[Last update: 18 September 2001]


On Friday, Congress passed Gulf of Tonkin Resolution II, a blank check for the Commander-in-Chief to go to war with any country, group, or individual that "he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks ... or harbored such organizations or persons".

But this is too limiting for Bush. His people are calling on the US military to strike at any terrorist group anywhere in the world, whether or not they were engaged in this act. Countries which "harbor" such individual are also liable for attack.

Of course, Western countries that sponsor or harbor such groups won't be attacked. This is a call for a war against the Third World. So the Third World War will be a war waged by the US against the Third World.

The US is going around the world trying to find allies for this war. This is so ironic, since the Bush administration has been dismissing treaties right and left, telling the world that we don't need them, we can, and will, do things as we please no matter what anyone else thinks. There have been editorial cartoons around the globe of Bush flashing his middle finger at the rest of the world.

Now that we have a use for the rest of the world, we tell all other countries to assist us.

But the US has lost even the concept of diplomacy. Instead of asking countries for assistance and negotiating with them, trading favors for favors, our government is demanding that independent nations allow our military to use their sovereign territory for our belligerent purposes.

If this seems hard to believe, check out these excerpts from "U.S. Demands Air and Land Access to Pakistan" by John F. Burns on page A17 of the Saturday, September 15, New York Times:

In intensive talks [in Islamabad] and in Washington over the last 72 hours, American officials have demanded that Pakistan agree if necessary to allow American ground troops and special forces units to operated from this country, senior official said.

Pakistan's ruling generals have also been told that they must allow Pakistan's airspace and its military airfields, as well as its powerful military intelligence apparatus, to be used for attacks against targets in Afghanistan that appear to be under review in Washington.

Beyond this, the officials said, the United States has demanded that Pakistan place the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan under what would almost amount to immediate siege, cutting off fuel (the Taliban's sole supply), denying use of Pakistani banks (crucial to what is left of the Afghan economy) and halting all other forms of support. ...

[See an article on Bush giving $43 million to the Taliban earlier this year.] Confronted by the American demands, President Perves Musharraf of Pakistan and a group of fellow generals met today in a tense seven- hour conference at army headquarters, then delayed for at least another day any public response to President Bush's demand that they commit Pakistan to an all-out effort to capture or eliminate Mr. bin Laden and his network in Afghanistan.
Beyond the wall of secrecy ..., it was a fair guess that one issue that caused dissension was the American demand for access to every- thing that Pakistan's shadowy military intelligence agency, the Interservices Intelligence directorate, or ISI, knows about the bin Laden network.
[do you think we offered all we knew in exchange?]

So we are DEMANDing that the military dictatorship in nuclear-armed Pakistan allow us to set up a military base in their country, that we be allowed to use their air force bases, that they open their intelligence files to us (but not vice versa), and that they cease profitable trade with their starving neighbor.

Ordering a nuclear power to let our military occupy its territory is not a bright move. Does anyone who considers the concept doubt that this display of arrogance convinced far more people to turn to terrorism against the bullying power than killed themselves in the horrendous attacks earlier this week?

The US has come to a terrible decision point. We could treat all countries with respect, negotiate terms for countries to assist us in our investigations, and ask for foreign assistance in tracking down leads and suspects in order to capture anyone who may have been in on the planning or who had prior knowledge of these attacks. After the capture, we would have a trial (preferably in an international court with jurisdiction over crimes against humanity), and those convicted would be sentenced to life without parole.

Our second choice is to lord it over the world, militarily attack poor Islamic countries around the world, with each attack engendering further counter attacks on US citizens. Not only would such a choice result in continuing deaths of innocent civilian in our country, but it would earn us the eternal enmity of the families of the civilians who died in our attacks, and that of most of the 1.2 billion Muslims on the planet.

It appears that Bush is choosing the second path of increased blood- shed at home and abroad. The families of the next victims to die in the US should know that their loved ones would be alive had Bush chosen peace with justice instead of war.

Struggle for peace! The IMF may have canceled its conference because of this, but the 100,000 who were expected to demonstrate against corporate globalization on the 29th will likely double to 200,000 who will demonstrate for peace and justice.

Richard Nixon walled off the White House with bumper-to-bumper DC Transit busses so that he did not have to see the demonstrators. It appears that Bush's fence, although 9' high will be chain-link and thus see through. However, it will be placed blocks away from the White House, which may result in his not seeing or hearing the people of America calling out for peace.

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