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In a recent interview with the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, Osama bin Laden justified the killing of innocent Americans this way :
“If an enemy occupies a Muslim territory and uses common people as human shield, then it is permitted to attack that enemy. For instance, if bandits barge into a home and hold a child hostage, then the child’s father can attack the bandits and in that attack even the child may get hurt. America and its allies are massacring us in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir and Iraq. The Muslims have the right to attack America in reprisal.”
That’s the traditional justification for killing, isn’t it?
They kill us, we kill them, they kill us, we kill them.
What ever happened to “thou shalt not kill”?
Equally unimpressive is President Bush’s justification for killing: we are in a war with terror.
Okay, then what about terror committed by us?
We kill innocents, they kill innocents. It’s all terror.
Last week, Bush said we don’t target innocent civilians.
Oh yeah? What about the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the fire bombing of Dresden? What about U.S. support in the 1980s for the contra war in Nicaragua, and the CIA mining of Nicaraguan ports — actions which killed thousands and led to a judgment against the United States at the World Court?
Civilian targeting, and terror, pure and simple.
Most despicable are those in our media, who sit comfortably in their modern offices, staring at their computers, and hit the keys advocating more killing of innocents thousands of miles away.
Here’s our short ten worst list, in order of repulsiveness:
Michael Kelly (Washington Post): “American pacifists are on the side of future mass murders of Americans,” they are “objectively pro-terrorist,” “evil” and “liars.”
Jonathan Alter (Newsweek): Wondered whether torture would “jump-start the stalled investigation into the greatest crime in American history.” Urges pacifists to shut up because “it’s kill or be killed.”
Bill O’Reilly (Fox TV): “The US should bomb the Afghan infrastructure to rubble — the airport, the power plants, their water facilities, the roads. The Afghans are responsible for the Taliban. We should not target civilians, but if they don’t rise up against this criminal government, they starve, period.”
A.M. Rosenthal (Washington Times): In addition to Afghanistan, wants to bomb Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Iran, and Syria.
Ann Coulter (ex-National Review): Her response to terrorism is to “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”
Steve Dunleavy (New York Post) ” “The response to this unimaginable 21st-century Pearl Harbor should be as simple as it is swift — kill the bastards. A gunshot between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you have As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball courts.”
Rich Lowry (National Review): “If we flatten part of Damascus or Tehran or whatever it takes, that is part of the solution.”
Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post): “We are fighting because the bastards killed 5,000 of our people, and if we do not kill them, they are going to kill us again.”
Thomas Friedman (New York Times): “We have to fight the terrorists as if there were no rules.” And the perverted “give war a chance.”
George Will (Washington Post): “The Bush administration is telling the country that there is some dying to be done. … The goal is not to ‘bring terrorists to justice,’ which suggests bringing them into sedate judicial settings — lawyers, courtrooms, due process, all preceded by punctilious readings of Miranda rights. Rather, the goal is destruction of enemies.”
Of course, the peace voices have been shunned by the big media corporations.
After September 11, Clear Channel, the nation’s largest owner of radio stations, sent out an internal memorandum with a list of songs the stations were not to play, including John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
In response, Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, took out a full page ad in the New York Times with eight words from the song: “Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
Then she took out a billboard on Time Square that said: “Give Peace a Chance.”
“What John wrote is a very strong and beautiful message,” Ono said. “I think they (Clear Channel) wanted everyone to be in a kind of attack mode.”
John Lennon: “Give Peace a Chance.”
Thomas Friedman: “Give War a Chance.”
Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1999).
(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman