The War on Terror is a Complete Failure
Terrorism is increasing, not decreasing because of the war on terror. For Bush to claim that terrorists hate us because we are free is completely false. The terrorists hate us for our government's policies which place a lesser value on Arabs lives than on American or British lives. Now that terror has shown up in Europe, the logical step following the Bush-style of solving problems is to bomb Europe. Obviously, bombing places where terrorists are "supposed" to be isn't working. They know that the real issue is gaining control of the oil in those lands.
Bush's War on Terror 'Is a Monumental Failure'
Haroon Siddiqui says terrorists are targeting us because of our policies in Muslim lands, not because we are free.
July 10, 2005
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Madrid: 191 dead. Beslan: 330 murdered, half of them children. Riyadh and Jeddah: more than 100 killed. London: about 50 massacred.
Then there's the daily terror of Iraq, where more than 700 people have been killed in the last month alone.
Our leaders respond with revulsion and resolve, as they must, when the tragedy hits closer to home.
They walk the fine line between increasing security and causing panic, between feeling our pain and exploiting it.
Officials who need to be seen to be doing something are, on TV. Breathless reporters, anchors and "security experts" spout scary scenarios, pontificate about the latest terrorist group about which they know nothing, and recycle such vacuous phrases as the "vertical vs. horizontal command structure" of Al Qaeda and its "metastasizing" cells.
Islam bashers renew their racist demand as to what Muslims are going to do about the horror.
But once we get past all that, and the empty editorials, what are we left with? This: The war on terror has been a monumental failure.
In fact, it has made matters worse.
You could see that in the words of George W. Bush and Tony Blair after the London blasts.
They contrasted the dastardly acts of the terrorists with their own good deeds for Africa and the environment. True but irrelevant. The terrorists are not from Africa and they don't care about gas emissions.
Blair added: "We will not allow violence to change our values and our way of life." And Anne McLellan parrotted: "We will defend our way of life."
This is a Bush-ian formulation: they hate us because we are free. It cleverly obviates any need for self-scrutiny.
It is also patently false.
Terrorists, if they are to be believed, are targeting us because of our policies in Muslim lands. Thursday's communique made that clear enough.
Terrorists also have already changed our way of life.
Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo Bay. Secret prisons abroad. "Renditions." Torture. Assassinations. CIA abductions, even on the friendly soil of Italy.
Fear still rules America. Even after waging a war on false pretences, Bush can find refuge from low approval ratings by continuing to link Iraq to 9/11, as he did the other day before ' where else? ' military cadets.
Our own governments are invading our privacy, suspending civil liberties, criminalizing entire communities and repeatedly exhorting us to be "vigilant," thereby risking vigilantism, the anti-thesis of the rule of law.
All this may be excusable if it were making us any safer.
Combine this with the other failed elements of the war on terror, and you can see why we don't feel reassured by even the Churchillian calls of Blair ("We shall prevail and they shall not") and Bush ("We'll find them, we'll bring them to justice.")
Paul Martin and other leaders, cowered into co-operating with Bush, need to start saying that the emperor has no clothes.
Terrorists used to be spawned in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Now they mushroom in Iraq, even Europe.
So much for Wahhabism being the font of terrorism. What shall we do now? Bomb Europe?
Far from being "in its last throes," as Dick Cheney claims, the insurgency in Iraq is getting worse. Iraq is also sliding into civil war and lawlessness.
Condoleezza Rice, helicoptered in and out of the walled American headquarters in Baghdad, urges Arabs to send envoys to Iraq but it is they who are getting slaughtered, as the Egyptian one has just been.
If Iraq is indeed "vital to the future security" of America and, by extension, all of us as Bush says, he has made it so.
In Afghanistan, where the war was won long ago, the war goes on. Civilians still die under "friendly fire," prompting even the American puppet Hamid Karzai to complain publicly. Raids on civilians
continue, alienating even more people.
It's not just the Muslims who are up in arms, as a worldwide poll by the Pew Research Centre shows.
China's image is now better than America's. Canadians lead those who think of Americans as violent. The biggest reason cited for the widespread anti-Americanism is Bush and his policies.
There is no easy answer to how we should proceed. But a dose of honesty would be a good start.
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