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A Commentary on the Marathon Murders

The dominant reactions to the horrific bombings on April 15th, the day of the running of the Boston Marathon, as well as the celebration of Patriots Day, have been so far: compassion for the victims, a maximal resolve to track down the perpetrators, a pundit’s notebook that generally agrees that Americans have been protected against terrorist violence since 9/11 and that the best way to prevail against such sinister adversaries is to restore normalcy as quickly as possible. In this spirit, it is best to avoid dwelling on the gory details by darkly glamorizing the scene of mayhem with flowers and homage. It is better to move forward with calm resolve and a re-commitment to the revolutionary ideals that midwifed the birth of the American nation. Such responses are generally benevolent, especially when compared to the holy war fevers espoused by national leaders, the media, and a vengeful public after the 9/11 attacks that also embraced Islamophobic falsehoods. Maybe America has become more poised in relation to such extremist incidents, but maybe not. It is soon to tell, and the somewhat hysterical Boston dragnet for the remaining at large and alive suspect does suggest that the wounds of 9/11 are far from healed.

For one thing, the scale and drama of the Boston attack, while great, was not nearly as large or as symbolically resonant as the destruction of the World Trade Center and the shattering of the Pentagon. Also, although each life is sacred, the magnitude of tragedy is somewhat conveyed by numbers, and the Marathon incident has so far produced three deaths as compared to three thousand, that is, 1/1000th of 9/11. Also important, the neocon presidency of George W. Bush was in 2001, prior to the attacks, openly seeking a pretext to launch a regime-changing war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and the 9/11 events, as interpreted and spun, provided just the supportive domestic climate needed for launching an aggressive war against the Baghdad regime. The Iraq War was undertaken despite the UN Security Council failure to lend its authority to such an American deadly geopolitical venture and in the face of the largest anti-war global demonstrations in human history. In 2001, the preferred American grand strategy, as blueprinted by the ideologues of the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution, was given a green light by the Bush/Cheney White House even in the face of the red lights posted both at the UN and in the streets of 600 or more cities around the world.

Although there are many distressing continuities that emerge if the Obama presidency is appraised by comparison with the counter-terrorist agenda of his predecessors, there are also some key differences of situation and approach. Obama came to Washington as outspoken opponent of torture and of the Iraq War. He also arrived after the failed wars of Afghanistan and Iraq, which had devastated two countries, seemingly beyond foreseeable recovery, while adding nothing to American security, however measured. These unlawful wars wasted trillions expended over the several years during which many Americans were enduring the hardships and pain of the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. In other words, temporarily at least, the Beltway think tanks and the government are doing their best to manage global crises without embarking on further wars in a spirit of geopolitical intoxication that was hallmark of the unipolar moment that was invoked by Republicans to chide the Clinton presidency for its wimpish failure to pursue American strategic interests in the Middle East. Remember, as well, that this was the period of quick victorious wars that were also cheap when measured by casualties or resources. The Gulf War of 1991 and the NATO Kosovo War of 1999 were the poster children of this supposed revolution in warfare that enabled the United States and its allies to fight ‘zero casualty wars.’ At least it seems that for the present irresponsible and unlawful warfare are no longer the centerpiece of America’s foreign policy, as had become the case in the first decade of the 21st century, although this is far from a certainty. The war drums are beating at this moment in relation to both North Korea and Iran, and as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.

Aside from the dangers and unacceptability of promiscuous wars, there are other serious deficiencies in how the United States sees itself in the world. We should be worried by the taboo at this moment of 24/7 self-congratulatory commentary imposed on any type of self-scrutiny by either the political leadership or the mainstream media. Unlike the aftermath of 9/11, there are a few hopeful signs of awakening to this one-eyed vision on the part of the citizenry. Listening to a PBS program hours after the Boston event, I was struck by the critical attitudes of several callers to the radio station: “It is horrible, but we in this country should not be too surprised, given our drone attacks that have killed women and children attending weddings and funerals in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Another caller asked, “Is this not a kind of retribution for torture inflicted by American security forces acting under the authority of the government, and verified for the world by pictures of the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib?” And another asked, “In light of the authoritative reports of officially sanctioned torture as detailed in the 577 page report of a task force chaired by two former senators, one a Republican, the other a Democrat, and containing senior military and security officials, has not the time come to apply the law to the wrongdoers during the Bush presidency?” Can we not expect one among our politicians, other than the Tea Party darling Rand Paul, to have the courage to connect some of these dots? Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden’s haunting line: “Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return”?

The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world, starting with the Middle East. Some of us naively hoped that Obama’s Cairo speech of 2009 was to be the beginning of such a process of renewal, and although timid in many ways, it was yet possessed of a tonality candidly acknowledged that relations with the Islamic world needed fundamental moves by the US Government for the sake of reconciliation, including the adoption of a far more balanced approach to the Palestine/Israel impasse. But as the months passed, what became evident, especially given the strong pushback by Israel and its belligerent leader, Bibi Netanyahu, were a series of disappointing reactions by Obama, which could be described as an accelerating backpedaling in relation to opening political space in the Middle East.

Now at the start of his second presidential term, it seems that Obama has given up altogether, succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel First. Obama has acknowledged the constraints on his freedom to maneuver on these foreign policy issues, and seeks to confine his legacy ambitions to such domestic concerns as immigration, gun control, and health care. In so doing, he is virtually abandoning the international agenda except to manage crisis diplomacy in ways that do not disturb the global status quo or weaken America’s global reach. Obama’s March trip to Israel was highlighted by his March 21st speech in Jerusalem, which was delivered as a love letter to the Israeli public rather than qualifying as a good faith effort to demonstrate his belief in a just peace. Such obsequious diplomacy was a disappointment even to those of us with low expectations in what the White House is willing to overcome the prolonged ordeal of the Palestinian people.

Aside from the tensions of the moment, self-scrutiny and mid-course reflections on America’s global role is long overdue. Such a process is crucial both for the sake of the country’s own future security and also in consideration of the wellbeing of others. Such adjustments will eventually come about either as a result of a voluntary process of self-reflection or through the force of unpleasant events. How and when this process of reassessment occurs remains a mystery. Until it does, America’s military prowess and the abiding confidence of its leaders in hard power diplomacy makes the United States a menace to the world and to itself. Such an observation is as true if the more avowedly belligerent Mitt Romney rather than the seemingly dovish Barack Obama was in the White House. Such bipartisan support for maintaining the globe-girdling geopolitics runs deep in the body politic, and is accompanied by the refusal to admit the evidence of national decline. The signature irony is that the more American decline is met by a politics of denial, the more rapid and steep will be the decline, and the more abrupt and risky will be the necessary shrinking of the global leadership role so long played by the United States. We should be asking ourselves at this moment, “How many canaries will have to die before we awaken from our geopolitical fantasy of global domination?”


About the Author

Richard Falk

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Richard Falk
Richard Falk is an international law and international relations scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years. Since 2002 he has lived in Santa Barbara, California, and taught at the local campus of the University of California in Global and International Studies and since 2005 chaired the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He is the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. 
  • arrow

    {Such responses are generally benevolent, especially when compared to the holy war fevers espoused by national leaders, the media, and a vengeful public after the 9/11 attacks that also embraced Islamophobic falsehoods.}

    This FALSE FLAG Operation has the same intensity as 9/11 where assisted Bush to kill more than 2 millions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. This time Boston was chosen for another “terrorist attack” designed by the leading terrorist organization in the world, FBI, with cooperation of Boston Police under direction of the first BLACK governor to implement the operation to support Islamophobia and Muslim killings in Syria, Iran and elsewhere to the first BLACK president, a leading baby killer and an assassin to assists Al Qaeda with military equipment and funding against Assad, Iran ally.

    FBI selection of people from ethnic Chechen, a medical student, helps US – Russia cooperation against “terror” to hide the true nature of Russian criminal state. Russia and China helped the first black president to launch military action by not using their veto vote against the fascists in US, NATO and Turkey and sold Libya. Now they are in the process of selling Syria to the fascists for the right to act freely against Chechen.

    The fascists in the street of Boston shouting USA, USA, when the bloody body of the “suspect” brought to the hospital. But Obama and Bush before him have killed millions of innocent people without wide objections of the ignorant and arrogant people who shouted the stupid slogan, USA, USA…

    I hope the fascists not to be able to kill the ONLY remaining “suspect”, so the world a unbiased Court find out who are the REAL TERRORISTS,FBI,CIA and the WH.

    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2013/04/fbi-casting-set-stage-for-boston.html#more

  • arrow

    In a telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the means to step up cooperation between Washington and Moscow on security issues, the Kremlin said in a statement.

    “Both sides underscored their interest in bolstering the close cooperation of Russian and US special services in the fight against international terrorism,” the statement further read.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/04/20/299263/us-russia-to-boost-antiterror-efforts/

    SHAME ON RUSSIA AND PUTIN, butcher of Chechnia.

  • a free bird

    {It seems that Obama has given up altogether, succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel First.}

    I am sorry to say you are wrong. Obama knows what is he doing and is taking advantage you and people like you who supported and continue to cover for his mass killing in Muslim countries. You should wake up and don’t allow to be used by a baby killer. Obama, was the first president candidate who publicly supported Jerusalem as undivided “capital of apartheid state. As Mr. James correctly written:
    { Obama is the first Jewish president.} Yet you ignored his crimes against humanity and asked people to vote for him AGAIN.

    {He is virtually abandoning the international agenda except to manage crisis diplomacy in ways that do not disturb the global status quo or weaken America’s global reach.}
    On the contrary, Obama has not only abandoned the international agenda but has speeded it up. Obama is following Bush’s agenda on STEROID and you know it. He is worse than Bush, how possibly could you misinterpret? He has been put in power to help the establishment of WORLD GOVERNMENT that Richard Falk, Emmanuel Wallerstein and Noam Chomsky support.

    You are the supporter of war criminal, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was involved in massacre of Libyan and now Syrian people helping NATO, Saudi Arabia and US.

    The following link shows how FALSE FLAG creates fear and hysteria among gullible people to make them easy prey supporting military action against Muslims, in Syria and elsewhere. The people who support the racist policy of the USA are enablers for the fascist state of USA. So far we have not received any evidence from FBI where can be hold in court of justice to convict these “suspects”, yet the racist authorities and media, Government propaganda machine, have already tried and convicted these innocent people because of their religion, Islam, and their ethnicity, Chechen.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312215/Dzhokhar-Tsarnaev-clinging-life-hospital-just-yards-11-victims-Battle-terror-suspect-alive-FBI-waits-quiz-plot.html

    It has been reported that the “suspects” were on FBI radar, a leading terrorist org., for years. If Tsarnaev brothers were the “terrorists”, armed and dangerous, as we were told by the media, then why neither of them did not shot any one during the two days ordeal planned but they were the victims of FBI bullets?

    It is obvious that they don’t want them to survive to hide the truth, keeping the ignorant people as they are to cheer their terrorist activity.

    The Governor Deval Patrick should be condemned for his cooperation with the war criminals, taking Boston and Bostonians hostage to boost FBI’s terror at home.

    Many people have already said: the “suspects” were SET UP. This act of terror against Muslims must be condemned worldwide and the real terrorists who have killed millions of people in Vietnam, Somalia, Sudan, Palestine, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Indonesia, Peru should be brought to justice.

    Damned with ICC, a western tool of western power. The lawyers at Hague must be stripped out of their law degrees since they have remained silent against the REAL TERRORISTS, but have gone after the victims of imperialism/zionism who are mainly from the continent of Africa and Asia. One of these lawyers is Payam Akhavn, a NED (CIA) asset, Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda at The Hague, but is completely silent and has supported the US and Canada’s war crimes around the world.

  • James

    American Conservative founder Scott McConnell provided another explaination that Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing could have been a FALSE FLAG operation.

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    Please spread the words that these two “suspects” are presumed INNOCENT until in the court of law PROVEN guilty. Since this is FALSE FLAG OPERATION, the officials and their media, US government voice, have tried and convicted these two young men simply because they were from ethnic Chechen and Muslims.

    The media from the beginning injected a SAUDI MAN as suspect, but claimed the Saudi person is not suspect rather “person of interest” to fix the mind of gullible people on ISLAM from the beginning to lead them into the desired conclusion, that ISLAM is responsible for terrorism as we have told you.

    Later, they presented “evidence” by posting photos of these two innocent young people, one medical student and the other working toward being a boxer. Their evidence is so stupid that it never can be accepted in an unbiased court as evidence.
    Evidence 1- The two suspects were walking “fast” in some distance from each other!
    You can make a video fast or slow if you want. In such a crowded place most of the people in the video were walking in ONE LINE one after the other.

    Evidence 2- These people had heavy back pack full of devices to be exploded!
    There are many pictures that show people with heavier back backs than these two gentlemen.

    Evidence 3- We have a picture shows the suspects were placing the back pack down ready to be exploded soon

    NO ONE HAS SEEN THESE PICTURES YET. If they have them, then why not have published them yet?
    The pictures that already have been published where are supposed to be the “evidence” to convict the “suspects”. These photos taken after blast showing people are running for their lives including Dzhokhar Tzarnaev. We are told Dzhokhar is leaving the scene WITHOUT HIS BACK PACK.
    This is a LIE. First, his bag was not pack back rather a Sac, or a bag where was on his RIGHT SHOULDER at all times. The pictures show him from THE LEFT SIDE alone. It is obvious that you cannot find the BAG on his left shoulder because is carried on right shoulder.
    Do we have a picture from the right shoulder without the bag?
    I bet you these people were NOT ARMED AND DANGEROUS, but the real terrorists were armed and dangerous eager to kill these two young person to complete their operation for gullible people around the world.
    The authorities did not present any photo for his brother leaving the scene WITHOUT his BACK PACK.

    It is very interesting to know that the authorities did not find weapon(s) in his car parked in the street with people present; however they found “pipe bombs” when they entered into their empty apartment with where public was not present. Anyone can plant weapon in the “familiar territory”. Don’t we ever hear of police planting drugs or weapons at the scene to convict innocent people in the past?

    It has been reported that
    Their mother, Zubeidat, expressed her dismay at the allegations, recounting Dzhokhar’s life in the US and talking of his status among his peers and friends: he was an honors student, loved by many of his friends and teachers. And his older brother Tamerlan was a star athlete and student, whose ambition was to one day appear on the US Olympic wrestling team.
    But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.
    Why FBI did not reveal this information?
    Please look at the photos and judge for yourself.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/chechen-bombing-suspects-planted-device-feet-russian-flag-article-1.1322263

    • Maria

      There is a picture of the apartment were the guys lived.
      Lots of sneakers on the floor and on the right side is the backpack the younger one was wearing.

      • arrow

        Another LIE of FBI regarding Boston marathan “bomber” was exposed today.

        Two U.S. officials say the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard.

        Authorities originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him.

        The officials tell The Associated Press that no gun was found in the boat. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said earlier that shots were fired from inside the boat.

        More LIES of US officials will be exposed soon when their parents come to the US. So stay tuned.

  • arrow

    It has been reported:

    FBI PHOTO OF 2ND BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECT CLEARLY PHOTO-SHOPED

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOeKH9Fjv14

    Dzhokhar was carring his bag on right soulder, therefore, he was tilted toward his RIGHT SHOULDER.

    After the bamb exploded, FBI claimed Dzhokhar left the scene without his bag. This is not true. The photo clearly shows he was tilted toward his right shoulder, then he must have had his bag, but since the picture was taken from his left side, then it was difficult to see his bag.

    A skilled photographer believes this picture photo shopped.

  • arrow

    Governor Deval Patrick on “meet the press” said:

    “surveillance video from the attack shows one suspect dropping his backpack and calmly walking away before the bomb inside exploded. It clearly puts 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the scene of the attack, he added.”

    FIRST: Mr. Patrick, Dzhokhar, did not have a backpack. He was carrying a SHOULDER BAG on his right shoulder. I hope you can see the difference.
    The public has been presented with a photo of Dzhokhar shot from his left shoulder where he is running for his life after the bomb exploded. The bag is not visible because the shot is from the left side. You should have presented the public with the same video that you have seen or a photo where his RIGHT SHOULDER is visible not hidden before you convict him: “It’s pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly.”
    SECOND: Mr. Patrick: why didn’t you refer to the man in green suit not leaving the scene and looks CALM, but you convict Dzhokhar who “calmly walking away before the bomb inside exploded”.

    Patrick continued:
    {He is being guarded by armed officers while he recovers at a Boston hospital. He is in serious condition and hasn’t been able to communicate with investigators.}

    He has been shot in the neck, therefore, cannot SPEAK. The voice has been silenced and his brother has been killed.

    http://news.yahoo.com/gov-patrick-chilling-video-shows-bombing-suspect-drop-231043844.html

  • Mark

    why doesn’t Falk reflect on Muslims slaughtering Muslims, i.e., Syria, as a cause of the Boston bombers? That might require him to revise his entire mind set and theory about motivation.

  • http://www.ethan.com Ethan

    Why does Mr. Falk say Tel Aviv, when referring to Israel’s seat of power which is Jerusalem, the capitol of Israel?

    Why does Mr. Falk blame Israel for terrorist murders against Americans?

    How can this man possibly be in the position he is in, in the UN as a special rapporteur for middle eastern affairs when he is so clearly antisemitic as evidenced by his previous post of a Jew as a dog peeing?

    What will it take to remove this insane hater of the Jewish people?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Actually, it is a violation of the U.N. Charter for any member nation to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and establish diplomatic posts there. Numerous U.N. Resolutions point out that Israel’s moves to annex east Jerusalem are illegal, null, and void under international law. All of Gaza and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, are “occupied Palestinian territories” under the law. Apparently, the entire planet is “antisemitic” and just hates the Jewish people. You might actually learn something from Prof. Falk, if you bothered to actually listen.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        I simply stated the fact of the matter.

        • Ethan

          Actually the opposite is true. Under UN charter, article 80 countries are legally barred from denying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            The facts are precisely as I stated them. Once again, Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem is “illegal, null, and void” under international law, and under UNSCR 478, all member states that had diplomatic missions in Jerusalem were to withdraw them on account of Israel’s illegal actions.

          • Matthew Poehler

            Unfortunately the UN resolutions read like the Bible, you can choose a passage to support your argument. I read Mr B. Laden’s speech, and he looks to several provocations of his and Al Q’s actions by the West and Bush’s US in particular. The West and the M.E. have a User/Pusher relationship. The West *cannot* be uninterested in the M.E. over resources, and the M.E. *cannot* be uninterested in Western wealth. The West cannot be uninterested in the fate of Israel. The fact that the M.E. solution to the problem is that for Israel not to be there at all, leads to issues. For Mr B. Laden to choose those as provocations to violence is disingenuous. I have my own problems with the Bush Presidencies (Sr & Jr) and conflicts, there lies provocation, but not entirely unearned.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            The UN resolutions I referred to aren’t open for interpretation.

          • Fred Skolnik

            UN decisions do not determine legality in any moral sense. Between 1947 and 1989, the UN General Assembly “condemned,” “deplored,” “censured” or “denounced” Israel 321 times, the Arabs 0 times. In 2006/7 it passed 22 anti-Israel resolutions without a word about Sudan’s genocide in Darfur. The United Nations is therefore not the best place to establish the legality or illegality of Israel’s actions.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            One could just as well opine that “bills passed by Congress and signed by the President do not determine legality in any moral sense”. That may very well be true. Nevertheless, the UN Security Council resolutions I referred to merely reflect international law and are legally binding on member nations, including Israel.

          • Chris Guiver

            UN decisions do not determine legality in any moral sense. Between 1947 and 1989, the UN General Assembly “condemned,” “deplored,” “censured” or “denounced” Israel 321 times, the Arabs 0 times.

            How exactly can the UN General assembly condemn “Arabs”?

          • Fred Skolnik

            Arab countries. As Abba Eban once put it, the Arabs could pass a resolution in the UN declaring that the world is flat.

  • Sawdeekrup

    Scott McConnell is a nobody in the USA.

    Chechnyans should learn from Gandhi and MLK. Having Islamists bomb other people just makes others hate them. Russia gave Chechnya a chance in the mid1990s. You can argue Russia wanted Chechnya to fail but the Islamists did nothing to stop it from failing

    Maybe it is a different Richard Falk?

  • Fred Skolnik

    The moral bankruptcy of the arguments that Prof. Falk is advancing lies in his creation of a system of equivalencies where any atrocity committed by a client of his can be justified. America’s actions thus create the conditions that provoke terrorist attacks, Israel’s actions thus cause Arab terrorists to bombard its civilian population (because they have no other recourse, so can you blame them?), and of course if Iran did build a bomb and dropped it on Israel, this too would be justifiable or at least understandable in his eyes, because the Iranians would be driven to it by Israel’s threats, and that is precisely the blog he would produce in such an eventuality, and his readers would of course cluck their tongues and thank him for his moral insight. The victims are therefore always responsible for being murdered, if they are his adversaries, just as women are responsible for being raped (because they dress provocatively) and the Jews are responsible for the Holocaust (see one of his worshipful admirers, Walker Percy, on his blog). This is the logic of his way of thinking, and therefore the feeling I get from reading his “analysis” and some of the comments that it has attracted is that an event like 9/11 or the marathon murders does not elicit a modicum of real human feeling from such people (because, I suppose, America brought it on itself) whereas an Arab murderer on a hunger strike arouses monumental indignation. Something is seriously wrong here, but, blinded by hatred themselves, none of these people is willing to recognize what it is.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of your own argument is that you advance the lie that Prof. Falk attempts to justify atrocities such as terrorist attacks and otherwise resort entirely to strawman argumentation.

      • CP

        Jeremy, you must have read the abridged version of Falk’s article. In the version the rest of us read he said, “Can we not expect one among our politicians, other than the Tea Party darling Rand Paul, to have the courage to connect some of these dots? Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden’s haunting line: ‘Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return’?”

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Yes, I read that part, too. And like I said, the claim that Falk tried to justify the bombings is a lie.

  • Winston

    This is the most laughably brain dead article I’ve seen. Falk is well known crank, anti-semite and 9/11 conspiracy theorist. The manhunt for terrorists and murderers who in addition to the bombing were on a bloody rampage, murdering police, shooting and throwing bombs, seemed pretty reasonable to me, but admitted I’m not as sophisticated as Mr. Falk.
    Yes Mr. Falk, the terrorists are merely seeking justice. It’s all blowback. This explains their depravities in places as far-flung as Tunisia and Mumbai. Their worldview seems rather brutal for justice seeking, but we can never miss an opportunity to use a terrorist attack to further an agenda, now can we? Just claim that terrorism is a response to an action or policy that you oppose, and advise appeasement as a form of wisdom. It’s admittedly a little difficult to frame the WTC bombings or 9/11 or Somalia or the Cole or the Embassy bombings as blowback for actually fighting back, but never fear, just blame Israel. Which tidily explains the Algerian civil war and Egyptian insurgency and Sudan and Somalia and Yemen and Syria and the Taliban and Chechnya. It explains it all. LOL. There is no underlying ideology of hate and confrontation that anyone needs to pay attention to. The terrorists just want “peace” you know, which naturally is why they employ mass murder far and wide.
    The scary aspect is that Mr. Falk has a position at the UN. Then again, nothing should surprise us in that Orwellian universe. Still it’s interesting to learn that someone affiliated with the UN Human Rights committee believes that the US just got “what it deserved” and that terrorism is a justifiable response to Mr. Falk’s perceived injustices. Pathetic.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      What’s pathetic is your ignorance. For example, you just said that it is difficult to frame 9/11 as blowback. Actually, it’s not difficult at all. It is completely non-controversial. The 9/11 Commission, for example, observed that Osama bin Laden’s main grievances against the U.S. were its support for Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, its murderous sanctions that killed half a million children in Iraq, and its military presence on Saudi soil. Beyond your ignorance, you resort to putting words in Mr. Falk’s mouth, such as your “the US just got ‘what it deserved'” fabrication, which shows that not only are you extremely ignorant, but very dishonest, as well.

      • Fred Skolnik

        You misunderstand the nature of radical Islam. Muslim terrorism has nothing to do with what the West does. It is first and foremost a result of the resurgence of Islam in the Muslim world as a belief system embracing in its extreme expressions an apocalyptic vision of world conquest. It indeed appeals to the downtrodden but their condition is a product of their own repressive regimes and economic hardship. As a global movement, it has no immediate aim other than sowing destruction. The ignorance of its apologists extends not only to the explicit ideology of radical Islam, there for all to see, but to their misunderstanding of how time is viewed in the East. In the West we want things to happen now. In the East people can wait. Acts of Muslim terror, inspired at the individual level by hatred, have the pragmatic aim of undermining Western societies and thereby paving the way for the ultimate triumph of Islam. This may occur in fifty or a hundred or a thousand years. Islam can wait. The patience of the East is proverbial. One can see it in Ho and Mao and Gandhi. When people who style themselves humanists refuse to acknowledge the vision and dangers of radical Islam it is small wonder that people with far fewer scruples step into the front lines to oppose it. Without the United States acting as a policeman for the world, the horrors of 9/11 will recur again and again. They are always trying, thousands waiting for an opportunity to strike. That is the reality. You can deny it as long as the murders are only on your television screens but you will look at it a little differently when it hits home.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I fail to see how observing the motives and understanding the grievances of terrorists is to “misunderstand the nature of radical Islam”.

          • Fred Skolnik

            That is what I explained to you. You do not understand their motives.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You might want to tell that to the 9/11 Commission, or, for that matter, tell the perpetrators themselves that their declared motives are wrong and that you somehow know their true motives better than they do.

          • Fred Skolnij

            You are confusing Muslim rationalizations for terrorism with the doctrines and worldview at its root. Try reading the Koran and the Hadith.

            “But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads; Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron” (Sura 22:19-21).

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            I’m not “confusing” anything. I’m stating the fact that terrorism against the U.S. is motivated by its foreign policies. This is a perfectly elementary observation.

      • CP

        Jeremy, please see your own comment of April 23 at 10:16 pm, in which you remind us all that “Comments must be … respectful to the author(s) and other visitors. Comments containing … personal attacks will be treated as spam and deleted.”

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          If you’re trying to suggest I’ve been hypocritical, an observation of the fact of someone’s ignorance complete with supporting example does not fall within my meaning of “personal attacks”. Personal attacks would include a number of the comments from Winston (e.g., “brain dead”, “crank”, “anti-Semite”, etc.) to whom I was replying by observing that he is ignorant. I allowed Winston the privilege of not deleting his comment even though he violated this site’s commenting policy.

  • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

    A reminder to commenters: Your use of this site constitutes agreement to its terms of use, including the following regarding posting comments:

    “All visitors are welcome to post comments to articles, and no registration is required to do so. Comments must be of reasonable length, relevant to the topic of the article, and respectful to the author(s) and other visitors. Comments containing racist or hateful remarks or personal attacks will be treated as spam and deleted. Severe or repeat offenses will result in the revocation of the offender’s commenting privileges.”

  • Helen Waite

    If only … If only the entire world was uniformally comprised of intelligent, introspective, humbly self-doubting, classically educated, employed, and sufficiently affluent adherents to the moral philosophy of tolerence toward others .. If only that, then Falk’s Assertion might be apt. Perhaps unfortunately, the world’s powers and population cannot proceed from the presumed existance of those prerequistes in sufficient measure today, in order to act in ways Falk asserts as just and true.

    Aaah, the power and dissassociative haze of the ivory tower. Fantastic, but not in a good way.

  • Andrew Pitts

    Perhaps many of you do not realize that Mr. Falk could have been listed on what Israel refers to as its list of Righteous Among the Nations, had he not criticized her. But, naturally, being Jewish, Mr. Falk not only gains the wrath of Israel, but it refers to him as a Self Hating Jew…

    Those who deny that Terrorism by Moslems has something to do with Israel and American Foreign Policy are either truly unaware or Israel Firsters.

    If you truly want to understand, once and for all, why Islamic Terrorism truly exist, watch these few minutes. No one could summarize it any better. This not only the truth, this is the bible of the truth. Not only listen to the lecture, listen to the captivated silence emanating from these Oxford students:

  • Smee

    How can anyone take these comments seriously? Never have I read anything that is so morally shortsighted and skewed by baseless hatred.

  • david

    Falk suggests obliquely that the Tsarnaev brothers were justified in some way by American imperialism. First, they are murderers, and it is the essence of murder that it is unjustifiable. Second, they did not leave any indication that they adopted Falk’s reason to explain why they acted as they did.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Prof. Falk most certainly did not suggest that the bombing was justified. He would most certainly agree with you that those responsible are murderers, I can assure you.

  • CINDY L

    I COULDNT FIND WHERE TO TELL U MY FEELINGS ABOUT THE UN. SO I WILL PUT IT HERE. I FEEL WE AS AMERICANS HAVE NO USE FOR THE UN. AND SHOULD GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. THEY ARE NOT FAIR UNLESS ITS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. BUT WILL WE GET OUT? NOT IN MY LIFETIME. THANK U, FOR WHAT ALL U DO, CINDY HILYER

  • CINDY L

    MY OPINION ON THIS IS THAT OBAMA SHOULD HAVE STAYED OUT OF THIS. NOW THE INFO THAT MAYBE THE FBI COULD HAVE OBTAINED FROM THIS TERROIST WILL NOT HAPPEN NOW. I AM SURE WE GOT SOME INFO FROM HIM, BUT NOT ENOUGH. THEY NEEDED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HIS BROTHER AND WHERE THEY WERE GETTING THE MONEY TO LIVE ON SINCE THEY WERENT WORKING. OR SO THATS WHAT I HAVE READ. ANOTHER TERROIST THAT WILL PROBABLY LIVE IN PRISON AT TAX PAYERS EXPENSE INSTEAD OF GETTING THE DEATH PENALTY. SINCE MA DOESNT HAVE IT. WILL THEY MOVE THE TRIAL? MAYBE.

  • manji

    Ignore Israel cyber army whose mission is to silent those who speak out against Israel occupation, apartheid and stolen land of Palestine.

    “Israel has actually created an army of bloggers to target anti-Zionist websites.”

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/04/cyber-war-over-facebook-page-i-acknowledge-apartheid-exists-in-israel/

  • seamus

    Hailing from the left coast, amongst a high concentration of fruits and nuts, Prof. Falk eagerly discounts radical Islamic extremists true motive to kill infidels not only in the United States but around the world. But no need to worry, because in this new world of bumper sticker slogans such as “coexist”, everything will be just fine providing the U.S. Government lays down its protective swords and quit promoting islamophobic falsehoods.

    Ahhh, it must be that California air…..

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Please enlighten us as to what you think their “true motive” is. That is something I feel Prof. Falk actually does quite well in the above article.

      • Troy Duran

        “Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden’s haunting line: “Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return”?”

        So, we’ve come full circle, back to the Old Testament.

        For the crime of drone strikes on an anecdotal family attending an anecdotal wedding or funeral – two Chechin boys detonate a bomb in a crowd of innocent people attending a race.

        Perhaps the drone attack was in retaliation for Daniel Berg?

        Berg may have been retaliation for the UN sanctions claiming one of the million innocent Iraqi lives during the Clinton Administration?

        Falk’s logic is ridiculous.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I fail to see how it is ridiculous to observe the motives and grievances of perpetrators of acts of terrorism.

          • Mark

            Key word = “fail.”

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Yes, you are correct, it is a very important verb in the sentence.

      • Walter

        Jeremy Hammond is the typical fool who enjoys the protections provided in America but rails against our country. If the Islamists were in control, those of his ilk would be imprisoned or worst.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I fail to see the foolishness in criticizing actions of our government that serve only to decrease our national security and provide the pretext for the infringement of our Liberty at home. As for governments imprisoning dissenters, take the case of Bradley Manning, who sits in prison for acting with moral courage and exposing war crimes.

          • Hoth

            “take the case of Bradley Manning, who sits in prison for acting with moral courage and exposing war crimes.”

            Bradley Manning sits in jail for treason and endangering the lives of Afghani citizens who aided coalition forces. He deserves no less than hanging.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Actually, it is a soldier’s duty to refuse to participate in and to report war crimes. When acting with honor and integrity to expose war crimes becomes “treason” and incurs calls for “no less than hanging”, you know moral depravity has taken over America.

      • Greg Halvorson

        Are you gazing at your navel even as I type?

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Do you have anything intelligent to say?

  • Joe

    This latest rant from Richard Falk proves conclusively why he is unqualified to act in any capacity on behalf of the United Nations. Especially noteworthy are the following:

    (1) Falk refers to the “somewhat hysterical Boston dragnet for the remaining at large and alive suspect [that] does suggest that the wounds of 9/11 are far from healed.” Does Falk actually believe that a similar dragnet would not have been put in place if the bombers had been right-wing anti-government nuts? Is it really “hysterical” to comb an area for a terrorist known to have killed previously and believed to be intent on killing again?

    (2) Falk calls the US war in Afghanistan an “unlawful war”. The Afghanistan government supported Al Queda, permitted Al Queda to operate in the country and refused to take any action against Al Queda after 9/11. According to Falk, it seems, terrorist groups can attack civilians as they wish without having to fear any “lawful” military recourse as long as the country harboring the group takes no action.

    (3) There is absolutely nothing , that’s right, nothing, connecting anything having to do with Israel with the Boston Marathon attack. Nevertheless, Falk connects the two based on his own biases.

    That anyone listens to this man on anything is completely amazing.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Prof. Falk did not say that the Boston bombing was connected to Israel.

      • Tara Burke

        What do you mean? The title of the article is “commentary on the marathon murders”….everything in it ties to the Boston bombing and American politics in general.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I’ll repeat what I said: “Prof. Falk did not say that the Boston bombing was connected to Israel.”

      • Barbara

        That’s how it reads to me. He connects the Boston Marathon bombing to US policies in the Middle East.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I’ll repeat what I said: “Prof. Falk did not say that the Boston bombing was connected to Israel.”

          • Alan Callicoat

            Repeating the same inaccurate statement time and time again does not make it any more accurate. Whether he specifically used the words or not does, in no way, negate the fact that he implies such!

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            He neither said nor implied that the Boston bombing was connected to Israel. That’s just a fact. Repeating the same falsehood to the contrary over and over again doesn’t make it true.

          • Chris Guiver

            Keep trying. Hopefully they will soon see past the Hasbara and actually READ what he wrote :)

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            I have this horrible personal fault of always assuming that people can be reasoned with, and no matter how many times this proves false, I go on believing it and trying anyway. It is really very irrational of me.

  • Miriam

    Thank you Special Rapporteur Mr Richard Falk…for saying what millions of Americans and people of conscience, around the globe are thinking, feeling and writing about.
    Despite paid hacks for the lobby or media, who denigrate Truth & its teller(s) we will not be silenced. In fact we are mad as hell about the many crimes which continue to be committed in our names and yearn for JUSTICE, Mercy and Peace!
    Bravo, Mr Falk.

    • J. Edward Tipre

      Thank you, Miriam, for thanking Mr. Hammond. You must have absorbed what Mr. Hammond’s detractors missed in the Richard Falk piece: “(At) the United Nations and in the streets of 600 or more cities around the world…citizens stood against the invasion.” (of Iraq)

      We remain hopeful that thoughtful people would make a serious effort to absorb this hard fact without collapsing into a jingoistic, reactionary heap adjacent to John Bolton who thoroughly mischaracterized Richard Falk’s commentary for his lap dog Fox audience.

  • For Truth

    It is nearly impossible for people, including Americans, to put themselves in the shoes of others. In line with Falk’s essay this is especially dangerous and tragic, for all, when one nation’s military can act in every corner of the globe with near impunity.

  • cxt

    Wow……another one sided, biased, factually questionable, and hyperbole driven, screed from a professional Leftist.

    Fun read–but only his fellow travlers would take this seriously.

  • Biasedone

    Thank you Dr Falk for a rational argument. I’m afraid there aren’t many places one can find that any more.

  • Avi

    Assuming that Israeli occupation is oppressive and that the settlers and the army both violate human rights of Palestinians is absolutely no excuse for the terrorism. Period. No excuse. Palestinians are too weak? Not a sufficient excuse. United States supports Israel? No excuse. No excuse even if the occupation is oppressive. Why isn’t that obvious? Why does that even require discussion? Let’s reverse the assumptions: Assume that the Arab world wants to crush Israel. Assume that Hamas is a terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction. Assume that the Arab Muslim world (and the Persian one apparently) would already have destroyed Israel if it could have, that is no excuse for Israeli oppression, human rights’ violations, etc. No excuse. The idea of privileging Palestinian victimhood over Israeli victimhood simply because Israel is strong enough to prevail (because that is what this is all about) is beyond unprincipled. You don’t like Israeli policies? Work against them. Build bridges with Israeli peace movement. But no, instead let’s undermine the credibility of what used to be a strong and viable Israeli peace movement by responding to the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza with terrorist Hamas. And let’s not hear excuses, like Israel’s unilateral withdrawal is the culprit. Forget that. The Palestinians had a choice. They chose “no” to peace. There is no excuse for essentially killing the peace process, which is exactly what the Palestinians did when they backed Hamas in Gaza. Let’s be real. Hamas elected Netanyahu. Hamas is what gives Beiteinu its strength. If Israel is part of the problem, then so are the Muslim enemies of Israel. If the Muslim enemies of Israel are innocent victims of Israeli oppression, then Israel is the innocent victim of Muslim extremist terrorists. As for the ideologues on both sides, a plague on both your houses. Grow up, and that includes Mr. Falk and, unfortunately for those of us who love Israel, it also includes many uncritically pro-Israel people

    • Tara Burke

      “You don’t like Israeli policies? Work against them. Build bridges with Israeli peace movement. But no, instead let’s undermine the credibility of what used to be a strong and viable Israeli peace movement by responding to the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza with terrorist Hamas. And let’s not hear excuses, like Israel’s unilateral withdrawal is the culprit. Forget that. The Palestinians had a choice. They chose “no” to peace. There is no excuse for essentially killing the peace process, which is exactly what the Palestinians did when they backed Hamas in Gaza. “……well said. I enjoyed your response.

    • sang-froid

      I think I love you!

    • Chris Guiver

      This is where you are wrong. You fail to grasp that the Palestinian resorted to Hamas as a reaction to policies that Israel had put in place, and due to the frustration with the lack of concrete results from the PLO. The Israeli conservatives don’t WANT a two-state solution, rather they want the “geography without the demography”. The best way of torpedoing the peace process was turning up the pressure on the Palestinians and letting their extremists provide Israel with the justification for walking away from the peace process.

      Oh, and as a bonus you get to build a few more illegal settlements while this is all happening.

      The only way of deligitimizing Hamas is for Israel to actually start acting like a democracy and stop acting like an apartheid state. Israel’s overwhelming military supremacy in the region (paid for and guaranteed by the US, thank you very much) makes this course of action perfectly viable from a national security standpoint. Despite the propaganda, there is no “threat” to Israel’s survival. Mutually assured destruction says so.

    • bksansoo

      Excellent comment Avi. – Much more coherent than anything stated by Jeremy R. Hammond.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        Except for the fact that Avi’s comment is premised on the strawman argument that someone here was making excuses for terrorism.

  • Immigrant

    If the US is such a terrible place, then why do we have so many people yearning to leave their homes and risk it all — my parents did. Is America perfect — no, far from it. But comparing two terrorists who deliberatly targeted civilians with military operations that take great pains (including risking their own soldiers, sailors, marinmes and airmen) to avoid civilian casualties is a stretch beyond reason.

  • Jake Brodsky

    In point of fact, there were no groups claiming responsibility for the bombing. The bombers themselves have not published any sort of manifesto explaining their actions. As far as anyone knows, this was apolitical terror for the hell of it, no different than the DC sniper from several years ago.

    Neither the White House nor Congress are considering an invasion of Chechnya. Neither are discussing sanctions of any sort regarding this event. We’re not even sure this is a foreign policy issue.

    So how does Mr. Falk arrive at all these interesting comparisons? Absent all these issues, why bring up the Middle East, the previous presidency, or anything this nation’s foreign policy may have done?

    It seems to me that Mr. Falk sees everything through the lens of Middle Eastern policy –regardless of the lack of context that has any bearing on the Middle East. I think he should put his diatribes aside and assess the facts on the ground.

  • FlaGuy954

    It is not Tel Aviv that “has the compliant ear of the American political establishment” but Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. Get it right, Mr. Falk!

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem is “illegal, null, and void” under international law and all of Gaza and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, are “occupied Palestinian territories”.

      • tom duran

        “BULLSHIT”

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          No, not bullshit. As I said, Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem is “illegal, null, and void” under international law and all of Gaza and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, are “occupied Palestinian territories”. These are the facts of the matter.

  • Hassan Kheradmandan

    US needs to look at their policy around the world and without Justice will not be peace or security.
    as Dr. Martin Luther King said it correctly.
    “Injusice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere”

  • split

    Anyone who still have doubts what Mr. Falk is trying to say should read an unedited transcript of bin Ladin’s 9/11 speech ,…

    http://www.aljazeera.com/archive/2004/11/200849163336457223.html

  • TJ

    Scattered amidst the incredible number of biased, false, and wrongheaded statements in this commentary is this one: “as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.”

    This, in a commentary about the Boston Marathon murders, comes close to being the most incredibly silly and offensive statement an author could make. In Boston, a 19 year old deliberately dropped his backpack full of deadly explosives at the feet of an 8 year old boy. Ask that boy’s parents about peace and justice.

    The ideals that midwifed this nation are very clearly articulated in the Declaration of Independence. The marathon murderers – and Islamic terrorists in general – repudiate nearly all of those ideals.

    To what standard of conduct are terrorists held? Is there any line they cannot cross? Can they cut off the heads of journalists? Can they murder little girls on their way to school? Can they deliberately plant bombs in the middle of innocent men, women and children with the aim of causing maximum casualties?

    Does this constitute “peace” and “justice” in your world?

    A group of militant religious extremists has, for 20 years now, been waging war against western society. New York, London, Madrid, Boston, Fort Hood, Iraq, Afghanistan, the list goes on. They are not soldiers as we define them – they seek to kill and maim as many innocent civilians as possible as a matter of policy. The acts they commit are barbaric and nearly inhuman – I’ve seen it first hand.

    When the US – or Israel for that matter – kills an innocent civilian it is a mistake or an accident. We conduct investigations, reprimand or fire those responsible if they’re found to have been negligent. And we compensate the families as best we can.

    Do the terrorists follow the same procedures? How do they perform their investigations? How much have they compensated the 9/11 families? If the questions seem ludicrous, they are – terrorists pose a threat to the US precisely because their tactics are predicated on producing as many innocent civilian casualties as possible. In your world, is “peace” and “justice” served by allowing these folks to roam around freely?

    How we respond to this horrific threat is of course a matter of debate. But the threat does exist. In the world I live in “peace” and “justice” will be served when the ideology that creates these mass murderers – uniquely capable of looking an 8 year old boy in the eye and then planting a bomb that will blow him up 5 minutes later – is ineffective or defeated.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      “When the US – or Israel for that matter – kills an innocent civilian it is a mistake or an accident.”

      Calling the murder of innocent civilians a “mistake” or an “accident” doesn’t justify it. When the US or Israel murder innocent civilians, it is through deliberate policies and indiscriminate use of force.

      • CP

        Jeremy, you’re starting to contradict yourself. No, don’t demand that I explain how. Go figure it out for your dogmatic self … if, that is, you are capable of that degree of reason.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I guess I’m not reasonable enough to be able to see how I’ve contradicted myself. I would ask you to explain, but you already told me not do, so I guess I’ll just have to remain in puzzlement.

    • split

      “When the US – or Israel for that matter – kills an innocent civilian it is a mistake or an accident. We conduct investigations, reprimand or fire those responsible if they’re found to have been negligent. And we compensate the families as best we can” ,…

      Crap !!! ,…

      In 2002 a one-ton bomb was dropped on a residential apartment building by a F-16 plane in a densely populated neighborhood of Gaza City in a midnight “targeted assassination” operation despite sleeping woman and children just because an alleged ‘terroorist’ was spending night there ,…

      Fifteen people were killed, including Shahade, his wife and daughter; seven members of the Matar family who lived in the next house. Between 50 and 150 were injured as a result of the attack. Both Shehade’s and Matar’s houses were destroyed by the bomb, as were eight others in the vicinity; nine houses were partially destroyed, and 20 other houses moderately damaged. Israeli commanders claimed that they did not know there were innocent people in the building at the time and they would have called it off had they known.

      Killed

      Salah Mustafa Shahadeh, 49 year-old man (object of the targeted killing)
      Laila Khamis Shahadeh, 41 year-old woman
      Iman Salah Shahadeh, 14 year-old girl
      Iman Hassan Matar, 27 year-old woman
      Alaa Muhammad Matar, 11 year-old girl
      Dunia Rami Matar, 5 year-old girl
      Muhammad Raed Matar, 4 year-old boy

      Aiman Raed Matar, 2 year-old boy
      Dina Raed Matar, Under 1 year-old girl
      Muna Fahmi al-Huti, 22 year-old woman
      Subhi Mahmoud al-Huti, 5 year-old boy
      Muhammad Mahmoud al-Huti, 3 year-old boy
      Zaher Saleh Nassar, 37 year-old man (object of the targeted killing)
      Yusef Subhi ‘Ali a-Shawa, 42 year-old man
      Khader Muhammad a-Sa’idi, 67 year-old man (died of wounds 9 August 2002)

      No one was held responsible for it and no compensation was paid ,…

  • Observer

    Kudos to “AVI” and I agree with Tara Burke (above). Second, the UNSC Resolution 478 does state what Jeremy R. Hammond said above, but there is a more important document. UNSC Resolution 476, passed by the Security Council On 30 June, 1980.
    This resolution states:

    Reaffirming that acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible,

    Bearing in mind the specific status of Jerusalem and, in particular, the need for protection and preservation of the unique spiritual and religious dimension of the Holy Places in the city,

    Reaffirming its resolutions relevant to the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular resolutions 252 (1968) of 21 May 1968, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969, 271 (1969) of 15 September 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971 and 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980,

    Recalling the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War,

    Deploring the persistence of Israel, in changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem,

    Gravely concerned over the legislative steps initiated in the Israeli Knesset with the aim of changing the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem,

    1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;

    2. Strongly deplores the continued refusal of Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly;

    3. Reconfirms that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

    4. Reiterates that all such measures which have altered the geographic, demographic and historical character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council;…

    Now, in this resolution, we have the following. The UN denying that land taken by force is legitimate. That it is the actions of Israel have caused a “serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;”

    I can see no reason for terrorism, state sponsored or otherwise. While Mr. Falk does point out how Americans choose to deal with acts of terrorism, that “response” is not ignorance. It is through kindness that America spins am act of terror into a unifying scene. By the same token, he is dead on the money when it comes to Israel and the US. UNSC Resolution 478 was passed unanimously by 14 members of the 15 member security counsel… The US abstained.

    By looking at the situation this way, the UN’s decision to not support the occupation of lands seized in 1967 means that Israel is hindering the pease process. Israel has no desire to follow the any form of peace accord, especially when they have no reason to think that they need to listen to the Security Council. It has always been upsetting to me that the UN (and especially the US), has not supported sending pease keeping troops to Israel. NOT to support Israel, but to support a sustained peace. Islamic extremists use this abstention by the US as favoritism and as an excuse to convince others that they are being singled out and oppressed, Extremists are able to “justify” the death of innocents to others, when in reality everyone is partially to blame, with one sad and notable ironic exception… Those who get shot, injured or killed by terrorism.

    Ghandi once said “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind…”

    Only when we are ready to see and accept the totality of our past actions, can we understand the far reaching consequences of choices today. Especially when the decision is between the easy option over the right option.

  • Matthew Poehler

    It’s pretty darn pointless to be discussing anything as late as 1967 when the conflict started well before any of those events ever took place. Look to the partitioning of the Middle East after WW1 by European powers. If you want to go further back to reference influence and motivation, Arabs have opposed Western powers in both WW’s, and came out on the losing side both times. *There* is your polarisation. Post those times Arab lands and resources have been exploited because the Middle Eastern states and peoples won’t stand together. The Palestinians have been hung out to dry as much or more by the feuding Arab/Persian states as by the West and Israel. The Palestinians are far more valuable to the Arab states as victims of Israel than they are as a State that would need supporting. *There* is your hypocrisy.

  • George Clanton

    The people of Boston deserved this?! You are one sick bastard

  • Joe

    Hammond you are hilarious. Enjoy the way you make a statement and then repeat it when challenged on it. Kind of robotic, yes. Very cute though how you stubbornly refuse to engage in any type of argumentation to support your positions.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      No need for argumentation. It’s enough to simply state the facts, and repeat them, if necessary. What’s hilarious is how people reject the facts and based their positions on the delusion that the facts don’t exist.

    • CP

      Get with the program, Joe. The facts (and the truth) are what Jeremy says they are. Don’t make me repeat myself.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        Now you’re gettin’ it.

  • Jeff

    Way to hang in there Jeremy. It is amazing how so many of our fellow Americans cannot even fathom that we are anything but ‘perfect’. Americanism, arrogance and plain old bigotry are obviously alive and well in the ‘good ole US of A’. A person, a group or a nation that cannot have honest self-critique is destined for a painful decline.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      I agree with you, Jeff.

  • J. Edward Tipre

    Thank you, Mr. Hammond. Your detractors categorically seem to be ideologues who, as you allude, are not of much use in seeking resolutions to problems if facts are to be taken seriously in a reasoned argument. Without facts we are merely left with outrageous opinion, invective, and distortion (of facts).

    If it’s any consolation, courtesy of Professor Falk’s commentary: In 2001 citizens from “more than 600 cities around the world” (and many thousands in the United States) stood against the deceitful, tragic invasion of Iraq. It is reasonable that these world citizens (in the millions) must have experienced a breach of faith in the goodness of the United States government. What must they think of our dismal, robotic ideologues? It must be as Falk suggests, the United States is losing its cachet as a world leader.

    • bksansoo

      Then I guess you and Jeremy R. Hammond must be celebrating the decline of the U.S.

  • DSkoll

    Richard Falk should live for one year under Taliban rule and then discuss what he thinks of Islam.

    And don’t drag Israel into this. The bombers were Chechen and there’s absolutely no evidence they were motivated by events in Israel or indeed were anything other that violent losers looking to spread mayhem and destruction. They were common murderers, not worth 10 words of commentary on Foreign Policy Journal.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Mr. Falk didn’t say the Boston bombers were motivated by Israeli policies.

      • CP

        No, he said “as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.” That’s an entirely different thing.

        Spot on as usual, Jeremy.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Yes, he did say “…as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy”, right after the part of the sentence where he said, “The war drums are beating at this moment in relation to both North Korea and Iran, and…” Glad you can see that’s an entirely different thing from saying that Israel is to blame for the Boston bombing.

  • grace heitkamp

    Truly, the elephant in the “room” is Building No. 7 – a 47 story structure that fell into it’s own footprint in under 10 seconds – according to the government by “office fires”. Totally ridiculous, totally unscientific, and totally ignored by government apologists.

  • Taylor Brown

    good article. Falk sounds surprised at the critical questions of the PBS callers. I think many people don’t really appreciate the quality and quantity of Americans, who despite being bombarded with endless propaganda and distracting nonsense on a daily basis, can still reflexively and intuitively put 2 and 2 together and think about those kinds of questions.

  • The bear

    “the land of the free and the home of the brave” Well… probably true in the less populated areas of the square states. Pity that the spirit of your excellent constitution don’t reach the left wings of your institutions of higher learning.
    Keep up the fight! you are the best and last hope of the world.
    Best regards
    Bjorn

  • Lisa Shofnos

    Fred Skolnik is spot-on. Israel is surrounded by neighbors bent on her destruction. The UN buys into the propaganda; indeed, it fuels the propaganda. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

    The truth: If the Arabs laid down their weapons tomorrow, there would be no more fighting. If Israel laid down her weapons tomorrow, there would be no more Israel.

    Israel will protect herself; what choice does she have?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Funny how Israel is supposed to be “surrounded by neighbors bent on her destruction”, and yet it is Palestine that is in fact being wiped off the map. The Palestinians have long since joined the international consensus on the two-state solution rejected by Israel and its chief benefactor, the U.S.

      • GEAH

        Off what map? Your map of Fantasyland?

        Where was Palestine on your map before 1967 when the Arabs ran that piece of real estate?

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I’m talking about today. Most countries in the world today recognize Palestine as an independent state. That wasn’t so in 1967. And this state of Palestine is being wiped off the map by Israel, as your own comment tacitly acknowledges by alluding to the fact that Israel “runs” much of the “real estate” of occupied Palestine and is actively wiping it off the map by attempting to change the demographics and establishing “facts on the ground” such as its illegal settlements on illegal separation wall.

  • Bob o

    This article has nothing to do with the Boston Marathon Murders. It is a selective, subjective, anti – American, sophomoric, hit piece. Is the author off his meds, or is he just such a bloated pseudo intellect, that he actually believes his opinions are noteworthy?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      The observation that U.S. foreign policy causes blowback is completely uncontroversial. It takes a “pseudo intellect” indeed to describe such an elementary observation as “sophomoric” and “anti-American”.

  • Fida Ahmed Advocate

    The test of a person/nation (when it enjoys the PEAK OF POWER) is in its behavior…….. human and fair or its opposite. The US public must ponder over the point.