by Eric Margolis © 1998 Eric Margolis
ZURICH - The terror bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania this week horrified Americans, and left them feeling they were once again innocent victims of evil terrorism that was as mindless it was abominable.
While certainly abominable, the attacks were hardly mindless: they were clearly designed to punish the US, though innocent Africans mostly paid the price. So far, the culprits remain unknown, though Mideast underground groups are clearly leading suspects.
Most Americans simply don't understand how deeply their nation is involved in the turmoils of Asia and Africa. Nor that the United States has fully inherited the role of world imperial power played by Great Britain last century. As the British discovered with notorious Victorian malefactors, like Sudan's Mahdi, Somalia's `Mad Mullah,' or China's Boxers, the restless natives occasionally bite back.
The US hardly lacks enemies abroad, thus suspects in the bombing. At present, the US openly admits to seeking to overthrow the governments of four nations: Libya, Iraq, Sudan, and Iran - the last democratically elected. The US has repeatedly tried to assassinate the leaders of Libya and Iraq for impudently challenging US-British hegemony in the Mideast.
Israel, with enemies galore, is seen in the Mideast as either an extension of the United States, or the United States an extension of Israel. By the warped logic of the region, attacking the US equals attacking Israel. This week's embassy bombings were very similar to an earlier - and still unsolved - terror attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.
US agents are conducting a secret war, including abduction or assassination, against numerous Palestinian and Arab groups, such as Hamas, the PFLP and Saudi mujihadin. CIA, FBI and US military intelligence are extremely active in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf in protecting the undemocratic rulers of these nations from being overthrown by their own citizens.
Defending the status quo brings the US into head-on collision with underground groups across the Mideast- like the shadowy Saudi, Osma Bin Laden - whose aim is to replace the region's oil kings and sheiks by popular Islamic and/or even democratic governments.
Radical underground groups in North Africa, Egypt, Jordan, `Holy' Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf claim their nations have been turned into virtual American colonies, under US military occupation. They say Arab `puppet' rulers give away their oil to the US and Britain in exchange for protection. American `occupiers' are thus fair game, such as the bombing two years ago, of US military garrison at El-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Other somewhat less likely suspects: US-trained Afghans who fought the Soviet Union, were later branded `terrorists' by Washington,' and are now hunted by US and Pakistani agents.
Marxist Kurds of the PKK, who see the US as the main support of their blood enemy, Turkey.
Serbs, to distract Washington from their ethnic cleansing in Kosova.
Chechens, to punish the Clinton Administration for financing Russia's destruction of their tiny nation, and slaughter of 100,000 people.
Colombian, Mexican or Peruvian drug lords - angry over the US led war against their business
Congolese, for revenge against the US-orchestrated overthrow of their late leader President Mobutu.
Angola's UNITA movement -an old ally ditched and lately besieged by the US, which now backs Angola's communist regime for reasons of petropolitics.
The embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam suffered damage roughly equivalent to a hit by a 2,000-lb bomb or 16-in naval shell - just what the US liberally dropped on Libya and Iraq, or fired at Lebanon. Or supplied to Iraq, to drop on Iran. And supplied to Israel to drop on various Arab targets.
In other words, the attack was either payback time or a bloody step in driving the US out of its Mideast Oil Raj. Mindless, it was not. Expect more.
[Eric Margolis is a syndicated foreign affairs columnist and broadcaster based in Toronto, Canada.]
[In June 1996, the Qods Force, the covert-action arm of Iran's Islamic
Revolutionary Guards Corps, arranged the bombing of an apartment
building used by our Air Force in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 19
Americans.--Richard Clarke and Steven Simon, "Bombs
That Would Backfire," New York Times, April 16, 2006]