WAR ON TERROR EXPANDS AT EXPENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS,
Table of Contents:
War On Terror Expands At Expense Of Human Rights, Future
Seven Minutes to Nuclear Midnight
Bush's Nuclear Plan: Dr. Strangelove Revisited
Sudan's Civilian Casualties
War on Terror Expands At Expense of Human Rights, Future
a speech marking the 6-month anniversary of September
11th, President George Bush envisioned a
"peaceful world beyond terror" where
"disputes can be settled within the bounds of reason
and good will and mutual security."
praised the efforts of "a mighty coalition of civilized
nations" who are "defending our
common security." But, in the interest of building
the coalition to defeat terrorism and defend
common security, is the Bush administration
going too far?
it builds a "civilized" coalition, the
United States is deepening military ties
with countries whose histories of human rights abuses,
instability, and/or violation of international treaties
are well documented. Weapons, troops and military training
are flooding into the Philippines. Yemen
is awaiting training and arms. The arms and training
embargo against Indonesia is increasingly painted as
an impediment to the war on terrorism. Relationships
with the "Stans," as the former
Soviet republics are known, are being strengthened with
military aid, training, and the establishment
of U.S. bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The government of Colombia expects
a large military aid package, now that the
paradigm of the war on terrorism has replaced the
war on drugs.
State Department's 2001 "Country Reports on Human
Rights Practices," released March 4,
2002 foreshadows some of the problems with
these relationships. Looking at the State Department's
entries for the new allies in the war on
terrorism, the refrain is "the Government's
human rights record remained poor." Can the goals
of a terrorism-free world be achieved with
answer that question it is useful to look at the weapons
sales and military training being offered
the Bush administration's new partners in
the war on terrorism alongside the State Department's
recent report on their human rights records.
AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA:
United States imposed sanctions on the former Soviet
republic of Azerbaijan in 1992 in response
to its bloody territorial dispute with Armenia.
The sanctions, extended to include Armenia as well in
subsequent versions of the law, were waived from both
countries as part of the FY 2002 Foreign
Operations Appropriations bill so they could
"support U.S. counter-terrorism efforts."
They agreed to allow U.S. planes to use their
airspace and have frozen the assets of terrorist
groups. Visiting in December 2001 as part of a whirlwind
tour of the region, Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld promised military aid, saying the
nations "believe that closer military ties with
the United States will allow them to modernize
their military." For FY 2003,
the United States has requested IMET funding
of $750,000 and Foreign Military Financing
(FMF) amounting to $3 million for each country.
State Department Human Rights Report:
"The Government's human rights record remained
poor. The Government continued to restrict
citizens' ability to change their government
peacefully. Some prison inmates and detainees died in
part due to mistreatment by the authorities.
Police tortured and beat persons in custody
and used excessive force to extract confessions."
"The Government's human rights record remained
poor*there were deaths in police custody
and deaths in the military as a result of
mistreatment. Members of the security forces routinely
beat detainees during arrest and interrogation.
Arbitrary arrest and detention was a problem."
United States is offering $64 million to train and equip
four 300-strong battalions of Georgian forces,
to help them combat terrorist hiding in the
Pankisi Gorge, near the Russian border. The program
would equip the units with light weapons,
vehicles and communications. Late last year,
the U.S. delivered 10 unarmed Huey helicopters, but
the request had come before September 11th.
For fiscal year 2003, the President is
requesting IMET funding of $1.2 million and FMF of $7
Department Human Rights Report: "The
Government's human rights record remained poor and worsened
in several areas* Several deaths in custody
were blamed on physical abuse, torture, or
inhuman and life-threatening prison conditions. Reports of police brutality continued.
Security forces continued to torture, beat,
and otherwise abuse detainees."
testimony before Congress on February 27th Admiral Dennis
Blair requested that 5,000 "counter
terrorism experts" be deployed to Indonesia
to patrol the archipelago's shores and harbors and take
part in "crisis action teams."
Blair asked Congress to lift the weapons
embargo against Indonesia, saying, "current restrictions
on our interaction with the [Indonesian military]
limit our effectiveness," adding that
Indonesia is "vulnerable to terrorism penetration."
Department Human Rights Report: "The
Government's human rights record remained poor, and
it continued to commit serious abuses. Security
forces were responsible for numerous instances
of, at times indiscriminate, shooting of civilians,
torture, rape, beatings and other abuse,
and arbitrary detention in Aceh, West Timor,
Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya), and elsewhere
in the country."
General Tommy Franks recommends that the U.S. military
help train the Yemeni forces to pursue Al-Qaeda.
The Bush administration is planning to send
at least 100 U.S. troops to train local forces and has
hinted at aiding in the creation of a maritime force.
The U.S. is requesting IMET funding of
$650,000 and FMF of $2 million for FY 2003.
Department Human Rights Report:
Government generally respected its citizens' human rights
in some areas... however, its record was
poor in several other areas, and serious
problems remain.... Members of the security forces killed
a number of persons during the year. Members
of the security forces tortured and otherwise
abused persons, and continued to arrest and
detain citizens arbitrarily, especially oppositionists
in the south and other persons regarded as
are no Al Qaeda terrorists in Colombia, and yet the
rhetoric of fighting the war on terrorism
has certainly impacted U.S. military policy
to that country. One senior official said recently that,
"people are interested in considering
a move from counternarcotics to counter-terrorism,
rather than counter-insurgency." The official
conceded that the distinction was largely "just
a change in words." But, the Bush
administration is hoping to provide Colombia with about
$374 million in military aid through the
Foreign Operations Appropriations.
additional $98 million, from the Foreign Military Financing
(FMF) program would be used to supply Colombian
soldiers with 10 "Super Huey" helicopters
to protect a strategically important oil pipeline that
has been targeted by the rebels. Military
training programs worth $1.1 million have
been requested for 2003. Total military aid offered
to Colombia for FY 2003 is estimated to be
more than $490 million.
Department Human Rights Report:
Government's human rights record remained poor; there
were continued efforts to improve the legal
framework and institutional mechanisms, but
implementation lagged, and serious problems remained
in many areas* government security forces
continued to commit serious abuses, including
extrajudicial killings. Impunity remained a problem."
United States recently sent six more helicopters and
a number of aviation experts to join the
660 elite troops doing joint training exercises
with the Filipino military. The United States and the
are discussing a new treaty that would grant the U.S.
"access rights" to the nation of islands,
allowing the U.S. to store weapons, fly through
airspace, and station U.S. troops there for short
periods of time.
The U.S. has supplied the Philippines with
$92 million worth of military equipment,
so far and the Pentagon has requested $2.4
million in IMET funding and $20 million in foreign military
State Department Human Rights Report: "The
Government generally respected the human rights of citizens;
however, there were serious problems in some areas.
Members of the security services were responsible
for extrajudicial killings, disappearances,
torture, and arbitrary arrest and detention."
United States has begun military cooperation with the
dictatorship of Uzbekistan. 1,000 American
troops were stationed in Uzbekistan by mid-October
engaged in training and joint operations with Uzbeki
forces, for "search and rescue"
and "humanitarian" missions. U.S. Green Beret
troops were stationed in Uzbekistan and were training
the Uzbeki military in marksmanship, infantry
patrolling, map reading and other skills.
The United States provided "nonlethal" equipment
like helmets, flak jackets, Humvee transport
vehicles, and night-vision goggles to the
Uzbeki military and border guards. For FY 2003, the
Pentagon has requested $1.2 million in IMET
funding and $8.7 million in foreign military
Department Human Rights Report:
Government's human rights record remained very poor,
and it continued to commit numerous serious
abuses. Citizens cannot exercise the right
to change their government peacefully; the Government
does not permit the existence of opposition
parties. Security force mistreatment resulted
in the deaths of several citizens in custody."
the United States develop closer relationships with
dictatorships and human rights abusers in
the interests of "a peaceful world beyond
the war on terror"? Time will tell and soon
that this policy is much more likely to "blowback"
in dangerous consequences.
in Focus, a project of Foreign Policy in Focus:
Reports on Human Rights Practices," State Department,
Seven Minutes To Nuclear Midnight
unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save
our modes of thinking, and thus we drift
toward unparalleled catastrophe."
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a historic anti-nuclear
organization founded by Manhattan Project scientists,
moved the minute hand of their "Doomsday
Clock," from nine to seven minutes to midnight
on February 27, 2002.
Doomsday Clock was designed by the Bulletin of Atomic
Scientists in 1947 to evoke both the imagery
of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary
idiom of military attack-the countdown to zero hour.
The clock has stood between seventeen and
nine minutes to midnight since the end of
the Cold War. At the height of tensions between the
Soviet Union and the United States the clock
stood at three minutes to nuclear midnight
in 1984, dramatically expressing the imminence of nuclear
most recent "tick tocking" closer to nuclear
midnight was triggered by a series of serious
setbacks in international security catalogued
in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' press release:
- Too little progress on global nuclear disarmament;
- Growing concerns about the security of nuclear
weapons materials worldwide;
The continuing U.S. preference for unilateral action
rather than cooperative international diplomacy;
- U.S. abandonment of the Anti-Ballistic Missile
(ABM) Treaty and U.S. efforts to thwart the
enactment of international agreements designed toconstrain
proliferation of nuclear chemical, and biological weapons;
- The crisis between India and Pakistan;
- Terrorist efforts to acquire and
use nuclear and biological weapons;
- The growing inequality between rich
and poor around the world that increases
the potential for violence and war.
Bulletin paints a grim but unavoidable picture, saying
that, "Moving the clock's hands at this
time reflects our growing concern that the
international community has hit the "snooze"
button rather than respond to the alarm."
week later the picture got a lot grimmer when the Bush
administration demonstrated its intention
to careen, not drift, toward unparalleled
catastrophe. Classified portions of the Pentagon's Nuclear
Posture Review (which got only limited media
attention when first released) were leaked
to the press.
of the Atomic Scientists, overview of the "Doomsday
of the Atomic Scientists, Current Time
Bush's Nuclear Plan: Dr.
years ago this month, on March 23, 1983, President Ronald
Reagan unveiled his Star Wars scheme with the stated
intention of rendering nuclear weapons "impotent
and obsolete." It was a bumpy, hair-raising ride, but by the end
of his administration Reagan did in fact
sign off on the first major reductions of the nuclear
age, with a little help from Mikhail Gorbachev
and the global anti-nuclear movement.
decades later, the word coming from the administration
of George W. Bush, who thinks of himself
as a Reagan disciple, is that nuclear weapons
are here to stay.
left office saying that a nuclear war can never be won
and must never be fought. Bush's "new
idea" is that the United States should
develop new, more "usable" nuclear weapons
that can be employed in a variety of circumstances,
from busting Saddam Hussein's underground
bunker to bailing out U.S. forces in a conventional
the recommendations from the Bush administration's Nuclear
Posture Review (NPR) are carried out, the
declared purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons
could change from a tool of deterrence and a weapon
of last resort, to a central, usable component
of the U.S. "anti-terror" arsenal. Even the Great Communicator would have
had a hard time explaining how planning to
use the deadliest weapon on earth could possibly
reinforce the message that killing civilians is wrong
and that the U.S. is more "civilized"
than its terrorist adversaries.
President Bush talks of the need to prevent the spread
of weapons of mass destruction, the Pentagon
report stressed the need to develop new capabilities
"to defeat emerging threats such as hard and deeply
buried targets," "to improve accuracy and
limit collateral damage" -- a so-called
the "bright" side, the review recommends reducing
the number of operationally deployed nuclear
weapons in the U.S. from 6,000 to between
1,700 and 2,200. However, reducing and destroying may
not be the same thing. The number of warheads
that would be dismantled and the number that
would become part of the "active reserve stockpile"
-- a phrase worthy of Stanley Kubrick's fictional
nuclear strategist, Dr. Strangelove -- has
not been disclosed. This discrepancy drew immediate
criticism from Russia, and threatens to further delay
nuclear reductions that have been stalled
for almost a decade. Russian Defense Minister
Sergei Ivanov, meeting with U.S. officials in Washington
this week, asked, "Can such a reduction
be considered a real one?" ad
of ICBMs, bombers, and submarine launched ballistic
missiles to a triad of forces that includes
both non-nuclear and nuclear strike capabilities. In theory any force structure that relies
less on nuclear weapons and more on conventional
bombs should be a step in the right direction. But the practical impact of the Bush administration's
emphasis on usable nuclear weapons and a costly Star
Wars defense system will be to launch a new,
multi-sided nuclear arms race.
Bush administration has already announced its intention
to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile
decision to find seek missions for nuclear
weapons is arguably a violation of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty as well-- an accord under which
the United States and other major nuclear
powers have agreed to take rapid steps to
eliminate their nuclear arsenals in exchange for a pledge
by non-nuclear nations to forswear the nuclear
likely are countries like
Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Libya,
Russia and China --all of which have been targeted in
the new Bush nuclear plan-- to heed the administration's
calls to reduce or renounce their own nuclear
arsenals in the face of this new threat from the
a multi-billion dollar Star Wars plan on the one hand
and the knowledge that they may be targeted
by a new generation of U.S. nukes on the
other, aren't they much more likely to build up their
the six-months since September 11th, President Bush
said,"Terrorist groups are hungry for these weapons
and would use them without a hint of conscience."
But the logical response to this fear should
not be to build more nuclear weapons, but to take all
possible steps to reduce the world's bloated
nuclear arsenals. Instead, "by insisting
that nuclear weapons must play a vital role in military
planning, the Bush administration is encouraging present
and future adversaries to develop or acquire
nuclear weapons of their own," notes
Stephen Schwartz of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Donald Rumsfeld noted at a recent speech at the National
Defense University, "The terrorists
who struck us on Sept. 11th were clearly not
deterred by doing so from the massive US nuclear arsenal." The answer to this conundrum
is not to find a way to use nuclear weapons against
terror groups or their alleged sponsors, it is to develop
a sophisticated, cooperative strategy to
de-fund, dismantle, and isolate Al Qaeda
and other terror networks.
But by increasing the kinds of situations in which the
United States might employ nuclear weapons,
from launching them "against targets able
to withstand non-nuclear attack," in retaliation
for the use of nuclear, biological, or chemical
weapons, or even "in the event of surprising
military developments," the Bush nuclear posture
dramatically lowers the threshold in which
these ultimate terror weapons may be used. The authors of this new policy, a group aptly described
by the Guardian of London as "radical
defense strategists" like Deputy National Security
advisor Stephen Hadley and Robert Joseph, senior director
for proliferation strategy at the White House,
worked closely with the conservative National
Institute for Public Policy on a January 2001
report upon which the new Bush nuclear posture has been
modeled. The director of that study
is none other than Dr. Keith Payne, whose
greatest prior claim to fame was co-authoring a notorious
1980 article on nuclear war entitled "Victory
of following the lead of hardline ideologues like Dr.
Payne and his followers, the security of
our nation and the world would be far better
served if President Bush would lead of his favorite
former President, Ronald Reagan, by taking
concrete steps toward eliminating nuclear
weapons before they are used again in some future conflict.
Nukes Are Good Nukes?
An Interview With Jacqueline Cabasso of Western States
Missile Defense Is Not The Answer
A Position Paper from the Union of Concerned Scientists
IV: SUDAN'S CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
Sudanese government is facing a dilemma - to end its
attacks on civilians in oil producing areas
or jeopardize its strategy to secure oil
areas by expelling and/or massacring civilian residents
to clear areas for production.
The U.S. plays a crucial role in influencing
the Sudanese decision.
U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Senator John Danforth
(R-MO) has been engaging in negotiations with the Sudanese
government and the Sudan People's Liberation
Movement (SPLA) in an attempt to broker a
September 11th the Bush Administration has been willing
to open dialogue with Khartoum in exchange
for assistance in rooting out Al-Qaeda networks.
A crucial condition for continuing talks between
Khartoum and Washington is an end to civilian attacks,
which has been the government's primary strategy
in its war against the South. Although the
war is widely perceived as a religious war, it is
predominantly a war fought for access to oil in Southern
Sudan. By eliminating Southern Sudanese communities from
potentially lucrative oil fields, the Sudanese
government stands to make hundreds of millions of
dollars. Currently, the Sudanese government is bringing
in over one million dollars a day from oil
of that money is being funneled into Khartoum's
communities located in oil area prevent the
Sudanese government from expanding reaching its revenue
potential. Therefore, Khartoum does not want to end
Khartoum is threatened by the growing unity among
Southerners. Southern Sudanese fell victim to the governments
divide and conquer strategy, producing years
of in fighting between former allies. The last few years, Southerners have been
actively engaged in a People-to-People Peace
Southern rivals SPLA and Sudan People's Democratic
Front (SPDF) have reconciled and formed a
united front against the government.
Together they plan to repel the government
from Southern oil producing areas.
response to the new threat of a strengthened resistance
emerging from the South, Sudan has risked
its renewed relations with the U.S. to protect
oil sources. It
appears as if the government is gambling that
the U.S. will strongly condemn their actions but still
maintain relations. An open line between Washington and Khartoum
will ease fears of oil investors who can
continue production under the guise that
Sudanese government is taking steps toward peace.
month, the Sudanese government killed 24 civilians,
mostly women and children in a helicopter
attack during a World Food Program relief
drop. Two helicopter gunships hovered and fired
from such a low position that survivors could
see his face.
The helicopters fired at least five
rockets at civilians waiting for food distribution. This widely publicized attack
was the second of two helicopter attacks in
February. These incidents are not isolated. There
have been reports of a "massive increase"
in civilian attacks in oil areas. A Southern Sudanese man who
was forcibly conscripted into the Government army and
eventually escaped claimed that his orders were to "defeat
the SPLA and open the oilfields, Burn the
villages! Loot anything you find in front
of you - children, women, cattle!"
understands it plays a crucial role in America's War
on Terror. Although they desire positive international
recognition to open opportunities for increased
oil revenues, there are plenty of foreign
oil companies who are not deterred by Sudan's gross
human rights violations, and will continue
to invest in Sudanese oil production. Senator
Danforth must ensure that a Sudanese agreement to cease
attacks on civilians is strictly enforced.
This will take a concerted effort on
the part of the U.S. and the concerned international
community. As US State Department Spokesman
Richard Boucher has said, "Sadly, the history
of Sudan is strewn with agreements and commitments that
have never been implemented."
Net, for news and views:
All Africa, news wire: www.allafrica.com
"Rethinking Sudan" Foreign Policy
in Focus, August 2001, Dan Connell: www.fpif.org/commentary/0108sudan.html
World Policy Institute
66 Fifth Ave., 9th Floor
York, NY 10011
212.229.5808 x112 fax 212.229.5579
Arms Trade Resource Center was established
in 1993 to engage in public education and
policy advocacy aimed at promoting restraint
in the international arms trade.
To sign up for our monthly email Updates,
please contact Frida Berrigan.