The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

The myths about terrorism

with one comment

no terrorismHow big a threat is terrorism? What really reduces it?

Excellent insights from John Feffer at Foreign Policy in Focus, reprinted in Asia Times Online of July 13 as The core misconceptions in the “war on terror”, suggest the sound-byte slogans we’ve heard are critically flawed. I excerpt here, but encourage you to read them in context, via the link.

If only everyone knew!

Misconception: Terrorism is the major threat to US and global interests … Al-Qaeda is a relatively recent phenomenon. Its concerns were originally quite specific – to compel the United States to withdraw its troops from Saudi Arabia. It was on the verge of extinction after the collapse of its patron, the Taliban, in Afghanistan in 2001. If approached with the appropriate legal mechanisms – and with the discriminate force associated with law enforcement undertaken with due respect for human rights [8] – al-Qaeda will once again retreat into obscurity….

Misconception: A “war” on terrorism is the only solution. … Declaring a war on terror is like declaring war on serial murderers. War is what al-Qaeda wants. Such language elevates the terrorists to the level of warriors in a battle. The terrorists are criminals, not warriors, and should be treated accordingly.

Many of the real successes in combating al-Qaeda in the years since September 11 have come from treating the terrorists as criminals. … The invasion and occupation of Iraq, which was falsely presented as part of the “global war on terrorism,” in fact served as al-Qaeda’s most effective recruitment campaign.

By enshrining preventive war as a policy doctrine in the national security strategy in general and for combating terrorism in particular, the Bush administration has actually reduced rather than increased US security …. Police never speak of ending crime, only controlling and reducing it. The same applies to terrorism.

Misconception: Terrorists are attacking “our” way of life. Terrorists have traditionally pursued narrow political ends. … Once these aims are achieved, the terrorist organizations either disappear or become official political entities. … Terrorists are, by and large, attacking the policies of the US government, not a Western way of life. If these policies change, particularly in the Middle East, terrorist organizations would lose a major organizing tool. …

And the cure?

Four major building blocks support a just counter-terrorism policy: improving homeland security, strengthening legal systems, promoting democracy and human rights, and addressing the root causes of terrorism. …

Brilliant. But—Duh!—why is the obvious is so hard for us to see?

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Written by Monte

July 17, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Terrorism

One Response

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  1. Thanks for another insightful post Monte! The time has come for those still blind to see the truth of this war…

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

    Monte says: Thanks, friend – great to hear from you!


    July 18, 2007 at 3:05 pm

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