Rogue State Par Excellence
from The Wisdom Fund,1999
an internet article
Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea,
Syria? By any objective criteria, based upon generally accepted
norms for civil society, the rogue state par excellence is not
among this frequently cited group of states.
The rogue state par excellence, the seventh
rogue state, has carried on a campaign of international terrorism
and genocide, has refused to abide by international law or treaties,
has violated norms of civil society, and has defied world opinion
to a degree unmatched by the frequently cited "rogue states."
Some recent examples:
On 20 August 1998, after two embassies,
in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, had been blown up, this rogue state
launched a missile strike on the El Shifa pharmaceutical factory
in Sudan, thereby, destroying more than 50 percent of this impoverished
nation's medicine producing capability. Today the London based
Independent reports that an investigation of the missile attack
Associates has concluded that there was no evidence to link the
facility or its owner to international terrorism.
Also, on August 20, 1998 this rogue state
fired 75 cruise missiles into the east of Afghanistan. The missile
strike was described as a blow at Ossama bin Laden's camp for
training terrorists. A few huts were destroyed, and several civilians
killed or injured.
Four months later, on December 16, 1998,
on the pretext that Iraq was not cooperating with the United Nations
Special Commission, this rogue state launched a massive attack
on Iraq. Over a four-day period 300 strike fighters, bombers and
support aircraft flew 600 sorties, more than half of them at night.
Another 40 ships took part in the attack, with 10 of them firing
cruise missiles. More than 600 bombs were dropped, 90 cruise missiles
fired from the air and another 300 from ships at sea.
These attacks, in which this rogue state
acted as judge, jury, and executioner, violated the United Nations
charter, and Security Council resolutions. They were almost universally
Using its $265 billion per year military
machine, its economic power, and $97 million appropriated for
the purpose of toppling the Iraqi government, this rogue state
has maintained crippling sanctions on Iraq whose military outlays
were $3 billion annually at their peak, and about $1.2 billion
recently. According to UNICEF statistics cited by Dennis Halliday,
the United Nations Humanitarian
Coordinator for Iraq who resigned in protest, these sanctions
have been killing five or six thousand children every month since
the 1991 Gulf War.
Also, as a result of at least one million
rounds of ammunition, coated in a radioactive material known as
depleted uranium, or DU, fired upon a retreating Iraqi army at
the close of the Gulf War, three times more children are being
born with congenital deformities than before the Gulf war reports
the London based Guardian/Observer (Dec 21, 1998). In both Britain
and the United States,
veterans of that same war are coming forward with reports of sick
and dying children.
Since mid-January of this year, this rogue
state has been dropping bombs on Iraqi radar and missile sites,
none of which violate any law or treaty. Frequently civilians
are also killed and injured. This is done under the guise of protecting
dissident groups in Iraq. The "no fly zones" imposed
upon Iraq by this rogue state and its allies have no basis in
law or treaty, and are a flimsy cover for violating the airspace
of a sovereign nation.
Last year, reports the Washington Post
(Dec. 22), this rogue state announced its decision to use a commercial
reactor for military nuclear programs which breaks a 53-year nonproliferation
policy it has long urged upon other countries, most recently North
Korea, India and Iraq, not to use nuclear power reactors to produce
plutonium or highly-enriched uranium, two other key components
About a week ago, reports the Associated
Press (Feb. 10) this rogue state conducted an underground nuclear
test. It was the sixth such test by this rogue state since a 1992
global ban on test explosions of nuclear weapons.
This rogue state has violated the Chemical
Weapons Convention since it was ratified (The Washington Post,
Sep. 17). According to the Washington based Stimson Center "For
the past 18 months, the [rogue state] has been the malignancy
in the midst of the CWC."
Now this rogue state proposes to violate
the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty. Its current budget proposal
contains $6.6 billion for a national missile defense system using
space-based sensors, and ground-based missiles, which experts
believe won't work, but which is bound to accelerate the arms
While urging nonproliferation of weapons
by others, this rogue state is the biggest exporter of weapons.
According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies,
global arms trade expanded by 8 percent in real terms in 1996
to $39.9 billion. Most of this expansion was due to increased
demand by East Asia and the Middle East. Forty-four percent of
these exports, or $17 billion,
were from this rogue state.
While championing democracy, this rogue
state supports and sustains authoritarian regimes, and monarchies,
against the wishes of their people. It brands those who fight
for democracy, or independence from foreign domination, as terrorists.
Last week this rogue state defied world
opinion by voting against the U.N. General Assembly resolution
calling for an international conference on July 15, 1999 on Israeli
settlements in traditionally Arab areas that Palestinians claim
are illegal. The vote was 115-2 with five abstentions.
While suing tobacco companies for damages
due to smoking related illnesses (in a deal reminiscent of the
Opium Wars fought by Britain to force China to buy opium, and
to settle for peace by giving away Hong Kong), this rogue state
used the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to force Thailand
into buying imported cigarettes which the Thai government feared
would hinder their efforts to control smoking, and consequently
smoking related illnesses.
While bribery has become an acknowledged
way of life in many countries, says the reknowned lawyer Gerry
Spence (Give Me Liberty!), in this state "bribery, made legal,
is yet more evil, permitting the corporate core to buy and own
the [legislature] and the presidency with pious immunity."
While millions lack health care, and subsist
at poverty levels, while thousands sleep on the street, this rogue
state's "federal government alone shells out $125 billion
a year in corporate welfare ("Corporate Welfare," TIME,
Nov. 9, 1998, Special Report), this in the midst of one of the
more robust economic periods in [it's] history. Indeed, thus far
in the 1990's, corporate profits have totaled
$4.5 trillion -- a sum equal to the cumulative paychecks of 50
million working [citizens] who earned less than $25,000 a year,
for eight years."
This rogue state has more prisoners known
to be awaiting execution than any other country according to "Rights
for All," a 153 page report from Amnesty International. Prisons
for adults also hold at least 3,500 child convicts in violation
of an international convention on civil rights.
In this rogue state's prisons, says Amnesty
International, "thousands of people are subjected to sustained
and deliberate brutality at the hands of police officers. Cruel,
degrading and sometimes life-threatening methods of restraint
continue to be a feature of [its] criminal justice system."
Amnesty says that "inmates are physically
and sexually abused by other inmates and by guards... Sanctions
against those responsible for these abuses are rare, ... Prison
guards restrain the inmates with electric shock stun guns, leg
irons, pepper spray and restraint chairs. Some women prisoners
have given birth while in shackles."
This rogue state, says the Washington
Post (Nov. 6, 1998), "skirts -- or sometimes flouts -- norms
of due process. The use of secret evidence to deport or exclude
aliens who are accused of no crimes -- particularly when combined
with laws permitting their indefinite detention -- remains the
most egregious offense. All the more so since in some of these
cases, the evidence -- when it finally emerges -- seems less than
"The rise in counterterrorism wiretapping
and physical searching under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act," says the Washington Post, "also presents difficulties,
as do asset forfeiture proceedings against people who are accused
of supporting terrorist groups but have not been charged with
This rogue state spies on its citizens.
The ECHELON system developed by this rogue state, in partnership
with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain,
the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) in Canada, and
the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) in Australia, is used to
intercept ordinary e-mail, fax, telex, and telephone communications
carried over the world's telecommunications networks.
Unlike many of the electronic spy systems
developed during the Cold War, says a report prepared for the
European Parliament (An Appraisal of Technologies of Political
Control), ECHELON is designed primarily for non-military targets:
governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals in virtually
every country. It potentially affects every person communicating
between (and sometimes
within) countries anywhere in the world.
These are just a few examples of this
rogue state's campaign of international terrorism and genocide,
its refusal to abide by international law or treaties, and its
violation of the norms of civil society -- the very same allegations
it makes against other states.
This rogue state has been able to do all
this because its major media either remain silent, or participate
in deceiving its citizens, whereby, the vast majority of them
remain uninformed. The concerned, informed minority is denied
access to the primary channels of communication.
By any objective criteria, based upon
generally accepted norms for civil society, the rogue state par
excellence is neither Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, nor
Syria. It's the United States - proclaimer of the right of all
to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
[For background read Michael Klare, "Rogue
States and Nuclear Outlaws," William Blum, "Killing
Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II,"
and Howard Zinn, "Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining
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Website: http://www.twf.org -- Press Contact: Enver Masud
February 15, 1999