“We either have to come out and say we Americans do NOT have a representative government, we Americans have no freedom or democracy, or, we have to readily claim our role and responsibility and say: we Americans are this representative government’s governed people who decide on, sanction, finance and implement terrorism.” Sibel Edmonds
“A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an Air Force” – William Blum
By: Sibel Edmonds
In our nation of ‘national security’, where everything is re-defined and justified by the notion of ‘fighting terrorism’, it would be only appropriate to revisit and examine the term ‘terrorism,’ and then go a few steps further and look into its implications.
Almost everyone thinks that they know what ‘terrorism’ is or what constitutes terrorism. There are hundreds of definitions for terrorism varied by cultural, sub-cultural, national, linguistic, political, historical, and numerous other interpretations, perceptions, factors and circumstances. I am going to use the general definition of terrorism under U.S. Law: Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.
There is another type of ‘terrorism’ with a slightly different definition which was not commonly used until recently, when our nation’s status changed to a ‘national security’ state: State Sponsored Terrorism. In general state sponsored terrorism refers to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to widespread acts of violence by a state against its own people. In February 2011 I wrote a commentary on the Supreme Court decision which upheld the broad application of a federal law making it a crime to provide “material support” to designated “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs), and I wrote:
Based on this definition and based on what the puppet court recently ruled on what constitutes ‘material support’ to terrorism, our government, those who have sanctioned US Foreign Aid to dictators inflicting violence against their own people, should be brought to trial. I am talking about Egypt. I am talking about Uzbekistan. I am talking about Jordan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Israel …To be more accurate, I am talking about Billions of dollars being continuously provided to dictators for half a century who in turn are terrorizing their own people. Egypt and where our tax dollars, US Foreign Aid, went is only one example. All you have to do is line check dozens of our foreign aid recipients against their established human rights (terrorism) record.
Many rational readers agreed with the above assessment- the fact that our government supports terrorist dictators and provides them with financial and other material support. That makes us a state that provides material support to terrorists.
Considering the escalating rate of our government’s undeclared and covert wars around the world, taking into account the tens of thousands of innocent lives lost as a result of these wars, and adding to that our intelligence agencies’ established record on rendition, torture and assassination, I believe some would agree with me on our nation’s terrorizing practices, thus its status as a terrorist state. I know some already do.
Now here comes a term that I have not seen used, written or talked about. This may be due to needed denial for a self-perceived need for national pride. This may be due to the severity of the realistic implications that only a few are capable of handling once understood and digested. This is possibly caused by externalization of already acknowledged truths of the atrocities and inhumanities that have been committed by our nation, and are still being committed.
The term I am talking about here is: Nation’s Civilians Sponsored Terrorism. You see it is too vague and abstract when we attribute the atrocious overt and covert wars, inhumane and wide-spread practices of kidnapping, rendition, torture and assassination, to an entity called a government. I believe it is self-preserving, self-serving and convenient to externalize the atrocious practices constituting terrorism to some broad entity called ‘our government.’ It is shrugging off our key role, participation and responsibility when we express our disgust with our government’s atrocities and its terrorization of people around the world.
We may say, ‘…but I don’t agree with these wars. I am against torture. I don’t approve of what my government is doing…’ We may say all that, but the facts say otherwise.
We pay our government. It is called taxes. Our government uses the money given to them by us to pay for bombs and drones that are used to kill, burn and handicap people, many if not most who are innocent civilians. Our government spends the money given to them by us to recruit and train assassins, kidnappers and torturers and send them around the globe to inflict terror. Thus, we the people provide direct financial-material support for all the terrorism inflicted by our nation around the world. Our dollars enable and sustain these terrorism practices. Period.
We may say, ‘…they collect these taxes by force and I have no choice but let them take them otherwise I’d be jailed…I don’t want my dollars to go to these terror practices…’ We may cry innocent and helpless, but again, we have no logical-rational-legal ground to stand on. Here is why:
We believe we have a representative government and a democracy. We believe we make choices when we vote. We believe we elect individuals and give them the power and the right to make decisions in our behalf and implement those decisions in our behalf. Well, ‘our’ representatives, those we have willingly given our representation to, are doing just that when they decide on and sanction overt and covert wars, rendition and torture, in short, all those terror practices. They are deciding, as ‘our’ representatives, in ‘our’ behalf to inflict terror. ‘Our’ representatives decide in ‘our’ behalf how much money to collect from us, and what to spend our dollars on. Period.
Now, we either have to come out and say we Americans do NOT have a representative government, we Americans have no freedom or democracy, or, we have to readily claim our role and responsibility and say: we Americans are this representative government’s governed people who decide on, sanction, finance and implement terrorism.
We cannot have it both ways. And there is no other way than the two. We either come out, set aside our nationalistic pride, and say that we do not have a representative government or democracy of any form when it comes to our nation’s governance, or, we proudly pretend our democratic status, and shoulder responsibility for all the terrorism being inflicted in our name. I have yet to see or hear anyone who has come out and recognized his or her status as a terrorist. It simply never happens. As they say, one group or nation’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. When you look at it from the other side, in fact, when you look at it from a logical and rational side, we sponsor and sanction our government’s terror practices, and doesn’t that make the terrorists us?
NOTE: This is a cross post from Sibel Edmonds site:boiling frogs.
The auther is publisher at “Self”. She is based in Washington and a Graduate of George Mason University.