The purpose of terrorism is not to destroy or kill. It is to pursue a political cause through the massive publicity that is attached to terrifying incidents.
The west stirred up the hornets’ nests and is now being stung. There should be no surprise at such events. Disgust, yes, but no surprise. How’s this Greater Israel project working out for everyone? Are we having fun, yet?
Thanks to SImon Jenkins for this piece, and his words on the West (and here we should call out the debacle of U.S. foreign policy) needing a “wiser foreign policy” toward the Middle East, and Muslim nations. It’s not enough for progressives with conscience to say we have stirred up a hornet’s nest, (with the implication that we will inherit what we have started), though.
We need to help our leaders envision a different way. That will be hard, given all those military industrial firms, and fundamentalist neo cons who want the bloody wars, racial and religious profiling, and their inevitable responses to continue. What is to be done? Say we are sick of it, sick of the carnage, and declare it to all, in any way we can, and call for and promote diplomacy and healing change, through dialog among the perpetrators, and those harmed in the “War on Terror.”
The question that’s asked plays a role in determining the answer.
TomDispatch’s stable of writers repeatedly question the Middle East wars because they have not been “won,” and ponder why it is that the same course of action is still pursued.
By framing the matter as why the most gargantuan military establishment in the world can’t win specific wars, the wrong question is pursued.
The real question is why a preponderance of resources is dedicated to this same military establishment; and in its wish to retain that fiscal status quo, said entity must thereafter produce substantial threats to justify its own existence.
Similarly, Mr. Jenkins presents the question of terrorism AS IF it’s indisputably a response on the part of disgruntled Muslims to Anglo-European foreign policies.
Granted, only the insane would NOT be angry at the West for the various ways it continues to occupy, exploit, and plunder a substantial number of Middle Eastern nations.
However, if one sets up a different frame (and related question), one might ask how the War on Terror benefited the world’s elites by using the threat of terrorism to contain the previously well-established liberties enjoyed by citizens.
Many people understand that 911 was an Inside Job. And it’s more than plausible that at least some of the subsequent “terrorist” attacks were also inside jobs.
Just as the MIC requires enemies to sustain itself, the gargantuan body of surveillance agencies grown up as a result of 911 also must seek and find (when not planting) terrorist events in order to justify their existence.
Little is done in the world to strengthen human resistance to degenerative diseases like Cancer. To the contrary, the various Energy barons and industrial polluters find ways to poison the earth’s ecosystems and thereby break down the immune systems of many persons.
In response, the battle against Cancer has become institutionalized, and whenever an entity becomes institutionalized it typically works to justify its own existence.
So there are all sorts of costly treatments applied AFTER THE FACT to the growing numbers of Cancer patients and precious little to stem the tide of insecticides, pesticides, industrial solvents, GMO “foods,” radiation leaks, etc.
The question not asked is what would happen to the anti-terror brigades if terrorism ceased to exist.
The onus is to sustain the threat… not alleviate it!
“What is not stupid is seeking to alleviate, or not aggravate, the rage that gives rise to acts of terror, and then to diminish the potency of the incident itself. The first requires a wiser foreign policy than most western nations have shown towards the Muslim world over the past decade. The second is even harder to achieve. It demands patience and restraint in publicising terrorist incidents and in responding to them.”
This frame substitutes the citizen for the soldier and is apt if citizens agree to being part of the military apparatus or choose–via referendum–to live in a military state rather than a Democratic Republic.
When there’s a gigantic Oil Spill, only an idiot would say, “Look what WE did.”
Specific actors and entities are responsible for said oil spill.
Killing is reserved for the U.S military and those govt. entities that support its operations.
Many citizens do not agree with U.S. foreign policy, oppose war, and hardly see themselves as extensions of a military state.
When posters deliberately use this pro-military frame, I will contest it and do my best to expose why this sort of verbiage is dangerous!
I think the larger question is why is it that this forum is always full of soldier boys protecting the military by insisting that what it does–feloniously–somehow comports with the public’s wishes.
Your narrow insistence here shows that you are a card-carrying supporter of the MIC:
“You can attack the “WE frame” all you want, but the consensus (nobody knows the actual numbers) among U.S. citizens has been to consistently support U.S. interventionism and militarism, with the exception of the U.S. wars in Southeast Asia (only after a long period of failure and defeat).”
Missing from your “analysis” are all of the following:
Any mention of the powerful role that propaganda plays when it comes to militarizing a nation. It worked for Nazi Germany and similar tactics (in fact, these are far more advanced given 6 decades of improvements in technologies) are being used 24/7 inside “the homeland.”
The deliberate removal of ANY and all voices that called for peace or diplomacy after 911.
The saturation of the MSM with generals and pro-war hawks.
The role of the churches in applauding and justifying war–in the form of a modern Middle East Crusades–rather that honoring the teachings of Christ in acting as a bulwark against War of Aggression–defined as THE Supreme Crime against humanity by the Geneva Conventions
The likelihood that 911 was a well-planned false flag that involved multiple targets and the final trauma–the Anthrax Letters–to ensure that trauma would hit the American collective psyche quite hard
The use of Hollywood to sex up films about war, narrow versions of history, simplistic “good guys versus bad guys” plot lines, and so forth.
The pervasive presence of the MIC in that many states (and this factor is significant in a jobless “recovery”) guarantee jobs by making items for the MIC’s war machine
The high numbers of those who showed up to oppose war against Iraq initially
The FBI/CIA threat of domestic spying and its capacity to infiltrate, demean, and bust up any organizations that work against Deep State interests (as evidenced in how it broke up OWS).
How Obama’s election victory was made on the LIE that he would end the war in Iraq and intimations were made to indicate that a shift away from Bush’s policies of aggressive war would occur. It did not. (As many in this forum pointed out, Obama’s betrayal did a lot to defang the Left in its anti-war stance.)
Anyone who pushes the meme that the people “wanted” war while leaving out all of the metrics used to manufacture consent for lawless exploits by Empire, presents a disingenuous narrative.
It’s of the same fiber that insists that whatever the MIC does (i.e. how many it killed or droned lately) is tantamount to what The People do.
Another poster spoke of all the profits “the US” made from these wars… and this is an equally deceptive frame. Just what constitutes this U.S? If the answer is the banks and war profiteers, then that’s a specific identifiable set of actors. That set of entities is NOT the U.S. and what is good for them is typically not good for anyone or anything else!
Too many have too much free time during workday hours to constantly place blame on citizens for what is not within their agency to alter. Nor is this an American problem.
ALL over the world, people are struggling against the same hegemonic controls propped up by militaries, established energy cartels, and the banks that run and control the money systems.
When in place of these more nuanced and truthful analyses, the same tired “blame voters/blame the people/blame the sheeple” SHIT is catapulted… then it’s obvious that some people are being paid to keep this meme in play.
It’s done to protect the trespassers.
And I will continue to point this out.
“I respect your consistency, but don’t think that your defense of WE THE PEOPLE as helpless victims of our government and conditions hold water.”
You military types lack creativity and ALWAYS prop up this same argument… or else do your utmost to paint me as “mad.”
Interestingly enough, if the argument is raised with respect to the Palestinian people, many of you soldier boys DO get it.
The argument being that of disproportionate power, resources, agency, and influence.
Here’s how it works–Why don’t the Palestinians demand their independence?
When groups LACK power, like unions inside the U.S. today with most corporations seeking out 3rd world nations to secure cheaper labor pools–their demands are treated as irrelevant.
The U.S. has undergone a corporate coup with the MIC one of those corporations on the deciding end. What The People want is discounted almost ALL of the time. However, extremely expensive propaganda is used to create the illusions of consent.
Could American citizens stop the Obama health" Care bill? (Ultimately, it’s just extortion designed to beef up Insurance Company profits.)
Could American citizens stop the bailout to the big banks?
Could American citizens stop Homeland Security?
In spite of the Edward Snowden revelations, has anything REALLY been done to stop the Police State from spying on citizens?
The Page and Gilens Study PROVED that less than 1% of the policies implemented by our government comport with the will of the People.
Therefore, pointing out the tools, tactics, and technologies used to CONTROL the population, discount the majority opinions, and manufacture consent for agendas set by elites is completely ON THE MARK.
But in lieu of this, you turn the meme to that of alleging “weakness” in the population.
If that isn’t a military style frame, what the phuck is?
On a related note, there’s an article on C.D. today based on 2nd grade students recognizing how boys will favor boys within a classroom exercise. The teacher sought to create a fairer basis for equal access.
And as is so sadly true almost ALL the time, the first to comment didn’t mention race or gender and reverted to the elusive WE/human beings/human nature memes. It’s precisely those one-size-fits-all generic frames that discount the LIVED experience of all those on the outside of privileged categories.
Nor is it any surprise that angry white guys who constantly discredit those CATEGORIES OF OTHER support Trump… while half the time saying as much, they simultaneously insist that they are not showing him support!
I am a trained English teacher and a professional writer who knows a lot about language; and these distorted commentaries (which constantly stick to the same story lines) are forms of engineered disinformation.
Jenkins writes: “More serious, the intention of the terrorist is clearly to shut down western society, to show liberal democracy to be a sham…”
I’d say the current Western political and financial class is doing a fine job of that already.
The West? So what did Belgium, a quaint land of mild-mannered and polite chocolate connoisseurs, beer aficionados and comic-strip lovers. ‘stir up’ in the Middle-east, then? They weren’t in the ‘coalition of the willing’ that invaded Iraq, they support an independent Palestinian State, they responded to the attacks in Libya by providing medical assistance to Libyans only, flying them to Belgium for treatment? So what did they as ‘the West’ do, and who do you mean by the West anyway?
Belgium avoided the Iraq War during the Bush Administration. Bill Clinton said it was Bush’s fault that France, Germany & Belgium stayed out of the Iraq War & said he’d convince them to join the coalition. He probably would have. Since Obama has been POTUS, Europe has become more anti-Muslim, anti-Arab & anti-immigrant & has been moving closer & closer to Israel & the US.
I think only a fool would argue that an act of outright murder of innocent people can ever be justified. Progressives need to remember that there is no quid pro quo concerning injustice and crimes against humanity. These poor people died for no reason. There is no explanation that excuses these murders and the maiming of innocent people just like there is no justifiable excuse for murdering Berta Caceres nor for the many thousands murdered by the right there and elsewhere.
Progressives should remember that they are against all war not because it destroys property but because war kills and maims. To somebody this is an act of war though it is in fact an act of genocide and an act that is profoundly anti-human. The idea that any and all human beings whether innocent or are justifiable targets because some supposed warrior is too weak to fight other warriors is an admission of weakness. The murderers tell us that innocent people should die because they are easier targets and for no other reason.
Do progressives justify innocent deaths? I am thinking that some do or maybe these are only faux progressives perhaps but of that only they know their hearts. I know that a wedding celebration slaughtered by a drone missile is a horror that I oppose and that the deaths of 30 people in Belgium (a country not involved in the Middle East) is a horror that I oppose…
But apparently I am one of the few who thinks so.
Take the board away from your own eyes, jackass.
Tell us all about YOUR labors since you and the tag team relentlessly change screen names to HIDE your daily presence in these threads.
Teaching is labor, pal. Being a single Mother is labor. Actively opposing things like war and writing CONSTANTLY to raise consciousness are some of my contributions.
You can’t defend your position so your resort to the canard that “the rest of us don’t know anything.” THAT was not an honest response to calling out the goal of SOME (trained I.T. message shapers) who constantly conflate the MIC with the citizenry, and/or the decisions reached by shadow elites with the purported will of the governed.
I will continue to call out disinformation where I see it.
Without wishing to offend, I must say this conversation follows a similar pattern to the endless war, which really looks like the Tar Baby fable from “songs of the south”. Sometimes it’s called “blowback,” which is what Chalmers Johnson called it in his trilogy about empire. Maybe we could do some real good by getting back to creating a Peace Department. War sure ain’t work in’.
Seriously, how could anyone deny that the United States has sponsored a reign of terror around the world for many generations now… Shock and awe baby, shock and awe. Hard to forgive a people who blow up your children, and all in the name of national defense, enlightened self interest, or any of other explosive double-barreled abstractions…l
The ‘We’ That I Belong To
is the one that will be killed
the ‘them’ that they belong to
is the one that will have my blood spilled.
The kitchen that exploded
the train station that is bombed
the cafe that is bloodied
is the place my ‘we’ belongs.
The masters of the massacres
hide in their various dens
the caves of the permanently wounded
the marble halls of the richest men.
I will not be dissuaded
from my daily terror and loss
as long as these killers around me
are given power
and never know the cost
to the ‘we’ that stands at the coffins
the ‘we’ lying limbless in the bed.
I cannot claim innocence
though not responsible for the dead
who are my brothers,
mothers and my friends.
The loss list goes on forever
regardless which side we defend.
Those we call our leaders
the candidates for our thrones
hold the lifeline of our children
and the heartbeat of those
who live below the mercy of a drone.
So say ‘we’ when you have to
but do not include me in
those pallid faces of the wealthy
who make money from the dead,
or the insanely prayerful
who would cash in their brothers’ tombs
as well as trade in mine.
I am a potential target, the ‘we’, like you,
in this contest between swine.
The problem with that is, Israel doesn’t pussyfoot around like western countries. Apparently the US Air Force dropped 20,000 bombs and missiles on ISIS for the last few years and they are still around. There was ray of hope when Russia got in, but they tucked tail. At some point someone is gonna really piss of Israel. Remember when Saddam was building a nuclear rector? 120 seconds is what it took to take it out. Or when Israeli forces almost made it to Cairo until the US said “whoa there, buddy”?
This guys know very well with whom they can mess. What do you think Belgium is gonna do? Exactly nothing. They always waffled when push came to shove.
Thanks for being awake on this aspect. Few are.