FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Earth Is Our Homeland

Continuous television news hypes the “War on Terrorism” like it’s a big ball game we can win if we can only destroy enough of “the enemy” and their “targets” as we unleash our sophisticated, hi-tech, destroy-and-kill military machine on one of the poorest countries in the world. CBS’s Mark Phillips stands on the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier with cruise missiles streaking away toward some cave in Afghanistan and enthusiastically quotes a sailor who says, “We are going to terrorize the terrorists.” Funky cheerleader hosts like Geraldo Rivera exclaim, “Don’t it feel good to hit back,” as his General Electric-owned cable channel boosts the battle for their defense contracting parent company. Retired generals and admirals appear on camera as analysts of the bomb-by-bomb, play-by-play action. Beyond the flag-waving and getting-even- feels-good that keeps the score in the game of death and destruction dominating television, there are increasingly sobering stories in newspapers of daunting doomsday danger.

On October 8, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council that claimed the right under Article 51 to launch military attacks in self-defense and, after singling out Osama bin Laden’s al-Queda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, said, “We may find that our self-defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other states.” U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said he and diplomats in the world body were “disturbed” by the U.S. statement claiming a right to extend military attacks beyond Afghanistan. Negroponte’s nomination for U.N. Ambassador was opposed by human rights advocates because of his support for the murderous Honduran military and their CIA trained death squads in the Contra War when he was the U.S. ambassador in Honduras from 1981 to 1985. On October 10, the N.Y. Times reported that U.S. officials said terrorists tied to al-Queda in the Phillippines, Indonesia and Malaysia are among the “likely” targets of future covert and overt American actions. The Wall Street Journal gave in-depth coverage to a “simmering debate within the Bush administration over whether any ‘war’ on terrorism could be complete without a strike at Iraq.”

The N.Y. Times also reported on October 10 that Pakistan’s President, General Musharraf, said he had received “definite assurances” from the U.S. that the military operation in Afghanistan would be short, but the White House contradicted him with Bush commenting, “I don’t know who told the Pakistani president that.” In nuclear-armed Pakistan, the N.Y. Times reported that military officers close to Musharraf said the U.S. should not take for granted that Musharraf can indefinitely hold the loyalties of the army and Washington needed to understand how tenuous General Musharraf’s position might be if the bombings continued, additional Afghan civilians were killed, and the Islamic protests grew. As the war planners expand the conflict, their need for more secrecy grows.

On October 9, President Bush lashed out at members of Congress for “leaks” of classified information about the war against terrorism. Bush received bi-partisan criticism for his “order” limiting Congressional access to classified information about war making activities and plans. Senator Hagel (Rep. Neb.) complained that “this thing exploded” and Senator Stevens from Alaska, who is the senior Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said “I’m not going to vote for money for intelligence matters that I don’t know where it’s going to.” Senate Majority Leader Daschle said “Congress has a constitutional role involving oversight.” The secrecy “leak” issue caused the House Appropriations Committee to cancel a scheduled mark-up of a $369 billion Pentagon spending bill that includes the CIA budget. According to the Wall Street Journal, a committee spokesman said, “It won’t be rescheduled until this is fixed.” The greatest threat to democracy in nation states like ours is government secrecy, particularly in “national security” matters. President Eisenhower warned us about the military/industrial complex that contrives secret war plans to make “defense” contractors lots of money and can get a lot of people killed. We must demand openness in our government and especially the most lethal part of it. The American people need to hear why and how the United States is going to kill people and why so many people in the world hate us enough to kill us. The Bush Administration must not continue the secrecy in war planning and the media censorship they are now demanding.

President Bush’s newly appointed head of “Homeland Security,” Tom Ridge, declared this week that “the only turf we should be worried about protecting is the turf we stand on”. I believe the earth, the-whole-wide-world, is our homeland and “terrorizing the terrorists” continues the cycle of killing. CP

Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and civil rights activist in Columbia, South Carolina. http://www.turnipseed.net

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
H. Bruce Franklin
August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time
David Yearsley
Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail