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Signs of the Times for Mon, 03 Jul 2006

Signs Editorial:

Joe Quinn
Signs of the Times
03/07/2006
Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard University, an apologist for the Israel lobby in the US and a self-confessed "big mouth". He is also a man completely in thrall to the NeoCon agenda who takes every opportunity to promote the extremist warmongering disguised as "freedom and democracy" that has come to define the reign of the Bush administration, which, we should remember, entered the white house in 2000 in much the same way as other great dictatorships of history - without the consent of a majority of the population.

Dershowitz is a perfect poster boy for what has come to be known as the "right" in American politics. Originally, from the point of view of the state, conservative politics described an inward-looking and protectionist approach to national and foreign affairs and all that they included. Today, things have been made much more simple. I defy anyone to provide an example of any right-wing pundit or group whose political opinions do not boil down to the idea that the American government should always use strong-arm tactics to subdue all those who oppose them, both at home and abroad. It is actually quite ludicrous when you look closely at it. We have the current American administration and their pundits like Dershowitz trying desperately to couch what is essentially a "kill them all and let god sort them out" ethos in "Democratic terms". Such attempts to stuff a massively oversized round peg in a tiny square hole are the reason that you would be hard pushed to find a single sentence that conforms to true logic or reason in the average public utterance of the U.S. government and its supporters. But I am being perhaps a little too charitable in describing it thusly, a more exact definition of someone who claims that the invasion of a sovereign country and the murder of 200,000 of its inhabitants is evidence of "freedom and democracy" is: "a liar".

It should be understood however that, while people like Dershowitz share the underlying nature of classic groveling slaves of literature such as Dracula's Renfield or Frankenstein's Egor, they do not share their intellectual paucity. After all, to be a successful liar and manipulator requires a certain level of intelligence and consciousness of action, and it is this conscious aspect that separates the deceived and subservient masses from people like Dershowitz. It is the conscious and willing sale of their 'souls' and the prostitution of whatever abilities they possess in the hope that such efforts will curry favor with the object of their desires, that sets them apart and places them in the "real piece of work" category.

People like Dershowitz are indeed an interesting breed. In essence, they are very frightened people, being painfully aware of how little personal power they themselves possess, they are immediately awed by what they believe to be real power and go to great lengths to attach themselves to what they believe to be the source of it. Such impulses are evidence of a deep lack of personal integrity and moral courage among such individuals, who, while often appearing as arrogant and/or aggressive, cannot hide the fact that their apparently passionate beliefs are not their own and that they only adhere to them in the hope of catching a few scraps thrown to them from the table of their masters. A sorry existence indeed.

Today, Alan Dershowitz grandstands his views, which are those of the right-wing ideologues in the US and Israeli governments, in the left-leaning UK Independent newspaper. The title of the article: "Should we fight terror with torture?", should rightfully be: "America should fight terror with torture and murder", since that is the case that Dershowitz attempts to make.

The article is a wonderful example of the tactics used by the US government to attempt to con, manipulate and bamboozle the American and world public by framing an entirely unreasonable argument - preemptive war - around a reasonable concept - self-defence. Dershowitz states:

the United Nations Charter, drafted in the aftermath of Germany's aggressive war between 1939 and 1945. Article 51 confirms "the inherent right of individual or collective [to] self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member." The use of the word "occurs" would seem to require a nation, seeking to act in compliance with the charter, to wait until it is actually attacked before it responds in self-defence. But what should a democratic nation do if it becomes aware of an imminent threat of attack by a group of suicide terrorists in a distant part of the world? Surely it should not simply wait until an "armed attack occurs" and then engage in retaliatory self-defence.

Sounds reasonable enough, right. If you know you are going to be attacked, it would be wise to take action to head it off.

Dershowitz continues:

First, there is often no known entity to attack, since the suicide terrorists have died and the leaders who sent them have gone into hiding among civilians and may well be preparing renewed terrorist attacks. Second, there is no good reason for a democracy to have to absorb a first blow against its civilian population, especially if that blow can be catastrophic. Third, there is little possibility that potentially catastrophic first blows can be deterred by the threat of retaliation against a phantom enemy who welcomes martyrdom.

Already, in the third paragraph, Dershowitz is forced to resort to worn-out Bush administration phrases like, "a phantom enemy who welcomes martyrdom" to build his case for the promotion of fascism. Then, just when we thought we were going to be spared a paramoralistic diatribe straight out of a White House Press briefing urging us to support an attack on Iran, Alan goes and disappoints us:

Consider the developing Iranian nuclear threat. The Iranian leadership has threatened to attack Israel and American targets. If Iran gets close to having a deliverable nuclear weapon, and if one of its target nations has the capacity to destroy its nuclear programme the way Israel destroyed the Iraqi reactor back in 1981 - with one air-strike and a single casualty - it should have the legal right to do so.

Dershowitz blatantly lies when he says that "Iranian leadership has threatened to attack Israel and American targets." The Iranian leadership has not threatened to attack anyone. In the last 100 years, not ONCE has Iran initiated an aggressive act against another nation. Iran has stated that if attacked, it would target American and Israeli interests, which is a world away from Dershowitz's claim that Iran has unilaterally threatened to attack Israel or America.

Dershowitz continues:

Human-rights organisations often fail to distinguish between civilian deaths accidentally caused by democracies despite their best efforts to avoid them, and civilian deaths deliberately caused by terrorists who seek to maximise civilian casualties by constructing anti-personnel bombs, designed to kill as many innocent people as possible, and by specifically targeting crowded buses and other soft targets. These human-rights organisations blink at the reality that terrorists seek not only to maximise civilian deaths among their enemies, but also seek to maximise civilian deaths caused by their enemies, even if the victims are their own supporters.

Dershowitz would have us believe that "terrorists" are the only ones who ever deliberately targetted civilians. He ignores the fact, of which he is surely aware, that it was standard US government policy during the Vietnam war to destroy the grassroots support base of the Viet Cong, i.e. Vietnamese civilians, which lead to the napalming of entire villages and the men women and children therein. Dershowitz also fails to account for the established fact that the many car bombings and mass murders in Iraq over the past 3 years have been carried out by death squads working out of the Iraqi interior ministry, which is 100% controlled by the CIA. Dershowitz also suggests that the "evil terrorists" in Iraq or Palestine are quite happy to allow their own civilians to be killed by American or Israeli missiles because they know it will create negative propaganda that can be used against the Americans and Israelis. What Dershowitz is echoing here are the words of the camp commander at Guantanamo bay (undoubtedly a hero of Dershowitz's) when he stated that the 3 inmates who hung themselves out of desperation last month were waging "asymmetric warfare" against the American government!

It appears that Dershowitz is also implying that the 23 Palestinian civilians murdered by the Israeli military last month, including the 7 who were eviscerated when an Israeli shell hit their picnic on Gaza's beach, were deliberately placed there by Hamas.

We must assume also therefore that Dershowitz would like us to believe that the Iraqi family who were slaughtered in March this year by four US soldiers, including a 15 year old Iraqi girl who was raped, shot in the head and then set on fire by 4 American soldiers, were deliberately placed in that position by "Iraqi terrorists" and that the American soldiers, who planned their attack weeks in advance, were the innocent party. I am not trying to be facetious here, I am simply trying to show the inherent ridiculousness of the thesis put forward by the US and Israeli governments and their mouthpieces and the underlying psychopathic nature of their thinking.

I trust it is clear that what Dershowitz is saying is not only a lie but a vicious lie that essentially denigrates the memory of the hundreds of thousands of civilians that have been murdered by the US and Israeli military over the past 3 years, and attempts to ensure that any further acts of mass murder by the American and Israeli governments and their militaries will be sanctioned by you, the general public. In essence, he attempts to make you, the public, accomplices in war crimes.

In attempting to make his case for torture, which he has pushed since 9/11, Dershowitz states:

Next, consider the problem of what to do with captured "prisoners" who are believed to be terrorists. This vague category of detainees is comprised of several different sub-groups. There are those who were captured in the course of military action in a foreign country. The United States and its allies captured Taliban "soldiers" and those fighting along side them in Afghanistan. A few wore ersatz uniforms; most did not. Some were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then there were admitted members of al-Qa'ida, ranging from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged number two or three man in the organisation, to Zacarias Moussaoui, a terrorist wannabe who may or may not have been the "20th" 11 September hijacker. Some of the detainees are believed to have valuable real-time information that could save lives. Others are simply terrorist pawns willing to do whatever they are told, even if it entails suicide. Inevitably, some, probably, are completely innocent and not dangerous.

What Dershowitz ignores here is the evidence that the FBI CIA, British MI5 and MI6 and the Israeli Mossad have been actively engaged in creating fake terror networks within the US, Britain Israel and elsewhere around the world for many years. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a Pakistani intelligence, and therefore CIA, asset. Moussaoui was clearly mentally unstable, and not even the jury at his trial believed his claims about knowing the 9/11 plot in advance. What, I wonder, did Dershowitz make of the recent case of the "Miami terror cell"? This was a slightly deranged group of apparently Christian-Zionist immigrants called the 'Sea of David', who were quietly living in a warehouse in Florida and waiting for the biblical prophecy of Armageddon to come true until an undercover FBI agent came along one day and:

initiated them into "al-Qaeda"

provided them with military boots and a video camera

offered them $50,000

suggested to them that they wanted to blow up certain government buildings and the Sears tower in Chicago

and all of it part of an undercover FBI operation to find (read "create")"al-Qaeda" cells in America!

Dershowitz must surely be aware of all the evidence to suggest that the war on terror is one big US and Israeli government con game, yet he chooses to ignore that evidence and insists that the US and Israeli militaries should be allowed to bomb the hell out of whoever they decide is a "threat" and torture, to death if necessary, any unfortunate individual that they pick up in the course of their rampages.

William F. Schulz, the executive director of the U.S. section of Amnesty International has stated that Dershowitz's hypothetical ticking-bomb scenario is unrealistic, because it would require that "the authorities know that a bomb has been planted somewhere; know it is about to go off; know that the suspect in their custody has the information they need to stop it; know that the suspect will yield that information accurately in a matter of minutes if subjected to torture; and know that there is no other way to obtain it."

This dear readers, is logic and reality, and Dershowitz surely knows it, yet he continues to insist on spewing obvious nonsense in an attempt to convince the world that black is white, torture is good, pre-emptive war is even better and Israel has a right to blow Palestinian families to bits as they enjoy a picnic on a beach.

But Dershowitz has a problem, and he wants it sorted out. You see, it's those damn international human rights groups. With them, it's all "exaggeration" and not enough "reality" facing:

Nor does it help the situation when Amnesty International and other human-rights groups exaggerate the problems and cast all the blame on democracies that are seeking - sometimes by questionable means - to keep their citizens safe from terrorists. Anne Fitzgerald of Amnesty recently compared the alleged terrorists being detained by the US and its allies to the "disappeared" in Argentina during the Junta. The comparison is obscene. The disappeared in Argentina were mostly political opponents of the Junta, many of whom were tortured to death and dropped into the ocean from aircraft. Credible sources estimate that as many as 30,000 people may have been killed. Pregnant women had their babies ripped from their wombs so they could be adopted by childless friends of the Junta. There is no evidence of anything even close to this being done by the United Sates today in its sometimes excessive efforts to prevent terrorism. The problems are bad enough without the need to exaggerate them for political and ideological purposes.

In 'Dershoworld', facts are funny things, they can be changed and warped and bent to suit any lie you want to tell. For example, that the Nixon government, under the stewardship of Henry, 'angel of death' Kissinger, was actually responsible for installing the brutal Pinochet regime in Chile in 1973 that he mentions above can be, and is, completely ignored by Dershowitz. Then, by way of finishing off his duplicitous rant, Dershowitz boldly states that "there is no evidence of anything even close to this being done by the United Sates today in its sometimes excessive efforts to prevent terrorism." For sure Alan, there have been no reports, yet, of pregnant Iraqi women having their babies ripped from their wombs by US troops, but would plain old murder of entire families, including infants, as reported at Haditha and other places be enough to warrant a mention in your impeccable book of war crimes of the last 100 years? How about the abovementioned rape and burning of a 15 year old Iraqi girl?

But let's not stop there, what about the 200,000 Iraqi civilians who were alive 3 years ago, but who now lie in graves across Iraq. Please, tell us Alan, given that the only significant event in those 3 years was the wholesale invasion of Iraq by 130,000 US troops, do you think we can perhaps take a tentative step toward assigning blame? What about the death squads that US military intelligence is running under the aegis of the Pentagon's 'Salvador Option' gang out of the Iraqi interior ministry? Come on Alan, you're a smart guy, you read history, surely you know all about the long-standing US counter-insurgency strategy of setting up a parallel, covert, fake insurgency that is tasked with the "demoralisation" of the real insurgency, mainly by way of attacks on the real insurgency's grass roots support - the Iraqi civilian population - and the manufacturing of "civil war". Do you think, Alan, that that might have anything to do with the mayhem that Iraq is currently experiencing? Please Alan, tell us, and do so without dismissing historical FACT as "conspiracy theory" - it only makes you look like an ignorant buffoon.

I shall not hold my breath for a response from Mr. Dershowitz, but the bottom line remains this:

Dershowitz's beliefs are an exact copy of the psychopaths in power in the US and Israel. Those beliefs are an insight into the inner nature of the people that hold them, and they strongly suggest that such people are absolutely devoid of, and unable to truly feel empathy for another human being. Through subtle manipulations and lies, Dershowitz and the US and Israeli governments are attempting to instill such beliefs in as many members of the global population as possible, and in doing so, dehumanise every last one of us and make us a party to their massive crimes against a humanity that they neither possess nor care about.

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