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War on Terrorism

by Gary Sudborough Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 1:05 PM

The illogical nature of the so-called war on terrorism and its use as an excuse for imperialism

The US corporate media are desperately trying to link all military interventions by the United States since 9-11 as part of a so-called war on terrorism. How logical is this term, "war on terrorism?" Terrorism is violence designed to instill fear and intimidate people for a certain objective, often political in nature. It can be used by militarily weak people against an enemy who is superior in technology and military prowess, or it can be used by powerful states against the weak. By far the greatest casualties and destruction come from the actions of strong states against poor, oppressed people. An example of terrorism by an exceedingly powerful state is the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad by the United States and the warnings given to Syria and Iran intimating that this could be their fate too.

Since terrorism is a tactic used in a confrontation between two groups of people, how can there logically be a war against a tactic? As long as two people are left on Earth, there is always the possibility of terrorism of one on the other. There can be wars by nations or ethnic and religious groups against one another, but a war on terrorism makes no sense. Theoretically, anyone in the world with a grievance against the United States could become a terrorist, as the corporate media understand the word. There are millions and millions of such people due to the numerous military and CIA interventions by the United States and the bloody, repressive regimes which have been placed in power. Also, there is tremendous anger at the economic policies of the IMF and World Bank, which are controlled by the United States.

The ruling class solution to the problem of terrorism by oppressed people is to somehow identify and either imprison or kill all these people. However, that would simply create more terrorists by the anger engendered in their friends and relatives. As long as there exists an extremely unjust world in which an exceedingly small fraction of the world's population controls most of the wealth, there will be resentment, anger and terrorism by the poor against their oppressors. As long as capitalism exists, there will be a drive by corporations to control the natural resources and labor power of other countries and terrorism by the rich and powerful against the weak will continue.

I don't believe that members of the Bush administration are so stupid they don't understand that war on terrorism is a nonsensical phrase. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, another excuse for US imperialism was needed besides stopping communism. A "war on terrorism" is the perfect excuse because it is a war which can never be won. Consequently, US wars of aggression for domination of the planet can continue unabated for decades, and the American people can be brainwashed into believing it is being done for their safety and the safety of their children. All the while, it is making them far less safe, destroying the environment and making it more dangerous with land mines, cluster bombs and depleted uranium and instigating a new arms race in the world.

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