"Either way, my personal feeling is 85% that he is an innocent man - of this crime anyway - having sat through the whole of the trial in Holland."
- Reverend John Mosey, father of one of the victims.
The events leading to the imminent release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has made headlines, and jogged memories of the awful event of December 1988. His release is being considered on compassionate grounds as he is terminally ill, and this has raised passionate debate on the issue, primarily on two points; firstly, if he should be made to serve his full sentence and secondly, if the man was guilty in the first place.
For many, there is serious doubt over the conviction of this man, but what is not in doubt is the earlier act of terrorism committed by the US forces in the Persian Gulf in July 1988. The US Navy shot down an Iranian Passenger Plane (Airbus A300) ‘believing’ it to be a F14 Tomcat Fighter; the discrepancy between the two planes in terms of size and speed is obvious to any lay person, and yet, the US forces failed to make this basic distinction possessing the most advanced technology, is hard to believe. Applying commonsense, why would the Iranians risk attacking the mighty US forces, and least of all with a single plane? Are the cowboys that trigger-happy?
The US simply ignored the event under the pretext that it was an accident. At the very least, it was manslaughter if not mass murder. Nobody remembers or mourns these victims. Allegedly, they received some meagre compensation compared to the victims of Lockerbie, but why? I thought all human lives have the same value in our civilised world.
Naturally, many have speculated for years that the Lockerbie bombing was an act of retaliation by the Iranians, for the US action in the Persian Gulf, placing more doubt on the guilt of the Libyans. Therefore, the victims of Lockerbie may well have been alive if the US did not commit the act of terrorism in the Persian Gulf.
The imminent release of the Lockerbie bomber is part of the process of normalisation of relationship with Libya that has been put into motion for sometime. Libya is a sparsely populated country with huge oil reserves, makes it very tempting to remove the regime from the terrorist list.
Historically, Libya was always portrayed as a terrorist nation for giving support to the various Arab resistance groups. From their perspective, Libya was giving aid to these resistance movements, whilst the US has been funding Israeli terrorism and theft of Arab lands. Far from being a terrorist nation, Libya has been the victim of American Terrorism.
In 1985, the US bombed Libya in response to the bombing of the West Berlin disco, La Belle, which killed two American servicemen. The American response led to at least 40 people being killed including the 15-month daughter of the Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi. The United States claimed to have ‘evidence’ based on some cable transcripts from Libyan agents in East Germany, but such ‘evidences’ were never presented to anyone. The US behaved as a judge, jury and an executioner, walked over the UN like if it is a doormat for the Americans!
The more sober European allies refused to support the cowboy action to the extent that the US was denied flying permission over France, Italy, and Spain, as well as the use of European continental bases. As usual, the exception was the subservient British government, and the subsequent history is proving that they relish playing the role of butler to the American government. No surprise that in many popular Hollywood movies the butler is often the man that speaks with a clear British accent. Even today, British soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and nobody really knows why. At least there were some lucrative oil contracts in Iraq but there is nothing in Afghanistan. However, the subservient butler must do his duty and serve his master well.
American terrorism has a long history that goes back to its origin, when the Europeans began to occupy America. For decades, Hollywood has constructed the good Cowboys with the regular diet of “The Little House on the Prairie”, “The Waltons” and “Bonanza”, versus the violent Native Americans; the terrorist of that time, who are always launching ferocious attacks on horseback waving an axe, at every opportunity, without provocation: killing, raping and plundering. Then it was turn of the African slaves, they were brutally exploited and in later years lynched as public entertainment. Indeed, the Wild West was partly built on terrorism, as the innocent civilians in Vietnam, Hiroshima and Nagasaki discovered years later.
The international victims of America say to the terrorist cowboy regime, do not lecture the world about terrorism just look at the terrorism in your mirror first!
Yamin Zakaria (email@example.com)