NPK-info 14-09-2001 - Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.palestina-komitee.nl

Enkele berichten [uit vele] over de vier aanslagen d.d. 11-9-2001 in de USA

NPK/WL, 14-9-2001

From: F r e e d o m, 13-9-2001
On the Bombings
Noam Chomsky
The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may not reach the
level of many others, for example, Clinton's bombing of the Sudan with no
credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies
 and killing unknown numbers of people (no one knows, because the US blocked
an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue it). Not to speak of much
worse cases, which easily come to mind. But that this was a horrendous crime
is not in doubt. The primary victims, as usual, were working people:
janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc.
It is likely to prove to be a crushing blow to Palestinians and other poor
and oppressed people. It is also likely to lead to harsh security controls,
with many possible ramifications for undermining civil liberties and
internal freedom.

 The events reveal, dramatically, the foolishness of the project of "missile
defense." As has been obvious all along, and pointed out repeatedly by
strategic analysts, if anyone wants to cause immense damage in the US,
including weapons of mass destruction, they are highly unlikely to launch a
missile attack, thus guaranteeing their immediate destruction. There are inn
umerable easier ways that are basically unstoppable. But today's events
will, very likely, be exploited to increase the pressure to develop these
systems and put them into place.
 "Defense" is a thin cover for plans for militarization of space, and with
good PR, even the flimsiest arguments will carry some weight among a
frightened public.

In short, the crime is a gift to the hard jingoist right, those who hope to
use force to control their domains. That is even putting aside the likely US
actions, and what they will trigger -- possibly more attacks like this one,
or worse. The prospects ahead are even more ominous than they appeared to be
before the latest atrocities.

 As to how to react, we have a choice. We can express justified horror; we
can seek to understand what may have led to the crimes, which means making
an effort to enter the minds of the likely perpetrators. If we
 choose the latter course, we can do no better, I think, than to listen to
the words of Robert Fisk, whose direct knowledge and insight into affairs of
the region is unmatched after many years of distinguished reporting.
Describing "The wickedness and awesome cruelty of a crushed and humiliated
people," he writes that "this is not the war of democracy versus terror that
the world will be asked to believe in the coming 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
and about a Lebanese militia - paid and uniformed by America's Israeli
ally - hacking and raping and murdering their way through refugee
camps." And much more.
 Again, we have a choice: we may try to understand, or refuse to do so,
contributing to the likelihood that much worse lies ahead.


The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine

12 September 2001

The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine Condemns Terror Attacks in U.S.

Contact:  Heidi Shoup

Today, America woke up struggling to comprehend yesterday's horrific events
and to understand what motivations lie behind such a tragedy.  We at the
Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, like all people committed to
justice and appalled by violence, condemn these attacks and express our
heartfelt sympathy to the victims and their families and loved ones.

The Center is keenly aware that under these circumstances, it is essential
to exercise extreme caution and to be thoughtful in our reactions and
responses.  The media's selective use of images of Palestinians in refugee
camps "celebrating" in the streets without any contextual information
provides a misleading picture and encourages anti-Arab and anti-Islamic
feelings-and actions.  There is too little awareness of the ongoing
suffering of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation in a context in
which many Palestinians view Israeli and U.S. policy as inextricably linked.

Throughout the Middle East, Arabs-Muslims and Christians-as well as Jews
share our collective sense of mourning.  Offers of sympathy and assistance
are pouring in from leaders across the Arab world.  Here at home, Arab and
Islamic organizations call upon their members to donate blood and help in
rescue and relief efforts underway.

Arab and Muslim Americans face additional fears now, remembering the
virulent anti-Arab/anti-Muslim behavior that erupted following the Oklahoma
City bombing and the TWA Flight 800 crash, although neither Arabs nor
Muslims were in any way part of these tragedies.

Terrorism is a threat not only to America and the American way of life, but
to the peace, security, and well-being of all nations on earth.  To
decisively defeat terrorism in the world, however, the U.S. should not
pursue this goal alone, but with full international collaboration.

As the United States pursues its war on terrorism, we must remember that
ignorance, hysteria, and vigilantism are also our enemies.

The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine will continue its efforts to
promote understanding of the impact of U.S. policy in the Middle East and
provide thoughtful analysis of events and issues that affect those who seek
peace, justice, and freedom for all peoples.


Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine / 2425-35 Virginia Avenue, NW /
Washington, DC 20037 / Tel: 202.338.1290 / Fax: 202.333.7742 /




From F r e e d o m: 12-9-2001

Is the world's favourite hate figure to blame?
Osama bin Laden
By Robert Fisk
12 September 2001

I can imagine how Osama bin Laden received the news of the atrocities in the
United States. In all, I must have spent five hours listening to him in
Sudan and then in the Afghan mountains, as he described the inevitable
collapse of the US, just as he and his comrades in the Afghan war helped to
destroy the Red Army.
He will have watched satellite television, he will have sat in the corner of
his room, brushing his teeth as he always did, with a mishwak stick,
thinking for up to a minute before speaking. He once told me with pride how
his men had attacked the Americans in Somalia. He acknowledged that he
personally knew two of the Saudis executed for bombing an American military
base in Riyadh. Could he be behind the slaughter in America?
If Mr bin Laden was really guilty of all the things for which he has been
blamed, he would need an army of 10,000. And there is something deeply
disturbing about the world's habit of turning to the latest hate figure
whenever blood is shed. But when events of this momentous scale take place,
there is a new legitimacy in casting one's eyes at those who have constantly
threatened America.
Mr bin Laden had a kind of religious experience during the Afghan war. A
Russian shell had fallen at his feet and, in the seconds as he waited for it
to explode, he said he had a sudden feeling of calmness. The shell never
The US must leave the Gulf, he would say every 10 minutes. America must stop
all sanctions against the Iraqi people. America must stop using Israel to
oppress Palestinians. He was not fighting an anti-colonial war, but a
religious one. His supporters would gather round him with the awe of men
listening to a messiah. And the words they listened to were fearful in their
implications. American civilians would no more be spared than military
targets. Yet I also remember one night when Mr bin Laden saw a pile of
newspapers in my bag and seized them. By a sputtering oil lamp, he read
them, clearly unaware of the world around him. Was this really a man who
could damage America?
If the shadow of the Middle East falls over yesterday's destruction, then
who else could produce such meticulously timed assaults? The rag-tag
Palestinian groups that used to favour hijacking are unlikely to be able to
produce a single suicide bomber. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have neither the
capability nor the money that this assault needed. Perhaps the groups that
moved close to the Lebanese Hizbollah in the 1980s, before the organisation
became solely a resistance movement. The bombing of the US Marines in 1983
needed precision, timing and infinite planning. But Iran, which supported
these groups, is more involved in its internal struggles. Iraq lies broken,
its agents more intent on torturing their own people than striking at the
the US.
So the mountains of Afghanistan will be photographed from satellite and
high-altitude aircraft in the coming days, Mr bin Laden's old training camps
highlighted on the overhead projectors in the Pentagon. But to what end? For
if this is a war it cannot be fought like other wars. Indeed, can it be
fought at all without some costly military adventure overseas? Or is that
what Mr bin Laden seeks above all else?


From F r e e d o m: 13-9-2001

Another lone voice crying in the wilderness.
The political roots of the terror attack on New York and Washington
World Socialist Web Site
By the Editorial Board
12 September 2001

The World Socialist Web Site unequivocally condemns the terrorist
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Those responsible
for the hijacking of four commercial passenger aircraft and their
conversion into flying bombs are guilty of mass murder. Nothing of a
socially progressive character will be achieved on the basis of such
an indiscriminate and callous destruction of human life.

These acts of homicidal terrorism manifest a toxic combination of
demoralized pessimism, religious and ultra-nationalist obscurantism,
and, it must be added, political opportunism of the vilest character.
Terrorist organizations-notwithstanding their anti-American
rhetoric-base their tactics on the illusion that random acts of
horrific violence will compel the US ruling class to shift its
policies. Thus, in the final analysis, they hope to make a deal with

However it seeks to justify itself, the terrorist method is
fundamentally reactionary. Far from dealing a powerful blow against
imperialist militarism, terrorism plays into the hands of those
elements within the US establishment who seize on such events to
justify and legitimize the resort to war in pursuit of the
geopolitical and economic interests of the ruling elite. The murder
of innocent civilians enrages, disorients and confuses the public. It
undermines the struggle for the international unity of the working
class, and counteracts all efforts to educate the American people on
the history and politics that form the background to contemporary
events in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, our condemnation of Tuesday's terrorist outrages does
not in the slightest imply any lessening of our principled and
irreconcilable opposition to the policies of the US government.
Anyone who wishes to understand the why and wherefore of yesterday's
events must study the historical and political record of the US in
the Middle East, especially over the last 30 years. The unrelenting
efforts of American imperialism to secure its domination over the oil
resources of the region, which has entailed, among other things,
unstinting support for the Israeli state's oppression of the
Palestinian people, has placed the United States in violent
opposition to the legitimate and irrepressible democratic, national
and social aspirations of the Arab masses.

In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's events, politicians,
editorialists and media pundits have declared over and over that
Americans must recognize that the destruction of the World Trade
Center means the United States is at war and must act accordingly.
But the fact of the matter is that the US government has been engaged
in direct warfare in the Middle East, in one form or another, for the
better part of two decades.

Putting aside the massive material aid that it provides for Israeli
military operations, the United States has been bombing one or
another Middle Eastern country almost continuously since 1983. US
bombers and/or battleships have attacked Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Iran,
the Sudan and Afghanistan. Without actually declaring war, the United
States has conducted military operations against Iraq for nearly 12
years. The ongoing daily bombings of Iraq are barely mentioned in the
American media, which has made no attempt to ascertain the total
number of Iraqis killed by US bombs since 1991.

Given this bloody record, why should anyone be surprised that those
who have been targeted by the United States have sought to strike

The same media that is now screaming for blood has routinely
applauded the use of violence against whatever country or people are
deemed to be obstacles to US interests. Let us recall the words of
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who had this to say to the
Serbian people during the US bombing campaign in 1999: "It should be
lights out in Belgrade: every power grid, water pipe, road and
war-related factory has to be hit.... [W]e will set your country back
by pulverizing you. You want 1950? We can do 1950. You want 1389? We
can do 1389."

The foreign policy of the US is a mixture of cynicism, brutality and
irresponsibility. Washington has pursued a course that has inflamed
the hatred of large sections of the world's population, creating an
environment in which recruits can be found for bloody terrorist
operations. In rare moments of candor, foreign policy specialists
have acknowledged that the actions of the United States provoke
hatred and the desire for retribution. During the Balkan War, former
Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger stated: "We've presented to
the rest of the world a vision of the bully on the block who pushes a
button, people out there die, we don't pay anything except the cost
of a missile ... that's going to haunt us in terms of trying to deal
with the rest of the world in the years ahead."

This insight has not prevented the same Eagleburger from declaring
Tuesday night that the United States should respond to the
destruction of the World Trade Center by dropping bombs immediately
on any country that might have been involved.

George W. Bush's address to the nation Tuesday evening epitomized the
arrogance and blindness of the American ruling class. Far from
America being "the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in
the world," the US is seen by tens of millions as the main enemy of
their human and democratic rights, and the main source of their
oppression. The American ruling elite, in its insolence and cynicism,
acts as if it can carry out its violent enterprises around the world
without creating the political conditions for violent acts of

In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's attacks, US authorities and
the media are once again declaring that Osama bin Laden is
responsible. This is possible, although, as always, they present no
evidence to back up their claim.

But the charge that bin Laden is the culprit raises a host of
troubling questions. Given the fact that the US has declared this
individual to be the world's most deadly terrorist, whose every move
is tracked with the aid of the most technologically sophisticated and
massive intelligence apparatus, how could bin Laden organize such an
elaborate attack without being detected? An attack, moreover, against
the same New York skyscraper that was hit in 1993?

The devastating success of his assault would indicate that, from the
standpoint of the American government, the crusade against terrorism
has been far more a campaign of propaganda to justify US military
violence around the world than a conscientious effort to protect the
American people.

Moreover, both bin Laden and the Taliban mullahs, whom the US accuses
of harboring him, were financed and armed by the Reagan-Bush
administration to fight pro-Soviet regimes in Afghanistan in the
1980s. If they are involved in Tuesday's operations, then the
American CIA and political establishment are guilty of having
nurtured the very forces that carried out the bloodiest attack on
American civilians in US history.

The escalation of US militarism abroad will inevitably be accompanied
by intensified attacks on democratic rights at home. The first
victims of the war fever being whipped up are Arab-Americans, who are
already being subjected to death threats and other forms of
harassment as a result of the media hysteria.

The calls from both Republican and Democratic politicians for a
declaration of war foreshadow a more general crackdown on opponents
of American foreign policy. General Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded
American troops in the 1991 invasion of Iraq, spoke for much of the
political and military elite when he declared on television that the
war on alleged terrorist supporters should be conducted inside as
well as outside the borders of the US.

It is the policies pursued by the United States, driven by the
strategic and financial interests of the ruling elite, which laid the
foundations for the nightmare that unfolded on Tuesday. The actions
now being contemplated by the Bush administration-indicated by the
president's threat to make "no distinction between the terrorists who
committed these acts and those who harbor them"-will only set the
stage for further catastrophes.



BADIL Resource Center
For immediate release, 12-9-2001 (E/49/2001)

With World Attention Focused on New York and Washington:

With world wide public attention absorbed by the devastating attack
against the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon building in
Washington DC; while shock and concern for the large number of
innocent victims prevail; and, while numerous questions concerning
circumstances and possible perpetrators of this sophisticated and
horrific attack have yet to be answered, Israel's political and
military establishment has taken advantage of the opportunities
offered by the tragic event to engage in a  two-leveled campaign
against the Palestinian people.

Covered by the screen of smoke and dust of the collapsing towers of
the World Trade Center, the Israeli occupation army stepped up its
attack against the Palestinian city of Jenin and Jenin refugee camp
in the northern West Bank. Israel launched the military operation one
night before the 11 September attacks in the United States. The
operation follows the pattern of partial and temporary re-occupation
of Palestinian areas and targeted attacks on Palestinian refugee
camps set by the earlier Israeli invasion into Palestinian controlled
areas in the district of Bethlehem (Beit Jala and Aida refugee camp,
August 28-30). It aims at maximum destruction of infrastructure of
Palestinian resistance. Encouraged by the current focus of
international attention on the attacks in New York and Washington DC,
Israel proceeded, in the early morning hours of 12 September, to
expand its invasion to include the Palestinian villages of Arrabeh,
Tamoun and Toubas in the wider Jenin district. Reports about movement
of Israeli troups towards the city of Nablus followed at noon. Fierce
fighting between the Israeli army and the Palestinian resistance
continues until this moment and has so far resulted in nine
Palestinian casualties (one of them a 14 year old girl) and dozens of
injuries. Clear indications about timing and exact mode of an
eventual Israeli redeployment in the area are not available.

Israel's military escalation on the ground is accompanied by a
massive publicity campaign to de-legitimize the Palestinian quest for
justice and the implementation of international law. Riding on the
wave of worldwide shock and outrage over the massive terror attack in
the United States, Israeli spokespersons have used the opportunity to
emphasize that Israel's repression of the Palestinian people must be
regarded as part and parcel of a concerted effort of the "civilized
world" to erase terrorism rooted among the millions of "evil" people
and countries around the globe, who refuse to accept that their right
to self-determination and economic development - as reaffirmed by the
recent World Conference Against Racism in Durban -  must be
sacrificed on the altar of US (and Israeli) economic and political
interests. The impression that many Palestinians - together with
millions of oppressed and impoverished in the world - find it
difficult to mourn over the innocent victims in New York and
Washington while US Apache helicopters and F-16s are killing their
leaders and destroying their homes, is used to argue the case for the
legitimacy of Israeli violations of all standards set by
international human rights and humanitarian law.

While this Israeli response to the horrific events in New York and
Washington is neither new nor surprising, international media
coverage (e.g. CNN and BBC), which has served to promote Israel's
distorted view of Mid-East affairs, must not be left unchallenged.
The appearance of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (BBC) and
current Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres (CNN) as so-called
"exerts" on terrorism provided Israel with a free platform to
propagate the myth of Israel as the only "civilized" and "democratic"
state in the Middle East alongside the stereotype of the Palestinian
people as terrorists. Such stereotyping of the Palestinian people,
which was further exacerbated by the selective use of media images of
Palestinians "celebrating" in the streets of the occupied territories
and in the refugee camps in Lebanon in the aftermath of the terror
attacks in the United States coupled with the lack of sufficient
contextual information, manifests itself as anti-Arab discrimination
and Islamophobia as noted by the civil society organizations at the
recent World Conference Against Racism in Durban. Israeli officials,
moreover, used the event to "market" and gain support for its policy
of "pre-emptive strikes," most notably the policy of targeted

A successful worldwide campaign for justice, democracy, and the end
of terror must enhance the rights of the millions of poor and
oppressed - among them the Palestinian people. Representatives of the
Israeli political and military establishment, whose policies against
the Palestinian people have been persistently condemned by
international human rights fora, cannot be partners in this effort.

BADIL Resource Center aims to provide a resource pool of alternative,
critical and progressive information and analysis on the
question of Palestinian refugees in our quest to achieve a just and lasting
solution for exiled Palestinians based on the right
 of return.
PO Box 728, Bethlehem, Palestine; tel/fax. 02-2747346; email:
info@badil.org; website: www.badil.org



Broadsheets editorials on the bombings 13 September
From F r e e d o m

The Times
1) The Leader: Still the enemy: The foes of democracy must face a united

Michael Gove
"Be warned: drawing a single tooth will not stop a mad dog"
an article that discusses Saddam's links to Bin Laden.

The Daily Telegraph

1) The Leader

This ends with : "The West needs to face the fact that some conflicts cannot
be resolved amicably, only contained, or settled by victory or defeat. Would
it not be right, for example, for America and Britain to declare that they
will move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as a sign that the
possibility of defeat does not exist?"

What finer recipe for protracting a conflict!

2) Two cultures by Terence Kealey

Zealotry has never been limited to Islam
Includes: "First, we should not forget that religious zealotry has never
been limited to Islam. Many of the early Christians of the Middle East were
as cruel, intolerant and fanatical as any Muslim terrorist. "  (Yet does not
mention Jewish extremism in this context.)

The Financial Times

1) Article by Javier Solana, EU Higher Rep.

2) Michael Ignatieff "Paying for security with liberty"
Michael Ignatieff argues that vulnerability often tempts strong nations to
take self-destructive measures and actions that lead to injustice
"The most effective responses may not be the instant vengeance of a cruise
missile but concerted international police work that leads to arrest,
extradition, trials and imprisonment of the perpetrators."

The Guardian

1) First leader: "Beating the terrorists Bush should proceed with caution"

"The Islamic world - from some part of which the attackers appear now to
have come - has been consumed for generations with a massive sense of
injustice about the role of the United States in the Middle East and in the
world more generally. Why else should some Arabs have celebrated Tuesday's

2) The 2nd  Leader: "Shoulder to shoulder but support cannot be

"Yet Tuesday's attackers did not in fact target democracy; they targeted
American power. There is a very important difference between the two, and
the way in which the new international situation evolves will hinge upon the
way in which American power, not democracy, responds. "


3) This is Britain's moment: Whitehall officials have long been sceptical of
the US's line on the Middle East. Now is the time to say so openly
Richard Norton-Taylor

An excellent article analysing the failures of US foreign Policy.

"Instead of simply cuddling up to the US, Blair should seize the opportunity
to take the lead, with the EU, in the Middle East. It would be good for the
region if Europe is supported by a chastened America; disastrous if a
vengeful US continues to go its own way, with Blair meekly tagging on."

4) James Rubin:
Getting it right: All options will be on the table, including the use of
ground troops. And it is not retribution, it's pre-emption

"I think it is seriously misguided to link yesterday's attack to the
Palestinian/ Israeli conflict. People who don't understand the distinctions
in the Islamic world tend to confuse the issues, but there is one simple
fact to consider. Even when the Middle East talks were at their most hopeful
and Palestinian leaders were optimistic about the prospects for peace, Bin
Laden, driven by his own agenda over the US presence in Saudi Arabia and a
warped view of American power, was plotting against the US."

5) Rana Kabbani: "Terror has come home"

A similarly excellent analysis

"America's policies - and those of its allies - have become a crippling
liability, for which American civilians are now having to pay. It is only in
a correction of those policies that Americans might once again acquire the
security that constitutes their expensive and overriding obsession"

The Independent

1) Leader
This war needs to be won. But we must be sure of our weapons and our enemies

2) 2nd Leader
Hold fire until we have seen Mr Bush's response

"As candid and loyal friends of the American people, with a substantial
share of historical responsibility for the present state of the Middle East,
Mr Blair must speak for the British in counselling restraint and
understanding rather than revenge. "

3) Niall Ferguson: America should hit back and hit hard
'The US can and should take decisive military action against those rogue
regimes which harbour terrorism'

a war mongering article advocating tough action.

"this is the moment - and it will not last long - when the US can and should
take decisive military action against those rogue regimes which have for too
long harboured and financed terrorism. Top of the hit list must be Saddam
Hussein, closely followed by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. I should
be sorry if Colonel Gaddafi were to escape unscathed.

Chris Doyle
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
21 Collingham Road
London SW5 0NU
Tel: 020 7373 8414
Fax: 020 7835 2088
Mobile 07968 040 281
Please note my e-mail has changed to doylec@caabu.org - the old e-mail will
work for the time being.

The contents of this message may contain personal views which are not the
views of CAABU, unless specifically stated.




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