FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How CounterTerrorism Equals Terrorism

by DOUGLAS VALENTINE

Obama’s speech yesterday was totally predictable.

He played the usual word games, defining the situation in self-serving terms like Counter-Terrorism.

You know that song by heart: Counter-Terrorism in general, and drone warfare and facilities like Guantanamo in particular, are moral, legal, and necessary to defend America.

Obama can never say that Counter-Terorism is an aggressive form of political warfare that is necessary to expand and police the American Empire, coerce and weaken strategic enemies (Russia and China), and control the American people by expanding government surveillance, reducing civil liberties, and through the type of propaganda he spewed yesterday, shaping the political attitudes of the American people.

By political attitudes, I do not mean Republican and Democratic Party politics. I mean the politics of the State imposing its will on the people, and how much authority the people grant the State in the name of security.

Obama can never explain that the State has been waging political warfare for 65 years, expanding the empire and warping American minds, as the executive branch incrementally increases its extra-legal powers through the member agencies of the National Security Council, primarily the super secret CIA.

Most importantly, Obama will never say that Counter-Terrorism = Terrorism. That it is pure political violence.

His speeches – indeed, all of stated National Security policy regarding Counter-Terrorism – is designed to deflect attention from the fact that America engages in terrorism and imperial aggression on a massive scale.

I’ll give you an example. A few weeks ago I went to the FBI office in Springfield, Massachusetts, about ten minutes from where I live. I asked a Special Agent what constitutes terrorism and support for terrorism. He referred me to Washington, DC. The PR person in DC sent me excerpts from a law book defining terrorism and support for terrorism.

As a follow up question I noted that the Syrian rebels, including associates of Al Qaeda, are engaged in documented acts of terrorism against the Syrian government. I asked the FBI if the CIA, which supports the Syria rebels, is not by definition engaged in support for terrorism?

The FBI said it has no authority over the CIA. It did not dispute that the CIA engages in terrorism.

The only thing that means anything to the FBI is that the United States government claims that the Syrian government terrorizes Syrians. Thus, CIA aid to the rebels constitutes Counter-Terrorism.

And that’s how Counter-Terrorism = Terrorism.   Always has, always will.

Drone warfare is the ultimate form of terrorism. It is political warfare designed to terrify foreign enemies and American citizens alike. It demonstrates to foreign enemies that the President can kill them and their supporters like a god hurling a lightning bolt from the sky. He knows each and everyone one of them by name and address, and he knows what they’re thinking.   He knows what you’re thinking too. Drone warfare lets Americans know that Obama is omnipotent, remorseless, and above the law.

Despite what Obama says, you know this to be true.

Drone warfare is no longer experimental, either. It’s here to stay, and you have been conditioned to accept it.

Kidnapping people, rendering them, and holding them without due process in torture centers like Guantanamo is also terrorism, designed for all the same psychological reasons as drone warfare.   Like drone warfare, administrative detention is not going away.

You know that too, and you know that you are powerless to do anything about it..

Doesn’t matter that you are more likely to be killed by a bee sting than a terrorist attack.

Doesn’t matter that 30,000 Americans die every year in automobile accidents. You will climb into your car and hurtle down the highway at 80 MPH, heedless of the danger. Fearlessly.

But you will fear Obama.

DOUGLAS VALENTINE is the author of five books, including The Phoenix Program and The Strength of the Wolf, which are available at his websites http://www.members.authorsguild.net/valentine/ and http://www.douglasvalentine.com/index.html . Valentine co-authored a detailed essay on US death squads in the Iraq War for the March issue of CounterPunch magazine. 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail