Remi Brulin Profile picture
22 Feb, 16 tweets, 4 min read
A review of US counterterrorism policies is under way. We must find a way out of deadly cycle of "terrorism" & "counter-terrorism." Only way we will do so is by ending silence about "our" (US, ISR, France etc) "terrorism" & by realizing that the DISCOURSE on "T" is pure ideology
Here is perfect illustration: in Feb 2018 Ronen Bergman published "Rise & Kill First," book on history of Israel's "targeted killings" in its fight v "the terrorists." It COULD have led to intelligent, constructive public discussion about morality or legality of use of force v T
After all, this book contained a STUNNING revelation: in early 1980s, very senior Israeli officials (Sharon, Dagan, Eitan, Ben-Gal) conducted a huge car bombing "terrorist" campaign that killed hundreds of civilians in Lebanon.
In 1980, 2 Israeli journalists investigated story about this covert operation. Military censor killed it. Since 2018, US media AND "terrorism experts" have remained silent about revelations. As a consequence, the MUCH NEEDED discussion about use force vs "T" NEVER took place
And yet very DIFFICULT questions could have been asked:
If Bergman is right, Sharon/Dagan/Eitan engaged in "terrorist" campaign that killed hundreds of civilians. What does this mean in terms of the rights of Lebanon (or PLO) to use FORCE in self-defense vs these "terrorists"?
Bergman describes how, early on, the bombs used by the FLLF (the fictitious group used by Israel) were built by Dagan & Eitan in an Israeli Kibbutz: does it mean that this kibbutz was a "terrorist bomb making facility" that could legitimately be targeted?
Of course, such uses of force would NOT have been legitimate, would NOT have been moral and would (of course) clearly have been denounced as such by Israel, the US and the rest of the world community.
And this is precisely the point:
If we know, if we can feel in our bones that such uses of force vs Israeli officials, vs an Israeli Kibbutz, WOULD have been IMMORAL & WRONG (even though these officials undeniably DID engage in "terrorism") then how can WE claim right to use force vs those WE call "terrorists"?
If we KNOW, instinctively, that we would CONDEMN a Lebanese official who said "we did kill a few civilians in this Kibbutz, but Israel is to blame: they made their bombs there & used these civilians as shields" then why is that same logic acceptable when "we" use force vs "them"?
I use ex of Israel here because car bombs in marketplaces, in front of restaurants or theaters are clearly, undeniably acts of "terrorism," & because US media's absolute refusal to cover Bergman's revelations is most recent proof that the discourse on "terrorism" is pure ideology
I also use the Israeli example here because, at the time when Sharon, Dagan et al were conducting this "terrorist" bombing campaign, they were ALSO presenting Israel as having the clear moral high ground in its principle fight vs.... "the evil terrorists" (ie the Palestinians)
It is CRUCIAL that we understand that the discourse on "terrorism" as we know it today has a history, that a number of actors (politicians, the media, "experts") constructed "terrorism" over the time, and gave it the (purely ideological) meaning it has today
But of course, the focus on Israel in this specific thread does NOT mean that Israel is the only state to have used the discourse on "terrorism" as a way to justify methods and practices that, all too often, have themselves amounted to "terrorism"
This is, after all, in the name of fighting "terrorism" that Ronald Reagan justified military aid to various Latin American dictatorships and their death squads, that is to say aid to "terrorists"…
President Biden knows about these practices. As a young Senator in the 1980s, he took part in countless debates where Democrats argued that Reagan's support for the Contras & for death squads AMOUNTED TO TERRORISM. See:…
The "war on terrorism" has been an abject failure. It is high time we develop a RADICAL critique of the discourse that has enabled & justified so many criminal, and counter-productive, policies. So that one day, let us hope, the cycle of violence may stop.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Remi Brulin

Remi Brulin Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @RBrulin

31 Dec 20
Dec 31, 1981: Tomorrow Beirut stadium will be bombed, PLO leadership decimated, Arafat dead. Along w/ countless civilians
This is the story of the kind of #terrorism we never hear about: where Palestinians are victims, not perpetrators. Israelis perpetrators, not victims
On Jan 1, PLO would celebrate anniversary of its founding. Defense Minister Ariel Sharon saw opportunity to get rid of whole leadership in one fell swoop. In late Dec., agents recruited by Meir Dagan placed remotely controlled explosive devices in stadium. But that was not all
A secret Israeli unit had also prepared “three vehicles - a truck loaded with a ton and a half of explosives and two Mercedes sedans with 550 pounds each.” On Jan 1, members of the FLLF would drive & park the vehicles in front of the stadium.
Read 49 tweets
30 Dec 20
In 1985 Pollard passed on satellite pictures that were used by Israel in its bombing of PLO headquarters in Tunis (see here, from CIA's official Assessment of the Pollard Espionage Case). At the time, one US official called it an act of #terrorism! THREAD…
The raid killed around 60 people, mostly civilians. On a visit to Tunisia a few weeks later, under Secretary of State John Whitehead used the term "terrorism" to refer to ("deplore") the bombing. That did not go well for him ....
These are the (graphic, terrifying) words used by Kapeliouk as he described the aftermath of the bombing in the pages of Yediot Ahronot at the time:
Read 19 tweets
30 Dec 20
As a scholar & student of terrorism, how should I feel about the fact that a member of Editorial Board of @terpolv immediately blocked me after ONE Tweet where I mentioned the role senior Israeli officers played in deadly #terrorist campaign in 1980s & US media silence about it?
I should of course note the irony of a scholar blocking me after I tweeted thread about censorship (Israeli military censor killed story that would have revealed role of senior Israeli officers in #terrorist car bombing campaign) & self-censorship (US media silence about this)
I have asked Prof. Chernov Hwang @Julie_C_Hwang to explain why she blocked me. No reply. This is SO disappointing. But, sadly, quite revealing & unsurprising when you realize the absolute SILENCE amongst US "terrorism experts" about Bergman's revelations (3 years ago now!)
Read 5 tweets
28 Nov 20
Brennan was not DCI in 2010-12... BUT there is a larger point here:
US officials (& the US media) simply never, EVER, use the term "terrorism" to refer to actions by US allies, and especially NOT by Israel.

So despite the hypocrisy, Brennan's statement is quite extraordinary
Brennan is of course not in government anymore. To my knowledge (I might be wrong?) the LAST TIME a US official used the term "terrorism" to refer to Israel was in 1985. That's actually a funny story...
In 1985, on a visit to Tunisia, under Sec of State John Whitehead used the term "terrorism" to refer to the bombing of Tunis (where the PLO had its headquarters) by Israel. Note that this bombing was condemned as an "armed aggression" by the UNSC
Read 12 tweets
28 Nov 20
Crazy suggestion:

If a team of armed Iranian operatives had covertly entered Israel & killed its top nuclear weapons scientist, world leaders would not be "mum"

In fact, every single Western leader would have denounced it as a despicable, evil act of terrorism

Oh well...
Note: objective of #Fakhrizadeh assassination appears to be to provoke violent response by Iran, which would serve as pretext for war.
Israel (Sharon) did something very similar to justify invasion of Lebanon in 1980s
Also: if the US or ISR have the right to assassinate #Suleimani & now #Fakhrizadeh , does it mean that Lebanon had the right to assassinate Eitan, Dagan & Sharon, who conducted deadly #terrorist bombing campaign in 1980s? If not, why not? See:…
Read 5 tweets
27 Nov 20
If Iran sent agents to assassinate the top American (or Israeli) nuclear scientist (& this attack took place on US or Israeli soil) does anyone doubt that this would be immediately described (& condemned) as an act of terrorism?…
& I'll ask again: if the US or ISR have the right to assassinate #Suleimani & now #Fakhrizadeh , does it mean that Lebanon had the right to assassinate Eitan, Dagan & Sharon, who conducted deadly #terrorist bombing campaign in 1980s? If not, why not? See:…
On this issue, see the following Thread:
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!