The war on terror is anti-American

Philip Giraldi writes:

The expression war on terror is meaningless. Terror is a tactic, it is not a foreign government or political movement. To use the expression a “terrorist group” is equally misleading as the groups which come in all shapes sizes and colors are essentially political and have frequently clearly defined political objectives even if they use terrorism to advance their agenda. In most cases, the groups we call terrorists seek to take over the government of the countries where they operate, replacing groups not dissimilar to themselves who are currently in charge.

Why is what we call something important, whether we use the expression “terrorist” or not? It is important because how you name and define something shapes how you think about it and how you respond to it. It frames the narrative. Instead of bumper sticker definitions, we should instead be asking whether international groups that use terror genuinely threaten either the United States or any vital national interest. If we were to undertake such an analysis, we would quickly learn that frequently the terrorist label is misleading.

The exploitation of fear of terrorism by those in government has led to wars that did not have to be fought. Fear has been the key to the door for expansion of government and government powers and the people in charge in Washington have seized the opportunity. It has also eroded the liberties that have defined us as a nation.

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Comments

  1. The term “terrorist” is misleading because US leaders tend to reserve its application for those US these leaders are from time to time pleased to describe as enemies. The USA and Israel use massive armed force against non-military targets and might well be considered “terrorist” by any uniformly applied definition.

    But if the word-wars are intellectually disappointing, the use of these words to decide whom to attack (often by enormously expensive wars) is a disaster. So what if some group or country employs “terrorism”? How does that become a reason for the USA to go to war?

    Time was when most terrorists operated in Latin America (where many still operate) and in Africa, but the USA does not go to war against them. Thus, the USE of the term “terrorism” is merely a linguistic signal of a decision already taken to go to war.

    We would do well to think in realistic terms about whether any war — any war now being fought and any war being contemplated — makes sense in terms of the US national interest. The Europeans do not spend money on their military establishments in proportion to the USA’s expenditure. Unless the USA is fighting these wars for very narrow benefits accruing to the USA alone, we are in effect subsidizing the EU and Japan and China by fighting their wars for them. If true, this makes no sense from an economic viewpoint. And if it should be shown that no country — neither the USA nor the EU nor Japan nor China — is gaining benefit from these wars, then the USA’s madness is shown in its full glory.

    Governance in the USA is largely based on the principle of the tail wagging the dog. If the tail — perhaps the armaments industry, perhaps the hard-line Israel Lobby — is able to wag the entire USA military machine, to its own enrichment or aggrandizement, but to the USA’s impoverishment (as recently the USSR was impoverished), then hats off to the “tails” (all the world loves a winner) but I fear for my country.