Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Exporting Zionism 2

"What Israel has been exporting to the Third World is not just a technology of domination, but a worldview that undergirds that technology. In every situation of oppression and domination, the logic of the oppressed is pitted against the logic of the oppressor. What Israel has been exporting is the logic of the oppressor, the way of seeing the world that is tied to successful domination. What is exported is not just technology, armaments, and experience, not just expertise, but a certain frame of mind, a feeling that the Third World can be controlled and dominated, that radical movements in the Third World can be stopped, that modern Crusaders still have a future." (The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms & Why, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, 1987, p 248)

"They defeated the Tigers earlier this year but is the Sri Lankan government's war with the Tamils really all over? This week on Dateline, Amos Roberts investigates the mysterious disappearance of Kumaran Pathmanathan, or 'KP' as he is known, who became the leader of the Tamil Tigers after the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran in May. For more than 2 decades KP had been the Tiger's chief arms smuggler and money launderer... Now it appears that in a clandestine operation 2 months ago KP was snatched from a budget hotel in Malaysia and whisked back to Sri Lanka." (The Tiger Trap, SBS Television, 18/10/09)

Dateline's report on KP's illegal rendition was dominated by terrorism 'expert' Rohan Gunaratna of Singapore's International Center for Political Violence & Terrorism Research. Gunaratna, a Sinhalese whose pre-9/11 'expertise' was largely devoted to tracking the Tamil Tigers, was described as "close to Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary, who's credited with masterminding KP's rendition."

New Zealand academic and human rights advocate Dr David Small has called Gunaratna a "self-styled expert on Islamic groups and terrorism" and noted that his post-9/11 "impact in Australia was to heighten people's sense of fear and suspicion, particularly in relation to Islamic groups and migrant communities," as well as to contribute to "the justifications for laws that undermined hard-won human rights and civil liberties." "Gunaratna's current project to establish a data base of Asian terrorist groups," observed Small, "has been said to blur the line between freedom of academic research and intelligence-gathering for governments. [He] tends to rely on what he claims are inside contacts within intelligence networks. By their very nature, however, no claims based on these sorts of sources can be independently tested. To the extent that they can be investigated, there are many instances where they have been found to be questionable." (Terrorism expertise of Rohan Gunaratna questioned, scoop.co.nz, 24/8/04) [See also Analyse this, Gary Hughes, The Age, 20/7/03]

I was particularly struck by Gunaratna's tendency to gloat ("KP was taken directly from Malaysia on board a Sri Lankan flight. He flew on business class to Sri Lanka - in style!"), and by the following two statements:

"Previously, the Americans, the Israelis did this kind of rendition operation. By bringing KP home, Sri Lanka demonstrated that it will not spare any Tamil Tiger, or any other terrorist, who is going to harm Sri Lanka's national security interest." IOW, if the USraelis can do it, why not Sri Lanka? [See my 13/5/09 post Exporting Zionism for John Pilger's penetrating rumination on Sri Lanka's Gaza model.]

"I can share with you that the Sri Lankan government is already planning to bring a number of other people home... There are a number of professionals who are living in Australia and they have supported a terrorist group by providing them with funds, by distributing their propaganda, by advocating violence, and by supporting a group that conducted violence, and I believe that they should be prosecuted." And if these Australian citizens should resist in any way, well then, the Buddhist state can always take another leaf out of the book of the Jewish state: "Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, said former Israeli intelligence officials in interviews with UPI." (UPI's intelligence correspondent Richard Sale, quoted in Watch your back, Justin Raimondo, antiwar.com, 17/1/03)

But there's more. In an interview with Gunaratna (Making peace more challenging than making war, nation.lk, 15/10/09), it comes as no surprise to learn that, in addition to his current 'work' in Singapore, Gunaratna is also "a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for Counter Terrorism, Israel." And given that both Sri Lanka and Israel have major image problems connected with their penchant for slaughtering civilians, is it any wonder that they play the same dubious numbers game by way of damage control? Here's Gunaratna in the nation.lk interview: "The US, in particular, has realised that no civilians were deliberately killed in Sri Lanka, and civilian fatalities and injuries in Sri Lanka are much lower compared with the numbers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan." And here's local Zionist advocate Peter Wertheim (Executive Director, Executive Council of Australian Jewry) in a letter to The Australian: "In Gaza, either two combatants were killed for each civilian (Israel's version) or the reverse (the Palestinian version). In the 1991 Gulf war, a lawful war authorised by the UN, the ratio was 2,125 civilian deaths for each enemy combatant killed. In the 2003 Iraq war it was 4.5 civilians per enemy combatant. In attacks by drone aircraft in Afghanistan, 10 civilians have died for each enemy combatant." killed." (20/10/09)

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