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Mumia Abu-Jamal, "The Forgotten Terrorists"

The Forgotten Terrorists

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

For far too many Americans, the word 'terrorism' has acquired a whole
new meaning in the dusty aftermath of 11 September 2001. The word now
instantly refers to the mental imagery of the shattered twin towers of
the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, or the broken edifice of
the Pentagon building in Washington, or even the smouldering mound of
earth in southwestern Pennsylvania.

They refer to the thousands of people, from dozens of countries, who
lost their lives when the buildings were shattered, broken and leveled
into dust. But, if truth be told, they refer mostly to Americans.
When an airliner in the far-off South China Sea area develops engine
trouble, and plummets into the ocean depths, reporters always rush to
inform us, "Flight 502 of a PanAm to Hong Kong went down over the South
China Sea today: 15 Americans were onboard." In such a common report, it
is implicitly assumed that those of other nationalities are of lesser
importance. They don't 'really' matter.

It is indeed possible to look at the events of 11 September in a
somewhat similar light. For, if it is indeed found that the acts of that
day may be traced to terrorists, working out of Middle Eastern
organizations, what most will ignore is another kind of terrorism. It is
waged against the poor and powerless of many nations. It kills, maims,
tortures, and destroys many thousands of people every year.

It is the spectre of State Terrorism.

Don't expect to find eye-catching exposes in the Daily Blah, or to hear
about it on your favorite network news program in the evening on the
tube. You have to look hard for this stuff. Consider the views of John
Stockwell, a former CIA station chief (Angola), who considers the work
that he was doing overseas, on behalf of the US government, to be
supporting terrorism. He looks at the time when a man named Bush headed
the CIA:

CIA Director George Bush allegedly worked to convince the former
OPMONGOOSE operators to reorganize outside the United States. In June
1976, they went to the Dominican Republic and founded CORU, a
counter-revolutionary group. On October 26, 1976, they blew up an
airplane that was taking off from Barbados, killing 73 passengers on
board in a raw act of terrorism. Luis Posada Carrilles and Orlando Bosch
were jailed in Venezuela for that bombing. There is evidence that
members of this same CIA/Cuban exile community participated in the
killing of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. We also know that the
CIA's 1980 contra program later managed to get Luis Posada Carilles out
of prison in Venezuela. They put him to work for Felix Rodriguez, who
was reporting directly to then Vice-President Bush's Office. As Felix
Rodriguez told the press, "We needed him." He was referring to Carilles,
the terrorist airplane bomber (See The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role
in the New World Order
(Boston: South End Press, 1991).

These are the words of a man who spent over a decade in the CIA, and
even served briefly on a subcommittee of the National Security Council,
during the Kissinger era. Even though his work had to be cleared by CIA
censors to be published, his view of how the United States government
has functioned, through its CIA, is telling:

To summarize, the CIA has overthrown functioning constitutional
democracies in over 20 countries. It has manipulated elections in dozens
of countries. It has created standing armies and directed them to fight.
It has organized ethnic minorities and encouraged them to revolt in
numerous volatile areas. (p. 73)

Looking at CIA activities abroad, in Asia, Africa, and Latin America,
this former station chief offers a conservative estimate of how many
people, all over the world, "...would not have died if U.S. tax dollars
had not been spent by the CIA to inflame tensions, finance covert
political and military activity, and destabilize societies," and comes
up with a figure of: 6,000,000. Six million people, he says, "and this
is a minimum figure" (p. 81).

Are Afghan-trained rebels, from various Middle Eastern states,
responsible for the carnage of 11 September, 2001? Who armed them? Who
trained them? Who loosed them upon the world? Their very deadly
expertise are your tax dollars at work.

Americans mean one thing, when they think of terrorism.

Americans from the South, in Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Brazil,
Cuba, El Salvador, Chile, etc., think of something else.

People from Indonesia, South Africa, Angola, Egypt, the Occupied
Territories of Palestine, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and the like, think
of something else.