Thursday, November 24, 2005

What can we expect from war criminals 

The other day one of the readers here, Slave Revolt, mentioned that it had come out that the U.S. and Britian considered bomging the TV station Al-Jazeera. Sure enough this has since been confirmed. Today some people held a protest against this outrage in front of Al-Jazeera's headquarters. I particulary liked the sign "Don't bomb the messenger".

Think this is just an outlandish story and the United States would never do such a thing? If you think that way your memory is too short. The U.S. blew up the Serbian TV station when they were bombing that country into submission in 1998.

Here are a couple key quotes from that outrage:

Tony Blair, in Washington for Nato's 50th anniversary summit, insisted that bombing television stations was 'entirely justified' since they were part of the 'apparatus of dictatorship and power of Milosevic'. He added: 'The responsibility for every single part of this action lies with the man who has engaged in this policy of ethnic cleansing and must be stopped.'

At a heated press briefing at the Ministry of Defence, Clare Short, the international development secretary, said: 'This is a war, this is a serious conflict, untold horrors are being done. The propaganda machine is prolonging the war and it's a legitimate target.'

Admiral Sir Ian Garnett, chief of joint operations at the ministry of defence, said Mr Milosevic's 'propaganda machine consists of transmitters but also the studios from which the information is transmitted. That makes it part of the overall military structure. Both elements have to be attacked.'

Nato's military spokesman, Air Commodore David Wilby, two weeks ago described RTS, the Serbian state broadcasting station, as a 'legitimate target which filled the airways with hate and with lies over the years'. However, Jamie Shea, the Nato council spokesman, denied that RTS was a target, distinguishing between transmitters 'integrated into [military] command and control commmunications' and normal broadcasting facilities.

This is so far over the top its hard to know where to begin. Let me just use one example though to illustrate its absurdity. Most of the TV stations in the metro New York area broadcast from the top of the World Trade Center. So I guess it was legitimate for the World Trade Center to be blown up on the grounds it was broadcasting lies and inciting hatred and therefore a legitimate military target. I'm sure the U.S. leadership would love that arguement.

There really is no restraining the criminality of the leadership of the United States and Great Britian. And I would like for someone to come and explain how all those journalists killed in Iraq by U.S. forces were accidents. "We don't target journalists" will be the U.S. response. As the above shows anyone who believes that lie is just plain ignorant of recent history.

There is only one appropriate response to this criminality and that is the one adopted by the insurgents in Iraq - fight back and fight back hard.


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