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THE ARROGANCE OF ROME
by Jared Israel (4-18-00)
[Posted 5 December 2001]

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On 4 April 2000, the 'New York Times' wrote:

[Start of quote]

  • "Late last week, 11 months after the bombing [of the Chinese Embassy], the C.I.A. dismissed one officer and punished six others for their roles in identifying and approving the target in Belgrade....

    "State Department spokesman, James P. Rubin, responded today that the investigations had been "thorough and complete." He said the administration had gone to great lengths to explain to the Chinese the circumstances leading up to the bombing, and had described the dismissal of the agency officer and the punishment of six others as "appropriate steps."...

    "[But] criticism from China reflected the anger still lingering over the attack. Pentagon and other administration officials say the Chinese position appears intended in part for domestic consumption in China, but they also say the bombing has deeply wounded Chinese pride. (NY Times, 4/11/00)

[End of quote]

Power breeds arrogance and arrogance breeds.

So it is with the Chinese Embassy bombing.

Almost as amazing as the notions that a) the US took the extraordinary step of sending a B-2 bomber all the way from Missouri to b) attack a minor warehouse in Belgrade that played no role in the defense of Yugoslavia and which target had c) been chosen by an ill-trained officer who d) had actually mistaken the handsome Chinese Embassy building for an old warehouse (NY Times, 4/17/00) - almost as amazing as all this is the belief, apparently held by US officials and newspapers, that the Chinese government ought to accept this string of notions and shut up.

"Some folks seem hopelessly addicted to conspiratorial interpretations of events," says a Boston Globe editorial April 12, 2000, commenting on Chinese disbelief.

Below is the Web address for 'Lies, Damn Lies and Maps,' which I wrote shortly after the Embassy was bombed. It dissects the misinformation we were fed at the time. It's worth reading because it will remind you just how preposterous the US cover story was then, and how preposterous it remains.

A US airplane destroyed the Chinese Embassy, a building which according to international law constitutes Chinese territory. In other words, the US bombed the Chinese government, just the same as if it had flown into Peking. In the process, the US killed three people and wounded 20.

The first US response was to claim it was an accident. As Lies, Damn Lies and Maps proves, this is nonsense. (1)

The second response was to apologize. You may remember, Clinton did it casually, while playing golf. Calculated to offend.

Third, the government refused to allow an internationally monitored investigation or even to appoint a US team to investigate.

Fourth the US gave the Chinese a few million dollars. Doesn't this smack of the rich man buying his way out of a crime by tossing some money at the poor man's family?

And now the CIA fires one guy and disciplines six. Isn't this a rather obvious attempt to scapegoat lowly employees? If it really was these seven people's fault - why did it take the government 11 months to figure it out? And since the "mistake" ended in death and destruction - isn't job discipline a mite weak for a punishment? Doesn't all this suggest that these seven have been bribed or coerced (or both) to take a fall?

When two US embassies in Africa were blown up, the US navy launched missile attacks against Afghanistan and Sudan, despite a total lack of evidence that either country was involved in the bombing. The US also arrested several 'suspects' and is now pressing for the death penalty.

Does this suggest a different standard for measuring US and Chinese Embassies, U.S. and Chinese lives?

And anyway what kind of defense is it to say, as the US government has said, "Sorry, it was a tragic mistake. We meant to blow up someone else!"

***

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The URL for this article is http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/arroganc.htm

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Further Reading:
***************

1) 'Lies, Damn Lies & Maps' by Jared Israel at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/lies.htm

2) A Chinese reporter comments on the bombing of the Embassy one year later in the haunting piece, 'FROM YUGOSLAVIA TO GENEVA: IN MEMORY OF MAY 8TH ' which can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/news/rights.htm

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