Mar 29, 2004
Richard Clarke's testimony to the 9/11 Commission took aim on Bush's intention to campaign as the defender against terrorism. Furious howls coming from the Republicans signaled he had hit a sore spot.
Clarke recounted that Bush had been focused on Iraq from the beginning, dismissing the threat from al-Qaeda. And he accused the Bush administration of ignoring recommendations to take action against al-Qaeda, given to Bush as soon as he took office, nine months before the 9/11 attack.
In fact, the charges are not new. What made them sting so badly this time was the person delivering them – a registered Republican who had served every administration going back to Reagan as the main adviser on terrorism.
The Democrats, of course, could not have been happier. And Democrats on the Commission went out of their way to praise Clarke and to draw out his criticisms as much as they could. It was priceless campaign material. And it was free!
The news media recounted what was said, asking Bush for a rebuttal, asking Kerry for a rebuttal of Bush's rebuttals, etc. etc. etc.
In all this hub-bub, there was one question not raised – neither by this "terrorism expert" nor by the media afterwards. Why is it that the very measures taken since 9/11 to combat terrorism – the ones Clarke reproaches Bush for not carrying out before 9/11 – seem only to have increased terrorism?
The war in Afghanistan has killed thousands of Afghan people – but bin Laden is still alive, the Taliban is reemerging. And no one – not even George Bush, who wants to appear as the conqueror of the terrorists – dares pretend that al-Qaeda has been dismantled.
Starting at the end of 2001, the U.S. has imprisoned or killed literally tens of thousands of suspected terrorists around the world – only to be met by dozens of attacks carried out by radical Islamic groups, claiming many victims. Among them were the bombing of the night club in Bali; of the British embassy, a bank and two synagogues in Turkey; of three housing complexes in Saudi Arabia; of the railroad station in Spain – to name only the most spectacular.
The war in Iraq supposedly disrupted the plans of terrorists to take up residence in that country, and yet not a day goes by without another bombing, bombings the U.S. military attributes to these same terrorists.
In Israel, the Zionist regime, supported by the U.S., continues to assassinate Palestinian leaders, while attacking civilian areas with missiles, tanks and other heavy machinery – only to push more young Palestinians into becoming suicide bombers every day.
The world is awash in terrorism. And no barricade put up around the U.S. can stand proof against it – for the simple reason that the policies of the U.S. government are what set in motion all this terrorism.
Attempting to control the world, so that U.S. corporations can drain other countries of their wealth, the U.S. has reinforced dictatorial regimes – as bad as or worse than the one headed by Saddam Hussein. And the U.S. secret agencies, run by people like Clarke, were the ones who in previous years armed, funded and reinforced the terrorists like bin Laden who today take aim on the U.S.
The civilian population of the U.S. – and of many other countries – have already paid and in the future will likely pay an even heavier price in terrorist attacks. The criminal policies carried out by the U.S. officials in support of U.S. profit-making around the world rebound back, not on those officials, but on the U.S. population and the people of other countries.
Terrorism, of course, is criminal for the simple reason that it targets civilians in order to get at governments. But no one should believe that what the U.S. today is doing will protect anyone from the terrorists. U.S. policies today only put us more in the cross-hairs.
The bloody policies of all the big countries, including the U.S. first of all, not only do nothing to wipe out terrorism; they reinvigorate it. The misery, expulsions of whole peoples and oppression which decimate the rest of the world – a product of U.S. domination of the world – expresses itself in hatred of the U.S. It is the soil in which terrorism takes root.
People like Clarke, who advocate U.S. terrorism against other peoples, know this very well. They just don't say it publicly.