coordinator for
Counterterrorism
#tober 8> 2001
94!>C1-?,0
,he Seretary of State designates /oreign ,errorist #rganiEations =/,#*s?> in onsultation with the $ttorney 5eneral and
the Seretary of the ,reasury! ,hese designations are undertaken pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality at> as
amended by the $ntiterrorism and )ffetive Death Penalty $t of 1++9! /,# designations are valid for two years> after
whih they must be redesignated or they automatially e<pire! .edesignation after two years is a positive at and represents
a determination by the Seretary of State that the organiEation has ontinued to engage in terrorist ativity and still meets
the riteria speified in law!
In #tober 1++6> former Seretary of State %adeleine '! $lbright approved the designation of the first 40 groups as
/oreign ,errorist #rganiEations!
In #tober 1++6> former Seretary of State %adeleine '! $lbright approved the designation of the first 40 groups as
/oreign ,errorist #rganiEations!
In #tober 1+++> Seretary $lbright re"ertified 26 of these groups* designations but allowed three organiEations to drop
from the list beause their involvement in terrorist ativity had ended and they no longer met the riteria for designation!
Seretary $lbright designated one new /,# in 1+++ =al Ka*ida? and another in 2000 =Islami %ovement of DEbekistan?!
Seretary of State Colin 2! Powell has designated two new /,#*s =.eal I.$ and $DC? in 2001!
In #tober 2001> Seretary Powell re"ertified the designation of 29 of the 20 /,#*s whose designation was due to e<pire>
and ombined two previously designated groups ='ahane Chai and 'ah? into one!

Current 2ist of Designated /oreign ,errorist #rganiEations =as of #tober 8> 2001?C
1! $bu Nidal #rganiEation =$N#?
2! $bu Sayyaf 5roup
4! $rmed Islami 5roup =5I$?
7! $um Shinrikyo
8! 1asAue /atherland and 2iberty =),$
9! 5ama*s al"Islamiyya =Islami 5roup?
6! &$%$S =Islami .esistane %ovement?
0! &arakat ul"%u@ahidin =&D%?
+! &iEballah =Party of 5od?
10! Islami %ovement of DEbekistan =I%D?
11! al"Fihad =)gyptian Islami Fihad?
12! 'ahane Chai ='ah?
14! 'urdistan -orkers* Party =P''?
17! 2iberation ,igers of ,amil )elam =2,,)?
18! %u@aheden"e 'halA #rganiEation =%)'?
19! National 2iberation $rmy =)2N?
16! Palestinian Islami Fihad =PIF?
10! Palestine 2iberation /ront =P2/?
1+! Popular /ront for the 2iberation of Palestine =P/2P?
20 P/2P"5eneral Command =P/2P"5C?
21! al Ka*ida
22! .eal I.$
24! .evolutionary $rmed /ores of Colombia =/$.C?
27! .evolutionary Nulei =formerly )2$?
28! .evolutionary #rganiEation 16 November
29! .evolutionary People*s 2iberation $rmyM/ront =D&'PMC?
26! Shining Path =Sendero 2uminoso> S2?
20! Dnited Self"Defense /ores of Columbia =$DC?
N#,)C /or desriptions of these foreign terrorist organiEations> please refer to BPatterns of 5lobal ,errorismC 2000!B
A.C4A !1IT.1I4 5-1 0./IC,4TI-,
1! ,he organiEation must be foreign!
2! ,he organiEation must engage in terrorist ativity as defined in Setion 212 =a?=4?=1? of the
Immigration and Nationality $t!H =see below?
4! ,he organiEation*s ativities must threaten the seurity of D!S! nationals or the national seurity
=national defense> foreign relations> or the eonomi interests? of the Dnited States!
.55.!T/ -5 0./IC,4TI-,
2)5$2
1! It is unlawful for a person in the Dnited States or sub@et to the @urisdition of the Dnited States to provide funds or
other material support to a designated /,#!
2! .epresentatives and ertain members of a designated /,#> if they are aliens> an be denied visas or e<luded from the
Dnited States!
4! D!S! finanial institutions must blok funds of designated /,#*s and their agents and report the blokage to the #ffie of
/oreign $ssets Control> D!S! Department of the ,reasury!
#,&). )//)C,S
1! Deters donations or ontributions to named organiEations
2! &eightens publi awareness and knowledge of terrorist organiEations
4! Signals to other governments our onern about named organiEations
7! StigmatiEes and isolates designated terrorist organiEations internationally
T2. @1-!.//
,he Seretary of State makes deisions onerning the designation and redesignation of /,#*s following an e<haustive
interageny review proess in whih all evidene of a group*s ativity> from both lassified and open soures> is srutiniEed!
,he State Departments and the intelligene ommunity> prepares a detailed Badministrative reordB whih douments the
terrorist ativity of the designated /,#! Seven days before publishing an /,# designation in the /ederal .egister> the
Department of State provides lassified notifiation to Congress!
Dnder the stature> designations are sub@et to @udiial review! In the event of a hallenge to a groupNs /,# designation in
federal ourt> the D!S! government relies upon the administrative reord to defend the Seretary*s deisions! ,hese
administrative reords ontain intelligene information and are therefore lassified!
/,# designations e<pire in two years unless renewed! ,he law allows groups to be added at any time following a deision
by the Seretary> in onsultation with the $ttorney 5eneral and the Seretary of the ,reasury! ,he Seretary may also
revoke designations after determining that there are grounds for doing so and notifying Congress!
H ,he Immigration and Nationality $t defines terrorist ativities to meanC any ativity whih is unlawful under the laws of
the plae where it is ommitted =or whih> if ommitted in the Dnited States> would be unlawful under the laws of the
Dnited States or any State? and whih involves any of the followingC
=I? ,he high @aking or sabotage of any onveyane =inluding an airraft> vessel> or vehile?!
=II? ,he seiEing or detaining> and threatening to kill> in@ure> or ontinue to detain> another individual in order to ompel a
third person =inluding a governmental organiEation? to do or abstain from doing any at as an e<pliit or impliit ondition
for the release of the individual seiEed or detained!
=III? $ violent attak upon an internationally proteted person =as defined in setion 1119=b?=7? of title 10> Dnited States
Code? or upon the liberty of suh a person!
=I:? $n assassination!
=:? ,he use of any"
=a? biologial agent> hemial agent> or nulear weapon or devie> or
=b? e<plosive or firearm =other than for mere personal monetary gain?> with the intent to endanger> diretly or indiretly>
the safety of one or more individuals or to ause substantial damage to property!
=:I? $ threat> attempt> or onspiray to do any of the foregoing!
=iii? ,he term Bengage in terrorist ativityB means to ommit> in an individual apaity or as a member of an organiEation>
an at of terrorist ativity or an at whih the ator knows> or reasonably should know> affords material support to any
individual> organiEation> or government in onduting a terrorist ativity at any time> inluding any of the following atsC
=I? ,he preparation or planning of a terrorist ativity!
=II? ,he gathering of information on potential targets for terrorist ativity!
=III? ,he providing of any type of material support> inluding a safe house> transportation> ommuniations> funds> false
doumentation or identifiation> weapons> e<plosives> or training> to any individual the ator knows or has reason to believe
has ommitted or plans to ommit a terrorist ativity!
=I:? ,he soliiting of funds or other things of value for terrorist ativity or for any terrorist organiEation!
=:? ,he soliitation of any individual for membership in a terrorist organiEation> terrorist government> or to engage in a
terrorist ativity!
$PP)NDIO 1
.)C#%%)ND)D .)$DIN5
Noam Chomsky> Culture of Terrorism =South )nd Press> 1+00?!
Noam Chomsky> Ne'essar! 2llusions =South )nd Press> 1+0+?!
Noam Chomsky> Pirates and Emperors =Claremont> 1+09> reprinted by $maana> 1lak .ose> Pluto?!
Chomsky and )!S! &erman> Politi'al E'onom! of Human 3i$ts =South )nd Press> 1+6+?!
Fohn Cooley> *nol! Wars: 7f$anistan, 7meri'a and 2nternational Terrorism =Pluto> 1+++> 2001?!
$le< 5eorge> ed!> Western State Terrorism =Polity"1lakwell> 1++1?!
&erman> 3eal Terror Networks =South )nd Press> 1+02?!
&erman and Chomsky> <anufa'turin$ Consent =Pantheon> 1++0> 2001?!
&erman and 5erry #*Sullivan> Te 'Terrorism' 2ndustr! =1++0> 2001?!
-alter 2aAueur> 7$e of Terrorism =2ittle> 1rown and Co!> 1+06?!
%ihael %Clintok> 2nstruments of State'raft =Pantheon> 1++2?!
Paul -ilkinson> Terrorism and te 4i#eral State =N(D Press> 1+09?!
$1#D, ,&) $D,&#.
N#$% C&#%S'( is a world renowned politial ativist> writer and professor of linguistis at %assahusetts Institute of
,ehnology> where he has taught sine 1+88! Chomsky has written and letured widely on linguistis> philosophy> and
politis! $mong his works areC Powers and ProspetsG -orld #rders> #ld and NewG Deterring DemorayG %anufaturing
Consent =with )! S! &erman?G (ear 801C ,he ConAuest ContinuesG Profit #ver PeopleG ,he New %ilitary &umanismG New
&oriEons in the Study of 2anguage and %indG .ogue StatesG and $ New 5eneration Draws the 2ine! Chomsky*s efforts for
greater demoray are elebrated by peae and soial @ustie movements worldwide!
#P)N %)DI$ was founded in 1++1 as a pamphlet publishing effort in opposition to the 5ulf -ar> an effort whih
ontinues to this day as a series published by Seven Stories Press! -ith the publiation of ->&&> we introdue the first #pen
%edia book!