Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id JAA02306 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:10:13 +0100 Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:04:03 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Fisk's article Message-ID: <20010918090403.A1300@ii01.org> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Disposition: inline User-Agent: Mutt/1.3.15i From: Robin Faichney <email@example.com> Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
This is the article by Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent on The
Independent, mentioned by Chomsky.
> > http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=93623
> > The awesome cruelty of a doomed people
> > By Robert Fisk
> > 12 September 2001
> > So it has come to this. The entire modern history of the Middle East -
> > the collapse of the Ottoman empire , the Balfour declaration, Lawrence
> > of Arabia's lies, the Arab revolt, the foundation of the state of
> > Israel, four Arab-Israeli wars and the 34 years of Israel's brutal
> > occupation of Arab land - all erased within hours as those who claim to
> > represent a crushed, humiliated population struck back with the
> > wickedness and awesome cruelty of a doomed people. Is it fair - is it
> > moral - to write this so soon, without proof, without a shred of
> > evidence, when the last act of barbarism in Oklahoma turned out to be
> > the work of home-grown Americans? I fear it is. America is at war and,
> > unless I am grotesquely mistaken, many thousands more are now scheduled
> > to die in the Middle East, perhaps in America too. Some of us warned of
> > "the explosion to come''. But we never dreamed this nightmare.
> > And yes, Osama bin Laden comes to mind, his money, his theology, his
> > frightening dedication to destroy American power. I have sat in front of
> > bin Laden as he described how his men helped to destroy the Russian army
> > in Afghanistan and thus the Soviet Union. Their boundless confidence
> > allowed them to declare war on America. But this is not the war of
> > democracy vs terror that the world will be asked to believe in the
> > coming hours and days. It is also about American missiles smashing into
> > Palestinian homes and US helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese
> > ambulance in 1996 and American shells crashing into a village called
> > Qana a few days later and about a Lebanese militia - paid and uniformed
> > by America's Israeli ally - hacking and raping and murdering their way
> > through refugee camps.
> > No, there is no doubting the utter, indescribable evil of what has
> > happened in the United States. That Palestinians could celebrate the
> > massacre of 20,000, perhaps 35,000 innocent people is not only a symbol
> > of their despair but of their political immaturity, of their failure to
> > grasp what they had always been accusing their Israeli enemies of doing:
> > acting disproportionately. But we were warned. All the years of
> > rhetoric, all the promises to strike at the heart of America, to cut off
> > the head of "the American snake'' we took for empty threats. How could a
> > backward, conservative, undemocratic and corrupt group of regimes and
> > small, violent organisations fulfil such preposterous promises? Now we know.
> > And in the hours that followed yesterday's annihilation, I began to
> > remember those other extraordinary, unbelievable assaults upon the US
> > and its allies, miniature now by comparison with yesterdays' casualties.
> > Did not the suicide bombers who killed 241 American servicemen and
> > almost 100 french paratroops in Beirut on 23 October 1983, time their
> > attacks with unthinkable precision?
> > It was just 7 seconds between the Marine bombing and the destruction of
> > the French three miles away. Then there were the attacks on US bases in
> > Saudi Arabia, and last year's attempt - almost successful it now turns
> > out - to sink the USS Cole in Aiden. And then how easy was our failure
> > to recognise the new weapon of the Middle East which neither Americans
> > or any other Westerners could equal: the despair-driven, desperate
> > suicide bomber.
> > All America's power, wealth - and arrogance, the Arabs will be saying -
> > could not defend the greatest power the world has ever known from this
> > destruction.
> > For journalists, even those who have literally walked through the blood
> > of the Middle East, words dry up here. Awesome, terrible, unspeakable,
> > unforgivable; in the coming days, these words will become water in the
> > desert. And there will be, naturally and inevitably, and quite
> > immorally, an attempt to obscure the historical wrongs and the blood and
> > the injustices that lie behind yesterday's firestorms. We will be told
> > about "mindless terrorism'', the "mindless" bit being essential if we
> > are not to realise how hated America has become in the land of the birth
> > of three great religions.
> > Ask an Arab how he responds to 20 or 30 thousand innocent deaths and he
> > or she will respond as good and decent people should, that it is an
> > unspeakable crime. But they will ask why we did not use such words about
> > the sanctions that have destroyed the lives of perhaps half a million
> > children in Iraq, why we did not rage about the 17,500 civilians killed
> > in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, why we allowed one nation in the
> > Middle East to ignore UN Security Council resolutions but bombed and
> > sanctioned all others who did. And those basic reasons why the Middle
> > East caught fire last September - the Israeli occupation of Arab land,
> > the dispossession of Palestinians, the bombardments and state sponsored
> > executions, the Israeli tortures ... all these must be obscured lest
> > they provide the smallest fractional reason for yesterday's mass savagery.
> > No, Israel was not to blame - that we can be sure that Saddam Hussein
> > and the other grotesque dictators will claim so - but the malign
> > influence of history and our share in its burden must surely stand in
> > the dark with the suicide bombers. Our broken promises, perhaps even our
> > destruction of the Ottoman Empire, led inevitably to this tragedy.
> > America has bankrolled Israel's wars for so many years that it believed
> > this would be cost-free. No longer so. It would be an act of
> > extraordinary courage and wisdom if the United States was to pause for a
> > moment and reflect upon its role in the world, the indifference of its
> > government to the suffering of Arabs, the indolence of its current
> > president.
> > But of course, the United States will want to strike back against "world
> > terror'', who can blame them? Indeed, who could ever point the finger at
> > Americans now for using that pejorative and sometimes racist word
> > "terrorism''? There will be those swift to condemn any suggestion that
> > we should look for real historical reasons for an act of violence on
> > this world-war scale. But unless we do so, then we are facing a conflict
> > the like of which we have not seen since Hitler's death and the
> > surrender of Japan. Korea, Vietnam, is beginning to fade away in comparison.
> > Eight years ago, I helped to make a television series that tried to
> > explain why so many Muslims had come to hate the West. Last night, I
> > remembered some of those Muslims in that film, their families burnt by
> > American-made bombs and weapons. They talked about how no one would help
> > them but God. Theology vs technology, the suicide bomber against the
> > nuclear power. Now we have learnt what this means.
-- "The distinction between mind and matter is in the mind, not in matter." Robin Faichney -- inside information -- http://www.ii01.org/
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