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October 2001

Washington's Hydra
By Edward R. Miller

 

  HYDRA: In Greek mythology, an enormous poison-breathing serpent with nine heads which, when Hercules tried to club it to death, sprouted two heads for each one knocked off.
   The Twin Trade Towers and Pentagon assaults, tragic as they were, in no way represent an act of war, though our militarily-inclined administration is trying to sell this tragedy as such to the American people with unwavering support from a compliant media. The assaults were simply well-planned acts of revenge by a determined group against a United States which has long felt free to visit even bloodier assaults on its self-designated "Rogue States" around the world.
   The immediate fall-out has been a series of attacks on our own freedoms by a Congress which, with little or no intelligent debate, has sharply reduced our ability to travel easily and is about to infringe on the privacy of our personal communications both by phone, fax and email. Add to this a mindless $40 billion assault on a non-existent budget surplus, to support a knee-jerk military response by the largest military machine in the world, against an unproved target. Add to this the corporate welfare gift to the already well-insured Twin Towers owners. This $40 billion will have to be subtracted from the so-called "Social Security Surplus" our Republican President vowed not to touch. Thus seniors can bid "adieu" to their hopes for much help in paying for their expensive medications, and indigent Americans, including five million poor children, will suffer.
   Unless we plan a long ground war in Afghanistan calling out the Reserves represents another useless expense. Removing these working men and women for two years from their families and jobs when we have 27,000 military on our payroll, sitting idle in Okinawa and another 26,000 bothering the girls in South Korea is questionable.
   Washington, in seeking immediate vengeance rather than exploring and debating our government's obvious role in encouraging this type of catastrophe, will only set the stage for a Hydra-like response. Americans may remember that after an American serviceman was killed in a nightclub in Berlin, President Reagan bombed Khadafy's headquarters in Libya. Reagan's 60 jets killed 37 civilians including Khadafy's three-year-old daughter. Libyans were eventually cleared of the disco explosion but the Pan Am Flight 105 downing over Lockerbie followed.
   President Bush's threatened jihad against Osama Ben Ladin who our State Department and our multiple investigative services have so far been unable to connect with the Twin Towers disaster, bespeaks the same media-supported approach we employed against another discarded US-operative, Manuel Noriega. President Clinton, after the bombing of two US embassies in Africa on hearsay evidence, destroyed Africa's only source of affordable medicines for sleeping sickness, malaria, Dengue Fever and filariasis as his missiles blasted Sudan's only pharmaceutical plant in Khartum. No biological weapons and no Ben Ladin involved.
   Osama Ben Ladin, a millionaire and former Saudi Arabia citizen, was our CIA employee and ardent cooperative during the Cold War years when the US, along with the Saudis, armed the Afghanistan mujahadeen to drive the Soviets out of their country. Like so many others whom our CIA has first used and then discarded, Ben Ladin became disenchanted, disgusted and then intensely angry at the US for its callous disregard for the lives and welfare of his fellow mujahadeens, many of whom had suffered and died cooperating with the US to protect their land.
   In a now-famous interview on May 28, 1998 in his mountain headquarters in Afghanistan by ABC NEWS correspondent, John Miller, Osama Ben Ladin made these comments: "Your situation with the Muslims in Palestine is shameful, if there is any shame left in America... by testimony of relief workers in Iraq, the American-led sanctions resulted in the death of over a million Iraqi children. All of this was done in the name of American interests. We believe that the biggest thieves in the world and the terrorists are the Americans. The only way for us to fend off these assaults is to use similar means... It is a punishment that fits the crime. Americans accuse our children in Palestine of being terrorists... children who have no weapons and have not even reached maturity. At the same time they defend a country with its airplanes and its tanks, and the State of the Jews."
   The United States used Osama Ben Ladin's mujahadeen fighters from Afghanistan to help our fundamentalist Alija Izebegovic drive the Serbs out of Bosnia-Herzegoveniz in the early 1990's and in Kosovo and Albania, today, Ben Ladin's fundamentalists are fighting alongside our CIA-armed KLA in Macedonia. A London Times article noted "some 100,000 Albanian passports had been stolen during riots in that country," allowing the mujahadeen to infiltrate widely throughout the Balkans. Ben Ladin, using his links throughout the Muslim world has been building mosques and enlisting young converts in Kosovo and Albania with monies funneled in from wealthy Saudis, Kuwaiti businessmen, and even Iran.
   Although Russia's Putin has given lip service to Washington's "Anti-terrorist" campaign, there is concern in Moscow that the US' threat to send ground troops into Afghanistan has less to do with Ben Ladin, but is aimed at destabilizing Russia's three Muslim border states: Tajikstan, Kyrgysuan, and Uzbekistan, which also share borders with Afghanistan. An oil pipeline from the Caspian Basin and Uzbekistan, running through the US-friendly Azerbaijan and Georgia into Turkey would threaten Russia's political and economic interests in this oil and mineral rich area. According to Yahoo World News 19 September, "Moscow this week sent a top security envoy and army chief-of-staff on a diplomatic tour aimed at keeping the three Republics... in line."
   William Blum, writer and former Foreign Service Officer for our State Department (he left the Department in 1967 in opposition to our involvement Vietnam) in an introduction to his recent book "Rogue State," Blum writes: "A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, America is still saving countries and peoples from one danger or another.
   "The scorecard reads as follows: from 1945 to the end of the century, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair... As I write this in Washington, DC, in April 1999, the United States is busy saving Yugoslavia. Bombing a modern, sophisticated society back to a pre-industrial age. The Great American Public, in its infinite wisdom, is convinced that its government is motivated by "humanitarian" impulses." (Wm. Blum)
   Americans seem oblivious to the actions taken by their Government around the world until some event such as the Lockerbie bombing or the Twin Towers catastrophe awakens us. We read in our paper that our planes, along with those of Britain, again are bombing Iraq, but it doesn't register that the Iraqis have for eleven long years been striving against unbelievable odds to just survive as their children still drink the US mandated sewage-contaminated water and die of diseases not seen in America since the 1800's. Since the Gulf War, we have killed over 1.6 million of them. We may note on page 15 that the US will continue its embargoes of Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Cuba, and Iran, but it doesn't seem to bother us that these trade restrictions lower the standard of living of these peoples, add misery to their lives, reduce their life expectancy, and damage the futures of their children, while creating hostility towards America.
   Each year, as if naming the heads of a HYDRA, our government designates certain countries as "terrorist" or rogue states. By such official christening, we guarantee that the people of these countries will undergo whatever sufferings our State Department or military deems appropriate, to punish a leader or government out of step with Washington.
   In Iraq, illegal overflights with weekly bombing interfere with Saddam Hussein rebuilding his shattered country. In Iran, though President Katami has made repeated gestures of friendship toward Washington, our Zionist lobby pressures Congress to sustain an embargo which keeps US business from competing with European firms in billion dollar contracts. As for North Korea, our 30,000 some troops in the South stand idle while Washington secretly interferes with every effort the two Koreas make to settle their differences. The US has broken its promise to replace North Korea's ancient atomic reactors with modern equipment since promises to "rogue States" mean nothing in Washington.
   Palestinians are murdered daily in their bombed-out villages by an Israel which, equipped with compliant America's weapons, is more violent and repressive under Sharon's administration than that Nazi State from which the Jews once fled. The list goes on. Syria, Libya, Indonesia, and the Balkan countries just to mention a few, continue to suffer in one way or another from America's economic imperialism.
   Just which man or group in a country we mistreat will develop enough anger to mount a savage response against us we will never know until it happens, but be assured that no expensive airport "security measures," no increased CIA or FBI intrusion in our personal communications, no satellite surveillance, no expansion of our police, uncover forces, or our military will keep us safe. Such measures will only infringe on our privates lives, add a tax burden which cheats our poor, while making active participation in our democracy less attractive and more difficult for all Americans.
   Rather than amassing our military to savage the population of some small impoverished country, best we pause and examine our day to day performance as we engage the other inhabitants on this small planet. We Americans need to take time from our busy lives to participate more in government, contact our representatives more often, actively protest each time we sense something amiss, and regain control of an America that will enjoy a great future only if we change our selfish ways.

 

 

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