Francis A. Boyle, "No War against Afghanistan", from http://msanews.mynet.net/Scholars/Boyle/nowar.html
NO WAR AGAINST AFGHANISTAN!
By Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Speech at Illinois Disciples
18 Oct 2001
(unedited, uncorrected transcript)
Thank you and I'm very happy to be here this evening once again at the Illinois Disciples Foundation which has always been a center for organizing for peace justice and human rights in this area ever since I first came to this community from Boston in July of 1978 and especially under its former minister my friend Jim Holiman. And I also want to thank Joe Miller of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Jeff Machoda for inviting me to speak here this evening.
People of my generation still remember how important it was
for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to be organized and to
speak out against the Vietnam War and they continue to serve as a
voice for peace in the world for the past generation and likewise
for Jeff Machoda.
Whenever anyone calls me and asks say I want to organize something on peace, justice, human rights, social welfare I always say talk to Jeff. He's the best in this entire area for something of that nature. I want to start out with my basic thesis that the Bush administration's war against Iraq cannot be justified on the facts or the law. It is clearly illegal. It constitutes armed aggression. It is creating a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of Afghanistan. It is creating terrible regional instability. Right now today we are having artillery barrages across the border between India and Pakistan which have fought two wars before over Cashmere and yet today are nuclear armed.
The longer this war goes on the worse it is going to be not only for the millions of people in Afghanistan but also in the estimation of the 1.2 billion Muslims of the world and the 57 Muslim states in the world. None of which believe the Bush administration's propaganda that this is not a war against Islam. Now let me start first with the facts.
As you recall Secretary of State Colin Powell said publicly they were going to produce a white paper documenting their case against Osama bin Laden and their organization Al Qaeda. Well, of course, those of us in the peace movement are familiar with white papers before. They're always laden with propaganda, half-truths, dissimulation, etc. that are usually very easily refuted after a little bit of analysis. What happened here? We never got a white paper produced by the United States government. Zip, zero, nothing.
What did we get instead? The only statement of facts that we got from an official of the United States government was Secretary of State Colin Powell himself. And let me quote from Secretary Powell. This is the October 3 edition of the New Speak Times. "The case will never be able to be described as circumstantial. It's not circumstantial now." Well as a lawyer if a case isn't circumstantial, it's nothing. That's the lowest level of proof you could possibly imagine is a circumstantial case.
Yes, the World Court has ruled that a state can be found guilty on the basis of circumstantial evidence provided there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But here we have Secretary of State Colin Powell admitting on behalf of the United States that the case against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda is not even circumstantial.
If it's not even circumstantial then what is it? Rumor, allegation, innuendo, insinuation, disinformation, propaganda. Certainly not enough to start a war. In the same issue of the New Speak Times the U.S. Ambassador who went over to brief our NATO allies about the Bush administration's case against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda was quoted as follows: "One Western official at NATO said the U.S. briefings which were oral without slides or documentation did not report any direct order from Mr. Bin Laden nor did they indicate that the Taliban knew about the attacks before they happened."
That's someone who was at the briefings. What we did get was a
white paper from Tony Blair. Did anyone in this room vote for
Tony Blair? No. And the white paper is in that hallowed tradition
of a white paper based on insinuation, allegation, rumors, etc.
Even the British government admitted the case against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda would not stand up in court and as a matter of fact it was routinely derided in the British press. There was nothing there. Now I don't know myself who was behind the terrorist attacks on September 11. And it appears we are never going to find out.
Why? Because Congress in its wisdom has decided not to empanel a joint committee of both Houses of Congress with subpoena power giving them access to whatever documents they want throughout any agency of the United States government including FBI, CIA, NSA, DSA. And to put these people under oath and testify as to what happened under penalty of perjury.
We are not going to get that investigation and yet today we are waging war against Afghanistan on evidence that Secretary of State Powell publicly stated is not even circumstantial. Now let's look at the law.
Immediately after the attacks President Bush's first statement that he made in Florida was to call these attacks an act of terrorism. Now under United States domestic law we have a definition of terrorism and clearly this would qualify as an act or acts of terrorism.
For reasons I can get into later if you want, under international law and practice there is no generally accepted definition of terrorism. But certainly under United States domestic law this qualified as an act of terrorism. What happened?
Well again according to the New Speak Times, President Bush consulted with Secretary Powell and all of a sudden they changed the rhetoric and characterization of what happened here. They now called it an act of war. And clearly this was not an act of war. There are enormous differences in how you treat an act of terrorism and how you treat an act of war. We have dealt with acts of terrorism before. And normally acts of terrorism are dealt with as a matter of international and domestic law enforcement.
And in my opinion that is how this bombing, these incidents,
should have been dealt with. International and domestic law
enforcement indeed there is a treaty directly on point. Although
the United Nations was unable to agree on formal definition of
terrorism they decided, let's break it down into its constituent
units and deal with it peace-wise. Let's criminalize specific
aspects of criminal behavior that we want to stop.
The Montreal Sabotage Convention is directly on point. It
criminalizes the destruction of civilian aircraft while in
service. The United States is a party. Afghanistan is a party. It
has an entire legal regime to deal with this dispute. The Bush
administration just ignored the Montreal Sabotage Convention.
There was also the Terrorist Bombing Convention. That is also
directly on point and eventually the Bush administration just did
say, well, yes, our Senate should ratify this convention. It's
been sitting in the Senate for quite some time lingering because
of the Senate's opposition to international cooperation by means
of treaties on a whole series of issues.
Indeed, there are a good 12-13 treaties out there that deal with various components and aspects of what people generally call international terrorism. That could have been used and relied upon by the Bush administration to deal with this issue. But they rejected the entire approach and called it an act of war. They invoked the rhetoric deliberately of Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941.
It was a conscience decision to escalate the stakes, to
escalate the perception of the American people as to what is
going on here. And of course the implication here is that if this
is an act of war then you don't deal with it by means of
international treaties and agreements. You deal with by means of
military force. You go to war. So a decision was made very early
in the process. We were going to abandon junk
ignore the entire framework of international treaties and
agreements that had been established for 25 years to deal with
these types of problems and basically go to war. An act of war
has a formal meaning. It means an attack by one state against
another state. Which of course is what happened on December 7,
1941. But not on September 11, 2001.
And. again, I repeat here Secretary Powell saying there isn't even a substantial case.
The next day, September 12, the Bush administration went into
the United Nations Security Counsel to get a resolution
authorizing the use of military force and they failed. It's very
clear if you read the resolution, they tried to get the authority
to use force and they failed.
Indeed, the September 12 resolution, instead of calling this an armed attack by one state against another state, calls it a terrorist attack. And again there is a magnitude of difference between an armed attack by one state against another state an act of war and a terrorist attack. Again terrorist are dealt with as criminals. They are not treated like nation states. Now what the Bush administration tried to do on September 12 was to get a resolution along the lines of what Bush Sr. got in the run up to the Gulf War in later November of 1990.
I think it is a fair comparison Bush Jr. to Bush Sr. Bush Sr. got a resolution from the Security Counsel authorizing member states to use "all necessary means" to expel Iraq from Kuwait. They originally wanted language in there expressly authorizing the use of military force. The Chinese objected - so they used the euphemism "All necessary means." But everyone knew what that meant. If you take a look at the resolution of September 12 that language is not in there. There was no authority to use military force at all. They never got any. Having failed to do that the Bush administration then went to the United States Congress and using the emotions of the moment tried to ram through some authorization to go to war under the circumstances. We do not know exactly what their original proposal is at that time.
According to a statement made by Senator Byrd in the New Speak Times, however, if you read between the lines it appears that they wanted a formal declaration of war along the lines of what President Roosevelt got on December 8, 1941 after Pearl Harbor. And Congress refused to give them that. And a very good reason. If a formal declaration of war had been given it would have made the president a constitutional dictator. We would now all be living basically under marshal law. Congress might have just picked up and gone home as the House did today. Which, by the way, was encouraged by President Bush. It was his recommendation. And you'll recall, as a result of that declaration of war on December 8, 1941, we had the amphiumas Koromatsu case where Japanese- American citizens were rounded up and put in concentration camps on the basis of nothing more than a military order that later on was turned out to be a gross misrepresentation of the factual allegation that Japanese-Americans constituted some type of security threat. If Bush had gotten a declaration of war, we would have been on the same footing. And the Koromatsu case has never been overturned by the United States Supreme Court.
Instead, Congress gave President Bush Jr. what is called a War Powers Resolution Authorization. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973 that was passed over President Nixon's veto, namely 2/3rds majority in both houses of Congress and designed to prevent another Tonkin Gulf Resolution and another Vietnam war.
Now if you read the resolution, which he did get, and only one
courageous member of Congress, Barbara Lee, an African-American
representative from Oakland voted against it as a matter of
principle. This resolution, although it is not as bad as a formal
declaration of war, is even worse than the Tonkin Gulf
Resolution. It basically gives President Bush a blank check to
use military force against any individual organization or state
that he alleges notice hisipsa dictum - was somehow
involved in the attacks on September 11 or else sheltered,
harbored, or assisted individuals involved in the attacks on
In other words Bush now has a blank check pretty much to wage
war against any state he wants to from the United States
Congress. And it was then followed-up by Congress with a $40
billion appropriation as a down payment for waging this de facto
war. Very dangerous this War Powers Resolution
Authorization. No real way it can be attacked in court at this
point in time. In the heat of the moment, Congress gave him this
authority. It is still there on the books. Again, let's compare
and contrast this resolution with the one gotten by Bush Sr. in
the Gulf Crisis. Bush Sr. got his security counsel resolution. He
then took it to Congress for authorization under the War Powers
Resolution and they gave him a very precise authorization to use
military force for the purpose of carrying out the security
counsel resolution that is only for the purpose of
expelling Iraq from Kuwait. And indeed that is what Bush Sr. did.
He expelled Iraq from Kuwait. He did move north. He stopped short
south of Bosra saying that's all the authority I have. I'm not
here to approve what Bush Sr. did in that war but simply to
compare it to Bush Jr. Now Bush Sr. has been criticizing saying
well you should have marched all the way to Bagdad but he had no
authority by the security counsel to do that and he had no
authority from the Congress to do that either.
Again, compare that to Bush Jr.'s resolution of September 14 that basically gives him a blank check to wage war against anyone he wants to with no more than his ipsa dictum. It's astounding to believe. Even worse than Tonkin Gulf. In addition Bush Jr. then went over to NATO to get a resolution over from NATO and he convinced NATO to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Pact. Article 5 of the NATO Pact is only intended to deal with the armed attack by one state against another state. It is not, and has never been, intended to deal with a terrorist attack. The NATO Pact was supposed to deal in theory with an attack on a NATO member state by a member of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union. With the collapse of both the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, there was no real justification or pretext anymore for the continued existence of NATO.
Bush Sr. then in an effort to keep NATO around, tried to
transform its very nature to serve two additional purposes. 1)
policing Eastern Europe and we saw that with the illegal
war against Serbia and 2) intervention in the Middle East to
secure the oil fields. And the NATO counsel approved this. The
problem the NATO Pact, the treaty setting up NATO, provides no
authorization to do this at all and indeed would have to be
amended by the parliaments of the NATO member states to justify
either policing Eastern Europe or as an interventionary force in
the Middle East. The invocation of NATO Article 5, then, was
The Bush administration was attempting to get some type of multi-lateral justification for what it was doing when it had failed at the United Nations Security Counsel to get authorization. The Bush administration tried again to get more authority from the Security Counsel and all they got was a presidential statement that legally means nothing. They tried yet a third time, September 29, before they started the war to get that authorization to use military force and they got stronger language. But still they failed to get any authorization from the Security Counsel to use military force for any reason. Then what happened? The new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, sent a letter to the Security Counsel asserting Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
Now some of us are familiar with Negroponte. He was U.S. Ambassador in Honduras during the Contra War. He has the blood of 35,000 Nicaraguan civilians on his hands and the only way Bush could get him confirmed was that he rammed him through the Senate the day after the bombings. So whenever you see Negroponte on the television talking to you, remember this man has the blood of 35,000 people, most of whom are civilians, on his hands. That's seven times anything that happened in New York. Seven times. The letter by Negroponte was astounding. It said that the United States reserves its right to use force in self-defense against any state that we feel is necessary in order to fight our war against international terrorism. So in other words, they failed on three separate occasions to use to get formal authority from the Security Counsel and now the best they could do is fall back on another alleged right of self-defense as determined by themselves.
Very consistent with the War Powers Resolution authorization
that Bush did indeed get from Congress on September 14. I was
giving an interview the other day to San Francisco Chronicle and
the reporter said is there any precedent for the position here
being asserted by Negroponte that we are reserving the right to
go to war in self-defense against a large number of other states
as determined by ourselves. I said yes, there is one very
unfortunate precedent. That's the Nuremberg Tribunal of 1946
where there the lawyers for the Nazi defendants took the position
that they had reserved the right of self-defense under the
Kellogg Breand Pact of 1928 the predecessor to the U.N.
Charter. And self-defense as determined by themselves.
In other words, no one could tell them to the contrary. So at
Nuremberg, they had the hudspah to argue the entire second world
war was a war of self-defense as determined by themselves and no
one had standing to disagree with that self-judging provision.
Well of course the Nuremberg Tribunal rejected that argument and
said no what is self-defense can only be determined by
reference to international law. That has to be determined by an
international tribunal. No state has a right to decide this for
Clearly what is going on now in Afghanistan is not self-defense. Let's be honest. We all know it. At best this is reprisal, retaliation, vengeance, catharsis call it what you want it is not self-defense. And retaliation is never self-defense.
Indeed that was the official position of the United States government. Even during the darkest days of the Vietnam War when former Under Secretary of State Eugene V. Rosca tried to get the state department to switch their position, they refused and continued to maintain. No, retaliation is not self-defense. And this is not self-defense what we are doing in Afghanistan. Since none of these justifications and pretexts hold up, as a matter of law, then, what the United States government today is doing against Afghanistan constitutes armed aggression. It is illegal. There is no authority for this.
Indeed if you read on the internet certainly not in the
mainstream U.S. news media, you will see that is the position
being taken in almost every Islamic country in the world. Where
are the facts? Where is the law? They aren't there. This is
apparent to the entire world. It's apparent in Europe. It's
apparent in the Middle East. It is obvious to the 1.2 billion
Muslims of the world. Are any Muslim leaders involved in military
action against Afghanistan? Unlike what happened with Iraq
no. Have any of them volunteered military forces to get involved
here. A deafening silence. They all know it is wrong.
Now the government of Afghanistan made repeated offers even as
of yesterday to negotiate a solution to this dispute. Even before
the events of September 11, negotiations were going on between
the United States and the government of Afghanistan over the
disposition of Bin Laden. They had offered to have him tried in a
neutral Islamic court by Muslim judges applying the law of
Shareel. This was before the latest incident. We rejected that
proposal. After September 11 they renewed the offer. What did
President Bush say no negotiations. There's nothing to
negotiate. Here is my ultimatum. Well the problem is again the
United Nations Charter requires peaceful resolution of disputes.
It requires expressly by name negotiations.
Likewise that Kellogg Breand Pact I mentioned under which
Nazis were prosecuted at Nuremberg to which Afghanistan and the
United States are both parties requires peaceful resolution of
all disputes and prohibits war as an instrument of national
policy. And yet that's exactly what we are doing today. Waging
war as an instrument of national policy. And then again on Sunday
as he came back from Camp David with the latest offer again by
the government of Afghanistan we are willing to negotiate
over the disposition of Mr. Bin Laden. I don't know how many of
you saw the President get off the helicopter. It was surreal. He
went ballistic. There'll be no negotiations. I told them what to
do. They better do it.
Again, those are not the requirements of the United Nations
Charter and the Kellogg Breand Pact. Indeed, if you read the
ultimatum that President Bush gave to the government of
Afghanistan in his speech before Congress you will see it was
clearly designed so that it could not be complied with by the
government of Afghanistan. No government in the world could have
complied with that ultimatum. And indeed, striking similarities
with the ultimatum given by Bush Sr. to Tarik in Geneva on the
eve of the Gulf War. That was deliberately designed so as not to
be accepted which it was not. Why?
The decision had already been made to go to war. Now that
being said what then really is going on here. If there is
no basis in fact and there is no basis in law for this war
against Afghanistan, why are we doing this? Why are we creating
this humanitarian catastrophe for the Afghan people? And recall
it was Bush's threat to bomb Afghanistan that put millions of
people on the move without food, clothing, housing, water or
medical facilities and that has created this humanitarian
catastrophe now for anywhere for 5 to 7 millions Afghans. And all
the humanitarian relief organizations have said quite clearly the
so-called humanitarian food drop as doctors without borders Nobel
peace prize organization put it, this is a military propaganda
operation which it clearly is.
Bush calling for the children of America to send $1 to the
White House. This is propaganda. This is not serious. And the
winter is coming in Afghanistan. Latest estimate that I've seen
is that maybe 100,000 or more are going to die if we don't stop
this war. So what's really going on here? Why are we bombing
Afghanistan? Why are we doing this? Is it retaliation? Is it
vengeance? Is it some bloodless? No, it isn't.
The people who run this country are cold calculating people. They know exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it. And during the course, now, since the bombing started in the last twelve days, it's become very clear what the agenda is. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld flew to Uzbekistan and concluded an agreement with the dictator who runs that country. Accused of massive violations of human rights that the United States government will protect Uzbekistan. Now first Secretary of Defense has no constitutional authority to conclude such agreement in the first place. Putting that issue aside, however, it's very clear what's going on here. The Pentagon is now in the process of establishing a military base in Uzbekistan. It's been in the works for quite some time. They admit, yes, special forces have been over there for several years training their people. Partnership for peace with NATO and now it's becoming apparent what is happening. We are making a long-term military arrangement with Uzbekistan. Indeed it has been reported, and you can get press from that region on the internet India, Pakistan, tha area that Uzbekistan now wants a status of forces agreement with the United States. What's a status of forces agreement. It's an agreement that permits the long-term deployment of significant numbers of armed forces in another state.
We have status of forces agreements with Germany, Japan and
South Korea. We have had troops in all three of those countries
since 1945. And when we get our military presence, our base, that
is right now being set up in Uzbekistan it's clear we're not
going to leave. It's clear that this agreement, unconstitutional
agreement, between Rumsfeld and Karimov is to set the basis and
say we have to stay in Uzbekistan for the next 10-15-20
years to defend it against Afghanistan where we've created total
chaos. This is exactly the same argument that has been made to
keep the United States military forces deployed in the Persian
Gulf now for ten years after the Gulf War. We are still there. We
still have 20,000 troops sitting on top of the oil in all these
countries. We even establish a fleet to police this region in
Bahrain. More currently six to date. We never had any intention
of leaving the Persian Gulf. We are there to stay.
Indeed planning for that goes back to the Carter
administration. The so-called rapid deployment force renamed the
U.S. central command that carried out the war against Iraq and
occupied and still occupies these Persian Gulf countries and
their oil fields and is today now executing the war against
Afghanistan and deploying U.S. military forces to build this base
in Uzbekistan. Why do we want to get in Uzbekistan? Very simple.
The oil and natural gas resources of Central Asia. Reported to be
the second largest in the world after the Persian Gulf. There has
been an enormous amount of coverage of this in the pages of the
Wallstreet Journal not the New Speak Times.
The movers and shakers they paid enormous attention to Central Asia and the oil resources there. Indeed shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the assent independence of the states in 1991. You saw all sorts of articles in the Wallstreet Journal about how Central Asia and our presence in Central Asia has become a vital national security interest of the United States. We've proceeded to establish relations of these states of Central Asia. We sent over special forces. We're even parachuting the 82nd Airborne in Kazakstan. All reported in the Wallstreet Journal. And in addition then since Central Asia is landlocked you have to get the oil and natural gas out. How do you do that? Well one way is to send it west but we wish to avoid Iran and Russia highly circuitous route, costs a lot of money, very insecure.
The easiest way to do it construct pipelines south
through Afghanistan, into Pakistan and right out to the Arabian
Sea. Unocal was negotiating to do this with the government of
Afghanistan. That's all in the public record. Just as the Persian
Gulf War against Iraq was about oil and natural gas, I'm
submitting this war is about oil and natural gas and also
outflanking China and getting a military base south of Russia. We
are going to be there for a long time. At least until all that
oil and gas has been sucked out and it's of no more use to us.
In my opinion that's really what is going on here. We should not be spending a lot of time about who did what to whom on September 11. We need to be focusing on this war on stopping this war. We need to be focusing on stopping the humanitarian tragedy against the millions of people of Afghanistan right now today. And third, we need to be focusing on what could very easily become a regional war.
The Pentagon launched this thing. Obviously they felt they could keep it under control. That's what the people in August of 1914 thought too when you read Barbara Tucuman's The Guns of August. Everyone figured the situation could be kept under control and it wasn't and there was a world war. 10 million people died. We're already seeing after President Bush started this war artillery duels between India and Pakistan.
Massive unrest in all of these Muslim countries and the longer
the war goes on I submit the worse it is going to become, the
more dangerous it is going to become, the more unstable it is
going to become. In addition, finally, comes the Ashcroft Police
State Bill. No other word to describe it.
Bush failed to get that declaration of war which would have
rendered him a constitutional dictator. But it's clear that
Ashcroft and his Federalist Society lawyers took every piece of
regressive legislation off the shelf, tied it all into this
antiterrorism bill, and rammed it through Congress. Indeed if
you're reading any of the papers yesterday and the day before,
members of Congress admit, yes, we didn't even read this thing.
Another Congressman said, right, but there's nothing new with
that. Except on this one they're infringing the civil
rights and civil liberties of all of us moving us that much
closer to a police state in the name of fighting a war on
terrorism, security, this, that, and the other thing. Notice the
overwhelming message from the mainstream news media well
we all have to be prepared to give up our civil rights and civil
Even so-called liberals, Alan Dershowitz oh let's now
go along with the national identity card. Outrageous. Larry
Tribe, writing in the Wallstreet Journal well we're all
going to have to start making compromises on our civil rights and
civil liberties. That's what's in store in the future for us here
at home; the longer this war against Afghanistan goes on and as
Bush has threatened will expand to other countries. We don't know
how many countries they have in mind. At one point they're saying
Malaysia, Indonesia, Somalia, Iraq, Libya. Deputy Secretary
Wolfowitz talking about ending states which is clearly genocidal.
I could take that statement at the World Court and file it and
prove it as genocidal intent by the United States government. So
the longer we let this go on the more we are going to see our own
civil rights and civil liberties taken away from us.
As you know aliens - what we call aliens foreigners - their
rights are already gone. We now have 700 aliens who've just been
picked up and disappeared by Ashcroft and the Department of
Justice. We have no idea where these people are. They're being
held on the basis of immigration law, not criminal law.
Indefinite detention. What's the one characteristic they all
had in common - these foreigners - they're Muslims and Arabs, the
scapegoats for this. Everyone needs a scapegoat and it looks like
we have one.
Let me conclude by saying that we still have our first
amendment rights, despite Ashcroft's best efforts. Despite the
cowardice of both houses of Congress where interestingly enough
the so-called liberal democrats were willing to give Bush and
Ashcroft more than the conservative republicans in the House. We
still have our first amendment rights, freedom of speech, freedom
of association, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition our
government for redress of grievances. We are going to need to
start to exercise those first amendment rights now. For the good
of the people of Afghanistan, for the good of the people of that
region of the world and for the future of ourselves and our
nature as a democratic society with a commitment to the rule of
law and the constitution.
Question and Answer
1) Many of the civil rights you say we must give up I said we don't have to give them up I'm sorry I didn't make that clear. It's the people in the mainstream news media who have said we must give up those rights and including so-called liberal law professors like Alan Dershowitz and Larry Tribe of my alma mater, Harvard Law School, who should be ashamed of the positions they have taken. So I don't believe we should be giving up any of these rights. Our law enforcement authorities, FBI, CIA, NSA, they have all the powers they need. They certainly don't need more powers than they already have. Indeed under the currently existing laws Ashcroft has already picked up 700 Arabs and Muslims. They disappeared somewhere. We have no idea where they are. Their families, and some have retained lawyers, are trying to find these people. Now, they are not U.S. citizens. It would be much harder to do that with United States citizens so I'm not advocating we give up any rights. I regret to say, however, that is the message coming out of the mainstream news media and even by self-styled liberal law professors like Dershowitz and Tribe. So I'm advocating that.
2) Many Middle Eastern countries harbor terrorists that pose a
threat to the U.S. How would you suggest the U.S. deal with that
threat entice these countries to change their practices?
This gets back to the problem I had mentioned before about the
fact that there is no generally-accepted definition of
international terrorism or terrorism as a matter of international
law. The reason being is that most of the third world and when it
did exist, the socialist world (there are still a few socialist
countries), took the position that people fighting colonial
domination, alien occupation or racists regimes were engaged in
legitimate self-defense and not acts of terrorism. And therefore
refuse to accept any definition that these people were
terrorists. Now, note, the United States government we're
always on the other side. If you opposed us, you were terrorists.
I remember in the 1980's and the struggle against apartheid and
divestment and disinvestment which was run on this campus
the Regan administration for eight years telling us the ANC and
Nelson Mandella were terrorists. How many of you remember that?
They were terrorists. Black people fighting a white racist
colonial regime for their basic human rights. And yet as far as
the United States government wasconcerned, they were terrorists.
Same in all the other colonial struggles in Africa typically we
sided with white racists colonial settler regimes against the
indigenous black populations of these countries fighting for
their freedom and independence and we called them terrorists. The
same in the Middle East. Those who have resisted our will or the
will of Israel, we have called terrorists. The simple solution to
deal with problem here on what's going on in the Middle East is
simply to change our policies. If you look at the policies we had
pursued in the Middle East for the last 25 years, it has been to
repress and dominate, kill, destroy and exploit the indigenous
people of this region. And what apparently the Bush
administration seemed to call for is now we're going to wage war
on anyone who disagrees with us. Well, the alternative is to
reevaluate our policies and to put our policies on a basis of
international law which I regret to say we haven't done in the
Middle East. Why? Because our primary interest has always been
oil and natural gas and we could not care less about peace,
democracy or human rights for anyone in the Middle East. Remember
Bush Sr. telling us that the war in the Persian Gulf was all
about bringing democracy to Kuwait. Who did we put back in power
in Kuwait? The Amir and cleptocracy who still deprive women of
the vote. There has been no change. We couldn't care less about
peace, justice, human rights and democracy any where in the
Persian Gulf. You saw the other day Secretary of State Powell
appearing with the military dictator of Pakistan, Mushara, who
overthrew a democratically elected government talking about
bringing democracy to Afghanistan. Wasn't this truly welliant.
He's there appearing with a military dictator and they're talking
about bringing democracy to Afghanistan. Clearly we couldn't care
less about democracy, peace, justice, humanitarianism in
Afghanistan. We care that Afghanistan has in its own right large
quantities of oil and gas and it has strategic location for oil
and gas lines. That's what we care about. We could not care less
about peace, democracy, justice in Afghanistan. Look at our guys,
the Norther Alliance left over from the war against the Soviet
Union. These were people we armed, equipped, supplied and trained
and by the way, are still massively engaged in the drug trade.
This is all propaganda. In any event, as a matter of law, it's
not for the United States and the military dictator of Pakistan
to determine what should or should not be the government of
Afghanistan. What should the U.S. government have done after 9/11
as I said we should have taken the position which President Bush
did originally. This was an act of terrorism and we should have
treated it as act of terrorism which means the normal measures of
international and domestic law enforcement that we applied, for
example, after the bombings of the two U.S. Embassies in Kenya
and Tanzania. After the bombings of the Pan Am jet over
Lockerbie. That is the way it should have been handled but a
deliberate decision was taken by Bush in consultation with Powell
to reject that approach and to deal with it by means of war.
Again, let me repeat, Article 1 the Kellogg Breand Pact made it
very clear prohibiting war as an instrument of national policy.
It's very clear in my assessment of the situation that
what we decided to do right away.
3) A question about Middle East Policy. There are many things
we could do. We could bring home those 20,000 troops that occupy
all those states right now in the Persian Gulf. Does anyone
realistically here think that we're going to do that and forfeit
our direct military control of 50% of the world's oil supply in
the Persian Gulf/Middle East region? Of course not. We could
dismantle the 5th Fleet which we set up in Barait to police,
dominate and control the entire Persian Gulf. Does anyone
realistically think we're going to do that? No. We could
reevaluate the entire policy towards this region. I don't see any
evidence at all, no one in any of the major news media, the
government, is talking about why don't we just pick up and go
home. Leave these people in the Middle East by themselves and
support peace and development. That's not even on the agenda. We
are now talking about more warfare, bloodshed, and violence.
Today they said well Somalia might be the next target.
Well that's interesting because yesterday the New York Times had
a big article on how much oil they've now found in Somalia. And
indeed, back when Bush Sr. invited Somalia, it was reported in
the International Herald Tribune yes Somalia had already
been carved up by U.S. oil companies and we know for a fact the
Bush family has enormous investments in oil and oil companies.
4) What can we do to prevent another September 11. I've
already made some suggestions about different things I think we
could do but realistically speaking I don't believe we're going
to do them.