Thursday, July 1, 2010

School of Terror

John Pilger

June 30, 2010

This is an excerpt from" target="_blank">John Pilger’s bestseller The New Rulers Of The World.

Much was made of al-Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan, the target of American bombers. But these were kindergartens compared with the world’s leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia. Known until recently as the School of the Americas, it trained some 60,000 Latin American soldiers, policemen, paramilitaries and intelligence agents. Forty per cent of the Cabinet ministers who served in the genocidal regimes of Lucas Garcia, Rios Montt and Mejia Victores in Guatemala are graduates.

In 1993, the UN Truth Commission for El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war; two-thirds of them had been trained at Fort Benning. They included Roberto D’Aubuisson, the leader of the death squads and the murders of Archbishop Oscar Romero and a group of Jesuit priests. In Chile, the school’s graduates ran Pinochet’s secret police and three principal concentration camps. In 1996, the US government was forced to release copies of the school’s training manuals. For aspiring terrorists, these recommended blackmail, torture, execution and the arrest of witnesses’ relatives.

Renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc, the school’s website is missing its 'History’ pages. George Monbiot asked:

Given that the evidence linking the school to continuing atrocities in Latin America is rather stronger than the evidence linking al-Qaeda training camps to the attack on New York, what should we do about the 'evil-doers’ in Fort Benning, Georgia? Well, we could urge our governments to apply full diplomatic pressure and to seek extradition of the school’s commanders for trial on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity. Alternatively, we could demand that our governments attack the United States, bombing its military installations, cities and airports in the hope of overthrowing its unelected government and replacing it with a new administration administered by the UN. In case this proposal proves unpopular with the American people, we could win their hearts and minds by dropping naan bread and dried curry in plastic bags stamped with the Afghan flag.

Putting aside his mockery, Monbiot pointed out that the only moral difference between America’s terrorism and that of al-Qaeda is that the latter was puny by comparison.

The trail of blood is endless: from the subjugation of the Philippines and Central America, to the greatest terrorist acts of all, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; from the devastation of Indochina, such as the murder of 600,000 peasants in neutral Cambodia, and the use of chemicals and starvation against civilian populations, to the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane and the bombing of prisoners-of-war in a mud fort in Afghanistan.


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