** Herman & Peterson: There Is No “War on Terror”


Richard Moore


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There Is No ³War on Terror²

By Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

20/01/08 "ZNet" -- -- One of the most telling signs of the political naiveté of 
liberals and the Left in the United States has been their steadfast faith in 
much of the worldview that blankets the imperial state they call home.  Nowhere 
has this critical failure been more evident than in their acceptance of the 
premise that there really is something called a "war on terror" or 
³terrorism²[1]‹however poorly managed its critics make it out to be‹and that 
righting the course of this war ought to be this country's (and the world¹s) top
foreign policy priority.   In this perspective, Afghanistan and Pakistan rather 
than Iraq ought to have been the war on terror's proper foci; most accept that 
the U.S. attack on Afghanistan from October 2001 on was a legitimate and 
necessary stage in the war.  The tragic error of the Bush Administration, in 
this view, was that it lost sight of this priority, and diverted U.S. military 
action to Iraq and other theaters, reducing the commitment where it was needed.

Of course we expect to find this line of criticism expressed by the many former 
supporters who have fled from the sinking regime in Washington.[2]  But it is 
striking that commentators as durably hostile to Bush policies as the New York 
Times's Frank Rich should accept so many of the fundamentals of this worldview, 
and repeat them without embarrassment.  Rich asserts that the question "Who lost
Iraq? is but a distraction from the more damning question, Who is losing the war
on terrorism?"  A repeated theme of Rich's work has been that the Cheney - Bush 
presidency is causing "as much damage to fighting the war on terrorism as it 
does to civil liberties."  Even in late 2007, Rich still lamented the "really 
bad news" that, "Much as Iraq distracted America from the war against Al Qaeda, 
so a strike on Iran could ignite Pakistan, Al Qaeda's thriving base and the 
actual central front of the war on terror."[3]

Other expressions of faith in something called the "war on terror" abound. Thus 
in a long review of several books in which she urged "[r]evamping our approach 
to terrorism" and "recapturing hearts and minds" around the world, Harvard's 
Samantha Power, a top lieutenant in the humanitarian brigade, wrote that "most 
Americans still rightly believe that the United States must confront Islamic 
terrorism‹and must be relentless in preventing terrorist networks from getting 
weapons of mass destruction.  But Bush's premises have proved flawedŠ."[4]   
Most striking was Power's expression of disappointment that "millions‹if not 
billions‹of people around the world do not see the difference between a suicide 
bomber's attack on a pizzeria and an American attack on what turns out to be a 
wedding party"‹the broken moral compass residing within these masses, of course,
who fail to understand that only the American attacks are legitimate and that 
the numerous resultant casualties are but ³tragic errors² and  ³collateral 

Like Samantha Power, the What We're Fighting For statement issued in February 
2002 by the Institute for American Values and signed by 60 U.S. intellectuals, 
including Jean Bethke Elshtain, Francis Fukuyama, Mary Ann Glendon, Samuel 
Huntington, Harvey C. Mansfield, Will Marshall, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Michael
Novak, Michael Walzer, George Weigel, and James Q. Wilson, declared the war on 
terror a ³just war.²   "Organized killers with global reach now threaten all of 
us," it  is asserted in one revealing passage. "In the name of universal human 
morality, and fully conscious of the restrictions and requirements of a just 
war, we support our government's, and our society's, decision to use force of 
arms against them."[6]  The idea that "killers with global reach" who are far 
more deadly and effective than Al Qaeda could be found at home doesn¹t seem to 
occur to these intellectuals.  And like Power, they also make what they believe 
a telling distinction between the deliberate killing of civilians, as in a 
suicide bombing, and "collateral damage"-type casualties even in cases where 
civilian casualties are vastly larger and entirely predictable, though not 
specifically intended.[7]  Throughout these reflections, the purpose is to 
distinguish our murderous acts from theirs.  It is the latter that constitute a 
"world-threatening evil...that clearly requires the use of force to remove 

In the same mode, Princeton University international law professor Richard 
Falk's early contributions to The Nation after 9/11 found a "visionary program 
of international, apocalyptic terrorism" behind the events.  "It is truly a 
declaration of war from the lower depths," Falk wrote, a "transformative shift 
in the nature of the terrorist challenge both conceptually and tacticallyŠ.There
is no indication that the forces behind the attack were acting on any basis 
beyond their extraordinary destructive intentŠ.We are poised on the brink of a 
global, intercivilizational war without battlefields and bordersŠ."  Some weeks 
later, in a nod to "just war" doctrine, Falk argued that the "destruction of 
both the Taliban regime and the Al Qaeda networkŠare appropriate goalsŠ.[T]he 
case [against the Taliban] is strengthened," he added, "to the degree that its 
governing policies are so oppressive as to give the international community the 
strongest possible grounds for humanitarian intervention."[9]

Peter Beinart, a liberal-leaning former editor of the New Republic and the 
author of the 2006 book The Good Fight: Why Liberals‹-and Only Liberals‹Can Win 
the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, wrote in the aftermath of Cheney
- Bush's 2004 re-election: "Today, the war on terrorism is partially obscured by
the war in Iraq, which has made liberals cynical about the purposes of U.S. 
power.  But, even if Iraq is Vietnam, it no more obviates the war on terrorism 
than Vietnam obviated the battle against communism.  Global jihad will be with 
us long after American troops stop dying in Falluja and Mosul.  And thus, 
liberalism will rise or fall on whether it can become, again, what [Arthur] 
Schlesinger called 'a fighting faith'."[10]

Even David Cole and Jules Lobel, authors of a highly-regarded critique of Cheney
- Bush policies on ³Why America Is Losing the War on Terror,² take the existence
of its "counterterrorism strategy" at face value; this strategy has been a 
"colossal failure," they argue, because it has "compromised our spirit, 
strengthened our enemies and left us less free and less safe."  The U.S. war in 
Iraq "permitted the Administration to turn its focus from Al Qaeda, the 
organization that attacked us on 9/11, to Iraq, a nation that did not.  The Iraq
war has by virtually all accounts made the United States, the Iraqi people, many
of our allies and for that matter much of the world more vulnerable to 
terrorists.  By targeting Iraq, the Bush Administration not only siphoned off 
much-needed resources from the struggle against Al Qaeda but also created a 
golden opportunity for Al Qaeda to inspire and recruit others to attack US and 
allied targets.  And our invasion of Iraq has turned it into the world's premier
terrorist training ground."[11]

Elsewhere, appearing at a forum in New York City sponsored by the Open Society 
Institute to discuss his work, David Cole made the remarkable assertion that "no
one argued" the post-9/11 U.S. attack on Afghanistan was ³not a legitimate act 
of self-defense.²  No less remarkable was Cole's statement shortly thereafter 
that the United States' "holding [of prisoners] at Guantanamo would not have 
been controversial practice had we given them hearings at the outset," because, 
as Cole explained it, such hearings "would have identified those people as to 
whom we had no evidence that they were involved with Al Qaeda and then they 
would be released."[12]

Cole's first remark ignores the UN Charter, which allows an attack on another 
state in self-defense only when an imminent attack is threatened, and then only 
until such time as the Security Council acts on behalf of the threatened state.
But given the absence of such urgency and the absence of  a UN authorization,  
and given that the hijacker bombers of 9/11 were independent terrorists and not 
agents of  a state, the October 2001 U.S. war on Afghanistan was a violation of 
the UN Charter and a ³supreme international crime,² in the language of the 
Judgment at Nuremberg.[13]  Would Cole have defended Cuban or Nicaraguan or 
Iraqi bombing attacks on Washington D.C. as legitimate acts of self-defense at 
any juncture in the past when the United States was attacking or sponsoring an 
attack on these countries?  We doubt it.  Cole also seems unaware that the 
United States attacked after refusing the Afghan government¹s offer to give up 
bin Laden upon the presentation of evidence of his involvement in the crime.[14]
Furthermore, the war began long after bin Laden and his forces had been given 
time to exit, and was fought mainly against the Taliban government and Afghan 
people, thousands of whom were killed under targeting rules that assured and 
resulted in numerous ³tragic errors² and can reasonably be called war crimes.

Given the illegality and immorality of this war‹now already well into its 
seventh year‹the killing of people in Afghanistan cannot be regarded as 
³legitimate²‹and neither can the taking of prisoners there under any conditions.
Cole's second remark also ignores the modes of seizure of prisoners, some turned
over in exchange for cash bounties; or their treatment in Afghanistan, en route 
to Guantanamo, and in rendition facilities, apart from delays in or absence of  
³hearings at the outset.²  Last, Cole is wrong even on the alleged general 
agreement on the legitimacy of this act of  ³self-defense² in Afghanistan.  
Despite the domestic hysteria in the United States at the time, a number of  
lawyers here contested its legitimacy .[15]  Furthermore, a series of opinion 
polls in 37 different countries by Gallup International in late September 2001 
found that in no less than 34 of these countries, majorities opposed a U.S. 
military attack on Afghanistan, preferring instead to see the events of 
September 11 treated as crimes (i.e., non-militarily), with extradition and 
trial for the alleged culprits.  The three countries where opinion ran against 
the majority in the other 34 were the United States (54%), India (72%), and 
Israel (77%).  Otherwise, it appears that significant and sometimes overwhelming
majorities of the world's population were opposed to the U.S. resort to war.[16]

What War on Terror?

But talk of the "failure" of the war on terror rests on the false premise that 
there really is such a war.   This we reject on a number of grounds.  First, in 
all serious definitions of the term,[17] terror is a means of pursuing political
ends, an instrument of struggle, and it makes little sense to talk about war 
against a means and instrument. Furthermore, if the means consists of  modes of 
political intimidation and publicity-seeking that use or threaten force against 
civilians, a major problem with the alleged ³war² is that the United States and 
Israel also clearly use terror and support allies and agents who do the same. 
The ³shock and awe² strategy that opened the 2002 invasion-occupation of Iraq 
was openly and explicitly designed to terrorize the Iraq population and armed 
forces. Much of the bombing and torture, and the attack that destroyed Falluja, 
have been designed to instill fear and intimidate the general population and 
resistance.  Israel¹s repeated bombing attacks, ground assaults, and targeted 
assassinations of Palestinians are also designed to create fear and apathy, that
is, terrorize.  As longtime Labour Party official Abba Eban admitted years ago, 
Israel¹s bombing of  Lebanon civilians was based on ³the rational prospect, 
ultimately fulfilled, that afflicted populations [i.e., civilians deliberately 
targeted] would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities.²[18]  This was 
a precise admission of the use of  terrorism, and surely fits Israeli policy in 
the years of the alleged ³war on terror.²  Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon 
has also acknowledged an intent to attack civilians, declaring in March 2002 
that "The Palestinians must be hit and it must be very painful: we must cause 
them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price."[19]

The United States and Israel actually engage in big-time terror, like strategic 
bombing, helicopter attacks, torture on a continuing basis, and large-scale 
invasions and invasion threats, not lower-casualty-inflicting actions like 
occasional plane hijackings and suicide bombings.   This has long been 
characterized as  the difference between wholesale and retail terror, the former
carried out by states and on a large scale, the latter  implemented by 
individuals and small groups, much smaller in scale, and causing fewer civilian 
victims than its wholesale counterpart.[20]  Retail terrorists don¹t maintain 
multiple detention centers in which they employ torture (at the height of its 
state terror activities in the 1970s the Argentinian military maintained an 
estimated 60 such centers, according to Amnesty International;[21] the United 
States today, on land bases and naval vessels and in client state operated 
facilities, uses dozens of such centers).

Furthermore, retail terror is often sponsored by the wholesale 
terrorists‹notoriously, the Cuban refugee network operating out of the United 
States for decades, the U.S.-supported Nicaraguan contras, Savimbi¹s UNITA in 
Angola in the 1980s, backed by both South Africa and the United States, the 
South Lebanon Army supported by Israel for years, and the Colombian rightwing 
death squads still in operation, with U.S. support.  Thus, a meaningful war on 
terror would surely involve attacks on the United States and Israel as premier 
wholesale terrorists and sponsors, a notion we have yet to find expounded by a 
single one of the current war-on-terror proponents.

In short, one secret of  the widespread belief that the United States and Israel
are fighting‹not carrying out‹terror is the remarkable capacity of the Western 
media and intellectual class to ignore the standard definitions of terror and 
the reality of who does the most terrorizing, and thus to allow the Western 
political establishments to use the invidious word to apply to their targets. We
only retaliate and engage in ³counter-terror²‹our targets started it and their 
lesser violence is terrorism.

A second and closely related secret of the swallowing of war-on-terror 
propaganda is the ability of the swallowers to ignore the U.S. purposes and 
program. They never ask: Is the United States simply responding to the 9/11 
attack or do its leaders have a larger agenda for which they can use 9/11 
terrorism as a cover?  But this obvious question almost answers itself: 
Documents of the prior decade show clearly that the Bush team was openly hoping 
for another "Pearl Harbor" that would allow them to go on the offensive and 
project power in the Middle East and across the globe.  In the rightfully 
infamous words of the Project for the New American Century (2000), "the process 
of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a 
long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event‹like a new Pearl 
Harbor."[22]  The huge military forces that have been built up in this country 
conveniently permit this power-projection by threat and use of force, and their 
buildup and use has had bipartisan support, reflecting in large measure the 
power and objectives of the military establishment, military contractors, and 
transnational corporations. The military buildup was not for defensive purposes 
in any meaningful sense; it was for power-projection, which is to say, for 

In this connection we should point out that at the time of 9/11 in the year 
2001, Al Qaeda was considered by most experts to be a small non-state operation,
possibly centered in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan, but loosely sprawled across 
the globe, and with at most only a few thousand operatives.[23]  It is clear 
that such a small and diffuse operation called for an anti-crime and 
intelligence response, not a war.  Of course a war could be carried out against 
the country which was their principal home, but given the lags involved and the 
threat that a war, with its civilian casualties and imperialist overtones, would
possibly strengthen Al Qaeda, the quick resort to war in the post-9/11 period 
suggests covert motives, including vengeance and taking advantage of  9/11 for 
power-projection.  And while a war could be launched against Afghanistan and an 
attack made on Al Qaeda headquarters, this was hardly a war on terror.  Nor 
could the huge military buildup that ensued  have been based on a fight in 
Afghanistan or against tiny Al Qaeda.[24]

It is also notable that there has been no attempt by the organizers of the war 
on terror  to try to stop terrorism at its source by addressing the problems 
that have produced the terrorists and provided their recruiting base. In fact, 
for the organizers and their supporters in the "war on terror," raising the 
question of ³why² is regarded as a form of apologetics for terror, and they are 
uninterested in the question, satisfied with clichés about the terrorists envy, 
hatred of freedom, and genetic or religious proclivities. This is consistent 
with the view that getting rid of terror is not their aim, and that in fact they
need the steady flow of  resisters-terrorists which their actions produce to 
justify their real purpose of  power projection virtually without limit.  
Failure to end terrorism is not a failure of the ³war on terror,² it is a 
necessary part of its machinery of operation.

In short, the war on terror is an intellectual and propaganda cover, 
analogous‹and in many ways a successor‹to the departed ³Cold War,² which in its 
time also served as a cover for imperial expansion. Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, 
Indonesia, Zaire (and many others) were regularly subverted or attacked on the 
ground of an alleged Soviet menace that had to be combated. That menace was 
rarely applicable to the actual cases, and the strained connection was often 
laughable. With that cover gone, pursuing terrorists is proving to be an 
admirable substitute, as once again a gullible media will accept that any 
targeted rebels are actual or potential terrorists and may even have links to Al
Qaeda. The FARC rebels in Colombia are terrorists, but the government-supported 
rightwing paramilitaries who kill many more civilians than FARC are not and are 
the beneficiaries of U.S. ³counter-terrorism² aid.  Hugo Chavez¹s Venezuela, on 
the other hand, which does not kill civilians, is accused of  lack of 
cooperation in the U.S. ³counter-terrorism² program, and is alleged to have 
³links² to U.S. targets such as Iran and Cuba, which allegedly support 
terrorists.[25] Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and other torture-prone states 
are ³with us² in the war on terror; states like Venezuela, Iran and Cuba are not
with us and are easily situated as terrorist or ³linked² to terrorist states.

If Al Qaeda didn¹t exist the United States would have had to create it, and of 
course it did create it back in the 1980s, as a means of  destabilizing the 
Soviet Union. Al Qaeda¹s more recent role  is a classic case of ³blowback.²  It 
is also a case of resistance to power-projection, as Al Qaeda's terrorist 
activities switched from combating a Soviet occupation, to combating U.S. 
intervention in Saudi Arabia, Palestine and elsewhere.  It was also spurred by 
lagged resentment at being used by the United States for its Soviet 
destabilization purposes and then abandoned.[26]

While U.S. interventionism gave Al Qaeda a strong start, and while it continues 
today to facilitate Al Qaeda recruitment, it has also provoked resistance far 
beyond Al Qaeda, as in Iraq, where most of the resistance has nothing to do with
Al Qaeda and in fact has widely turned against it. If as the United States 
projects power across the globe this produces resistance, and if this resistance
can be labeled ³terrorists,² then U.S. aggression and wholesale terror are 
home-free!  Any country that is willing to align with the United States can get 
its dissidents and resistance condemned as "terrorists," with or without links 
to Al Qaeda, and get U.S. military aid. The war on terror is a war of superpower
power-projection, which is to say, an imperialist war on a global scale.

The issue of who terrorizes whom is hardly new. Back in 1979, Noam Chomsky and 
Edward Herman's The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism featured the 
U.S. terror gulag in great detail, and even had a frontispiece showing the flow 
of economic and military aid from the United States to 26 of the 35 countries 
using torture on an administrative basis in that era. Herman's The Real Terror 
Network of 1982 also traced out a U.S.-sponsored terror gulag and showed its 
logical connection to the growth of the transnational corporation and desire for
friendly state-terrorists who would produce favorable climates of investment 
(recall Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos's statement to U.S. oil companies 
back at the time of his 1972 accession to power: ³We¹ll pass laws you need‹just 
tell us what you want.²[27]). But these works were ignored in the mainstream and
could hardly compete with Claire Sterling's The Terror Network, which traced 
selected retail terrorisms‹falsely‹to the Soviet Union.  This fit the Reagan-era
³war on terror² claims, which coincided with the Reagan era support of Israel's 
attack on Lebanon and subsequent  ³iron fist² terrorism there, Reagan's support 
of the Argentine military regime, Suharto, Marcos, South Africa, the Guatemalan 
and Salvadoran terror regimes, Savimbi, the Cuban terror network, and the 
Nicaraguan contras.

This historical record of  U.S. terrorism and support of terrorism occasionally 
surfaces in the mainstream, but is brushed aside on the ground that the United 
States has taken a new course, so that long record can be ignored.  In a classic
of this genre, Michael Ignatieff, writing in the New York Times Magazine, 
claimed that this was so because President George Bush said so!  "The democratic
turn in American foreign policy has been recent," he wrote, adding that at long 
last, the current George Bush has "actually risked his presidency on the premise
that Jefferson might be right."[28] This capacity to ignore history, and the 
institutional underpinning of that history, complements the mainstream media and
intellectuals' ability to take as a premise that the United States is virtuous 
and in its foreign dealings is trying to do good or is just defending itself 
against bad people and movements who for no good reason hate us. As noted, the 
amazing definitional systems in use are de facto Alice-in-Wonderland: Terrorism 
is anything I choose to target and so designate.

Two novelties of the Bush era projection of power and wholesale terrorism are 
their brazenness and scope.  Past U.S. employment of torture, and of gulags in 
which to hold and work-over alleged or possible terrorists or resisters, were 
more or less sub rosa, the cruelties and violations of  international law and 
U.S. involvement kept more or less plausibly deniable. The Bush team is open 
about them, calling for legalization of torture and their other violations of  
international law, which they rationalize by heavy-handed redefinitions of  
³torture² and claims of the inapplicability of international law to their new 
category of ³enemy combatants.²[29] Bush also brags in public about the 
extension of the U.S. killing machine to distant places and the extent to which 
declared enemies have been removed, implicitly by killing, obviously without 
hearing or trial.  On September 17, 2001, Bush signed a "classified Presidential
Finding that authorized an unprecedented range of covert operations," the 
Washington Post later reported, including "lethal measures against terrorists 
and the expenditure of vast funds to coax foreign intelligence services into a 
new era of cooperation with the CIA."[30] And in his State of the Union speech 
of 2003, Bush asserted that ³more than 3,000 suspected terrorists² had been 
arrested across the globe ³and many others have met a different fate‹Let¹s put 
it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends 
and allies.²[31] As Chris Floyd has pointed out, this represents the work of  a 
³universal death squad,²[32] the authorization and accomplishments of which were
barely acknowledged in the mainstream media.

U.S. state-terrorism has also been broadened in scope and is a facet of 
globalization.  In accord with the principles of globalization, there has been a
major increase in the privatization of  terrorism.  Blackwater Worldwide is only
the best known of mercenary armies in Iraq that now outnumber regular armed 
force members, and who are free from some of the legal constraints of the armed 
forces in how they treat the local population. The global American gulag of 
secret prisons and torture centers to which an unknown number of people have 
been sent, held without trial, worked over and sometimes killed as well as 
tortured, is located in many countries: The "spider's web" first described by a 
Council of Europe investigation identified landings and takeoffs at no fewer 
than 30 airports on four different continents;[33] and earlier research by Human
Rights First estimated that the United States was operating dozens of major and 
lesser known detention centers as part of its "war on terror": These included 
the obvious cases of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq, the U.S. 
Air Force base at Bagram in Afghanistan, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, and other 
suspected centers in Pakistan, Jordan, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean,  and on
U.S. Navy ships at sea.[34]  Still others are operated by client and other 
states at the torture-producing end of the ³extraordinary rendition² chain 
(Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Morocco).  Given the vastness of this U.S. enterprise, 
surely we are talking about tens-of-thousands of prisoners, a great many 
picked-up and tortured based on rumor, the inducement of bonus payments, 
denunciations in vendettas, and accidents of name or location.[35] We know that 
a great majority of those imprisoned in sweeps in Iraq were taken without the 
slightest information on wrong-doing even on aggressor-occupier terms.[36] There
is strong anecdotal evidence that suggests that the same is true in Afghanistan.

Another notable feature of  the ³war on terror² is the extent to which this 
mythical war has been advanced via the UN and the "international community," the
UN¹s work in particular serving as an extension of U.S. policy.  This has been 
in marked contrast to their treatment of open aggression and violations of the 
UN Charter's prohibition of aggressive war.  Time and again the United States 
and Israel have violated this fundamental international law during the past 
decade, and they are clearly the global leaders in state-terrorism that many 
observers believe to be the main force inspiring a global resistance and 
spurring on various forms of Islamic terrorism, including Al Qaeda.  But instead
of focusing on the causal wars and state-terrorism, following the U.S. lead the 
UN and international community have focused on the lesser and derivative 
terrorism, and taken the "war on terror" at face value.  In other words, they 
have once again assumed the role of servants of U.S. policy, in this instance 
helping the aggressor states and wholesale terrorists struggle against the 
retail terror they inspire.

We can trace this pattern at least as far back as October 1999 (almost two years
before 9/11), when the Security Council adopted Resolution 1267 "on the 
situation in Afghanistan."  This Resolution deplored that the "Taliban continues
to provide safe haven to Usama bin Laden," and it demanded that the "Taliban 
turn over Usama bin Laden without further delay to appropriate authorities in a 
country where he has been indicted."  1267 also created the Al-Qaida and Taliban
Sanctions Committee to manage this effort to squeeze the Taliban and anyone 
linkable to either of them.[37]  At the time, bin Laden had been indicted by a 
U.S. Federal Court for his alleged involvement in the August 1998 suicide 
bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing some 250 people; 
Al Qaeda had also been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. 
Department of State.  "The international community has sent a clear message," 
President Bill Clinton announced.  "The choice between co-operation and 
isolation lies with the Taliban."  But the Taliban complained that "This unfair 
action was taken under the pressure of the United StatesŠ.So far, there has not 
been any evidence of Osama's involvement in terrorism by any one"‹essentially 
the same retort that the Taliban made to Bush White House demands after 9/11 
that the Taliban surrender bin Laden.[38]  1267 thus extended key components of 
the 1996 U.S. Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act's category of 
states designated "not cooperating with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts" beyond U.S.
borders to the level of internationally-enforceable law.

Only four days after 1267, the Council adopted companion Resolution 1269 "on the
responsibility of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace
and security."  1269 condemned the "practices of terrorism as criminal and 
unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation," and stressed the "vital role" of
the UN "in combating terrorism."[39]  Similarly, Resolution 1373, adopted 
shortly after the 9/11 attacks and just days before the United States launched 
its war to remove the Taliban, greatly expanded the UN's involvement in the U.S.
"war on terror," creating the Counter-Terrorism Committee to manage the fight 
against terrorism and criminalizing all forms of support for individuals and 
groups engaged in terrorism.  Like 1267 and, later, 1540 (April 24, 2004), which
created a committee to prevent "non-State actors" from acquiring "weapons of 
mass destruction,"[40] the Security Council adopted each of these resolutions 
under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, on the basis of which the Council is to 
supposed to respond to "threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of

All of this vigilance with respect to "terrorism," and the notion that 
"non-State actors" and "terrorists" of the Al Qaeda variety deserve this intense
UN concern, stands in dramatic contrast with the treatment of literal 
aggression, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, and genocidal actions such as the 
U.S.-U.K.-UN "sanctions of mass destruction" that killed possibly a million 
Iraqi civilians during the years between the first and second wars against Iraq,
ca. 1991-2003.[41]  Yet, in his report In larger freedom (March, 2005), Kofi 
Annan argued that "It is time to set aside debates on so-called 'State 
terrorism'.  The use of force by States is already thoroughly regulated under 
international law.  And the right to resist occupation must be understood in its
true meaning.  It cannot include the right to deliberately kill or maim 

But these comments contain a major falsehood and reflect serious 
pro-state-terrorism and anti-resistance bias‹there is no "thorough" regulation 
of state-terrorism, and in fact there is none at all, as evidenced by the fact 
that the United States and its allies have been able to attack  three countries 
in a single decade (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq) 
without the slightest impediment from Kofi Annan's United Nations,[43] but also 
in each case with the UN's ex post facto assent.  Note also Annan's failure to 
suggest that states should not have the "right to deliberately kill or maim 
civilians," a concern that he exhibits only as regards resisters to state 
violence and occupation.  This despite the fact that in their recent and ongoing
wars the United States and its allies have killed, maimed, starved, and driven 
from their homes vastly more civilians than has Al Qaeda or all of the world's 
retail terrorists combined.  Note also that within the targeted countries, 
political leaders have been captured by these aggressors, and subjected to trial
by tribunals‹but never the leadership of the great powers.  In pursuing their 
enemies to the farthest reaches of the earth, they continue to enjoyed complete 

Concluding Note

In sum, the war on terror is a political gambit and myth used to cover over a 
U.S. projection of power that needed rhetorical help with the disappearance of 
the Soviet Union and Cold War. It has been successful because U.S. leaders could
hide behind the very real 9/11 terrorist attack and pretend that their own wars,
wholesale terrorist actions, and  enlarged support of  a string of 
countries‹many authoritarian and engaged in state terrorism‹were somehow linked 
to that attack and its Al Qaeda authors. But most U.S. military actions abroad 
since 9/11 have had little or  no connection with Al Qaeda; and you cannot war 
on a method of  struggle, especially when you, your allies and clients use those
methods as well.

It is widely argued now that the war on terror has been a failure. This also is 
a fallacy, resting on the imputation of  purpose to the war¹s organizers 
contrary to their actual aims‹they were looking for and found the new ³Pearl 
Harbor² needed to justify a surge of  U.S. force projection across the globe. It
appears that Al Qaeda is stronger now than it was on September 11, 2001; but Al 
Qaeda was never the main target of the Bush administration.  If Al Qaeda had 
been, the Bush administration would have tried much more seriously to apprehend 
bin Laden, by military or political action, and it would not have carried out 
policies in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere that have played so 
well into bin Laden¹s hand‹arguably, policy responses that bin Laden hoped to 
provoke. If Washington really had been worried at the post-9/11 terrorist threat
it would have followed through on the 9/11 Commission¹s recommendations for 
guarding U.S. territory (ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities, airports 
and other transportation hubs, and the like).[45] The fact that it hasn¹t done 
this, but instead has adopted a cynical and politicized system of terrorism 
alerts, is testimony to the administration's own private understanding of the 
contrived character of the war on terror and the alleged threats that we face.

Admittedly, the surge in power projection that 9/11 and the war on terror 
facilitated has not been a complete and unadulterated success.  But the ³war on 
terror² gambit did enable this surge to come about, and it should be recognized 
that  the invasion-occupation of Iraq was not a diversion, its conquest was one 
of the intended objectives of this war. That conquest may be in jeopardy, but 
looked at from the standpoint of  its organizers, the war has achieved some of 
the real goals for which it was designed; and in this critical but seldom 
appreciated sense it has been a  success. It has facilitated two U.S. military 
invasions of foreign countries, served to line-up many other states behind the 
leader of the war, helped once again to push NATO into new, out-of-area 
operations,  permitted a further advance in the U.S. disregard of international 
law, helped bring about quasi-regime changes in some major European capitals, 
and was the basis for the huge growth in U.S. and foreign military budgets. 
While its destabilization of the Middle East has possibly benefited Iran, it has
given Israel a free hand in accelerated ethnic cleansing, settlements, and more 
ruthless treatment of  the Palestinians, and the United States and Israel still 
continue to threaten and isolate Iran.

Furthermore, with the cooperation of the Democrats and mass media, the ³war on 
terror² gave the ³decider² and his clique the political ability to impose an 
unconstitutional, rightwing agenda at home, at the expense of  the rule of law, 
economic equality, environmental and other regulation, and social solidarity.  
The increased military budget and militarization of U.S. society, the explosive 
growth in corporate "counter-terrorism" and "homeland security" enterprises, the
greater centralization of power in the executive branch, the enhanced 
inequality, the unimpeded growth of the prison-industrial complex, the more 
rightwing judiciary, and the failure of  the Democrats to do anything to counter
these trends since the 2006 election, suggests that the shift to the right and 
to a more militarized society and expansionist foreign policy may have become 
permanent features of life in the United States.  Is that not a war on terror 
success story, given the aims of  its creators?

  ---- Endnotes ----

[1] We will use the phrases 'war on terror' and 'war on terrorism' 
interchangeably.  Nor are we aware of any nuance in meaning to be gained by 
distinguishing one phrase from the other.  This caveat also holds for the 
similar phrase 'global war on terror'.  (Etc.)

[2] See, e.g., Francis Fukuyama, America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and
the Neoconservative Legacy (Yale University Press, 2006).  Along with 24 others 
that included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Zalmay Khalilzad, 
Lewis Libby, Paula Dobriansky, and Norman Podhoretz, Fukuyama was a founding 
member of the Project for the New American Century, whose efforts to "rally 
support for the cause of American global leadership" and a "Reaganite policy of 
military strength and moral clarity" the world continues to suffer beneath.‹See 
the Project's "Statement of Principles," June 3, 1997.

[3] Frank Rich, "Where Were You That Summer of 2001?" New York Times, February 
25, 2007; "The Wiretappers That Couldn't Shoot Straight," January 8, 2006; and 
"Noun + Verb + 9/11 + Iran = Democrats' Defeat?" New York Times, November 4, 

[4] Samantha Power, "Our War on Terror," New York Times Book Review, July 29, 
2007.‹Power also used this review to lavish praise on the recently updated The 
U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual (University of Chicago 
Press, 2007), assembled by U.S. Army General David Petraeus et al., the current 
commander of the U.S.-led Multinational Force in occupied Iraq, along with 
critical input from members of the humanitarian brigades, including Sarah 
Sewall, a colleague of Power's at Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

[5] Note that Samantha Power implies that an "American [bombing] attack on what 
turns out to be a wedding party" is a unique and excusable "error."  This is 
false.  It was not even the only wedding party bombed in Iraq and Afghanistan by
U.S. forces, and the notable feature of both U.S. wars in these countries is the
lavish use of devastatingly powerful explosives in places where civilian 
casualties are certain.  In Afghanistan, the United States has bombed every kind
of civilian infrastructure‹dams, telephone exchanges, schools, power stations, 
bridges, trucks on roads, mosques, Al Jazeera radio, and even the well-marked 
Red Cross facilities in Kabul. It has also used cluster bombs on a massive 
scale. In his exhaustive analysis of civilian casualties, Marc W. Herold states 
that the 3,000-3,400 civilian deaths resulting from U.S. bombing in the period 
October 7, 2001 - March 2002 can be explained best by ³the low value put upon 
Afghan civilian lives by U.S. military planners and the political elite, as 
clearly revealed by their willingness to bomb heavily populated areas."  He 
concludes that ³the U.S. bombing campaign which began on the evening of October 
7th, has been a war upon the people, the homes, the farms and the villages of 
Afghanistan, as well as upon the Taliban and Al Qaeda.²  (Marc W. Herold, "A 
Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan," 
Revised Edition, March 2002.)  This bombing war relied heavily on people like 
Samantha Power and the media to keep the ruthlessly anti-civilian character of 
this war out of public sight.  (Also see Tom Engelhardt, "'Accidents' of War: 
The Time Has Come for an Honest Discussion of Air Power," TomDispatch, July 9, 

[6] What We're Fighting For: A Letter from America, Institute for American 
Values, February, 2002. This document is also reproduced in David Blankenhorn et
al., The Islam/West Debate: Documents from a Global Debate on Terrorism, U.S. 
Policy, and the Middle East (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), pp. 21-40.

[7] For a critique of this notion of civilian deaths as "collateral damage," a 
legal ploy by which Americans distinguish the "unintended" deaths caused by 
their "far more terrifying violence" from the "premeditated" deaths caused by 
enemies, see Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, 
Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity (Pluto Press, 2004), pp. 46-56.

[8] In their discussion "A Just War?" the Institute for American Values 
asserted: "Although in some circumstances, and within strict limits, it can be 
morally justifiable to undertake military actions that may result in the 
unintended but foreseeable death or injury of some noncombatants, it is not 
morally acceptable to make the killing of noncombatants the operational 
objective of a military action." They continued: "On September 11, 2001, a group
of individuals deliberately attacked the United StatesŠ.Those who died on the 
morning of September 11 were killed unlawfully, wantonly, and with premeditated 
malice - a kind of killing that, in the name of precision, can only be described
as murderŠ.Those who slaughtered more than 3,000 persons on September 11 and 
who, by their own admission, want nothing more than to do it again, constitute a
clear and present danger to all people of good will everywhere in the world, not
just the United States.  Such acts are a pure example of naked aggression 
against innocent human life, a world-threatening evil that clearly requires the 
use of force to remove it."  (What We're Fighting For: A Letter from America, 
Institute for American Values, February, 2002.)

[9] Richard Falk, "A Just Response," The Nation, October 8, 2001; and "Defining 
a Just War," The Nation, October 29, 2001.‹To his credit, Falk was under no 
illusions that the Cheney - Bush regime would heed any limits on the use of 

[10] Peter Beinart, "A Fighting Faith," New Republic, December 13, 2004 (as 
posted to the Free Republic website).  Also see his The Good Fight: Why 
Liberals‹-and Only Liberals‹Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great 
Again (HarperCollins, 2006).

[11] David Cole and Jules Lobel, "Why We're Losing the War on Terror," The 
Nation, September 24, 2007.  Also see their Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is
Losing the War on Terror (The New Press, 2007), esp. Ch. 5, "The Costs of 
Overreaching," pp. 129-146.

[12] "OSI Forum‹Less Safe, Less Free," Open Society Institute, November 14, 
2007. ‹David Cole's own words were: "I just don't see anybody around the world 
who has questioned the notion that the United States has the right to respond to
the attacks that we suffered [on September 11, 2001] by going to Afghanistan.  
There are people who say it wasn't the best policy.  But no one argued it was 
not a legitimate act of self-defense."  And: "If you have the right to go to 
war‹you have the right to kill the people you're fighting against‹surely you 
have the right to hold them for the duration of that conflict.  So that's not a 
controversial issue.  And holding them at Guantanamo would not have been 
controversial practice had we given them hearings at the outset.  Which, for 
one, would have identified those people as to whom we had no evidence that they 
were involved with Al Qaeda  and then they would be released‹and then we 
wouldn't have the problem of innocent people being held at Guantanamo."  (Our 
transcription picks-up Cole's remarks beginning at approximately the 49:35 
minute mark of the full-length audio clip.)

[13] "The charges in the Indictment that the defendants planned and waged 
aggressive wars are charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially an evil 
thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but 
affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only 
an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only 
from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of 
the whole."  See Final Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the 
Trial of German Major War Criminals (September 30, 1946), specifically "The 
Common Plan or Conspiracy and Aggressive War," from which this passage derives.

[14] According to Radio Voice of Shari'ah in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of 
Balkh province in northern Afghanistan, "senior officials" of the Taliban 
released a statement as early as September 13, 2001 in which they "honestly 
asked America to give clear and substantial evidence for what it considers 
Usamah to be responsible for, and the [Taliban] will hand him over to one of the
Islamic courts of the world in order to be tried. The stance of the [Taliban] is
clear in this regard. Otherwise, nobody can accuse others by bringing false and 
groundless allegations." In the same statement, the Taliban "condemn" the events
of 9/11, calling them "against the welfare and interests of the world."  The 
Taliban also "expresses its sympathy for the American people," adding that it 
"expects the USA not to resort to irreparable measures before discovering the 
facts."  ("Afghan Taleban ready to hand Bin-Ladin to Islamic court if USA 
provides evidence - radio," BBC Monitoring Central Asia, September 13, 2001.)  
News of this and subsequent offers communicated by Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the 
Taliban's foreign minister, and by Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban's ambassador 
to Pakistan, were reported by Reuters, The Herald (Glasgow), the New York Times,
the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, and The
Independent (London).  But as the record makes clear, no one will ever know how 
genuine these offers really were‹the Bush White House categorically rejected 
them, and the offers died there.

[15] Among the professors of law at U.S. universities who contested the legality
of the U.S. war on Afghanistan are Marjorie Cohn, currently president of the 
National Lawyers Guild, Michael Ratner, now president of the Center for 
Constitutional Rights, Francis Boyle, Brian Foley, Jordan Paust, and John 

[16] See "Gallup International poll on terrorism in the U.S. (figures)," Gallup 
International, late September, 2001.  Also see Abid Aslam, "Polls Question 
Global Support for Military Campaign," Inter-Press Service, October 8, 2001; and
David Miller, "World Opinion Opposed the Attack on Afghanistan," Sterling Media 
Research Center, Scotland, November 21, 2001 (as posted to the Religion-online 
website).  Miller noted that "When polling companies do ask about alternatives 
[to the war-option], support for war falls away."  Hence, he added, this was the
reason why so much news media coverage systematically distorts the facts away 
from informing people about real alternatives and the real impact of the war on 
Afghanistan.  In Pakistan, a case with great resonance today, a Gallup 
International poll sponsored by Newsweek in the early days after the start of 
the U.S. war found that "Eighty-three percent of Pakistanis surveyed say they 
side with the Taliban, with a mere 3 percent expressing support for the United 
States."  ("Shifting Sympathies," Newsweek Web Exclusive, October 18, 2001.)

[17] Here we are content to cite two definitions of terrorism.  (1) "[V]violent 
acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws 
of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if 
committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;" and 
that "appear to be intended - (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or 
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, 
or kidnappingŠ."  (United States Code, Title 18, Part I, Ch. 113B, Section 2331,
1984.)  And (2) "Any actionŠthat is intended to cause death or serious bodily 
harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such act, by its nature
or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an 
international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act."  (A more 
secure world: Our shared responsibility. Report of the Secretary-General's 
High-level Panel on Threats (New York: United Nations, 2004), par. 164(d).)

[18] Abba Eban, "Morality and Warfare," Jerusalem Post, August 16, 1981.

[19] In Matt Rees, "Streets Red With Blood," Time Magazine, March 10, 2002.

[20] See, e.g., Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and
Propaganda (South End Press, 1982), esp. Ch. 2, "The Semantics and Role of 
Terrorism," pp. 21-45; and with Gerry O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry: The 
Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (Pantheon Books, 1989), 
esp. Ch. 3, "The Western Model and Semantics of Terrorism," pp. 37-51.

[21] Oscar Alfredo González and Horacio Cid de la Paz, Testimony on Secret 
Detention Camps in Argentina (Amnesty International, 1980).

[22] Thomas Donnelly et al., Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, 
and Resources for a New Century, Project for the New American Century, 
September, 2000, p. 51, col. 1.‹Also see n. 2, above.

[23] The last major "terrorism" report by the U.S. Department of State prior to 
9/11 was Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000 (April 30, 2001).  Within its 
Appendix B, "Background Information on Terrorist Groups," the entry for 
"al-Qaida" stated that the group "May have several hundred to several thousand 
members," adding that "Bin LadinŠis said to have inherited approximately $300 
million that he uses to finance the group."  In the Congressional Research 
Services' last major assessment of "Near Eastern Terrorism" published the day 
before 9/11, the CRS reported that "Bin Ladin is estimated to have about $300 
million in personal financial assets with which he funds his network of as many 
as 3,000 Islamic militants."  (Kenneth Katzman, Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups 
and State Sponsors, 2001, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2001, p.

[24] According to conservative estimates on global military trends in the annual
Yearbook published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 
whereas the last Clinton budget for fiscal year 2001 devoted $345 billion to 
military account, by fiscal year 2006, Bush's fifth, this had increased to at 
least $529 billion (i.e., both in constant 1985 dollars).  The SIPRI Yearbook 
2007 reports that "U.S. outlaysŠincreased by 53 percentŠbetween 2001 and 2006, 
primarily as a result of allocations of $381 billion for military operations in 
Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere."  World military expenditure in 2001 was $839 
billion, but by 2006 was "estimated to have reached $1204 billion in current 
U.S. dollars," an increase of "37 percent between 1997 and 2006."  The primary 
driver of these huge increases: The mythical Global War on Terror which, in 
reality, has witnessed the most aggressive U.S. and allied military expansion in
history.  (See SIPRI Yearbook 2002 Summary, pp. 12-13; and SIPRI Yearbook 2007 
Summary, pp. 12-13.)

[25] See, e.g., Larry Birns and Michael Lettieri,  "Washington May Soon Try to 
Pin the Venezuelan Uranium Tail on the Iranian Nuclear Donkey," Council on 
Hemispheric Affairs, May 9, 2006; and Larry Birns and Tiffany Isaacs, "Chávez 
Could Fuel U.S. Propaganda Campaign with Upcoming Bilateral talks with Kim Jong 
Il, If Misguided Strategy Is Adopted," Council on Hemispheric Affairs, July 16, 

[26] See Chalmers Johnson, "Abolish the CIA!," TomDispatch, November 5, 2004.  
Also see Johnson's Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, 2nd.
Ed. (Metropolitan Books, 2004).

[27] "Philippines: A government that needs U.S. business," Business Week, 
November 4, 1972.

[28]  Michael Ignatieff, "Who Are Americans to Think That Freedom Is Theirs to 
Spread?"  New York Times Magazine, June 26, 2005 (as posted to the Harvard 
University website).

[29] See, e.g., Marjorie Cohn, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has 
Defied the Law (PoliPoint Press, 2007).

[30] Dana Priest, "Foreign Network at Front of CIA's Terror Fight," Washington 
Post, November 18, 2005.

[31] George W. Bush, "President Delivers 'State of the Union'," White House 
Office of the Press Secretary, January 28, 2003.

[32] Chris Floyd, "Sacred Terror," Moscow Times, December 8, 2005 (as posted by 
the Information Clearing House).

[33] Dick Marty et al., Alleged secret detentions and unlawful inter-state 
transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states (Doc. 10957), 
Council of Europe, June 12, 2006,.  Annex, "The global 'spider's web'."  Also 
see Christos Pourgourides et al., Enforced Disappearances (Doc. 10679), Council 
of Europe, September 19, 2005; and Dick Marty et al., Secret detentions and 
illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: Second
report (AS/Jur/2007/36), Council of Europe, June 7, 2007.

[34] Deborah Pearlstein et al., Ending Secret Detentions, Human Right First, 
June, 2004.

[35] Also see Deborah Pearlstein and Priti Patel, Behind the Wire: An Update to 
Ending Secret Detentions, Human Rights First, March, 2005; and Guantanamo and 
beyond: The continuing pursuit of unchecked executive power, Amnesty 
International, May 13, 2005.

[36] Based on interviews that it conducted in late 2003 and early 2004 with U.S.
military personnel serving in Iraq, a confidential report that the International
Committee of the Red Cross used to highlight prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib and 
other prisons run by the occupying forces is reputed to have estimated that "70 
percent to 90 percent of prisoners had been wrongly arrested"‹and, we might add,
this is assuming that the occupying forces had any right to arrest anybody.  See
Peter Slevin, "System Failures Cited for Delayed Action on Abuses," Washington 
Post, May 20, 2004; and R. Jeffrey Smith, "Army Report Warned in November About 
Prison Problems," Washington Post, May 30, 2004.

[37] Resolution 1267 (S/RES/1267), October 15, 1999.

[38] Anthony Goodman, "UN sanctions on Taliban to surrender Bin Laden force," 
The Independent, October 16, 1999; "Taleban slams U.N. sanctions over Osama bin 
Laden," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 16, 1999.‹Among the body of statements 
attributed to bin Laden over many years are several that identify the United 
Nations with the United States precisely because, in his view, various agencies 
of the UN have aligned themselves with the U.S. "war on terror."

[39] Resolution 1269 (S/RES/1269), October 19, 1999.  Barbara Crossette, "U.N. 
Council in Rare Accord: Fight Terrorism," New York Times, October 20, 1999.

[40] Resolution 1373 (S/RES/1373), September 28, 2001; Resolution 1540 
(S/RES/1540), April 28, 2004.

[41] John Mueller and Karl Mueller, "Sanctions of Mass Destruction," Foreign 
Affairs, May/June, 1999.‹These authors noted that economic sanctions (i.e., 
warfare) have been "deployed frequently, by large states rather than small ones,
and may have contributed to more deaths during the post-Cold War era than all 
weapons of mass destruction throughout historyŠ.The destructive potential of 
economic sanctions can be seen most clearly, albeit in an extreme form, in 
IraqŠ.No one knows with any precision how many Iraqi civilians have died as a 
result, but various agencies of the United Nations, which oversees the 
sanctions, have estimated that they have contributed to hundreds of thousands of
deathsŠ.If the U.N. estimates of the human damage in Iraq are even roughly 
correct,Šit would appear thatŠeconomic sanctions may well have been a necessary 
cause of the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called
weapons of mass destruction throughout history."

[42] Kofi Annan, In larger freedom: towards development, security and human 
rights for all (A/59/2005), United Nations, March 21, 2005, par. 91.

[43] In the case of Operation Allied Force, the U.S.-led NATO bloc's 1999 
aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Kofi Annan had quietly 
advocated on behalf of war for as many as nine months in advance of it.‹See, 
e.g., Kofi Annan, "Secretary-General Reflects on Intervention" (SG/SM/6613), 
Ditchley Foundation Lecture, United Kingdom, June 26, 1998; and Kofi Annan, 
"Secretary-General Calls for Unconditional Respect for Human Rights of Kosovo 
Citizens" (SG/SM/6878), NATO Headquarters, Belgium, January 28, 1999.  As Annan 
delivered these lectures in the context of NATO's threats of war, we hardly 
believe that they can be taken as calls for NATO to stand down.

[44] In the Legality of Use of Force cases (1999 - 2004), brought by the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia against ten of the members of NATO that attacked it in 
1999, the International Court of Justice ruled that as the defendant-powers 
refused to recognize the ICJ's jurisdiction in the cases brought before it by 
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the ICJ "manifestly lacks jurisdiction to 
entertain Yugoslavia's Application" and "cannot therefore indicate any 
provisional measure whatsoever"‹that is, lacking jurisdiction, it cannot issue 
an injunction or rule on the legality of NATO's use of force.  (See, e.g., 
Yugoslavia v. United States of America, June 2, 1999.  Each of the other nine 
cases wound up the same.)

[45] The 9/11 Commission Report, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon 
the United States, July 22, 2004, esp. Ch. 12, "What To Do? A Global Strategy," 
and Ch. 13, " How To Do It? A Different Way of Organizing the Government."  As 
recently as the first week of January 2008, former Commission co-chairs Thomas 
H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton complained about the CIA's withholding of evidence 
and obstruction of the Commission's inquiry.  See "Stonewalled by the C.I.A.," 
New York Times, January 2, 2008.

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