My apologies in advance for the length. OTOH, I only
post every couple months so it evens out.
I don't see anything wrong with
our current counter
terrorist policy. Rather, I don't see any good
way to improve it, and I fear what's likely to happen
will end up making things worse. Our policy is (was):
- make no concessions to terrorists and strike no deals
- bring terrorists to justice for their crimes
- isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor
terrorism to force them to change their behavior
- bolster the counterterrorism capabilities of those
countries that work with th
e U.S. and require assistance
Bush wants a "war against terrorism." What does that
mean? Here are the 44 groups the US said in year 2000
- Abu Nidal organization (ANO)
- Abu Sayyaf Group
- Armed Islamic Group
- Aum Supreme Truth
- Basque Fatherland and Liberty
- Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya
- HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
- Harakat ul-Mujahidin
- Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
- Japanese Red Army
- Kach and Kahane Chai
- Kurdistan Workers' Party
- Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
- Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization
- National Liberation Army
- The Palestine Islamic Jihad
- Palestine Liberation Front
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General
- Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
- Revolutionary Organization 17 November
- Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front
- Revolutionary People's Struggle
- Sendero Luminoso
- Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement
- Alex Boncayao Brigade
- Army for the Liberation of Rwanda
- Continuity Irish Republican Army
- First of October Antifascist Resistance Group
- Irish Republican Army
- Loyalist Volunteer Force
- New People's Army
- Orange Volunteers
- People Against Gangsterism and Drugs
- Real IRA
- Red Hand Defenders
- Revolutionary United Front
- United Self-Defense Forces/Group of Colombia
The geographic areas listed under the "external aid"
section: Iraq, Libya, Syria, "Islamic extremists
in the Middle East and South Asia," Sudan, Lebanon,
Nicaragua, Cuba, "reside in South America", Iran,
Saudi Arabia, Western Europe, North America,
"other Gulf and Islamic states", "Pakistanis
and Kashmiris", "Central and South Asia",
"Laurent Kabila regime in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo", "sympathizers in
the United States", Balkans,
"Afghan Arabs and the Taliban", "Pakistani community
in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom", "Islamic
NGOs", "Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen",
"Islamic extremists in the Middle East", "President
Charles Taylor of Liberia", Gambia, and Burkina Faso.
(elsewhere includes North Korea).
Take a look at the list of countries. Yep, people in
the US help fund what the US calls terrorist
organizations. Indeed, on May 16, 2001, Bush
designated the Real IRA, 32 County Sovereignty Movement,
and the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association
as "foreign terrorist organisations." Before then
it was completely legal for US citizens to give them
It is believed that American supporters send hundreds of
thousands of dollars to the [Real IRA] each year and that
these funds are used to purchase explosives and weapons
Think the US is going to attack US citizens who fund
terrorist organizations in other countries? Think
the US will go after terrorist organizations in South
Africa? In Ireland?
Hmm, just scanned the
Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act. (Went into law in 1996.)
Specifically, "SEC. 324. FINDINGS":
- international terrorism is among the most serious
transnational threats faced by the United States and its
allies, far eclipsing the dangers posed by population
growth or pollution;
- the President should continue to make efforts
to counter international terrorism a national security
- because the United Nations has been an inadequate
forum for the discussion of cooperative, multilateral
responses to the threat of i
the President should undertake immediate efforts to
develop effective multilateral responses to
international terrorism as a complement to national
counter terrorist efforts;
- the President should use all necessary means,
including covert action and military force, to
disrupt, dismantle, and destroy international
infrastructure used by international terrorists,
including overseas terrorist training facilities
and safe havens;
- the Congress deplores decisions to ease, evade,
or end international sanctions on state sponsors
of terrorism, including the recent decision by the
United Nations Sanctions Committee to allow airline
flights to and from Libya despite Libya's
noncompliance with United Nations resolutions; and
- the President should continue to undertake efforts to
increase the international isolation of state sponsors of
international terrorism, including efforts to strengthen
international sanctions, and should oppose any future
initiatives to ease sanctions on Libya or other state
sponsors of terrorism.
Who has power to say that something is a terrorist
organization? SEC. 219. DESIGNATION OF FOREIGN TERRORIST
ORGANIZATIONS says it's
the Secretary of State,
but the designation can be overriden by an Act of Congress.
Under Clinton, the designation was
very laborious and
So pretty much Bush can declare any foreign group to be a
terrorist group and, using some of the
,000,000,000 requested from Congress, attack said
group in any fashion whatsover.
What's a terrorist? Go to
and search for "''Terrorist activity'' defined".
Interesting - looks like carjackers are terrorists:
(I) The highjacking or sabotage of any conveyance
(including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle).
Scanning down further:
(V) The use of any - [...]
(b) explosive or firearm (other than for mere personal
monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or
indirectly, the safety of one
or more individuals or
to cause substantial damage to property.
If matters in the US are going the way I think they
are, then we need to be very, very careful not to
do things that, were they turned about, could be
construed in turn as terrorism. Yes, perhaps we
are justified, but it wouldn't be American.
One American ideal - treat others as equals.
("Ideal" doesn't always mean reality, sadly ):
As the sole superpower, it's too easy to ignore
treaties, policies, and agreements we don't like.
If this is indeed a foreign terrorist attack on
the US we have to wonder what was the cause for
this. Perhaps by not following international
rules we end up making things worse.
We've got a justice system which can extradite and
(Again, assuming foreign terrorists.) If
whoever was involve hasn't been extradited, round
up the evidence showing who did it and present the
result to the world. (I'm reminded of Adlai Stevenson
at the U.N. during the Cuban Missile Crisis.) That
puts a lot of pressure on the host country.
But could they receive a fair trial in the US?
I don't think so. Unlike, say, the trials of the
terrorists involved in the American embassy bombings
in Kenya or Tanzania in 1998, it will be hard to
find unbiased jurors.
(BTW, in that case, two men were found
guilty of terrorism and of killing 213 people.
Their sentence? Life emprisonment. The jurors
said they didn't want to turn the two men into
martyrs. Yes, at least one was a follower of
Osama bin Laden.)
If there's no chance of getting a fair trial in
the US, the only solution I can think of is to
prosecute that person in international court, as
this would likely be called a "Crime Against
But the US doesn't like international courts.
(BTW, I'm not all gung ho for a single, world-wide
system myself, except for limited circumstances.
That idea assumes everyone prosecuted is a foreign
national. Question: If a US citizen is prosecuted,
is it at all possible to get a fair trial? (The
news is estimating 50+ people involved and some
having been in the US or some time, so it's
possible.) Who could be on the jury but wouldn't
have heard or been affected somehow by this
Tell me how I'm wrong. Assuming this was done by
foreign terrorists, how can we use our military
might (or covert operations, as allowed by law)
to get these people? The only way I see would
be to use them as police, not as a military.
This all assumed things weren't state sponsored,
so everything can be treated as a crime - a
heinous crime, but a crime. If it was state
sponsored, then it's an act of war, and different
rules apply. I really hope it's state sponsored.
Sorry, only states can legitimize crimes through
war. In that, all states (or at least those who
signed the Geneva Convention) are agreed.
BTW, what ever happened to diversity in Congress?
Who can forget
te Rankin's voting against
the US involvement in WWI (1 of 56) and against
US involvement in WWII (1 of 1).
In the true spirit of democracy, once war had been declared
Rankin promoted Liberty Bonds, which were sold to support
the war effort, and she voted for the draft. However, she
voted against the Espionage Act, which targeted foreign
residents of the United States and suppressed dissent.
In 1985 a bronze statue of Rankin was placed in the U.S.