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The Hype of Terrorism

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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-09 12:47 PM
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The Hype of Terrorism
The Terrorism Hype
by Michael Parenti

The U.S. national security state and its faithful lackeys in the news media have pretty much the same double standard re-garding the question of "terrorism." They designate as "terrorist" those individual acts committed by dissident political or nationalist groups that operate against any of the major industrial powers. But they never use the term to describe the acts of massive repression and destruction perpetrated against whole populations by U.S. forces or by the armies of CIA-supported client states, such as in the aerial assaults on working class neighborhoods in Panama City, or the bombing of civilian populations in Baghdad, or the burning of 660 villages in Guatemala, or the roundup and mass executions of democratic supporters in Chile, Indonesia, Afghanistan, South Yemen, and dozens of other countries.

State-supported, right-wing terrorism, as practiced by U.S. client states, is never defined as terrorism, though it is conducted on a far greater scale than the isolated bombings carried out by any Basque, Arab, or Irish Republican Army group. Also left uncounted is the massive terrorism perpetrated by U.S. supported "guerrilla" mercenaries, as in Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua (against Sandinista rule) and several other countries, in which the countryside was devastated and massive numbers of people slaughtered by these mercenary forces.

The Larger Terrorism

As critics of U.S. interventionism have pointed out, what is reported as "terrorism" in the press is "retail terrorism." What goes unnoted is "wholesale terrorism," the massive U.S.-backed, state-supported kind. By any measure other than the peculiar one used by Washington policymakers and propagandists, the U.S. national security state is the greatest purveyor of terrorism in the world today and has been so for some time.

Estimating only the casualties inflicted by U.S. armed forces or U.S.-backed surrogate forces around the world, the death toll is estimated as follows: 3,000,000 in Vietnam, 1,000,000 in Cambodia, 1,000,000 in Mozambique, 500,000 to 1,000,000 in Indonesia, 600,000 in Angola, 300,000 in Laos, 250,000 in East Timor, 200,000 in Iraq, 200,000 in Afghanistan, 150,000 in Guatemala, 100,000 in Nicaragua, 90,000 in El Salvador, and tens of thousands in Chile, Argentina, Zaire, Iran (under the Shah), Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Panama, Somalia, South Yemen, Western Sahara, and dozens of other countries.*

Against the blowing up of a building or an airliner, how do we measure this U.S.-sponsored terrorism? To be sure, we must not dismiss or make light of individual acts of terror. Yet we might wonder why they are just about the only ones that receive condemnation from official circles. The wholesale terrorism of aerial massacres, death squads, mass arrests, mass executions, torture and intimidation, is a function of a rational and deliberate counterinsurgency policy orchestrated by the U.S. national security state. But it is not treated as news. Indeed, its very existence goes unrecognized by mainstream policymakers and media.

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