Tag Archives: terrorism

Trump’s Foreign Policy: An Unwise Inconsistency? by Ron Paul

Sometimes President Trump sounds like a noninterventionist, and sometimes he sounds like an interventionist. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions have been anything but consistent. One day we heard that NATO was obsolete and the US needs to pursue better relations with Russia. But the next time he spoke, these sensible positions were abandoned or an opposite position was taken. Trump’s inconsistent rhetoric left us wondering exactly what kind of foreign policy he would pursue if elected.

The President’s inaugural speech was no different. On the one hand it was very encouraging when he said that under his Administration the US would “seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world,” and that he understands the “right of all nations to put their own interests first.” He sounded even better when he said that under Trump the US would “not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.” That truly would be a first step toward peace and prosperity.

However in the very next line he promised a worldwide war against not a country, but an ideology, when he said he would, “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.” This inconsistent and dangerous hawkishess will not defeat “radical Islamic terrorism,” but rather it will increase it. Terrorism is not a place, it is a tactic in reaction to invasion and occupation by outsiders, as Professor Robert Pape explained in his important book, Dying to Win.

To continue reading: Trump’s Foreign Policy: An Unwise Inconsistency?

 

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The Fourth-Generation War, by David Galland

This is a good article on how to fight, and not fight, terrorism. From David Galland at garrettgalland.com:

For most people, the term “4GW” will conjure visions of a new and improved data service for their mobile devices. For members of the military and intelligence community, 4GW means something entirely different: Fourth-Generation Warfare, a form of warfare where the lines between civilians and combatants, political and military goals, and even the weapons to be used in fighting the war are blurred.

Smudged to the point where even identifying the warring parties is difficult.

To understand the 4GW, look no further than last month’s attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany.

• Instead of using a bomb, gun, or even a knife, the attacker used a commercial truck.

• The attacker was from Tunisia, a country with no clear grievances against the Germans.

• He was an adherent of Islam (natch). Given the attack was directed against innocent bystanders at a Christmas market, we assume—but don’t know—that it was motivated by a religious goal. But to what end? We can have no idea.

And why Germany, the country that had provided succor to the man and his family as refugees? Was the attack part of a broader strategy to complete the Islamization of Germany? All of Europe?

• Or was it to force the Europeans to withdraw from the Middle East—even though the European footprint in the Middle East is barely visible compared to the US and Russia?

• Perhaps it was just a target of convenience—in which case, what’s the point(s) the attacker was trying to make?

To continue reading: The Fourth-Generation War

Why Politicians Are to Blame for Most Terrorist Attacks, by Patrick Coburn

Politicians often institute repressive measures to “control” terrorism, but rarely do anything to change their own policies that produce that terrorism. From Patrick Coburn at strategic-culture.org:

European political leaders are making the same mistake in reacting to the massacre at the Christmas fair in Berlin, in which 12 died, as they did during previous terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. There is an over-concentration on the failings of the security services in not identifying and neutralising the Tunisian petty criminal, Anis Amri, as the threat he turned out to be. There is too little focus on bringing to an end the wars in Syria and Iraq which make this type of atrocity unstoppable.

In the aftermath of the killings the visibility of Amri, who was shot dead in Milan this morning, as a potential threat looks misleadingly obvious, and the culpability of those who did not see this appears more glaring than it really was. The number of possible suspects – suspected before they have done anything – is too great to police them effectively.

No politician or security official wishing to retain their job can tell a frightened and enraged public that it is impossible to defend them. Those in charge become an easy target for critics who opportunistically exploit terrorism to blame government incompetence or demand communal punishment of asylum seekers, immigrants or Muslims. At such times, the media is at its self-righteous worst, whipping up hysteria and portraying horrifying but small-scale incidents as if they were existential threats. This has always been true, but 24/7 news coverage makes it worse as reporters run out of things to say and lose all sense of proportion. As the old American newspaper nostrum has it: “if it bleeds, it leads.”

To continue reading: Why Politicians Are to Blame for Most Terrorist Attacks

 

Three ridiculous ways Congress plans to Keep America Safe Again, by Simon Black

A 3,000 plus page law will keep America safe and sound! From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Around the time of Passover in 67 AD, the Jews of Judea were in the midst of a major rebellion against the occupying Roman Empire.

Riots and violence were commonplace, and an organized rebel force of more than 25,000 men fought regularly against the imperial legions.

But a small group of zealots decided that conventional warfare wasn’t good enough.

So they went to the nearby town of Ein Gedi in modern-day Israel and killed 700 civilians.

This was one of the first recorded terror attacks in history.

Titus Flavius Josephus, an ancient historian (whose works are frequently disputed) described this massacre in his book The Jewish War, and goes on to explain that Sicarii committed mass suicide rather than be taken prisoner by the Romans.

Terrorism, radicalism, and fanaticism have existed for thousands of years; there have always been people willing to commit unspeakable acts of violence as a means to achieve their goals.

And sadly, though our species has evolved since ancient times, these traits still exist in a dangerous minority that struck at least three times just yesterday alone.

Most of us who don’t have our mental wires crossed can’t understand their belief systems– both ancient and modern-day terrorists alike are not only willing to die, but quite often HAPPY to die for their causes.

Today’s politicians are remarkably ill-equipped to deal with this kind of threat.

Their solution is to fight violent radicals by forming committees, issuing press releases, and passing mountains of legislation.

Case in point: The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, which is sitting on President Obama’s desk awaiting signature, consists of over 3,000 pages of rules, regulations, and pet projects.

3,076 pages to be exact.

To continue reading: Three ridiculous ways Congress plans to Keep America Safe Again

America’s Spiral Into Permanent War Seems More Foolish Than Ever, by Conn Hillinan

Stupid and immoral policies beget disastrous consequences, or as Mom used to say: “It’ll all catch up to you.” From Conn Hallinan at antiwar.com:

“We have fallen into a self-defeating spiral of reaction and counterterror,” writes Mark Danner in his new book Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War. “Our policies, meant to extirpate our enemies, have strengthened and perpetuated them.”

Danner – an award winning journalist, professor, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations who has covered war and revolutions on three continents – begins Spiral with the aftermath of a 2003 ambush of U.S. troops outside of Fallujah, Iraq.

The insurgents had set off a roadside bomb, killing a paratrooper and wounding several others. “The Americans promptly dismounted and with their M-16s and M-4s began pouring lead into everything they could see,” including a passing truck, he writes. “By week’s end scores of family and close friends of those killed would join the insurgents, for honor demanded they kill Americans to wipe away family shame.”

The incident encapsulates the fundamental contradiction at the heart of George W. Bush’s – and with variations, Barack Obama’s – “war on terror”: The means used to fight it is the most effective recruiting device that organizations like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Shabab, and the Islamic State have.

Targeted assassinations by drones, the use of torture, extralegal renditions, and the invasions of several Muslim countries have combined to yield an unmitigated disaster, destabilizing several states, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and generating millions of refugees.

Putting War Crimes on the Menu

Danner’s contention is hardly breaking news, nor is he the first journalist to point out that responding to the tactic of terrorism with military force generates yet more enemies and instability. But Spiral argues that what was once unusual has now become standard operating procedure, and the Obama administration bears some of the blame for this by its refusal to prosecute violations of international law.

Torture is a case in point.

In the aftermath of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, the Bush administration introduced so-called “enhanced interrogation” techniques that were, in fact, torture under both US and international law. Danner demonstrates that the White House, and a small cluster of advisers around Vice President Dick Cheney, knew they could be prosecuted under existing laws, so they carefully erected a “golden shield” of policy memos that would protect them from prosecution for war crimes.

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Obama announced that he had “prohibited torture.” But, as Danner points out, “torture violates international and domestic law and the notion that our president has the power to prohibit it follows insidiously from the pretense that his predecessor had the power to order it. Before the war on terror official torture was illegal and an anathema; today it is a policy choice.”

And president-elect Donald Trump has already announced that he intends to bring it back.

There is no doubt that enhanced interrogation was torture. The International Committee of the Red Cross found the techniques “amounted to torture and/or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” How anyone could conclude anything else is hard to fathom. Besides the waterboarding – for which several Japanese soldiers were executed for using on Allied prisoners during World War II – interrogators used sleep deprivation, extreme confinement, and “walling.” Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded 83 times, describes having a towel wrapped around his neck that his questioners used “to swing me around and smash repeatedly against the wall of the [interrogation] room.”

To continue reading: America’s Spiral Into Permanent War Seems More Foolish Than Ever

The Enemies of Freedom, by Eric Peters

Maybe “they” attack us for reasons other than that: “They hate us for our freedoms.” From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

They’ve struck again.

You know… the enemies of freedom (as they are styled, post-Chimp).

In fact – and this is surefire NSA nacht und nebel stuff – they hate us for our government. The government that sends B52s and depleted uranium rounds and drones and McDonald’s and much worse to their “homelands.” This is no apologia for the religion of Islam – which is more than usually violent and demented but only because it is still taken literally by many Koran readers while the Bible’s most demented portions are generally ignored nowadays.

The point, though, isn’t religion.

It’s policy.

The West is under attack because it attacked the East.

In other words, we started it.

“We,” of course, meaning the handful of meddling no-good-niks who control the government.

You and I had nothing to do with any of it – but we’re softer targets, so we get pipe-bombed. It is much harder to reach the responsible parties.

So, they are not reached.

But we are told we’ve been pipe-bombed because they “hate us for our freedoms.”

And most of us seem to buy it.

The solution presented is less freedom.

That has been the solution for 15 years now. And yet, they still hate us, our ever-diminishing freedoms notwithstanding.

It makes one wonder.

Well, it ought to.

But, it probably won’t.

Prospective Dear Leaders Trump and Hillary will be united in their just-as-bloody ululations urging retaliation. Neither will pause even for a moment to wonder whether maybe it might not be wiser to return “the troops” (and McDonalds and all the rest of it) to the “homeland” and accept that it’s a good idea to not go where you’re not wanted, much less where you’ve been asked to get the hell out of.

There have been very few – if any – assaults upon the freedoms of the Swiss (or the Mexicans or the Uruguayans or the Brazilians or the Cambodians or the Indians).

Could it possibly be on account of their minding their own beeswax?

But, tell it to Washington.

Of course, they don’t need us to do that. They are not stupid, evidence of which is that stupidity is rarely consistent and Washington’s actions regarding the accumulation of power and the use of power to dominate and control are as predictable as Pravda during the Brezhnev era.

The “fight for freedom” serves a very deliberate agenda.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with protecting our freedoms….

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/09/20/the-enemies-of-freedom/

The Great 9/11 Coverup, by Eric Zuesse

How much did the Bush administration know about the 9/11 attacks before they happened? From Eric Zuesse at off-guardian.org:

Did you happen to notice that after more than a decade of the ‘news’ media’s demanding publication of “the missing 28 pages” (which turned out actually to have been 29 pages) from the U.S. Congress’s investigation into 9/11, the document’s press-coverage, finally, on 15 July 2016, turned out to have been little-to-none? And did you notice that the little there was, said it contained nothing important? Perhaps you didn’t get to know even this much about the press-coverage of it, because the U.S. Congress, which had been hiding the document ever since 2003, dumped it on a Friday night, in order for it to receive as little press-coverage as possible.

Well, what that document actually showed, and proved (and cited FBI investigators who could then have testified in public, if requested), was the opposite of unimportant: that the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud (who was known in Washington as “Bandar Bush,” because of his closeness to the Bush family), had secretly been paying the Saudi handlers of at least two of the 15 Saudis among the 19 9/11 hijackers, and that Bandar’s wife and other relatives were also paying those hijackers-to-be, and their families — thus enabling the future hijackers to obtain the necessary pilot-training etc., for the 9/11 attacks.

How much news-coverage of this was there in the U.S.’democracy’ that is supposed to be informing the public about such things, instead of continuing the cover-ups of them?

Why do U.S. ‘news’ media hide it — after having demanded for more than ten years that the ‘missing 28 pages’ become published?

But that’s not all there is to the cover-up: As I mentioned and documented in my July 20th news-report on “9/11: Bush’s Guilt and the ’28 Pages’,” U.S. President George W. Bush was also involved in the 9/11 operation: He had instructed his National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to block his obtaining from U.S. government sources any specific information about what the attacks would entail, or about the date on which they would occur. (Presumably, he already knew, via his private communications with Prince Bandar or someone else who was in on the event’s planning, all that he had wanted to know about the coming event.)

When CIA Director George Tenet, on 10 July 2001, was practically screaming to Rice to allow him into the Oval Office, to meet privately with the President to inform him of how urgent the situation had become to take action on it, she said: “We’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.” Tenet was shocked, and dismayed. That encounter with Rice was intended to urge the President to establish a hit-team to take out bin Laden, so as to avert the operation — whatever it was, or would turn out to be. The way that Chris Whipple put this, in his terrific report in Politico magazine, on 12 November 2015, titled “The Attacks Will Be Spectacular”, was that, “they did not want a paper trail to show that they’d been warned.”

Apparently, “Bandar Bush” knew the details, but his friend George W. Bush did not — Bush needed “deniability” — it’s not for nothing that he was able to say, after the event, as Condoleezza Rice was to put it when speaking to reporters on 16 May 2002, “This government did everything that it could in a period in which the information was very generalized, in which there was nothing specific to react to … Had this president known of something more specific, or known that a plane was going to be used as a missile, he would have acted on it.”

How does she now square that statement with her having told Tenet, on 10 July 2001, “We’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.”? What ‘clock’? Why not? No one asks her — especially not under oath.

Is that the way things happen in a democracy, even 15 years after the event?

To continue reading: The Great 9/11 Coverup