Part 1: What’s Wrong With Jaw-Jaw?
In the last century very few world leaders could be compared with Winston Churchill of the Great Britain for his stand against appeasement. And yet he is famously quoted as saying, "To jaw-jaw is always better than war-war." So what is wrong in talking with Iran? After all, President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger did speak with their counterparts in China, Soviet Union and Vietnam at the height of tension with those countries.
But this wisdom has consistently been rebuffed by President Bush. Like a drooling hound-dog fixated on scent of its target while other crucial disasters may be happening all around him, Bush’s eyes and nose are locked onto Iran. Not surprisingly, in a speech on the floor of Israel’s Knesset this month (May ’08), Bush criticized those who want to deal with "terrorists". Bush said, "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before," and then compared this diplomatic track with Sen. William Borah’s 1939 comment, "Lord if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided. We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
None of the political analysts had any problem decoding Bush’s speech. He meant Senator Obama who had earlier hinted that he would personally negotiate with Iran if its leaders abandoned any pursuit of nuclear weapons and stopped their support of violence, and also said he would meet Cuban and North Korean leaders. There is little doubt that the president’s speech was made to invoke the horrors of the Second World War, and was made deliberately in Israel, to drive a wedge between Obama and American Jewish voters. The New York Times in its Saturday editorial (May 17, 2008) stated, "Bush’s penchant for slash-and-burn politics is unseemly" when practiced at home; "it is shameful when put on display abroad."
Democrats on May 15 condemned President Bush’s insinuation that they would be appeasing terrorist states by holding talks, with Senator Joe Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, going so far as to call his remarks "bulls**t." "This is bulls**t. This is malarkey. This is outrageous. Outrageous for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the Knesset … and make this kind of ridiculous statement," said Senator Biden. Even Democratic Party presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton called Bush’s original comments "offensive and outrageous, especially in light of his failures in foreign policy."
Senator Obama, the probable Democratic Party candidate, wasted no time to condemn Bush. In a statement released to CNN by his campaign, he said, "It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack. George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel."
John McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate, as expected, promptly came in support of Bush and said, "Barack Obama needs to explain why he wants to sit down and talk with a man who is a head of a government who is a state sponsor of terrorism that kills young Americans." Asked if Obama was an appeaser, McCain said Obama must explain why he wants to talk with leaders like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and added that Obama’s position was a serious error. "It shows naivete and inexperience and lack of judgment to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country that says Israel is a stinking corpse, that is dedicated to the extinction of the state of Israel. My question is: what does he want to talk about?"
On Friday, May 16, Senator Obama fought back stating, "It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel. Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what (Presidents) Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power — including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy — to pressure countries like Iran and Syria." He was ready to debate with anyone, anytime, anywhere on foreign policy.
While such hoopla about American foreign policy before this year’s presidential election is quite natural and desirable, it nonetheless once again unmasked how hypocritical and short-sighted politicians are. In an op-ed published on May 16 in the Washington Post, James Rubin, a former State Department official from the Clinton administration, said McCain, responding to a question in a television interview two years ago about whether U.S. diplomats should be working with the Hamas government in Gaza, said: "They’re the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy toward Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice." McCain added: "But it’s a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that." [Rubin, who interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News, said McCain was "guilty of hypocrisy" and accused him of "smearing" Obama.]
So what has really changed in the last two years for Senator McCain other than the fact that he is now the Republican candidate for the White House, something that he was not before? Hamas still runs the Gaza Strip, and Dr. Ahmadinejad is still the elected president of Iran!
Well, hypocrisy and lying are nothing new to most American politicians when push comes to shove. They simply get worse in the election year. We have also noticed how the White House misled everyone with claims about Iraq’s threat, presence of the WMDs, etc. –” all only to be found false.
American people need a serious internal discussion about their foreign policy, especially about the Middle East (and Iran, in particular, in the light of her expressed desire to harness nuclear technology) that supplies oil, America’s newly stoked urge for global hegemony (empire building) and her perennial quest for security, not just for herself but also for her ‘stalwart’ ally –” the Zionist state of Israel, with her despicable records of sadistic brutality, racism and inhumanity against the dispossessed Palestinians. They must also debate whether President Bush’s last eight years have been successful in their national quest for security, global leadership, peace and prosperity. Such a discussion needs to weigh in the pros against the cons. It must be done thoroughly, fairly and justly without the influence of any lobby group. If the last eight years were bad, what change must America bring about? As the only superpower in our time, the policies must not only be good for the American people but also for all humanity. Who, of all the candidates, may be the better presidential candidate to bring about that desired state?
Part 2: Who’s a Terrorist?
Over the years, America has evolved into the most dominant power in our planet, now much touted as the only super (or more appropriately, hyper) power. Her powerful navy roams around all the seas unhindered and unchallenged. To dominate the oceans and seas of the world, America has more than a dozen naval task forces built around aircraft carriers. She has military bases in all the continents of the world. According to the Defense Department’s annual "Base Structure Report" (2003), which itemized foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon owned or rented 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and had another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. The number of foreign bases jumped to 737 in 2005. The worldwide total of U.S. military personnel in 2005, including those based domestically, was 1,840,062 supported by an additional 473,306 Defense Department civil service employees and 203,328 local hires. Its overseas bases, according to the Pentagon, contained 32,327 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and 16,527 more that it leased. As of May 2007, about 1,426,705 people are on active duty in the military with an additional 1,458,400 people in the seven reserve forces. One can justifiably assume that those numbers have now simply grown.
From numerous secret bases, and satellites stationed in the sky, the American government can monitor what the people of the world, including its own citizens, are saying, faxing, or e-mailing to one another. American military budget equals the budget of the rest of the world. She has amassed so much nuclear warheads and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that she could obliterate any nation on earth. With all such brute powers to destroy humanity at his finger tips the president of the USA is undoubtedly the most powerful man in our planet.
American leaders are zealous to sustain this enviable status for all times to come. For years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, they spent billions of dollars on weapons program, including the missile defense system, imagining that the threat to national security might come from hostile powerful states like Russia or China. In recent decades, prior to 9/11, national security concern was heavily focused on the possibility that unfriendly states like Iran or North Korea might launch or threaten to launch a missile attack on the USA. Missile defense was thus an idea that gained popularity.
But 9/11 changed all such notions of false security. There is no doubt that 9/11 is a seminal event in American history. It has changed forever the history of power politics. The American public could never imagine that 19 individuals, armed only with box-cutters and a firm determination, could attack America. With all the weapons in their disposal, they had imagined invulnerability unto America. According to Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, never before had so much pain been inflected on so powerful many by so impotent few. Therein lies the dilemma for our world’s only superpower: how to cope with an enemy that is physically weak but endowed with an unfathomed passion?
Before we delve into the subject of America’s prudent response to dealing with terrorism effectively, a short review of terrorism may help.
Terrorism was widespread in Tsarist Russia from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the WWI, many of those crimes perpetrated by Ashkenazi Jews who overwhelmed various nihilist and communist organizations. It involved thousands of violent attacks, including high level assassinations and dynamiting of buildings. Almost 7000 officials and politicians were its victims in Russia, including the Tsar Alexander II (in 1881). The assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, is another example of terrorism that sparked WWI.
Almost all "terrorist" activities originate from a political conflict and have been seeded as well as sustained by it. That applies to the Bolsheviks in Imperial Russia, the IRA in Ireland, the ETA or the Basque separatists in Spain, the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) in Peru, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the FARC in Colombia, the CPP/NPA in the Philippines, the 17N or N17 and Revolutionary Nuclei in Greece, the Red Army Faction in West Germany; the Ghadar Party, and the Azad Hind Fauz (of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose) in British India; the Partai Nasional Indonesia in Dutch-ruled Indonesia, the RSS and the Naxalites in India, the Mau Mau rebels of Kenya, the Mukti Bahini in erstwhile East Pakistan (March –” December, 1971), the African National Congress (of Nelson Mandela) in apartheid South Africa, the Tamil Liberation Tigers in Sri Lanka, the communists in Nepal, the Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, the Chechen rebels in Russia, the PKK in Turkey, the MEK in Iran; the PLF (of Abu Abbas), the PFLP and Abu Nidal Organization in the Occupied Territories of Palestine; the Irgun Zvai Leumi, Stern Gang and Lehi in Palestine (during the British Mandate of Palestine), the Kach and Kahane Chai in Israel, and to all other groups.
As can be seen from the short list above, yesterday’s "terrorist" can be today’s "patriot", and even president and prime minister, something that happened to Zionists like Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir of Israel; Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Sukarno of Indonesia, Sheikh Mujib of Bangladesh, Nelson Mandela and Mbeki of South Africa, and many others. Some of those groups were (and are) engaged in national liberation struggle of their country or people, while some others committed violent crimes against individuals.
In 1941 Yitzhak Shamir was imprisoned by British authorities for his terrorist activities in Palestine. After escaping from the detention camp, he became one of the three leaders of the gang in 1943, reforming it as "Lehi". During his tenure, Lehi was also responsible for the 1944 assassination of Britain’s minister of state for the Middle East, Lord Moyne; an assassination attempt against Harold MacMichael, the High Commissioner of Palestine in the same year, and the 1948 assassination of the United Nations representative in the Middle East, Count Folke Bernadotte who was seen by Shamir and his collaborators as an anti-Zionist and "an obvious agent of the British enemy". Lehi also played a major role in the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre of some 254 unarmed Palestinians.
And yet, Shamir argued that Lehi never engaged in terrorism: "There are those who say that to kill Martin (a British sergeant) is terrorism, but to attack an army camp is guerrilla warfare and to bomb civilians is professional warfare. But I think it is the same from the moral point of view. Is it better to drop an atomic bomb on a city than to kill a handful of persons? I don’t think so. But nobody says that President Truman was a terrorist. All the men we went for individually — Wilkin, Martin, MacMichael and others — were personally interested in succeeding in the fight against us. So it was more efficient and more moral to go for selected targets. In any case, it was the only way we could operate, because we were so small. For us it was not a question of the professional honor of a soldier, it was the question of an idea, an aim that had to be achieved. We were aiming at a political goal. There are many examples of what we did to be found in the Bible –Gideon and Samson, for instance. This had an influence on our thinking. And we also learned from the history of other peoples who fought for their freedom –” the Russian and Irish revolutionaries, Garibaldi and Tito."
Shamir’s argument is quite revealing in that he, like most "terrorists" of our time, did not consider those heinous acts as anything but revolutionary. It is here that the definition of terrorism gets blurred. Truly, in spite of all the clamor and excitement around terrorism for the last several decades the international community has never managed to satisfactorily define the term. It thus remains an abstract concept. Someone’s patriotism can be someone else’s terrorism and vice-versa.
Professor Igor Primoratz of the University of Melbourne says that many scholars have been reluctant to assign the word "terrorism" to activities that could be construed as "legitimate state aims". Primoratz himself defines terrorism as "the deliberate use of violence, or threat of its use, against innocent people…", and writes that his definition can be applied to both state and non-state activities. Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton, has a similar opinion and says that terrorism "should apply to violence deliberately targeting civilians, whether committed by state actors or their non-state enemies." Historian Howard Zinn writes: "If ‘terrorism’ has a useful meaning (and I believe it does, because it marks off an act as intolerable, since it involves the indiscriminate use of violence against human beings for some political purpose), then it applies exactly to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
Part 3: Allegations of State Terrorism against America
In the absence of a general agreement on its definition, discussions around terrorism can get rather complicated and unpleasant. While western countries like to portray their violence, even when these are committed against civilians, as non-terrorist acts, according to most experts they are nothing short of state terrorism. Princeton professor Falk argues that the U.S. and other first-world states, as well as mainstream mass media institutions, have obscured the true character and scope of terrorism by hiding their crimes, promulgating a one-sided view from the standpoint of first-world privilege. He opines that without an impartial view of terrorism we won’t be able to mitigate the problem.
Until now, in modern times, acts of individual terror have been the weapon of the weak and the poor, while acts of state and economic terror have been the weapon of the strong. According to award-winning veteran journalist John Pilger, "The terrorism of groups and individuals, however horrific, is tiny by comparison with that of states. But the media have no language to describe state terrorism."
While all the communist countries (e.g., former Soviet Union, China and Cuba), illiberal democracies (e.g., India, Russia, Georgia and Egypt) and authoritarian/repressive regimes (e.g., Burma or Myanmar, Iraq, Syria, Yugoslavia/Serbia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan) are long known for practicing terrorism against their own citizens, especially the minorities and dissidents, even many liberal democracies (including Australia and the USA) are not immune from that charge. Palestinians in Israel are routinely terrorized by various government agencies, including the ultra-right Zionists. The fate of Kashmiri Muslims in Indian Occupied Kashmir does not fare any better.
In the post-WW II era, as much as the KGB (now split into groups like the FIS or SVR, FSB, etc.) has been involved in aiding a number of foreign organizations to topple regimes that they considered anti-Soviet (or pro-American) so has been the CIA to bring about desired changes against pro-Soviet (or anti-American) regimes.
The specific allegations of state terrorism against America include dropping of atom bombs in Japan (1945), arming anti-Castro groups in Cuba (1959 to present), aiding the Contras in Nicaragua (1979-90); toppling the popular nationalist government of Musaddeq in Iran (1953) and controlling the state apparatus through Shah’s notorious Savak for the next quarter of a century, and covert attempts through terrorist organizations like the MEK and Jundullah to topple the Islamic regime since 1979; overthrow of the Guzman government in Guatemala in 1954 and controlling state apparatus for the next four decades; overthrow of the Allende government in Chile in 1973, and aiding the repressive Pinochet government until 1990; aiding the repressive government in El Salvador (1980-1992) that killed 75,000 people; assassination campaign in 1985 against Shaykh Hossein Fadlallah of Lebanon, which killed, instead, 81 civilians. It is also known that America aided groups like the Iraqi National Accord of Dr. Iyad Alawi (between 1992 and ’95) for bombing and sabotage campaigns against Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq, and the Iraqi National Congress of Dr. Ahmed Chalabi to topple the regime. Add to this list, America’s current activities against the leftist governments in Venezuela and Guatemala. Many Bangladeshis and journalist Lawrence Lifschultz believe that the CIA was involved in the assassination of Sheikh Mujib, the founding leader of the nation, in 1975.
Arno Mayer, Emeritus Professor of History at Princeton University, has stated that "since 1947 America has been the chief and pioneering perpetrator of "preemptive" state terror, exclusively in the Third World and therefore widely dissembled. Besides the unexceptional subversion and overthrow of governments in competition with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Washington has resorted to political assassinations, surrogate death squads and unseemly freedom fighters (e.g., bin Laden). It masterminded the killing of Lumumba and Allende; and it unsuccessfully tried to put to death Castro, Khadafi, Saddam Hussein (and bin Laden?). These "rogue" actions worsened local political and economic conditions and were of a piece with equally unscrupulous blockades, embargoes, military interventions, punitive air (missile) strikes and kidnappings, always in the name of democracy, liberty and justice. To be sure, for some of these actions America secured the sanction of the United Nations and the collaboration of NATO allies. At the same time, however, Washington refused to pay its dues to the United Nations, defied the nascent International Criminal Court and condoned Israel’s violation of international agreements and UN resolutions as well as its practice of preemptive state terror."
America’s indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets in Afghanistan and Iraq, and destruction of the entire infrastructure qualify her as a country that practices state terrorism. Her occupying forces committed some of the worst war crimes, which include raping, killing and burning of civilian victims, let alone shooting cold-bloodedly at any one, not just in places like Haditha, Mahmudiyah, Hamdaniah, Abu Ghraib and Tel Afar but almost every place that they entered in Iraq under the name of cleaning the territory from al-Qaeda of Iraq.
In its April 2007 report, the Global Policy Forum observed, "The United States and its allies claim they do everything in their power to prevent civilian casualties. Yet, there are many accounts of Coalition forces opening fire and killing Iraqi civilians in circumstances where there was no imminent threat of death or injury to the Coalition troops or anyone else. This is in clear breach of international human rights standards relating to the use of force. In many cases of patrols, house searches, and relentless bombing campaigns, military personnel have used lethal force in absolutely unjustified circumstances. Studies of civilian mortality in Iraq suggest that tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed in this way since the occupation began. Murders and atrocities are the extreme form of the daily deadly violence. In Iraq, where US Coalition forces see every man of military age as a potential fighter, and where fear and anger affect the behavior of troops, events like the Haditha massacre are all too likely to occur…. This environment of extreme violence and impunity paves the way for murder, rape and atrocities. These acts are prohibited by The Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions and they constitute serious war crimes."
Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT argues that "Washington is the center of global state terrorism and has been for years." Chomsky has characterized the tactics used by agents of the U.S. government and their proxies in their execution of American foreign policy in countries like Nicaragua as a form of terrorism and has also described the U.S as "a leading terrorist state." John Pilger writes, "More terrorists are given training and sanctuary in the United States than anywhere on earth. They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals. This is virtually unknown to the American public, thanks to the freest media on earth."
These are very harsh allegations of state terrorism against today’s only superpower, and make Bush’s finger pointing against others, especially Iran, highly hypocritical and problematic.
Who can also forget the CIA’s role in Afghanistan prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979? As stated by the former director of the CIA and current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, in his memoirs From the Shadows, the American intelligence services began to aid the rebel factions (the Mujahideen) six months before the Soviet deployment in Afghanistan. On July 3, 1978 President Carter had signed an executive order authorizing the CIA to conduct covert propaganda operations against the communist regime. This fact is further corroborated by Carter advisor Dr. Brzezinski. He stated, "According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise." Dr. Brzezinski himself played a fundamental role in crafting the U.S. policy, which, unbeknownst even to the Mujahideen, was part of a larger strategy "to induce a Soviet military intervention." In a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Dr. Brzezinski recalled: "We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would…That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviets into the Afghan trap…The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War."
America was thus successful to bring about the Vietnam upon the Soviet Union, thanks to the so-called jihadists or Mujahideen, only to be later dumped as the terrorists. The CIA recruited fiery clerics like Abdullah Azzam and the Egyptian "blind Shaikh" Dr. Omar Abdur Rahman to enlist Muslim youths to fight its dirty war against the "Evil" Soviet Empire. All on a sudden, "Jihad" became a favorite buzz-word in the mouths of those western patrons who provided arms and ammunitions to Muslim youths. And join they did in vast numbers from all the continents to fight America’s jihad against the ungodly Soviets. The CIA even recruited Osama bin Laden (OBL).
The rest is history! The casualties of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan resulted in the death of more than a million of Afghans, five million refugees to Pakistan and Iran, and two million internally displaced people. There were another 4.2 million disabled Afghans as a result of land mines, bombs and bullet injuries. The entire irrigation system was destroyed by the Soviets. As the Soviets bled Afghanistan to death and ruination so did they bleed, albeit in tens of thousands, and eventually collapsed under the massive weight of the war. There was no more the USSR. No time in history was a third party able to so successfully bring about the downfall of its most powerful adversary without a single casualty on its side.
But what the USA and its allies did after the Mujahideen were able to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan is simply criminal. They lost interest in Afghanistan and did little to help rebuild the war-ravaged country, which, not unexpectedly, led to a state of warlordism, eventually paving the way for the Taliban to take control in Kabul in 1996. And guess: who came forward with the much needed cash to help Afghanistan? It was the CIA’s former operative – Osama, who called Afghanistan his home, after being driven out of Saudi Arabia (1992) and Sudan (1996).
Who can also forget the White House reception of the Afghan Mujahideen in 1985 when President Reagan dubbed them as “moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”? Only 13 years later the same people would be dubbed as terrorists, having harbored a ‘terrorist’ leader. On August 20, 1998 President Bill Clinton ordered missile attacks against OBL. Another 3 years later, Bush Jr. would declare an all-out war to either kill or capture OBL, accusing him of masterminding 9/11.
So, what did really change within those 16 years (1985-2001)? Why someone like OBL, once trained and armed by the CIA, would end up being the most sought after "terrorist" figure in our planet, dead or alive, with a bounty of more than 25 million dollars?
Part 4: Allegations of Russian State Terrorism
Russia’s own record of terrorism isn’t any better!
Soon after capturing power in 1917 the Bolshevik party started behaving as a mafia-like organization where, according to Russian historian Yuri Felshtinsky, "almost no one died by a natural cause." This includes poisoning of Lenin, Felix Dzerzhinsky, and Maxim Gorky by Genrikh Yagoda’s NKVD agents on the orders of Stalin; murders of Sergey Kirov, Mikhail Frunze, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, and Leon Trotsky; poisoning of Stalin by Lavrentiy Beria, and other similar episodes.
During the "Red Terror" (1918-1922) the mass repressions were conducted without judicial process by the state security organization, Cheka. Just in the first two months, ten to fifteen thousand people were executed. Dzerzhinsky himself boasted that: “[The Red Terror involves] the terrorization, arrests and extermination of enemies of the revolution on the basis of their class affiliation or of their pre-revolutionary roles."
During the "Great Purge," orchestrated by Joseph Stalin in 1937-1938, also described as a "Soviet holocaust", estimates of the number of deaths run from the official figure of 681,692 to nearly 2 million. Of these, according to the declassified Soviet archives, during 1937 and 1938, at least 681,692 were shot dead – an average of 1,000 executions a day.
As much as America at one time terrorized her native Indian and Black population for decades, during the Stalin era millions of people, esp. Muslims from the Caucasus and Central Asia, were traumatized. They were uprooted from their ancestral homes and herded like cattle to live elsewhere. Internal reports show that some 43% of those displaced victims died of diseases and malnutrition.
The people of Chechnya along with their fellow co-religionists in the neighboring Ingushetia were dragged from their homes in 1944 on Stalin’s whims to wastelands of Kazakhstan on a cooked up charge of collaborating with the Germans. Both these peoples were sentenced to penal servitude and subjected to systematic genocide, worse than those of the Siberian Gulag. For a time being they were declared an extinct people, who did not exist in Stalin’s time. Thirteen years later, under Khrushchev, both these peoples were reinstated, told it was a mistake and invited to return to their homelands. Many did so on the foot. While Chechens still had a home to return to, the Ingush Muslims found their lands and houses occupied by Christian Ossetians. During Stalin’s rule 300,000 Chechen and Ingush Muslims were massacred, almost half the entire population!
During the communist rule, while dissidents were routinely herded in the Siberian Gulags, assassination attempts on unfriendly foreign leaders remained a trademark of the KGB, quite in common with the CIA. According to the KGB-defectors at least ten foreign leaders were targeted for assassination by the Kremlin in the post-Stalin era. The list included (failed attempts on) President John F. Kennedy of the USA and Chairman Mao Zedong of China. The second President of Afghanistan Hafizullah Amin was killed by the KGB OSNAZ forces on December 27, 1979.
Presidents of the break-away Chechen Republic of Ichkeria –” Dzhokhar Dudaev, Zelimkhan Yandarbeiv, Aslan Maskhadov and Abdul-Khalim Saidullaev – were killed by (Russian) FSB and affiliated forces. [Just before his death, Saidullaev claimed that the Russian government "treacherously" killed Maskhadov on March 8, 2005, after inviting him to "talks" and promising his security "at the highest level." To this day, President Maskhadov’s dead body has not been returned to his family for burial. Like his Chechen predecessors, he was dubbed a "terrorist."]
As a matter of fact outside the Bosnian genocide, perpetrated against Muslims by Serbian Orthodox Christians, Russia’s terrorism against the Chechens has simply no parallel in our time. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, while Yeltsin’s Russia did not object to secession of her former Republics, she had a different qualifier for Chechnya where its inhabitants never accepted Russian domination since her annexation by the Czarist army back in 1859. Apart from obvious reasons of bigotry and double-standard, Russia did not want Chechnya to secede because of economic and internal political reasons. Chechnya’s vast oil reserves and control of the oil pipelines between the Caspian and the Black seas that go through the region as an oil-hub were deemed important for Russia’s economy. Granting secession right to Chechnya was deemed to trigger similar secession movements from other smaller republics like Tatarstan. Russia thus ignored the October 1991 referendum that elected Dzhokhar Dudayev on the strength of his promise to free Chechnya from Russia and declared war against Chechnya in December 1, 1994, describing independence-seeking Chechens as terrorists.
Thus began the First Chechen War (1994-96), which, according to the BBC, ranks among the worst military engagements of the 20th century. It witnessed the murder of nearly a hundred thousand civilians, injury to over 200,000 and displacement of half a million people (40% of Chechnya’s pre-war population). President Yeltsin, following the footsteps of his murderous predecessors, demolished Grozny – the capital city of Chechnya. International monitors from the OSCE described the scenes as nothing short of an "unimaginable catastrophe," while former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called the war a "disgraceful, bloody adventure," and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl described the events as "sheer madness." So massive was the "terror bombing" attack in Grozny that half its residential areas were damaged beyond repair. Its infrastructure destroyed by bombing, shelling, and street fighting during the struggle for Chechen independence. In February 1996 the Russian forces in Grozny opened fire on the massive pro-independence peace march involving tens of thousands of people, killing a number of demonstrators. Rape of Chechen women became a weapon of war among Russian soldiers to terrorize the Chechen people. The First Chechen War came to an end shortly after Chechens were able to recapture Grozny and a ceasefire agreement was signed on August 31, 1996. Later a peace treaty was signed in the Kremlin on May 12, 1997 between Yeltsin of Russia and Maskhadov of Chechnya.
However, the Kremlin continued to plan invasion of Chechnya. To quote former FSB director and prime minister of Russia Sergei Stepashin, from an interview to Novaya Gazeta "the decision to invade Chechnya was made in March 1999… I was prepared for an active intervention. We were planning to be on the north side of the Terek River by August-September of 1999." But Russia required a pretext to enter the territory. Thus, the Chechen separatists were falsely blamed for apartment bombings in Moscow in September of 1999 that killed more than 300 civilians.
There are now enough credible proofs – thanks to investigative journalists like David Satter, Vladimir Pribylovsky and Anna Politkovskaya, historian Yuri Felshtinsky, and former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko – that the FSB staged a series of criminal activities, including the Moscow Apartment Bombings, to steer public opinion (in a way similar to American public reaction to 9/11) towards legitimizing the resumption of the Second Chechen War and facilitating Vladimir Putin (a former FSB Director) and FSB to come to power in 1999. [Not surprisingly, as soon as three FSB agents were caught while planting a large bomb in the basement of an apartment complex in the town of Ryazan in September 22, all those bombings stopped.]
Thus began the Second Chechen War in which Russia’s terrorism knew no bound. This conflict saw the first use of aerial-delivered fuel air explosives (FAE) in populated areas, notably in the village of Tando. During the early phase of the Russian siege on Grozny in October 25, 1999, Russian forces launched five SS-21 ballistic missiles at the crowded central bazaar and a maternity ward, killing more than 140 people and injuring hundreds. These missile attacks were followed by Russian artillery fires, directed toward the buildings, which caused massive destruction of infrastructure and civilian casualties. To quote the Wikipedia, "The enormous scale of the devastation prompted numerous comparisons with Hiroshima and other cities leveled during World War II."
The conflict also saw the use of cluster bombs and vacuum bombs dropped on villages, fleeing refugees hit by tank shells from Russian forces. Nearly a third of Chechnya’s residents fled the war-ravaged country. The award-winning journalist John Pilger writes, "On 4 February 2000, Russian aircraft attacked the Chechen village of Katyr-Yurt. They used "vacuum bombs", which release petrol vapour and suck people’s lungs out, and are banned under the Geneva Convention. The Russians bombed a convoy of survivors under a white flag. They murdered 363 men, women and children. It was one of countless, little-known acts of terrorism in Chechnya perpetrated by the Russian state, whose leader, Vladimir Putin, has the "complete solidarity" of Blair."
As to the fate of the capital city Grozny, in early February 2000 the Russian military lured the besieged militants to a promised safe passage, to which they agreed. However, the Russian Army had mined the path of ‘safe passage’ just the day before the planned evacuation, and concentrated most firepower on that point. As a result, a number of separatist leaders including the city mayor and military commander were killed. The guerrilla leader Shamil Basayev and several other militants suffered injury. After entering the city, the Russians dynamited many buildings. In 2003 the United Nations called Grozny the "most destroyed" city on earth."
By June 2006, out of more than 60,000 apartment buildings and private homes destroyed, 900 have been rebuilt. Out of several dozens of industrial enterprises, three have been partially rebuilt. Most of the city’s infrastructure was destroyed and many continue to live in ruined buildings without heating and running water, even as electricity was mostly restored since 2006, as the city has undergone substantial reconstruction.
Before the recent conflicts, Chechnya had a population of two million. During the wars, it was reduced to 800,000. Nearly a million Chechens were internally displaced. From the reports of human rights groups, Putin and Yeltsin killed more than 200,000 Chechens, including 35,000 children. Another 40,000 children were seriously injured. Shamil Basayev’s wife, sister, uncle and child, including many of his family members (all unarmed civilians) were killed as a result of bombs dropped by Russian forces on his uncle’s home in Dyshne-Vedeno.
There are now credible reports that the Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev, blamed for hostage taking, may have been a member of the GRU –” the Russian Military Intelligence, working towards weakening the authority of the Chechen government. His free passage to Abkhazia in Georgia to fight alongside the pro-Russian elements definitely raises much suspicion.
According to the former FSB agent Aleksander Litvinenko and investigator Mikhail Trepashkin, the Moscow Theatre hostage crisis was also directed by an FSB agent. They also accused the FSB of becoming an international criminal organization that actually promotes and perpetrates terrorism and organized crime in order to achieve its political and financial goals. Many investigative journalists have also accused the FSB of staging many smaller terrorist acts, e.g., market place bombing in Astrakhan, bus stops bombings in the city of Voronezh, and the blowing up the Moscow-Grozny train, bombing in Moscow metro –” all these to justify Russia’s second invasion of Chechnya. Many journalists and workers of foreign NGOs were reported to be kidnapped by the FSB-affiliated forces in Chechnya who pretended to be Chechen terrorists.
In a Washington Post article, dated 2006, Anna Politkovskaya mentioned that most of the "Islamic terrorism cases" were fabricated by the Russian government, and the confessions were obtained through the torture of innocent suspects. To obtain confessions, victims’ legs were broken under torture; kneecaps were shattered; kidneys badly damaged by beating; genitalia mutilated; eyesight lost; eardrums torn; and all front teeth sawed off. "The plight of those sentenced for Islamic terrorism today is the same as that of the political prisoners of the Gulag Archipelago… Russia continues to be infected by Stalinism," she wrote. She continued, "I recall the words of one torture victim at his trial: ‘What will become of me? How will I be able to live in this country if you sentence me to such a long prison term for a crime that I did not commit, and without any proof of my guilt?’ He never received an answer to his question. Indeed, what will become of all the rest of us, who tolerate this? What has become of us already?"
As we all know, neither Litvinenko, the former FSB agent who wrote the book –” Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within, exposing FSB’s involvement with terrorist plots, nor Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya who wrote the books –” A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya and Putin’s Russia — survived Kremlin’s target killing. The former was radiation poisoned to death by Russian agents in November of 2006 in London, and the latter was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building in central Moscow on October 7, 2006.
The Kremlin is also accused of complicity in the poisoning of Ukrainian leader Viktor Yushchenko. It was also involved in attempts to denying him the seat of power in Ukraine.
Who can also forget the KGB’s role in the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the liberalization programs of Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet forces in 1978-79? Dubcek’s reforms, which were known as the Prague Spring or ‘socialism with a human face’, were for the most part reversed by new leaders installed by the KGB. The KGB was also involved in unsuccessful suppression of the Solidarity labor movement in Poland in the 1980s.
Nor should we forget Russia’s support for Serbia’s genocidal campaign against the Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims in the 1990s that killed nearly a quarter million unarmed people. Her support for the breakaway region of Abkhazia in Georgia unmasks her inherent double standard.
Putin’s Russia is no better than Bush’s America when it comes to state sponsored terrorism. In her book, A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, Anna Politkovskaya writes, "We’ve all observed how the word “mercy” has been swept out of the government vocabulary. The government relies on cruelty in relation to its citizens. Destruction is encouraged. The logic of murder is a logic that is understood by the government and propagated by it. The way things are, you need to kill to become a Hero.
This is Putin’s modern ideology. When capitalists can’t get it done, comrades take over again. We know very well that they never forget to line their own pockets. That’s how things stand: at the end of the seventh year of the war, and in the third year of the second campaign, Chechnya has been turned into a genuine cash cow. Here, military careers are speedily forged, long lists of awards are compiled, and ranks and titles are handed out ahead of time. And all you have to do is to kill a Chechen and submit the corpse."
Part 5: Allegations of Israeli Terrorism
Israel plays an important role in American politics. So strong is the power and influence of the pro-Israeli Lobby that no politician can afford to appear anti-Israel by questioning, let alone chiding, her criminal, sadistic, state terrorism that is routinely practiced against the Palestinian people. Such queries, while freely discussed inside Israel by concerned Jews, sadly remain a taboo in the West.
If we stick to the definition of terrorism that is provided by Professor Richard Falk of the Princeton University, the first recorded episode of terrorism can probably be traced back to Samson in the Torah. His is the classic case of what can be called suicide terrorism, now much practiced in vast territories from Asia to Latin America by those who believe that they have been wronged.
However for our purpose here, we shall limit this discussion to the last 90 years. Probably the first victim of Jewish terrorism in the post-WWI period was Jacob Israel de Haan, the Dutch Jewish novelist, poet, lawyer, and legal scholar, who wanted a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Arabs for the recognition of a Jewish state and the establishment of an official Palestinian state in Jordan within a federation. This alarmed the secular Zionist leadership and De Haan was assassinated on July 1, 1924 by the Haganah, a Zionist paramilitary force.
It is worth mentioning here that for much of its existence (1920-1948), the Haganah, the precursor to today’s Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), enjoyed cooperation and assistance from the British Mandate government in Palestine. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop weapon factories to create hand grenades and military equipment, transforming from an irregular militia force to a capable underground army. In 1936 the Haganah had 10,000 regulars along with 40,000 reservists. During the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, it participated actively to protect British interests and to suppress Arab rebellion.
In 1931, the most militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun Tsva’i-Leumi (National Military Organization), better known as the "Irgun," under Avraham Tehomi. In 1940, the Irgun also split over the issue of whether or not to attack the British during WW II and their off-shoot became known as the "Lehi" (short from the Hebrew name – Lochamei Herut Yisrael –” meaning, Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), more commonly known as the "Stern Gang" after its leader, Avraham Stern. The Stern Gang members were ardent students of violence, great admirers of Mussolini who steeped themselves in the terrorist traditions of the pre-1917 Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party, the Macedonian IMRO, and the Italian "Black Shirts". They sought a Greater Israel as defined in Genesis 15:18, plus building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.
These three terrorist gangs, as noted by Scott Bidstrup, "operated with little restraint, targeting Arab civilians, often setting up snipers to shoot at innocent Arab civilians waiting at bus stops, shopping in the markets and in doing business in other public places. The deaths of innocent Palestinian Arabs began to mount. The British responded by simply deporting those it caught that it believed to be participating in terrorism. They deported 439 suspected Jewish terrorists, mostly to modern-day Eritrea."
Before we go any further, some basic information on the past history of some leaders of the Jewish state is useful here. Yitzhak Rabin joined Haganah in 1941. Ariel Sharon joined the Gadna, a paramilitary youth battalion, in 1942 at the age of 14. Later he joined the Haganah.
Menachem Begin became a close disciple of Vladimir "Ze’ev" Jabotinsky, the founder of the militant, racist, Revisionist Zionism movement, and its youth wing –” Betar, in the mid-1930s. Upon arrival in Palestine in August of 1942, he received a proposal to take over a position in the Irgun (which was also inspired by Jabotinsky’s views), as Betar’s Commissioner. In 1944 Begin assumed the organization’s leadership, determined to expel the British government from Palestine. Begin issued a call to arms and from 1944 to 1948 the Irgun launched an all-out armed rebellion, perpetrating hundreds of attacks against British installations and posts. Begin financed these operations by extorting money from Zionist businessmen, and running bogus robbery scams in the local diamond industry, which enabled the victims to get back their losses from insurance companies. The British government considered Begin a terrorist and its Security Service MI5 placed a ‘dead-or-alive’ bounty of £10,000 on his head after the Irgun threatened to kill Sir John Shaw, Britain’s Chief Secretary in Palestine. An MI5 agent (codenamed Snuffbox) also warned that Irgun had sleeper cells in London trying to kill members of British Prime Minister Clement Attlee’s Cabinet.
Yitzhak Shamir, like Begin, joined Betar in his youth. After immigrating to Palestine in 1935, he joined the Irgun. Later he joined the Lehi, which proposed to intervene in the WW II on the side of Nazi Germany. Lehi offered assistance in "evacuating" the Jews of Europe, in return for Germany’s help in expelling Britain from Palestine. [See also Faris Glubb’s book – Zionist Relations with Nazism.]
As noted by Arie Perliger and Leonard Weinberg, during the Arab Revolt (1936-1939) the Irgun carried out sixty attacks against the Palestinian Arabs resulting in the death of at least 250 Arabs, reflecting its world view that "political violence and terrorism" were "legitimate tools in the Jewish national struggle for the Land of Israel".
The Irgun and Lehi targeted British policemen and soldiers, United Nations-personnel, Jews suspected of collaborating with the British, and Arab civilians. The Irgun was described as a terrorist organization in media such as The New York Times newspaper, and by the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry. The Lehi was described as a terrorist group by the British government.
On 25 November 1940, the Haganah, opposed to the deportation of some 1,800 illegal Jewish immigrants who were being deported by the British authorities from Palestine to Mauritius and Trinidad, sunk the ship Patria by planting a bomb that killed over 200 Jews and some Britons and Arabs, and injured 172 people.
Other notable terrorist acts by the founding fathers of the State of Israel include: the assassination of Lord Moyne (November 6, 1944) by two Stern Gang terrorists, masterminded by Yitzhak Shamir; the bombing of the King David Hotel (July 2, 1946), masterminded by Menachem Begin of the Irgun, resulting in 91 dead (including 41 Arabs); the bombing of the British Embassy in Rome by the Irgun on October 31, 1946; the bombing of the central police station in Haifa, Palestine, killing four and injuring 140, by the Stern Gang members who drove a truckload of explosives on January 12, 1947. Three months later (April 1947) the Stern Gang repeated the tactic in Tel Aviv, blowing up the Sarona police barracks with a stolen postal truck filled with dynamite, resulting in five casualties. On July 25, 1947, the Irgun murdered two British sergeants, who had been taken as prisoners, in response to the British execution of two Irgun members in Akko prison.
Unhappy about the UN Partition Plan because of its failure to deliver Eretz Israel to the settler Jews, the Stern Gang decided to hit hard Palestinian positions. On January 4, 1948, dressed as Arabs, two Stern Gang members drove a truck ostensibly loaded with oranges into the center of Jaffa and parked it next to the New Seray Building, which housed the Palestinian municipal government as well as a soup-kitchen for poor children. Twenty six Palestinians were killed and hundreds were injured; most were civilians, including many children eating at the charity kitchen. The bomb missed the local Palestinian leadership who had moved to another building, but the atrocity was highly successful in terrifying residents and setting the stage for their eventual flight.
The Stern Gang members planted mines on Cairo-Haifa rail track several times that killed 28 soldiers and wounding 35, north of Rehovot on February 29, 1948, and killed 40 and injured 60 civilians, all Arabs, near Binyamina on March 1, 1948.
During April 9-11, 1948, Irgun and Stern Gang massacred some 260 Arab civilians in Deir Yassin, as part of Operation Nachshon. The commander of the Haganah unit that controlled Deir Yassin after the massacre, Zvi Ankori, made this statement in the Israeli newspaper Davar: "I went into six to seven houses. I saw cut off genitalia and women’s crushed stomachs. According to the shooting signs on the bodies, it was direct murder." [Davar, April 9, 1982] As has been noted by many historians, the massacre in Deir Yassin set the final stage for the flight of some 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.
On July 13, 1948, Jewish terrorist gangs, backed up by Israeli troops, entered the all-Palestinian towns of Lydda and Ramleh, in the Palestinian Partition, just east of Jaffa. The Arab death toll in Lydda alone was 250. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion himself issued the order for the expulsion of Arabs that was countersigned by Lt. Col. Yitzhak Rabin, then the operations chief in charge of the attack. As Scott Bidstrup has noted "the Israeli troops forcibly evicted approximately 70,000 Palestinians from their homes, allowing them no time at all for preparation, and simply drove them out into the hot July sun, most fleeing across open fields in the 100-degree temperatures. Hundreds died of thirst and exposure."
Nearly 900 Arabs were massacred by Israelis during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, after the state of Israel was established on May 15, 1948. After the War of Independence, Israel’s terrorism did not stop. It had only begun to continue to this very day. Here below is a short list:
On September 17, 1948, Yitzhak Shamir’s Stern Gang assassinated Swedish peace mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte.
On October 29, 1948, between 80 and 100 Palestinian men, women and children were killed in Dawayma. The children were killed by simply clubbing them to death with heavy sticks.
On October 14-15, 1953, Ariel Sharon commanded attack on the Palestinian village Qibya, destroying 42 homes and killing 70 civilians, most of them women and children."
In 1954, the Israeli government launched a secret operation of terror, called "Operation Suzannah" (also the "Lavon Affair" – named after the Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon) led by Israeli Army intelligence “Unit 131”, against the United States. It plotted to murder Americans and blow up American installations in Egypt. Their plan was to leave false evidence that the Egyptians had done those terrorist acts, so as to make America go to war against Egypt on the side of Israel. Israeli agents succeeded in blowing up some post offices (July 2, 1954) in Alexandria and American libraries (July 14, 1954) in Cairo. On the way to blow up an American movie house, the MGM Theater, an Israeli’s agent’s bomb went off prematurely, thus exposing the plot.
On October 29, 1956 Israeli border guards cold-bloodedly murders 47 Arabs in Kafr Qasim. In 1966, the village of Sammu was attacked killing 18 and wounding 100 Arabs.
On November 13, 1966, 18 Palestinians were killed and 54 wounded; 125 houses and the village clinic were also destroyed in Al Sammou’, along with 15 houses in a neighboring village.
In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel again committed a serious terrorist act by attacking a U.S. Navy ship – the USS Liberty on June 8, killing 34 American servicemen and injuring 172. The Israelis first attacked the Liberty’s radio towers in an attempt to stop the Sixth Fleet from learning that the Israelis were the attackers. After unmarked Israeli fighters horrendously bombed and strafed the Liberty, Israel sent in torpedo boats to finish the job. They even machine gunned the deployed life rafts in an effort to ensure that there won’t be any survivor (witness) who could expose them. This terrorist act was done to put the blame on the Arabs so that the USA could bomb Arab cities. The United States Secretary of State at the time, Dean Rusk, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, both said that the attack was deliberate and no accident.
After the capture of East Jerusalem in 1967 War, several dozen homes were demolished in front of the Western Wall of the Temple and 5500 Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homes without any compensation. Several villages in the West Bank were also destroyed and some 430,000 Palestinians evicted from their homes. In the Golan Heights alone, 244 villages out of 249 were destroyed and 147,000 people evicted.
In 1969 Israeli bombing of school Bahdr al Baker killed 75 children and wounded 100. The Israeli bombing of Syrian and Lebanese towns and villages on Sept 8, 1972 resulted in death of few hundred civilians.
Lebanon has been a veritable theater of Israeli assassination. The Israeli secret service Mossad employed car bombs in Beirut to assassinate Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani in July 1972. The same year, Yehud Barak led an Israeli commando death squad into Beirut, Lebanon where he personally murdered Palestinian writer Kamal Edwan. In the middle of the night, using silenced submachine guns, he and his team slaughtered Edwan while he had slept in his bed. Between 1975 and 1980 the Mossad carried out numerous assassination attempts on Palestinian intellectuals and other dignitaries.
As Mike Davis has shown car bombs began to regularly terrorize Muslim West Beirut in the fall of 1981, apparently as part of an Israeli strategy to evict the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Lebanon. The Mossad was sponsoring the carnage. According to Middle Eastern scholar Professor Rashid Khalidi, "A sequence of public confessions by captured drivers made clear these [car bombings] were being utilized by the Israelis and their Phalangist allies to increase the pressure on the PLO to leave."
The Israeli air raids inside Lebanon killed 20 civilians in Saida’s residential area, 150 in Fakhani and another 150 in the Beirut Arab University area in 1981.
In the summer of 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. So massive were the bombing raids on Beirut in August of 1982, on the orders of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, that some 20,000 civilians were killed.
On the night of September 16, 1982, some three months after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Sharon sent the Maronite Christian Phalangist murder squads into two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Chatila. With Israeli tanks and troops closely surrounding the camps to prevent anyone from escaping, the murder squads machine-gunned, bayoneted, and bludgeoned Palestinian civilians all that night, the next day and the following night while the Israelis surrounding the camps listened gleefully to the machine gun fires and screams coming from inside. Sharon then sent in bulldozers to hide as much of the atrocity as he could. Some 1500 to 2500 Palestinian men, women and children were butchered. Even after the efforts of Sharon’s bulldozers, many Palestinians remained unburied, and the Red Cross workers were able to discover entire families, including hundreds of elderly and little children, with their throats cut or disemboweled. Uncounted numbers of women and girls were also raped before they were slaughtered. [An Israeli investigation in 1983 found Sharon indirectly but "personally" responsible for the deaths, and he was forced to resign.]
In October of 1982, Israeli terrorist squads bombed houses, cars, and offices of three elected mayors of the West Bank cities – Nablus, Ramallah, and Al Beireh. In 1986 Naj Al Ali, a Palestinian cartoonist, was assassinated by the Israeli agents. In April of 1988 Israeli commandos invaded the home of Khalil Al Wazir, a Palestinian leader, and shot him in his bed. In February-March of 1989 Israeli jets bombed the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon killing 15 children and many adults. On April 14, 1989 Israeli police and armed Jewish settlers attacked the Palestinian village of Nahalin killing 8 and injuring 50.
On May 20, 1990, an IDF soldier in Oyon Qara lined up and machine-gunned to death 7 Palestinian men who were waiting to cross into Israel to go to their jobs. At the demonstrations that followed, the IDF troops opened with live fire arms killing 13.
On October 8, 1990, the IDF soldiers opened with live fire arms on worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Masjid, the third-holiest Islamic shrine in the world, killing 22.
In February of 1994 a Kach Party member – Baruch Goldstein – used an assault rifle to murder some 30 Palestinians worshipping in the Hebron mosque. Nearly 200 were injured. This terrorist act was praised by many rabbis. During the demonstrations that followed, the IDF forces opened with live fire arms on the demonstrators, killing 23 and wounding hundreds (the exact casualty figures were never released). Following the incident, Israel imposed a 5-week long curfew during which 76 Palestinians, mostly stone-throwing children, were killed. [The Israeli government later gave permission for a memorial to be constructed in honor of Goldstein.]
On February 27, 1994 the Israeli Mossad bombed the "Our Lady of Deliverance" Maronite Catholic Church at Jounieh, Lebanon killing 11 worshippers.
On March 28, 1994, the Israeli secret police opened fire on suspected Palestinian activists, killing 6 and injuring 49 in Jabalia. Those injured in their cars were removed from their cars and shot in the head to finish them off.
On July 17, 1994, Israeli settlers opened fire on Palestinians waiting to cross into Israel to go to work at the Eretz Checkpoint. Nearby Palestinians saw what was happening and a gun-battle ensued that lasted for six hours. On the Palestinian side, 11 were killed, 200 injured; on the Israeli side a soldier was killed and 21 were injured, along with an Israeli settler.
On April 11, 1996 Israel launched her Operation Grapes of Wrath by attacking southern Lebanon, killing nearly 170 civilians. So massive were the bombing raids that nearly half a million residents fled the area. The IDF bombed the UN shelter for refugees at Qana, Lebanon, killing some 106 civilians. According to Human Rights Watch, 2018 houses and buildings in South Lebanon were either completely destroyed or severely bombarded. Lebanon’s total economic damage was estimated at half a billion dollars.
In 1999, Israeli warplanes bombed a group of children celebrating a Muslim festival in the Bekaa Valley killing 8. The year 2000 witnessed the video clips of the cold-blooded murder of 10-year old Mohamed el-Dura.
Following G.W. Bush’s controversial win in the USA in 2000 and Ariel Sharon’s election win in February of 2001, Israel unveiled her worst of crimes, with full sanction of the White House, against the Palestinian people. Targeted killing of Palestinian activists and leaders became too common, which in turn brought the suicide attacks as reprisals by Palestinian resistance forces.
On October 12, 2001, two Mossad agents were arrested while attempting to bomb the deliberation chamber of the Mexican National Congress in Mexico City.
On December 10, 2001, the Palestinian activist Muhammad Sidir, 24, was hit by a missile that was dropped in a crowded intersection. Two Palestinian children died in the attacks and two other children were injured. Israeli helicopter gunships hovered over the carnage for five minutes, preventing immediate medical attention from being administered to the wounded and dying.”
On December 17, 2001, Israeli troops murdered Palestinian activist Yaqoub Aidkadik. On January 14, 2002, they assassinated Palestinian resistance leader Raed al-Karmi. On Ja