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Good old John Pilger.

 John Pilger - The world's worst terrorists are based in Washington

By knowingly killing innocent people, for political ends, President
Clinton is a terrorist. By supporting his action, the Prime Minister and
the Defence Secretary are accomplices. The dictionary meaning of terorism
allows no other interpretation; the rest is wilful obfuscation, or
propaganda. What matters now is our informed reaction. 
We have been through this many times before, with the lies echoed
predictably from Downing Street. In 1986, there was the "evil" Colonel
Gaddafi, whose country President Reagan bombed from bases in Britain,
killing mostly women and children, including Gaddafi's 16-month-old

In 1990, there was the "evil" General Noriega, said to be a dangerous
drugs trafficker, whose capture by US Marines required a full-scale
invasion of his country and the death by bombing of at least 2,000
Panamanians, mainly the poorest of the poor in their barrios. Noriega and
drugs had precious little to do with it. The aim was to put Panama, its
canal and its US base under direct American sovereignty, managed by other

In the same year, there was "the truly evil" Saddam Hussein, another one
of Bush's and Reagan's old pals, whose regime they had armed and backed
(along with Margaret Thatcher, who sent most of her cabinet to Baghdad as
supplicants or arms salesmen). Saddam's use of American and British
weapons in his attack on the "evil" mullahs in Iran in 1980 was perfectly
acceptable. A million people died in that "forgotten" war; and the
American and British arms industries never looked back. 

Alas, Saddam, the nominal victor, then attacked the wrong country, Kuwait,
which is effectively an Anglo-American oil protectorate. He was clearly
unreliable: "an uppity bastard", as one State Department briefer described
him more in sorrow than anger. Punishing the uppity bastard cost as many
as 200,000 Iraqi lives, according to a study by the Medical Educational
Trust. These were ordinary Iraqis who died during and immediately after a
period of military and economic carnage whose true scale has never been
appreciated outside the Middle East. 

This old fashioned colonial massacre was called the Gulf war. The dead
included thousands of Kurdish and Shi'a people who were Saddam's bitter
opponents and whom Bush had called upon to rise up against their
oppressor. Long after it was over, New York Newsday revealed, from
official sources, that three brigades of the US 1st Mechanised Infantry
Division - "The Big Red One" - had used snowploughs mounted on tanks to
bury alive Iraqi conscripts in more than seventy miles of trenches. A
brigade commander said, "For all I know, we could have killed thousands." 

This is a war crime. 

The following year, Bush attacked Somalia in what was called a
"humanitarian intervention". He was in the midst of his re-election
campaign. Bush said the Marines were doing "God's work. saving thousands
of innocents". Like his moralising over the Gulf war, this was generally
accepted by the British media, with honourable exceptions. 

American television crews were waiting as the Marines landed in a
beautiful African pre-dawn; "prime time" at home. From the Somalian side
there was perpetual darkness; "chaos" and "tribalism" and "warlords". When
the American warlords had completed their adventure in Somalia and taken
the media home with them, the story died, as we say. According to CIA
estimates, the Marines had left between 7,000 and 10,000 Somalis dead.
This was not news. 

Soon after he was elected in 1992, Clinton attacked Baghdad with 23 Cruise
missiles. These destroyed a residential area, killing, once again, mostly
women and children, including Iraq's most distinguished artist, Leila

Interviewed on his way to church with his wife, Clinton said, "I feel
quite good about this, and I think the American people feel quite good
about it." The pretext for the attack was an Iraqi "plot" to kill George
Bush on a visit to Kuwait. There was no hard evidence and the plot story
is now widely regarded as fake. 

Two years ago, Clinton attacked Iraq again, this time insisting that he
was "defending" Kurds against Saddam Hussein, who "must pay the price".
Once again civilians - television's unpeople, I call them - paid the

Earlier this year, Clinton very nearly attacked again. Virtually the same
footage of missiles looking sleek against the dawn light, courtesy of the
Pentagon, appeared on British television. What stopped him? 

Like spontaneous combustion, public opinion all over the world raised its
voice. The cameras had also shown glimpses of Iraq's silent holocaust, the
consequences of the imposition of "economic sanctions" by the United
States and Britain (under the usual UN flag of convenience) against the
Iraqi civilian population, notably its children. 

Tony Blair said he wept for the children who were killed in Omagh by a
terrorist act; but he is silent on the children who die in Iraq as a
result of one of the most enduring terrorist acts of the late 20th
century, conducted largely by his government and its principal ally. 

According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Health
Organisation, both UN agencies, more than half a million children have
died as a direct result of sanctions. Other sources put the figure at over
a million. Baby food and enriched powdered milk are blockaded, along with
vital hospital equipment: stethoscopes, X-ray machines, medical swabs,
scanners and water-purifiers. 

As for the news of Clinton's latest attack, the surreal stereotypes are
back on parade: the flag burning, embassy-storming, bearded, wild men of
Islam - "the enemy of the future", says Washington. Forget that not only
have Muslims been responsible for a tiny proportion of deaths caused by
terrorism, but in recent years it is they who have been the greatest
sufferers from state terrorism. The limbs found lying in the rubble in
Khartoum and Afghanistan are theirs; the terrible burns shown fleetingly
on TV are theirs. 

All, of course, are unpeople: the victims of an unerring pattern of
ruthless, lawless terrorism, imperialist by nature and infinitely greater
than that of any Islamic or Irish group. It is time to stop sniggering at
the distractions of this rampant power and to recognise the truth about it
and to speak out. 



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