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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

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almarst-2001 - 06:59pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1550 of 1566)

How the British fought terror in Jenin -

'Demolishing the homes of Arab civilians... Shooting handcuffed prisoners... Forcing local Arabs to test areas where mines may have been planted..."

These sound like the sort of accusations made by British and other European officials concerning Israel's recent actions in Jenin. In fact, they are descriptions from official British documents concerning the methods used by the British authorities to combat Palestinian Arab terrorism in Jenin and elsewhere in 1938.

The documents were declassified by London in 1989. They provide details of the British Mandatory government's response to the assassination of a British district commissioner by a Palestinian Arab terrorist in Jenin in the summer of 1938.

Even after the suspected assassin was captured (and then shot dead while allegedly trying to escape), the British authorities decided that "a large portion of the town should be blown up" as punishment. On August 25 of that year, a British convoy brought 4,200 kilos of explosives to Jenin for that purpose.

In the Jenin operation and on other occasions, local Arabs were forced to drive "mine-sweeping taxis" ahead of British vehicles in areas where Palestinian Arab terrorists were believed to have planted mines, in order "to reduce [British] landmine casualties."

The British authorities frequently used these and similar methods to combat Palestinian Arab terrorism in the late 1930s.

BRITISH forces responded to the presence of terrorists in the Arab village of Miar, north of Haifa, by blowing up house after house in October 1938.

"When the troops left, there was little else remaining of the once-busy village except a pile of mangled masonry," The New York Times reported.

The declassified documents refer to an incident in Jaffa in which a handcuffed prisoner was shot by the British police.

Under Emergency Regulation 19b, the British Mandate government could demolish any house located in a village where terrorists resided, even if that particular house had no direct connection to terrorist activity. Mandate official Hugh Foot later recalled: "When we thought that a village was harboring rebels, we'd go there and mark one of the large houses. Then, if an incident was traced to that village, we'd blow up the house we'd marked."

The High Commissioner for Palestine, Harold MacMichael, defended the practice: "The provision is drastic, but the situation has demanded drastic powers."

MacMichael was furious over what he called the "grossly exaggerated accusations" that England's critics were circulating concerning British anti-terror tactics in Palestine. Arab allegations that British soldiers gouged out the eyes of Arab prisoners were quoted prominently in the Nazi German press and elsewhere.

The declassified documents also record discussions among officials of the Colonial Office concerning the rightness or wrongness of the anti-terror methods used in Palestine. Lord Dufferin remarked: "British lives are being lost and I don't think that we, from the security of Whitehall, can protest squeamishly about measures taken by the men in the frontline."

almarst-2001 - 07:06pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1551 of 1566)

An investigation into the mass deaths of German prisoners at the hands of the French and Americans after World War II -

almarst-2001 - 07:10pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1552 of 1566)

Belgian Congo atrocities under King Leopold and ED Morel -

almarst-2001 - 07:15pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1553 of 1566)


almarst-2001 - 07:29pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1554 of 1566)

The American oil company EXXON has been accused of committing atrocities in Indonesia, namely murder, torture and rape, against the population in Aceh, northern Sumatra. -

almarst-2001 - 07:30pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1555 of 1566)

Racist French General on Trial for Algeria Atrocities -

almarst-2001 - 07:34pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1556 of 1566)


almarst-2001 - 07:53pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1557 of 1566)

Film exposes Allies' Pacific war atrocities -,6903,500631,00.html

Horrific footage shot during battle with Japanese shows execution of wounded and bayoneting of corpses.

almarst-2001 - 07:55pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1558 of 1566)

US soldiers committed wartime atrocities: BBC -

almarst-2001 - 10:49pm Apr 19, 2002 EST (#1559 of 1566)

Washington has found itself on the same side as Cuba, Libya, and Syria, among other states, in trying to block a proposal before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva designed to give more teeth to the Convention Against Torture. -

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