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Understanding, responding to, and preventing terrorism.


ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, nineteen individuals hijacked and commandeered U.S. airplanes, turned them into guided missiles and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., killing more than 3000 people. These crimes against humanity were condemned around the world. (1) Three weeks later, the United States and the United Kingdom began bombing Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Bush Administration threatened a major invasion of Iraq.

Little of the outrage at the September 11 attacks has led to a comprehensive inquiry into the roots of the rage that fueled them. The following is an attempt to explain the genesis for the terrorism directed at the United States. It is inextricably bound up with the globalization of poverty, Washington's continued support for Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, U.S. bombing and sponsorship of the devastating economic sanctions against Iraq, and the alliance between the United States and Arab monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, where the U.S. maintains a significant military presence.

Distinctions will be drawn between individual terrorism (the September 11 attacks); International State terrorism (United States and United Kingdom bombing of Afghanistan); State regime or Government terror (Israel's occupation and massacre of the Palestinians); State-sponsored or State-supported terrorism (United States financial and military support for Israel); and a national liberation struggle (Palestine).

The following will analyze why both the United States bombing of Afghanistan and Israel's massacre of the Palestinians violate international law.

It will further explain why an invasion of Iraq would be unlawful as well as misguided.

Finally, it will offer suggestions, in the context of international law, for creating peaceful alternatives to respond to terrorism and to deter it in the future.


On September 12, Rahul Mahajan wrote: "The main practitioner of attacks that either deliberately target civilians or are so indiscriminate that it makes no difference, is no shadowy Middle Eastern terrorist, but our own government." Mahajan cited the bombings of Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia and Sudan, as well as the crippling sanctions against Iraq. (2)

The political and economic policies and practices of the U.S. government and U.S.-based global corporations contribute to the conditions that create, according to Jerrold Post, a psychological profiler at the CIA for 21 years, "roiling hatred within the Arab world directed at the United States... America doesn't have the vaguest idea how much hatred." He maintains that terrorists exploit "feelings of despair over economic conditions ... and [over] totalitarian regimes." (3)

Although George W. Bush characterized the September 11 strikes as an attack on the global economy, that sentiment does not ring true in many of the developing countries. After meeting with Bush on October 20, 2001, Malaysian President Mahathir bin Mohamad mocked Bush's position, saying, "if I had a billion U.S. dollars, I suspect I too would be very committed to a fully globalized world without any barriers and without any constraints on what I can do with my money and how I can make even more money." (4) Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also linked political discontent with poverty at the World Economic Forum, saying: "These resources could have gone into the fight against poverty ... Where there is great poverty," she observed, "you will also have the breeding ground for the recruits, for the evil ideologues who spread terror." (5)

Our European allies see the relationship between poverty and terrorism as well. European Union External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten told a forum on transatlantic affairs organized by the Washington-based German Marshall Fund: "I am not so naive as to think that if you drop 20 million EuroAid packages on Sudan or Somalia, or multiply that by 10 on Afghanistan, that terrorism is going to disappear tomorrow." But, he said, "I do think there is a relationship between global inequity and state breakdown and violence and instability." (6) Dick Cheney is not convinced. When asked if fighting global poverty would be part of the war on terror, Cheney ducked the question, saying: "There is a debate whether or not poverty contributes" to terrorism. (7)

Notwithstanding Cheney's denial, the hatred that fueled 19 people to kill themselves and take thousands with them has its origin in a history of the United States government's exploitation of people in oil-rich nations around the world. Although Bush accuses the terrorists of targeting our freedom and democracy, it was not the Statue of Liberty that was destroyed. It was the World Trade Center -- symbol of the U.S.-led global economic system, and the Pentagon -- heart of the United States military, that took the hits.


Those who committed these crimes against humanity were attacking American foreign policy, not the American people. The 3,000 plus civilians who died on September 11 were likely considered "collateral damage" by the hijackers and their co-conspirators.

In the last decade, much to the consternation of many in the Arab countries, the United States has dropped tens of thousands of bombs on Iraq, killing many civilians, using napalm, cluster bombs and depleted uranium, in what the Los Angeles Times described as a "massacre" and a "massive slaughter." As a result of the bombing and devastating economic sanctions, between 4,000 and 5,000 Iraqi children still die every month. When asked by Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes on May 12, 1996 for her reaction to the deaths of a half-million Iraqi children, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, "we think the price is worth it." Evidently, the perpetrators of the September 11 attack thought the price of 3,000 plus innocent lives was worth it. "That is the philosophy of terrorism," wrote Mahajan. "The people who crashed planes into the World Trade Center killed almost 4000 people because they resented U.S. domination of the Middle East. The U.S. government helped to kill 500,000 children in Iraq in order to preserv e that domination." (8)

Bush aimed the largest concentration of American firepower since World War II at Afghanistan. Even though none of the hijackers came from Afghanistan, and many hailed from and were funded by Saudi Arabia, the U.S. maintains friendly relations with that country, one of the world's largest suppliers of oil. (9) "The stark truth is," said Edward L. Morse, former deputy assistant secretary of state for international energy policy in the Ronald Reagan administration, "that we're dependent on [Saudi Arabia, country] that directly or indirectly finances people who are a direct threat to you and me as individuals." (10) Oil has been the principal motivator for much of United States foreign policy. (11) But "from the perspective of local people beneath whose land the oil lies...the partnership between oil transnationals and repressive regimes has been ruinous, destroying subsistence cultures while offering little in return.... Oil and related extractive industries have arguably done more to tarnish America's image abr oad than any other commercial pursuit." (12)

United States dependency on foreign oil stems from both domestic consumption needs and corporate profits from its sale. Although only 5 percent of the world's population lives in the United States, it consumes one-quarter of the world's energy and a larger proportion of the world's raw materials. (13) The U.S. spends $56 billion on the oil and an additional $25 billion on the military defense of oil-exporting countries in the Middle East. (14)

The United States' oil-based foreign policy has also benefited corporations seeking profitable investments. Washington supported California-based UNOCAL and other oil companies in their attempted deals with the Taliban to build an oil pipeline across Afghanistan to Pakistan, to transport up to two hundred billion barrels of oil and gas through Central Asia. (15) Prior to September 11, the U.S. Energy Information Administration documented Afghanistan's strategic "geographic position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multi-billion dollar oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan." (16)

After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, a U.S. State Department spokesman saw nothing objectionable about the Taliban's brand of Islam. Osama bin Laden was trained by the CIA in terror tactics to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, the United States supplied more than $2 billion in guns and money to the fundamentalist mujaheddin in Afghanistan, the largest covert action program since World War II. (17) On September 11, the United States became the victim of what the CIA calls "blowback." (8)


The United States government has warned it may use military force in other countries besides Afghanistan. Cheney has said the United States is considering military or other types of action against "40 to 50 countries." He warns that the new war on terror may last 50 years or more.

The war on terror is good for business. A month after the September 11 attacks, the Pentagon awarded the largest military contract in American history, $20 billion, to Texas-based Lockheed Martin to build more than 3,000 supersonic stealth fighter jets for the U.S. military.

Five days before Bush proposed a $48.3 billion increase in military spending, he dubbed Iran, Iraq and North Korea the new "axis of evil" in his January 30, 2002 State of the Union address. (19) None of these three countries poses a real threat to United States security. (20) Indeed, there has been a sustained outcry against Bush's mischaracterization among our allies, who accuse the United States of being arrogant, unilateralist and messianic. (21) They fear U.S. imperialism will undermine the coalition against terrorism. Russia is concerned about a United States strike against Iraq without United Nations sanction, and China has warned the U.S. not to strike countries with no clear ties to the September 11 attacks.

It is likely the U.S. government will use the anti-terror coalition it has built to create and maintain a permanent presence in Central Asia as well as the Persian Gulf, in order to ensure ongoing access to oil resources. Indeed, Rizwan Hussain wrote in The Nation (Pakistan):

The 'War on Terrorism' is turning out to be a stratagem for the imposition of political and economic hegemony by the US and its NATO partners in Central and Southwestern Asia.

This war in increasingly being seen as an attempt by extra-regional powers to implement a form of neo-imperialist domination at the beginning of the 2lst century. (22)

It is no surprise that both interim Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush's recent appointee as special envoy to Afghanistan, were former consultants to UNOCAL, the United States oil company that has sought to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan. (23)

Although Washington touts its new partnership with Russia and China in its war on terror, the Russians are concerned that "the U.S. has a hidden agenda: to be the dominant power in Afghanistan, a strategic crossroads and a gateway to vast Central Asian oil fields." (24) They fear that the United States may build a long-term military base in Afghanistan, as it did in Kosovo. (25)

The manifesto of the World Social Forum Peace Conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil in February, 2002, contained harsh words for United States foreign policy: "The United States moved to impose its will by force" in response to the September 11 attacks, "and a new Cold War climate was installed in the world." (26)

The demonization of Iran, Iraq and North Korea provides Bush with a rationale to increase military spending; his budget proposes to almost double the funds to be spent on a key component of a missile defense system. (21) Bush's mislabeling of these three nations as threats to United States security is an attempt to justify enormous purchases, which will enrich military contractors.

None of the United States' potential adversaries rivals the U.S. in military spending. In 1999, the United States spent 2.6 times more on its military than the combined military expenditures of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Cuba. (28)


The military might of the United States is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Afghan civilians. They were killed or wounded by the same kind of American "smart bombs" used in Vietnam, Iraq and Yugoslavia, with the promise of myriad casualties from "daisy cutter" bombs and unexploded cluster bombs. (29) Many estimate that more civilians were killed by bombs in Afghanistan than died in the September 11 strikes. (30)

After September 11, the media created a tidal wave of support in the United States for attacking the country that harbored bin Laden. (31) Yet in spite of nearly universal global condemnation of the September 11 attacks, the bombardment of Afghanistan did not sit well in the Arab world, faced with pictures of wounded Afghan children and Israeli tanks rolling into Palestinian villages. Akhbar al-Yom, one of the biggest newspapers in Egypt, featured a photograph of an Afghan child orphaned by the bombs. It sported the caption, "Is this baby a Taliban fighter?" (32) Afghan widows, orphans and old men who survived the bombings "are so angry, angry at the Americans," said General Sahib Jan Loodin Alozai, deputy governor of Paktia province. Many lost relatives; others were left homeless by American bombs. "They blame the Americans for all their troubles," according to Alozai. (33)

Although the horror of the mass tragedy inflicted on September 11 is indisputable, the bombings of Afghanistan are illegal. This bombardment violates both international law and United States law, set forth in the United Nations Charter, a treaty ratified by the U.S. and therefore part of the supreme law of the land under the U.S. Constitution. (34)

The U.N. Charter provides:

a) All member states must settle their international disputes by peaceful means. (Art. 2)

b) No nation can use military force except in self-defense. (Art. 51)

c) The Security Council, made up of representatives from 15 countries from each region of the world (art. 23, sec. 1), is the only body that can authorize the use of force. (Chap. VII; art. 24)

d) Only the Security Council can decide what action can be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security. (Art. 39)

The Security Council has a series of options under the U.N. Charter:

a) It can suggest that the United States sue Afghanistan in the International Court of Justice (World Court), for harboring Osama bin Laden and others, if the evidence supports their involvement in these attacks, and seek their immediate arrests (art. 36, sec. 3);

b) It can order interruption of economic relations, rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio communications and the severance of diplomatic relations (art. 41);

c) It can establish an international tribunal to try those suspected of perpetrating the September 11th attack;

d) It can establish a U.N. force to make arrests, prevent attacks or counter aggression (art. 42); and

e) As a last resort, it can authorize the application of armed force with the Military Staff Committee (art. 46).

The United States has gone to the Security Council twice since the September 11 attack. The Security Council adopted two resolutions, neither of which authorize the use of force. Resolutions l368 (35) and 1373 (36) condemn the September 11 attacks, and order the freezing of assets; the criminalizing of terrorist activity; the prevention of the commission of and support for terrorist attacks; the taking of necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist activity, including the sharing of information; and urging the ratification and enforcement of the international conventions against terrorism (which the U.S. has not ratified). Although the United States has reported its bombing to the Security Council as required by article 51 of the U.N. Charter, the Security Council has not authorized and could not authorize the use of unilateral military force by the United States and the United Kingdom, or NATO, which is not a U.N. body.

The bombing of Afghanistan is not authorized self-defense under article 51 (37) of the Charter because: 1) the attacks in New York and Washington D.C. were criminal attacks, not "armed attacks" by another state, and 2) there was not an imminent threat (38) of an armed attack on the U.S. after September 11, or the U.S. would not have waited three weeks before initiating its bombing campaign. Even if the U.S. was authorized on September 11 to use military force under article 51, that license ended once the Security Council became "seized" of the matter, which indeed it did on September 12, by passing Resolution 1368, and reaffirming in Resolution 1373 that it remains seized of the matter. By bombing Afghanistan, the United States and the United Kingdom are committing acts of aggression, prohibited by the U.N. Charter. (39) Further, collective punishment, or punishing a population for acts they did not commit, violates international humanitarian law -- the Fourth Geneva Convention (40) and the Hague Regulations. (41)


As it bombed Afghanistan, the Bush administration mounted a concerted campaign to prepare the American people for an attack on Iraq. Striking Iraq would further destabilize the Middle East, and could have disastrous consequences for the United States. Moreover, there is no legitimate justification for invading Iraq, which would terrorize and decimate that country. The United States has not always opposed Saddam Hussein; in fact, the U.S. supported him when he was gassing the Kurds. For many years, Washington pitted Iraq against Iran in order to establish U.S. hegemony over the Gulf region. (42)

The CIA has been unable to tie Iraq to the September 11 attacks. Cheney speculates about a "potential marriage" between terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and Iraq. But no concrete evidence of a link has been forthcoming.

Cheney, who went to the Middle East in March 2002 to prime the Arab countries for a military strike against Iraq, found the Arabs preoccupied with ending the bloodshed in Israel. On March 28, 2002, the Arab League proposed a political settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. At the same time, the Arabs warned of the danger an invasion of Iraq would pose to the region and, indeed, to the world. The League unanimously declared that an attack on Iraq would be considered an attack against all Arab states.

Without support from the Arab countries, it would be difficult for the United States to mount an invasion of Iraq, as neither Saudi Arabia nor Kuwait will allow themselves to be used as bases for U.S. troops. The killing of Iraqis would result in even more virulent anti-American sentiment in the Arab world. If Iraq responded by attacking Israel, a world war pitting all Arab states against Israel and its supporters might well erupt.

Thousands of American soldiers would be killed, which is precisely what ex-President George H.W. Bush sought to avoid when he stopped short of Baghdad in 1991. John Nichol, of the British Royal Air Force, who was an Iraqi prisoner-of-war during the Gulf War, says "the death toll would have been massive" if the Western forces had marched into Baghdad to capture Saddam Hussein. (43)

Analysts say 100,000 or more American troops would be needed to carry out an operation in Iraq. "Anything short of a ground invasion would run a high risk of failure," says Philip Gordon of the Brooking Institute. "Removing Saddam will be opening a Pandora's box, and there might not be an easy way to close it back up," according to Gordon."

An invasion of Iraq would have a potentially devastating effect on the U.S. economy. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest supplier of oil, could lead the OPEC countries in an oil embargo, or the price of oil could rise sharply, causing a recession. As the result of saber-rattling by Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair aimed at Iraq, the price of crude has already risen to nearly $25 a barrel, a third higher than last fall. We can no longer count on Saudi Arabia to keep the more militant OPEC members in line by agreeing to pump enough additional oil to keep the price down.

The alleged motivation for an attack on Iraq is to destroy its weapons of mass destruction. However, Scott Ritter, a former weapons inspector in Iraq has said, "There is absolutely no reason to believe that Iraq could have meaningfully reconstituted any element of its WMD capabilities." Ritter maintains the Iraqis never succeeded in weaponizing their chemical and biological agents to enable them to be sprayed over a large area. (45) Nor has Iraq developed nuclear capabilities, according to Rosemary Hollis, head of the Middle East programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. (46)

In spite of U.N. Security Council Resolution 687, which calls for the creation of a weapons of mass destruction-free zone throughout the Middle East, the United States ignores Israel's stockpile of nuclear weapons. Ali Muhsin Hamid, the Arab League's Ambassador in London, points to the United States' double standard regarding Iraq and Israel. "If the Israeli weapons are looked at," Hamid says, "the Arabs will feel that the U.S. is serious, fair, even-handed and objective." (47) The Arab countries are mindful that the weapons used by Israel against the Palestinians were made in the United States. (48)

A U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq would also violate international law. Under the U.N. Charter and Security Council Resolution 687, only the Council is empowered to authorize the use of force in Iraq. No mandate for an invasion of Iraq has been forthcoming from the Security Council, whose veto-wielding members include Russia, China and France, all opposed to military action against Iraq.

A preemptive strike against Iraq could not be justified as legitimate self-defense under the U.N. Charter, as Iraq has not attacked a U.N. country. Nor could it be rationalized as a humanitarian intervention. The precipitating factor for the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, is absent in 2002. At the recent Arab summit, Iraq recognized Kuwait as an independent state and vowed not to invade it again.

An attack on Iraq would exacerbate an already volatile situation in the Middle East. The United States must heed the admonition of the Arab countries and help to achieve peace in Israel and Palestine, not seek to sponsor further terrorism against Iraq.


The growing harshness of Israeli military practices in the West Bank and Gaza is creating thousands of potential suicide bombers and Israel haters as well as coarsening a generation of young Israeli soldiers.

Editorial, The New York Times, February 4,2002.

The brutal treatment of the Palestinians by Israel -- and United States complicity in that brutalization -- has engendered universal condemnation in the Arab world, and in all likelihood provided a major rationale for the September 11 attacks. When award-winning British journalist Robert Fisk spoke at a church in a San Diego suburb in April 2002, he was approached by an ex-naval officer who had served on the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy during the 1973 Middle East war. "We were stationed off Gibraltar and our job was to refuel the fighter jets we were sending to Israel after their air force was shot to bits by the Arabs," he told Fisk. "Our planes would land with their USAF and Marine markings partly stripped off and the Star of David already painted on the side. Does anyone know why we gave all those planes to the Israelis just like that? When I see on television our planes and our tanks used to attack Palestinians, I can understand why people hate Americans" (49)

The United States' loyal and consistent support for Israel has enabled the Israeli government to conduct a war of terror against the Palestinians in the occupied territories. Yasser Arafat has understood this for 20 years. As he was boarding a ship after being exiled to Tunisia following Israel's brutal invasion of Lebanon in 1982, (50) Arafat told an American journalist, "I'll tell you what this war taught us. It taught us that the real enemy is the United States. It is against you that we must fight. Not because your bombs killed our people but because you have closed your eyes to what is moral and just." (51)

Once again, Americans seems to be closing their eyes to morality and justice. Neta Golan, an Israeli Jew, burst into the room where Powell and Arafat were meeting in Arafat's besieged Ramallah headquarters in April 2002. She told reporters: "When hundreds are dying or being massacred in the West Bank, Powell meets with Sharon and calls him a friend. But when six Israelis are killed in a suicide bombing, Powell will postpone meeting Arafat. Arab blood is cheap. As a Jew, I cannot accept that the world remains quiet." (52)

Recent statements from Washington and reports in the media have focused largely on the terror of the suicide bombers. Accounts of a massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli Defense Forces, however, have been largely described as "unverified." (53) The Israeli government forbade journalists from entering the Jenin refugee camp during its April 2002 invasion. When a United Nations special envoy finally inspected the camp on April 18, he said it was "horrific beyond belief," and observed: "What we are seeing here is horrifying, horrifying scenes of human suffering." Terje Roed-Larsen also found it "morally repugnant" that Israel had not permitted emergency workers into the camp for 11 days to provide humanitarian relief. Roed-Larsen said: "Combating terrorism does not give a blank check to kill civilians." Although the BBC's correspondent said Roed-Larsen was "highly regarded in the region," Israel dismissed Roed-Larsen's comments as biased. Senior U.S. official William J. Burns, however, admitted: "What happened in Jenin camp has caused enormous suffering for thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians." (54)

More than a dozen witnesses reported Israeli soldiers shooting unarmed civilians, bulldozing people alive and blocking access to medical care. (55) Rasmieh Maslimani, a 70-year-old woman who lived through two prior Israeli-Arab wars, said the Jenin attack was different: "There was never destruction like this destruction. I have never witnessed destruction like this, not with the Jews, not with the Arabs." (56) Sean Riordan, who grew up in my neighborhood and served as a "human shield" in a refugee camp in Bethlehem, reported: "There is no greater terror than to be gunned down by an Apache helicopter in the alley of a refugee camp."

Likewise, Tzaporah Ryter, an American student from the University of Minnesota, reported from Ramallah on April 2, 2002: "We are under a terrible siege and people are being massacred by both the Israeli army and armed militia groups of Israeli settles. They are shooting at anything that moves." Tzaporah said, "when night fell, Israeli tanks began to invade and also we saw Israeli troops coming on foot from the valley, and surrounding our house. They were firing everywhere a barrage of bullets and there was tank fire. We had to lay on the floor and keep silent. We stayed there, on the floor, for nearly 4 days in the darkness."

Human rights organizations and NGOs from the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and Palestine have accused Israel of committing human rights violations. (57)

The killing of innocent civilians by suicide bombers must be roundly condemned. But individual terrorist acts by people living in hopeless despair cannot be compared to the State terrorism of the Israeli government, which has recently slaughtered hundreds of Palestinians. (58) State-sponsored Israeli aggression is the result of deliberate decisions by a governmental and military apparatus of occupation, which is financed and equipped by the United States. Israel justifies its State terror as "self-defense" to protect its very existence. But the state of Israel is in no danger of perishing. Israel is the fourth largest military power in the world. Its enemy -- the Palestinian people -- have no tanks, no airplanes, no heavy artillery.

In an unprecedented action, the Arab League offered on March 28, 2002, to recognize Israel's right to exist and to forge normal relations with Israel. If Israel were truly motivated by concerns for its security, it would seize this opportunity. But Israel knows it can count on the United States to refrain from forcefully calling a halt to the carnage, even in the face of universal condemnation of Israel's massacres in the Occupied Territories. (59)

Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions specifies that civilians must not form the object of attack. Acts which are intended to spread terror among the civilian population, and indiscriminate attacks -- "those which are not directed at a specific military objective" -- are prohibited. A year before the Jenin massacre, the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Groups concluded that:

The Israeli army intentionally attacked densely populated residential areas in order to inflict collective punishment on civilians. The shelling of residential areas occurred without warning, and excessive and indiscriminate military power was used against a defenseless and unarmed population. (60)

Israel's brutal retaliation against Palestinian civilians for the suicide bombs constitutes collective punishment. Attacks on a civilian population as a form of collective punishment violate article 50 of the Hague Regulations, which provides: "No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible." The Fourth Geneva Convention also prohibits collective punishment. Article 33 says: "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed." (61)

By destroying the Palestinian infrastructure -- water pipes, electricity pylons, telephone service, access to food and medical care, schools and roads -- Israel has violated Articles 53, 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which impose a duty on an occupying power to ensure services, public health and hygiene in occupied territories. It also constitutes an indiscriminate and disproportionate attack on civilians prohibited by the Geneva Convention, Protocol 1, and customary international law. The attacks on ambulances, the refusal to allow wounded Palestinians to obtain medical care, the deliberate blocking of food and medical supplies to hospitals and desperate civilians violates Articles 16 through 20 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The wide scale demolition of houses not justified by military necessity --Israeli bulldozers demolished several hundred houses after fighting had ceased--violates Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and constitutes collective punishment. The use of Palestinian civilians as shields for the Israeli military house searches violates Article 51(7) of the First Protocol.

Moreover, Israel continues to carry out a campaign of aggression against the Palestinian people in violation of the United Nations Charter (62) and the Nuremberg Principles. (63) If Israel were a party to the International Criminal Court, it could be charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed after the Court becomes operative. (64)


In June 2001, M. Kalliopi K. Koufa, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Commission on Human Rights, wrote a report called Terrorism and human rights. (65) In it, she distinguished between individual or group terrorism, International State terrorism, State regime or Government terror, State-sponsored or State-supported terrorism, and national liberation struggles for self-determination. In the following sections, I will apply those definitions to the September 11 attacks, the U.S.-U.K. bombing of Afghanistan, Israel's occupation and massacre of the Palestinians, U.S. support for Israel's military operation, and Palestine's response to the Israeli occupation.

Individual or group terrorism

Nineteen individuals hijacked and commandeered four airplanes, and crashed two of them into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon; the fourth went down in Pennsylvania. Other individuals are suspected of conspiring with the 19 hijackers. These attacks are examples of Sub-State, or individual, terrorism. Individual acts of violence and intimidation, including assassinations, bombings, sabotage and robberies, have historically been perpetrated by individuals and groups to terrorize the State and the public, in order to revolutionize the masses and create social and political change. (66) Individual terrorism has been waged by religious, as well as national and political, groups. (67)

The planning of the September 11 attacks has been largely attributed to Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network. (68) In 1996, bin Laden declared a jihad to drive the United States military forces out of the Arabian peninsula, overthrow the Saudi government and liberate the two holiest Islamic sites, Mecca and Medina; he also expressed support for revolutionary groups worldwide. Four years later, bin Laden issued a fatwa, stating it is the duty of all Muslims to kill United States citizens and their allies. (69) After September 11, bin Laden said:

America and its allies are massacring us in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, and Iraq. The Muslims have the right to attack America in reprisal ... The September 11 attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America's icons of military and economic power. (70)

Bin Laden's other flash points were United States complicity in Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, and the deaths of one million innocent Iraqis as a result of Western sanctions. He holds the American people responsible for electing a government that "manufacturers arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians" (71)

Bin Laden distinguishes between "commendable" terrorism, directed at the oppressors, and "reprehensible" terrorism, aimed at the innocent:

There is no doubt that every state and every civilization and culture has to resort to terrorism under certain circumstances for the purpose of abolishing tyranny and corruption ... The terrorism we practice is of the commendable kind for it is directed at the tyrants, the traitors who commit acts of treason against their own countries and their own faith and their own prophet and their own nation. Terrorizing those and punishing them are necessary measures to straighten things and make them right. (72)

Yet, in the same breath, he decries those who call him a terrorist: "They rob us of our wealth and of our resources and of our oil. Our religion is under attack. They kill and murder our brothers. They compromise our honor and our dignity and dare we utter a single word of protest against the injustice, we are called terrorists." (73)

Although he operated largely in the Middle East and Central Asia, Osama bin Laden's brand of terrorism was internationalist in scope. Before the September 11 attacks, he was implicated in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, an unsuccessful assassination attempt of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, a truck bombing in Riyadh in 1995, and the bombings of U.S. embassies in Dar es Salam and Tanzania in 1998. The Al-Qaeda network is not based in one country; its cells have aimed at targets around the world.

The Convention of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference on Combating International Terrorism defines terrorism as follows:

"Terrorism" means any act of violence or threat thereof notwithstanding its motives or intention perpetrated to carry out an individual or collective criminal plan with the aim of terrorizing people or threatening to harm them or imperiling their lives, honour, freedoms, security or rights or exposing the environment or any facility or public or private property to hazards or occupying or seizing them, or endangering a national resource, or international facilities, or threatening the stability, territorial integrity, political unity or sovereignty of independent States. (74)

The Convention defines terrorist crime as "any crime executed, started or participated in to realize a terrorist objective in any of the Contracting States or against its nationals, assets or interests or foreign facilities and nationals residing. in its territory punishable by its internal law." (75)

Under the Convention, the September 11 attacks constituted individual or group acts of terrorism because they were acts of violence to carry out an individual or collective plan to terrorize and imperil the lives of people in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They were terrorist crimes executed to realize the terrorist objective of terrorizing people and imperiling their lives.

International State Terrorism

The use of force as coercive diplomacy, the unlawful use of force in violation of the United Nations Charter, is International State terrorism. (76) A number of States have endorsed the following definition of this form of State terrorism:

... tenor inflicted on a large scale and with the most modern means on whole populations for purposes of domination or interference in their internal affairs, armed attacks perpetrated under the pretext of reprisals or of preventive action by States against the sovereignty and integrity of third States, and the infiltration of terrorist groups or agents into the territory of other States. (77)

The bombing of Afghanistan by the United States and United Kingdom, undertaken in violation of the U.N. Charter, inflicted large-scale terror on the whole population. The military strikes against Afghanistan were armed attacks perpetrated under the pretext of reprisals for the September 11 attacks and the prevention of further terrorist attacks on the United States. (78) This constituted International State terrorism and violated international law. (79)


Traditionally, the "regime" or "government" form of State terrorism, is conducted by organs of the State against its own population or the population of an occupied territory, for the purpose of preserving a regime or suppressing challenges to its authority. (80) This type of terrorism is frequently characterized by kidnapping and assassination of political opponents of the government by the police, secret service, army, or security forces; imprisonment without trial; persecution and torture; massacres of racial or religious minorities or certain social classes; internment in concentration camps; and government by fear.

Regime or governmental State terrorism is legitimized by the law that the State itself has established. (81)

Israel's 35-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, its subjugation of the Palestinian people in a system of apartheid and its recent brutal massacre of hundreds of Palestinians, particularly in Jenin, constitutes regime or governmental State terrorism. The Israeli government justifies its policies as lawful self-defense against Palestinian terrorists, e.g., suicide bombers.

State-sponsored or State-supported terrorism

State-sponsored, or State-supported, terrorism includes overt or covert assistance or support by a State to terrorist agents in order to subvert or destabilize another State or its government. (82) According to Koufa: "State-sponsored terrorism occurs when a government plans, aids, directs and controls terrorist operations in another country; it is sometimes called 'surrogate warfare."' (83)

Congress votes annual appropriations of military and "economic development" aid to Israel -- in effect, military aid, which frees up funds used to buy U.S. weapons. This year, the appropriation was $2.76 billion. (84)

The United States' financial and military aid to Israel, with knowledge of Israel's brutal occupation of Palestinian lands and massacres of Palestinians civilians, constitutes State-supported terrorism. Further, the United States' exercise of its veto in the Security Council to prevent condemnation of Israel's actions, enables Israel to continue its occupation and terror against the Palestinians.

National liberation struggles

In her report, U.N. rapporteur Koufa discussed the distinction between terrorism on the one hand, and "wars of national liberation in the context of the right to self-determination" on the other. (85) She cites the "legitimate concerns" (86) of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference regarding this distinction, which are memorialized in the 1999 Convention of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference on Combatting International Terrorism. Article 2(a) of the Convention provides:

Peoples' struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination in accordance with the principles of international Jaw shall not be considered a terrorist crime. (87)

Likewise, the 1998 Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism excepts struggles against foreign occupation and aggression for liberation and self-determination from the definition of terrorist crime:

All cases of struggle by whatever means, including armed struggle, against foreign occupation and aggression for liberation and self-determination, in accordance with the principles of international law, shall not be regarded as [a terrorist] offence. (88)

The following section will analyze the Palestinian struggle for self-determination in light of the foregoing principles.


Two Islamic resistance movements, Hizbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Palestine, were born in the 1 980s in reaction to Israel's invasion, occupation and oppression. They combine political action and militant jihad with effective humanitarian, social and educational programs. (89)

Hizbollah, inspired by the Ayatollah Khomeini, is supported by Iran. When the civil war in Lebanon ended, Hizbollah became a political party, winning seats in Parliament, and it continues to function in mainstream Lebanese society. (90) Through suicide bombings, roadside booby traps and other violence, Hizbollah was successful in May 2000 in forcing Israel to withdraw from the southern strip of southern Lebanon which it had occupied since its 1982 invasion. (91) In response to Israel's 2002 invasion of the occupied territories, Hizbollah began firing rockets from Southern Lebanon into Israel.

Before 1994, Hamas restricted its guerrilla actions to political and military targets in the Occupied Territories. On February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler, shot and killed 29 Muslim worshippers in the Mosque of the Patriarch in Hebron. Hamas took revenge with a new weapon -- the suicide bomber. One of the deadliest attacks was a Tel Aviv bus bombing in October 1994, that killed 23 people. (92) Posters at universities in the West Bank and Gaza read: "Israel has nuclear bombs, we have human bombs." (93) Indeed, Sheik Hassan Yousef of Hamas told the Journal of Middle East Affairs," We do not have F-16s, but we do have one weapon that is more powerful than the F-16 or anything else. It is a weapon that is unconventional and at the same time mightier than any nuclear bomb. It is the martyrdom bomber." (94) In a heartbreaking encounter, children in the besieged Camp 'Aida in Bethlehem told Sean Riordan they hoped to be "martyrs" when they grew up, as they pantomimed detonating explosives strapped t o their bodies, acting out their own deaths. "I was horrified that these children believed their destiny was martyrdom. Where were the doctors, firefighters and scientists?" asked Riordan.

San Diego Union-Tribune columnist James O. Goldsborough has directly correlated the increase in the number of suicide bombers during the last decade with Israel's stepped up violence against the Palestinians. (95)

In September 2000, the Palestinians began an campaign of resistance -- an intifada--sparked by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's increasing aggression in the occupied territories. Suicide bombings by individuals has provoked Israel to respond with a cruel massacre of Palestinian civilians, particularly in Jenin and Nablus. Some Hamas leaders, such as Abdel Aziz Rantisi, believe "Israelis will have no stability and no security until the occupation ends. Suicide bombers are Israel's future, he says." (96) Others, including Sayyid Abu Musameb, feel that targeting civilians is counterproductive, as it damages the image of Islam in the West. (97) Both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations listed Hamas as a terrorist organization and outlawed contributions by Americans. (98)

On April 13, 2002, Yasser Arafat condemned all terrorism, including that of the suicide bombers:

President Yasser Arafat and the PNA Leadership express their condemnation of all acts of terrorism targeting civilians, be they Israelis or Palestinians, including state, group or individual terrorism. This stems from a staunch principle of rejecting a turn to violence and terrorism against civilians as a method to achieve political gains.... Henceforth, we strongly condemn the violent operations targeting Israeli civilians, particularly the last [suicide bombing] in Jerusalem, as we strongly condemn the massacres conducted and still being conducted, by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians and refugees for the past two weeks in the city of Nablus, Jenin refugee camp and the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in addition to other Palestinian territories.

Just as Israeli military attacks that target civilians violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, so do the suicide bombers, and those groups or individuals who enable them to carry out their frightening missions.

The struggle of the Palestinian people is an armed struggle against foreign Israeli occupation, aggression, colonialism and hegemony aimed at liberation and self-determination. Armed resistance of Palestinians to the brutal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is not terrorism.

The suicide bombers are an unlawful part of a larger struggle born of hopeless desperation and despair caused by the 35-year-old occupation. The only chance of stopping the suicide bombers, and achieving peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, is to end the occupation.


The United States must follow the procedures prescribed in articles 33 through 54 of the U.N. Charter, governing actions the Security Council must take with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression. (99) If the Security Council were to initiate a U.N.-led military force to stop the violence, the U.S. must participate.

Washington must act immediately to enforce Security Council Resolution 1402, which the United States voted for, and which the State Department and the United Nations Secretary General endorsed. Resolution 1402 demands an immediate Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian cities reinvaded since March 29, 2002. (100)

The U.S. could also apply political and economic pressure that Israel could not resist. Under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, military hardware sold by the United States can only be used for defensive purposes or to maintain internal security. (101) Israel has used F-16 fighter jets, Apache and Cobra attack helicopters, 15mm howitzers, M-16 automatic rifles, M50 machine guns and many other weapons and ammunition supplied by the United States. Retired U.S. Army General James 3. David, in a letter to Colin Powell in January, 2002, wrote: "If you're going to deny the Palestinians weapons to defend themselves, then you must stop all military and economic aid to Israel." (102)

The Foreign Assistance Act prohibits the United States from rendering assistance to the government of any country" ... which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights." (103) From 1949 through fiscal year 2000, the United States has provided Israel with between $81 billion and $91 billion in economic aid and sophisticated weaponry; in fiscal year 2000, the U.S. allocated more than $4 billion to Israel in foreign assistance. (104)

The United States could halt Israel's aggression against the Palestinians by suspending all economic and military aid to Israel until Israel's military forces have been withdrawn from the occupied Palestinian territories. Bush must further embrace the Arab League's declaration, which offers Israel peace and normal relations with all the Arab states in return for full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and a just resolution to the refugee problem based on United Nations resolutions. The Arab League plan provides the best opportunity in years to resolve this tragic conflict, it meets the stated needs of all parties and it is consistent with international law.

In response to overwhelming international opposition to Israel's aggression against the Palestinians, Bush cited U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which forbids the acquisition of territory by war; he also reiterated the goal of a Palestinian state, and sent Powell to the Middle East. In the face of intense pressure from the neo-conservative Israel lobby in Congress, however, Bush backtracked from his prior statement that Israel must pull out of the West Bank "without delay," calling Sharon "a man of peace." (105)

A hopeful sign, however, is the growing resistance to the brutal occupation within the Israeli military itself. Close to 25 percent of Israelis sympathize with the Israeli Defense Force reservists who have refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza. The resisters say: "The price of occupation is the loss of the Israeli Defense Forces' semblance of humanity and the corruption of all of Israeli society." (106)

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, said: The people involved [in the occupation] will be remembered in Jewish history as betrayers of the Jewish people and its highest moral and spiritual traditions. Jews did not climb out of the gas chambers to be oppressors of another people. The deepest values of our people have been shaped by the history of our own oppression; yet in the past weeks we've become brutalizers without constraints, without historical memory, without moral or spiritual moorings." (107)

Fisk has noted the one-sided "spineless" American media coverage of the Middle East, where the "occupied territories" are called "disputed territories," Jewish "settlements" have become Jewish "neighborhoods," Arab militants are "terrorists" but Israeli militants are just "fanatics" or "extremists," and civilians killed by Israeli soldiers were "caught in the crossfire." Nevertheless, during his recent tour through the U.S. heartland, Fisk was surprised by "the extraordinary new American refusal to go along with the official line, the growing, angry awareness among Americans that they were being lied to and deceived." (108)

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon insists that no political settlement can take place until all the violence ceases. His aim is to "destroy the terror infrastructure." But veteran Israeli journalist Uri Avnery, co-founder of Israel's Gush Shalom (Peace Coalition), claims: "This definition is by itself nonsensical: the 'terror infrastructure' exists in the souls of millions of Palestinians and tens of millions of Arabs, whose heart is bursting with rage." Avnery explains the hatred in light of the recent massacres in the West Bank:

When dozens of wounded people lie around in the streets and slowly bleed to death, because the army shoots at every moving ambulance -- it creates terrible hatred. When the army secretly buries hundreds of bodies of men, women and children -- it creates terrible hatred. When tanks overrun cars, destroy houses, topple electricity poles, open water pipes, leave behind them thousands of homeless people and cause children to drink from puddles in the street -- it causes terrible hatred. (109)

The desperation that creates the suicide bombers can only be overcome by a complete end to the governmental State terrorism of the occupation, and the creation of a Palestinian state with security for both Israel and Palestine. (110) There will be no end to the dialectic of violence until there is a just political settlement that includes an end to the brutal occupation and a reasonable resolution of the refugee crisis. Only then can Palestinians have some hope of a future based on dignity and respect; only then will Israelis feel secure.


The only path to safety and security is through international law, not vengeance and retaliation. In addition to the measures suggested in the prior section on Israel-Palestine, George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress must take the following steps:

a) Immediately stop the bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq, remove all ground forces, and refrain from illegally bombing or invading any other country;

b) Contribute money and people power to the U.N. peacekeeping forces, as required under articles 43-45 of the U.N. Charter;

c) Refuse to eviscerate the U.S. Bill of Rights, in the name of national security, (111) and not repeat the actions of the U.S. government when it interned Japanese-Americans during World War II, and targeted suspected communists during the McCarthy era;

d) Refuse to allow the racial profiling, and INS and FBI intimidation, of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians (U.S. Coast., amend. I, IV, V, VI, VIII, XIV); (112) and

e) Submit this matter to appropriate international bodies, including the United Nations and the World Court. (113)

Since no state has executed an armed attack against the United States, this is a criminal matter that can be prosecuted in a number of possible venues. First, the United States could bring criminal prosecutions in its domestic courts for crimes against humanity and for violations for international conventions (114) under the principle of universal jurisdiction, as Israel did when it prosecuted Adolph Eichmann for his role in the Holocaust.

Second, the Security Council could establish a special criminal tribunal for the September 11 attacks, as it did in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. For example, the Montreal Sabotage Convention (115) -- which criminalizes the destruction of civilian aircraft while in service -- is directly on point and should be used here. It was invoked during the resolution of the dispute between the United States, the United Kingdom and Libya over the handling of the Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing cases. Both the United States and Afghanistan are parties to that convention. (116)

The International Criminal Court -- which will come into effect on July 1, 2002 -- has jurisdiction only over crimes committed after the Court becomes operative. Bucking the trend of much of the rest of the world, the United States refuses to ratify -- and threatens to "unsign" -- the ICC statute, because it is afraid its leaders may become defendants in war crimes prosecutions. (117) United High Commissioner Mary Robinson called the September 11 attacks a crime against humanity, which, she told students at the American University in Beirut, underscored the urgency of establishing the ICC to respond to future atrocities. (118)


The international community has long sought to eliminate international terrorism, including adopting U.N. General Assembly resolutions 55/158 on January 30, 2001, which reaffirmed that "international cooperation as well as actions by States to combat terrorism should be conducted in conformity with the principles of the Charter, international law and relevant international conventions." The United States must immediately ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing Terrorism, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and Their Destruction, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

The 2002 Israeli massacre of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories has drawn intense criticism worldwide. (119) On April 20, 2002, tens of thousands of people marched in Washington to protest Israel's recent campaign of terror against the Palestinians, corporate globalization, and the military campaign in Afghanistan. (120) Demonstrators such as Rodney Ward, an unemployed flight attendant, saw the misguided direction of the war on terror: "The airlines have taken advantage of the September 11 attacks to attack the labor movement," he said "It certainly doesn't help to be humiliating the Palestinians and the war in Afghanistan only breeds more terrorism." (121) In the words of John Esposito: "The cancer of global terrorism will continue to afflict the international body until we address its political and economic causes, causes that will otherwise continue to provide a breeding round for hatred and radicalism, the rise of extremist movements, and recruits for the bin Ladens of the world." (122)

The United States government must stop claiming unilateral jurisdiction over individuals, organizations and nations it defines as "terrorist" or "aiding terrorists," and instead, work through the international legal community. Washington needs to rethink its support for Israel's terror against the Palestinians. The brutal sanctions that are crippling the Iraqi people must be lifted, the bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq must stop immediately, and the U.S. must refrain from invading other countries. If the American people do not call a halt to the system of U.S. terror against people around the world, we will continue to be victimized by terrorist attacks.


(1.) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat said: "We are completely shocked. It's unbelievable. We completely condemn this very dangerous attack, and I convey my condolences to the American people, to the American president and to the American administration, not only in my name but on behalf of the Palestinian people." Rahul Mahajan, The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002).

(2.) Ibid: p. 9.

(3.) Marjorie Cohn, "Hoist on Our Own Petard," Jurist: The Legal Education Network, October 5, 2001, This analysis is shared by Amr Moussa, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, who addressed a seminar entitled "Understanding Global Anger" at the World Economic Forum in New York on February 1, 2002. Moussa said: "Two-thirds of the world population is poor and hungry, so two-thirds of the world population is angry... We don't have to ask why." See William Orme, "The World: At Talks, Much of It Ducks Behind Doors -- Meeting: Private chats rule the day at the World Economic Forum in New York where terrorism is as much on the agenda as finance, "New York Times, February 2, 2002, A3.

(4.) See David E. Sanger, "Bush Calls World Economy Goal of Attacks on U.S," New York Times, October 21, 2001, A8.

(5.) See William Orme, "The World: At Talks, Much of It Ducks Behind Doors -- Meeting: Private chats rule the day at the World Economic Forum in New York, where terrorism is as much on the agenda as finance," New York Times, February 2, 2002, A3.

(6.) See Evelyn Iritani, "U.S. Urged to Preserve Coalition -- Diplomacy: European Union officials say Washington should avoid a unilateral response to terrorism," Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2002, A4.

(7.) Jim Hoagland, "Seeing Asia Whole," Washington Post, February 21, 2002, A21.

(8.) Mahajan, p. 10.

(9.) One senior American official who deals with Saudi Arabia said, "There has been and still are two pillars of the relationship: oil and security. Oil runs the world and the Saudis are the linchpin of oil production." See Elaine Sciolino with Neil MacFarquhar, "Naming of Hijackers as Saudis May Further Shake Ties to U.S.," New York Times, October 25, 2001, Al.

(10.) See Neela Banerjee, "The World: The High, Hidden Cost of Saudi Arabian Oil," New York Times, October 21, 2001, WK 3.

(11.) See Marjorie Cohn, "Pacification for a Pipeline: Explaining the U.S. Military Presence in the Balkans," Jurist, April 27, 2001,; Marjorie Cohn, "The Deadly Pipeline War: U.S. Afghan Policy Driven By Oil Interests," Jurist, December 7, 2001,; Marjorie Cohn, "Cheney's 'Black Gold' -- Oil Interests May Drive U.S. Foreign policy," Chicago Tribune, August 10, 2000, A23. "Just as in the Middle East, the United States does not seek to own all [Central Asian] resources, but rather to dictate the manner in which wells and pipelines are developed and used, and to control prices for economic stability, and to control the flow of profits from those resources." Mahajan, p. 33.

(12.) See Rob Nixon, "A Dangerous Appetite for Oil," New York Times, October 29, 2001, A15. Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hanged in 1995 for leading protests against this environmental destruction, called it "genocide by environmental means." Ibid.

(13.) See William K. Tabb, Progressive Globalism, The Amoral Elephant: Globalization and The Struggle for Social Justice in The Twenty-first Century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2001).

(14.) Rob Nixon, "A Dangerous Appetite for Oil," New York Times, October 29, 2001, A15.

(15.) See Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001).

(16.) See Louis Proyect, "WTC attack, Caspian oil and the Afghan pipeline connection," October 6, 2001, In their new book, Bin Laden, la veritie interdite (Bin Laden, the forbidden truth), former French intelligence officer Jean-Charles Brisard and journalist Guillaume Dasquie document a close relationship between George W. Bush and the Taliban shortly before September 11. They quote John O'Neill, former director of anti-terrorism for the FBI, who told them the Bush administration, acting on behalf of the United States and Saudi oil interests, interfered with FBI efforts to track down Osama bin Laden in the summer of 2001, while it negotiated with the Taliban about the construction of the pipeline through Afghanistan.

(17.) Likewise, the United States gave considerable assistance to the Kosovo Liberation Army -- a Muslim terrorist group financed by the Third World Relief Agency, through which bin Laden and others funneled $350 million -- and its twin, the National Liberation Army in Macedonia. See John Pamfret, "How Bosnia's Muslims Dodged Arms Embargo; Relief Agency Brokered Aid From Nations, Radical Groups," Washington Post, September 22, 1996, A01; Mary Mostert, "Are we Finally Switching Sides with George W. Bush as Commander-in-Chief?" September 14, 2001, l; George Szamuely, "They're Our Terrorists," New York Press, Vol. 14, Issue 39; Michel Chossudovsky, "Osamagate, The Whole Story," October 9, 2001, Although U.S.-led NATO ostensibly bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days in 1999 to stop ethnic cleansing, the bombing was actually part of a strategy of containment, to keep the region safe for the Trans-Balkan oi l pipeline through Albania and Macedonia. Cooperatio of the Albanians with the pipeline project was likely contingent on the U.S. helping them wrest control of Kosovo from the Serbs. NATO's "humanitarian intervention," which devastated the people and the economy of Yugoslavia, was a strategic move to shore up U.S. hegemony in Eastern Europe. See Marjorie Cohn, "NATO Bombing of Kosovo: Humanitarian Intervention or Crime Against Humanity?" 15 International Journal for Semiotics of Law (forthcoming 2002). The U.S. is in the Balkans to stay. It spent $26.6 million to build Camp Bondsteel in southern Kosovo, the largest U.S. foreign military base constructed since the Vietnam War. The day before he started bombing Yugoslavia, President Bill Clinton's explanation belied a humanitarian motive: "If we're going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key ... That's what this Kosovo thing is all about." See Benjamin Schwarz and Christopher Layne, "The Case Against Intervention in Kosovo," Nation, April 19, 1999.

(18.) Chalmers, Johnson, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (New York: Henry Holt, 2001).

(19.) See Robin Wright, "Response to Terror -- Warning to 3 Nations Downplayed Diplomacy: Bush was not revealing strike plans against Iraq, Iran or North Korea, aides say," Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2002, A1.

(20.) See Stephan Haggard and Daniel Pinkston, "North Korea and the 'axis of evil," San Diego Union-Tribune, February 3, 2002, G3 ("But since 1987, there is no evidence that North Korea has engaged in or supported terrorists."); see also Elisabeth Bumiller, "Readmit Inspectors, President Tells Iraq; 'Or Else' Is Unstated," New York Times, January 27, 2001, A1 (Secretary of State Colin Powell says no evidence links Saddam Hussein to the September 11 attacks); James Risen, "Iraq -- Terror Acts By Baghdad Have Waned, U.S. Aides Say," New York Times, February 6, 2002, A10 ("The Central Intelligence Agency has no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States in nearly a decade, and the agency is also convinced that President Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to Al-Qaeda or related terrorist groups, according to several American intelligence officials."). When the United States began bombing Afghanistan, Iran pledged assistance with search and rescue m issions for U.S. pilots in the event they are lost. But, in anticipation of fran's inclusion in Bush's "axis of evil," Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld accused Iran of being permissive in allowing enemy fighters to cross from Afghanistan; Rumsfeld, however, admitted that terrorist fighters had probably slipped into Pakistan as well. See Esther Schrader, "Iran Helped Al Qaeda and Taliban Flee, Rumsfeld Says -- Asia: Defense secretary asserts that Tehran allowed enemy fighters to cross from Afghanistan," Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2001, A1. Bush's incorporation of Iran into his axis of evil "gave Iran's fundamentalists -- locked in a power struggle with moderates -- a huge boost." Ayatollah Ali Khamenei characterized Bush's tone in his State of the Union address that of someone "thirsty for human blood." See Nazila Fathi, "The Rogue List -- Bush's 'Evil' Label Rejected By Angry Iranian Leaders," New York Times, February 1, 2002, A10.

(21.) See Steven Erlanger, "The Allies - Europe Seethes as the U.S. Flies Solo in World Affairs," New York Times, February 23, 2002, A8 ("Behind the heated accusations of unilateralism, arrogance, bad manners and oversimplification lie cultural and ideological differences made wider by the Afghan war and more vivid by the prospect of a new war in Iraq ... European officials now sense that they must shout in order to be heard in a warlike, messianic Washington....") Christopher Patten, the European Union commissioner for foreign policy, warned Washington

of the dangers of "unilateralist overdrive" in the fight against terror, and of abandoning constructive engagement with North Korea and Iran. Ibid.

(22.) Rizwan Hussain, "US objectives in the region," Nation (Pakistan), February 5, 2002,

(23.) See Patrick Martin, "Oil company adviser names US representative to Afghanistan," January 3, 2002,

(24.) See Paul Watson, "Russia Fears U.S. Has Hidden Afghan Agenda, Fighter Says," New York Times, October 22, 2001, A3.

(25.) Ibid.

(26.) See "Brazil conference castigates US response to terror," The Irish Times, February 5, 2002, .html.

(27.) See James Dao, "Bush Sees Big Rise in Military Budget For Next 5 Years -- Up to $451 Billion by '07 -- Proposed Buildup Would Rival Reagan's -- Sharp Increase in Money for Supplies," New York Times, February 2, 2002, A1; Haggard and Pinkston, p. 7 ("Without a potential direct threat to the United States, the logic of the missile shield evaporates.")

(28.) The United States spent $283 billion compared with $109 billion for these nine nations. "U.S. military spending," Hindustan Times, October 23, 2001,

(29.) See Mahajan, pp. 43-51.

(30.) Estimates of civilian casualties range from 2,000 to 8,000. See Ian Traynor, "The unfinished war -- Afghans are still dying as air strikes go on," Guardian, February 12, 2002, p.4.

(31.) Also, in a recent Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll, 45 percent of Americans said they were willing to "torture known terrorists if they knew details about future terrorist attacks in the United States," (See NPR: Talk of the Nation, "Analysis: How the economy is affecting people across the nation," October 29, 2001, 2001 WL 4190174), notwithstanding the United States' ratification and implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the prohibition against torture is considered to be jus cogens, a preemptory norm of international law. The U.S. has secretly sent prisoners from Afghanistan to Egypt and Jordan, where torture is permissible for extracting confessions. See Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Peter Finn, "U.S. Behind Secret Transfer of Terror Suspects," Washington Post, March 11, 2002, A01.

(32.) See Susan Sachs, "Propaganda: U.S. Appears to Be Losing Public Relations War So Far," New York Times, October 28, 200l,B8. See also Gustav Neibuhr, "American Muslims - Organizations Call for End To Bombing: American Muslims Urge Policy Change," New York Times, October 29, 2001, B6.

(33.) See David Zucchino, "Operation Anaconda Leaves Bitterness in Its Wake," Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2002, A5. These Afghan survivors likely understand all too well the observation of an American G.I. during the Vietnam War: "We had to destroy the village to save it."

(34.) U.S. CONST., art. 6, par. 2.

(35.) S/RES 1368 (2001), adopted 12 Sept. 2001.

(36.) S/RES 1373 (2001), adopted 28 Sept. 2001.

(37.) Article 51 of the U.N. Charter provides: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security. (Emphasis added.)

(38.) The necessity for self-defense must be "instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation." Caroline Case, 29 BFSP 1137-8; 30 BFSP 19-6 (1837), Robert Jenning and Arthur Watts (eds.,) Oppenheim's International Law (Pearson Higher Education, 9th ed., 1992), pp. 420-27. This classic principle of self-defense in international law has been affirmed by the Nuremberg Tribunal and the U.N. General Assembly.

(39.) Art. 1(1). "The United States," notes Rahul Mahajan, "seems never to be at a loss for a reason why an act of aggression is really self-defense." He cites the 1998 U.S. cruise missile strike on the El Shifa pharmaceutical factory (erroneously labeled a chemical weapons plant) in Sudan in retaliation for the two embassy bombings earlier that month; the U.S. attack was responsible for untold thousands of deaths of people unable to get live-saving pharmaceuticals. Mahajan, pp. 136-37.

(40.) 75 U.N.T.S. 287 (1949).

(41.) Ibid.

(42.) One year before the Shah of Iran was toppled by a coalition led by people acting in the name of the Ayatollah Khomeini, I visited that country as an international legal observer on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. I interviewed dozens of people, from the Ayatollah Shariat Madari (the leading ayatollah in Khomeini's exiled absence) to poets, Communists, political prisoners and myriad others. Although downtown Tehran sported a U.S. corporation on every corner, the people were drowning in poverty and misery. I returned to the United States and was scoffed at when I predicted a revolution in Iran. In 1953, the CIA had overthrown the democratically elected nationalist, secular prime minister, Mohammed Mossadeq (whose government had nationalized the British oil company) and installed the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, ushering in 25 years of a brutal and repressive reign of terror. Iran became the largest customer for U.S. arms and U.S.-based oil companies replaced the British. Whe n Iranians began to rise up against the Shah, the U.S. told him it supported him "without reservation" and encouraged him to use force to maintain his power, even trying to engineer a military coup to save him. In 1979, a broad-based united front consisting of nationalists as well as militant Muslims, coalesced around Khomeini, overthrew the Shah and inaugurated a theocracy based on religious fascism. Because of Washington's long-standing support for the Shah, Khomeini's government became a model for fundamentalist anti-U.S. Islamic regimes. The United States was eager to counter the now anti-American Iranian government and prevent it from controlling the Persian Gulf, the largest oil source in the world. But the U.S. heartily supported Saddam Hussein during his worst atrocities, including the gassing of the Kurds. To keep both Iran and Iraq off balance, the United States quietly encouraged Iraq to invade Iran in 1980, with the promise of financing from Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. opposed any Security Council action to condemn the invasion. Removing Iraq from its list of terrorist nations, the U.S. allowed the transfer of arms to Iraq, while simultaneously permitting Israel to arm Iran. The United States supplied Saddam Hussein with the technology to develop chemical and biological weapons, according to a 1996 Associated Press report. Even after Iraq used its chemical weapons in 1984, the U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Iraq, sent the U.S. navy into the Persian Gulf, and accidentally shot down an Iranian civilian airplane, killing 290 people. Then-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush's comment on the accident: "I will never apologize for the United States. I don't care what the facts are." Still playing both ends against the middle, the U.S. itself directly supplied arms covertly to Iran in 1985. Thinking the United States was still his ally, Saddam informed the U.S. ambassador to Iraq that he was about to invade Kuwait in 1991. He received no protest from the U.S. ambassador. But the United States, not wanting Iraq to dominate the western shore of the Persian Gulf, reacted by re-invading Kuwait. The U.S. did not really wish to destroy Iraq as it wanted Iraq as a counterweight to Iran. But the United States underestimated Saddam's ability to maintain his position of control over the Kurds and the Shi'i -- both politically and through the use of terror.

(43.) John Nichol, "Comment: A war without end: A decade after the Gulf War, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein still sits in his stronghold in Baghdad. John Nichol, who was captured during the conflict, asks if it was all worth it," Observer (London), January 14, 2001, p. 29.

(44.) Sally Buzbee, "Analysts Discuss Iraq Challenges," AP ONLINE, March 31, 2002. A time-CNN poll taken in March 2002 shows 36 percent of Americans would support bombing, 25 percent favor continuing economic sanctions, 18 percent would like to see Iraqi opposition troops do the fighting, and just 10 percent would endorse a ground war involving thousands of U.S. troops. Moreover, only a handful in Congress would support an attack on Iraq. See James O. Goldsborough, "On the bandwagon rolling to Baghdad," San Diego Union-Tribune, March 21, 2002. This is underwhelming American support for Bush's Iraqi war.

(45.) Greta Van Susteren, "Interview with Scott Ritter & John Ringo," FOX ON THE RECORD, April 2, 2002.

(46.) "As the drumbeat grows louder for a possible attack on Baghdad, we ask arms inspectors and military and foreign affairs experts - is Saddam dangerous as the US makes out, and what would be the consequences of war? - Iraq - the myth and the reality," Guardian, March 15, 2002, p.16.

(47.) Ibid.

(48.) In April 2002, Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban leader who has harbored bin Laden, drew an analogy between the U.S. war in Afghanistan and Israel's military offensive in the West Bank: "They have killed the women in the name of the war against terrorism, they have orphaned the children, they imprisoned the elders and the youngsters. All of this is happening with the American weapons and with the American money and according to the American decisions and policies." Al Hayat, April 15, 2002.

(49.) Robert Fisk, "Fear and learning in Middle America," Independent (London), April 17, 2002.

(50.) Ariel Sharon, then defense minister, has been indicted as a war criminal by a Belgian court for his role in enabling the massacre, at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982, where hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed. An Israeli court of inquiry had determined Sharon was indirectly responsible and he was forced to resign his post as defense minister.

(51.) See David Lamb, "The World - The Middle East - News Analysis - Israel's Invasions, 20 Years Apart, Look Eerily Alike - History: Sharon's forces went into Lebanon, as they have into the West Bank, to fight terrorism. The negative results may well be similar," Los Angeles Times April 20, 2002, AS. The United States staged a walkout from the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in 2001 when the conference criticized Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, and the U.S. has consistently opposed U.N. resolutions condemning Israel.

(52.) Robin Wright, "Besieged Arafat Complex Gets a Good Scrubbing - Ramallah: Water and power are turned on and debris is cleared in time for Powell's meeting with the Palestinian leader," Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2002, All.

(53.) The Israeli government excluded the press from the West Bank, which interfered with its ability to verify reports of Israeli aggression. Images of the brutality did appear, however, on Arab television sets. Contrasting the Arab perspective from that of Americans who watched the televised war in Vietnam, Max Rodenbeck wrote in The New York Times: "Arabs see the current conflict through 'Vietnamese' eyes -- as the story of a kindred people fighting to rid their land of a brutal occupying army. The drama generates not weariness with war but a thirst for justice, for sacrifice and revenge." Most editors in Tel Aviv, however "seem to accept Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's view that the press's job is 'to give the nation pride and hope.'" Max Rodenbeck, "Broadcasting the War," New York Times, April 17, 2002, A25. One would hope that if Israelis were permitted to see the true extent of the carnage wrought by the IDF, they would object.

(54.) Christian Miller, "Israel Faulted for Ignoring Victims -- West Bank: Army denies U.N. envoy's allegation that it failed to mount rescue efforts in Jenin," New York Times, April 19, 2002, A1; Serge Schmemann, "Mideast Turmoil: Support for Both Sides as Tensions Continue -- The Aftermath: U.S. Official at Jenin Sees 'Terrible Human Tragedy, "'New York Times, April 21, 2002, p. 15; BBC News, Jenin camp 'horrific beyond belief,' April 18, 2002,

(55.) T. Christian Miller, "'They Forced Me to Hate,' Conflict: Residents of the Jenin refugee camp speak of the viciousness of the Israeli attack," Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2002, A1.

(56.) Ibid.

(57.) Human Rights Watch, Israel Seeks to Legalize War Crimes -- Hostage Law Strips Civilians of Rights Guaranteed by Laws of War, June 22, 2000,; B'Tselem, B 'Tselem urges Israel to adopt the recommendations of the Committee Against Torture, November 26, 2001, Releases/2001/011126.asp; Amnesty International, Israel/Occupied Territories: Statement to the UN Commission of Human Rights, 58th Sess. (18 Mar. - 29 Apr. 2002), Joint Statement by Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists, April 5, 2002,;/MDE150332002? OpenDocument; Amnesty International, Israel/Occupied Territories: Israeli military action is collective punishment, April 12, 2002, MDE150452002?OpenDocument; B'Tselem, A Human "Defensive Shield": IDF uses Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields, April 8, 2002, Releases/2002/020408.asp; Huma n Rights Watch, Joint Statement Given in Jerusalem: April 7, 2002 with Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists, 2002/04/isrstmnt040702.htm; LAW (Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights & the Environment), UPDATE: Israel continues to commit war crimes in Jenin refugee camp, April 13, 2002, Press/Preleases/2002/April/apr13.html; LAW, UPDATE: Extra-judicial Executions in Jenin refugee camp; bodies seen in the rubble,; LAW, Israel digs mass graves -- covering up war crimes, April 10, 2002,; LAW, Israeli forces commit massacre in Jenin refugee camp, April 8, 2002,; LAW, Commission on Human Rights, 20 March 2002, 58th session, The Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Its Application to Peoples Under Colonial or Alien Domination or Foreign Occupation,; Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Press Release, Fear of Torture and Ill-Treatment of Thousands of Palestinians Detained by Israeli Occupying Forces, April 9, 2002,

(58.) Edward Said asks: "By what inhuman calculus did Israel's army, using dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers, along with hundreds of missile strikes from US-supplied Apache helicopter gunships, besiege Jenin's refugee camp for over a week, a one-square-kilometer patch of shacks housing 15,000 refugees and a few dozen men, armed with automatic rifles and no missiles or tanks, and call it a response to terrorist violence and a threat to Israel's survival?" Edward W. Said, "What Israel has done," Nation, May 6, 2002.

(59.) The conditions within the Palestinian territories, as well as the circumstances of Palestinians living in Israel itself, have been compared to apartheid-era South Africa. Jeff Halper, coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, cites, "the essential elements of apartheid" that define the relationship between Israel and the occupied territories: "exclusivity, inequality, separation, control, dependency, violations of human rights and suffering." Jeff Halper, "The 94 Percent Solution: A Matrix of Control," Middle East Report, No. 216, Fall 2000, p. 15. Four million Palestinians live under Israeli control, in a system of segregation and inequality. This apartheid is a far cry from the vision set forth in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948: "The state of Israel will be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the prec epts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew prophets; will upheld the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and holy places of all religions; and will dedicate itself to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations." Yet, institutional discrimination against Palestinians is imbedded in Israeli society. Predominantly Palestinian municipalities receive substantially less funding, Palestinian children do not have access to the same level of educational programs, funding and school services that Jewish children enjoy. Palestinians have inferior health care. National Lawyers Guild, The Al Aqsa Intfada and Israel's Apartheid: The US. Military and Economic Role in The Violation of Palestinian Human Rights, Report of the National Lawyers Guild Delegation to the Occupied Territories and Israel, January 200 1, at (emphasis added). In a home video shown in San Diego in April 2002, Robert Fisk documented the sale of one unit to an immigrant Jewish family for $190,000. Israel's continual building of illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land violates Article 49(b) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. See also Allegra Pacheco, "U.N. and International Law -- Possibilities and Limitations in Palestine," 58 Guild Practitioner 20 (2001), for a discussion of torture of the Palestinians by Israeli security services, illegal Jewish settlements, house demolitions, closure and refugees.

(60.) "Overkill: Israeli Bombardment and Destruction of Palestinian Civilian Homes and Infrastructure During the Al-Aqsa Intifada," (PHRMG, East Jerusalem), January 29, 2001, p. 25,

(61.) Article 2 of the Geneva Conventions specifies that its protections apply "to all cases of partial or total occupation."

(62.) 59 Stat. 1031, T.S.NO. 993,3 Bevans 1153 (1945), art. 1(1).

(63.) Art. 6 (a).

(64.) Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. A/CONF. 183/9 (1998), art. 5(1). Mohammad Barakeh, an Israeli-Arab Communist member of the Knesset, suggested that members of Sharon's cabinet be investigated for war crimes committed in the Occupied Territories. Nicholas Kralev, "Calls begin for war crimes trial for Israelis," Washington Times, April 12, 2002.

(65.) Kalliopi K. Koufa, Special Rapporteur, Commission on Human Rights, Terrorism and human rights, ECOSOC, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2001/31, June 27, 2001, para. 42, p. 12.

(66.) Ibid: para. 38, p. 11.

(67.) Ibid: para. 69, p. 19.

(68.) For background on the rise of bin Laden, see, Abdeen Jabara, "September 11: Doesn't It Have a Political and Historical Context?" 58 Guild Practitioner, 136 (2001).

(69.) John L. Espositio, Unholy War: Terror in The Name of Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp.20-22.

(70.) Hamid Mir, "Osama claims he has nukes: if U.S. uses N-arms it will get same response," Dawn: The Internet Edition, November. 10, 2001

(71.) Esposito, p. 23.

(72.) Interview with Osama bin Laden (May 1998), "Hunting the Enemy," FRONTLINE, binladen/who/family.html.

(73.) Ibid.

(74.) Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Combatting International Terrorism, art. 1(2), adopted at Ouagadougou on July 1 1999, United Nations, International Instruments Related to The Prevention and Suppression of International Terrorism 189 (2000) (emphasis added).

(75.) Ibid

(76.) Ibid: para. 62-67, pp. 17-18.

(77.) Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on international Terrorism, Official Records of the General Assembly, 28th Session, Supp. No. 28 (A/9028), 1973, para. 24.

(78.) NATO's 78 day bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, in violation of international law, is also an example of International State terrorism.

(79.) See text accompanying notes.

(80.) See Koufa, p. 12.

(81.) Ibid.

(82.) Ibid. Examples of this form of terrorism include the CIA's participation in overthrowing democratically elected leaders and installing dictatorships in Chile, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Although the U.S. government has supported the fledgling democracies in Latin America of late, its role in the recent foiled coup d'etat in Venezuela has been questioned. See Andres Oppenheimer, "U.S. criticized for Venezuela actions," Miami Herald, April 19 [18], 2002; Gilles Trequesser, "fran Sees U.S. Behind Chavez's Venezuela Ouster," Reuters, April 13, 2002.

(83.) Koufa, pp. 14-15. The United States assistance to the contras in Nicaragua, condemned by the International Court of Justice in Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. US.), Merits Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1986, could be considered State-sponsored terrorism. See Koufa, p. 42. Admittedly, the labeling of an act as State-sponsored terrorism will vary with the political perspective of the labeler. Ibid: p. 16.

(84.) Mahajan, p. 56.

(85.) Koufa, p. 19.

(86.) Ibid: p. 21.

(87.) International Instruments Related to The Prevention and Suppression of International Terrorism, pp. 187, 190.

(88.) The Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, signed at Cairo on April 22, 1998, art. 2(a), International Instruments, pp. 152, 154.

(89.) Esposito, pp. 66, 94-98, 101, 147.

(90.) Ibid: pp. 147-48.

(91.) See Neil MacFarquhar, "Lebanon -- Hezbollah Keeps Focus on Border With Israel," New York Times, April 17, 2002, A8.

(92.) See Esposito, pp. 98-99.

(93.) Jack Kelley, "Devotion, desire drive youths to 'martyrdom,"' USA Today, July 5, 2001.

(94.) See James 0. Goldsborough, "The link between suicide bombers and Israeli policy," San Diego Union-Tribune, April 18, 2002, B9.

(95.) He documented the following numbers of Israeli deaths by suicide bombing: 37 in 1994, 37 in 1995, 59 in 1996, 24 in 1997, 1 in 1998, 0 in 1999, 0 in 2000, 84 in 2001, 74 to date in 2002. Ibid

(96.) Anthony Shadid, Legacy of The Prophet: Despots, Democrats and The New Politics of Islam (Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, 2001), p. 124..

(97.) Ibid.

(98.) Esposito, p. 101.

(99.) See text accompanying notes.


(101.) 22 U.S.C. [section]2751, et seq.

(102.) Charles E. Carlson, "General Davis Corrects Colin Powell," April 11, 2002,

(103.) 22 U.S.C. [section][section]2151n(a) and 2304.

(104.) "The Al Aqsa Intifada and Israel's Apartheid," pp. 51-52.

(105.) David E. Sanger, "President Praises Effort By Powell in the Middle East -- Appears to Back Israel -- Bush Says He Understands Why Israeli Troops Remain in 2 West Bank Cities," New York Times, April 19, 2002, Al. "The pressure is almost exclusively from the hawkish side," according to one White House aide. See Ronald Brownstein, "The World -- The Middle East -- Hawks Dominate Debate on U.S. Policy in Region -- Diplomacy: Within the political establishment, Bush draws fire for calling on Sharon to pull Israeli forces out of the West Bank," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2002, A9. See also Alison Mitchell, "Israel Winning Broad Support From U.S. Right," New York Times, April 21, 2002, p. 15; Justin Raimondo, "American Likudniks - Behind the Headlines," April 12, 2002, Before he arrived in Israel, Powell "dawdled his way around the Mediterranean to give Sharon time to finish destroying the Jenin refugee camp." Fisk, Ibid. As Powell toured the Middle East, Benja min Netanyahu was in Washington "out-Sharoning Sharon, declaring that Palestinian suicide bombers would soon be prowling America's streets, meeting Congressmen to enlist their help in Israel's 'war on terror.'" Ibid Powell did an inadequate job of playing both sides against the middle during his trip. Although he initially appeared receptive to the intense pressure from Arab and European countries to stop the Israeli violence, Powell's tone became more deferential toward Israel in the face of Congressional pressure to allow Israel to respond to Palestinian "terrorism" in the same way the United States leveled Afghanistan after the September 11 terror attacks.

(106.) See Marjorie Cohn, "Israeli Resisters and Palestinian Rights,"


(108.) Fisk; Mahajan, pp. 79-86.

(109.) Uri Avnery, "Immortal heroes of Jenin -- Sharon's war is not only failing to bring Israelis security, it is laying the foundations of a new Palestinian nation and state," Guardian, April 16, 2002, p.17.

(110.) Graham E. Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, reduces it to a bumper sticker: "It's the occupation, stupid." He wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "Until that issue is addressed, nothing else will fall into place." Fuller noted the violence will end only with the establishment of a Palestinian state: "Until there is an imminent, visible and tangible pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the Palestinians, Yasser Arafat will not -- indeed cannot -- move to eliminate the suicide bombings, the only weapon the Palestinians possess against the repressive power of the Israeli state, which seeks to frustrate a meaningful sovereign Palestinian state." Graham E. Fuller, "Start With Palestinian Statehood," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2002, B15.

(111.) The Uniting and Strengthening America By Providing Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot Act), rushed through Congress in the wake of September 11, does just that See Sonia Arrison, "New anti-terrorism law goes too far," San Diego Union-Tribune, October 31, 2001, B9. Three hundred prisoners are being held incommunicado at the United States army base at Guantanamo, Cuba, in violation of international and United States law. See Marjorie Cohn, "Bush and the Geneva Convention: Begging the Question," Jurist, February 8, 2002,; Philip Shenon, "Captives -- Suit to Be Filed on Behalf of Three Detainees in Cuba," New York Times, February 19, 2002, A10.

(112.) Hundreds of people, mostly of Middle Eastern descent, are being detained indefinitely in the United States, without charges or suspicion of connection to the September 11 attacks. See Christopher Drew with Judith Miller, "Though Not Linked to Terrorism, Many Detainees Cannot Go Home," New York Times, February 18,2002, Al.

(113.) See Marjorie Cohn, "Rise Above It: Fight Terror Legally," National Law Journal, October 1, 2001, A25.

(114.) See The Hague Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft December 16, 1970, U.S.T. 1641, 10 I.L.M. 133 (1971); Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, September 14, 1963, 20 U.S.T. 2941, 2946, 704 U.N.T.S. 219; Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation, September 23, 1971, 24 U.S.T. 564; and International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism Bombings, G.A. Res. 165, U.N. GAOR, 52 Session, U.N. Doc. A/52/164 (1998) (U.S. has not ratified this convention).

(115.) Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation (24 U.S.T. 565, done on September 23, 1971, at Montreal; entered into force for the U.S. on January 26, 1973), implemented in 18 USC [section]32(b)(2).

(116.) See also United Nations, Internation Instruments Related to The Prevention and Suppression of International Terrorism.

(117.) Marjorie Cohn, "The Crime of Aggression: What Is It and Why Doesn't the U.S. Want the International Criminal Court to Punish It?" Jurist: The Legal Education Network, March 22, 2001, http//

(118.) UN News Centre, "Robinson says establishment of International Criminal Court key to fighting terror," March 5,2002.

(119.) See "Americans and Europeans Differ Widely on Foreign Policy Issues, "

(120.) Manny Fernandez, "Demonstrators Rally to Palestinian Cause -- Arab Americans, Supporters Drown Out Other Issues," New York Times, April 21, 2002, AO 1; Stephen Labaton, "The Demonstrators -- Many Thousands in Washington March in Support of Palestinians," New York Times, April 21, 2002, p. 15.

(121.) Ibid.

(122.) Esposito, p. 160.

Marjorie Cohn is an associate professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and a member of the National Executive Committee of the National Lawyers Guild.
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Author:Cohn, Marjorie
Publication:Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2002
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