Category Archives: War

Old News

going to war

BBC, September 18, 2001:

A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before [the 9/11] attacks.

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.

The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place.

MSNBC, May 16, 2002:

President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaida two days before Sept. 11 but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. and foreign sources told NBC News.

The couching of the plans as a formal security directive is significant…because it indicates that the United States intended a full-scale assault on al-Qaida even if the Sept. 11 attacks had not occurred.


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Filed under International Politics, Lies, news, US Politics, War

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence


Today is Martin Luther King Day in the United States and in honour of the man I thought I’d provide you with a condensed version of one of his greatest speeches. On April 24th, 1967, King spoke at the New York City Riverside Church and voiced his opposition to America’s war in Vietnam. While the impetus for his speech was topical, most of his words are still apt today. The following are his words.

The long line of military dictators offered no real change.
The only change came from America, as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support.
All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy…
Now they languish under our bombs and consider us…the real enemy.
They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met.
They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.
So they go, primarily women and children and the aged.

They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops.
They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees.
They wander into the hospitals..mostly children…[wounded] from American firepower.
They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals.
They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food.
They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.
What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords…
What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe?
The more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

Where are the roots of…the independ[ence]…we claim to be building?
Is it among these voiceless ones?
I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless…
We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise.
These, too, are our brothers.

Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions.
Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence.
Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.
Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves.
For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

Somehow this madness must cease.
We must stop now.
I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor.
I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted.
I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption [abroad].
I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken.
I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless…

We must find new ways to speak for peace…and justice throughout the developing world – a world that borders on our doors.
If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries.
Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.
A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional.
Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men.
This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept – so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force – has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man.
When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response.
I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.
Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.

Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.
The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate.
History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.
We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation.
We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.

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Filed under 1967, MLK, US, War

Terrorism and Nationalism in Russia

In September of 1999, less than a month after Vladmir Putin was promoted from director of the FSB to Prime Minister of Russia, a series of apartment buildings were bombed over a period of two weeks. Days after the last bombing, several residents of an apartment building in the city of Ryazan caught FSB agents installing a bomb in their home. The local police diffused the bomb and subsequent investigations into the matter were suppressed.The following day, 24 Russian governors demanded a transfer of all state power to Vladmir Putin, the man who until a month prior had been running the FSB. Stoking the nationalist fervor the bombings had produced, Putin immediately oversaw an invasion of Chechnya, starting the Second Chechen War.

The war resulted in Russia’s reclamation of territory which had become the independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria during the First Chechen War two years earlier. It also led to Vladmir Putin becoming President.

Since the start of the war, the once near-dormant conflict in the Caucasus has continued to escalate. The invasion has led to an aggressive and expanding insurgency as well as continuous terrorist attacks on Russia by Chechen separatists.

Beneath the threat of separatist terrorism however, lies a parallel danger. Since 1999, Russia has seen a surge in activity by far right extremist groups. These groups have come to hate not only separatists but all foreigners, easily identifying with fascist ideology. While it is difficult to find definitive statistics on the subject, according to a 2002 Washington Post article, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office stated that crimes against foreign nationals increased by over 31 percent in 2002. Furthermore, in 2006 a Public Opinion Fund poll found that 52 percent of Russians would approve if many ethnic groups were expelled from the country, showing an 8% increase from 2002.

Just this week a video was released over the internet depicting the murder of two men by members of a group called the National Socialists of Rus. And now, according to a Reuters article from three days ago, Monday’s train bombing which was originally blamed on Chechen rebels is suspected to have actually been carried out by Russian nationalists.

Whether intentional or not, this increase in far-right nationalist activity appears to be a result of Putin’s campaigns in the Caucasus and overall drive toward a renewed sense of Russian nationalism. While the surge in racially motivated crime has resulted in some stricter laws, they are infrequently enforced. The government has stepped up its anti-fascist rhetoric while in practice doing its best to harness the phenomenon.

In 2005, a pro-Putin youth group called Nashi was formed with the official goals of creating a new ruling elite and opposing the threat of fascism. Since its formation however, Nashi has essentially acted as a paramilitary arm of the Putin government, declaring its critics as fascists and engaging in street battles with its opponents. Drawing frequent comparisons to Hitler Youth, the organization has reportedly recruited numerous members of the same fascist organizations it rhetorically opposes.


Filed under 1999, Appartment Bombings, Article, Chechnya, FSB, Nashi, Nationalism, Putin, Rebels, Russia, Scapegoats, Seperatism, terrorism, War