Socialist Worker

Coalition of hypocrites

Issue No. 1767

The bloody record of Bush and his allies

GEORGE BUSH has used the horror of the attack on the World Trade Centre to 'rally the world against international terrorism'. The US wants to launch a revenge attack. It is targeting not just those behind the attacks in New York, but any state that dares to stand up against it. Bush wants to present whatever he does as a justifiable attack on an 'evil' enemy, part of what he and Tony Blair present as a war of 'civilisation' against 'barbarism'.

The countries that make up Bush's coalition know all about barbarism and terror. They themselves have been responsible for both. Among them are some of the most violent and repressive regimes in the world.

RUSSIA under its leader Vladimir Putin is responsible for scenes of devastation every bit as terrible as those in New York last week. Russia has unleashed the full power of its military to pound the people of the small republic of Chechnya since late 1999.

It is the second time in six years Russia has devastated the country, both times bombing homes, hospitals and schools regardless of civilian casualties. It has virtually razed the Chechen capital, Grozny, to the ground, killed some 50,000 people and made many, many more into homeless refugees. Last year while this horror was going on the then US president, Bill Clinton, said Putin had got off 'to a good start'. 'We are together on the core points,' said Clinton.

At the same time Britain's Tony Blair also praised Putin, and rushed to be the first Western leader to meet him and shake his hand.

CHINA has occupied the small state of Tibet since 1950, and has brutally put down all signs of resistance to its rule. In 1989 its rulers massacred pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, killing thousands. The regime routinely jails dissidents, has tortured them, and bans all opposition. It executes thousands of people every year. In recent years it has brutally repressed the Falun Gong religious group and is now trying to claim its persecution of national minorities in the north west of China, who happen to be Islamic, is a war on 'terror'.

The US wants PAKISTAN to provide bases for any invasion into neighbouring Afghanistan. Pakistan is ruled over by the very undemocratic General Musharraf, who came to power in a military coup in 1999. Pakistan's neighbour INDIA is also backing Bush. The Indian regime has meted out appalling repression against those in the state of Kashmir who are fighting for independence from both India and Pakistan.

In JAPAN the new right wing prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, wants to overturn the country's official anti-war position and use Japanese troops alongside the US military in East Asia.

He recently became the first ever Japanese prime minister to visit the graves of right wing Japanese war criminals who were responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of Chinese and Korean people in the 1930s and 1940s. Many Middle Eastern states have also rushed to join the coalition. These regimes have little or no democracy and all ruthlessly crush any opposition.

JORDAN slaughtered 30,000 Palestinians in 1970. SAUDI ARABIA is ruled by a dictatorship which cuts off the hands of small time criminals, and jails or executes its opponents. EGYPT locks up oppositionists in concentration camps in the desert.

And nearer home BRITAIN, under Tony Blair, was the major driving force behind NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 which killed 1,500 people, mostly innocent civilians and refugees.

Killing West ignores

GEORGE BUSH describes his 'war on terrorism' as the 'first war of the 21st century'. That shows just how little he cares about people in other parts of the world. There have been numerous wars in the 18 months since the new century began. Tens of thousands of people have died in those 18 months as Russia has continued its war in Chechnya.

Tens of thousands have also died in the civil war that has raged in Sierra Leone in Africa. That war is fuelled by the lust for diamonds and the profit they bring, and British troops have been involved. In the Democratic Republic of Congo a brutal war has raged for the last four years. Around 2.5 million people have died in that war.

State sponsored terror

THE US state has sponsored coups, and terrorist and guerrilla groups, to do its bidding across the world. It has used these groups to overthrow governments, massacre civilians and drive millions from their homes.

In 1973, on 11 September, the same date as the World Trade Centre attacks, the CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected government in Chile. Then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had plotted for three years to get the Chilean military to carry out the coup and assassinate people in the armed forces who stood in the way of the plan.

When the coup came, the new regime, led by General Pinochet, killed 10,000 people, among them the elected president Salvador Allende. In the years afterwards the US backed Operation Condor, which involved assassinating opponents of both the Chilean and Argentinian regimes. The US also backed murderous right wing forces like Renamo in Mozambique and UNITA in Angola.

In the 1980s over one million people died in Mozambique as a result of the Renamo war.

As well as the killing, Renamo specialised in spreading terror by amputating legs, arms, or someone's nose or ears. In Angola the US backed the right wing UNITA group, which waged a terrible war against the elected government. Over one million people have died in 25 years of war.

The US has also backed brutal terror groups much closer to home. It backed the right wing Contra forces that invaded Nicaragua in the 1980s. The Contras were funded via drugs money which was channelled by many of the US leaders now in Bush's White House to buy arms. The Contras raped, slaughtered and carried out random acts of horror across Nicaragua.

The US also intervened in the civil war in Nicaragua's neighbour El Salvador. It backed up murderous paramilitary groups and death squads. Around 75,000 people died in El Salvador as a result. In Guatemala the horror carried out through the 1980s and into the 1990s by US-backed governments and death squads was such that even President Clinton had to apologise to Guatemala last year for what had happened.

The crimes of Sharon

ISRAELI prime minister Ariel Sharon last week described Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as 'our Osama Bin Laden'. This was despite the fact that everyone including the US CIA acknowledges that Arafat and the Palestinians had nothing do with the attacks in the US. And Sharon's grotesque comment came as Yasser Arafat was personally giving blood to help the victims of the US attack.

Sharon did not stop at these foul words. Israeli gunships and troops invaded Jericho, Jenin and Ramallah, Palestinian-controlled areas, last week, killing 24 Palestinians. Sharon's record shows he is a war criminal.

Last weekend was the nineteenth anniversary of the massacre of 2,000 Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon. Even an Israeli tribunal found that Sharon shared responsibility for allowing that slaughter to happen.

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Sat 22 Sep 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1767
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