Tag Archives: War on Terror

Second Stage Terror Wars, by Edward Curtin

The liberty-destroying measures enacted after 9/11 were billed as temporary emergency measures for the “War on Terror.” They’re still with us. The temporary emergency measures decreed for the “War on Germs” will be with us in perpetuity as well. From Edward Curtin at edwardcurtin.com:

 

We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” – William Casey, CIA Director, Feb. 1981

It is well known that the endless U.S. war on terror was overtly launched following the mass murders of September 11, 2001 and the linked anthrax attacks.   The invasion of Afghanistan and the Patriot Act were immediately justified by those insider murders, and subsequently the wars against Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.  So too the terrorizing of the American people with constant fear-mongering about imminent Islamic terrorist attacks from abroad that never came.

It is less well known that the executive director of the U.S. cover story – the fictional 9/11 Commission Report – was Philip Zelikow, who controlled and shaped the report from start to finish.

It is even less well known that Zelikow, a professor at the University of Virginia, was closely associated with Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Dickey Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Brent Scowcroft, et al. and had served in various key intelligence positions in both the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations. In 2011 President Obama named him to his President’s Intelligence Advisory Board as befits bi-partisan elite rule and coverup compensation across political parties.

Perhaps it’s unknown or just forgotten that The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission repeatedly called for Zelikow’s removal, claiming that his appointment made a farce of the claim that the Commission was independent.

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Shock and Awe Is a State of Mind: Millions of Deaths Have Not Made Americans Safer, by Philip Giraldi

How can invading foreign lands that pose no threat to the US make Americans safer? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

That the United States likes to use expressions like “shock and awe” or “maximum pressure” would rather suggest that there is a psychopath working in the White House basement whose full-time job is to come up with pithy one-liners to somehow euphemize government bad behavior. The expressions hardly mean anything in and of themselves apart from “tough talk” but they do serve as an alternative to having to admit in plain language to the killing of millions of people since the Global War on Terror began in 2001. “Millions?” one might skeptically ask. Yes, millions if one includes all those killed directly or indirectly as a result of the wars. Direct victims of the violence number at least 157,000 in Afghanistan, 182,000 in Iraq, 400,000 in Syria and 25,000 in Libya. And if you want to go back a few years three million Vietnamese died in 1964-1975 while 2.5 million civilians were killed in Korea. And even in the “Good War” World War 2 there were unnecessary incidents to include the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed 105,000, the firebombing of Tokyo adding another 97,000, and the firebombing of Hamburg and Dresden that together killed 45,000.

An estimated ten million more civilians have been displaced from their homes since 2001, creating refugee crises in both Europe and the Americas, while trillions of dollars have also been wasted or “misplaced” by the geniuses at the Pentagon and in Congress. And some might reasonably argue that the violence taking place all around the world has also been internalized in the U.S., with mass murders surfacing in the news media every few days. Some argue that the United States has nearly always been at war since its founding, which would be true, but it is also correct to note that the nature of America’s lethal engagement with the rest of the world has changed in the past twenty years. Old wars were fought to expand territory and trade or to acquire colonies for the same purpose, meaning they were intended to increase one’s power and wealth. Since 9/11, however, the wars are being fought seemingly without any real identifiable objective while also inflicting significant losses in relative wealth and power on the United States.

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Twenty Years of the War on Terror, by Hunter Derensis

The war on terror was designed to be a perma-war. From Hunter Derensis at theamericanconservative.com:

Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, by Scott Horton (The Libertarian Institute: 2021), 330 pages.

We’re approaching the 20th anniversary of the Global War on Terror when the George W. Bush administration made the decision to ruin the 21st century. Trillions of dollars spent, a permanent and expanding war bureaucracy on our shores, upwards of a million civilians dead, tens of millions more displaced, entire regions of the globe destabilized, and the American people no safer than they were on September 10.

When the immensity of the nefariousness is laid bare, a normal man is tempted, in the words of satirical cynic H.L. Mencken, “to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” That is the conclusion when one finishes Scott Horton’s Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, which stands as the most irrefutably argued and damning indictment of modern U.S. foreign policy yet written.

Published on the anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, its release date is a distressing reminder that, with a brief respite from 2011 to 2014, the United States has been bombing Iraq continuously for 30 years. Add Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and a dozen other countries, and the cascade of errors (and worse) can overwhelm the reader.

Indefatigable localist writer and TAC luminary Bill Kauffman once called the unasked question of American foreign policy, “What does this war mean for my block, my neighborhood, my town?” Horton’s answer, as biting as it is accurate, is that the American people have gained nothing from the War on Terrorism “beyond, perhaps, increasingly necessary technological advancements in the manufacture of prosthetic limbs.”

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The Iraq War Anniversary Should Remind Us the War on Terror Failed, by Julia Gledhill

The US foreign policy establishment, or Blob, is number one in the world at doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result (Einstein’s definition of insanity). From Julia Gledhill at defenseone.com:

We must start to correct course now by repealing the 2002 AUMF.

The Iraq War began 18 years ago on a quiet night in Washington: March 19, 2003.

Domestically, the Bush administration justified the Iraq invasion under the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, which allowed the president to “defend U.S. national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” and to “enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

The 2002 AUMF notwithstanding, many argue that the lengthy, bitterly fought war was illegal under international law. In any case, successive presidents have reinterpreted the 2002 legislation to justify military actions that Congress never authorized, let alone contemplated. Perhaps the most egregious of these was in January 2020 when the Trump administration cited it as authority for the targeted killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. The drone strike killed nine other people as well as the general.

No matter who is in the Oval Office, the 2002 Iraq AUMF remains vulnerable to presidential abuse. Thankfully, Congress finally seems in a place to repeal it. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., recently promised to take up Rep. Barbara Lee’s, D-Calif., bill to repeal the authorization this month. In the Senate, Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Todd Young, R-Ind., recently introduced a repeal bill supported by a bipartisan group of senators.

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From 9/11 to the Great Reset By Pepe Escobar

From 9/11 to the Great Reset is a steep downhill ride for individual rights and freedom. From Pepe Escobar at lewrockwell.com:

The events of 9/11 were the foundation stone of the new millennium – ever as much indecipherable as the Mysteries of Eleusis. A year ago, for Asia Times, once again I raised a number of questions that still find no answer.

A lightning speed breakdown of the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune trespassing these two decades will certainly include the following:

The end of history. The short unipolar moment. The Pentagon’s Long War. Homeland security. The Patriot Act. Shock and Awe. The tragedy/debacle in Iraq. The 2008 financial crisis. The Arab Spring. Color revolutions. “Leading from behind.” Humanitarian imperialism.

Syria as the ultimate proxy war. The ISIS/Daesh farce. The JCPOA. Maidan. The Age of Psyops. The Age of the Algorithm. The Age of the 0.0001%.

Once again, we’re deep in Yeats territory: “the best lack all conviction/ while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

All along, the “War on Terror” – the actual decantation of the Long War – proceeded unabated, killing Muslim multitudes and displacing at least 37 million people.

WWII-derived geopolitics is over. Cold War 2.0 is in effect. It started as US against Russia, morphed into US against China and now, fully spelled out in the US National Security Strategy, and with bipartisan support, it’s the US against both. The ultimate Mackinder-Brzezinski nightmare is at hand: the much dread “peer competitor” in Eurasia slouched towards the Beltway to be born in the form of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Something’s gotta give. And then, out of the blue, it did.

A drive by design towards ironclad concentration of power and geoconomic diktats was first conceptualized – under the deceptive cover of “sustainable development” – already in 2015 at the UN (here it is, in detail).

Now, this new operating system – or technocratic digital dystopia – is finally being codified, packaged and “sold” since mid summer via a lavish, concerted propaganda campaign.

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Tens Of Millions Of People Displaced By The ‘War On Terror’, The Greatest Scam Ever Invented, by Caitlin Johnstone

The War on Terror is the greatest scam ever invented…so far. Rest assured, they’re working on bigger ones, like the coranavirus hoax. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project has found that at least 37 million people have been displaced as a result of America’s so-called “war on terror” since 9/11, a conservative estimate of a number that may actually be somewhere between 48 million to 59 million.

That number, “at least 37 million”, happens by pure coincidence to be the exact same number of Americans reported to suffer from food insecurity because their government spends their wealth and resources killing and displacing people overseas.

This inconvenient revelation, which was actually reported on by The New York Times for once, is causing conniptions for all the right people, with The Washington Post’s neoconservative war propagandist Josh Rogin ejaculating, “The @nytimes should be ashamed for running this as ‘analysis.’ Blaming the U.S. for the displacement of 7 million Syrians is crazy and dishonest. Way to launder anti-American propaganda.”

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What’s the Point of NATO If You Are Not Prepared to Use It Against Iran? by Philip Giraldi

Once the Soviet Union dissolved, NATO had to branch out if it was to survive, and it has, into things like the Global War on Terror. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance commits all members to participate in the defense of any single member that is attacked. An attack on one is an attack on all. Forged in the early stages of the cold war, the alliance originally included most of the leading non-communist states in Western Europe, as well as Turkey. It was intended to deter any attacks orchestrated by the Soviet Union and was defensive in nature.

Currently NATO is an anachronism as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but the desire to continue to play soldier on an international stage has granted it a measure of life support. Indeed, the alliance is regularly auditioning for new members. Its latest addition is Montenegro, which has a military consisting of 2,000 men and women, roughly one brigade. If Montenegro should be attacked, the United States is obligated to come to its assistance.

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Those Torture Drawings in the NYT, by John Kiriakou

The US has held Abu Zubaydah since 2002 as a prisoner of its war on terror without a trail. He’s most probably a terrorist, but even terrorists deserve a trial, conviction, and sentence, and not indefinite detentions. From John Kiriakou at consortiumnews.com:

In 2002, John Kiriakou captured the Guantanamo prisoner who drew those sickening pictures. Abu Zubaydah has a constitutional right to face his accusers in court, or be released, Kiriakou says.

The New York Times last week published shocking drawings by Guantanamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah showing in graphic detail the types of tortures he endured at the hands of CIA officers and contractors at secret prisons around the world.  The drawings were sickening.  With a child’s simplicity, they showed the irrational cruelty of the CIA’s torture program, which weakened our country, violated domestic and international law and ended up saying so much more about us, as Americans, than it did about the terrorists who wished us harm.

The Times did its duty of reminding us what monsters the CIA produced in the early years of its so-called war on terror, people introduced to most Americans in the Senate’s torture report.  These are people such as the CIA’s former Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin.  They include unapologetic torture proponents such as former Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez and current CIA Director Gina Haspel.  They are the creators of the torture program: psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. And in the photos of Abu Zubaydah’s drawing that the Times ran, the CIA dutifully blacked out even the stick-figure sketches of the actual torturers, those CIA officers who sold their souls to break the law, all in honor of that false god called “national security.”

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Fight Another ‘Terror War’ Against Drug Cartels? There’s a Better Way! by Ron Paul

The suggestion to send US troops to Mexico to fight drug cartels combines the worst features of the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

The 50-year US war on drugs has been a total failure, with hundreds of billions of dollars flushed down the drain and our civil liberties whittled away fighting a war that cannot be won. The 20 year “war on terror” has likewise been a gigantic US government disaster: hundreds of billions wasted, civil liberties scorched, and a world far more dangerous than when this war was launched after 9/11.

So what to do about two of the greatest policy failures in US history? According to President Trump and many in Washington, the answer is to combine them!

Last week Trump declared that, in light of an attack last month on US tourists in Mexico, he would be designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. Asked if he would send in drones to attack targets in Mexico, he responded, “I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, but they will be designated.” The Mexican president was quick to pour cold water on the idea of US drones taking out Mexican targets, responding to Trump’s threats saying “cooperation, yes; interventionism, no.”

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Forever War in the Last 20 Years Cost $6.4 Trillion, by Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Think of what could have been done with the at least $6.4 trillion that has been wasted on senseless wars. From Mike “Mish” Shedlock at moneymaven.io:

Since 911, the cost of Forever War totals $6.4 Trillion and 801,000 killed including 335,000 dead civilians. For What?

Neta C. Crawford, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Boston University and a co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University calculates the [Cost of 20 Years of War](https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2019/US%20Budgetary%20Costs%20of%20Wars%20November%202019.pdf?utm_source=Daily%20on%20Defense%20(2019%20TEMPLATE%29_11/15/2019&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WEX_Daily%20on%20Defense&rid=84648).

Summary of War-Related Spending

Changing the Names of the Wars to Hide the Total

One potential barrier for civilians to understanding the total scale and costs of the post-9/11 wars is the changes in the naming of the wars. The US military designates main war zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria as named operations. The longest war so far, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has had two names: Operation Enduring Freedom, designated the first phase of war in Afghanistan from October 2001; it was designated Operation Freedom’s Sentinel on 1 January 2015. The war in Iraq was designated Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2003 to 31 August 2010, when it became Operation New Dawn. When the US began to fight in Syria and Iraq, the war was designated Operation Inherent Resolve. For ease of understanding, the costs are not labeled here by their OCO designation, but by major war zone — namely Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Iraq and later Iraq and Syria.

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