Posts Tagged ‘war’

Terrorism? or, An Act of War?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Terrorism? or, An Act of War?

The Oklahoma City Bombing

OKC Waco

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 11, 1995 (republished August 4, 2015)

[Note: This article was written over twenty years ago. It is republished with minor revisions. You can probably, with your knowledge of recent events, supplement what has been presented.]

 

Dresden, Germany, February 1945 — A series of allied bombing raids resulted in virtual firestorms, nearly destroying this city, which dated from the early 13th century, along with many of its centuries old architectural landmarks. Over 135,000 people, the vast majority being women and children, died during these raids.

Japan, August 1945 — Hiroshima, Japan, three-fifths of the city destroyed, along with 75,000 people, mostly women and children. Just a few days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, destroying half the city and killing another 75,000 people, again, mostly women and children. These three events killed 285,000 people, yet they were acts of war, and were intended to end World War II.

During the “Vietnam War,” Haiphong, the major North Vietnamese city, was bombed over and over, and in 1972 the harbor was mined. Much of the city was destroyed and tens of thousands lost their lives. There was, however, no “declaration of war” to justify these acts, yet we perceive them to be Acts of War.

April 15, 1986, in a strategic operation, naval air forces attacked military targets in Tripoli, Libya. One of those targets was the home of Muammar Qaddafi. Hundreds were killed, yet no “declaration of war” had existed between the United States and Libya.

December 20, 1989, United States forces, under the operational name “Just Cause”, invaded Panama with the purported purpose of arresting Manuel Noriega on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Hundreds died, and significant damage to the capital of Panama resulted. After trial, in December 1992, the federal judge from Miami ruled that Noriega was a “prisoner of war.”

On January 15, 1991, unified forces from 31 nations began a new form of warfare (without declaration) against Iraq. For five weeks smart missiles and smart bombs were directed against, the capital, Baghdad. Smart bombs were able to enter ventilation stacks of bomb shelters, killing women and children without destroying the shelter. Cruise missiles traveled hundreds of miles to explode close to their targets, killing tens of thousands of civilians in this new game of attrition. Never, however, a treaty of peace, for there was never a “declaration of war.”

These acts are not considered to be acts of “terrorism”, for they occurred during the course of a war. It is quite clear that during a war, acts, which might otherwise be considered below the dignity of man, can occur and be accepted as a consequence of war. If there is a war and thousands die, those deaths are written off as a consequence of war. Even without the accepted, and constitutionally required, declaration of war, war can be waged against innocent civilians with no effort made for discrimination of targets.

Since the “Declaration of War” has, apparently, become an unnecessary act; perhaps we can find a way of determining when a war exists by other means. In the Academic American Encyclopedia, under “court”, we find that, “Courts fulfill three important functions: (1) they resolve disputes that, while often routine, are crucial to those involved; (2) they provide protection from illegal actions by government and individuals; and (3) occasionally, they resolve disputes of great political and social significance.” Clearly, then under a normal circumstance, “protection from illegal acts by government” should leave the government open to be punished by the court. One can reasonably conclude that a state of war exists when government commits illegal acts against a people, with impunity.

No judicial process will hold the victors to task. Justice must be set aside during time of war, which is clearly affirmed in the Constitution (Article I, Section 9, clause 2, dealing with Habeas Corpus, and, Article V, Bill of Rights, dealing with exemption from Grand Jury process). So, perhaps, a state of war (since declarations have become a thing of the past) can best be determined by the fact that no trials are held to determine justice, or injustice, for the deaths that are a consequence of hostile action. How else, in this modern age, can the determination be made that a war even existed?

This being the case, perhaps we should look around and see if there are other wars going on, perhaps at this very moment. Maybe we should start back in August 1992. Hostilities broke out and, in the first incident, two “men” were killed. Hostilities ceased for a few days, but, then, another act of senseless murder occurred when Vicki Weaver stood in her doorway and was killed by a single sniper’s bullet. Well, this was clearly not a war since a trial was held. Unfortunately, even though three people were killed, no one was found guilty. This, then, must be a war, because war crimes trials were held, but the heinous offender could not be identified.

Just a few months later, another war began. This war lasted 51 days and the subsequent war crimes trials were held almost a year later. We know that this was a war because nine people were found guilty of killing (or other related acts of complicity) four men who were dressed and equipped as soldiers.

We can determine which side each side was on in these last two incidents by looking at a couple of factors. First was the uniform. One side chose black military uniforms, complete with web gear, automatic rifles, tanks, helicopters, grenades and other modern implements of war. The other side wore normal clothes — jeans, dresses, sneakers, etc., and used simple, legal weapons. They also sought refuge in their home and place of worship. The final indicator is that they fired only in self-defense. And, it must be war, since even the commanding general at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. never described the acts of the enemy as terrorism.

On April 22, 1993, I left Waco, after 47 days, to return to Florida. I remember that I was somewhat dumbfounded by the events of April 19, and until I returned to Waco, in mid May, had not been able to sort out certain thoughts. When I returned to Waco, and finally stood on the concrete that was once the floor of the Mt. Carmel church, I looked around and saw partially burned remnants of utensils, clothes, books, letters, and toys, indicative of the lives once lived, and since lost, here. I recalled similar situations in Vietnam, and realized that a state of war existed here, in the United States of America. I realized that I was at war with the United States Government, but, that the war that I was in was still a “cold war”. Not so for those who died in those ashes, but for many, a state of war had begun.

After the Oklahoma City Bombing, we heard the battle cry come up from the side wearing black uniforms, “Terrorism,” they yell, over and over again. “Terrorism, it’s unfair, and they killed women and children. Terrorism, there is no other word for it.”

Many leaders who were on the side of the patriots also take up the battle cry. Many, who just a few years before, cried out that the surprise attacks by the Black uniformed soldiers were acts of war, now cry terrorism along with their enemies of the recent past. “Condemn them,” they yell. “Hang them after a quick and speedy trial. They are not warriors; they are cowards. Hang them, be done with them”. The cry came out from all those leaders who, so recently professed, to be on the side of the patriots.

Meanwhile, many who, just a few years before, had taken the battle cry of “Do whatever is necessary to end this mess,” are now questioning the fairness of the actions of the black uniforms, and beginning to understand why the poorly equipped soldiers of the other side have resorted to an act that cost 167 lives.

Perhaps it might be best to dispel the association of “baby killer” with the act that occurred in Oklahoma City. Since the sixties, the construction of federal buildings has been an “anti-terrorist” design. Since the bombing of Flight 103 (December 1988), we have been advised that federal buildings are potential targets of such bombings. As we learned from Waco, keeping your children in a location that has danger associated with it leaves the responsibility on the parent, not the aggressor. In fact, I never knew that there were day care centers in federal buildings. I supposed, prior to April 19, that the government had enough concern for children to move day care centers to a locations away from what it knew to be potential targets.

The determination of what constitutes an act of terrorism has to be defined by each of us, individually. It cannot be left to a government which controls the weapons of war, the streets, the language, and the press, to make that determination for us. If we allow this to happen, the stigma that will be placed on any act, whether it be the self-defensive actions against four BATF agents killed while assaulting a church in Texas, or a U. S. Marshall who has just killed a dog and a fourteen year old boy (Sammy Weaver), or bombing a federal building where people who chose to be employees of a government run amuck. We must resist succumbing to the need for approval by such controlling entities.

This leaves us, then, with the question:

Was this an Act of Terrorism? or, an Act of War?