Exclusive: The Definition of Terrorism by Gary Sudborough

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by Gary Sudborough
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Sept. 08, 2009

Most Americans have a stereotypical image of a terrorist as a religious fanatic from the Middle East who straps explosives around his body or flies airplanes into buildings. I have a few more definitions of the word terrorist.

One who drops cancer-inducing substances like Agent Orange and uranium-238 on civilian populations.

One who trains foreign soldiers in torture techniques at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia and organizes death squads to assassinate leftists and union leaders.

One who uses the CIA to overthrow democratically elected leaders like Mossadegh in Iran, Arbenz in Guatemala and Allende in Chile, leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

One who arms, trains and finances proxy terrorist armies like the Contras in Nicaragua, UNITA in Angola and Renamo in Mozambique that attack “socialist” targets like schools, medical clinics and farm cooperatives, torturing and killing thousands of innocent men, women and children.

One whose embassy provided lists of communists to be murdered to Suharto in Indonesia, resulting in the deaths of nearly a million people in the massacre of 1965 that brought Suharto to power.

One who bombs the water, sewage and electricity infrastructure of a country like Iraq or Yugoslavia and then institutes an embargo prohibiting the import of spare parts to repair these systems, leading to outbreaks of disease and death.

One who transfers the Phoenix program of assassination, torture and mutilation from Vietnam to Argentina causing an estimated thirty-thousand people to be killed or “disappeared.” Leftists were pushed out of airplanes over the Atlantic ocean and pregnant women leftists were allowed to give birth, then killed and the babies given to military or police families. The United States subsequently used these Argentine butchers to train the Contras and the death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala.

One who uses the CIA to bring Nazi war criminals like Klaus Barbie, Walter Rauff, Otto Skorzeny and others to Latin America to impart their knowledge of repression to the police and military forces there.

One who attempts to assassinate foreign leaders like Fidel Castro and introduces diseases like African swine fever into Cuba to ruin Cuban agriculture, sabotages Cuban factories and adulterates Cuban sugar shipments.

One who supplies 70% of the world’s weapons, refuses to sign treaties banning land mines and biological weapons, continues to conduct research on new forms of atomic weapons and wants to extend weapons systems into space.

One who harbors terrorists like Haitian death squad leader Emmanuel Constant and refuses to extradite him to Haiti. Also, one who harbors and protects many Cuban exile terrorists like Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, who bombed a Cubana airlines plane in 1976, killing 73 people, including all of Cuba’s fencing team.

One whose psychopathic corporations create environmental and human catastrophes like the disastrous leak of methyl isocyanate at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. This easily preventable accident in a highly populated area killed 8,000 people in a short period of time and made tens of thousands more sick with lifetime maladies. Furthermore, it has resulted in birth defects, which extend the problem to future generations. There has been no attempt by Union Carbide, now Dow Chemical, to clean up the polluted area, so the water and soil are poisonous and continue to make people ill. Also, the compensation that Union Carbide corporation has given to the victims is a very paltry sum varying from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. People think of the large disasters like Bhopal or the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but these accidents happen much more frequently and are simply not reported. Corporations greatly relax their safety and environmental standards in Third World countries as they can make more profit by these means, and they value human life in those areas less because of racism. This is a very significant form of terrorism.

One who creates torture centers like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, where prisoners are waterboarded and subjected  to all sorts of other physical and psychological  torture. Such torture includes hooding and light and sleep deprivation,  which can lead to severe depression and suicidal thoughts, humiliation such as piling up naked prisoners and violating their cultural and religious beliefs. Desecrating the Koran in various ways is also a part of the humiliation phase of torture of Islamic prisoners. Standing in stress positions for hours can be unimaginably painful.

One who conducted and probably still conducts the more physical methods of torture used in Central and South America by the United States like electrical shock to the genitals, pulling out fingernails, torturing children in front of their parents and inserting various objects into the anus and vagina including bayonets, which would cause internal bleeding and often death. In Brazil one peasant’s penis was tied so he could not urinate, ruining his kidneys. Sister Diana Ortiz  in Guatemala was lowered into a pit of wounded and dying people covered with rats and forced to stab another person with a machete. She testified before Congress that another American was present as an observer. Jennifer Harbury went on a hunger strike in Washington, D.C. in order to be heard, and she testified about the torture in Guatemala and asked the CIA about the fate of her husband, Everado, who was a guerrilla leader in Guatemala and had disappeared. All this material appears in books like Turning the Tide by Noam Chomsky, the Sword and the Dollar by Michael Parenti  and Bridge of Courage by Jennifer Harbury. It is also verified in numerous reports of victims and eyewitnesses collected by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations.

Finally, one who controls the media and keeps the American people in the dark about all these facts and concentrates on sensationalistic and celebrity journalism or, if necessary, convinces them that these things are either crazy “conspiracy theories” or past “mistakes” that will never reoccur.


4 thoughts on “Exclusive: The Definition of Terrorism by Gary Sudborough

  1. Pingback: Exclusive: The Evils of Low Intensity Warfare by Gary Sudborough « Dandelion Salad

  2. Terrorism never appears form thin air, for no good reason, or even from people who just want to go to heaven, as we are led to believe by our politicians and the media. When you look deep into the real reasons that are behind these seemingly crazy acts of violence, or let’s apply this simple rule and be truly honest, to ourselves about it, for a change: if we were in their shoes, the terrorists that is, and we, our families, our homeland and our pride and dignity, went through what they went through and we were subjected to all the degradation, humiliation and injustice they endured, we’d be lying if we denied that we’d commit similar acts that many others may construe as terroristic acts.

    The problem that prevents us always from understanding why and where these guys come from and why and how are they able to perpetrate what seem as abhorrent acts of violence, is that we never put ourselves in their shoes, or try to understand how they got that way. We don’t do that because simply we are afraid of the answers we may find and have to contend with, that may incriminate us as culprits ourselves of the circumstances that contributed or caused these people to be and act the way they do.

    In most, if not all cases, if we are free to and allow ourselves to be honest about it, we’ll discover and see that these people had good and even justifiable reasons and circumstances that traumatized them beyond recognition, hurt them so bad; that some serious, atrocious injustice was done to them, which rendered them to lose all faith and hope of getting justice by peaceful means – and the world is rife with such examples. People who get to the point of killing themselves for their cause are people who driven to a point of having nothing to lose, Because they feel deep down inside, whether we agree with it or not, whether it makes enough sense to us or not, that they are left with no option whatsoever but to bring attention to their lost cause by the only means they have left available and that is doing something as outrageous, crazy and painful, as what’s been done to them earlier, which is what we call terrorism. They have other names for it, like revolution, retribution, rebellion or Jihad, and they are all the same name for the state of utter hopelessness of any justice possible in any other more reasonable and civilized way.

    We have a history, here at the US, of siding with the wrong guys and for all the wrong and ugly reasons; and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a perfect example of it. We adopted, supported, armed and defended the oppressors and occupiers of a land that isn’t theirs, except for a fable from the bible that God had signed it off to them over 3000 years ago. We, with perplexing nerve and hypocrisy, and at the expense of our cherished and much-bragged-about morality, ethics and values of justice for all regardless of any BS, nonsensical reason, chose to and decided to side with the bad guys, the pillagers, murderers and oppressors, for our own self-serving, selfish, internal political reasons, which we all know too well by now.

    Horrible pain and long, tremendous suffering of people can lead them astray, where not much matters any more, and if we became fortunate enough to decide one day, God knows when, to revive our comatose sense of true justice, and right all the horrible wrongs we committed, we’d then have a chance at finding our long lost salvation and redeem our sad, cheaply-sacrificed dignity and conscience. But most of all, we may then be able to spare many people in the world a lot of further unnecessary pain, agony, destruction and tears.

  3. Sounds like the accurae and correct description of terrorism, and the dumbed down American population wonders why the American govenment is not loved–afteral they’re always there to give a helping hand.

  4. Pingback: US Hypocrisy Astonishes the World By Paul Craig Roberts « Dandelion Salad

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