Brief: This article explores the issues of state’s sponsored terrorism and points out the reality that all weaponry in the 21st century are lethal including those that belt around the human body. Therefore, 21st century is a century for corporations and not confrontations…….
At the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, while the mainstream media broadcasted live the memorial of the 2,996 victims of 9/11 in America with roll call, speeches and stories of the grief and fear of the victim’s families and friends, the “civilized” world seems to have forgotten the grief, fear and suffering of a much larger number of innocent victims of state’s sponsored terrorism in another part of the world.
What we have forgotten ….
We have forgotten about the 111,938 civilian deaths in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 (Iraq body count, 13 Sept 2011); We have also forgotten about the fact that prior to the invasion, Scott Ritter, a former US Marines in the first Gulf war, attaining the rank of major and other inspectors confirmed that Saddam Hussein’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons program had effectively been destroyed—during the more than seven years of UN inspection since the first Gulf War; We have forgotten about the resignation of Andrew Wilkie (a lieutenant colonel in the Australia Defence Force before he joined the Australian spy agency: ONA (Office of National Assessments ) as a Senior Strategic Analyst ) in protest against the lie and deception of George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard on the issue of WMD in Iraq (Outcast Journalist, 18 Oct 2009).
We have forgotten about the 654,965 Iraqi deaths within the first 3 years of the war reported by four researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA on the 12th, October, 2006; We have also forgotten that there were another more than 15,000 innocent Iraqi’s civilians murdered and covered up by the US government been finally brought to daylight by WikiLeaks on October last year (Reuters, 24 Oct 2010).
We have forgotten about the continue suffering of the Iraqi’s families and their children through unusually high number of infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah as a result of the used of depleted uranium to bomb the city indiscriminately by the US military in the 2004 assault (Independent, 24 July, 2010 - ‘Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima' and Global Research, 19 October, 2009— ‘Depleted Uranium Weapons: Dead Babies in Iraq and Afghanistan Are No Joke’).
We have forgotten the massive poverty in Iraq as a result of the invasion by the coalition of the “civilised” world resulting in underage-girls accepting sex from the US troops for money (AlterNet, 27 August 2011); and the dire situation that “at least 15 Iraqi children were sold every month, some overseas, some internally, some for adoption, some for sexual abuse” for a miserable amount “between £200 and £4,000 per child” (The Guardian, 6 April 2009) simply to stay alive for a few more days or weeks.
As a result of the massive bombing and destruction of basic infrastructures during the 2003 invasion namely: “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, an oil rich country like Iraq is now still struggling to provide one of its most basic services such as electricity to the average households (New York Times, 1 August 2010 and 16 September 2011); We have forgotten the issue of water shortage threatening the livelihood of 2 million people in Southern Iraq (The Guardian, 26 August 2009) - Such water shortage may be a result of drought but the inaction by the occupying forces to alleviate the situation is the main cause of suffering in Iraq.
We have forgotten that, 8 years after the invasion, “U.S. still launching airstrikes in Iraq” (AlterNet, 16 August 2011); We have forgotten that “3 million "Liberated" Iraqi widows still suffering badly under U.S. military occupation” (Grateful Dissident, 18 March 2009).
While our war criminals’ George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard enjoyed their media present leading up to the 9/11 memorial in the cosy atmosphere of our uncritical media, we have forgotten the misery and faith of the more than 4.7 million Iraqis who have fled their homes since 2003 (UNHCR); We have also forgotten that, despite only a tiny fraction of these refugees in the region managed to make their way to Australia by boats with 4% or 400 of these desperate people drown at sea (Daily Telegraph, 14 September, 2011), our “Free” world’s Australian government treated their arrivals with mandatory detention under the knowledge that such action are likely to cause “mental health” problem to these refugees as a direct result of our own act of terrorism in their homelands—their suffering includes high rates of self-harm and a cluster of suicides (Herald Sun, 26 May, 2011).
We have forgotten that Western Justice System failed to hold Blackwater Worldwide accountable for their murder and other violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan in the US (New York Times, 20 October 2010); We have also forgotten that, the Justice System in Australia also fail to hold Australia troops accountable for their killing of children and unarmed civilians in Afghanistan because Judge Advocate Brigadier Ian Westwood ruled that: “army reservists did not have a duty of care to the civilians killed” (WA Today, 20 May, 2011).
We have forgotten the reality that, despite launching those wars under the name of “humanity” - human rights and the life of civilians in those countries were not an important consideration in the eyes of the elites in the “Free” world: The Australia Defence department was reportedly given away “a multimillion-dollar Iraq security contract to a company responsible for civilian deaths, and run by a former Australian army commander, without first offering it publicly.” (Brisbane Times, 29 Oct 2010); We have also forgotten that, militia fighters loyal to a notorious Afghan warlord “connections to murder and extortion” were allowed into Australia to be trained “with Australia elite special forces.” (Brisbane Times, 29 October, 2010); We also seems to forget the video images of the deliberate mass murdered of civilians in Iraq from a US’s Apache helicopter released by WikiLeaks under the title: “Collateral Murder”; While in Pakistan, it was reported that “more than 160 children killed in American drone war” (AlterNet, 14 August 2011); Despite the notorious record on civilians killing by drone attacked over the years, The Washington Post reported on 20 September that American government is in the process of releasing an automated drone, capable of identifying and “killed enemy based on calculations made by software, not decision made by humans.”
The reality on the ground is the occupying forces are more interested on “waging war than on development” (New York Times, 27 Jan, 2009).
Let’s us condemn terrorism of all kinds - State’s sponsors or individuals; The inability of the mainstream media in America and Australia to use the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 to do some soul searching, and provide the victims of state’s sponsored terrorism an opportunity to tell their stories of grief and fear to foster mutual understanding and respect among countries and cultures was a missed opportunity to built a better world with peace and harmony.
Former MI5 chief, Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller believed that “the UK and US government has not sufficiently understood the resentment that had been building up among Arab people, which was only compounded by the war against Iraq…Young Arabs...united by the plight of Palestinians, a view that the west was exploiting their oil and supporting dictators…It was wrong to say all terrorist belong to al Qaida.” She also said the 9/11 attacks were “a crime, not an act of war.” She then used the terrorist campaigns in the Northern Island as an example to demonstrate that such conflict “could not be solved militarily” and suggest “al-Qaida talks.” (Guardian, 2 September 2011).
US celebrity’s singer, Tony Bennett, may be right to claim that “America “caused” the devastating 9/11 attacks on New York’s Twin Tower.” (Daily Telegraph, 21 Sept, 2011).
It is time for the so-called “free” world to have a good look at their own records of terrorism and human rights abuses across the world—past and present, before committing further humanitarian crimes to attract more resentment across the globe.
21st century is a century for corporation not confrontation. The war in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan already proven that , the combination of the world richest countries and advanced military forces failed to crash the will of the weaker people they oppressed. The days where a dozens of soldiers with guns were able to colonised a city or countries has long gone. With the help of technology, all weaponry are lethal including those that belt around the human body.
The world have to learn to work toward similarity and accept each other differences. The behaviour of the crusaders and the colonial masters is no longer workable and acceptable in the 21st century. All nations should learn to trade with each other for raw materials, finished products and services in a fair and mutually beneficiary way– not bombs, missiles and economic sanctions. No single country can solve the world problem of global warming without the corporation of others. Military aggression did not make the west any safer.
Written on 21 September, 2011.
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