Trust, war, and terrorism.In a democracy, leaders must earn and retain the public's trust. No matter how loudly those leaders proclaim their dedication to fighting terrorism, the citizenry must not flinch from examining whether they are trustworthy.
On March 17, 2003, in a major address to the nation, President George W. Bush declared, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." On April 10, 2003, in a televised message to the people of Iraq, British Prime Minister Tony Blair Noun 1. Tony Blair - British statesman who became prime minister in 1997 (born in 1953)
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, Blair said, "We did not want this war. But in refusing to give up his weapons of mass destruction Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or , Saddam gave us no choice but to act." Before and during the war on Iraq, we heard many other such statements from top officials in Washington and London. They ostensibly os·ten·si·ble
Represented or appearing as such; ostensive: His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity. justified the war.
Among the horrors of that war are weapons known as cluster bombs. Bombs dropped months ago continue to explode even today--sometimes in the hands of children who pick them up. These bombs can fire shards that slice into Verb 1. slice into - move through a body or an object with a slicing motion; "His hand sliced through the air"
go, locomote, move, travel - change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically; "How fast does your new car go?"; "We human flesh.
We might say the cluster bombs are terrifying ter·ri·fy
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.
2. To menace or threaten; intimidate. weapons. We might say they--and the leaders who authorized their use--are still terrorizing Iraqi citizens.
If leaders want to gain and maintain long-term trust, their logic must be reasonably plausible rather than Orwellian. But when there is no single standard that reliably condemns "terrorism," then the word serves as a political device rather than a reliable term. Unfortunately, in common usage of the word, the nationalistic and political context of murderous actions--not the wanton cruelty and magnitude of those actions--determine condemnation.
It would be bad enough if the leaders of the Washington-London axis of "anti-terrorism" were merely duplicitous in their rationales for going to war. Or it would be bad enough if those leaders were honest about their reasons while ordering their own activities that terrorize ter·ror·ize
tr.v. ter·ror·ized, ter·ror·iz·ing, ter·ror·iz·es
1. To fill or overpower with terror; terrify.
2. To coerce by intimidation or fear. See Synonyms at frighten. civilians. But flagrant dishonesty stems from deeper policy problems that tacitly distinguish between "worthy" and "unworthy" victims--that encourage us, in effect, to ask for whom the bell tolls This article may contain original research or unverified claims.
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For Whom the Bell Tolls is a 1940 novel by Ernest Hemingway. . The official guidance needn't be explicit to be well understood: don't let too much empathy move in unauthorized directions.
There is virtually no record of Washington condemning its ally Turkey while, in recent years, the Turkish government drove millions of Kurdish people from their homes, destroyed villages, killed thousands, and inflicted horrific torture. Similarly, the war on Iraq has been praised for closing down the regime's torture chambers while billions of dollars in aid continue to flow from Washington to the Egyptian government, which uses torture chambers to punish political prisoners. A more appropriate way to oppose torture, perhaps, would be to stop financing it.
Years before September 11, 2001, the scholar Eqbal Ahmed pointed out: "A superpower cannot promote terror in one place and reasonably expect to discourage terrorism in another place. It won't work in this shrunken shrunk·en
A past participle of shrink.
a past participle of shrink
reduced in size
Adj. 1. world." To deserve public trust, anything called a "war on terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act " must be guided by genuine moral precepts rather than public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most maneuvers to mask ongoing patterns of hypocrisy.
On May 28, 2003, a report by Amnesty International Amnesty International (AI,) human-rights organization founded in 1961 by Englishman Peter Benenson; it campaigns internationally against the detention of prisoners of conscience, for the fair trial of political prisoners, to abolish the death penalty and torture of condemned the U.S. and British governments for a so-called war on terror This article is about U.S. actions, and those of other states, after September 11, 2001. For other conflicts, see Terrorism.
The War on Terror (also known as the War on Terrorism that actually emboldens many regimes to abuse human rights. AI Secretary-General Irene Khan said, "What would have been unacceptable on September 10, 2001, is now becoming almost the norm." She added, "The United States continues to pick and choose which bits of its obligations under international law it will use, and when it will use them."
Worldwide, sustaining public trust in anti-terrorist efforts will be impossible without adhering to standards that reject terrorism. Launching aggressive wars and providing massive support to human rights abusers are acts of terrorism--by the strong. They are sure to provoke acts of terrorism by the weak.
When a nation, particularly a democratic nation, goes to war, the consent of the governed "Consent of the governed" is a political theory stating that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is, or ought to be, derived from the people or society over which that power is exercised. lubricates the machinery of killing. Silence is a key form of cooperation, but the war-making system doesn't insist on quietude. Mere passivity or self-restraint suffices.
The world is now shadowed by a special relationship between governments: the superpower and its leading enabler. In the name of moral leadership, these governments utilize deception. In the name of peace, they inflict war. In the name of fighting terrorism, they engage in terrorism. Such policies demand trust but deserve unyielding opposition.
This column is excerpted and adapted from Norman Solomon's June 5, 2003, presentation to the "Communicating the War on Terror" conference at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London, England. Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and coauthor of the book Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You.