No doubt you have seen and heard about the sickening horror that took place in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. And it touched everyone, not just American citizens. People from all over the world were trapped in the planes and the World Trade Center complex when the attack struck.
Massive Retaliation is Not The Answer
We have all heard the hue and cry from various politicians, media personalities, and frightened individuals who demand that the U.S. immediately attack and bomb any country that might possibly be harboring terrorists at this moment. Angry voices rail, “We know who the terrorists are. Let’s hunt them down and kill them all NOW. And if we get the wrong bunch of terrorists, who cares? We’ll make an example, teach them a lesson, wipe out the whole country, nuke this and that…” and on and on.
We would be the first people to agree that all of the perpetrators of these heinous deeds must be captured, or, if necessary, killed in battle. We watch the news, desperately hoping that the remaining evildoers, including their leaders, will be caught before any of them get a chance to commit more evil. Fortunately, some people have already pointed out the vital importance of identifying the real perpetrators. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-California), a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, warned, “We’ve got to make sure when we retaliate, it’s against the people who were involved in this terrorism and not just strike out blindly” (see “War Talk Begins in Congress,” ).
Panic and rage can never substitute for the information that we need in order to defend ourselves effectively. If we apprehend the wrong suspects, we deceive ourselves with a false sense of security. Meanwhile, the REAL perpetrators take advantage of this cover to commit more atrocities while American police and military forces are occupied elsewhere.
Plans are being made for war against Afghanistan, reputedly the hiding place of the current prime suspect, Osama bin Laden. We must realize that such a war cannot be won simply by massive air strikes. After decades of bloody warfare, the Afghan terrain is already riddled with land mines and other unexploded ordnance. Afghanistan has no infrastructure left to destroy. Its inhabitants are prepared to fight as though they have nothing left to lose. What would be the use of threatening to “bomb them back to the Stone Age,” when, thanks in part to U.S. activities in the Cold War era, Afghanis already suffer under conditions far less comfortable than those prevailing in some Stone Age societies?
Whatever form this war takes, we must do what we can to avoid inflicting harm upon civilians. After all, how many people living in remote parts of the world actually have any influence on their government’s foreign policy, or even know what that policy is? What gives us the right to punish innocent civilians, simply because our enemies are allegedly operating, or perhaps just hiding, in some part of their country? Taking bloody revenge on innocent people only escalates the cycle of revenge and retaliation, and it IS terrorism!
What about Osama bin Laden?
We are not completely certain about who is involved in this terrorist network, much less where the terrorists might be hiding. Government and media sources currently allege Osama bin Laden to be the ringleader. Although much more evidence still needs to be gathered, plans are being made to go after him.
The trouble is that bin Laden is a Frankensteinian monster raised up by U.S. foreign policy, who may STILL be working hand in glove with moles in Washington. After all, the CIA set them up in the first place as a weapon against the Soviet Union. Osama bin Laden was in bed with the bloody US-allied Izetbegovic regime in Bosnia, and he still is in bed with the KLA/KPC/NLA. (For more information, see “Who Is Osama bin Laden?” by Michel Chossudovsky, September 13, 2001, http://www.antiwar.com/rep/chuss10.html, and “Hunting Bin Laden,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/.)
Whether or not Osama bin Laden was behind these current atrocities, he does represent a serious danger–and one that we have not properly addressed. For several decades, whenever the U.S. government and media wished to arouse the public against some alleged tinpot dictator perceived as being unfavorable to U.S. interests abroad, they would label their target as the “next Hitler” who must be “stopped before it is too late.” For example, Bill Clinton leveled such accusations against Slobodan Milosevic as an excuse to launch the Kosovo war. Lacking any evidence to support those accusations, the U.S. government still pressured the Yugoslav government until they finally kidnapped Milosevic and sent him to the ICTY “kangaroo court” in the Hague. In other words, the American public stopped paying attention to the real dangers because the U.S. government and media “cried wolf” too many times.
Nonetheless, Osama bin Laden clearly is no friend to anyone, not even to his fellow Arabs or to the Moslem world in general; he wants to overthrow their governments and to set his own extremists in place, with himself at the head. In other words, whether or not Osama bin Laden perpetrated the most recent attacks, he is indeed a would-be Hitler whose ambitions are unlimited and who truly must be stopped.
Terrorists are Liars
A major obstacle in tracking down the actual perpetrators of the recent terror attack, and identifying their true allies and sponsors, is the fact that all terrorists LIE. We cannot expect otherwise, because that is how terrorists operate. They misdirect their pursuers by spreading DISINFORMATION–and by making the wrong people take the blame for their own misdeeds.
For a real eye-opener, take a look at The Smoking Gun website, which has posted excerpts translated into English from terrorist training manuals captured from bin Laden’s henchmen (see http://www.thesmokinggun.com/binladen/binladen.shtml). The second page of the excerpt from “Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants” states the following:
“The main mission for which the military organization is responsible is:
The overthrow of the godless regimes and their replacement with an Islamic regime. Other missions consist of the following:
1. Gathering information about the enemy, the land, the installations, and the neighbors.
2. Kidnapping enemy personnel, documents, secrets, and arms.
3. Assassinating enemy personnel as well as foreign tourists.
4. Freeing the brothers who are captured by the enemy.
5. SPREADING RUMORS AND WRITING STATEMENTS THAT INSTIGATE PEOPLE AGAINST THE ENEMY [emphasis ours].
6. Blasting and destroying the places of amusement, vices and sin; not a vital target.
7. Blasting and destroying the embassies and attacking vital economic centers.
8. Blasting and destroying bridges leading into and out of the cities.”
The above quotation shows us how terrorists operate–ANY terrorists, not just those connected with bin Laden. From it we can learn a vital lesson: if the perpetrators can tempt us to misdirect their pursuers by passing along rumors, conjecture, and idle speculation, we are playing right into their hands.
They are already here
There is a very strong probability that many terrorists connected with this operation have already been infiltrated into the U.S., where they quietly await the cue to perpetrate the next round of mayhem (see “30-50 more suicide killers in U.S.: Intelligence sources say they wait for orders to strike,”). Anyone living in the U.S.–including ourselves–could be the next victims.
Thus the danger of disinformation. If U.S. law enforcement and intelligence operatives are busy chasing false leads all over the world, and the U.S. military is spread thin overseas, these terrorists are free to wreak more havoc in the U.S.
Americans need to remind themselves why their federal government was set up in the first place. To put it simply, the States decided to get together to secure their independence and to defend themselves against outside attack. According to the U.S. Constitution, the federal government has the duty to maintain a navy to protect America’s ships from piracy and its shores from invasion. While air travel did not exist at the time the Constitution was written, we acknowledge the same duty to protect American skies, airports, and aircraft.
But what’s going on now? Chicago is the third largest city in the U.S., but the air bases that should be defending it are far away, in Springfield, Illinois, and Madison, Wisconsin. The nearby military installation at O’Hare Airport, the Great Lakes naval base, and too many other bases were closed during the Clinton years, supposedly as a cost-saving measure. At the same time, Clinton wasted hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars building the Camp Bondsteel complex in Kosovo, where the U.S. never had any legitimate reason to be in the first place. These priorities are all wrong!
It is a proverbial failing of military leaders that they always prepare themselves to re-fight the last war, not the next one. With all the talk of reviving the proposed Cold War nuclear missile defense system, the U.S. military has neglected the basic measures needed for defending ourselves in the war that we are fighting now.
What we must Do
Military bases belong on American soil where they can do their job of protecting us. Every major city, every major airport, and every other major resource should have air defense located close by. It’s time to pack up Camp Bondsteel, and other overseas bases, and bring them home. Meigs Field is a civilian airport, located on the shore of Lake Michigan, near downtown Chicago. This truly unique Chicago urban feature could make civil air defense extremely effective at times like these. Mayor Daley, the far less competent son of a former Chicago mayor, wants to shut it down, but a much better idea would be to expand Meigs Field for use as an air base for defending the city!
But that’s not all. Each state in the U.S. has a National Guard, whose duty it is to protect against hostile actions by land. Thus, every state should be taking responsibility for guarding every important piece of infrastructure against terrorist sabotage, ON A PERMANENT BASIS. This includes every important bridge, tunnel, pipeline, dam, power plant, reservoir, water or sewage treatment facility, refinery, and communications hub, as well as each major hospital. Instead of meddling in the internal affairs of other nations, we should be devoting our military manpower and tax dollars to this vital task of protecting ourselves.
We cannot afford to do otherwise.