Meaning of Self-Defence

By referring to Israel’s strike on Syria as an act of “self-defence”, surely George Bush has introduced a new meaning to the term “self-defence”. Its utterance by the US government is exceptional and a new addition to the ever-expanding American political lexicon. Since as a sole superpower power in a unipolar world, she has never encountered a situation that dictated exercising genuine “self-defence”. In fact even before becoming a superpower, from her birth in 1781, after gaining independence from colonial Britain, she has never deployed her military forces in any defensive operation. “Defending freedom”, “defending democracy”, “defending our way of life” are frequently heard sound bites emanating from the US intelligentsia, that are closest in meaning to the term “self-defence”. All of these sound bites are used as a cover for legitimising her aggression through the use of her economic and military might well beyond her borders. Such acts by their very nature are offensive; hence the use of the word “defence” is deceitful. The issue of “self-defence” is dealt with in the UN charter at article 51, which clearly states.

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”.

Thus, the premise of self-defence can only be invoked if one has been inflicted with unprovoked armed aggression. Note that the words are in the past tense; there is no provision for a pre-emptive strike. However, if the aggression has been initiated with the armed forces moving towards the target (e.g. launching of missiles or dispatching of military aircrafts etc), and even though no physical harm has been inflicted, there are sufficient grounds for a military response in retaliation that can be classified as “self-defence”. Such a response may also be termed as preventative measures rather then a pre-emptive strike. The latter is where the attack is executed in order to prevent the possibility of the enemy from launching an assault in the future. Hence the threat is neither real nor imminent, as no real military attack has been initiated.

Applying the above notion of “self-defence” to the current situation, we simply need to identify those who have been actually attacked in their homeland and consequently deposed or killed. They are the ones who are entitled to use military force and the political vocabulary of “self-defence”; such acts can only be labelled as legitimate resistance and not terrorism. Conversely those who have invaded, colonised and initiated wars beyond their own borders can only be classified as criminals and genuine terrorists. As an example the prominent case of Palestine, the facts are very clear, the Jewish state was curved out of the existing lands inhabited by the native Palestinians in 1948. Even now, the Jews are arriving from Europe, Russia and America to occupy the lands and homes of the dispossessed. No sane person can dispute this fact; hence by the above principal the colonising Zionist Jews are terrorists and criminals. Whilst the Palestinians are fighting a legitimate war in compliance with the article 51 of the UN charter within their own borders defending their homes. A parallel can also be drawn with the uprooting of the Native Americans, Africans and the Aborigines of Australia, when the Europeans came as belligerent colonisers to occupy and plunder these lands. Such acts carried out today or in the past can only be classified as terrorism, since the effect has been to terrorise the native peaceful inhabitants of these regions. Despite the mass medias deliberate labelling of the victims as terrorists, the reality is reverse; the indigenous populations are the ones who have been terrorised.

Iraq is another recent victim of US fundamentalism, led by the fanatical Neo-Fascists, who are also conveniently labelled as Neo-Cons. Where innocent civilians have been killed in hundreds of thousands, which no one cares even to acknowledge. In fact, two prominent Neo-Fascists (Neo-Cons), John Bolton and Douglas Feith in a recent interview refused acknowledge at first then they tried to play down the magnitude of the casualties in Iraq. They argued that the percentage of casualty is low in relation to the scale of operations. Which translates to, millions were expected to die, but only hundreds of thousands perished, so isn’t that an achievement and a real sign of American benevolence? This is not sarcasm as a prominent “adviser” named Daniel Pipes, who is a cross between Douglas McCarthy and Adolf Hitler argues this point literally. He is keen to use the nuclear option in “self-defence” of American interest and to purify America from the threat of the rising population of Arab/Muslim immigrants. Who are immigrants since they arrived two to three hundred years later then the ancestors of Daniel Pipes! He argues America could have nuked Iraq in “self-defence”; hence we are to be grateful and acknowledge the benevolent nature of US for sparing the lives of the millions. Did not Genghis Khan, Hitler, Stalin and the likes deploy similar language to their conquered subjects?

What may seem perplexing is the attack on Afghanistan as an immediate response to 9/11. The event of 9/11 was a natural and an inevitable response to the ongoing US fundamentalism and its terrorist’s activities around the world. Uprooting and terrorising the Native Americans resulted in the creation of US. Therefore like its ally Israel by birth it was a terrorist state and ever since she has been dispensing terror to other peaceful nations of the world. She has been manufacturing the American dream at the expense of the world nightmare. Is it any surprise that the Americans are one of the most obese nations on this earth? Afghanistan was followed by an attack on Iraq under the pretext of disarming Iraq of its mythical WMD. None of those countries was responsible for the actions of 9/11, since the alleged Hijackers mainly came from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Similarly, Israel recently attacked Syria in response to the Palestinian suicide bomber who had no connection with Syria. It is obvious that no military bases or training is required to engage in martyrdom operation, you can hardly practice the actual process. So the question is why attack a third party in response to such operations. The first problem being the perpetrators themselves has been killed in the operation. It makes more sense to attack the country of origin of the perpetrators rather then an innocent third country under the pretext of “self-defence”. Such a response is not simply due to political expediency or furthering economic and strategic interests, but is designed to inflict collective punishment against the entire civilisation. Which cannot be termed as a defensive measure, since the third country was innocent from the onset. Unless you happen to embrace the recent doctrine of “guilty until proven innocent”, which was used in Afghanistan and Iraq. As Jack Straw and Rumsfeld will argue, the absence of evidence does not imply evidence does not exist. Rather assume it exists and let the defendant prove otherwise. Can any rational and sane person prove a negative?