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16 Apr, 2018

Open Letter to the U.S. travel industry: Is state terrorism serving your interests?

Bangkok – Shootings in U.S. offices, schools, universities and other public places are always followed by an enormous outpouring of outrage, anguish, hand-wringing and soul-searching. Much time and attention is devoted to understanding the shooter’s motivation. If it’s a Muslim, the violence is automatically assigned the “T” word. The others are somehow disturbed, loners, etc. In either case, some kind of due process is initiated. Even U.S. rogue cops are held accountable for extra-judicial killings, mistaken or otherwise, with howls of protest erupting if they are let off.

No such processes, conditions or limitations apply on the international stage where the United States, in cooperation with its allies, can shoot up any country it wishes, and never ever be held accountable. The U.S. is free to decide which country is guilty or innocent, present its own version of “evidence” and proceed to play globocop, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. No investigations required. And certainly no right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

As the U.S. government + allies have just carried out another self-authorised, extra-judicial attack on Syria, I have several questions for the U.S. travel industry: Do these glaring double standards bother any of you? Are these attacks advancing your interests to promote a safe, secure country and a positive image? Do you support these attacks? Do you really think they are sustainable? Really?

I and certainly millions of others in the global travel & tourism industry would love to get some answers. Many of us consider such unilateralism an act of state terrorism. If mass-shootings of innocent people in public places arouse such vehement debate and soul-searching in your own country, why can’t the same apply at the global level?

From our perspective, U.S. extra-judicial attacks are based on blatant lies, double standards and hypocrisy. Let me cite just three.

The first, also known as the Lie of the Century, was about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the original reason cited for the attack on that country. UN investigators on the ground couldn’t find any. Saddam Hussein had insisted he didn’t have any. All this was pooh-poohed. It was asserted that the UN investigators were incompetent, that the WMDs would be found after an invasion. They weren’t. Then the story changed. Well, Saddam had had the capability to produce them. He was a despicable man who had gassed his own people. He had to go in order to spread freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

Hundreds and thousands of civilians and U.S. men in uniform perished in that invasion and its aftermath. There is neither peace nor stability nor much freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Not one American or British leader has been held accountable. The U.S. regime-change agenda advances unbridled.

The pictures below are from a February 2003 anti-war demonstration in Bangkok right outside the U.S. embassy. I was proud to participate in it, along with thousands of others who have since been proved right because we don’t have blood on our hands.


The second major lie has been the claim that the United States is playing the role of “honest broker” in pursuit of peace between Israel-Palestine. Yet another fraudulent hoax. The U.S. has always sided with Israel, always. This has intensified in the last four decades, especially since the November 1995 assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winning Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. His killer, the Jewish fundamentalist extremist fanatic terrorist Yigal Amir, wanted to wipe Palestine off the map via expanded settlements. He has succeeded. The man heading this extremist movement is the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In Nov 1996, merely a year after Rabin’s murder, Netanyahu visited the settlements and made clear his intentions (see image below of this news item from the 27 Nov 1996 issue of the International Herald Tribune). He has been fully backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and various other arms of the formidable Jewish lobby.

Many more instances can be cited of U.S. attempts to destabilise the Middle East and Islamic world, even as Hollywood and the U.S. media, whose ranks are dominated by Zionist Jews, play a lead role in portraying Muslims as terrorists. The fact that the U.S. has been able to hoodwink, bludgeon, blackmail or bribe Arab leaders, even while assuring itself decades of oil supply, will go down as one of the most successful geopolitical deceptions in history.

As the death toll and financial costs have piled up, who has benefited most? For sure, the American merchants of death. What’s the difference between what these merchants of death are doing abroad and what your gun lobby is doing at home? The US military-industrial complex has become a major source of economic growth, exports, and jobs – far, far bigger than the “industry of peace”. Just as the U.S. gun lobby continues to resist curbs, no matter how many mass-shootings take place, so do the merchants of death make hay while the sun shines, which is just about every day. Indeed the latest attack on Syria became a veritable ad for Tomahawk missiles, the effectiveness of which were described in copious detail in the Pentagon briefings.

When and how is all this going to end? It has been 17 years since 9/11 and the creation of the multi-billion dollar Department of Homeland Security. Has the effectiveness of this gargantuan department ever been evaluated? What has been the tourism impact of tighter visa restrictions? Who has benefitted from sales of security equipment?

The regime-change agenda is not yet over. Palestine still has to be officially wiped off the map. Iran has to be undermined. Other Muslim countries yet to be neutralised include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia. Ditto emerging geopolitical powers such as Russia and China before they threaten the dominance of the United States on the global stage.

As one of America’s biggest services sectors, is the U.S. travel and tourism industry ready to sit through all this with eyes wide shut? Is it prepared for a backlash, including more terrorist attacks on iconic U.S. brand-name targets? Is it prepared to pay both the costs and the price of an indefinite War on Terror? How will it affect the image and standing of the United States? Is it in league with the machinations of its government? It must be. U.S. travel & tourism multinationals are growing handsomely worldwide. They have absolutely no reason to hold their national leaders accountable for any wrongdoings. Why should the rest of the world suffer the consequences of this nefarious agenda?

I have kept the increasingly most dubious claim for the last.

On March 26, 2018, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, announced the appointment of a new CEO and museum president, Mr Joe Daniels. He was hired because he had, for 11 years, directed the planning, construction, and development and operations for the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City and was seen as being best placed to “draw on the strong connection between 9/11 and the U.S. military.”

The Congressional Medal of Honor is the U.S.’s highest military decoration, with 3,517 awardees since its founding in 1863. According to the release, “The Museum will celebrate the American values of courage, patriotism, sacrifice, integrity and humility embodied in each Medal of Honor recipient.” It aims to “showcase acts of valor, share real-life examples of patriotism, leadership and courage and inspire current and future generations.” It “will preserve the history of America’s greatest heroes and inspire visitors and future generations to act bravely and honorably by valuing others above oneself.”

Mr Joe Daniels was quoted as saying, “This museum, centered around our core values, will house uniquely American stories of bravery and sacrifice, serve as a place for all to gather and will be a place our entire country will cherish.”

Corporal William Kyle Carpenter, Medal of Honor recipient, said, “We wear (the Medal) for those who have raised their right hand, served, sacrificed and given life and limb for our country. The museum will teach our children, the future of our country, and adults alike, character, perspective and what it means to serve a purpose bigger than themselves.”

I know many people in the U.S. travel industry have served in the U.S. military. I admire and respect them, just as I do all those who serve in uniform everywhere. But I find their lofty words above very difficult to believe. In fact, I challenge all these Medal of Honor awardees to prove how their “core values” hold true against the backdrop of death and destruction being unleashed by their unaccountable government. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been wasted. For what? Is there any valour or sacrifice in being sent off to die for a lie?

Every day, the U.S. takes actions that affect the rest of us in some shape or form. In his speech moving the U.S. diplomatic mission to Jerusalem, another violation of global agreements, your current president said he encouraged “reasoned debate.” I challenge you to make him walk the talk.

Does the U.S. travel and tourism industry uphold American values of “courage, patriotism, sacrifice, integrity and humility”?

If so, prove it.