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Sep 14, 2005
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Participants in Damascus Symposium on Terrorism Agree: The U.S. Is Responsible for Global Terrorism

#870 | 09:50
Source: Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar)

The following are excerpts from a symposium on terrorism in Damascus, Syria, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on September 14 ,2005.

Egyptian intellectual Rif'at Sayyed Ahmad: The wars that are waged against our nation and our faith, claiming that it is a faith of death because it glorifies martyrdom, for example... This is presented as a kind of terrorism on the part of our nation. America's preoccupation with the culture of the "other", and even with its own culture... since its establishment - in relation to the Indians and to Latin America... This is a kind of cultural terrorism. I divide terrorism, according to its nature, into political terrorism, cultural terrorism, terrorism of faith, and economic terrorism.

[...]

There is state-sponsored terrorism, and I believe that the best example of the state-sponsored terrorism I am referring to is the terrorism of the US and the terrorism of Israel. In my opinion, according to international law, aggression against a country's independence, destroying other countries, and removing or hijacking them from history is called "state-sponsored terrorism". This state-sponsored or international terrorism exists beyond territorial boundaries. Some global organizations also perpetrate international terrorism - terrorism on a global level. Some classify the Al-Qaeda organization as international terrorism, but others respond by saying that before we do so, we have to examine its motives, since, after all, it is merely the outcome of the state-sponsored terrorism of the US.

[...]

We say that this hegemony, this policy of hegemony, and forcefully imposing the global interests of imperialistic countries are sufficient reasons for the eruption of counter-terrorism. We are referring here specifically to the United States of America. But it is also a sufficient reason for the eruption of another kind of "positive terrorism", if I may use this phrase, and I am referring to resistance. The resistance we refer to is the resistance that knows where, when, and how to resist this hegemony.

[...]

The resistance, according to my definition, is a act of cultural, social, political, and Jihadist-military awakening, confronting an enemy that is occupying one's land, and threatening the holy places, the faith, and identity. With this broad sense of the concept of resistance, I remove it from the narrow realm of armed activity alone, because it is an operation of construction in the cultural, social, educational, and political fields, and so on. In other words, if we want to be more precise, democracy, for example, or reaching liberty and toppling tyranny are one of the mainstays of resistance, because free nations are the ones that resist. On the other hand, nations that surrender to tyranny, that feel the sword of tyranny bearing down upon their necks, are the shackled nations that cannot resist.

[...]

As for Iraq, there should be a clear and fundamental distinction between (the resistance) and the acts of violence, intimidation and the killing of civilians that are committed by some groups, or even by the American occupation or the Zionist enemy in Iraq. You all know that there is an Israeli presence in Iraq, as has been published: there are two armed Israeli brigades in Baghdad, and there are 18 Israeli companies operating in Iraq. We keep reading these reports. I draw a distinction between this terrible violence against civilians and the resistance that basically targets the occupation. I say that this resistance, which targets the occupation, did not have the same courage in the days of Saddam Hussein - regardless of our reservations (about him). After the fall of the previous regime, this resistance broke out with such force, spontaneity and courage against the American occupation.

[...]

Palestinian researcher Ali Abu Al-Hassan: The UN is now convening in New York to debate once again the issue of terrorism, which it discussed in 1972. Then, it issued a resolution stating that terrorism must be fought, but it excluded national liberation movements. But then along came the US representative and demanded that the UN refrain from mentioning the national liberation movements in its resolution. Since then, your American enemy has maintained its enmity towards you and your nation. We do not condone terrorism, and we do not claim that the events of September 11, 1901 (sic) are the reason for everything that is happening. They are the straw that broke the camel's back, and they are the pretext the US has used to attack our nation.

[...]

Yesterday, this arrogant man, George Bush - despite the wrath of the skies, which is upon him - declared that Syria would bring about its own isolation and that it must abide by... Syria responded that it cannot maintain its security on both sides - the Syrian side of the border and the Iraqi side. This is the pinnacle of terrorism. We are living in an atmosphere of terrorism today. I do not want to analyze it, the public is fed up with analyses and with anything that has to do with talks behind closed doors. We are in danger, and it is high time we knew that the US is the leader of global terrorism, and that when we talk about terrorism, we must talk about the US.

[...]

Oh members of my nation, the only thing I ask of you is to reject the (American version) of 9/11 and the New World. You belong to a great nation. You must prepare for the confrontation. You must be the army of your nation, and Syria is proud of you, and you have the honor to be Syrian Arabs, the defenders of your great Arab nation. Thank you.

[...]

The most dangerous lie is one that has a grain of truth. Perhaps, what is presented as terrorism today is perpetrated by the US itself, in order to accomplish the strategic goals that Nixon talked about. Some observers believe that the events of 9/11 are no exception. There may have been American involvement, in one way or another, in this heinous crime, which is denounced by all humanity.

[...]

Dr. Rashid Ma'weed: When Muhammad Al-Doura was killed in his father's lap, the authorities or the Western and American media presented him as a Jewish child. They put a skullcap on his head, and said it was the Palestinians who had killed him. This way the media continues to convey the opposite.

[...]

Dr. Tal'at: We must speak openly and candidly. Enough with ambiguity and cover-up. We eat bread every day, so why do we have to define it? We experience terrorism every day, so why should we define it? I say that all terrorism is one. It's not just political terrorism. There is also social terrorism, cultural terrorism, illiteracy, ignorance, diseases that afflict the citizens and make them incapable of even resisting, oppression, exploitation... All these are part of terrorism.

[...]

Dr. Nabil Tarrat: First of all, terrorism is a big word, which means the US and its step-daughter, Israel, which sponsor terrorism throughout the region. What can we call America's positions in the UN and the fact that it refrained from giving visas to the Syrian media delegation to the UN? This, in itself, constitutes terrorism. In addition, what can we say about the revival of Bush Senior's grandfather's book, from 150 years ago, in which he considers Islam to be heresy and Christianity to be deceit, and now, regrettably, Al-Azhar has issued a fatwa permitting the distribution of the book by Bush's grandfather. This must be reconsidered. This is the pinnacle of terrorism.

[...]

When a soldier representing Bush Junior kills a fetus less than eight months old in his mother's womb - this is terrorism.

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