FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Rejecting the Language of Terrorism

 

I don’t believe this is the Third World War. Nor is it a “war on terror”. Nor is it a “war of civilizations”. But our own leaders are willfully leading us into a period of appalling suffering because they will not address the causes of injustice in the Islamic world.

Robert Fisk

The War on Terror will persist until its flawed logic is challenged. As long as the root of the deception remains unexposed the global situation will continue to deteriorate.

The driving force is ideas, not bombs. The Bush Administration has carefully disguised these ideas in the language of deception.

Of the many misleading notions propagated by the Bush Administration, the most lethal has been the War on Terror. It is an idea that is every bit as fraudulent as “preemption” (which is the legitimizing of unprovoked aggression) or Israel’s “Security Barrier”; the patently dishonest description of the 20 ft. high behemoth that snakes through Palestine, savaging all hope of a just solution to the ongoing crisis.

The War on Terror is the truest expression of the calculated dishonesty of the Bush White House. It is grounded on “unproved assumptions” and, then, disseminated by an aggressive campaign of fear mongering. These are the weapons of choice for controlling a timorous public, and Bush has proved to be quite adept in their application.

Terror is an inescapable reality in the modern world; a world where a small fraction of the population will respond violently to grievance and injustice. This is a situation that has been dealt with quite successfully through normal “investigative-police” work. Even Mr. Bush admits this, although only when it suits his purposes.

Consider this; Abu Zubayda, Khalid Sheik Muhammed and Ramsi bin al Shibh (alleged Mastermind of 9-11), have all been captured and imprisoned through conventional detective work. The results of their interrogations have undoubtedly provided a clear understanding of the inner workings of al Qaida.

This is how you measure success. This is how you get to the root of terrorist organizations.

Additionally, according to the Administration’s own admissions, more than two-thirds of the al Qaida leadership has been caught and incarcerated.

Again, conspicuous success.

These achievements are much more impressive then the poorly conducted Afghanistan war where the principle characters (bin Laden and Mullah Omar) were able to escape and thousands of innocent Afghanis were either killed or displaced in the hostilities.

So, why does the administration conceal its own successes?

And, why do they downplay the methodology that is putting a dent in terror?

The reasons are obvious.

Without the War on Terror, that source of all demagoguery, the real political objectives of the administration would never be realized.

They need a credible “Monster” to continue their drive to secure the world’s dwindling resources and to abridge the rights of American citizens.

The idea that we are combating “terror” suggests that we are dealing with an irrational force that cannot be appeased, only defeated. The Bush Administration has done everything in its power to cultivate this now widespread belief. The terrorist attacks on America have been stripped of all their political significance and translated into the ravings of bloodthirsty Islamic fanatics, whose sole purpose in life is to kill innocent Americans.

Even the al Qaida communiqués, (which are offered regularly in the European press) are scrupulously omitted from American media, so that any vestige of “reason” will not attach itself to the terrorists.

The perpetrators must be demonized in the harshest, medieval terms. (“Evildoer”)

This is in direct odds with what we already know.

For example, following the Madrid bombings, al Qaida sent this message:

“Stop targeting us, release our prisoners and leave our land, we will stop attacking you. The people of US allied countries have to put pressure on their governments to immediately end their alliance with the US in the war on terror (Islam) If you persist we will continue.”

Regardless of what we think of the terrorists, this is a straightforward political directive that expresses a “reasoned” approach to injustice. We do not agree with the bombings, but we certainly don’t dismiss these claims as the ravings of religious maniacs who “hate our freedoms.”(Bush’s painfully inane assessment of the cause of terrorism)

Instead, their claims match up quite nicely with those of reasonable American’s who entertain the notion that we should simply pay for oil, rather than stealing it; that we should stop occupying Muslim countries, and that we should look for sensible alternatives for negotiation rather than pelting the desert with Cruise Missles.

The idea that we are at war works to the advantage of the Bush Administration. We have already seen how the war on terror conveniently morphed into the war on Iraq. Mr. Bush never misses an opportunity to conflate the two in his attempts to confuse the public.

But is it a war, or just a shabby public relations ploy to achieve an alternate political objective?

We have already demonstrated how the real progress in dismantling terror cells has been through routine police work. So why is the War motif invoked?

First, it suggests that we are responding to aggression.

But, is that the case?

Was 9-11 a flagrant act of unprovoked hostility, or was it retaliatory?

We can see from the communiqué above that the architects considered it “striking back” not “striking out”.

This does not vindicate the action, but at least it points to the fact that there are underlying grievances that motivated the attacks. It wasn’t simply blind rage.

This implies that there may be some type of remedy.

Mr. Bush has no remedy.

He is Armstrong Custer charging into harms way with the full might of the US military machine at his beck and call.

We cannot afford such transparent stupidity.

Our life as American’s is threatened by the idea that we are at war. It vindicates the policy decisions that Bush has made that are reshaping the social contract.

If we accept the language of Mr. Bush’s crusade, we must accept its logic. That means that we must accept the further curtailing of civil liberties;

We must accept the increased and “unchecked” power of the Presidency;

We must accept the idea of permanent war.

This is the devil’s bargain we make when we accept the “language” of the War on Terrorism.

We should be more focused on the language of resistance; a language that articulates our stubborn resolve to thwart Mr. Bush’s desperate plan; a language that rejects a vision of a world order that is predicated on lies and murder; a language that points us towards reconciliation with the world community and away from further carnage.

As for terrorism; the most effective tool in undermining terrorism is justice; justice that applies beyond our borders and is not circumscribed by the petty limitations of nationalism.

MIKE WHITNEY may be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

 

More articles by:

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail