Ah, to be above the law!

So several statements about last night’s Presidential Address really, really bother me. First, let me refer you to the following compilation of Q & A’s by Noam Chomsky. K. Read that? Now, The Taliban, currently in power in Afghanistan, have asked to see some evidence about Bin Laden’s involvement in the WTC attack. Which seems pretty reasonable to me. That whole international law thing. (On a side note, does the fact that CNN’s headline the for the above-linked article read ‘Taliban refuse to back down’ bother anyone else? No mention that maybe, maybe seeing the evidence that U.S. has so far refused to share with anyone, including it’s own people, is a reasonable request? The U.S. would not extradite someone from U.S. soil without the foreign government making a case that would, I presume, include some evidence against the suspect). Of course, the U.S. probably doesn’t have anything beyond circumstatial and questionable evidence against Bin Laden, and so can’t produce any facts, so simply ignores any laws and forges ahead.

The second item that has me worried is the following statement:

‘And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.’ The U.S. and intellectual middleweight in terms of foreign relations, has built its entire defense/offense military policy and foreign relations on the concept of us vs. them. Who ‘them’ is has changed over times, from England, to France, to Germany, to ‘Soviet Threat’ to Iraq and now, to ‘Those who do not agree with us’. This is a scary, scary thing to say. The U.S. has decreed that the world is once again in two camps, regardless of what the nation in question wants. Either help the U.S., or face military agression, apparently. There is no apparent neutrality here. Which is unfortunate. Because while I don’t feel like I’m ‘with the terrorists’, if I were running this country, I would not support the U.S. military actions right now. I do not support their military involvement within the borders of another country to their own ends. This smacks of old-world imperialism, and it sickens me. Long before I would support the U.S.’s actions, I would want to see them rejoin the international community that they have so steadily rejected. This includes non-military organizations like the Kyoto Accords, the International Court and the conference on racism, but it, perhaps more importantly, include treaties banning land mines, small arms, chemical and biological weapons that the U.S. has consistently dragged its feet on, or negotiated to a point where it is laughable.

George Bush has said they will target every terrorist of global scope. Does the IRA count? Because they only target Britain, oh whom Bush says ‘America has no truer friend than Great Britain. (APPLAUSE) Once again, we are joined together in a great cause.’ And the IRA receives most of its funding from American sources.

Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore, as well as many others, have several interesting things to say about what constitutes terrorism, and just how often the U.S. practices it, and I encourage everyone to hunt down articles by them, particularly recent ones about this attack. Zmag is an excellent resource for these sorts of things.

It must be so nice to be above the law…

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