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Article by Robert Bowman on Security & Terrorism

Dear Casi Members,

I have recently been made aware of a web site on the US-Iraq Gulf war, with some good articles on 
it. You may or may not know of the site; if you don't, then it's a good one to look into. All the 
articles are dated (1998), though still current. It can be found at:

The article below is from the above mentioned site. It's also from 1998, but could have been 
written as a commentary on the events of 11 Sept. There is also an article by Edward Said on the 
Iraq crisis. It's long, but worth the read.


Will the Real Terrorists Please Stand Up?
The "Security" Charade
by Robert Bowman
If deceptions about terrorism go unchallenged, then the threat will continue until it destroys us. 

The truth is that none of our thousands of nuclear weapons can protect us from these threats. No 
Star Wars system no matter how technically advanced, no matter how many trillions of dollars are 
poured into it can protect us from a nuclear weapon delivered in a sailboat or a Cessna or a 
suitcase or a Ryder rental truck. Not one weapon in our vast arsenal, not a penny of the $270 
billion a year we spend on so- called defense can defend against a terrorist bomb. That is a 
military fact. 

As a retired lieutenant colonel and a frequent lecturer on national security issues, I have often 
quoted Psalm 33: "A king is not saved by his mighty army. A warrior is not saved by his great 
strength." The obvious reaction is, "Then what can we do? Is there nothing we can do to provide 
security for our people?" 

There is. But to understand it requires that we know the truth about the threat. President Clinton 
did not tell the American people the truth about why we are the targets of terrorism when he 
explained why we bombed Afghanistan and Sudan. He said that we are a target because we stand for 
democracy, freedom, and human rights in the world. Nonsense! 

We are the target of terrorists because, in much of the world, our government stands for 
dictatorship, bondage, and human exploitation. We are the target of terrorists because we are 
hated. And we are hated because our government has done hateful things. 

In how many countries have agents of our government deposed popularly elected leaders and replaced 
them with puppet military dictators who were willing to sell out their own people to American 
multinational corporations? 

We did it in Iran when the US Marines and the CIA deposed Mossadegh because he wanted to 
nationalize the oil industry. We replaced him with the Shah and armed, trained, and paid his hated 
Savak National Guard, which enslaved and brutalized the people of Iran all to protect the financial 
interests of our oil companies. Is it any wonder that there are people in Iran who hate us? 

We did it in Chile. We did it in Vietnam. More recently, we tried to do it in Iraq. 

And, of course, how many times have we done it in Nicaragua and all the other banana republics of 
Latin America? Time after time we have ousted popular leaders who wanted the riches of the land to 
be shared by the people who worked it. We replaced them with murderous tyrants who would sell out 
their own people so the wealth of the land could be taken out by the likes of Domino Sugar, 
Folgers, and Chiquita Banana. 

In country after country, our government has thwarted democracy, stifled freedom, and trampled 
human rights. That's why it is hated around the world. And that's why we're the target of 

People in Canada enjoy democracy, freedom, and human rights. So do the people of Norway and Sweden. 
Have you heard of Canadian embassies being bombed? Or Norwegian, or Swedish? 

We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated 
because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are 
coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in 
the form of terrorism and in the future, nuclear terrorism. 

Once the truth about why the threat exists is understood, the solution becomes obvious. We must 
change our ways. Getting rid of our nuclear weapons unilaterally if necessary will enhance our 
security. Drastically altering our foreign policy will ensure it. 

Instead of sending our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs so we can have the oil 
under their sand, we should send them to rebuild their infrastructure, supply clean water, and feed 
starving children. Instead of continuing to kill hundreds of Iraqi children every day with our 
sanctions, we should help Iraqis rebuild their electric power plants, their water treatment 
facilities, their hospitals all the things we have destroyed and prevented them from rebuilding. 

Instead of training terrorists and death squads, we should close the School of the Americas. 
Instead of supporting insurrection, destabilization, assassination, and terror around the world, we 
should abolish the CIA and give the money to relief agencies. 

In short, we should do good instead of evil. Who would try to stop us? Who would hate us? Who would 
want to bomb us? That is the truth the American people need to hear. 

Robert Bowman flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam. He is presently bishop of the United Catholic 
Church in Melbourne Beach, FL. 

Reprinted with permission from The National Catholic Reporter, Oct. 2, 1998. 


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