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   Author  Topic: Hypocrisy Unrequited: Assassination Politics  (Read 521 times)

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Hypocrisy Unrequited: Assassination Politics
« on: 2007-05-31 12:03:52 »
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Assassination: Assassination is the murder of a political figure or another important individual. An added distinction between assassination and other forms of killing is that an assassin usually has an ideological or political motivation, though many assassins (especially those who are not part of an organised movement) also show elements of insanity. Other motivations may be money (as in the case of a contract killing), revenge, or as a military operation.

The euphemism targeted killing (also called extrajudicial execution) is also sometimes used for sanctioned assassinations of opponents, especially where undertaken by governments. [1] 'Assassination' itself, along with terms such as 'terrorist' and 'freedom fighter', may in this context be considered a loaded term, as it implies a despicable act - whereas the proponents of such killings may consider them justified or even necessary.

Source: Wikipedia

"By adopting this resolution, the council has demonstrated its commitment to the principle that there shall be no impunity for political assassinations in Lebanon or elsewhere," the US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Wednesday.

Source: LA TImes

During the Kennedy era, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro narrowly escaped death on several occasions at the hands of the CIA, some allege that Salvador Allende of Chile was another - successful - example of such US tactics. At the same time, the KGB made creative use of assassination to deal with high-profile defectors and Israel's Mossad used them to eliminate Palestinian guerrillas and politicians.

Most major powers were not long in repudiating Cold War assassination tactics, though many allege that this was merely a smoke screen for political benefit and that covert and illegal training of assassins continues today, with Russia, Israel and other nations accused of still regularly engaging in such operations. In 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered the Operation El Dorado Canyon air raid on Libya where one of the primary targets was the home residence of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi escaped unharmed, however his adopted daughter Hanna was one of the civilian casualties.

During the 1991 Gulf War, the United States also struck many of Iraq’s most important command bunkers with bunker-busting bombs in hopes of killing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Various dictators around the world, such as Saddam Hussein, have also used assassination to remove individual opponents, or to terrorize troublesome population groups.[citation needed] In return, in post-Saddam Iraq, the Shiite-dominated government has used death squads to perform countless extrajudicial executions of Sunni Iraqis, with some alleging that the death squads were trained by the U.S.[4][5][6]

Since the rise of al-Qaeda and similar organizations, who themselves often engage in assassination tactics, both the US administrations of Clinton and Bush have backed targeted killings, mostly directed against terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden, but also against elected political leaders and opponents like Mullah Omar. Most of these attempts were undertaken with remote-controlled missiles and similar tactics, often using remote surveillance for the decision where and when to strike as well. One of the most well-known examples of recent assassinations carried out by the United States was the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, both killed as a result of two guided bombs on a safe house outside of Baghdad.

During the Vietnam War, partly in response to Viet Cong assassinations of government leaders, the USA engaged in the Phoenix Program to assassinate Viet Cong leaders and symphatizers, and killed between 6,000 and 41,000 individuals, with official 'targets' of 1,800 per month.[8]


However, Executive Order 12333 which prohibited the CIA from assassinations was relaxed by the George W. Bush administration.

Source: Wikipedia

On June 13, 2003, unnamed Israeli officials announced that Yassin "is not immune" to assassination under the Israeli policy of "targeted interception."

Three months later, on September 6, 2003, an Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16 dropped a quarter-ton bomb on a building in Gaza City, the Gaza Strip. Yassin was in the building at the time and was lightly wounded by the bomb. Israeli officials later confirmed that Yassin was the target of the attack. His injuries were treated at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Following the assassination attempt, Yassin told reporters that "Days will prove that the assassination policy will not finish the Hamas. Hamas leaders wish to be martyrs and are not scared of death. Jihad will continue and the resistance will continue until we have victory, or we will be martyrs." [3]

Yassin further promised that Hamas would teach Israel an "unforgettable lesson" as a result of the assassination attempt [4]. Yassin made no attempt to guard himself from further attempts on his life or hide his location. Journalists sometimes visited his Gaza address and Yassin maintained a routine daily pattern of activity, including being wheeled every morning to a nearby mosque.

Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli attack on March 22, 2004. While he was being wheeled out of an early morning prayer session, an Israeli helicopter gunship fired Hellfire missiles at Yassin and both of his bodyguards. They were killed instantly, along with eight other bystanders.[5] Allegedly, more than a dozen people were injured in the operation, including two of Yassin's sons. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi replaced him as Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, and Rantissi himself was assassinated by Israel on April 17, 2004.
Source: Wikipedia
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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