On August 20, 1998 the United States (US) government bombed Sudan and Afghanistan in “retaliation” for the US Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya earlier this year. The U.S. government through the Headfixing Industry (corporate owned TV, radio, and their various news agencies) said that its use of cruise missiles to bomb Sudan was justified because the government of that country was using that facility to create nerve gas (VX). They also claimed that the location in Afghanistan that was bombed was a “terrorist training camp.”
Osama Bin Laden’s “Network”–
Made In The U.S.A.
While we don’t know who is responsible for the US Embassy bombings, we do know that the US government is responsible for helping to create the mujahedin (holy warriors) of Afghanistan. A few years ago this motley crew was hailed by the rulers of the US as so- called “freedom fighters” today they are hypocritically denounced as “terrorist” by the most powerful terrorists in the world, the US government and its military and intelligence agencies. Osama bin Laden’s “network”, for instance, was financed, trained, and armed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during Cold War II against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. The “terrorist training camps” in Afghanistan were constructed by the US government. No wonder they knew exactly were to aim the missiles!
In one of the many demonstrations at which the spirit of protest and indignation erupted in Sudan, Pakistan, and the Near East a representative of Hamas (a Palestine based group) said: “America will reap the harvest of its aggression.” Crime Bill Clinton’s Cronies had the nerve to warn against an increase in indiscriminate terrorism against Americans. No shit Sherlock! The fact is, that by perpetrating a form of state terror qualitatively more murderous than any of its third world targets can generate, the US imperialists are inciting attacks against American
citizens abroad. The world is a lot less safe because of the US bombings. Vacation anyone?
U.S. Government Caught Lying…Again
On August 21, 1998 Crime Bill Clinton’s cronies claimed through every sector of the Headfixing Industry that they had “irrefutable evidence” that a “secret chemical weapons plant” that produced nerve gas had been bombed in Sudan. The government of Sudan claims that the facility made medicines and veterinary products.
Who should we believe? Let’s examine the facts. The US government claimed: * That the plant was a part of a highly secretive, tightly secured military-industrial complex in Sudan, and that the plant produced no commercial products.
One has to overcome a feeling of disgust to counter such base lies. FACT – The Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant located in Khartoum, Sudan was the pride of that country. Regular tours of international dignitaries where conducted showcasing this symbol of national progress. The plant produced such badly needed medicines as antibiotics, antimalarial and antidiarrheal drugs, intravenous fluids, and some anti-worm veterinary materials. The plant had a contract with the UN to supply these medicines to other countries.
At a recent forum Dick Becker, a representative of the International Action Center who visited Sudan right after the bombing, said that the plant was such a “secret” that there were signs in the streets directing people to its location!
The Sudanese government came to the UN to request an independent investigation of the bombed site of the plant in Khartoum, to prove that the factory’s only function was making medicine and veterinary supplies. The US blocked the request, and the Security Council shelved the discussion.
Ex-President Jimmy Carter, hardly an opponent of imperialist aggression, has called for a UN inquiry into the US raid on Sudan. He said,”If the Sudanese are guilty, they should be condemned both for lying and for contributing to terrorist activities,..Otherwise, we should admit our error and make amends to those who suffered loss or injury.”(NYT, 9/18/98) * That Osama bin Laden had heavily invested in the plant, making him a part owner.
FACT – Salih Idris is the sole owner of the plant. US intelligence officials then tried to say he is a front man for bin Laden. “But his lawyer says Idris, an adviser to Saudi Arabia’s largest bank, has never met bin Laden.”(NYT, 9/21/98). Even the Wall Street Journal on August 24, 1998 ran a story headlined “Sudan Plant’s Apparent Owner Has No Extremist Ties”.
* That they bombed a facility that produced a key ingredient for a deadly nerve gas, called VX. The U.S. government insisted that the chemical, ethyl methylphosphonothionate or EMPTA , found in a soil sampling outside the plant could only mean that the plant was making the nerve gas agent VX. And that there were no known commercial uses for EMPTA.
FACT – Real-world chemical experts provided a counterpoised explanation.”Several chemical-weapons experts outside the government say the single soil sample, if it was not carefully preserved and quickly tested, could have misidentified the key ingredient. They said EMPTA is chemically similar to several commercially available pesticides and herbicides, including the well-known commercially available weedkiller called Round-Up.”(NYT, 8/29/98) Raid is a popular pesticide, Round-Up a common herbicide. Raid! Round-Up! Looks like we better get rid of the Roach sprays and weedkillers before the local Swat Teams pay us a visit. As the days went on, every claim made by Crime Bill Clinton’s crew collapsed under the scrutiny of the physical evidence. It seems that if they were talking, they were lying.
“Senior administration officials concede that they made inaccurate statements about the plant on Aug. 20 and did a poor job of publicly stating their case against the factory.
“`We were not accurate’, a senior administration official said. `That was a mistake'”(NYT, 9/21/98) Mistake indeed. This bombing was a calculated display of terror in the service of imperialist domination. Nor was it the first time that lies and deception were used to cover-up their barbarity. From the Phoenix mass assassination program during the Vietnam War to the murderous campaigns carried out by the CIA’s Nicaraguan Contra’s and Cuban gusanos the US ruling class has always tried to use professional liars and charlatans to cover their tracks and conceal their crimes against humanity.
Remember the bombing of what was called by the US military a “biological weapons facility” in Baghdad–which turned out to be a baby formula factory–during the US-led onslaught against Iraq in 1991? Military force cannot transform lies into truth anymore than it can transform manure into gold.
But the US capitalists cannot rule by force alone. It is imperative that false consciousness be constantly nurtured and reinforced. This is the primary function of the Headfixing Industry.