COLUMN:America – the next bombing target

Tim Paluch

“The attack of bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.” – Article 25, The Hague Convention

I can distinctively remember a certain president of the United States, six-shooters drawn, donned in spurs and a 10-gallon hat, exuding a sense of cowboy imperialism as he vowed to “smoke dem terrorists out of der holes.” In true Clint Eastwood/John Wayne/Yosemite Sam fashion, Sheriff Dubya vowed to capture Osama bin Laden with any means necessary, alluding to vintage WIld West “dead or alive” posters.

Any nation who knowingly harbors terrorists will face the same fate as Afghanistan, we later discovered, a realization that most likely had several countries – Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Iran – fearing future attacks after Afghanistan.

But there is another nation that is currently harboring a known terrorist, far from the political instability of the Middle East, a terrorist responsible for hundreds and thousands of unnecessary deaths and numerous state-orchestrated realpolitik interventions that destroyed the political fiber of democratic nations. That country is the United States, and that terrorist is Henry Kissinger, national security adviser and secretary of state to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Declassified government documents show that the man who claims he brought peace to Vietnam actually is a liar who designed American foreign policy with illegal coups and bombs rather than diplomacy and compromise. But what exactly is “terrorism?”

We’ll take Mr. Kissinger’s own definition of “terrorism,” which he explained at a speech in Britain in November. According to Kissinger, terrorism is defined as “undiscriminating attacks on civilians designed to break up the social fabric.”

Sounds about right.

Kissinger is the man responsible for orchestrating and subsequently covering up the illegal Southeast Asia air war during the Vietnam War, arguably the most savage and indiscriminate sustained bombing attack against civilians in history, in which nearly 4 million tons of bombs were dropped on undefended civilian populations, twice the volume dropped on all of Europe and the Pacific during World War II. According to a series of articles written by Christopher Hitchens for Harper’s, official reports estimate that up to 350,000 civilians were slaughtered in Laos as a result of the illegal bombing campaign. In Cambodia, that number was 600,000.

According to Hitchens, Air Force maps of targeted areas showed them to be densely populated. All this was done in secret, without Congress’ approval, yet alone knowledge.

Add to this Kissinger’s position that the United States would back the anti-Communist side in disputes solely because it was anti-Communist. A prime example is the coup in Chile orchestrated by Kissinger and Nixon. Kissinger planned the kidnapping (which eventually led to his murder) of Chilean chief of staff Rene Schneider in 1970, which set the stage for the U.S.-supported bloody Augusto Pinochet coup against democratically-elected president Salvador Allende.

Kissinger was the man behind the planning, disregarding the fact that Chile was an advanced democracy whose people just elected Allende. And sure, he may not have been carrying the knife that carried out these heinous acts of murder, but come to think about it, neither was Osama bin Laden.

The United States works under the arrogant assumption that terrorists must be from another nation, when in fact continues to harbor an international terrorist of the utmost degree – one responsible for the deliberate mass killings of hundreds of thousands of civilians in a neutral country and one behind the planning of the kidnapping of an official in a democratic nation in order to conduct a right-wing coup to prevent a democratically elected president from taking office. If those attacks don’t “break up the social fabric,” I can’t imagine anything could.

If Henry Kissinger is not a terrorist, neither is Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. If Henry Kissinger’s undeniable disregard for human life is not terrorism, then terrorism does not exist.

I just hope the United States gives the United States some time to hand Kissinger over before the United States’ carpet bombing of the United States begins.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the Daily.