Friday, November 21, 2003

What is responsible for that terrorist attack is terrorism

From Reuters: “The U.S-led interim rulers in Baghdad on Wednesday told companies seeking $18.7 billion in Iraq reconstruction contracts they should bring their own armed security guards to guard against escalating guerrilla attacks.” By what authority do private companies get to bring armed people into a foreign country?

Remember when the Israeli military released footage they claimed showed there were no civilians nearby when they launched missiles at a car, and it turned out that even the edited footage they released did show civilians, if you looked closely enough? It also turns out they lied about what sort of missile they used, which was larger and more indiscriminate, and may actually be a Flechette, which releases thousands of tiny darts over a large distance, and is illegal under international law, and if you guessed that therefore it was made in the USA, you were right. They also lied about what sort of helicopter they used, for reasons not yet clear.

And remember the British peace activist the Israelis shot in the head in April while trying to protect children from soldiers? He’s still brain dead. Israel was supposed to pay for the costs of repatriating him to Britain. They finally coughed up a check for a portion of the amount (without admitting liability, natch). It bounced.

Robert Fisk reminds me of something I’d noticed in Bush’s London speech and then forgot about: he called on Israel only to “freeze” settlements and dismantle “unauthorized outposts.” Fisk notes that Bush said the “heart of the matter” in the Middle East is “a viable Palestinian democracy,” but he failed to mention “occupation.” Of course this is a mirror of what he’s doing in Iraq. I’ll bet between now and the elections a year from now, Bush never uses the word occupation in any sentence.

What am I saying, of course he won’t, it’s a four-syllable word.

What Shrub did say: “What has caused the terrorist attack today in Turkey is not the president of the United States, is not the alliance between America and Britain. What is responsible for that terrorist attack is terrorism, are the terrorists.” His insight just takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Fisk again: “We have a kind of fatal incomprehension about those against whom we have gone to war; that they are living in caves, cut off from reality, striking blindly - "desperately" as Mr Bush would have us believe - as they realise that the free world is resolved to destroy them.” In fact, today’s bombings are about as stage-managed and calculated and not a lot less subtle than Bush prancing around that aircraft carrier or his trip to his favorite colony to visit the queen. Blair and Bush show off their alliance, protected by 14,000 cops; Al Qaida, or whomever, shows the consequence of that alliance by attacking British interests in some area where they aren’t so well protected.

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