• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

CounterPunch needs you. piggybank-icon You need us. The cost of keeping the site alive and running is growing fast, as more and more readers visit. We want you to stick around, but it eats up bandwidth and costs us a bundle. Help us reach our modest goal (we are half way there!) so we can keep CounterPunch going. Donate today!
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Fools Fighting Terror with Terror

April Fools believe suicide bombers can be stopped with more body scanners and police surveillance. Fifteen years of bigger, better blast walls, checkpoints, limits on access, barricades, obstacle courses and ever-expanding restrictions at airports and government buildings may fend off car bombers, but driven suiciders with a bit of planning can obviously wreak havoc whenever they wish in San Bernardino or Paris, Brussels or Boston, Ankara or Lahore.

April Fools believe the “war on terror” can be won using bombs and bomb threats, and that bombs will end it. But all the military means being used to discourage attacks on Our civilians have been killing Other civilians, and, consequently, a prolonged war morphs to a permanent one and a relative small terror group is now a caliphate with 7.8 million new refugees in flight from it. Newspapers, magazines, books, movies and endlessly detailed TV coverage of Our innocent victims necessarily and deliberately ignores, trivializes and even negates acknowledgement of the thousands of Other innocent lives shredded, maimed, or obliterated by US commandos, drones, and jet bombers.

When civilian victims of US military attacks are even noted, the media regularly reports that “coalition forces” caused the death and destruction. This deflects attention from US command of the warfare especially for April Fools who concluded long ago that US bombs dropped from tens of thousands of feet, or sent from 6,000 miles away, or home invasions based on faulty information only “accidentally” kill innocent householders in targeted villages.

Scores of such accidents hint at the reasons why revenge-seeking youths might strap on bombs and detonate them here or in Pakistan, Turkey, Belgium, or France.

It’s common knowledge that violence begets violence, but this truism is tossed in the trash by foolish supporters of war on terror. Is the voting public even interested in ending the war? April Fools forget that, “The great initiative in this war is ours. The great initiative to stop it must be ours.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

More April Fools than I have noted that if your power is enhanced by war, or if you are making millions selling weapons for the fight, you could privately wish it would last forever. The government, the military, the media, and arms-dealing corporations all benefit either politically or financially from the war (and from the blowback of suiciders here and abroad), and they might all privately smile at the talk of endless war, perpetual war. As a director of Halliburton, Inc. Dick Cheney, who was Sec. of Defense for George Bush-the-First’s 1991 bombing of Iraq, and Vice President for G.B.-the- Second’s 2003 Iraq war and occupation, profited directly from the privatization of reconstruction work in Iraq and Afghanistan — a consequence that was warned of in advance of the US bombing and takeover.

Today, every presidential hopeful but Bernie Sanders — April Fools all — promotes or condones the expansion of presidential war power, intensified attacks on ISIL, the Taliban, al Qaida, Al Shabaab or Boko Haram, indefinite detention without charge, force-feeding of US prisoners of war on terror, and the imposition of martial law using US or Israeli occupation forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and Palestine. President Oh-bomb-ah, who has retained all these Bush-the-2d programs, has expanded US military bases and drone attacks killing hundreds of indigenous suspects; but also killing and injuring hundreds of innocent noncombatants. In so doing, the Reaper drones, fighter jets and US commandos have enraged a whole generation of young people who know who is throwing the most and the biggest bombs, where they’re landing, and whose lives and societies are being destroyed.

Even Sanders can’t bring himself to criticize the $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter jet (F-35) program — which can only prolong the war — because an air base in the Senator’s home state Vermont could host the warplane. Bernie socialism is a still state system after all, and, as Randolph Bourne said, “War is the health of the state.” Carl Resek explains Bourne’s famous quip this way, “[The saying] meant that mindless power thrived on war because war corrupted a nation’s moral fabric and especially corrupted its intellectuals.”

Fools will always rush in, so the only official response to the suicide bombers in Boston, Brussels, etc. is to expand the power and reach of police services and surveillance agencies, and to further foment fear of Others. Standing in Pittsburgh’s Union Station waiting for the Amtrak last week, I heard the recorded PSA warn: “If you see something, say something.”

Well, do we see dead people? The Others, and not just our own? Seeing them, let’s say this: Suiciders are criminals to be dealt with using the criminal justice system, and they will never stop their foolish retaliations unless and until we end our own attacks, reject military aggression, and call the war what it is: unwinnable, reckless, and terrifying.

More articles by:

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
May 24, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Iran, Venezuela and the Throes of Empire
Melvin Goodman
The Dangerous Demise of Disarmament
Jeffrey St. Clair
“The Army Ain’t No Place for a Black Man:” How the Wolf Got Caged
Richard Moser
War is War on Mother Earth
Andrew Levine
The (Small-d) Democrat’s Dilemma
Russell Mokhiber
The Boeing Way: Blaming Dead Pilots
Rev. William Alberts
Gaslighters of God
Phyllis Bennis
The Amputation Crisis in Gaza: a US-Funded Atrocity
David Rosen
21st Century Conglomerate Trusts 
Jonathan Latham
As a GMO Stunt, Professor Tasted a Pesticide and Gave It to Students
Binoy Kampmark
The Espionage Act and Julian Assange
Kathy Deacon
Liberals Fall Into Line: a Recurring Phenomenon
Jill Richardson
The Disparity Behind Anti-Abortion Laws
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Chelsea Manning is Showing Us What Real Resistance Looks Like
Zhivko Illeieff
Russiagate and the Dry Rot in American Journalism
Norman Solomon
Will Biden’s Dog Whistles for Racism Catch Up with Him?
Yanis Varoufakis
The Left Refuses to Get Its Act Together in the Face of Neofascism
Lawrence Davidson
Senator Schumer’s Divine Mission
Thomas Knapp
War Crimes Pardons: A Terrible Memorial Day Idea
Renee Parsons
Dump Bolton before He Starts the Next War
Yves Engler
Canada’s Meddling in Venezuela
Katie Singer
Controlling 5G: A Course in Obstacles
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Beauty of Trees
Jesse Jackson
Extremist Laws, Like Alabama’s, Will Hit Poor Women the Hardest
Andrew Bacevich
The “Forever Wars” Enshrined
Ron Jacobs
Another One Moves On: Roz Payne, Presente!
Christopher Brauchli
The Offal Office
Daniel Falcone
Where the ‘Democratic Left’ Goes to Die: Staten Island NYC and the Forgotten Primaries   
Julia Paley
Life After Deportation
Sarah Anderson
America Needs a Long-Term Care Program for Seniors
Seiji Yamada – John Witeck
Stop U.S. Funding for Human Rights Abuses in the Philippines
Shane Doyle, A.J. Not Afraid and Adrian Bird, Jr.
The Crazy Mountains Deserve Preservation
Charlie Nash
Will Generation Z Introduce a Wizard Renaissance?
Ron Ridenour
Denmark Peace-Justice Conference Based on Activism in Many Countries
Douglas Bevington
Why California’s Costly (and Destructive) Logging Plan for Wildfires Will Fail
Gary Leupp
“Escalating Tensions” with Iran
Jonathan Power
Making the World More Equal
Cesar Chelala
The Social Burden of Depression in Japan
Stephen Cooper
Imbibe Culture and Consciousness with Cocoa Tea (The Interview)
Stacy Bannerman
End This Hidden Threat to Military Families
Kevin Basl
Time to Rethink That POW/MIA Flag
Nicky Reid
Pledging Allegiance to the Divided States of America
Louis Proyect
A Second Look at Neflix
Martin Billheimer
Closed Shave: T. O. Bobe, the Girl and Curl
David Yearsley
Hard Bop and Bezos’ Balls
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail