To that question we answer with a resounding "YES"!
The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom - noted:
Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.
Odom also said:
By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.(audio here).
Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states.Some in the American military have intentionally tried to “out-terrorize the terrorists”.
They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.
In 1991, a book edited by Alexander L. George [the Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University] also argued that other Western powers sponsored terror in Third World countries. It concluded that the U.S. and its allies were the main supporters of terrorism throughout the world.
As Truthout notes:
Both [specialists Ethan McCord and Josh Stieber] say they saw their mission as a plan to “out-terrorize the terrorists,” in order to make the general populace more afraid of the Americans than they were of insurgent groups.
In the interview with [Scott] Horton, Horton pressed Stieber:Terrorism is defined as:
“… a fellow veteran of yours from the same battalion has said that you guys had a standard operating procedure, SOP, that said – and I guess this is a reaction to some EFP attacks on y’all’s Humvees and stuff that killed some guys – that from now on if a roadside bomb goes off, IED goes off, everyone who survives the attack get out and fire in all directions at anybody who happens to be nearby … that this was actually an order from above. Is that correct? Can you, you know, verify that?Stieber answered:
“Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don’t know who set it … the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs …”
The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.So McCord and Stieber are correct: this constitutes terrorism by American forces in Iraq.
The U.S. has been supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorists in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, Syria and Iran.
(The U.S. has also directly inserted itself into a sectarian war between the two main Islamic sects, backing the Sunnis and attacking the Shiites. See this, this and this. Because Saudi Arabia is the seat of the most radical sect of Islam – Wahhabism- the U.S. unquestioning support of the Saudis is indirectly supporting terrorism.)
Torture – which the U.S. has liberally used during the last 10 years – has long been recognized as a form of terrorism.
Worldwide, 74% of countries that used torture on an administrative basis were U.S. client states, receiving military and other support to retain power.Of course, some would say that the American policy of assassination – especially using drone strikes on people whose identity isn’t even known – is a form of terrorism. And see this and this.
Some Specific Examples …
The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.
The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism.
As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this)(Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred).
As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.... Much more>>