|Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:46 am Post subject: Understanding the Politics of Fear
|This & many other excellent essays to be found at ...
Ramping up the fear quotient
by William Bowles • Tuesday, 26 July 2005
A sure fire way of keeping the spotlight off a murderous government that is neither believed nor trusted by the majority of the population, is to have a diversion of enormous magnitude caused by an enemy, preferably of an elemental kind (anarchists, communists, fanatics, fundamentalists, terrorists, take your pick).
Once you have a public fixated on this perceived enemy, it is necessary to maintain a constant level of fear and when necessary ramp it up, either though potential events (”not if but when”) or to exploit events that do occur by connecting the elemental enemy to the events, however tenuous the connection. If no real connection can be made, invent the connection. If necessary, invent a multitude of connections that can be announced and discarded at will. Nobody, least of all a complicit media will question why ‘connections’ come and go without explanation, everything is in flux in this world of illusions, where fact and fiction blur one into the other.
Aside from the many still as yet unanswered questions and contradictions surrounding who, exactly carried out the bombings of July 7, we now have the ‘failed bombings’ of July 21 to contend with, about which there even more unanswered questions. Questions that the corporate/state media are not asking.
As with the July 7 attacks, initial police reports on the July 21 attacks were followed by contradictory police reports as to the exact nature of the ‘bombs’. Initially we were told the July 7 bombs used “military grade” explosives detonated with timers and there was no mention of ‘suicide bombers’ but then this changed to homemade explosives and the sudden appearance of “suicide bombers”. Then it returned to “military grade” explosives and back to timers. The July 21 attacks have gone through the same metamorphosis. Now it’s back to “homemade” explosives but the jury’s still out on the timers (that obviously didn’t work). The point here is that it’s not important how but that it stays in the headlines at all times, the objective; keep on ramping.
And we still have all the issues the police/security services have not adequately explained about July 7 including; why the four alleged suicide bombers bought return tickets, nor why they left explosives and weapons in their cars parked at the Luton ‘Park and Ride’ lot, nor why it took over a week to find the aforementioned weapons, nor why these alleged suicide bombers had ID with them, nor why they had no history of connection to so-called extremists, in spite of every effort to connect them to the aforementioned.
Then we had the ‘Egyptian’ connection, a story that vanished literally overnight. Remember that it was alleged that it was in the Egyptian guy’s apartment that the police allegedly found a bath tub full of acetone peroxide? Within hours of his name surfacing, the Egyptian foreign minister no less, was denying that he had any connection, a denial that was apparently immediately accepted by the British authorities.
I reported here that the rumour in and around Leeds University was that he was a spy keeping an eye on Egyptian and Arab students at the uni. Did he work for the Egyptian government I wonder, and was this why the Egyptian government was so quick to exonerate him? I note that he hasn’t been interviewed either by the police or the media, in fact he has effectively disappeared off the face of the planet, along with his alleged terrorist connection.
Then there was the 900 quid’s-worth of exploding perfume, allegedly purchased by Lindsay Germaine, one of the alleged suicide bombers, another story that came and went just as rapidly. Then there was the Pakistani ‘connection’, another story that came and went equally as rapidly especially after it was discovered that one of the alleged suicide bombers was misidentified by the Pakistani authorities.
Then it was the ‘madrassas’ connection. This too, came and went without any connection being established between the relevance of the madrassas to the July 7 bombing other than the alleged ‘brainwashing’ said to be conducted at these schools. The point here that needs to be emphasized, is that every time Muslim, Islam, schools, indoctrination, Quran, or any other ‘alien’ sounding word or connection is made, it reinforces every stereotype that the government and the media have implanted in the public’s mind about the nature of this elusive, ‘cunning’ and ‘evil’ enemy.
Where are all these allegations originating from? Why do the police insist in putting out one contradictory story after another? Surely, as with any criminal investigation, the police have clear rules concerning the reportage of investigations into criminal acts. We were told that the “largest forensic investigation in history” was being conducted following July 7, yet the rumours, often reported by the press as having a “police source” continued to emerge, only to be found wanting only hours or days later. Who is authorizing the release of this avalanche of disinformation? What kind of forensic investigation is it that puts out such an endless stream of nonsense?
And I have mentioned only a few of the plethora of stories that have appeared concerning who, how and why the July 7 bombings occurred. I’ve not mentioned the long list of names allegedly associated with the 4 dead men, that later we find, have no connection whatsoever. But it matters not, the damage has already been done. There are no retractions, no explanations.
So too with the July 21 attacks that went through same process. At first they were “nail bombs” where only the detonators went off, then they were “failed bombs” “similar to” the July 7 bombs, possibly made from the “same batch” of homemade explosive, allegedly the highly unstable acetone peroxide (see Wikipedia entry on this stuff). Then they miraculously metamorphosed back into nail bombs but still made with homemade (and apparently past its sell-by date) explosive. Bombs moreover, that are in police possession.
Is it credible that all four bombs failed to detonate? Is it credible that the alleged bombers followed exactly the same pattern, three on the tube and one on a bus if they are indeed part of some international conspiracy? The police then claimed that the (highly unstable, the BBC called it “volatile” this am) mixture of acetone peroxide (and what, Hugo Boss perfume?) “degraded”. But at the same time, we have been told that the July 7 bombings were planned months in advance by highly sophisticated members of ‘al-Qu’eda’ (Jack Straw the foreign minister on the same day, July 7). So are there two groups of bombers? Apparently not, at least according to the authorities, they are all part of the ‘international terror network’ run by ‘al-Qu’eda’.
Then we have the four photos released by the police of the alleged July 21 bombers, that so far nobody has come forward and identified. Is it credible that nobody can identify these four individuals? Do these people actually exist? Are they the ones responsible for the dud bombs? Will we ever find out? Don’t hold your breath over this or any of the other, dozens of questions surrounding these events.
Not so breaking news: two of the alleged July 21 attempted bombers have been identified and they are neither Asian nor Brazilian, but apparently from East Africa, possibly Somalia or perhaps Eritrea. So now yet another group of those who are ‘darker than blue’ are to be singled out as eligible for getting shot on sight. Apparently their bombs were in plastic sandwich containers, we even know the brand and size. And just in case, should anyone want to imitate them, the police have announced that they used six-and-a-quarter litre, clear, Delta brand family containers, with white lids, made in India. No doubt this announcement will be followed by cries for a boycott of Indian goods.
The media for its part, seems quite content to act as an unquestioning conduit for whatever rubbish the state puts out, not even bothering to correct the record (such as it is) when yet another scurrilous piece of disinformation bites the dust. In fact the media’s role in this entire affair has been, to put it mildly, shameful.
Take for example, the case of the assassinated Brazilian, who according the state and the press was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
Initially the police issued a statement that was quite categorical about the fact that he was “directly linked” (chief of the Metropolitan police) to the July 21 attacks, although how they could know that, is beyond me, the body wasn’t even cold. There was no retraction until it became known that he was in fact a (Christian?) Brazilian, at which point his assassination turned into a “terrible tragedy” but one which the police refuse to apologise for. Had he in fact, been an Asian, then no doubt he would still be a convenient scapegoat for the state’s propaganda campaign to demonise those who are ‘darker than blue’.
The objective is clear; keep ramping up the ‘fear quotient’ in the minds of the public by issuing an endless flood of baseless accusations that keep the stories in the headlines and which have the additional advantage of sowing total confusion when one tries to find out what is really going on.
As long we don’t focus on Iraq, the poor of the planet (remember them?) or our rapidly disintegrating climate, all is well in the corridors of power. They can get on with blowing away people out of sight in distant lands, using really big bombs, safe in the knowledge that the mass of the public will now look at any Asian (or Asian ‘looking’) person wearing an I-pod and either overweight, cold or wearing a rucksack, as a potential suicide bomber, rather than focus on our government of terrorists and mass murderers. Mission accomplished?
Frankly, the July 21 attempts have all the hallmarks of a bunch of amateurs attempting to capitalize on the first and obviously professional outrages. Ask yourself if it seems credible that following the awful carnage of July 7, that such an obviously botched job was committed by the same group?
The point is, given the way the public have been conditioned to accept the idea of a global network of terrorists, out to destroy the ‘Western way of life’ (but not it seems the manufacture of plastic sandwich containers and hence a return to ‘pre-globalised days’ when sandwiches got wrapped up in wax paper), it matters little where they come from, or indeed what their real motives are. All that matters is that they have Muslim-sounding names, dark skins, they all need a shave and that they are enemies of ‘Western civilization’.
Afterthought: acetone peroxide is a liquid, so how come it didn’t all leak out of the sandwich containers? My feeling is that whoever attempted the July 21 bombings were either totally clueless about making bombs or, were set up to fail but frighten, making sure terrorists stayed in the headlines. Either way, the futility of such acts should be clear to anybody genuinely wanting to get the US or the Brits out of Iraq or any other countries the real terrorists have occupied.
A further postscript: I have been getting quite a few letters from readers who, like me, are desperate about the situation that the government has created here and want advice no less, from me on what we can do. It’s difficult to know how to answer such a question, for on the one hand, I don’t want to throw up my hands in abject defeat nor do I want to offer useless platitudes. But one thing is certain; knowing what is really going on and why, is the first step, that’s why an independent media is so vitally important.
Second, we have all been here before, several times in the past one hundred years and we all know what the outcome was every time; slaughter on an unimaginable scale preceded by witch-hunts and the deliberate demonisation of convenient segments of society. There is nothing new about the current situation. When the state itself feels itself under threat it will strike out using whatever means it has to hand. That there are a tiny minority who will resort to the use of acts of individual violence, is actually quite convenient for the state, for these can then be used to rationalise the use of the overwhelming violence of the state in ‘retribution’. Operation Kratos is but one of the inevitable outcomes with the state promising more to come.
There is no doubt that the failed and unpopular invasion of Iraq is a major reason, not for the bombings, but for the state’s reaction and the use of force and repression. But once again, I resist the urge to talk of ‘blowback’ as there is no evidence to directly connect any of the bombings to the situation in Iraq. Rather, the situation started with the concept of a ‘war on terror’ that once initiated set in motion a train of events with each step reinforcing the state’s terrible logic. Revealing the policies of the state as part of a historical process, in defence of capital is the key to understanding the situation.
Once this accepted, the situation becomes transparent and the solution obvious; get rid of this government like they did in Spain for example. This might sound futile, we have after all, another five or even six years of the monstrosity that is the Labour Party and with no alternative on the horizon, there is no immediate solution.
But another thing history reveals is that situations can change with amazing rapidity. It is conceivable that a sufficiently large section of the public can come to the realisation that in order to avoid yet more July 7s and 21s, we have to abandon our imperial ambitions. Whether this will happen is of course unknown, but it is the only answer I have to the question, what can we do? Taking the first step is the most difficult and speaking out in opposition to the occupation of Iraq and our government’s imperialist policies and ultimately joining forces with others to speak out, is at least a positive step in the right direction.
|Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:36 am Post subject: Understanding the Politics of Fear
by William Bowles • Monday, 18 July 2005
The Lord Chancellor told BBC News under new laws people “attacking the values of the West” and “glorifying the acts of suicide bombers” would be imprisoned for “long periods” and “deported wherever possible”, but no law could stop terrorism altogether.
We always obeyed the law. Isn’t that what you do in America? Even if you don’t agree with a law personally, you still obey it. Otherwise life would be chaos. – Gertrude Scholtz-Klink, chief of the Women's Bureau under Hitler explaining the Jewish policy of the Nazis
It’s a beautiful, hot Sunday afternoon here on Streatham Common, just a short walk from my place. A bee goes about its business, mums push their kids by me, tiny figures dot the landscape, windscreens wink at me in the distance. The sky is dusty blue tinted a pale yellow, no doubt because of all the car exhausts but what the hell, you can’t have everything. But I gotta rare pack of Gitanes to savour, Miles on my walkman and time to think about things whilst Miles jams on ‘Code M.D’ at me. A peaceful afternoon in South London, nothing appears to be amiss. Everything is in its rightful place.
Berlin must have felt something like this in 1933. Condition normal. So how come I’ve got this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach?
I wonder, if soon, I’ll get thrown in the slammer for making statements that “attack the values of the West”? It seems hard to believe sitting here but this exactly what our esteemed, educated and ever-so liberal Lord Chancellor has planned for me following the London bombings.
Events are presented as if, first comes the ‘terrorist’ and then the state’s response, protecting, we are told the ‘British way of life’ by effectively destroying it. Go figure. Everything has the appearance of being us as the victims of the ‘forces of evil’ that have been set loose on the world by a mere handful of people who hate the West and everything it (allegedly) stands for. Seems right doesn’t it. But things are never as they seem in our topsy-turvy world where logic gets stood on its head.
Democracy, as Americans understand it, is not necessarily the future of all mankind, nor is it the duty of the U.S. government to assure that it becomes that. – George Kennan, head of U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff, 1948
A millionaire Saudi businessman finances, with US support, a war of liberation from the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan, but then one day we are led to believe, decides that US support for the regime that has made him and his family wealthy beyond measure, is all of a sudden, the enemy. This long time ‘asset’ of US and British capital becomes, almost overnight (thanks to the assistance of a complicit corporate/state media), evil personified. His previous connections to the US are airbrushed out of history. Henceforth, he stands outside of history, a spontaneous creation who is able to come and go at will and ultimately, he is discarded as surplus to requirement, his services are no longer required.
His former ‘friends and allies’, cynical and opportunist and confronted with a crisis of the over-accumulation of capital, brought about in no small measure by the overthrow of the ‘evil empire’ and the economic policies of the previous decades, needs a new ‘enemy’ with which to justify its actions and to further its piratical aims. Thus is born ‘al-’Qu’eda’ and the ‘international terror network’.
Not coincidentally, the Project for the New American Century which sees the US as the predominate military/political force of the 21st century, is spawned at the same time. Foreign oppression and aggression must perforce be accompanied by increasing repression at home, the two go hand in glove.
Then conveniently, along comes 9/11, a ‘Pearl Harbour’ re-run, a convenient hitching post for a new Horse of the Apocalypse that in turn is used to ride rough-shod over our hard-won rights and liberties and to justify the assault on the planet. But any assault by the rich and powerful must first win the backing of its domestic populations first through fear and ultimately through the force of ‘law’.
History teaches us that the first casualty of war is the truth and by their own admission, we have now entered a period of “perpetual war” that per se, must be accompanied by perpetual lies and, as the war intensifies so must the lies.
The propaganda system allows the U.S. leadership to commit crimes without limit and with no suggestion of misbehavior or criminality; in fact, major war criminals like Henry Kissinger appear regularly on TV to comment on the crimes of the derivative butchers. – Edward Herman, Z magazine, Dec 1999
Terror, according to Bush and Blair excludes the ultimate terror, that of the state, the one to fear the most, the one with not only the most physical power to terrorise but importantly, the one with the force of law at its disposal.
Enter the next actor in the run-up to the present, Saddam Hussein, yet another one-time asset of the CIA and corporate capitalism. Hired to assassinate a perceived enemy of capital, Saddam then becomes a pawn in the game of international oil/power politics used to maintain both Iran and Iraq in their own version of perpetual war that took the lives of millions.
But as with all who fail to perceive the real nature of the hand that first feeds before it strikes, he too became a victim of a much larger game and as with the erstwhile ‘freedom fighters’ of Afghanistan, he became in turn a victim of the cynical manipulations of governments who care nothing for the lives of either Iraqis or, as we have seen, their own citizens.
Our governments first deliberately starve Iraq into submitting, then covertly bomb it back into the stone age, and finally, in the coup de grace, ‘liberate’ it in the final act of state terrorism that contravenes every international law and treaty we have (reluctantly) signed over the past century.
I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own … And if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the “haves” refuse to share with the “have-nots” by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don’t want and above all don’t want crammed down their throats by Americans. – General David Sharp, former US Marine Commandant, 1966
This then is the prelude if you like to the current situation where in spite of the campaign that has actually failed to terrorise our fellow citizens into accepting the lies of its leaders, it is necessary to ratchet up the fear by making it real, not on the scale of 9/11 you understand, but enough to quell the questions, to push an increasingly sceptical public into accepting the next stage, that of total repression of all independent thought.
For there can be no doubt that in spite of the power of the US and UK to get their way, they have failed miserably to either suppress the liberation struggle of the Iraqi people, nor have they managed to address the issues of the increasing poverty of the poor of the world (Bob Geldof notwithstanding) even as we get richer. Add to this the issue of climate change, corruption in government, indeed a slew of issues for which they have no answers, then it becomes clear that the only answer is increased repression.
The issue then is patently not that of the British or US state’s response to terror for the terror is of their making, not only the terror they have reigned down on the innocent (94% of all the casualties in Iraq are civilian and many of these under the age of 25) but the use of terror at home, whether via their proxies or even those of their former employees whose nihilistic ‘ideology’ prompts them to ‘bring the war home’.
For the bottom line is a state that is itself based upon violence and that, as history reveals, always has been. To talk then of criminalising those who “attack…the values of the West” is not only hyperbole but utter hypocrisy.
And make no mistake, if we allow it, unlike the Fascism of Mussolini (clearly Tony Blair’s inspiration whether through the force of history or a conscious act of will) or that of the Third Reich, one day, with luck, I’ll be sitting once more on Streatham Common and no doubt it will look pretty much the same as it did on that day in July 2005, except I won’t be writing this column, for ‘ordinary Fascism’ will preclude such musings.
Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Location: An Island off Eurasia
|Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:06 pm Post subject: Understanding the Politics of Fear
|George Orwell will be turning in his grave ...
UK police chiefs seek powers to attack terror web sites
Posted by Nick on July 25, 2005, 9:28 am
User logged in as: NickD
" It will allow the police and intelligence agencies to intervene at an early stage early to protect the public and will go some way towards countering the negative messages we receive concerning terrorism arrests and subsequent charging/prosecution figures"
By John Lettice
Published Saturday 23rd July 2005 14:16 GMT
The Association of Chief Police Officers has asked for new legislation giving the security services "powers to attack identified websites". The proposal, along with one for a new offence covering "use of the internet to prepare, encourage, facilitate acts of terrorism" was part of the terror law 'shopping list' presented by ACPO at the Prime Minister's meeting with law enforcement agencies on Thursday.
Much of ACPO's list covers territory where legislation is already planned by the Government and/or is part of broader international roadmaps being pushed by Europe's Council of Ministers and the G8. The request for a cyberwarfare capability, however, is one of several new proposals put forward by ACPO, and has wide-ranging implications. ACPO doesn't give specific details of what it envisages, but says the power "has significant benefits for counter terrorism and overlaps with other police priorities namely domestic extremism and paedophilia/child pornography." ACPO therefore clearly envisages the security services being given the power to attack a wider range of web sites than those simply associated with international terrorism.
The security forces already have the capability to deal with web sites that are within UK jurisdiction, which means that the major target must be sites beyond it. "This issue goes beyond national borders and requires significant international cooperation," says ACPO: "The need for appropriate authority and warrantry is implicit." For the international cooperation to be delivered, the Government would therefore need to get legalised hacking, interdiction and denial of service moved up the EU-G8 security agenda.
It's possibly worth noting that ACPO is unlikely to be alone among the UK security services in its desire to interfere with web sites from afar. This fanciful item alleges among many other improbable things that the "warrants the MI5 watchers have obtained permit them to intercept Jamal’s e-mail conversations with those he is grooming, and to carry out 'portscans' on his computer. Using sophisticated software, they reach into it to search for incriminating files." Spyblog made the failed Spooks script gag before we could, but it's perfectly possible that there's a security services' agenda underlying the sub-Bond PR spin.
The proposed offence covering use of the internet "to prepare, encourage, facilitate acts of terrorism" is explained by ACPO as being a move to "suppress inappropriate internet usage in respect of today's global communication capability." The organisation says however that this "preventative measure" may be catered for in the "acts preparatory to terrorism" legislation the Government already has planned. ACPO's interest is likely to ensure that it is.
Interestingly, ACPO's general commentary on the 'acts preparatory' legislation says: " It will allow the police and intelligence agencies to intervene at an early stage early to protect the public and will go some way towards countering the negative messages we receive concerning terrorism arrests and subsequent charging/prosecution figures" (our emphasis). Government statistics on Terrorism Act arrests (which Charles Clarke has recently seemed reluctant to update in responses to parliamentary questions) show relatively few instances of charges being brought for terrorism offences, and tend to indicate that numbers of immigration and passport fraud offenders are being caught instead.
This might be taken to suggest that the security forces are looking in the wrong places for terrorists. One might perhaps observe that thinking up new offences that let you count more of the people you arrest as terrorist offenders is not necessarily the appropriate response to our current difficulties.
ACPO also, puzzlingly, calls for the creation of an offence "not to disclose encryption keys etc." This follows on from a call made by Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair a few days ago, and is presented as a necessary amendment to part 3 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, making it "an offence to fail to disclose such items." Part 3 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act however already includes such an offence. In 53, 5 it say that a person guilty of such an offence is liable to "imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or to both."
There may well be some subtle nuance that escapes us which makes this the wrong kind of offence as far as ACPO is concerned, but the thought that the security services now have so much lovely new legislation that they can't keep up is treasurable, and we'll treasure it until somebody tells us different.* Seriously though, ACPO's commentary says that recent investigations "have been made more complex by difficulties for investigating officers in ascertaining whereabouts of encryption keys to access computers etc." It seems likely to us that these difficulties are related to an inadequate police grasp of RIPA and of how the internet works, and that's not something new or retreaded offences will fix.
More on the ACPO proposals can be found at Spyblog, while the full proposals can be read here. ®
* And they have. Thanks to Chris Walker and Ed Phillips, who point out that part 3 of RIPA is not yet in force. The Office of the Surveillance Commissioner confirms that the intended procedure was to draw up a code of practice for encryption, put it out for consultation, and then to put it before Parliament. "It is not possible yet to give a timetable for this."
UK and EU allies plan moves against terror websites
Comms, internet ban orders surface in new UK terror law
Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Location: An Island off Eurasia
|Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:21 pm Post subject: Understanding the Politics of Fear
The sick mindset of the double terrorists
By Abid Ullah Jan
Al-Jazeerah, July 10, 2005
If anything positive may emerge from the July 7 tragedy in London it is the growing realization that the terrorists and those who claim to be fighting a ‘war on terrorism’ are just one and the same people. For this reason we must resolve to expose the enemies of freedom and never give up to the hollow rhetoric of freedom and democracy on the part of double-terrorists.
Believing in their statements of mass deception or even staying silent in the face of their ever increasing lies sends the message to the double-terrorists and their allies that their terrorism upon terrorism works in favor of their totalitarian designs and so makes further atrocities at home and abroad more likely.
Blair's declaration that acts of terrorism will never influence British government policy is a clear sign that the attacks were staged for influencing public opinion in favor of not only continuing the bloodbath of innocents abroad but also to consolidate tyranny at home without much resistance.
One must note that after exposure of the Downing Street Memos and all associated lies that were invented to legitimize bloodbath in Iraq, there was a growing pressure on the UK government to withdraw troops from Iraq. Furthermore, a growing number of Britons were realizing the preferential treatment of the worse-than-apartheid state-of-Israel’s never ending occupation, terrorism, open racism, crimes against humanity, and the double standards on the part of US and UK towards Muslim states.
To ease the pressure, the news was leaked to the press on June 24 that the US is planning to withdraw some troops from Iraq. But that was not good enough to swing public opinion. That’s why behind the scene, planning was underway to make sure terrorism continues with unabashed skullduggery. British public’s acquiescence to the regime’s policy of continuing the war in Iraq would reinforce the message that double-terrorism works. Such a message in support of terrorism upon terrorism would dishonor the memories of those who died on October 07 at the hands of the same terrorists who have taken lives of more than 120,000 Iraqis in the war and 1.8 million Iraqis through genocidal sanctions so far.
Not only government leaders, but many other citizens of the world, as civic leaders, religious leaders, teachers, netizens, and letter writers may help send the shame-less terrorists the right message by categorically condemning terrorism at home and abroad. Their immediate response of blaming Muslims for what happens is a clear sign that the bloodbath was staged. The repeated stress on “our way of life” and “values” show the totalitarian designs to impose the same on others with the barrel of a gun.
Unfortunately, in newscasts throughout the day, we have heard several Britons describing how they had felt distanced from terrorism occurring elsewhere in the world until today's events. This is why such barbaric events are staged when it is time to elect a war leader in Spain, or to make public opinion in favor of war in Australia, or to ensure continued support from Turkey. What was shown on the “mainstream” TV channels was a typical human response that takes everything on the face value. The co-opted commentators kept repeating that many Britons have viewed terrorism as America's problem in a way to mean: “Did you see it for yourself now. Don’t say no to any war that we may be launching in the near future.”
Whatever else might be said about such expressions, they simply support the message from the leading crusaders (Bush and Blair) that terrorism works, that it can enable its perpetrators to shape world opinion as well as world order in their image. Such a message encourages others to join the ranks of terrorist armies at home and opportunistic collaborators abroad for more violence in distant parts of the world, a tiny fraction of which the British witnessed today.
Therefore we must take this opportunity to realize that the perpetrators on the bombing in London and Iraq and Afghanistan are using well trained armies to commit terrorism abroad and well trained secret agents to commit terrorism at home for additional support for terrorism abroad.
While the terrorists are fighting in the name of freedom and democracy and that definitely has merit, the intentional invasions and occupations on the basis of lies, the intentional killing of innocent people and the intentional establishment of countless concentration camps is never justifiable as means to promote the stated cause. The democratic terrorists should have learned from the failure of Communism that the end does not justify the means.
We will never be able to see an end to terrorism because the double-terrorists are the perpetrators: the real culprits. They then become the judge, the prosecutor and also declare a “war on terrorism.’ Very very strange indeed: we are facing mass deception of an unprecedented scale in human history.
A mere realization of this reality is enough to neutralize terrorist practices by preventing them from attaining their totalitarian designs in the short run. In the long run, they are going to take themselves out of steam with their own hands. No one is militarily so strong to defeat them. However, they digging a deep hole for themselves with the belief that they can continue to lie, cheat and fool the world indefinitely.
Public opinion is a powerful force. Spain withdrew its forces from Iraq. Italy is withdrawing partial forces in the face of mounting expressions of domestic and world opinion. Even UK leaked it to the press that it is considering withdrawal. Immediately after the bombing the double-terrorists’ initial promise was to keep fighting the war they have launched on the basis of nothing else but pure lies.
Thus, the categorical condemnation of this double-terrorism would go a long way towards its elimination. We need to expose and defeat the mindset that promotes and sustains this bloody game of double terrorism. Such a mindset is not hard to notice. For example, this mindset would argue to forget about Israeli, American, Russian and Indian occupations; focus on ending resistance to these occupations.
The cruel, inhuman mindset of these double-terrorists argues that the world must never give even the appearance of approving of, or yielding, to the resistance posed by the occupied, oppressed and humiliated people in Palestine, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq and Kashmir in word or deed. For example, such a sick mindset criticizes the New York Times for arguing that the Chechans deserve independence. They force people to take things on the face value and exact collective punishment on nations. Just the way they practice double-terrorism, they also use double language. They would say: “Chechans and Palestinians may well deserve independence, but the atrocities that occur should have the effect of making the world deaf to their legitimate grievances for a substantial period of time.”
This mindset is on display in Israel and the US is following the same line in Iraq. All human beings are not alike, nor do they suffer equally under foreign occupations. Some of them would lose everything, their families and all loved ones and in desperation would react against the oppressors. Others would find it perfectly legitimate to fight for their freedom. It doesn’t mean that the terrorist-occupiers should prolong their unjust occupations on the basis that acts of resistance, which they call terrorism, should have the sole effect of impeding the legitimate causes they are intended to promote.
Such thinking is the product of the sick-terrorist-mindset of the double terrorists. They know that as long as their tyrannical occupation would remain in place, resistance is bound to come. And as long as there is resistance, there would remain justification for prolonging tyranny under the banner of a war on terrorism.
One such sick terrorist mind is on display on Media Monitors.net. Len Breslow, in an article, “we are all in the same boat,” argues: “Were the world to turn its back on the Chechan cause in response to the actions of a handful of terrorists, many innocent Chechans would be penalized for the actions of the few. But I believe the cost is necessary since the destruction of innocent human life is worse than most forms of oppression.” 
It means the destruction on life on the part of Chechens is no destruction at all. It is destruction when it is exacted on the oppressors: the terrorists and the enemies of their freedom. If Chechens die, let them die and put their legitimate cause on hold. But let no one from the aggressor’s side face death and destruction. Would this kind of an approach ever work in bringing peace when we know about the law of nature that every action has an equal and opposite reaction?
The above quoted argument shows the exact ideas which Friedman, Pipes, Spencer and the rest of the war lords are promoting in different words, at different time but with more sophistication in a professional manner.
It is naïve to assume that such an inhuman approach to the already occupied and oppressed people would encourage the majority of those, whom the freedom fighters claim to represent to move against the freedom fighters, thus further isolating them. This is dream of the sick minds. If every Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghan and Chechen is not standing up to give his life for ending the oppression and occupation of the lying aggressors, it does not mean that they do not respect those who commit themselves to die for the sack of real freedom: not the freedom that the US has brought to Iraq and Afghanistan. It simply means that they expect their revenge tomorrow.
If Palestinians, Kashmiris and Chechens are given the right to self-determination, and if forces of tyranny are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, it would never amount to rewarding terrorism. The UK didn’t reward terrorists when it ended its occupation of the US. Nor all those Americans, who fought against King George and other tyrants from UK, were terrorists.
If we go by the standards promoted by the sick terrorist minds in the US and UK, then we will have to put the struggle for democracy and freedom in Iraq on hold because allowing US and UK to operate in Iraq and install governments of their choice there means the world is rewarding the terrorist who launched this war on false pretexts. First they have to renounce terrorism and then we will see what “legitimate” causes they want to promote with the unprecedented kind of naked aggression.
Hope the repeat tragedy on the pattern of 9/11 that occurred in London will drive home the lesson in Britain and the rest of the world that we are facing terrorism upon terrorism from the double-terrorists. No amount of silence or surrendering our rights to real freedom and self-determination will prevent them from striking at home and abroad with the twin objectives of consolidating police state at home and puppet regimes abroad.
Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Location: An Island off Eurasia
|Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:53 pm Post subject: Understanding the Politics of Fear
London 7/7 Attack: Creating the Enemy
by Ghali Hassan
July 14, 2005
Instead of saying; it is too early to say who is responsible for the 7/7 London bombing, Tony Blair immediately accused Muslims and Islam of the crimes. No evidence, no names and no documentation were provided to support his accusations. This happened despite the fact that all Muslim nations have strongly condemned the attacks on innocent people. They do so, Blair said, because they "hate our way of life" and "our values". Why these ‘Muslim terrorists’ chose Britain of Blair not Switzerland or Sweden? The word why has simply disappeared from the language of both politicians and the media.
Western media, pundits and commentators were quick to jump on the Blair-Bush bandwagon and continue to amplify and encourage this anti-Muslim prejudice. To blindly accuse Muslims and Islam of violence is to ignore the real purveyors of today’s violence and terrorism in the world. Do few individuals represent the whole faith of Islam or Christianity?
Those responsible ‘have no respect for human life’, Blair said. Do those who participated in the barbaric "Shock and Awe" bombings of Baghdad and in the destruction of Iraqi towns and cities have respect for human life? What kind of terrorists has the capacity to perpetuate the criminal atrocity inflicted on the Iraqi people? Baghdad was the heart of the Muslim world and cultural capital of Islam for more than seven centuries.
Since March 2003, there has been a London bombing in Baghdad every day. The holly cities of Najef and Fallujah have been destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been murdered. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are imprisoned, and tortured every day. The whole fabric of the Iraqi society has been deliberately decimated. Why?
The British public were told that the London bombing bears "all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda attacks". Even if the ‘terrorists’ are ‘white’, the British daily, The Independent, insured its readers, the ‘terrorists’ have to be "’mercenary terrorists’ hired by al-Qaeda to carry out these attacks". Al-Qaeda is now the West’s label for everything Muslim.
What is al-Qaeda? Al-Qaida (the ‘Base’ in Arabic) was the CIA sponsored training camp for the Afghan Mujahideen, including Osama bin Laden and his fighters. The group was created and financed by the US administration against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. They were called "freedom fighters" by former US president Reagan. In fact after meeting a group of bearded Mujahideen in the White House, the former president said: "These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers". So, not long ago Mr Bin Laden and his men were the equivalent of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.
Al-Qaeda has become a convenient phantom to justify an ongoing war. The continuing existence of al-Qaeda is a very useful pretext for the Blair-Bush axis and allies. It provides the necessary tool to create fear and manipulate public opinion.
The 7/7 London bombing was next to impossible to conduct in the middle of high security without the intelligence and coordination of important people in Britain. Like the 9/11 attacks, the 7/7 London bombing remains a mystery, and the crimes against innocent people will provide Blair’s government with enough pretexts to:
(1) justify the introduction of unpopular new British identity card;
(2) implement intrusive surveillance and policing of Muslims and the Muslim community;
(3) introduce new draconian legislations that will curtail freedom, civil liberties, and limits dissent, such as protest;
(4) continue to support Bush’s war of terror against defenceless nations; and
(5) divert public attention from the "pre-emptive" terrorism and the war crimes committed against the Iraqi people.
Throughout the Cold War, which was a pretext for state of fear, Western secret agents and NATO collaborated in attacks against civilian targets, which they then blamed on left-wing groups in order to create panic and force the public to turn to governments for more security and protection. One of these right-wing groups, implicated in attacks on civilians, was code-name Gladio. The existence of this group only became known in Italy in the 1990s and the Italian Senate, amid public protests, had to close it down, because it 'was beyond democratic control'. In other words, the lies became too big to hide from the public. (Cited in 'Secret Warfare: Gladio', by Daniele Ganser). Criminals are not difficult to find to instil fear and panic in the population. (See Fear: A political tool)
It is not surprising that just before the 7/7 bombing, the pretexts for the war on Iraq and the Occupation have changed. In order to continue the Occupation of Iraq, and justify ongoing crimes against the Iraqi people, the Blair-Bush axis and their agents are fabricating new "packs of lies". Iraq is now the "focal point of terrorism" and "we have to stay the course", we are told. Nonetheless, the US aim remains the same: the colonisation of Iraq and the promotion of the US imperial agenda of dominating the world through control over energy resources.
War is not the way to fight terrorism. War is the most violent form of terrorism. Terrorism is not an ideology; it is a method of fear. It can only be fought through collaboration and exchange of intelligence between law-abiding nations. It should be borne in mind that terrorism is less of threat to human survival than war, mass hunger or disease, and it is much less difficult to deal with the root of terrorism.
If Blair, Bush and their allies are serious about removing the scourge of terrorism, they need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves one single question: Do people like to be occupied, killed, abused tortured and humiliated by foreign forces?
Western powers are too busy condemning the retail terrorism created by their own intelligence apparatus, while turning a blind eye to their own state terrorism. In fact this retail terrorism, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians is an integral part of their own terrorist agenda. The Blair-Bush axis should take an important lesson from the history of Iraq when Iraqis have shown fierce Resistance against foreign occupation and imperialism. The 1920 and 1958 revolts against the British are still marked with annual celebrations in Iraq.
The best that could happen to Iraqis, Brits and Americans is for the Blair-Bush axis to withdraw their forces from Iraq immediately, end this brutal Occupation and return Iraq to full sovereignty.
Contributing Editor Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Location: An Island off Eurasia
|Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:39 pm Post subject:
Britain: media defend state killing, police chief warns more to come
By Julie Hyland
27 July 2005
Jean Charles de Menezes, the 27-year-old Brazilian slain by police last week in a London subway carriage, was shot eight times at point blank range—seven times in the head and once in the neck.
This information was revealed at a coroners’ inquiry into de Menezes’ death, which opened and adjourned on Monday. The Financial Times reported one police source as stating de Menezes “was shot so many times he was beyond recognition.”
That the young electrician was the victim of an officially-sanctioned policy of state execution is beyond doubt. It is now known that two years ago, under the guise of the war against terror, police secretly adopted the shoot-to-kill policy carried out to such deadly effect in the capital last week.
Lord Stevens, who was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner at the time, said the policy was in line with the practices of security forces in Israel and Sri Lanka. Experience in these countries showed, Stevens said, “There is only one sure way to stop a suicide bomber determined to fulfill his mission: destroy his brain instantly, utterly.”
But de Menezes was not a suicide bomber, and police had no grounds to conclude that he was. When he left for work last Friday morning, the young man had no way of knowing plain clothes police were staking out the communal entrance to the block of flats where he lived. Nor could he know that during his half-hour journey to the Stockwell subway station he was being covertly followed by an armed police unit, dressed in civilian garb, because his clothing had aroused their “suspicions.”
De Menezes would only have become aware his life was threatened when, as he entered the subway, a group of heavily armed males suddenly began shouting and chasing him. Eyewitnesses to his shooting have said that the men did not identify themselves as police. Small wonder that the young worker looked like a “cornered rabbit” as he sought refuge in a train carriage. As he was wrestled to the ground and pinned down by at least two men, whilst another placed a gun to his temple, one can only imagine his final terrified thoughts.
De Menezes’ padded jacket, considered “inappropriate” for this time of year, was apparently all it took for police to “destroy his brain instantly.”
All the more chilling is Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair’s warning that more innocent people could be gunned down. “Somebody else could be shot,” he said, “but everything is done to make it right.”
Prime Minister Tony Blair defended the shooting, insisting that the “police are doing their job in very, very difficult circumstances, and I think it is important that we give them every support.”
De Menezes’ cold-blooded slaying has shocked millions who rightly sense that it marks the beginning of a dark and disturbing chapter in British history—one in which armed death squads can operate with impunity across the UK.
Their concerns find no echo in the British media, however, which has rushed to defend the new “realities” of modern-day policing.
Writing in Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper, night editor David Dinsmore opined that whilst sympathy for de Menezes’ family was understandable, “I feel sorry for the cop who pulled trigger.” Everyone makes “mistakes” in the course of their work, he continued, “but while most of us can walk away from our mistakes relatively unscathed, those [police officers] involved [in de Menezes’ shooting] can now expect to be charged, face losing their jobs and even going to jail.”
“It is exactly this kind of nonsense that cannot be allowed to happen,” Dinsmore continued. “Bin Laden must be rubbing his hands in glee as the liberal lawyers begin sharpening their pens ready to dash off the writs...Every politician in the country needs to have the conviction to get behind our policemen at this crucial time or we may as well surrender to the terrorists now.”
In truth, the officer involved in de Menezes’ death has not even been suspended pending further investigation, but simply moved to other duties, and an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is expected to take months to report. The IPCC has already stated that its investigation will not “start from the assumption” that any crime has been committed.
To date, most human rights organisations have remained silent. The civil rights organisation Liberty, for example, has said it will not “rush to judgement”—a courtesy that was tragically not afforded to de Menezes.
What Dinsmore is really arguing is that at no time and on no account should the state be held to account for de Menezes’ death, nor any other action taken in the name of the “war against terror.” Those who demand otherwise are giving in to the terrorists.
Contempt for civil liberties is not confined to the right-wing press. Writing in the Guardian on July 25, Peter Preston insisted, “Stockwell is not the place for a soapbox.”
Making mistakes was not a crime, he wrote regarding the police shooting. “Simple, inevitable fallibility” was a “basic law of the human condition.”
“Stuff happens,” he declared, implying that the state execution of an innocent man is no big deal. “We’re crazy to rush on to soapboxes when it does,” he added.
According to Preston, there can be no discussion of de Menezes’ death and its implications. Instead, people must accept such horrors as a fact of life and move on.
An editorial in the Independent expressed the desire that the police officers involved in the shooting not be “scapegoated.” Dismissing concerns that the young electrician’s death “showed that we now have a trigger-happy police force,” it argued, “All the evidence points in the opposite direction.” Eight bullets pumped into the head of an innocent man is not evidence enough for the Independent.
Whilst all the newspapers agreed there should be no questioning of the police, no such restrictions apply to the victim. Independent columnist Bruce Anderson was perhaps the most insistent in this regard.
“Anyone who behaves as Mr. de Menezes did can not have been keeping abreast of current affairs,” Anderson wrote. “His conduct invited the police to draw the conclusions which they did and to act as they did. He was the author of his own misfortune.”
According to Anderson, de Menezes was asking for it. He should have realized that the war on terror had granted police a license to target anyone with brown skin dressed in a warm coat.
Just when one thought Anderson had plumbed the depths of political depravity, there was the Guardian. In its leader of July 25, “Death of an Innocent Man,” the Guardian commented, “[T]he biggest mistake the police made was not the most obvious one of shooting the wrong man ...
“The biggest mistake was not to properly prepare the public for the sustained campaign of violence facing the country. Even when Mr. Menezes was thought to be a bomber, witnesses were shocked by the ferocity with which he was killed. More should have been done to prepare the public for the forceful response needed to protect them.”
In other words, revulsion at de Menezes’ murder showed that the public had not been sufficiently “bloodied” beforehand to accept extra-judicial executions, and more efforts needed to be made towards this end.
Whatever the particulars surrounding de Menezes’ shooting, his death is being used retroactively precisely to condition public opinion to accept the militarisation and brutalisation of daily life.
No other conclusion can be drawn from the fact that the government and the security forces have surreptitiously remodeled law-and-order policies along the lines of Israel and Sri Lanka—two countries whose ruling elites have prosecuted a savage, decades-long civil war against Palestinians and Tamils respectively.
This points to another reality of Blair’s Britain: the huge social polarization that now exists. In recent decades, successive governments have carried out policies aimed at benefiting a tiny privileged elite at the expense of the broad mass of working people.
In Britain, private capital has been given the go-ahead to loot the vital resources—health, education, housing—on which millions depend. Social benefits have been all but eradicated and wage rates slashed to amongst the lowest in Western Europe. Social inequality is now the greatest on record as a consequence.
This has been accompanied by a turn to imperialist war and neo-colonialism. From the Balkans, to Africa, to the Middle East, Britain’s ruling class seek once again to subjugate the former colonies, so as to more effectively exploit their peoples and resources.
The Guardian and the Independent speak for a narrow segment of the upper-middle-class that has materially benefited from these policies and is reconciled to their consequences.
Nothing progressive can be expected from such quarters. Opposition to the creeping imposition of a police state depends on the active and independent intervention of working people and all those committed to the defence of democratic rights, through the organisation of protests, demonstrations and meetings to demand an end to state terror and the holding to account of all those responsible for preparing and commissioning the policy that led to de Menezes’ shooting.
World Socialist Web Site
Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Location: An Island off Eurasia
|Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 3:08 am Post subject: Understanding the Politics of Fear
Fear: A political tool
By Ghali Hassan
Online Journal Contributing Writer
May 3, 2005—The rise of the politics of fear has become central to the US imperial agenda. In order to sell its "war on terror" and the war on Iraq, the Bush administration turned to fear to manipulate the public.
Just before the war on Iraq, US and British politicians played on people's fear of an imagined enemy and fabricated an "imminent threat" to justify a war of aggression against a defenceless nation. Fear is the instrument of those in power to manufacture consent in order to imperil civil liberties and pursue rejected policy.
The September 11 (9/11) attacks on the US were an "opportunity" used to cultivate fear and advance US imperial agenda. "The White House carefully manipulated public opinion, never quite lied, but gave the very strong impression that Iraq did it," Richard Clarke, Bush administration's counter-terrorism expert told CBS 60 minutes on March 21, 2004. A false 'link' was established between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks and used wickedly to play on people's fear.
Just before the US war on Iraq, a "code orange" alert was declared in the US. Anti-aircraft batteries were deployed in Washington, while New York streets were patrolled by patrols with automatic weapons. In Britain, tanks and armed troops were deployed at London Heathrow Airport. The pretext at the time was, 'a response to perceived increase in terrorist attacks,' a fantasy, which proved to be the first lie in the war on Iraq. The obvious reasons were: To prepare the public to support an act of aggression against already demonised and defenceless nation, to warn the mass media to follow the government war policy, and to provide pretexts for governments to pass legislations expanding powers of law enforcement agencies.
The 2001 USA PATRIOT Act in the US and similar offshoots in many countries (e.g. anti-terrorism acts in Canada and Australia) were created on fabricated allegations and enacted against dissident voices and minorities. Essentially, people were forced to trade their freedom and civil liberties for protection from an imaginary enemy. However, this is not entirely true. There is exception: "Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, and immigrants who are Arab or Muslim, they have borne the brunt of reduced freedom, reduced rights," said Professor Corey Robin of City University of New York. Thousands of innocent people have been detained, interrogated and deported. Hundreds of people have been arrested, tortured and illegally imprisoned without charges, and denied their right to fair trails. "Most American citizens who are white middle-class are not experiencing that at all," added Professor Corey Robin.
Fear played an important role during the US election campaign. The Bush administration uses fear to frighten the population into total obedience and to maintain political power. In fact, the public is manipulated to accept just anything. The victims of this fear mongering are the "others." A survey conducted by Cornell University found that nearly half of the Americans who responded to the survey say the US should 'restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans.' In the recent Australian election, the situation was not much different from that in the US.
Once politicians have frightened the population, they present themselves as saviours, and strip people of their freedoms, of their dignity, and of their human rights. The detentions of innocent civilians are justified on the basis that an imminent threat exists, and as a warning to others that dissent is not tolerated. Anyone can be arrested and put in jail on the pretext to 'save the people.'
The fabricated threat of terrorism "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and international media," argued Adam Curtis, Britain's leading documentary filmmaker.
Throughout the Cold War, which was a pretext for state of fear, Western secret agents and NATO collaborated in attacks against civilian targets, which were blamed on left-wing groups in order to create panic and force the public to turn to governments for more security and protection. One of these right-wing groups, implicated in attacks on civilians, was code-named Gladio. Only in 1990s, did the existence of this group become known in Italy and the Italian Senate, amid public protests, had to close it down, because it 'was beyond democratic control.' In other words, the lies became too big to hide from the public. (Cited in 'Secret Warfare: Gladio' by Daniele Ganser).
Lie after lie has been fabricated and promoted by warmongers and deceptive mainstream media outlets in order to convince the public that their fear is linked to a threat posed by Iraq. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, most American citizens bought the lies of the Bush administration and not only succumbed to the restriction on their civil liberties, but also supported a criminal war against the people of Iraq.
The continuous demonisation of the Iraqi people serves to prop up domestic support for imperial policy and occupation. Iraq is portrayed in Western mainstream media as a violent sectarian war zone, as if it is not the Occupation that encourages the violence and preys on sectarian divides. In his 25 years ruiling Iraq, Saddam killed and imprisoned far fewer people than Tony Blair or George Bush. An entire nation and a civilised society have been destroyed and decimated by a small group of white extremist ideologues, with disregard of humanity and civilisation.
The war on Iraq is also used as an instrument of fear to bully other nations into submission to the US imperialist agenda. Both, the US and the British governments have publicly stated that the war on Iraq was "a lesson" to other defenceless nations. In other words, we are violent and we will use violence to get what we want.
"Such is the viciousness that lies behind the façade of the British [and US] foreign policy," writes Mark Curtis, Director of the World Development Movement. Sadly, people in the West accepted the violence of their own governments with almost no resistance to the crimes committed in their name.
From March 2003 to October 2004, US forces have killed more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians, most of them innocent women and children, reported the reputable British medical journal, The Lancet. The only credible scientific study published so far. The estimate is very conservative in that it excluded the high civilians death in Fallujah, which was considered too high to include in the final analysis. The US forces self-immunity from prosecution makes it easier for them to kill Iraqis with institutionalised impunity, as if Iraqis were not human beings.
Fallujah was fire bombed and destroyed by US forces. In violation of International Law and the Geneva Conventions, US forces used a modern form of napalm bombs (MK-77 Mod 5), which ignite on impact, to attack the civilian population there. According to the Red Cross, more than 6,000 innocent civilians (men, women and children) have been killed, and the rest of the people are now displaced refugees. A war crime termed "collective punishment," designed to instil fear in the Iraqi population, passed with complete silence in Western capitals.
"American behaviour and self-perceptions reveal the ease with which a civilized country [US] can engage in large-scale killing of innocent civilians without public discussion," wrote Jeffery Sachs, Professor of Economics and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
It is a moral failure that the crimes against the Iraqi people continue to pass with complete silence in most Western countries, as if the Iraqi people are "unpeople." The detention in Indonesia of an Anglo-Australian women accused of trafficking in drugs has attracted far more attention and media hype than any newsworthy story in the last few months. The daily mass murder of innocent Iraqi men, women and children, as young as five, is not newsworthy enough to be covered in Australia's "free press." Consequently, the fear of drugs was completely removed and the media concentrated on marketing the cliché of fear of the "others," the Indonesians.
Thomas Friedman, the New York Times' most conspicuous warmonger, is telling Americans to be extra nervous now because the Iraqi people's Resistance might try to attack America if they are losing in Iraq. Friedman's fascist theory is: "The more the Jihadists lose in Iraq, the more likely they are to use their rump forces to try something really crazy in America to make up for it."
He added, "So let's stay the course in Iraq, but stay extra-vigilant at home." Friedman calls the Iraqi Resistance "Jihadists," an American-created reductive word originated from the Arabic word that means 'to struggle.' It could be struggle peacefully against injustice or strife for spirituality, education and freedom.
This kind of fear mongering is promoted and directed at American citizens to support their government's ongoing atrocities against the Iraqi people, and Muslims in general. Friedman has no compassion and no demonstrable awareness of human suffering. The US's brutal occupation of Iraq, or Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine, does not deter him for a moment. His theory is not only criminal, but it is also misleading the (American) public and promoting fear of an imaginary enemy.
An imaginary enemy has to be constructed in order to manipulate the population into supporting ongoing acts of aggression. From the making of Osama bin Laden to the CIA "favourite terrorists" and warlords in Afghanistan, bogeymen and 'phantom terrorists' are created to provide pretext for fear. They remain more useful alive than dead. The phantom of "Al-Zarqawi" is a CIA-created legend designed to divide Iraqi religious and political factions and justify a prolonged occupation. The myth is promoted in Western mainstream media on daily basis. Iraqi sources suggest that most terrorist acts attributed to Al-Zarqawi were actually carried out by secret US and Israeli agents.
US intelligence agents in Iraq have admitted that they are paying people off to make up stories about Al-Zarqawi to create sectarian divisions among the Iraqis: "We were basically paying up to $US10,000 (A$13,000) a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction and supposition about the fundamentalist anti-Shiite Al-Zarqawi as cast-iron fact, making him out as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq," one agent said: "Back home this stuff was gratefully received and formed the basis of policy decisions. We needed a villain, someone identifiable for the public to latch on to, and we got one," reported Adrian Blomfield of The Age of Melbourne on 02 October 2004.
There is a conscious effort by the US Occupation forces and the mainstream media to distort the image of the Iraqi Resistance and reduce its members to merely "foreign fundamentalists"—as if the US forces and western mercenaries are not the real foreigners. Fundamentalists are also easier to demonise than nationalists and resistance movements, which struggle for legitimate cause. There is no evidence to suggest that Al-Zarqawi exists, and much of the information was from unreliable sources. The promotion of the Al-Zarqawi myth was very high before and during the criminal US bombings of the city of Fallujah.
As a result of US war and Occupation, fear is widespread in Iraq today, particularly among women and children who continue to be humiliated and abused in violent house-to-house searches being conducted by US forces. The ceaseless aerial bombings of Iraq since 1991 war have traumatized and installed fear among Iraqi women and children.
The Iraqi people posed no threat to the United States or any other countries. It is the US, which occupies Iraq, imprisoned, tortured, and killed thousands (Iraqi men, women and children), seized Iraq's assets and oil resources, imposed illegitimate elections and continues to threat the lives of the Iraqi people.
The fabricated threat of terrorism "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and international media," added Adam Curtis. Fear is a political means and like war must be rejected by any civilised society. The idea of hegemony or domination by one power is the construction of permanent fear on the rest of the planet.
The US doctrine of hegemony has failed in Iraq. The majority of the world despises the US militaristic power. The world is more dangerous today because of the threat of terrorism promoted by US policy. Had it not been for the Iraqi Resistance against US war and Occupation, Syria and Iran would have been attacked by now. The Iraqi Resistance has also thwarted and discredited the US militaristic hegemonic agenda.
The fictional fear in the West is serving the ideology and interests of those who committed a murderous war of aggression against the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people have a legitimate right to defend their country and resist foreign occupation. Their actions of self-defence are legal within international law. What is to be feared is those who committed this murderous war of aggression will escape justice, and perhaps live to commit more crimes.
Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia. He can be reached at G.Hassan@exchange.curtin.edu.au.
Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Location: An Island off Eurasia
|Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:11 pm Post subject: WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR
|WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR
by Mary Pitt
.....but fear itself" In this time of trying constantly to "rightly separate the word of Truth", we must cling tightly to these wise words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We are so bombarded with threats, real and imagined, by our own government as they urge us to mistrust our neighbors, to suspect any person who looks different, and to wrap ourselves in sheet plastic and duct tape, that we are prone to be reluctant to ask, "Why?" This is abetted by the mainstream media and the polling firms with their question, "Is America safer than it was before"..... nine-eleven or the Iraq invasion or the invasion of Iraq?
We are supposed to search our fear levels now against our fears then in order to determine whether the Bush policies have been right or wrong or whether he was such a good choice in the first place. Our answer is going to, somehow, govern the path of the nation in the future? Nonsense! The Bush administration does not care a damn what you, or I, or anybody, think or feel about anything. Their agenda was set from Day One and, regardless of intervening events, they steadfastly refuse to deviate from it. I can only imagine how they must chuckle over the polls that show the President's popularity ratings to be in the dumpster or that the people think the Iraq war was a mistake. They know that there is nothing that we can do to change their course short of the evolution of the Religious Right into thinking individuals and the conversion of the major corporations to a policy of working for the public good rather than for profits. They have the power, they know it, and they intend to use it!
A better polling question would be, "What do you fear most?" Options could be: loss of freedom, loss of privacy, loss of voting rights, etc,. etc. A very small fear which inflicts those of us who write on progressive websites is the spectre of jackboots coming to our door. We tell ourselves that the chances of such a happening are remote, but haven't we all read about "Big Brother"? With the passage of the dread Patriot Act, we learned how easily our privacy could be invaded to the point where all our other rights could be cancelled by the accusation of "un-Americanism" or "givng aid and comfort to the enemy". The thought police came out in full force, cutting off any public questioning of military policies, foreign and domestic.
So we sat passively by while the rich got their juicy tax cuts and the factories that provided the life-sustaining jobs moved to other shores where people could be found who were sufficiently desperate to work for nothing and the few jobs that were available were either mnd-numbing slave labor or were already taken by illegal immigrants accustomed to living from hand to mouth. We watched the numbers mount on the casualty list of our American soldiers, and comsoled ourselves that they were there for a "noble purpose". We saw our Congress, the representatives of the people as they held midnight votes on controversial measures with extended time limits so that Congressmen could be extorted on the floor of the House to chnge their votes to the "right" position.
But fear is like grief, the mind tires of it. Just as Cindy Sheehan's mind tired of her grief and converted it to anger at the meaningless death of her beloved son, our minds are tiring of the fear. We can now see that the entire premise of the Iraq war and, just possibly, even the attack on the World Trade Center were staged in order to fill us with horror so that we could be better maneuvered into a position of support for allowing the ruling party to take total control of our country and, thus, of our personal lives. As the bodies pile up in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are beginning to ask, "WHY?" and the lack of believable answer is only ringing silence.
While the slow awakening of the "herd" is progressing, so does the fear that the President feels of the American people. From day one, the President has appeared in public only under tightly controlled conditions, while the Vice-President is rarely seen, other than at gatherings of corpotate moguls. Even the prospect of meeting a defenseless woman who wants only answers to the reasons for the death of her son drive him behind gates and Secret Service personnel for protection. As his "front men" fall into disrepute for vindictive and illegal behavior, the security for the President increases. He appears before groups of military people who are well-controlled or before vetted influential party members in order to mouth his messages of fear which is meant to immobilize opposition.
One can hardly contemplate the current situation without recalling the stories of President Abraham Lincoln and the fact that his office was opened to personal visits from the mothers and wives of those who had fought and died in that Great War Between the States, the Civil War, on both sides! If that President could meet private consolation and prayer with those women, why does the President of today so fear this one woman? She could be escorted down the road to the Ranch House under the watchful eye of the Secret Service, frisked for hidden weapons under those baggy shorts, and her every word monitored. Let her ask her questions and give her real answers. Let us all ask our questions and give US reasonable answers! We are a free people and you are our employee!
No, Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea, it is not the American people who are afraid of un-named and unseen "terr'ists". It is the President who is afraid, and afraid most of all of the very people whom he is sworn to serve and to protect. Go about your business. It is not our fear, for many of us have already awakened from it and others are beginning to stir. The most frightened person in our nation today is the one who resides at the White House.
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who operates a small business caring and advocating for the handicapped and the under-privileged. Questions and comment may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Location: An Island off Eurasia
|Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:08 pm Post subject: INSIDE INDONESIA'S WAR ON TERROR
|Inside Indonesia's War on Terror
SBS DATELINE Archives - We bring to the attention of our readers the transcript of an SBS Australia program.
The controversial report which includes extracts from an interview with the former President of Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid, points to the involvement of the Indonesian Military Intelligence and Police in the 2002 Bali bombing.
We also refer our readers to a report first published in early 2003, which focusses on the ties between Indonesian Military Intelligence (BIN) and Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which is alleged to have masterminded both the October 2002 and October 2005 Bali bombings.
The Transcript of this program has been removed from the archives of the SBS, Australia's Special Broadcasting Services.
FPF: it says: ''Inside Indonesia's War on Terror'' - This transcript is currently unavailable." - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/7c5br
BUT YOU CAN READ THE WHOLE TRANSCRIPT - AND IT'S A SHOCKER - HERE TOO - URL.: HTTP://TINYURL.COM/8O7K3
Urgent Notice To Our Australian Friends <http://www.rense.com/general68/urgentnotice.htm> - 10-15-5
Rense.com has been informed that last week's paradigm shattering, SBS-TV 'Dateline' program 'Inside Indonesia's War on Terror' will be repeated next Monday at 1:00 pm. See - Url.: http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/index.php?page=archive&daysum=2005-10- 12
In this Documentary, which is described as the world's most explosive expose of International Intelligence Agencies ops and cover-ups, the former President of Indonesia (who Australians describe as the only honest high-level Indonesian politician), disclosed that the Indonesian police or military are behind the Bali bombings.
Also in this program, Indonesian journalists and researchers state, unequivocally, that 'Moslem terrorists organizations' DO NOT EXIST as portrayed by the government - that they are created and coordinated to act by military-connected provocateurs.
They further claim that the Indonesian military is totally corrupt and that Generals and politicians are pocketing vast hordes of money they receive to 'fight terrorism' - 'terrorism' which, in fact, they are creating themselves.
After you view this documentary you will never see the world the same. The fake, contrived 'war against terrorism' in Indonesia has beed exposed, completely. Imagine how many other governments around the world are also invovled in fraudulent 'wars against terror' which provide their top political and military 'leadership' with billions to siphon off for personal gain.
See more at: http://www.rense.com/general68/NOTER.HTM
Bali bombing details: http://www.vialls.com/nuke/bali_micro_nuke.htm
FOREIGN PRESS FOUNDATION
Editor : Henk Ruyssenaars
Inside Indonesia's War on Terror
October 14, 2005
SBS DATELINE - 2005-10-12
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SBS DATELINE Archives - October 12, 2005
We bring to the attention of our readers the transcript of an SBS Australia program,
The controversial report which includes extracts from an interview with the former President of Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid, points to the involvement of the Indonesian Military Intelligence and Police in the 2002 Bali bombing.
We also refer our readers to a report first published in early 2003, which focusses on the ties between Indonesian Military Intelligence (BIN) and Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which is alleged to have masterminded both the October 2002 and October 2005 Bali bombings.
The Transcript of this program has been removed from the archives of the SBS, Australia's Special Broadcasting Services.
Inside Indonesia's War on Terror Today - as you would almost certainly know - is the third anniversary of the first Bali bombing and our major report tonight provides an alarming twist to the ongoing terror campaign being waged in Indonesia. David O'Shea, a long-time "Indonesia-watcher", reports that where terrorism is concerned in that country - with its culture of corruption within the military, the police, the intelligence services and politics itself - all is never quite what it seems. REPORTER: David O’Shea
When the second Bali bomb exploded, Australia once again found itself on the front line in the war on terror. But for Indonesians, this was simply the latest in a long line of atrocities. They have born the brunt of hundreds of attacks over the years, most of them unreported in the West. Once again Australia and Indonesia joined forces in the hunt for the Bali killers.
SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO, INDONEASIAN PREIDENT: We are determined to continuously fight terrorism in Indonesia with an effective global, regional and international cooperation.
JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Tragic incidents such as this so far from driving apart the people of Australia and Indonesia would only bring us closer together.
This show of unity is impressive and it plays well to Australian audiences but many Indonesians don't see it that way.
JOHN MEMPI, SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST (Translation): Why this endless violence? Why are there acts of terrorism year in, year out? Regimes change, governments change, but violence continues. Why? Because there is a sort of shadow state in this country. A state within a state ruling this country.
For seven years I've reported from every corner of this vast nation and seen first hand the havoc that terrorists wreak. Tonight I want to tell you a very different story about Indonesia's war on terror. It contains many disturbing allegations even from a former president.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID, FORMER INDONESIAN PRESIDENT: The Australians if they get the truth, I think it's a grave mistake.
REPORTER: What do you mean?
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Yeah, who knows that the owners to do this, to do that -- orders to do this, to do that came from within our own forces, not from the culprits, from the fundamentalist people.
(1) TERRORISM - THE CASH COW:
Indonesia's police are doing very nicely, thank you very much, out of the war on terror. They now have all the latest equipment, courtesy of the millions of dollars pouring in from the West. The money ensures the world's most populous Muslim nation remains on side in the fight against terrorism. Mastering all of this new technology represents a steep learning curve for the Indonesian police. Unfortunately today they forget to set up the X-ray machine properly.
POLICE (Translation): Is the film in?
POLICE 2 (Translation): I haven't put it in yet.
Luckily there's an old print lying around from a previous exercise. Because of the war on terror, American and Australian support for the Indonesian police has never been stronger. During Dai Bachtiar's 5-year reign as police chief, Indonesia endured countless act of terror including three major ones - in Bali, then the Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. These massive blasts might have forced the resignation of any other senior official but Dai Bachtiar managed to survive with the backing of powerful friends at home and abroad.
POLICE CHIEF (Translation): I met Paul Wolfowitz.
In Indonesia's parliament earlier this year, I found the police chief boasting about how he gets the star treatment when he visits Washington.
POLICE CHIEF (Translation): I went to Washington, to the White Hosue, to the West Wing. I spoke to Colin Powell in his office. I went to the Pentagon, I met the director of the CIA, the director of the FBI, I met them all.
Indonesia's police are in charge of the war on terror. Years of human rights abuse by the Indonesian military, or TNI, mean it's now out of favour in Washington, but it seems the police can do no wrong.
POLICE CHIEF (Translation): I asked Powell. "You say the TNI has to reform, don't the police have to as well?" Building trust takes time.
Many Indonesians would find the idea of trusting the police laughable. It has long been regarded as one of the most corrupt and incompetent institutions in the country. Former president, Abdurrahman Wahid sums up what many people here belief.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: All of them are liars.
REPORTER: Just to be clear, you have your doubts about the police ability to investigate properly all of this?
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Oh, yes.
But none of this seems to worry Indonesia's allies in the war on terror.
POLICE (Translation): Have you just got back?
DAI-BACHTIAR, POLICE CHIEF (Translation): I see this man a lot.
POLICE (Translation): Were you in America? Did you get any more money?
DAI-BACHTIAR (Translation): 10 million. We get big bucks. We got 50 million all up. Sure. They keep asking about 88.
That's Detachment 88, the police counter-terror unit which receives a great deal of the international aid, including substantial assistance from Australia. Like the military, Detachment 88 is controversial. Its members stand accused of repeatedly using torture in interrogation of suspects. But these allegations don't seem to even raise an eyebrow.
DAI-BACHTIAR (Translation): The Secretary-General of Interpol came to visit Aceh. I met him. He said our police were dealing with terrorism in a professional manner. 500 million euros. For the police. Long term. So far I've received directly 500 from Denmark. They gave 5, but 500 all up. The Dutch gave 2.
The money is flowing like water but outside the chamber, unrelated to the anti-terror funding, is a scene that should make donors think twice. A man from the Religious Affairs Commission sitting next door counts cash to be distributed amongst voting politicians. Call it corruption or even the trickle down effect, but it's this kind of informal funds distribution which keeps the wheels turning in the Indonesian economy.
DAI-BACHTIAR (Translation): Well now, for example, the other day I got 2 million from Holland... From America... it was 50. Is it 50 already? You know how much the army got? 600. Then they had to get involved.
With all the cash flowing about, some politicians want to stay as close as possible to Dai Bachtiar.
POLITICIAN (Translation): Isn't our police chief great? That's obvious.
With the cash cow growing fatter by the day, some analysts even suggest the police now have too much to gain from the war on terror.
JOHN MEMPI (Translation): But why is there always this worry about bombings? This subservience to foreigners, this paranoia about bombs. You must help us with money, with equipment and training, so that we can do something. We need funds to combat these terrorists. And to convince the foreigners bombings do happen. Indeed there are acts of terrorism in Indonesia but done by "terrorists" in inverted commas.
(2) A TERRORIST ON THE PAYROLL:
To most Australians terrorism in Indonesia means Jemaah Islamiah. Abu Bakar Bashir, Dr Azahari and Noordin Mohammed Top have become household names and we're led to believe they're the masterminds behind every atrocity. But there's another side to the JI story that Australia hasn't heard and it's part of the extraordinary family history of this man.
LAMKARUNA PUTRA (Translation): This is Tengku Fauzi Hasbi after he was released. He returned to working and supporting his family.
Lamkaruna Putra's father was an Acehnese separatist leader descended from a long line of Acehnese fighters. He went on to become a key figure in Jemaah Islamiah. Fauzi Hasbi who used the alias Abu Jihad was in contact with Osama bin Laden's deputy. He lived for many years in the house next door to Abu Bakar Bashir in Malaysia and was very close to JI operations chief Hambali. Umar Abduh is an Islamist convicted of terrorism and jailed for 10 years under the Suharto regime. He belonged to a group that attacked police stations and hijacked a Garuda flight to Bangkok. He remembers Fauzi Hasbi as a hardliner who traded arms was willing to commit acts of violence.
UMAR ABDUH (Translation): Fauzi Hasbi is known in the Islamic movement as someone who, from the beginning, has supported the Jihad as the struggle of the Muslim people, aside from his background in the Free Ache Movement.
Fauzi Hasbi was so relaxed amongst the militants, and they with him, that he even took his son to a critical meeting in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000 as JI was preparing for its violent campaign. The attendance list was a who's who of accused terrorists.
LAMKARUNA PUTRA (Translation): There was someone from MILF in Mindanao, his name was Ustad Abu Rela, commander of the Abu Sayyaf. Ustad Abdul Fatah from Patani was there. People from Sulawesi and West Java came to the meeting. The organisation was managed by Hambali. Rabitah means organisation. It linked Islamic organisations.
REPORTER (Translation): So Hambali was chairman?
LAMKARUNA PUTRA (Translation): Yes, Hambali chaired it.
Hambali and co would have known their colleague Fauzi Hasbi had been captured in 1978 by this Indonesian military special forces unit but they wouldn't have known that he became a secret agent for Indonesian military intelligence. The commanding officer that caught him was Syafrie Syamsuddin, now a general and one of Indonesia's key military intelligence figures. These documents obtained by Dateline prove beyond doubt that Fauzi Hasbi had a long association with the military. This 1990 document, signed by the chief of military intelligence in North Sumatra, authorised Fauzi Hasbi to undertake a special job. And this 1995 internal memo from military intelligence HQ in Jakarta was a request to use brother Fauzi Hasbi to spy on Acehnese separatist, not only in Indonesia but in Malaysia and Sweden. And then this document, from only three years ago, assigned him the job of special agent for BIN, the national intelligence agency. Security analyst John Mempi says Fauzi Hasbi alias Abu Jihad played a crucial role within JI in its early years.
JOHN MEMPI (Translation): The first Jemaah Islamiyah congress in Bogor was facilitated by Abu Jihad, after Abu Bakar Bashir returned from Malaysia. We can see that Abu Jihad played an important role, he was later found to be an intelligence agent. So an intelligence agent has been facilitating the radical Islamic movement.
The extraordinary story of Fauzi Hasbi raises many important questions about JI and the Indonesian authorities. Why didn't they smash the terror group in its infancy? Do they still have agents in the organisation? And what information, if any, have they had in advance about the recent deadly spate of terror attacks? The Indonesian intelligence chief refused Dateline's request for an interview and dead men tell no tales. The man who held all the secrets, Abu Jihad was disembowelled in a mysterious murder in early 2003, just after he was exposed as a military agent. His son, Lamkaruna Putra died in this plane crash last month.
(3) PROMOTING TERRORISM:
Fauzi Hasbi's death led to a flurry of speculation about shadowy intelligence links to Indonesia's terror networks.
UMAR ABDUH (Translation): So there is not a single Islamic group, either in the movement or the political groups that is not controlled by Intel. Everyone does what they say.
Umar Abduh says his terrorist group was incited to violence after infiltrators showed a letter saying Muslim clerics would be assassinated.
UMAR ABDUH (Translation): There is a document stating that the Muslim leaders would be executed, we as a younger generation were immediately angered. Damn it, this is not right, we have to kill all those Cabinet members and military leaders, that was our plan.
And he's not the only one who says he was used by intelligence agents. Another convicted terrorist is Timsar Zubil who exploded three bombs in Sumatra in 1978. Although no-one was killed, he paid a heavy price.
TIMSAR ZUBIL (Translation): At first I was sentenced to death, it was changed to a life sentence, I served 22years.
Zubil now believes he was set up by former president Suharto's intelligence agency.
TIMSAR ZUBIL (Translation): We may have deliberately been allowed to grow in such a way, that we young people who were very emotional, were provoked into committing illegal acts.
REPORTER (Translation): Who let this happen?
TIMSAR ZUBIL (Translation): The ones who had the authority to ban us, in this case the ones in power, the Suharto regime. I have only started thinking of this recently, but at the time I was active, I didn’t think it through.
After Zubil was captured, beaten and tortured, something remarkable occurred. The authorities made up a provocative name for his group - Komando Jihad.
TIMSAR ZUBIL (Translation): It hadn’t occurred to us to use that name, but they told us that was to be the name of our organisation. We had no plans to use the name Komando Jihad. They told us to just accept it for the time being and if we wanted to deny it later in court, that was up to us. But it made no difference to the court, they insisted that the name was indeed ours.
(4) STATE SPONSORED TERROR:
Indonesia's recent history of terrorist attacks began with a deadly campaign that unfolded on Christmas Eve 2000. Bombs exploded almost simultaneously at 18 sites, mostly churches, across six provinces, 19 people died and 120 were injured. Jemaah Islamiah took the blame. It was the first real mention of the group in Australia. But Indonesians had another theory - they suspected the military, the only organisation with the capacity to pull off an operation of this scale, a full two years before the first Bali bomb. The respected news magazine Tempo even splashed the allegation on its front cover as part of a special investigation. The most revealing information in the report related to the bomber's network operating in Medan, North Sumatra. The man convicted of making the bombs in Medan is somewhere behind these prison walls. Our repeated requests to interview Edi Sugiarto over many months have been ignored by the Indonesian authorities. Guilty or not, reputable sources claim he was so severely tortured before his trial he would have admitted to anything. But it's clear he wasn't acting alone. The Tempo investigation included telephone records revealing sensational information of direct links between the bombers and military intelligence. The records also show that Fauzi Hasbi, the military intelligence agent in Jemaah Islamiah who we mentioned earlier, was at the centre of the plot. He had spoken to Edi Sugiarto, the bomb maker, seven times and had also called a businessman well connected with the military 35 times. That businessman in turn rang a Kopassus special forces intelligence officer 15 times and the officer had called the businessman 56 times. With Edi Sugiarto in jail, all further investigation ceased and five years on, sources in Medan are too afraid to talk. The trail has gone stone cold.
(5) TERROR IN TENTENA:
George Aditjondro is an early riser. As Indonesia's leading researcher into corruption in high places there never seem to be enough hours in the day. For two years he's been investigating a terror campaign in Poso, Central Sulawesi. His research reveals that terror in Indonesia is much more complex than we are led to believe.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: There is a mafia, a corruption mafia in Poso who were defending the interests of themselves because if the corruption leaked, the corruption mafia could be exposed, that means the end of their career and also the end of their additional income.
Aditjondro says this corrupt network of local government officials, police and others is using terror to protect a local racquet in Central Sulawesi.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: Between corruption and terror, there is a very close link because those who were carrying out the terror were paid with corruption money.
Central Sulawesi had just emerged from years of conflict before the latest outrage on May 28 this year. In the predominantly Christian town of Tentena, 60km to the south of Poso, two bombs left 23 people dead. A blast that claimed more victims than the second Bali attack, but received scant coverage outside Indonesia. The first foreign journalist to arrive on the scene, without any evidence at all reported Jemaah Islamiah was to blame for the attack and then promptly flew back to Jakarta. Like the latest Bali bombs, the two bombs that exploded here were full of shrapnel, designed to kill and maim. The first one went off at 8.05 in the morning when the market is busiest.
WOMAN (Translation): This is a thoroughfare, people are always passing, people who want to go there pass here.
This woman is one of thousands of Christian refugees who found sanctuary in Tentena during sectarian violence that cost hundreds of lives in recent years.
WOMAN (Translation): I’m still traumatised. We were chased out of our villages and came here, but it is not safe here either.
A second bomb blew 10 minutes later around 200m away on the other side of the market. Reverend Rinaldy Damanik says it was placed and timed to cause maximum casualties.
REVEREND RINALDY DAMANIK (Translation): The bits of metal in the bomb flew as far as that church. What’s really going on? They showed they can do it under the police’s noses. That’s the police station, imagine this happening in front of the police station.
Reverend Damanik is a powerful figure in this Christian stronghold. For years he defended his community as Islamic fighters swarmed in to wage jihad. I first met him at Christmas in 2001 after villages all around Tentena were razed. He was convinced the army was behind the violence and had even left a calling card.
REVEREND RINALDY DAMANIK (Translation): This is an ammunition box that we found at the time of the attacks in Sepe. It is clearly labelled, Department of Defence, Republic of Indonesia. 1400 pieces of 5.56mm calibre munitions. This means it was meant for M-16s.
George Aditjondro says that in every Indonesian hotspot, the army foments trouble by funding and arming both sides. In the case of Central Sulawesi, both Muslim and Christian militia.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: So the money do not have to come from rich people like Osama bin Laden and the weapons doesn't have to come from southern Philippines or from other exotic places but is actually coming from the official sources and that is why I am saying that the kind of terrorism which we see in Indonesia is home grown terrorism. It's a kind of duel function or triple function of the armed forces.
The late reverand Agustina Lumentut told me in 2001 that the Indonesian military was using proxy armies to do their dirty work.
THE LATE REVEREND AGUSTINA LUMENTUT: It is for sure, for sure that the army is behind the jihad, or in front of jihad, yeah. No other interpretation.
It was proved beyond all doubt that one of the extremist groups, the Laskar Jihad, was supplied, transported and incited by the central government to go on its murderous spree.
THE LATE REVEREND AGUSTINA LUMENTUT: Who dare among them to say "Stop going that." Because they have reason for doing that, they are registered officially by the government, the central government.
Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is applauded in Australia as a moderate Muslim leading the fight against terror in Indonesia. But as the influential coordinating minister for politics and security, he chose not to stop the Laskar Jihad and was even supporting them.
SUSILO BAMBANG YUDOYONO: They also play a role in defending truth and justice that is expected by Muslims in Indonesia. For me, as far as what they are doing is legal and not violating law, then this is OK. This was a ridiculous statement.
Yudhoyono was well aware of the carnage that was under way. Since 2001 things had improved somewhat, as Reverend Damanik tells these politicians from Jakarta visiting after the May 28 bombs. But local leaders are afraid terrorism is being used to derail reconciliation between Muslims and Christians.
REVEREND RINALDY DAMANIK (Translation): The wounds are very deep but they can be endured. But the question is, what is happening to this country? People can’t work because they’re always on their guard, what can we achieve when we’re like that? What’s happening to our country? We need to think about this, but it’s hard to answer right now.
With weapons handed in and a peace deal holding up well, Reverend Damanik's former sworn enemy is also very suspicious about the times of the bomb in May. Muslim leader Adnan Arsan wonders whether the attack was designed to prevent the army from leaving.
ADNAN ARSAN (Translation): Just when a security unit’s work is over and someone says “We’re going home and I hope there’s no more trouble…”Just as they are being recalled there’s another explosion and more killing.
In the days following the blast, all the big names in Indonesian security and intelligence descend on the area. Central Sulawesi police commander Arianto Sutardi tells me the investigation is going well.
REPORTER (Translation): Sir, have you any idea who the perpetrators are?
ARIANTO SUTARDI, POLICE COMMANDER (Translation): We’ve arrested some already and we’re pursuing others.
Then national police chief Dai Bachtiar, the man receiving all the foreign cash arrives to assert his authority. After less than one hour on the ground, he's made his assessment.
DAI-BACHTIAR (Translation): We all hope… incidents like this are criminal acts, we need to expose the perpetrators and put them on trial. People entrust this task to the security forces.
Considering the evidence of corruption here and the police chief's record of enforcing justice, that's unlikely. George Aditjondro's research has uncovered a scam involving local police who have looted up to $2 million for the resettlement of refugees.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: You can see a cabal involving both the district head, the acting district head at the time, certain police agents, certain people within the department of social affairs and their friends. They were carrying out both the corruption as well as using the corruption money to pay the terrorists. So you can see we are talking about home grown terrorism paid by home grown corruption.
He says the May 28 Tentena blasts were an attempt to stop honest police uncovering more about their scam.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: You can say that the bombing can be seen as the apex, the ultimate development of the kind of terror which they were committing. It had gone as far as paying police to decapitate a village head man, the village head man of Pinadapa.
The corrupt and murderous cabal identified by Aditjondro is now suing him and the police seem to be in no hurry at all to follow up the leads as he identified. Instead on his departure the police chief Dai Bachtiar offers another bland statement about the certain groups responsible for the violence.
DAI-BACHTIAR (Translation): The situation seemed so promising but certain groups have taken advantage of it to carry out actions such as bombings, which of course will again cause fear and anxiety.
As Dai Bachtiar's plane heads back to Jakarta, more bigwigs arrive. Syamsir Siregar is the recently appointed head of the national intelligence agency BIN. His appearance is supposed to inspire confidence in this investigation. But BIN has a long-standing dismal reputation in Indonesia for dirty tricks. The agency is currently fending off damning evidence that it was behind the poisoning of Indonesia's best known human rights campaigner, Munir Said Thalib. As I reported earlier this year, Munir was given a lethal dose of arsenic in his orange juice on a Garuda flight to Europe. On the Tentena bomb investigation, Siregar has nothing to say.
REPORTER (Translation): If you don’t want to talk about this, what about the Munir case? How’s the internal investigation into the involvement of…
SYAMSIR SIREGAR (Translation): You speak good Indonesian!
REPORTER (Translation): If any rogue elements are involved, what will you do? …
SYAMSIR SIREGAR (Translation): We’ll take action. I’ve given orders to act against rogue elements.
Rogue elements indeed. Travelling with him is Timbul Silaen, he was police chief during the carnage in East Timor. He was acquitted of crimes against humanity, one of several commanders who escaped justice for orchestrating the bloodshed. Now he's officially retired from the police force. So what on earth is Timbul Silaen doing here with the new chief of intelligence? Is he just along for the ride or is he now on the intelligence payroll? Whatever the answer, the continuing role of these same old state terrorists is truly disturbing. It's no wonder the locals are now deeply suspicious of anyone sent in to protect them. While the police can claim some success arresting terrorists in Java, in this region results are few and far between. After years of state sponsored terror, no-one wants to help the authorities. This woman jokes that fear of talking to the police has become a popular movement.
WOMAN (Translation): The tight lipped movement. People don’t want to be witnesses. They are scared so they shut up, if they see something they deny it, they’re scared.
The first real break in the investigation comes a week after the attack and leads police to, of all places, Poso prison. Incredible as it may sound, a police forensics team finds evidence the bomb was manufactured in the workshop, used for prisoner rehabilitation.
POLICE (Translation): It’s a workshop for teaching them welding skills.
The fact that the bomb may have been assembled in a state-run facility further bolsters the central thrust of Aditjondro's remarkable research. That there is high level involvement in terror in Sulawesi.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: What we have found out is just the tip of the iceberg. It shows a permanent pattern which has been going on for the last five years.
For the record, the authorities reject his allegations.
(6) QUESTIONS ABOUT BALI:
Two weeks after the second Bali attack and despite plenty of help from the Australian Federal Police, Indonesian authorities are still pursuing the culprits. But a familiar pattern has emerged. Asia's most wanted men, the so- called masters of disguise, Dr Azahari and Noordin Top have been named as the masterminds. And once again everyone is insinuating Jemaah Islamiah is behind the bombs. That may eventually be proved correct, but so far no evidence has been produced, at least publicly, to back that claim. As we've shown tonight, after enduring years of state-sponsored terror, it's no wonder many Indonesians question what they're being told about this latest atrocity.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: You hear again the sources - the statements that it was carried out by Azahari and Noordin Mohammed Top and a radical Muslim groups behind it. Although what I heard is this actually shows a rivalry, internal rivalry within the armed forces.
George Aditjondro didn't provide any evidence to back his allegation, but theories like this are hard to write off just yet. Former president Abdurrahman Wahid tried in vain to rein the military and it cost him the presidency. In 2003 just after the Marriott Hotel blast, he was clearly frustrated by foreign intelligence claims that JI were to blame.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: They can say whatever they want but we are here, we live here, we know them. But I won't say who.
REPORTER: But you know who it is, you think?
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: No, no, I don't know. When I said that I meant we cannot know - we cannot know the truth about that. That is the problem always.
REPORTER: But that bomb has been blamed also on Jemaah Islamiah.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Yeah, I know but you don't have any kind of proof. The proof is that the bomb is similar to that belong to the police. It's a problem for us then. Every bomb there until now it belongs to the government.
Today is the third anniversary of the first Bali attack that saw 202 people killed, including 88 Australians. Abdurrahman Wahid now has questions about that attack as well. While some regard him as an Eccentric, he is the former president and is often described as the conscience of the nation, revered by tens of millions of moderate Muslims. As such, he's one of only a few people publicly prepared to canvass the unthinkable - that Indonesian authorities may have had a hand in the Bali atrocity. He believes that the plan for the second, massive at the Sari Club, which caused the majority of casualties, was hatched way above the head of uneducated villagers like Amrozi.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Amrozi was involved in the lighter bomb. That's a problem always. Even though I agree that he should be given a stiff punishment, but it doesn't mean that he is involved. No, no, no.
REPORTER: So you believe that the Bali bombers had no idea that there was a second bomb?
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Yeah, precisely.
REPORTER: And who would you suggest planted the second bomb?
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Well, it looks like the police.
REPORTER: The police?
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Or the armed forces, I don't know.
Wahid's speculation is chilling and again there's no evidence to support it. But there's no doubt that he's a barometer of how many Indonesians view the whole terror campaign.
(7) BACK TO THE FUTURE:
This ceremony in July marked a significant moment in the evolution of Indonesia's fight against terrorism. The nation's most senior police watched as their chief, Dai Bachtiar, was replaced by General Sutanto, touted as a cleanskin. Following his swearing in, he made an impressive start - launching a high profile anti-drug campaign and promising to crack down on rampant corruption within the police force. But for now, he's getting familiar with the rhetoric required for the job.
GENERAL SUTANTO (Translation): We are sharing experience with other countries in order to eradicate the terrorism.
But it's not the experience sharing with other countries that matters, like every police chief before him, he will only ever play second fiddle to the army and will struggle to control the cabal of rogue elements who still wield massive power here. Abdurrahman Wahid says that no policeman would dare to properly investigate repeated allegations that their big brothers in the military are involved in the terror campaign.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: They know it's against see, what they do - was against you see, several, you know, senior officers, even of the police itself. So they don't want to be involved.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Of the fear.
REPORTER: The fear of what? Of the senior officers that are involved in this?
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
At the moment it's the police who are receiving all the equipment, support and training to take on the terrorists. At the opening of this multimillion dollar training facility, which is part funded by Australia, the Indonesians were keen to show off their skills. The war on terror has brought the two nations closer together, but any Australian concerns about corruption and human rights in this new partnership appear to have been put aside for now. But the Indonesian police's leading role in the fight against terror may be about to change anyway. In the wake of the latest attack in Bali, President Yudhoyono has taken steps to rehabilitate the military's tarnished name and bring them back into the counter terror drive. For those who risked their lives opposing Suharto's brutal military, it's a disturbing thought. That the retired general, President Yudhoyono, known in Indonesia by his initials Sbyeah, may be ushering in a return to those bad old days.
GEORGE ADITJONDRO: Now, General SBY, himself, he doesn't like to be called general SBY, he likes to be called Dr SBY has made the statement that the military is ready to help, to assist the police in chasing the terrorists. In other words, the military is looking for an alibi for a reason to reconsolidate their power as during the Suharto period.