A dangerous tactic
Terrorism is commonly defined as violent acts (or the threat of violent acts) intended to create fear (terror), perpetrated for an economic, religious, political, or ideological goal, and which deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (e.g., neutral military personnel or civilians). ... Some definitions now include acts of unlawful violence and war.
Most scholarship on terrorism tends to ignore state terrorism by Northern democracies, focusing instead on terrorist threats to Northern interests from illiberal actors. The book accounts for the absence of Northern state terrorism from terrorism studies, and provides a detailed conceptualisation of state terrorism in relation to other forms of state violence. The book explores state terrorism as used by European and early American imperialists to secure territory, to coerce slave and forced wage labour, and to defeat national liberation movements during the process of decolonisation. It examines the use of state terrorism by the US throughout the Cold War to defeat political movements that would threaten US elite interests. Finally, it assesses the practices of Northern liberal democratic states in the 'War on Terror' and shows that many Northern liberal democracies have been active in state terrorism, including through extraordinary rendition.
Since the September 11 attacks on the United States, most people in the world agree that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice, without killing many thousands of civilians in the process. But unfortunately, the U.S. military has always accepted massive civilian deaths as part of the cost of war. The military is now poised to kill thousands of foreign civilians, in order to prove that killing U.S. civilians is wrong.
Here's a handy A to Z guide to U.S.-backed international crime.
Ever since the creation of democratic nations — where public opinion somewhat matters — the political class is faced with a dilemma: War is needed to gain power, riches, and control, but the general public has a tendency to be against it. What to do? The answer was found decades ago and is still used successfully today: Create an enemy so terrifying that the masses will beg their government to go to war.
Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
... we will do more to train and equip the moderate opposition in Syria.
Internally, events are taking a clear sectarial direction. The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al-Qaeda Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria. The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition [to the Syrian government] while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.
For the past year, US, British and other western forces have been back in Iraq, supposedly in the cause of destroying the hyper-sectarian terror group Islamic State (formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq). This was after Isis overran huge chunks of Iraqi and Syrian territory and proclaimed a self-styled Islamic caliphate. ... A revealing light on how we got here has now been shone by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts — and effectively welcomes — the prospect of a "Salafist principality" in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the "major forces driving the insurgency in Syria" — and states that "western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey" were supporting the opposition's efforts to take control of eastern Syria. ... That doesn't mean the US created Isis, of course, though some of its Gulf allies certainly played a role in it — as the US vice-president, Joe Biden, acknowledged last year. But there was no al-Qaida in Iraq until the US and Britain invaded. And the US has certainly exploited the existence of Isis against other forces in the region as part of a wider drive to maintain western control.
The White House on Thursday proposed a major program to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, in a significant expansion of the U.S. role in a civil war that officials fear is bleeding into Iraq and across the region.
Four years later, the result is a splintered Syrian opposition, the growth of the Islamic State group and a humanitarian disaster stretching across Europe.
The most important source of ISIS financing to date has been support coming out of the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia but also Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Meet Saudi Arabia's latest monstrous contribution to world history: the Islamist Sunni caliphate of Iraq and the Levant.
War on terror?
Current U.S. policy and practice in the counterterror war are not just.
How can a war be truly just when it involves the daily killing of civilians, when it causes hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children to leave their homes to escape the bombs, when it may not find those who planned the September 11 attacks, and when it will multiply the ranks of people who are angry enough at this country to become terrorists themselves? This war amounts to a gross violation of human rights, and it will produce the exact opposite of what is wanted: It will not end terrorism; it will proliferate terrorism.
Over 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and at least 800,000 more indirectly; 200,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting at the hands of all parties to the conflict; 10.1 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons; The US federal price tag for the Iraq war is about 4.8 trillion dollars; The wars have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the US and abroad; The wars did not result in inclusive, transparent, and democratic governments in Iraq or Afghanistan.
...the war on terror ... has taken far more innocent lives ... without making the U.S. public any safer.
Western intervention in the affairs of other civilizations is probably the single most dangerous source of instability and potential global conflict in a multicivilizational world.
This enlarged conception of the "war on terrorism" allowed the Bush administration to shift the focus of the American response from the al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan to the "axis of evil" countries that had essentially no connection with mega-terrorism, but definitely obstructed the American espousal of global dominance as a goal to be actively pursued.
We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Je suis hypocrite
"Je suis Charlie" is a slogan ... adopted by supporters of freedom of speech and freedom of the press after the 7 January 2015 massacre in which twelve people were killed at the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
This is a sort of circus of hypocrisy when it comes to all of those world leaders who were marching at the front of it. Every single one of those heads of states or representatives of governments there have waged their own wars against journalists.
In terms of free press, authoritarian and oppressive regimes around the world have done far more to censor the world's journalists, overall, than religious extremists. But that's not stopping some of the very perpetrators of this state censorship from joining the millions-strong unity march. ... What was designed as a globally syndicated kumbaya moment, instead gave off the distinct odeur of shameless political opportunism, in what can only be described as the world's biggest-ever photo-junket for what can only be described as some of the world's most unpopular leaders decked-out in $5,000 suits, camel hair overcoats and hipster glasses.