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Al-Shifa

The United States, in response to the bombing of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed the Shifa pharmaceuticals factory near Khartoum in Sudan which the US claimed was producing nerve gas. There seems to be little evidence that this was indeed producing nerve gas- many of the bio-active chemicals in nerve gas and agro-chemicals use the same chemical building blocks: To claim that the presence of the building blocks means you will use them for VX nerve gas is as stupid as claiming that anyone with Nitrate weedkiller and petrol (e.g. in your garage) is about to make a terrorist bomb or to claim that the concrete you bought for your drive is actually to build a pill-box!

New Scientist magazine published a report on September 19th 1998 when they went through the evidence and the procedures that the Americans could have followed.

Sudan is not a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), but the USA could have asked the UN Security Council to use the CWC inspection procedure to inspect the Al Shifa plant. It chose to bomb instead.

As part of the same attack by the USA in response to the embassy bombings, they also launched cruise missiles at Afghanistan. How about the argument that the Trade Centre Bombing was revenge for the "unprovoked" attack on Afghanistan? Until the Americans can consider this sort of option, they have no hope of understanding world opinion.

I want to note that I am particularly upset that the small and weak countries cannot receive a fair hearing when the US decides to flex its muscles. I love peace, but I have concern that the US could end up being "another Israel" if they are not careful. Once a cycle of violence starts it can be hard to stop.

America: Turmeric Patent

1996: Patent

There was a furore in India after a patent was filed in the US on the wound-healing properties of turmeric, something which Indians had known for centuries. On what basis is the US doing this?

 

America: Chile

1973 - 1990: Chile

On September 11, 1973, the four branches of the Armed Forces, led by Army Commander-in-Chief General Augusto Pinochet, violently overthrew the constitutionally elected government of President Salvador Allende, marking the beginning of 17 years of military rule in Chile. During this time, lots of people were killed by Pinochet's regime. What is not widely known is that Pinochet was trained and nurtured by the USA for this very job. What right did the USA have to intervene in Chilean affairs?

America: Israel: 1948-present

1948 - present: Israel

The founding of the Israeli state occured with much difficulty. Due to the activities of Hitler, there was a substantial Jewish lobby in the United States that has provided support for Israel. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, there is a feeling amongst many Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims that the United States provides the aircraft, bombs, and missiles that kill so many Palestinians. The Koran (as I understand it) operates a kind of "Nato treaty" for attack by non-Muslims: If anyone attacks a Muslim, he should be attacked by every Muslim.... and this has obvious implications for US security when the US has involvement in so many things that kill Muslims.

The United States has been very mute in its criticism of Israel, even when Israel steps outside the range of the acceptable. People wouldn't mind if the USA was much quieter in general, but this attitude to Israel is antagonising to the friends of the Palestinians.

(The USA complained about the number of UN Security Council Resolutions in place about Iraq that Iraq was ignoring, but it continually ignores the resolutions passed about Israel. It invaded Iraq because Iraq was in breach of resolutions, but continues to massively support Israel)