David W. Lutz
Front Royal, Virginia, U.S.A.
I decided to pass up the opportunity to write a paper about our recent unjust war against Yugoslavia, and instead to write this year about the ethics of U.S. military policy in Africa. The magnitude of human suffering in Africa as a consequence of U.S. policy is much greater than in the Balkans. The reason we do not hear much more about wars in Africa is that most of the people dying there are Africans.
While this is my first JSCOPE paper about Africa, it seeks to extend the thesis of my 1997 paper: “The Exercise of Military Judgment: A Philosophical Investigation of the Virtues and Vices of General Douglas MacArthur.” This thesis is that there exists an increasing conflict between the ethics of the American military tradition and the ethics of U.S. Presidents. The American military tradition is the just war tradition. And the justice of the just war tradition is the cardinal virtue of justice, not Kantian nor Rawlsian nor any other modern notion of justice. The ethics and politics of American presidents is increasingly that of liberal democracy. These are incompatible traditions. We assume that the existence of our nation stands or falls with the constitutional principle of “civilian control of the military” – which, like that other bedrock constitutional principle, “separate of church and state,” cannot be found in the Constitution. The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. But just as lower-ranking soldiers have an ethical obligation not to obey unethical orders (as in, for example, the case of My Lai), so general and flag officers have an ethical obligation not to obey unethical orders from their civilian superiors.
The politically-correct interpretation of President Truman’s decision to relieve General MacArthur of his command in Korea and to end his military career is that an arrogant and insubordinate soldier was properly put in his place by his civilian commander in chief. But a more significant principle was in question in Korea as a consequence of Truman’s orders: the principle that soldiers cannot justly be required to sacrifice their lives in the absence of an appropriate objective. MacArthur, a just war theorist, understood that the objective of war is to attain victory, in order to restore the peace. Truman, a liberal democrat, substituted containment for victory in war. MacArthur recognized that this was wrong. He paid the price of losing his command and being criticized by liberals ever since.
One year ago, Prof. Thomas J. Nagy of George Washington University presented a paper entitled “Please Refute: The Military Core Values Movement is a Tool for Evading the Laws of Land Warfare.” Although his remarks were received less than warmly by the JSCOPE audience, he received little by way of response to his challenge. I have argued in three previous JSCOPE papers (1996-98) that we should be talking about cardinal virtues, not core values, and that this is not a mere moral philosophers’ quibble regarding arcane terminology. But I believe it should be said in response to Prof. Nagy that while his concern is quite justified, most of the decisions to employ U.S. military power improperly in the world today are being made by civilians, not personnel in uniform. The guilt of military officers is not so much in designing unethical policies, but in obeying unethical orders.
There are more wars in Africa today than on any other continent. Some of them do not even make their way into American newspapers, even though they are causing misery for millions of Africans. Africa was not a land of perpetual peace before colonization by European nations. And slavery existed in Africa long before the first Europeans arrived. But the present situation in Africa can be understood only as a consequence of colonialism and the “Cold War.”
The policies of the colonial powers were designed primarily to subjugate the African people, in order to grow rich from Africa’s natural wealth. When the African colonies demanded, and eventually attained, political independence in the decades following the Second World War, less changed than they had hoped. Returning to the cultures of their ancestors was not an option for most of them, because too many changes had taken place in the intervening generations. But the new nations were ill-prepared to govern themselves, because the new leaders had no experience in self-government. In many cases, European colonial rulers were simply replaced by African dictators, who enriched themselves at the expense of their citizens.
For most of sub-Saharan Africa, political colonialism was replaced by economic colonialism. With political colonialism, colonies are discouraged from developing self-sufficient, domestic economies. They instead send their raw materials and natural wealth to the parent nation, where they are converted into finished goods, some of which are sold back to the colonies at prices so high that only the wealthy few can purchase them. Most African countries found that formal independence brought little change in their economic relationships with wealthy nations. They had few options besides continuing to export their natural wealth. It then became in the economic interest of the former colonial rulers to promote instability in Africa, because this made it more difficult for African nations to build self-sufficient national economies. With such a relationship of economic dependency of the poor nations on the wealthy, the former colonial powers reaped the economic benefits of colonialism, without the expenses and hassles of actually governing the colonies.
To all of this were added well-intentioned, but misguided public and private aid and development programs, which sometimes made short-term progress, but were and are actually counter-productive in the long term, because they teach Africans that the path of progress necessarily involves non-African initiative and non-African money. Then there is the absurd state of affairs created by enormous loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which are supposed to be repaid with interest. Much of the borrowed money goes into the pockets of corrupt politicians. But then the taxpayers, most of whom have not benefited from the loans, are expected to repay them with interest. This simply continues to keep these countries in a state of poverty and of trade-based, rather than self-sufficient, economies.
Then came the Cold War, during which the United States and the Soviet Union chose various African nations, which did not in fact differ greatly from one another politically and economically, to support in their competition with one another. As Makau wa Mutua of the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program made the point in a 1994 conference: “Until two years ago when the Cold War officially ended, the United States treated Africa merely as one more puzzle in its epic struggle with the Soviet bloc. Americans and Soviets traded clients in the bazaar of the Cold War notwithstanding the brutality of the regimes in question.”1 Moreover, this policy was part of the global strategy that was substituted for victory in the Cold War: “In the past, U.S. policy towards Africa conceptually fell under the rubric of ‘Soviet containment.’”2 African nations were played against one another like pawns on a chessboard. All were expendable, if their sacrifice would benefit the higher-ranking pieces.
Furthermore, as Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Chairman of the Africa Leadership Forum, stated during the same conference: “The Cold War has been declared over. But the hot wars and battles emanating from the Cold War or exacerbated by it are still being waged in Africa, the continent that had been a victim of the Cold War in a special sort of way.”3 For example, the United States supported the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire (before 1960 the Belgian Congo, today the Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1965 through the end of the Cold War, at which time he became less useful to us. Mobutu came to power after the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba, who was the first democratically-elected African leader, but who also made the mistake of aligning himself with the Soviet Union. In the Introduction to his King Leopold’s Ghost, an account of atrocities committed against the people of the “Congo Free State” during Belgian colonial rule a century ago, Adam Hochschild writes concerning Lumumba’s death:
Once, in the course of half a dozen trips to Africa, I had been to the Congo. That visit was in 1961. In a Leopoldville apartment, I heard a CIA man, who had had too much to drink, describe with satisfaction exactly how and where the newly independent country’s first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, had been killed a few months earlier. He assumed that any American, even a visiting student like me, would share his relief at the assassination of a man the United States government considered a dangerous leftist troublemaker.4
Mobutu went on to amass a personal fortune of at least $5 billion, while the annual per capita income of his nation at the end of his rule was less than $200. Life under a communist government probably would have been worse than life under Mobutu; but it is difficult to see how it could have been much worse. In 1996 the present dictator, Laurent Kabila, launched an attack against Mobutu from eastern Zaire. He ousted Mobutu and renamed the country in 1997. Today the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo involves forces from six other countries: soldiers from Angola, Chad, Namibia, and Zimbabwe on the side of Kabila’s government, and soldiers from Rwanda and Uganda on the side of Congolese rebels.
While writing comprehensively about the ethics of U.S. military policy in Africa today would require several volumes, I will attempt to scratch the surface in this paper by discussing four aspects of it: the wars against civilians, against terrorism, against famine, and against population.
The War against Civilians
In 1969 General Mohamed Siad Barre seized power in Somalia, declared it a socialist republic, and provided naval facilities to the Soviet Union. In 1978 the Soviets switched their support from Somalia to neighboring Ethiopia. Soon afterwards, the United States began supporting Somalia.
In 1991, after the “End of the Cold War,” the U.S. reduced its support of Somalia, the Siad Barre regime fell, and central government collapsed. Conflict between Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s Somali National Movement and other factions led to lawlessness and famine in some areas of Somalia. Several hundred thousand Somalis died of starvation. In March 1992 the leaders of the warring factions signed a cease-fire agreement, which included provisions to allow a U.N. monitoring mission into Somalia to oversee arrangements for providing humanitarian assistance. In April the United Nations Security Council approved a U.N. operation in Somalia, pursuant to the cease-fire agreement. In July fifty unarmed military observers were deployed to Mogadishu to monitor the cease-fire. The U.N. humanitarian relief effort began in August.
Deteriorating security prevented the U.N. mission from delivering food and supplies to the starving Somalis. Relief flights were looted upon landing, food convoys were hijacked, and aid workers were assaulted. The U.N. appealed to its members to provide military forces to assist the humanitarian operation. In December 1992 President Bush responded to the U.N. request by proposing that American combat troops lead an international U.N. force to make the country safe for relief operations. The U.N. accepted the offer and Bush ordered 25,000 U.S. troops into Somalia, in “Operation Restore Hope.” On 9 December 1992 the first U.S. Marines hit the beach, as if it were a combat mission. Civilian journalists were on the beach waiting for them, in order to photograph the landing.
President Bush assured the American people and troops involved that this was not an open-ended commitment. As soon as it was possible for food to reach the starving Somalis, the operation would be turned over to U.N. peacekeeping forces. The President assured the American people that he planned for the troops to be home by President-Elect Clinton’s inauguration in January.
In March 1993 the Conference on National Reconciliation in Somalia, organized by the U.N. and held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, produced a resolution among faction leaders to end the violence. At this time the U.N. expanded its mission in Somalia from merely providing humanitarian relief to “nation building.” The U.S. officially handed over the command to the U.N. on 4 May 1993. President Clinton supported this expansion of the U.N.’s mandate, but also ordered that the number of U.S. troops in Somalia be reduced to about four thousand.
On 5 June 1993, during an inspection of a weapons storage site, twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were ambushed and killed by Somali forces. The next day the U.N. Security Council issued an emergency resolution calling for the apprehension of those responsible for the massacre. Jonathan Howe, Special Representative to the U.N. Secretary General and a retired four-star admiral, offered a reward of $25,000 for information leading to the apprehension of Aidid. Howe also requested a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue force. The U.S. and U.N. peace-keepers turned into war-fighters, and began attacking various targets in Mogadishu associated with Aidid.
On 12 July 1993 U.S. Cobra helicopters attacked a house in south Mogadishu where a group of clan leaders was meeting. The building was destroyed and an unknown number of Somalis were killed. Four Western journalists who went to investigate the incident were beaten to death by an angry mob. On 8 August four American military policemen were killed by a remote-detonated land mine set off by Somalis. On 26 August U.S. Army Task Force Ranger, led by Major General William F. Garrison, flew into Mogadishu with the mission of capturing Aidid. While most of its 440 members belonged to the 75th Ranger Regiment, the task force also included Army Delta Force members, Navy SEALs, and aviators belonging to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).
In September 1993 U.S. Army General Thomas Montgomery, Commander of U.S. Forces and Deputy U.N. Force Commander in Somalia, requested Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles to reinforce Task Force Ranger. Although Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell supported the request, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin denied it, saying he did not want to create the appearance that the U.S. was increasing forces in Somalia at a time when we were trying to reduce our military presence.
On the afternoon of 3 October 1993 elements of Task Force Ranger undertook a mission to capture two of Aidid’s lieutenants, who were believed to be in a particular building in downtown Mogadishu. The two men, and several others, were successfully taken prisoner. But members of Aidid’s forces quickly converged upon the site. U.S. Army Rangers who were providing security for the operation came under fire from all directions. Then two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down by rocket-propelled grenades. The situation quickly deteriorated into chaos. By the time the battle ended the following morning, eighteen Americans were dead and seventy-three wounded. At least five hundred Somalis were killed and more than one thousand wounded. “Somalis joked bitterly that the United States had come to feed them just to fatten them up for slaughter.”5
The second helicopter that was shot down was piloted by Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant. Because it was obvious that no rescuers could reach the four injured crew members quickly, two Delta Force snipers, Master Sergeant Gary Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart, joined them in order to attempt to fight off the Somali mob until a rescue force arrived. But before help came, Durant’s co-pilot, his two crew chiefs, and Gordon and Shughart were killed. Durant, suffering from multiple injuries, was taken prisoner. The bodies of the five dead American soldiers were mutilated by a mob of Somalis. The next morning photographs were taken of Somalis gleefully dragging some of the bodies through the streets of Mogadishu. Sergeants Gordon and Shughart were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously. CWO Durant was released by his captors on 14 October.
When the pictures of mutilated bodies of American soldiers being drug through the streets of the city appeared on television screens in the U.S., many people wanted to know how what had begun as a humanitarian relief mission could have reached this point. President Clinton “reportedly felt betrayed by his military advisers and staff.”6 According to former White House staff member George Stephanopoulos, the following transpired as Clinton decided to target civilians in Somalia:
“We’re not inflicting pain on these fuckers,” Clinton said, softly at first. “When people kill us, they should be killed in greater numbers.” Then, with his face reddening, his voice rising, and his fist pounding his thigh, he leaned into Tony [National Security Adviser Anthony Lake] as if it were his fault: “I believe in killing people who try to hurt you, and I can’t believe we’re being pushed around by these two-bit pricks.”7
These are clearly not the words of a virtuous military commander, nor of a virtuous civilian commander in chief. One might object that President Clinton’s words do not differ greatly from those of a maxim attributed to General George S. Patton, Jr., who was certainly a virtuous commander: “The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.” But General Patton was speaking within the context of a just war, with the objective of victory. President Clinton was speaking about revenge (“payback”). And while Patton was talking about killing enemy soldiers, Clinton was talking about the civilian population of Somalia.
It is true that in Somalia, as in Vietnam, the distinction between combatants and non-combatants was not always a clear one. Consider the following passage in Mark Bowden’s account of the 3-4 October 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, Black Hawk Down:
A woman in a flowing purple robe darted past on the driver’s side of the truck. Maddox had his pistol resting on his left arm, pretty much shooting at whatever moved.
“Don’t shoot,” Spalding shouted. “She’s got a kid!”
The woman abruptly turned. Holding the baby in one arm, she raised a pistol with her free hand. Spalding shot her where she stood. He shot four more rounds into her before she fell. He hoped he hadn’t hit the baby. They were moving and he couldn’t see if he had or not. He thought he probably had. She had been carrying the baby on her arm right in front. Why would a mother do something like that with a kid on her arm? What was she thinking? Spalding couldn’t get over it. Maybe she was just trying to get away, saw the truck, panicked, and raised the gun.
There wasn’t time to fret over it.8
Our reaction to this battle was a short-term reinforcement and show of strength, followed by a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops. In 1995, the last U.N. soldiers left Somalia. How did this situation come about?
Part of the answer is certainly that poor military decisions were made by civilians, and then were obeyed by military personnel. The traditional justification of sending soldiers into combat is to win a war, once the criteria of just war have been met. When President Bush sent Marines in 1992, their mission was not victory in war. There was, however, a somewhat clear objective: support for the humanitarian aid operation. And they made significant progress toward accomplishing that objective. But when the objective turned to nation-building, it ceased to be one appropriate for soldiers to attain.
On 15 October 1993 the U.S. Senate debated an amendment to the fiscal year 1994 Defense Appropriations Bill, proposed by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, which would have prohibited
the Department of Defense from obligating funds for support of operations of U.S. Armed Forces in Somalia, except: (1) to support the prompt and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. Armed Forces from Somalia in a manner most consistent with the safety of U.S. personnel; and (2) to continue operations in the event that American prisoners of war have not been returned to U.S. authorities and Americans missing in action have not been accounted for.9
Even to those voting against Sen. McCain (16 Republicans and 45 Democrats), President Clinton’s leadership was seen to be deficient:
No one on either side of this debate is casting a vote of approval for our President’s ever-changing definition of our mission in Somalia, nor is anyone casting a vote of approval for the many tactical and strategic mistakes which have been made along the way. We agree that we should leave – the question before us is how. The McCain amendment, for several reasons, offers us an unacceptable course of action....10
Those voting with McCain (28 Republicans and 10 Democrats) were much more critical of the Commander in Chief:
Many of us were leery of the original humanitarian mission, because we feared we would become enmeshed in an insoluble quagmire. However, the vast majority of Senators strongly supported President Bush when he sent in U.S. forces last December to secure relief lines to millions of starving Somalis. The mission was clear and admirable. Before we acted, 300,000 Somalis had starved to death, and millions more were in danger of dying. That mission succeeded....
Instead of leaving, the United States, and the United Nations, began to search for a new role, and we slipped into the quagmire that was earlier feared. The United States reduced its forces by 80 percent, and put most of them under the control of the United Nations. The United Nations then began to search for a permanent political solution for tribal Somali conflicts that date back to the fourteenth century. Though the United Nations’ forces in Somalia are heavily outnumbered and outgunned by the warring factions in Somalia, the United Nations’ commanders presumed that they would be able to enforce their new concept of “peacemaking.” Traditionally, U.N. forces have proven successful in acting as a buffer between forces that are willing to have an armistice, but this new, Orwellian concept of “enforcing” peace among factions that are not suing for peace is nothing more than double-speak for fighting a war. In practical effect, the United Nations ended up at war with one Somali faction, led by General Aideed [Aidid], that did not obey U.N. dictates....
The Clinton Administration went along with this attempt, in a series of ad hoc decisions that were divorced from any overall strategy. Tragic results ensued. President Clinton sent in Rangers under U.S. command in an attempt to capture General Aideed. Realizing that we did not have enough firepower to provide for the safety of our own troops with this expanded, aggressive mission, the military commanders in the field requested armored personnel carriers and tanks, but Secretary Aspin refused on the political grounds that he did not like the appearance of military escalation. Apparently, General Aideed objected to poorly armed foreigners attempting his capture because he would not obey their terms for how his country would be run.... Over the course of the past several months, President Clinton has said, at different times, that the U.S. purpose is nation-building, to establish police forces, to broker a political solution, and to capture the “outlaw” Aideed. The Administration has even said our policy is to be deliberately vague, in order to keep Aideed off-balance. Now, after he has killed eighteen American soldiers, the outlaw Aideed has again become General Aideed in President Clinton’s rhetoric, and U.S. policy is to negotiate with him.
To put it bluntly, we are witnessing amateur hour at the White House, and Americans are paying for it with their lives. We do not casually tread on the President’s prerogative to conduct foreign policy, but this situation cries out for leadership. If the President had a goal, if he knew what he were doing, the situation would not be so tragic, but he is floundering ineptly. We are fully aware of the constitutional conflicts at issue. The President is Commander-in-Chief, and has primary jurisdiction for conducting foreign policy. We cannot have, as has so often been noted, 535 Secretaries of State. However, Congress has the sole authority to declare war, and it has the ultimate power, the power of the purse. When public and congressional opinion rises so strongly against a President’s actions, after that President has spent more than $1 billion and lost 29 American lives fighting for no clear purpose in a distant land, and has even partially ceded his authority as Commander in Chief to foreign command, we believe it is appropriate for Congress to exercise the power of the purse, and stop the flow of funds....11
Although these paragraphs were written by Republicans, political opponents of President Clinton, that in itself does not make them any more biased than, say, The New York Times and The Washington Post. And the Senators make a strong case. The crucial questions are whether there is an end toward which we should strive and which, if attained, would be worth the cost, and whether the means are ethical and can reasonably be expected to attain the end. The mission of the 3 October 1993 raid, which was accomplished, was the capture of two of Aidid’s key assistants. But how would that lead to any greater end? Would capturing Aidid himself have led to peace in Somalia? In the words of Bashir Haji Yusuf, one of the Somalis whom Bowden interviewed in order to write his book:
How could these bloody Ranger raids alter things? The Situation was as old and as complicated as his [Yusuf’s] life. Civil war had destroyed all semblance of the old order of things. In this new chaotic Somalia, the shifting alliances and feuds of the clans and subclans were like the patterns wind carved in the sand. Often Yusuf himself didn’t understand what was going on. And yet these Americans, with their helicopters and laser-guided weapons and shock-troop Rangers were going to somehow sort it out in a few weeks? Arrest Aidid and make it all better? They were trying to take down a clan, the most ancient and efficient social organization known to man. Didn’t the Americans realize that for every leader they arrested there were dozens of brothers, cousins, sons, and nephews to take his place? Setbacks just strengthened the clan’s resolve. Even if the Habr Gidr were somehow crippled or destroyed, wouldn’t that just elevate the next most powerful clan? Or did the Americans expect Somalia to suddenly sprout full-fledged Jeffersonian democracy?12
Although Mohamed Farrah Aidid survived Task Force Ranger’s attempts to capture him, he died in August 1995, a few days after being shot during a clash with another Somali faction. His son, Hussein Mohamed Aidid, then took his place.
The mostly-Republican group of Senators who voted with Sen. McCain went on to identify five conditions that should be met before committing our armed forces, but none of which were met in Somalia in 1993: “ a vital U.S. interest is at stake;  other alternatives have been exhausted;  we have a specific, achievable objective;  we have a timeframe for completing the mission; and  we commit enough forces to succeed.”13 Although the Senators make no reference to the just war tradition, it is significant that their first, second, and fifth conditions correspond to three of the just war criteria:  just cause,  last resort, and  reasonable hope of success, respectively. And the Senators’ third condition is closely related to the criteria of just cause and reasonable hope of success.
President Clinton did not, of course, send Task Force Ranger to Somalia entirely on his own initiative. His Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, resigned a few months later, because of his decision not to grant General Montgomery’s request for armored reinforcements. The individual primarily responsible for bringing Task Force Ranger to Somalia was Jonathan Howe, a retired admiral. And the task force’s commander, Major General Garrison, also pushed for the mission (which destroyed his career). The disaster in Somalia was, therefore, not a simple case of civilians superiors making poor decisions and military subordinates blindly following their orders. But something was terribly wrong, and someone was responsible. The soldiers below the rank of general officer were following orders, and seem to have followed them well. The problem was with the orders.
And the orders almost ensured that there would be many civilian casualties. The New York Times reported on 5 October 1993, while most of the details of the battle were still unknown: “The fighting took place in a crowded market area, where the narrow streets are usually thronged on weekends, so many of the casualties were almost certainly civilians.”14 And that did indeed prove to be the case.
Robert Oakley, who had been the American Ambassador to Somalia from November 1992 to May 1993, returned in October to negotiate a truce with Aidid and to secure the release of CWO Durant. He told leaders of Aidid’s clan that President Clinton demanded the immediate, unconditional release of Durant, even though nothing definite could be said about the release of the Somali prisoners captured by Task Force Ranger. The Somalis, not surprisingly, were incredulous. But Oakley was able to persuade them with a line of argument involving the possibility of killing large numbers of civilians:
I have no plan for this, and I’ll do everything I can to prevent it, but what will happen if a few weeks go by and Mr. Durant is not released? Not only will you lose any credit you may get now, but we will decide that we have to rescue him. I guarantee you we are not going to pay or trade for him.... So what we’ll decide is we have to rescue him, and whether we have the right place or the wrong place, there’s going to be a fight with your people. The minute the guns start again, all restraint on the U.S. side goes. Just look at the stuff coming in here now. An aircraft carrier, tanks, gunships.... Once the fighting starts, all this pent-up anger is going to be released. This whole part of the city will be destroyed, men, women, children, camels, cats, dogs, goats, donkeys, everything.... That would really be tragic for all of us, but that’s what will happen.15
One of the just war criteria is discrimination between combatants and non-combatants. If, in a just war, enemy commanders deliberately intermingle their soldiers with civilians, then it becomes more difficult to discriminate between them and the unjust commanders bear some of the responsibility for civilian casualties. But the case of Somalia was not a war at all. Thousands of civilians, acting as civilians, took up arms in order to defend their city against a foreign army that was seeking to remove Aidid and his lieutenants from the scene, but that was wounding and killing innocent Somali civilians in the process. They reacted in ways that are quite understandable, if we look at the battle from their perspective:
Ali Hassan Mohamed ran to the front of his father’s hamburger and candy shop when the choppers came down and the shooting started. He was a student....
Ali saw American soldiers sliding down on ropes to the alley.... The Americans were shooting as soon as they hit the ground, shooting at everything. There were also Somalis shooting at them. These soldiers, Ali knew, were different than the ones who had come to feed Somalis. These were Rangers. They were cruel men....
The Rangers across the street entered a courtyard there and were shooting out. Then a helicopter came down low and blasted streams of fire from a gun on its side. The gun just pulverized his side of the street. Ali’s youngest brother, Abdulahi Hassan Mohamed, fell dead by the gate to the family’s house, bleeding from the head. Abdulahi was fifteen. Ali saw it happen. Then the Rangers ran out of the courtyard....
Ali ran. He stopped to see his brother and saw his head broken open like a melon. Then he took off as fast as he could.... He would shoot a Ranger or die trying. Why were they doing this? Who were these Americans who came to his neighborhood spraying bullets and spreading death?16
Later in the day:
Hassan Yassin Abokoi had been shot in the ankle by a helicopter as he stood with the crowd around the crashed helicopter. He now sat beneath a tree watching. His ankle stung at first and then had gone numb. It was bleeding badly. He hated the helicopters. His uncle that day had his head blown off by a cannon shot from a helicopter. It removed his head neatly from the shoulders, like it had never been there. Who were these Americans who rained fire and death on them, who came to feed them but then had started killing? He wanted to kill these men who had fallen from the sky, but he couldn’t stand.
From where he sat, Abokoi could see the mob descend on the Americans. Only one [CWO Durant] was still alive. He was shouting and waving his arms as the mob grabbed him by the legs and began pulling him away from the helicopter, tearing at his clothes. He saw his neighbors hack at the bodies of the Americans with knives and begin to pull at their limbs. Then he saw people running and parading with parts of the Americans’ bodies.17
Events that seem inexplicable from the point of view of Americans make more sense when viewed from the Somalis’ perspective.
Another aspect of the Somalis’ view of the battle, according to some of the individuals interviewed by Bowden, is that the Rangers were “not a particularly brave” enemy.18 In the eyes of Aidid’s fighters: “The Rangers’ weakness was apparent. They were not willing to die.”19 But American soldiers, especially members of elite units, have certainly demonstrated the willingness to sacrifice their lives, if called upon to do so, in previous wars. The difference in Somalia, I believe, was the lack of a clearly articulated and envisioned end – a telos, in the language of Platonic and Aristotelian moral philosophy – worth the sacrifice of one’s life. Former U.S. Marine Corps combat commander and Secretary of the Navy James Webb addresses the problem of politicians asking servicemen to risk the sacrifice of their lives in the absence of such an end in his novel Something to Die For (New York: Avon Books, 1991). And his fictional battle just happens to take place in the Horn of Africa, not far from Somalia.
One of the soldiers interviewed by Bowden, Specialist Steve Larson
had been as gung ho as the rest of the guys, but now, seeing all the dead and wounded, he just felt used and stupid. His life was being put at risk and he was being thrust into a situation where he had to shoot and kill people in order to survive ... and it was hard to see why. How could some politicians in Washington take men like him and put them in such a position, guys who are young, naive, patriotic, and eager to do the right thing, and take advantage of all that for no good reason?20
Many of the members of Task Force Ranger found it even more difficult to understand why they had been asked to put their lives at risk, when the mission was called off so soon after the firefight in which so many of their friends had been wounded or killed:
If it had been important enough to get eighteen men killed, and seventy-three injured, not to mention all the Somalis dead and hurt, how could it just be called off the day after the fight? Within weeks of Durant’s release, American Marines (at Oakley’s direction) would escort Aidid to renewed peace negotiations. President Clinton would accept Oakley’s plea on behalf of the Somali leaders. Several months later Omar Salad, Mohamed Hassan Awale, and every man captured by Task Force Ranger was released.21
This seems similar to the policy so many American soldiers and Marines found intolerable in Vietnam. They would go on a “search and destroy” mission. They would kill some of the enemy. The enemy would kill some of them. And at the end of the day they would be exactly where they began, except that people who had been alive were now dead.
Makau wa Mutua, writing in 1994, provides an African perspective of the entire 1992-93 American operation in Somalia, without distinguishing the Operation Restore Hope and Task Force Ranger phases:
In crafting a regional reconciliation strategy, the mistakes of Operation Restore Hope, the American military expedition in Somalia, should be avoided. In the waning days of his presidency, George Bush dispatched some 30,000 troops ostensibly to secure relief supply lines. Prior to the mission, television screens across the land were inundated with the grotesque images of starving Somali children. Those images manipulated human emotion and drove the administration to act hastily, and, despite the United Nations umbrella, unilaterally. In the event, the mission of the military intervention ... was never properly defined. It has so far failed to initiate a political process of reconciliation to the crisis because it has not utilized existing social clan structures. Instead, daily confrontations have left scores of Somalis dead. Military interventions, even where they are truly multilateral, must be carefully planned and coordinated with local structures of authority.22
I believe we must conclude that while most of the American servicemen performed well in a difficult situation, and many of them excellently, the mission as a whole did not meet the highest standards of military ethics. And this was because it was improperly conceived at the highest levels.
The War against Terrorism
On 7 August 1998 the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania were bombed, killing 212 Africans and 12 Americans. Several thousand Kenyans were injured, many of them permanently blinded. On 17 August President Clinton admitted that he had had an improper (i.e. adulterous) relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On 20 August, in Operation Infinite Reach, U.S. Navy cruise missiles destroyed the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan. Cruise missiles were also launched against targets in Afghanistan. President Clinton described these strikes as acts of self-defense against imminent terrorist plots, and as retribution for the bombings of the embassies in Africa. He told us:
Today I ordered our Armed Forces to strike at terrorist-related facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan because of the imminent threat they presented to our national security....
Our target was terror. Our mission was clear – to strike at the network of radical groups affiliated with and funded by Osama bin Laden....
With compelling evidence that the bin Laden network of terrorist groups was planning to mount further attacks against Americans and other freedom-loving people, I decided America must act.
And so, this morning, based on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, I ordered our Armed Forces to take action to counter an immediate threat from the bin Laden network....
Our forces ... attacked a factory in Sudan associated with the bin Laden network. The factory was involved in the production of materials for chemical weapons....23
More than a few commentators have suggested that the bombings were intended to distract attention from the President’s domestic affairs: “Bill Clinton seems to have launched an unprovoked attack against a country with which we are at peace merely to distract attention from his legal and political embarrassments at home.”24 One would hope that that is false. But given what we know about the President’s moral character and his obsession with the Clinton Legacy, how can we be sure?
President Clinton told us shortly after the operation that he had been concerned about the possibility of killing someone when bombing the chemical plant: “I didn’t want some person who was a nobody to me, but who may have a family to feed and a life to live, and probably had no earthly idea what else was going on there, to die needlessly.”25 But what kind of person would say such a thing? Is there any human person living on the face of the earth who does not have a life to live? Some, such as President Clinton himself, seem to have several. But everyone, even in Africa, has a life to live. And what difference does it make whether a potential civilian victim of a cruise missile strike has a family to feed? What does that have to do with the rightness or wrongness of killing him or her? It is obvious that nobody can know everyone. But no one is “a nobody” to the ethical military commander. General Robert E. Lee is said to have prayed daily for the Union soldiers who were being killed by his army.
According to the tradition of justice in warfare, it is ethical to kill soldiers and to perform actions with the unintended secondary effect of killing innocent civilians when certain conditions are met. But even when they are met, enemy soldiers and innocent civilians remain human persons, with all that being a human person entails. It should be with regret that we kill enemy combatants and bring about the unintended deaths of noncombatants. Despite President Clinton’s concern, according to the Sudanese Government, he did kill one person and wound seven.26 Whether the victims had families to feed or lived alone, what happened to them is a serious matter.
According to an anonymous former advisor to Clinton, cited by The New York Times during our high-altitude destruction of Yugoslavia last year, the President’s process of becoming our commander in chief involved developing the ability to turn off his concern for the lives of both noncombatants and Americans in uniform:
A former top foreign policy adviser to the president said that Clinton has learned over the years to separate his personal feelings from his leadership responsibilities. But it was a hard-won lesson.
“He has moved, for good or ill, toward not taking each death so individually and so personally,” this adviser said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He still orders civilian casualties be kept to a minimum, but there has been a change in the confidence with which he gives orders. He has become commander in chief; he was still feeling his way in 1993.”
This former adviser said that Clinton had developed a “switch” that allows him to turn off his concern not only for the lives of civilians but for American troops as well.27
Is this any way to inspire confidence in those whom he is asking to risk their lives in obedience to his orders? Is it any wonder that many members of the armed forces find it difficult to respect Bill Clinton?
According to most of the subsequent articles in leading newspapers that have addressed the question, the evidence that the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant was in fact anything other than or more than a pharmaceutical plant is extremely weak. Three days after the attack, The Guardian, a British paper, reported: “President Bill Clinton knew he was bombing a civilian target when he ordered the United States attack on a Sudan chemical plant. Tests ordered by him showed that no nerve gas was on the site and two British professionals who recently worked at the factory said it clearly had no military purpose.”28
The New York Times wrote a week later:
In the days since the United States bombed what it called a secret chemical weapons plant in Sudan, some of the key statements made by administration officials to justify the attack have proven to be inaccurate, misleading or open to question.
U.S. officials continue to say they bombed a facility that produced a key ingredient for a deadly nerve agent. But their descriptions of the plant as a highly secretive, tightly secured military-industrial site, their initial statement that the plant produced no commercial products, and their statements that the exiled Saudi millionaire, Osama bin Laden, directly financed the plant, do not appear to be factual.29
On 21 September 1998 The New York Times reported:
Senior officials now say their case for attacking the factory relied on inference as well as evidence that it produced chemical weapons for bin Laden’s use....
Hours after they launched cruise missiles at the factory on Aug. 20, senior national security advisers described Al Shifa as a secret chemical weapons factory financed by bin Laden. But a month after the attack, those same officials concede they had no evidence directly linking bin Laden to the factory at the time the president ordered the strike....
Senior administration officials concede that they made inaccurate statements about the plant on Aug. 20 and did a poor job of publicly stating their case against the factory. “We were not accurate,” a senior administration official said. “That was a mistake.”30
And six months afterwards:
Chemists who examined soil, sludge and debris samples from a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant destroyed in August by American cruise missiles found no traces of chemical weapon compounds, according to a scientist hired by the owner of the plant....
At the heart of the new evidence are 13 carefully cataloged samples taken from the wrecked plant and its grounds late in October. The sampling project was designed and supervised by Thomas Tullius, chairman of the chemistry department at Boston University.31
The Independent, another British newspaper, wrote in May 1999:
In an admission that last year’s missile attack on a factory in Sudan was a mistake, the US has cleared the man who owned the plant of any links to terrorism. The embarrassing reversal means that the US has virtually no evidence to support its claim that the missile attack was a strike against terrorism. Most of those who have investigated the case have concluded that the US acted on faulty intelligence and that key procedures were overriden by officials in the White House....
Britain never supported the idea that Mr Idris had links to Mr bin Laden, and he was permitted to enter and leave London (where he maintains a flat) freely. The widespread view outside the US was that the White House had insufficient evidence for the attack.32
In August 1999, Patrick G. Eddington, identified as “a former CIA analyst,” wrote a letter to The Washington Post that was highly critical of Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet. It includes the following paragraph:
The CIA – shorn of its satellite imagery analysis capability by Tenet’s predecessor, John Deutch – failed to detect India’s preparations for renewed nuclear testing in May 1998. The same lack of satellite photo analysis undoubtedly played a role in the mistaken targeting of the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan a year ago. Subsequent imagery of the plant, released by the Pentagon, showed no evidence of the kinds of special security measures normally associated with chemical weapons production facilities.33
Finally, in October of last year, James Risen wrote a long article for The New York Times, entitled “To Bomb Sudan Plant, or Not: A Year Later, Debates Rankle.” It begins:
In the 14 months since President Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, his aides have steadfastly defended the decision. Clinton, they say, acted on evidence that left no doubt that the factory was involved with chemical weapons and linked to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile they blame for blowing up two American embassies in East Africa.
But an examination of the decision, based on interviews by The New York Times with key participants, shows that it was far more difficult than the Administration has acknowledged and that the voices of dissent were numerous.
Officials throughout the Government raised doubts up to the eve of the attack about whether the United States had sufficient information linking the factory to either chemical weapons or to bin Laden, according to participants in the discussions. They said senior diplomatic and intelligence officials argued strenuously over whether any target in Sudan should be attacked.
Aides passed on their doubts to the Secretary of State, officials said. But the national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger, who played a pivotal role in approving the strike, said in an interview that he was not aware of any questions about the strength of the evidence before the attack.
In the aftermath, some senior officials moved to suppress internal dissent, officials said. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and a senior deputy [Under Secretary of State Thomas R. Pickering], they said, encouraged State Department intelligence analysts to kill a report being drafted that said the bombing was not justified.
The following excerpt from the article reveals additional doubts and disagreements within the Clinton Administration:
In the days after the attack, an international debate erupted, with Sudan demanding damages and an independent review of case. In Washington, senior officials insisted that the links between bin Laden, the factory and chemical weapons were strong and compelling.
There was much less certainty behind the scenes.
Soon after the strike, word began to filter out of the Government that senior intelligence officials, including Jack Downing, the head of the C.I.A. Directorate of Operations, its clandestine espionage arm, believed that the attack was not justified.
Others raising similar questions included the head of the Africa division at the directorate and the chief of the C.I.A. Counterterrorism Center, whose office had collected the intelligence on the site.
While these officials did not question that the intelligence raised strong suspicions, they found the connections between Al Shifa and bin Laden too indirect to support the public statements justifying the attack. Downing and the other two officials, whose names have been withheld at the request of the agency, would not comment.
At the intelligence branch of the State Department, officials began drafting a report renewing doubts about the evidence.
Soon after the strike, the C.I.A. conducted a study of its own and gathered intelligence about the plant’s owner, a Sudanese businessman named Salah Idris, saying it had found new evidence about his possible financial connections to the terrorist group Islamic Jihad, which in turn has strong connections to bin Laden.
But agency officials acknowledged that they did not know that he owned the plant at the time of the strike. Officials also acknowledge that the soil sample from Al Shifa was obtained about four months before Idris bought the plant in March 1998.34
There may be classified evidence demonstrating conclusively that the plant was in fact involved in the production of chemical weapons, or components thereof. And the technical questions are not simple, since some chemicals can be used for both military and non-military purposes. But even if such evidence exists, and even if there are good reasons not to reveal it, we should not underestimate the consequences for global public opinion of destroying a factory that appears to have produced much of the medicine taken by the Sudanese people, without producing evidence that it also contributed to the production of military weapons.
The role of General Shelton, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the decision to launch the cruise missiles is relevant to my thesis regarding “civilian control of the military.” He was a member of the national security team that, according to President Clinton, recommended unanimously that he order the attacks. But according to Risen’s article, Shelton and other military officers were successful in preventing a strike against another Sudanese target:
Just a few hours before the attack, officials said, President Clinton called off a planned attack on a second target in Sudan, a tannery, after senior military officers raised questions about the risks of civilian casualties and the evidence connecting it to bin Laden. The last-minute campaign was led by Gen. Harry H. Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who enlisted other senior officers in an effort to reverse the recommendation of Clinton’s civilian advisers.35
Regardless of what is really true about the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, there is another aspect of the American Embassy bombings that has gained little attention. Within twenty-four hours of the bombing in Nairobi, one hundred Israeli soldiers were on the scene, going through the rubble to determine the cause of the blast. What does the bombing of U.S. Embassies in sub-Saharan Africa have to do with Israel? Is it possible that our embassies were bombed, not because of “the openness, the freedom and the tolerance that define us,”36 but because we support Israel in its disputes and conflicts with its neighbors, and enable it to dominate them militarily by giving it billions of dollars every year?
The world looks different when viewed from the perspective of most Americans and when viewed from the perspective of Palestinians. Consider the following excerpts from a recent Reuters report:
An Israeli historian said on [19 January 2000] that he had uncovered credible evidence that troops massacred 200 Palestinians in a single village on the day Israel came into being in 1948. Teddy Katz, who researched events in the village of Tantura for a masters degree, said he had spoken to witnesses including soldiers who were present to support his findings. “It started at night and was over in a few hours,” Katz said of the attack on May 15, 1948. “From testimonies and information I got from Jewish and Arab witnesses and from soldiers who were there, at least 200 people from the village of Tantura were killed by Israeli troops....
Katz said the killing spree in Tantura was more tragic and bigger than in the village of Deir Yassin just west of Jerusalem, where scores of Palestinians were killed on April 9, 1948, in an assault by Jewish armed groups. Reports just after the Deir Yassin killings spoke of some 240 deaths though Israeli and Palestinian historians now accept that the number of fatalities was probably no more than 120. Deir Yassin has long stood as the defining symbol of what Palestinians call al-Nakba (The Great Catastrophe). They use the term to refer to their dispossession and exile when up to 700,000 Palestinians fled from their towns and villages or were driven out by Jewish troops in the conflict between Arab and Jew that surrounded Israel’s creation.
Fawzi Tanji, now 73 and a refugee at a camp in the West Bank, is from Tantura and worked until May 1948 as a guard for the army in British Mandate Palestine. He told Reuters he had watched as Israeli troops took over the village, lined men up against a cemetery wall and shot them. Katz said 95 men were killed at the cemetery. “I was 21 years old then. They took a group of 10 men, lined them up against the cemetery wall and killed them. Then they brought another group, killed them, threw away the bodies and so on,” Tanji said. “I was waiting for my turn to die in cold blood as I saw the men drop in front of me.” Tanji said the killing stopped when a Jew from the nearby settlement of Zichron Yaacov arrived at the scene, took out a pistol and threatened to shoot himself unless the soldiers stopped the executions. Katz said other Palestinians were killed inside their homes and in other parts of the village. At one point, he said, soldiers shot at anything that moved. Villagers resisted with the few guns they had, but they were soon taken over.
The Israeli newspaper Maariv, which reported Katz’s findings Wednesday, quoted the commander of the Tantura attack as saying his troops had no grounds to ask questions or spare lives. “It was war. When you see the enemy opposite you, he doesn’t have a note saying he doesn’t mean to shoot you. When you see him, you shoot him,” retired colonel Bentz Pridan said. “That’s how we went, from street to street, and that explains why a lot of people were killed,” he told Maariv.37
The following passage, from an Islamic publication, sheds additional light on the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations:
Political terror, as the calculated utilization of violence to elicit psychological intimidation in an effort to accomplish strategic and political goals, was a major feature of the zionist movement’s modus operandi prior to the establishment of Israel. During this tumultuous period, zionist underground subversive organizations, such as the Haganah, headed by David Ben Gurion, the Irgun Zvei Leumi, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang, co-headed by Yitzhak Shamir, engaged in a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’ to wrest Palestine from its indigenous Arab inhabitants. They unleashed a campaign of terror and violence that deliberately targeted civilians in order to effect an exodus of Palestine’s Arab population....
Palestinian civilians were the most favourable target of zionist terror attacks. In his book, Soldier with the Arabs (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1957), John Bagot Glubb, a British officer in the Jordanian Arab Legion, better known as Glubb Pasha, reports a conversation with a Palestine Government Jewish official which reveals the zionist intention to engage in a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Palestine. In the course of the conversation which took place in December 1947, Glubb Pasha questioned the viability of a Jewish state in Palestine whose demographic makeup comprises a number of Arabs almost equal to that of Jews. To this the Jewish official responded: ‘Oh no! That will be fixed. A few calculated massacres will soon get rid of them (i.e., the Arabs).’...
The news of Deir Yassin massacre caused Arabs living in other population centers to flee whenever zionist forces approached. In fact, Begin himself described the psychological impact engendered by reports about the massacre in the Arab media and its benefits for the zionist goals, saying: ‘Out of evil, however, came good. This Arab propaganda spread a legend of terror amongst Arabs and Arab troops, who were seized with panic at the mention of Irgun soldiers. The legend was worth half a dozen battalions to the forces of Israel.’...
It should be pointed out in this context that zionism was nurtured by a number of sustaining ideological myths. Most notably and relevant here is the one stating that Palestine had been a terra nullius (‘a land without a people for a people without a land’) when the zionist settlers began to arrive there in the nineteenth century – a process known as aliyah (or ‘ascent’) in Hebrew to denote the spiritual elevation that comes along with moving to the Holy or Promised Land. But since Palestine was actually already inhabited, then carrying out the zionist myth required that it be physically depopulated.38
And the following helps to explain why many Palestinians do not love the United States:
The zionists have peddled the mythology of turning ‘deserts into orchards’ with the active collaboration of the west. Their claim to Palestine is based on a complete perversion of historical facts sprinkled with Biblical references to geography. The zionists – most of them secular fanatics who have nothing to do with Judaism – have reduced the Bible to a real estate manual.
The zionist colonial settler enterprise was launched by shedding the blood of the Palestinians. It has been sustained through terror, the most common characteristic of the zionists, for 50 years. More than 475 Palestinian towns and villages were completely wiped out. There is no trace left of them anymore....
Soon after the June 1967 war, Moshe Dayan, the one-eyed Israeli general, had boasted to a group of visiting Jews from the US that the present generation had expanded the boundaries of the State of Israel this far. Now it was up to the next generation to take them further. He also candidly admitted that hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns had been wiped out.
Contrary to zionist propaganda, now admitted even by some Israeli historians, the Palestinian inhabitants of these once-thriving towns did not flee on orders from the Arab regimes. They fled in the face of the zionist terror machine. Deir Yasin (April 9, 1948) was but one example of numerous zionist atrocities perpetrated against innocent civilians. Palestinian women were parade naked in the streets. Many of them were bayoneted to death before their bodies were dumped in wells....
The ‘most powerful democracy in the world – the US – has such a close relationship with the ‘only democracy [in the Middle East]’ that massive annual handouts are bestowed upon it.... The zionist State receives between US$4 and US$6 billion annually in aid (grants and loans) from the US. In the first 20 years of Israel’s existence (1948-1968), it received only $348 million. But in the next 20 years, this shot up to $82 billion.... Without American handouts, it cannot survive. Israel is America’s biggest welfare recipient.
If the zionist State cannot survive without US handouts, American politicians cannot survive without Jewish support in the US. This symbiotic relation was alluded to by US vice president Al Gore on April 30  when he joined Israeli celebrations in Tel Aviv. ‘We Americans feel our ties with Israel are eternal,’ Gore said lyrically. He might as well have said ‘without Jewish votes and money, I cannot win the presidency in the year 2000.’39
Furthermore, the injustice in the Middle East did not end a half-century ago. Talks are presently being held concerning the return of the Golan Heights. This piece of Syria has been occupied by Israel since it was seized during the 1967 war. But according to a recent Washington Post article, the traditional justification of Israel’s land grab is discredited by no less an authority than General Dayan. In the discussions of the return of the Golan Heights,
[Syrian Foreign] Minister Farouk Charaa addressed a core cause of more than 1,000 armed clashes between Israel and Syria in 1948-67: the Israeli contention that the Syrians, sitting on the Golan Heights, repeatedly shelled Israel’s farms and settlements below in the Galilee and its water projects in the Huleh valley. This shelling – in the common Israeli and American view – is what gave Israel its rationale for capturing the Golan Heights in the 1967 war. The disposition of this land is what the current peace talks are about.
Except, to cite Moshe Dayan, it didn’t happen just that way. In 1976 Dayan gave an extraordinary interview to Israeli journalist Rami Tal but embargoed it. He died in 1981. Only on April 27, 1997, did his daughter Yael, a Labor parliamentarian, release it....
Said Dayan: “I made a mistake in allowing the [Israeli] conquest of the Golan Heights. As defense minister I should have stopped it because the Syrians were not threatening us at the time.” The attack proceeded, he went on, not because Israel was threatened but because of pressure from land-hungry farmers and army commanders in northern Israel. “Of course [war with Syria] was not necessary. You can say the Syrians are bastards and attack when you want. But this is not policy. You don’t open aggression against an enemy because he’s a bastard but because he’s a threat.”
About those shellings: Syria shelled and otherwise emanated cold hostility. But, Dayan told his interviewer, “at least 80 percent” of two decades of border clashes were initiated by Israel. “We would send a tractor to plow some [disputed] area ... and we knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was.” 40
The journalist, Stephen S. Rosenfeld, adds: “It can be no surprise that Syria demands back all of its territory – territory it lost not to a failure of its own aggression but to a success of Israel’s. Given the corrected record, it can hardly be without concern for its own ultimate security.” Nevertheless, thirty-three years later, Israel is unwilling to withdraw from the Golan Heights to the 4 June 1967, prewar border. And those who argue that this is unjust are usually called “anti-Semitic.” Is it surprising that many Arabs and Muslims hate Israel, and hate America for supporting Israel? And the argument that the Palestinians should give some of their land to Israel, because millions of European Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany, is unsound. In simple terms, two wrongs – the Holocaust and al-Nakba – do not make a right.
None of this, of course, justify the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. But it does go a long way toward explaining them. President Clinton’s remarks on the day of the retaliatory strikes suggest that religion played a major role in the embassy bombings:
The groups associated with [bin Laden] come from diverse places, but share a hatred for democracy, a fanatical glorification of violence, and a horrible distortion of their religion to justify the murder of innocents.... Our actions today were not aimed against Islam, the faith of hundreds of millions of good, peace-loving people all around the world, including the United States. No religion condones the murder of innocent men, women and children. But our actions were aimed at fanatics and killers who wrap murder in the cloak of righteousness; and in so doing, profane the great religion in whose name they claim to act.41
Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, former Director and Senior Director for Counterterrorism, respectively, on the National Security Council staff from 1998-99, write: “Mr. bin Laden has merely tapped into a powerful and growing wave of religiously motivated hatred of the West.... These terrorists are highly motivated, not by a cult of personality, but by a world view in which they are the vanguard of a divinely ordained battle to liberate Muslim lands.”42 But whether “liberation” is good or bad has much to do with one’s perspective. One man’s freedom-fighter is another man’s terrorist. The fundamental reason that most of the terrorists attacking the United States today are Muslims is not that most Americans are not Muslims, nor that we are democratic and tolerant, but that most of the victims of the policies we support in the Middle East happen to be Muslims. It is, of course, true that some Muslims have turned the war against their enemies into a religious war. But at its foundation, Islamic terrorism has far less to do with religion than with basic injustice. And calling injustice “peace” does not solve the problem.
President Clinton also suggests that we are the victims of terrorist attacks because we hold the ethical high ground relative to many other nations:
[The groups associated with bin Laden] have made the United States their adversary precisely because of what we stand for and what we stand against.... America is and will remain a target of terrorists precisely because we are leaders; because we act to advance peace, democracy and basic human values; because we’re the most open society on Earth; and because, as we have shown yet again, we take an uncompromising stand against terrorism.43
One does not need to read widely or travel far to find many persons who disagree with this explanation. As an Associated Press writer put it, in summarizing statements by several foreign policy analysts in late-December 1999, “Clinton administration officials need look no further than their own foreign policy in their search for explanations for the specter of possible end-of-the-millennium terrorist attacks against Americans.”44 In the opinion of the Cato Institute’s Ivan Eland: “Most of these disagreeable groups wouldn’t bother the U.S. if we didn’t bother them and intervene in their region. I think that one of the reasons that we get 40 percent of the world’s terrorism is because we’re the only power that intervenes outside of [our] region.”45 And Patrick Buchanan asks:
Have we not suffered enough terrorist atrocities – from the massacre of our Marines, to Pan Am 103, to the World Trade Center, to the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar [es Salaam] – to awaken our elites to the reality that interventionism is the incubator of terrorism? Or will it take some cataclysmic act of violence on U.S. soil to finally awaken our gamesmen to the costs of global hegemony?46
If we are truly interested in reducing acts of terrorism against Americans, we should cease supporting injustice and commence promoting justice for all of the people of the Middle East. And we should undertake military actions only when the criteria of just war are satisfied.
The Sudanese government is certainly not among the most virtuous in the world today. But one unintended, though foreseeable, consequence of the cruise missile strike was to increase popular support for it, both in northern Sudan and throughout much of the Arab world. And the Sudanese government is reportedly turning the ruins of the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant into a memorial to remind its citizens of the American attack.47 Hopefully, it will not provoke future acts of terrorism against us or our embassies in other countries.
The War against Famine
Most of the Africans who are starving to death are not dying because Africa lacks the agricultural capacity to feed its population. Africa could feed far more than its present population. Most starvation in Africa is the consequence of warfare. And the long-term solution to the problem is not to send food (much of which falls into the hands of soldiers), but to stop supporting the wars. The civil war in Sudan, between the government in the north and rebels in the south, has been underway since 1983. Approximately two million Sudanese, most of them non-combatants, have died. Both government and rebel soldiers have committed atrocities against the civilian population. And some northern Sudanese are practicing slavery or, as it is sometimes euphemistically called, “tribal hostage-taking.” No military victory is foreseeable for either side. And even if victory could be attained, it is doubtful that the resulting situation would be worth the lives lost in attaining it.
A massive relief effort to provide food to those who are starving in southern Sudan has been under way for more than a decade. But Raymond Bonner identifies a paradoxical relationship between the fighting and international aid:
Recently, the strongest rebel leader at the moment, John Garang, the American-educated head of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, delivered a blunt message to a U.N. delegation. “The SPLA has decided to continue the war,” he said, according to a diplomat. “It is up to the international community to provide humanitarian aid.”...
No rebel movement can succeed without the support of the people, and that requires that they be fed. Garang, whose soldiers always seem to have enough food, has no supply lines to get food or other stocks to the people in the south, which thus makes them dependent on the international relief effort.48
Bonner also reports, in the same article:
A senior U.S. diplomat said that Washington had “no great interest” in trying to end the fighting. He added that the United States could hardly play the role of a neutral mediator. The United States has long accused the Sudanese of harboring terrorists, and it recently launched a missile attack on a factory in the capital; at the same time, senior State Department officials have openly expressed sympathy for the rebels.
Instead of seeking an end to one of Africa’s bloodiest wars, we are now poised to prolong it, not merely by giving food to the civilians who support the rebel army, but by giving it directly to the rebels themselves:
President William Clinton signed a bill on 29 Nov 1999 which authorizes the United States to directly supply food to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of John Garang, now waging guerrilla war against the government of Sudan. The authorization contravenes previous laws, which forbid the funding of belligerents in conflicts.49
Although this provision was supported by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice, the National Security Council’s Senior Director for African Affairs Gayle Smith, and Executive Director of the U.S. Committee on Refugees Roger Winter, it also provoked a wide range of protests, including one from former President Jimmy Carter:
The people of Sudan want to resolve the conflict. The biggest obstacle is U.S. government policy. The U.S. is committed to overthrowing the government in Khartoum. Any sort of peace effort is aborted, basically by policies of the United States. The recent bill the President has signed is a devastating obstacle to any furtherance of peace.50
African intelligence analyst Linda de Hoyos writes:
None protesting the direct backing to Garang’s SPLA could possibly be labeled friends of the Sudan government. The question being called, however, is whether the United States should continue to pursue a war policy against the National Islamic Front (NIF) of Sudan, or whether it should seek to bring about a peace settlement to end the 16-year-long war in southern Sudan that has brought no military progress, but left 2 million southern Sudanese dead and another 3 million displaced.51
The member of the Clinton administration primarily responsible for this policy is Assistant Secretary Rice: “Underlying the effort is Ms. Rice’s belief that the Khartoum government, which has been controlled by the National Islamic Front since 1990, should be isolated and punished as much as possible.”52 But when we punish nations that harbor terrorists in ways that harm their civilian populations far more than their governments, we bring about greater hatred of America and provoke additional acts of terrorism against us. It doesn’t make sense, even in utilitarian terms. Nevertheless, Rice and her staff are committed to prolonging the war:
John Pendergast, a special adviser to Ms. Rice, said the food aid would enable the rebels to maintain positions in the parched territory where they are fighting the northern army and government-backed militias. “This is so forces can eat more easily and resupply forces in food deficit areas,” Pendergast said. It was hoped that the food would allow the rebels “to stay in position or expand positions in places where it is difficult to maintain a logistical line,” he said.53
While it seems counterintuitive that the appropriate response to starvation in Africa might not be to send food to everyone who is hungry, the Sudanese war is not the first in which concerned persons have reached this conclusion:
The notion that food aid perpetuates war is not new. But these days, aid organizations are painfully more aware that their benevolence can have unintended consequences. In Goma, Zaire, five years ago [in 1994], two relief organizations, Medecins Sans Frontieres [Doctors Without Borders], which won the Nobel Peace Prize this year, and the International Rescue Committee, stopped providing food and medicine to Rwandan refugees. It was a wrenching but necessary decision to walk away, they said.
Why? Because it was clear that the camps were providing shelter not only to women and children but to the armed militia of the Hutu tribe who had fled Rwanda after slaughtering untold numbers of Tutsi. The Hutu were preparing, with the aid of Western food, to launch more Tutsi-killing raids back across the border, the groups said.54
Michael Maren, author of The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity (New York: Free Press, 1997), writes about the moral complexity of this situation in a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece:
Rebel leaders have bluntly declared that they expect the aid to continue so the war can. “People are thinking hard about this ethical dilemma,” said a European Union relief official. It is hard to call for an end to the aid, relief officials say, knowing that it would mean starving children. But they acknowledge that no one has calculated whether more lives can be saved in the long run by substantially reducing aid to press the parties to stop the war....
Both sides have used food as a weapon, taxing, stealing, blocking and diverting emergency deliveries in order to control people and territory. The international agencies that provide food to the south under the United Nations’ Operation Lifeline Sudan have long anguished over the inescapable fact that their well-intentioned efforts were fueling the war by feeding its armies. But their alternatives are limited. Now Washington is poised to promote this distortion of humanitarian purpose. In doing so it would forfeit its ability to criticize those who use food as a weapon.55
Peter D. Bell, President of CARE USA, addressed this problem in The Washington Post six weeks ago. I believe his remarks are worth citing in their entirety:
Two trucks rumble through the scrub of South Sudan. Each carries food. One is destined for a hungry village; the other is going to a military encampment of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the rebel force that has battled the northern-based government of Sudan for much of the past 30 years.
The trucks look the same from the air. Yet one is – in the eyes of the government of Sudan – a legitimate military target, as it transports food to sustain its enemies. The other is a “neutral” humanitarian shipment of food to suffering people. But how to tell the difference?
The answer is, you can’t. And so government bombs will target both trucks, jeopardizing the massive food relief system run by humanitarian groups, as well as the Sudanese who depend on this food.
President Clinton, in effect, authorized this terrible scenario when he signed the foreign operations bill two weeks ago, endorsing the delivery of food to Sudan’s rebel army. The legislation is the latest in a series of efforts by the U.S. government to confront the horrible reality of Sudan. But the bill – and the broader strategy behind it – is misguided. Aiding the rebel armies will not end Sudan’s agony. Only peace will.
Both the Sudanese government and the SPLA acknowledge that the war is unwinnable; yet the two sides continue fighting in order to jockey for stronger negotiating positions in anticipation of current and future peace talks. President Clinton’s decision to strengthen the rebels will delay, not hasten, these talks.
The legislation is apparently part of a wider U.S. effort to isolate, weaken and eventually bring down the current regime in Khartoum. The U.S. government cites the Sudanese government’s poor human rights record and its complicity in global terrorism – issues worthy of concern. But the policy ignores the dirty reality of this war; the truth is that both sides have committed serious human-rights violations. And despite years of conflict, both sides, for better or worse, cling to power.
The larger issue is this: Does the United States really believe that providing food directly to one side will help the people of Sudan? Isn’t it more likely that it will, in fact, fuel the conflict; that such a policy will make all food assistance – even to starving children – suspect in the eyes of combatants; that aid agencies, always under pressure from conflicting interests, will become fair game in an all-out war to control resources?
There is little evidence that the U.S. government’s current determination to isolate Sudan’s government has contributed to the alleviation of suffering and the ending of conflict. Many observers believe the policy has bolstered the most radical elements on both sides of the war, increasing the credibility of their invective.
On a recent trip to Sudan, I visited a poor community at the base of the Nuba Mountains and a vast camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Khartoum. I saw firsthand the suffering of a country in which 2 million people have perished and 4 million more have been uprooted in pursuit of an unwinnable war.
Moreover, in meetings with government and rebel leaders in Nairobi, I sensed the increasing consciousness of the futility of the war. There are moderates and pragmatists on both sides who yearn for peace and development in Sudan. Isolating them or empowering their military-minded colleagues is no way to encourage peace.
What is instead needed is a unified and engaged U.S. policy in pursuit of a “just peace” – a plan that encompasses the views of all parties within Sudan and that is also broadly supported by the international community.
Former President Jimmy Carter helped to show the way last week in successfully mediating a peace settlement between the governments of Sudan and Uganda. That agreement could ease tensions in the region and contribute to a just peace within Sudan. U.S. policymakers should emulate Carter’s example by turning away from strategies that reward warriors and toward policies that support peacemakers.
Providing food to armies and strengthening the hard-liners won’t end the war. But it may end the ability of humanitarian trucks and planes to deliver food to hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk from starvation. And it will prolong a brutal war that has terrorized the people of Sudan for far too long.56
According to an article in the 5 January 2000 edition of The Washington Post, CARE USA is not the only aid agency to be dissatisfied with the U.S. Government’s policy concerning Sudan:
For decades, Save the Children has been feeding, immunizing and patching up young victims of Africa’s longest running conflict – the civil war in Sudan. Now, however, the Connecticut-based aid organization has expanded into unprecedented political activism at home.
Save the Children has joined most of the private and religion-based aid agencies that operate a $1 million-a-day relief program in Sudan in beginning to criticize Clinton administration policy as one-sided in its hostility toward the Khartoum government and insufficiently committed to promoting a just peace.
“It’s not really our role in life,” said Charles F. MacCormack, Save the Children’s president. “But when hundreds of thousands die year in and year out because of politics, we are forced to become involved.”
The centerpiece of U.S. policy has long been to isolate Sudan’s National Islamic Front government, headed by President Omar Hassan Bashir. Washington accuses Bashir’s administration of supporting terrorism, bombing civilian targets, suppressing religious freedom and abusing human rights – including by backing enslavement of women and children in southern Sudan so they can be sold in the north. At the same time, Washington has maintained a public dialogue with, and given some aid to rebels led by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which also has been accused of serious human rights abuses.
The aid groups argue that Washington’s focus on combating terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism has blinded it to possible openings to Khartoum, as well as to the manifest faults of the SPLA. They say the U.S. view has led to decisions like the August 1998 bombing of a Khartoum pharmaceutical plant on what is now widely questioned evidence that it was involved in chemical weapons manufacture. And it has given outsize influence to those who see the long ethnic and territorial war in Sudan, Africa’s largest country in area, as primarily a religious battle between the Islamic north and the Christian south.
In a September meeting they requested with Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, the aid groups – including Save the Children, CARE, Oxfam America, World Vision, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Lutheran World Relief, among others – called on the administration to make peace its primary objective in Sudan, to support development efforts in the north as well as the south and for Clinton to become personally engaged and “to announce a new policy.”
To the administration, the aid organizations are at best naive and misguided, and at worst are undermining its policy toward a Sudanese government that it says deserves to be an international pariah.
This article goes on to explain that Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice is opposed within the Department of State by Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees and Humanitarian Assistance Julia V. Taft:
The disagreement between the administration and the aid organizations – as well as policy divisions within the administration itself – came to an acrimonious head at the end of November, when Clinton signed a congressionally authored measure permitting the administration to send food aid directly to SPLA rebels.
The White House says it has not yet decided whether to go ahead with the aid, but must report a decision to Congress by Feb. 1.
The aid organizations, which along with the United Nations deliver virtually all assistance to all sides in Sudan – including more than $1 billion from the United States over the past decade – rose in protest. Not only would delivery of aid to combatants violate the basic precept of humanitarian assistance, they argued, it would put aid workers in even more danger than they already are.
In a Dec. 13 letter to Albright, Human Rights Watch, whose denunciations of the Sudanese government have been cited in U.S. government reports on rights abuses, called the proposal “wholly inappropriate and wholly out of step with the values that you have tried to inject into U.S. foreign policy.”
While acknowledging disagreements, administration officials declined to talk on the record about the issue after news reports in recent weeks indicated a fierce battle between the assistant secretary of state for Africa, Susan Rice – considered the chief Sudan hard-liner by the aid groups and a strong supporter of the proposal to give aid to the rebels – and Julia V. Taft, the department’s chief of humanitarian operations, who is against it.57
Hopefully, for the sake of the Sudanese people, Taft will prevail in this battle. Rice’s position is profoundly unethical. By her own admission, she has also contributed to arming Sudan’s neighbors: “We have also provided, for the first time, defensive military assistance to Sudan’s neighbors, which face a direct threat from Sudanese-sponsored insurgencies.”58 Furthermore, according to an article in the 20 November 1998 issue of the Executive Intelligence Review, she and Winter are interested in supplying more than food to Garang’s army within Sudan:
An EIR team probing the causes behind the genocidal wars that have been ravaging East and Central Africa over the last four years, has uncovered a covert arms and logistical supply network run out of the U.S. State Department.... As in the case of then-Vice President George Bush and Col. Oliver North’s covert Iran-Contra operations, the arms and logistical supply to marauding forces in East and Central Africa is being organized “off the books,” and in direct violation of the official, public policy of the United States government toward the conflicts involved.
The parallel to the Bush-North operations is precise: Incontrovertible evidence accumulated by EIR demonstrates that the same extra-governmental “assets” used by North in widespread illegal narcotics- and arms-trafficking, are channelling arms and military aid into Central Africa....
The two leading operatives who have been caught red-handed in such dirty operations toward Central Africa are U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice, and Roger Winter, executive director of the U.S. Committee on Refugees.
EIR has uncovered two, overlapping operations. First, is the covert supply of arms to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of John Garang, which has waged a totally unsuccessful but nevertheless genocidal war against the Sudan government since 1983. The second involves covert military logistical aid to the so-called rebel forces arrayed against the government of Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an operation being run directly out of the U.S. State Department with the oversight of Rice.59
According to Rice, “The Government of Sudan continues to prosecute a vicious war strategy in the south that is the direct cause of much of the starvation that is now killing so many in southern Sudan.”60 But there is overwhelming evidence that her own strategy is contributing to the deaths in southern Sudan. Instead of promoting war without end, we should be sincerely seeking to bring it to a conclusion. If this were achieved, there would be the risk that the Sudanese government would take advantage of the lack of resistance and murder defenseless civilians in the south. But I believe that running this risk would not be worse for these people than the present situation. And if refraining from persecuting civilians in the southern part of the country were made a condition of normalized economic relations with Sudan, the government would have a strong incentive to keep the peace. This is not to claim that the government in Khartoum is an ideal one. But our hands are not exactly clean either.
In October 1996 the United States launched the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI). In July 1997 soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group began training battalion-size units in Senegal and Uganda to become members of the ACRI. Rice was involved in the details of formulating the Initiative. Its stated purpose is “to work with international partners and African nations to enhance African peacekeeping and humanitarian relief capacity.”61 But journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo of Uganda (which borders both Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo) notes that some Africans have doubts concerning the real reason for the creation of the ACRI:
Ugandan soldiers who were being trained by American troops for the African Crisis Response Initiative had their pass-out parade September 17 . Not everyone is convinced that the troops were being trained for peace keeping and humanitarian tasks only.
Sudan and some opposition politicians in Uganda allege that the exercise was a US cover-up for training a core of commando units to attack neighbouring countries which are not on good terms with President Yoweri Museveni’s government. Until either the force is called on a humanitarian mission, or it invades a neighbouring country, we shall not know who is right.62
I wish we could be certain that the intended purpose of the ACRI is indeed peaceful and humanitarian. But do we have grounds for believing what our civilian leaders tells us? Have they earned our trust?
Our strategy – if it is sufficiently coherent to be called a strategy – is fraught with ethical problems. First, there is the question whether it is just to require soldiers of any country to die for peace in another country, if the security of their own country is not threatened. According to the just war tradition, it is not. Second, there is question of how soldiers are supposed to keep peace when there is no peace to keep. The best way to prevent catastrophes such as the one that took place in Rwanda in 1994 is not to send in peacekeepers after they begin, but to address the unjust actions – primarily economic or commercial actions of both governmental and non-governmental entities – that lead to them in the first place.
Another ethical problem is that military training and weapons are not always used for the purposes intended by those who provide them. As Onyango-Obbo observes in writing about the ACRI: “The Ugandan army, like most African militaries, does not and has never had a tradition of neutrality. And because of that, we don’t have the mind-set for peace keeping.”63 (That has been true traditionally of most militaries in the rest of the world as well.) Furthermore, according to The Washington Post, training provided by our Special Forces before the birth of the ACRI has be used for purposes quite other than those we intended:
Following the 1994 civil war [in Rwanda], during which more than a half-million Rwandans were massacred, the United States had become increasingly close to the Rwandan government and the army that backed it. Rwanda’s de facto leader, Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame, was regarded in Washington as a brilliant military strategist. Hoping to build stability in strife-torn central Africa, Washington pumped military aid into Kagame’s army, and U.S. Army Special Forces and other military personnel trained hundreds of Rwandan troops.
But Kagame and his colleagues had designs of their own. While the Green Berets trained the Rwandan Patriotic Army, that army was itself secretly training Zairian rebels. Rwandan forces then crossed into Zaire and joined with the rebels to attack refugee camps where exiled Rwandan extremists were holed up. That touched off a war that eventually toppled Africa’s longest-reigning dictator, Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko.
Although the United States shared the goals of dismantling the refugee camps and replacing Mobutu [whom we supported throughout most of the Cold War], the invasion took Washington by surprise, sources in both countries say. And when the Rwandan forces became involved in massacres and other human rights abuses inside Zaire, now known as Congo, the United States faced a dilemma over how to react that persists to this day.64
There are no easy solutions today to the problems of Sudan and its neighbors. But our objective should be genuine peace in the region. When we punish an unjust government in ways that harm the citizens more than the leaders themselves, when we supply food to rebels in order to promote and prolong a civil war, and when we provide military arms and training without good reason to believe that they will be used justly, we narrow the ethical gap between the government we are attempting to isolate and our own.
The War against Population
For at least the last quarter-century, differences between rates of population growth in the United States and in other countries has become a factor in U.S. long-range strategic planning. National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200), dated 24 April 1974, written under the direction of National Security Advisor Henry A. Kissinger, and declassified in 1989, identifies population growth in the less developed countries (LDCs) of the world as a threat to American security:
The political consequences of current population factors in the LDCs – rapid growth, internal migration, high percentages of young people, slow improvement in living standards, urban concentrations, and pressures for foreign migration – are damaging to the internal stability and international relations of countries in whose advancement the U.S. is interested, thus creating political or even national security problems for the U.S.65
NSSM 200 singles out Nigeria as one nation whose strategic significance will increase as a consequence of its increasing population:
African countries endowed with rich oil and other natural resources may be in a better economic position to cope with population expansion. Nigeria falls into this category. Already the most populous country on the continent, with an estimated 55 million people in 1970, Nigeria’s population by the end of this century is projected to number 135 million. This suggests a growing political and strategic role for Nigeria, at least in Africa south of the Sahara.66
One of the specific ways in which population growth is seen as a potential threat to American strategic interests is its impact on the availability of minerals:
Whatever may be done to guard against interruptions of supply and to develop domestic alternatives, the U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries. That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.67
Another way in which differences in rates of population growth are believed to affect U.S. security is that more rapid growth in population is generally accompanied by more rapid economic growth. If developing nations grow more rapidly in terms of both population and economic strength than developed nations, the latter will possess a smaller percentage of the world’s economic wealth. A paper prepared by Nicholas Eberstadt of the Harvard University Center for Population Studies for the U.S. Army Conference on Long Range Planning, “Population Change and National Security,” appeared in the Council on Foreign Relations’ journal, Foreign Affairs, in 1991. After discussing projected rates of population and economic growth, Eberstadt comments:
By these projections a very different world would seem to be emerging. Such trends speak to pressures for a systematically diminished role and status for today’s industrial democracies. Even with relatively unfavorable assumptions about Third World economic growth, the share of global economic output of today’s industrial democracies could decline. With a generalized and progressive industrialization of current low-income areas, the Western diminution would be all the more rapid. Thus, one can easily envision a world more unreceptive, and ultimately more threatening, to the interests of the United States and its allies.
The population and economic-growth trends described could create an international environment even more menacing to the security prospects of the Western alliance than was the Cold War for the past generation. Even without the rise of new blocs or alignments, one can envision a fractious, contentious and inhumane international order: liberal precepts could have steadily less impact on international action and belief in human rights could prove a progressively weaker constraint on the exercise of force.
Imagine a world, indeed, very much like the United Nations today, but with rhetoric in the General Assembly informing policy on a global scale, directing actions affecting the lives of millions of people on a daily basis. Even without an aggressive or hostile Soviet bloc, or the invention of new weapons, this world could be a very dangerous and confused place.68
Eberstadt does not argue that the solution to the purported problem is to reduce birth rates among peoples whose fundamental beliefs differ from our own. He suggests instead that we should strive to persuade them to see things the way we do. But he defines our situation as a problem in such a way that reducing birth rates in the Third World could easily be seen by others as the solution.
A report commissioned by the Department of Defense and published in The Washington Quarterly, a journal of The Center for Strategic and International Studies, in 1989, links “population planning” to “development assistance,” and places both on the same level as the development of new weapon systems:
As difficult and uncertain as the task may be, policymakers and strategic planners in this country have little choice in the coming decades but to pay serious attention to population trends, their causes, and their effects. Already the United States has embarked on an era of constrained resources. It thus becomes more important than ever to do those things that will provide more bang for every buck spent on national security. To claim that decreased defense spending must lead to strategic debilitation is fatuous. Rather, policymakers must anticipate events and conditions before they occur. They must employ all the instruments of statecraft at their disposal (development assistance and population planning every bit as much as new weapon systems). Furthermore, instead of relying on the canard that the threat dictates one’s posture, they must attempt to influence the form that threat assumes.69
And the Kissinger document explicitly states that “policies which will contribute to population decline” should become a part of “overall assistance strategy”:
It is clear that the availability of contraceptive services and information is not a complete answer to the population problem. In view of the importance of socio-economic factors in determining desired family size, overall assistance strategy should increasingly concentrate on selective policies which will contribute to population decline as well as other goals.70
The strategy pursued by the U.S. Government to reduce population growth in Africa includes information warfare. The following documentation of American anti-population policy in Nigeria is provided by Elizabeth Liagin of the Information Project for Africa, and appeared recently in the Population Research Institute Review. By the Spring of 1988,
officials with the US Department of State knew they had a problem. For almost 20 years, the US government had tried to build a network of “family planning” services in oil-rich Nigeria, black Africa’s most populous state. And they understood that nothing had the potential to kindle suspicion or inflame controversy so much as a US-sponsored campaign to reduce Nigerian births.71
A new blueprint for an externally-funded population-control program in Nigeria, dated 9 July 1987, describes the plan as “a major, innovative, and far-reaching endeavor ... designed to increase the acceptability and the practice of family planning by approximately four fold in the most populous country of Africa” (p. 5). Its initial goal was to recruit 2.5 million committed contraceptive users within five years. It adds: “At the end of the five-year project, 80 percent of the population aged 15-45 will be informed of family planning concepts. Hopefully, smaller family norms will result” (p. 5).
One enormous obstacle to this plan was that, while surveys suggested the average Nigerian woman would give birth to between six and seven children during her reproductive lifetime, there was no sense of having “too many” children in Nigeria. In fact, the average Nigerian woman wanted between eight and nine children. This meant that a successful program of birth planning based solely on “free choice” would result in an increase, not a decrease, in the Nigerian fertility rate. In the words of an appendix to this State Department document, the preference for large families runs so deep in Nigerian culture that the celebration of fertility is
ingrained in many rituals of life and even in daily greetings.... Nothing is more rewarding to most Nigerian women than to bear and raise children. Nothing can give a Nigerian man more pride than to be surrounded by an admiring crowd of family and children. They are not just a sign of his wealth and power, they are his wealth and power (p. 5).
Furthermore, “more than half of Nigeria’s people adhere to orthodox Islam, and a substantial portion of the rest are Roman Catholics, meaning that the huge majority of Nigerians also reject western birth control methods on moral and religious grounds.” And, the document continues, “African governments have given either no leadership or uncertain leadership to family planning programs,” because those embracing such activities in the past “have repeatedly been attacked on the grounds that population programs are a form of foreign intervention and that they are imperialist, neo-colonialist plots to keep Africa down” (pp. 5, 9). Nevertheless, the State Department saw a rare window of opportunity to force Nigeria’s leaders to yield to a population policy dictated by the West.
By the mid-1970’s, the World Bank, which is firmly under the control of the executive branch of the U.S. Government, had become a major source of development funds. With its leverage over fragile developing economies came the ability to negotiate domestic policies: “any country wishing to borrow from the Bank was required, as a condition of credit, to present a realistic plan for economic development” (p. 9). By the mid-1980’s, Nigeria’s economy had become stagnant and the long-awaited opportunity had arrived.
The American policy was presented to Nigerian officials as a supplement to an existing “national health policy.” It simply required that “family planning” be included in the health program. And “family planning” was presented as a service to help couples “achieve their wishes” with regard the prevention of “unwanted pregnancies,” to assist them in “securing desired pregnancies,” and to educate them about the “spacing of pregnancies” and limiting family size “in the interest of family health.” The representation to Nigerian leaders also specified that the methods provided would be “compatible with [Nigeria’s] culture and religious beliefs” (p. 10).
In reality, such language so grossly misrepresented the program that, under legal standards in the US, it might be considered fraud. The 1987 project authorization listed a huge array of program activities that went far beyond what was culturally acceptable or permissible on religious grounds, and was completely at odds with the concept of helping people “achieve their wishes” about reproduction....
Among other things, the 1987 project paper called for a massive propaganda offensive that involved the infiltration of the mass media, commercial entertainment, news agencies, and traditional gatherings. It called for the production and dissemination of no less than “3,000 television, radio, film, and folk media programs and spots, and newspaper and magazine inserts in at least five languages.” It also included the planning and execution of scores of “orientation symposia” for influential public and private sector leaders; the recruitment and training of thousands of “motivational agents” to advocate birth control; workshops and ideological guidance for educators; conferences and scholarships for journalists, publishers, playwrights, and film makers, and much more. Among other things, family planning messages were to be integrated into “existing popular radio and television series,” as well as “variety shows and soap operas.” New programs would be created and funded. Testimonials would be solicited from “traditional and religious leaders” and aired through local media outlets. Music was to be recorded for commercials with lyrics countering prevailing pro-natalist opinion. And organizations were to be formed and secretly financed to give the appearance of “policy support” at the grassroots level.
All of this was to be backed up with audience surveys, focus group studies, and “anthropological research” so as to “to convince the greatest number of people” to practice family planning and create “a positive public atmosphere for the population program.” And above all, these activities were to be done in a way that disguised the role of the United States, leaving the bewildered Nigerians to think that the onslaught of propaganda represented nothing more than a spontaneous change in local opinion (p. 10).
This population policy took effect officially in April 1988. The U.S. Government, through its Agency for International Development (AID – not to be confused with AIDS, which is also depopulating large regions of Africa), contributed $67 million to the program. The World Bank, between 1987 and 1990, committed $95 million. Funds also came from various United Nations specialized agencies, other developed country governments, and private foundations and corporations. Nevertheless, this attempt to submerge indigenous culture was so plagued with defections, corruption, and scandal that it ultimately collapsed.
Liagin identifies several rules of information or propaganda warfare:
First, messages must be repeated consistently and reinforced through a variety of sources. Second, themes must be credible, both in terms of message content and messenger. Third, the ideas expressed should reasonably conform to the expectations and presumptions of the target group. Fourth, the communications must give the impression that they reflect a spontaneous change occurring within the society rather than a deviant or alien point of view. Perhaps most importantly, when one is attempting to deceive an audience, great care must be taken not to get caught.72
She then adds: “But over-zealous contractors, the majority of them working directly for the US Agency for International Development, failed to heed the most important rule of secret political influence. And the campaign backfired” (p. 5).
The State Department document called for a variety of “outreach” activities that would be directed at Nigeria’s religious leaders. Representatives of religious groups would be brought to some “25 workshops and 150 seminars to discuss the health and social benefits of smaller families,” while testimonials were to be obtained from leaders giving favorable opinions on birth control. Additional meetings and orientation sessions would be held for religious groups at the national, regional, state and local levels. And carefully planned messages on radio and television and in the print media would target Nigeria’s various religious groups. The project paper stated: “Misconceptions as to religious bans on family planning are widespread” (p. 5).
The U.S. Government’s overseas population projects are typically run by contractors selected and funded through the Office of Population at AID. Such non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) are useful in controversial assignments, because they obscure the role of foreign governments. In the case of the Nigerian program, at least a dozen major groups were involved, including Pathfinder International. According to a database of population activities compiled by the United Nations, Pathfinder’s AID agreement included an effort to “promote family planning among Islamic leaders,” to “revise source documents on Islam and family planning for theologians and teachers,” to develop “Islamic” literature in support of population policy, to provide “consultation” to institutions involved in administering population programs, and to “implement the organization and preparation of an Islamic workshop for women” (p. 6).
Working with Pathfinder was the Futures Group, which works with both AID and the Department of Defense. It is described in U.N. literature as “a private organization concerned with policy analysis, development and strategic planning,” specializing in “forecasting technological, social and political developments and their impacts” for the U.S. Government. Another participant was the Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
One Nigerian who played a key role was Dr. A. B. Sulaiman, then an official with the Nigerian health ministry, who was paid slightly more than $100,000 to arrange for an “Islamic conference on policy” and to do “policy studies.” Sulaiman was also supposed to give the fake documents the health ministry’s official seal of approval. Another sub-contractor was Abdel Rahim Omran, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen, who received $57,000 from Pathfinder for presiding over workshops on population policy and another $25,000 from the Pathfinder budget, paid through a “University of Maryland Foundation,” to write the teaching materials on Islam and birth control (p. 6).
At the time the plan was discovered, Omran was acting director of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM). In that post, he took several trips to the Middle East to promote population control. In Yemen, says a 1989 CIDCM newsletter, Omran had taken part in a “three-day conference [which] is regarded as having led to the establishment of the first official population policy in that country.” He also participated in a conference of scholars, theologians, and demographers in Morocco, and then traveled to “several African and Asian Moslem countries to meet with intellectual and religious leaders,”.... While abroad, he claimed to have produced a “shift in attitudes from stiff resistance to acceptance of the concept of family planning,”....
The University of Maryland Foundation administers numerous research programs on the school’s College Park campus, including CIDCM. The latter is involved with the analysis of so-called “low intensity conflict” and reports on such topics as “multi-track diplomacy.” Its literature is full of references to meetings with high level officials of foreign countries, seminars on terrorism, internship programs, congressional briefings, and awards dinners. The same literature provides scant information about the source of the group’s funds, other than subscriptions to its quarterly newsletter which are to be paid by check to “University of Maryland Foundation.” A spokesperson at CIDCM was unwilling to discuss funding sources, but said that Omran left the institution approximately two or three years ago.
Omran is known to have worked in the past as a consultant to the World Bank. But even more important was his contribution to a study commissioned in 1988 by the Office of the Director of Net Assessment at the Department of Defense. A summary of the papers was published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the spring 1989 edition of its Washington Quarterly (p. 6).
Although Omran’s “teaching manual” had been completed, it was never distributed. Before it could be put into circulation, Sulaiman bolted his government post to take over the leadership of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, an affiliate of the London-based International Planned Parenthood Federation and an outgrowth of the old Family Planning Council set up during British colonial rule. According to Liagin, “Many Nigerians familiar with these events believe it was less a matter of Sulaiman absconding with the money than an attempt to distance himself from a potentially explosive undertaking that had grown too unwieldy to remain under wraps” (p. 7).
The entire project blew up in the Spring of 1991:
Internal Pathfinder files on the Islamic handbook project, along with the Pentagon report and copies of CIDCM newsletters, had been leaked by friends in the US to scores of Nigerian newspapers. Banner headlines proclaimed a sinister plot by a Pentagon contractor, posing as an Islamic theologian, to plant fake religious texts in Nigerian teaching institutions. The scheme was portrayed as nothing less than a Pentagon-CIA-AID conspiracy to destroy Nigeria’s growing influence in the world. New pieces of information and commentary circulated almost continuously in the press for at least two years. The ill-fated Omran text had become a point of reference for opponents of population control of all faiths. And at last, a well-organized, articulate resistance emerged. Its impact has been substantial (p. 7).
U.S. Government attempts to reduce population growth in Africa will continue to face enormous obstacles, because they oppose Africans’ traditions, cultures, and religions. When Africans are asked to state the number of children they hope to have, the answer is usually, “as many as God sends” (p. 7). Nevertheless, such attempts almost certainly will continue, because they our seen to be in our national interest. At a 17 October 1992 conference at the University of Ibadan in western Nigeria, the “National Symposium on Family Planning, Birth Control and Western Imperialism,” Dr. Michael Asuzu of the University’s College of Medicine said that U.S.-sponsored birth control programs have been constructed for
the maintenance of world power in the hands of a few nations.... Many people in Nigeria would understand this very well; i.e., the north-south, Arabic-western, Islamic-Christian political struggles, because they, too, have local versions of it. It can easily be observed that with the east-west cold war over, the only possible threat to a permanent geopolitical balance of power in favor of the secular humanist nations ... are the so-called angry and hungry young people from the Third World countries, especially Africa. Hence the only way to maintain this ‘positive’ balance in favor of the western powers is to reduce as drastically as possible the population growth rate of those third world countries (p. 8).
It is worthy of note in this context that Stephen D. Mumford, President of the Center for Research on Population and Security and author of such books as American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security, The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning, and Population Growth Control: The Next Move Is America’s, is a former U.S. Army captain. According to a 1998 Wall Street Journal article, “In the past decade, quinacrine pellets supplied by Mumford have been responsible for the irreversible chemical sterilization of more than 100,000 Third World women.” Quinacrine “prevents pregnancy by scarring the fallopian tubes. No anesthesia is used, and the procedure is painful,” writes Alix M. Freedman.73 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent Mumford a “warning letter,” requesting that he and his center “immediately halt all distribution of any and all quinacrine under [his] control, identify its location and voluntarily destroy it under FDA supervision.”74
In an even more diabolical development, South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission has unearthed the fact that the nation’s apartheid-era government worked to develop chemical and biological weapons that would be effective only against dark-skinned persons. It has been reported that the South African research was coordinated with a similar attempt, at a chemical and biological weapons facility in Nes Tziyona, Israel, to develop weapons that would harm Arabs, but not Jews.75 I have found no reports, however, that the United States has conducted research in such “ethnic weapons.”
I have mentioned only a few of the many military operations, conventional and non-conventional, now taking place in Africa. I have criticized American policy, not because I believe we are guiltier than certain European nations, but because I am an American. And I do not mean to suggest that everything the U.S. is doing in Africa is unethical. But our Africa policy is far less just than our government would have us believe.
In Somalia, from 1992 to 1993, we had a case of “mission creep,” from humanitarian assistance to nation building. Well-trained and highly-motivated, elite soldiers, given a non-traditional mission in a state of neither war nor peace, found themselves fighting the very people they were supposed to be helping. Their objective was not military victory, but instead a vague, political objective defined (or undefined) by civilians. Because it was vague, it was not attained. Both Americans and Africans were killed. But nothing worth the sacrifice of their lives was accomplished by their deaths.
We responded to the 1998 bombings of our embassies in East Africa by destroying a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, with no consideration of the just war criteria, and with insufficient knowledge of the target. This was a decision made by civilians, and an order obeyed by military officers. It destroyed the primary domestic source of legitimate drugs for one African nation. It probably was counter-productive in diminishing terrorism against the U.S., because of its unintended, but quite foreseeable, consequence of hardening hatred against us. And it was part of a global anti-terrorist strategy based upon defending a nation that was founded as a terrorist state.
The Sudanese government is far from highly ethical. But our actions regarding it and its civil war, which has been fought for seventeen years with no end in sight, are themselves ethically problematic. We are supplying food indirectly, and may soon begin supplying it directly, to the rebel army. It is extremely improbable that this will enable the rebels to overthrow the government. But it is highly probable that it will prolong the war that is the primary cause of famine in southern Sudan. And we are providing military assistance and training to Sudan’s neighbors, with no guarantee that these gifts will be used in an ethical manner.
We have waged a campaign of information warfare against the people of Nigeria, with the objective of reducing the rate of population growth in their country. We are concerned about the relatively high birth rates in Africa, not primarily because of neo-Malthusian concerns about outstripping resources, but because of a perceived threat to our long-term national security. Like most forms of non-conventional warfare, we have not done this openly. Our strategy involved deceptive language and giving our government’s money to non-governmental organizations.
In addition to arguing that many aspects of our military policy in Africa are unethical, I have also pointed out that most of the decisions determining this policy have been made by civilians, not by military officers. In some cases, such as supplying food to the rebels in Sudan and attempting to reduce the birth rate in Nigeria, military officers have had little to do with carrying out the policies. But in cases that have involved the uniformed services, there has been a notable silence on the part of senior officers given unethical orders by their civilian superiors. Some of the greatest challenges of military ethics today are consequences of the fact that our top-level civilian controllers of the military do not understand and do not respect American military tradition, military culture, and military ethics. It is assumed, nevertheless, that admirals, generals, and everyone below them must obey all of their orders.
During a recent debate with Vice President Al Gore, presidential candidate Bill Bradley said, concerning a “litmus test” on the question of homosexuals in the military:
As president, you are commander in chief, and you issue orders, and soldiers are good soldiers, and they follow your orders. I’m sure there are people in the military today who don’t agree with President Clinton.... But my sense is, when you’re president of the United States, military people are loyal to their commander in chief, whatever the policy the commander in chief calls for.76
Senior military officers should, indeed, obey their commander in chief’s orders. But is that an absolute obligation? Junior soldiers have an ethical obligation not to obey unethical orders. Do they shed that obligation with subsequent promotions? No, they do not. All members of the military profession, whatever their rank, have an ethical obligation not to obey an unethical order, even if the person issuing it is the President of the United States, and at whatever the cost to their careers, reputations, and places in history. These are prices that any true military professional must be willing to pay.
In some cases, refusing to obey an unethical order will be tantamount to resigning one’s commission. While that should never be done rashly, it is sometimes required, as James H. Toner explains:
Resignation is rarely a wise or even effective course of action. But there are times when the man or woman of integrity can brook no more; resignation, in such circumstances, is ethically required. We know that soldiers are not moral philosophers. But we know, too, that unless soldiers are prepared to stake out ethical positions based upon high principle, the “national security” which the military preserves could be at the cost of the honor which is at the heart of the profession of arms. The state and its security must never come before the philosophical principles that give meaning to the state and its security.77
The situation is analogous to the ethical obligations of physicians in our present age of “managed care.” Many doctors now have bosses whose highest academic degree is an MBA. Should doctors in HMO’s obey bosses who have no medical training? Generally speaking, yes. But not if doing so would compromise the ethical tradition of the medical profession. The same is true of military professionals. And it is a more important question today than at any other period in recent American history, because we have elected a President who lacks the moral qualities required of a commander in chief (or an infantry squad leader), and because so many of the civilians whom he has chosen to advise him have never worn a military uniform. (National Security Advisor Berger is an exception; he served as an army reserve personnel records specialist while pursuing his law degree during the Vietnam War.)
While recent cases of senior officers refusing to obey the orders of their superiors are rare, there has been at least one within the past year. In June 1999, after Russian soldiers occupied the airfield in Pristina, Kosovo, General Wesley Clark ordered Lieutenant General Michael Jackson to block the runways. Jackson refused, saying it wasn’t worth starting World War III.
This case is complicated by the fact that the four-star general was an American and the three-star British. NATO officers are permitted to refuse orders from officers of other nations that are not in the interest of their own nation. Jackson went to his national, civilian chain-of-command, which supported him in refusing to obey the order.
In September of last year Senator John Warner, the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, said, “And now we hear of a subordinate commander failing to carry out the specific orders of the supreme allied commander, which to date and presumably in the future, is an American officer. I find that troubling.” The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Henry H. Shelton, agreed: “The troubling piece is that unity of command and moving in a cohesive manner and with a chain of command that is effective is at the heart of this issue. And certainly we can’t have second-guessing at every level of command in a military organization.”
Senator Warner is also reported to have told The Times of London, “Ever since the time of Bismarck, the order of a superior officer is to be obeyed at all levels, down to the lowest soldier with a bayonet in the trenches.”78 It is unclear, however, what authority Bismarck has in determining for us whether the obligation of soldiers to obey orders is absolute. I do not know enough details of the case to judge whether General Clark’s order was ethical or unethical. But in any event, it is a recent example of a general officer refusing to obey an order of his superior commander, and not being disciplined for doing so.
All members of the military profession, of course, have not only an
ethical obligation not to obey unethical orders, but also an ethical obligation
to obey ethical orders. That means that they must develop the ability to
distinguish between ethical and unethical orders. And the higher their
rank, the more highly-developed must be their ability to make the distinction.
Hopefully, JSCOPE will play a role in helping military professionals develop
this capacity for sound judgment in the most difficult of circumstances:
the virtue of prudentia militaris or military prudence.
1. Makau wa Mutua, “U.S. Foreign Policy towards Africa: Building
Democracy through Popular Participation,” U.S. Foreign Policy: An African
Agenda, Washington: Africa Policy Information Center, 1994, p. 13.
3. Olusegun Obasanjo, “Prospects for Peace,” U.S. Foreign Policy: An African Agenda, Washington: Africa Policy Information Center, 1994, p. 20.
4. Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 3.
5. Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999, p. 76.
6. Bowden, p. 334.
7. George Stephanopoulos, All Too Human: A Political Education, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1999, p. 214.
8. Bowden, pp. 106-7.
9. Senate Record Vote Analysis, 103rd Congress, First Session, Vote No. 313, http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/rva/1031/1031313.htm.
12. Bowden, p. 75.
13. Senate Record Vote Analysis, 103rd Congress, First Session, Vote No. 313.
14. R.W. Apple, Jr., “Clinton Sending Reinforcements After Heavy Losses in Somalia,” The New York Times, 5 October 1993.
15. Bowden, p. 328.
16. Bowden, pp. 30-32.
17. Bowden, p. 195.
18. Bowden, p. 180.
19. Bowden, p. 110.
20. Bowden, p. 267.
21. Bowden, p. 329.
22. Makau wa Mutua, p. 16.
23. William J. Clinton, “Address to the Nation,” 20 August 1998.
24. Mona Charen, “Clinton’s Sudan Adventure,” San Jose Mercury News, 26 August 1999.
25. Tim Weiner and Steven Lee Myers, “Flaws in U.S. Account Raise Questions on Strike in Sudan,” The New York Times, 29 August 1998.
26. Tim Weiner and Steven Lee Myers, “Possible Benign Use Is Seen for Chemical at Factory in Sudan,” The New York Times, 27 August 1998.
27. John M. Broder, “From Baptism of Fire to Kosovo: Clinton as Commander in Chief,” The New York Times, 8 April 1999.
28. Ed Vulliamy, Henry McDonald, Shyam Bhatia, and Martin Bright, “Clinton Knew Target Was Civilian,” The Guardian, 23 August 1998.
29. Tim Weiner and Steven Lee Myers, “Flaws in U.S. Account Raise Questions on Strike in Sudan,” The New York Times, 29 August 1998.
30. Tim Weiner and James Risen, “Decision to Strike Factory in Sudan Based Partly on Surmise,” The New York Times, 21 September 1998.
31. James Risen and David Johnston, “Experts Find No Arms Chemicals at Bombed Sudan Plant,” The New York Times, 9 February 1999.
32. Andrew Marshall, “US Admits Sudan Bombing Mistake,” The Independent, 5 May 1999.
33. Patrick G. Eddington, “George Tenet’s CIA Record,” The Washington Post, 27 August 1999.
34. James Risen, “To Bomb Sudan Plant, or Not: A Year Later, Debates Rankle,” The New York Times, 27 October 1999.
36. William J. Clinton, Radio Address to the Nation, 22 August 1998.
37. “Israeli Researcher Uncovers 1948 Bloodbath,” Reuters, 19 January 2000.
38. Khalil Osman, “Zionist Terrorism: A Strategy for State-Making and Ideological Underpinnings,” Crescent International, June 1998, http://www.muslimedia.com/archives/special-edition/terrorism50/zionterr.htm.
39. Zafar Bangash, “Fifty Years of Zionist Forgery and Land Grab,” Crescent International, June 1998, http://www.muslimedia.com/archives/special-edition/terrorism50/landgrab.htm.
40. Stephen S. Rosenfeld, “Israel and Syria: Correcting the Record,” The Washington Post, 24 December 1999.
41. William J. Clinton, “Address to the Nation,” 20 August 1998.
42. Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, “The New Face of Terrorism,” The New York Times, 4 January 2000.
43. William J. Clinton, “Address to the Nation,” 20 August 1998.
44. George Gedda, “Some Blame Terror on Interventionism,” Associated Press, 23 December 1999.
45. Bruce Sullivan, “Anti-Terrorism Vigilance Urged During New Year’s Celebration, Conservative News Service, 20 December, 1999.
46. Patrick J. Buchanan, “A New Americanism,” Address at the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C., 22 November 1999.
47. “US Sudan Missile Strike Challenged,” Associated Press, 24 September 1999.
48. Raymond Bonner, “Perpetuating an ‘Emergency’ in War-Torn Sudan,” The New York Times, 11 October 1998.
49. Linda de Hoyos, “Debate Erupts on Option for U.S. Supply to Garang’s War against Sudan,” Executive Intelligence Review, Vol. 26, No. 51, 24 December 1999, p. 43.
50. Jimmy Carter, The Boston Globe, 8 November 1999, as cited by de Hoyos, p. 44.
51. de Hoyos, p. 43.
52. Jane Perlez, “U.S. Weighs Using Food as Support for Sudan Rebels,” The New York Times, 29 November 1999.
54. Jane Perlez, “In a War, Even Food Aid Can Kill,” The New York Times, 5 December 1999.
55. Michael Maren, “Using Food as a Weapon,” The New York Times, December 2, 1999.
56. Peter D. Bell, “Don’t Choose Sides in Sudan,” The Washington Post, 19 December 1999.
57. Karen DeYoung, “An Uncharitable Dispute: Relief Organizations Want U.S. Government To Moderate Hard-Line Stance on Sudan,” The Washington Post, 5 January 2000.
58. Susan E. Rice, Opening Statement at Confirmation Hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 11 September 1997.
59. An EIR Investigative Team, “Rice Caught in Iran-Contra-Style Capers in Africa,” Executive Intelligence Review, Vol. 25, No. 46, 20 November 1998, p. 58.
60. Susan E. Rice, “Crisis in Sudan and Northern Uganda,” Statement before the Subcommittees on Africa and on International Operations and Human Rights of the House International Relations Committee, 29 July 1998.
61. “African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI),” White House Fact Sheet, 1 April 1998.
62. Charles Onyango-Obbo, “Peace Force Problem: A Philosophical One,” The East African, 22-28 September 1997.
64. Lynne Duke, “Africans Use Training in Unexpected Ways,” The Washington Post, 14 July 1998.
65. National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests, 10 December 1974, p. 10.
66. NSSM 200, p. 21.
67. NSSM 200, p. 43.
68. Nicholas Eberstadt, “Population Change and National Security,” Foreign Affairs, 70 (1991), pp. 128-29.
69. Gregory D. Foster, et al., “Global Demographic Trends to the Year 2010: Implications for U.S. Security,” The Washington Quarterly, 12 (1989), p. 24.
70. NSSM 200, p. 108.
71. Elizabeth Liagin, “Money for Lies: First World Cash Used to Undermine Nigerian Love of Family,” Population Research Institute Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, July - October 1998, p. 5.
72. Liagin, “Money for Lies, Part II,” Population Research Institute Review, Vol. 9, No. 1, December 1998 - January 1999, p. 5.
73. Alix M. Freedman, “A Mission to Sterilize the Poor: Quinacrine: Campaign Offers a Painful, Possibly Dangerous Drug to the World,” The Wall Street Journal, 3 July 1998.
74. David Morrison, “FDA Lowers the Boom on Mumford: Federal Agency Orders Destruction of Hoarded Stocks of Quinacrine,” Population Research Institute Review, Vol. 9, No. 1, December 1998 - January 1999, p. 1.
75. Impact International, “The ‘Ethnic Bullet,’” http://www.africa2000.com/IMPACT/mortality.html.
76. Dave Boyer, “Gore Promises Pro-Gay Litmus Test for Military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff,” The Washington Times, 6 January 2000.
77. James H. Toner, True Faith and Allegiance: The Burden of Military Ethics, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995, p. 113.
78. Ben MacIntyre, “British General Accused by US of Insubordination,” The Times, 11 September 1999.