Friday, 20 November 2015

CREATING TERRORISM: The Western Quest to Justify Sociopolitical Conformity and Imperialism




Introduction: Is terrorism Ideologically-Motivated or the result of lack of social justice domestically and foreign-imposed exploitative (imperialist) foreign policies?

Governments, politicians, the media, and academics define the term “terrorism” in accordance with their political aims. Similarly, those engaged in unconventional methods of warfare (guerrilla war) have their own definition of their activities that they would define as “freedom struggle” from some oppressor (s).  Although the term “terror” became popular during the French Revolution when Maximilen Robespierre and Saint-Just (September 1793 until July 1794) unleashed a campaign known as “The Reign of Terror”, it was the activities of late19th century anarchists in Russia and Europe that targeted public officials for assassination as a political statement about the need for political and social change.

Acts of violence against innocent civilians – not public officials - either as collateral damage or deliberately accelerated in the 20th century by non-state sponsored groups ranging from the extreme right to the extreme left with the intention of making a political statement.  One could argue that the Ku Klux Klan clearly carried out acts of terror with the cooperation of the criminal justice system (from the sheriff to the courts and Department of Justice). Similarly, acts of terror have been sponsored overtly and covertly by states, and if one considers that the vast majority of people killed in wars are indeed civilians, the biggest sponsor of terror is the state simply because it has at its disposal the means for organized mass destruction that small groups simply do not have. For example, the Third Reich carried out the holocaust because it has the means to so, as it had the means to engage all of Europe, Russia and US in a global war. Yet, politicians, media and academics attribute “legitimacy” to mass killings and express rage at small scale individual assassinations by terrorists. 

The topic of “terrorism” has been analyzed to the point of absurdity. Yet, despite such plethora of literature, European and US politicians promise to bring yet another plan to “end terrorism” which has been rising ever since the US launched war on terror in October 2001. A Google search with terms “terrorism” yields almost 100 million results; “fighting terrorism” yields 720,000 results; and “ending terrorism” yields close to 45,000 results. An Amazon book search with the word “terrorism” yields 39,640 results on the topic, while “fighting terrorism” yields 574 results and “ending terrorism” 21. These do not include the confidential studies by various agencies of governments and consulting firms working for fees to provide yet another solution to a problem that only grows as time passes and will continue to grow in what has become a thriving industry parallel to police and military operations. 

Why is terrorism, as the US and its EU allies define it, namely Islamic-inspired groups organized in a fight to combat what they regard as evil regimes in the Middle East, the West, Africa and Asia, so prominent since the end of the Cold War? After looking at some of the literature on the subject, one could argue that the underlying cause is ideological, religious dogmatism and cultural owing to a “clash of civilizations”  to borrow that favorite conservative and liberal Western cliché with underlying racist themes not by the author Samuel Huntington who came up with the concept but on the part of those interpreting it. The conservatives of the late 18th and early 19th century argued precisely along the same lines as modern conservatives blaming ideology when they tried to explain why the French Revolution took place. Similarly, conservative and liberals of the 20th century argued that ideological poisoning of the minds of rebels drove Russians to back the Bolsheviks, the Chinese to back Mao and the Cubans to support Fidel. 

If you are conservative, the only motivation of leftist rebels or jihadist terrorists at the other end of the ideological spectrum is ideological, devoid of oppressive social, economic and political conditions, devoid of a sense that foreign powers compromise homeland’s national sovereignty. All one has to do to become a Jihadist terrorist or for that matter a Marxist rebel is to have ideological exposure and that would suffice to pick up a weapon and fight for the cause because a religious or secular ideology calls for change in the status quo. Clearly, this naïve perspective flies in the face of empirical reality when we examine that the people who join a jihadist struggle do so because they are driven by desperation of their lives caused by their government and social elites (as is the case in much of sub-Sahara Africa), by a foreign government (s) and foreign corporations, or instigated and supported by counter-insurgency operations of foreign governments (as has been the case in Syria).

Religious dogma, ideology, and culture play a role in so far as they justify their position and provide a coherent way to articulate the cause and place it into a larger perspective. Otherwise they would merely be sharp shooters on the hunt to take down innocent people to prove a political point. Socioeconomic and political domestic conditions and external intervention intended to control through local the country through local elites are at the root of the problem driving people to rebels and unless these are addressed, terrorism will continue to evolve and expand from one group to the next. Listening to Western politicians one would assume that they want to end terrorism, although everything they have been doing, not saying, points that they want even more terrorism. 

There are two main reasons why terrorism serves the status quo of the countries ostensibly undertaking anti-terror policies, although in reality they are promoting terrorism; one has to do with domestic affairs and the second with foreign policy. 

1.      A culture of fear cultivated by politicians, the media, and businesses to engender conformity to the institutional structure is one of the reasons that terrorism is constantly presented as an “existential threat” when in reality the average person has a much greater chance of dying in a car accident or by gun-violence in the streets of the US or Europe. If people accept terrorism as the “real national security issue” rather than social justice, civil rights, extreme socioeconomic inequality, and a political system inclusive of all people and just the top ten percent of the wealthiest to the detriment of the majority, then the social contract and status quo remain unchanged.

2.      Policies of militarism and covert operations to destabilize regimes for the purpose of gaining geopolitical advantage and economic imperialism is another reason to use terrorism as the pretext, and in fact to create and perpetuate it. During the Cold War, the US used Communism as an ‘existential threat’ to impose its role as the world’s policeman and expand economically, while engendering conformity at home amid a quasi-apartheid regime that kept minorities on the margins of society. The Cold War is over and terrorism simply took its place, especially since the US-EU efforts to recreate the Cold War with Russia over the Ukraine have turned out a dismal failure in the last two years. Not that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan aimed to end terrorism worked much better, and we must judge policy by results alone and not populist rhetoric and excuses. In the last analysis a foreign policy rooted in imperialism cannot be justified unless it has an “EVIL” enemy to blame and for the public to fear and this is where terrorism fits in so well. 

Human Nature and Terrorism

People are not born “terrorists” any more than they are imperialists advocating economic, political and strategic hegemony that violates national sovereignty with the intent to subjugate and exploit. Institutional structures create terrorism as much as imperialism and the two are intertwined in modern history, at least from the late 19th century when European imperialists were using conventional military force to perpetuate their subjugation over the people of Africa and Asia (India, China, Sudan, South Africa, Philippines, to mention just a few). 

In the aftermath of the Irish famine in the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848, the Irish struggle for independence through various organizations Fenian Brotherhood and Irish Republican Brotherhood is indicative of militants employing unconventional means to fight against British imperialists. Similarly, there were armed anti-colonial struggles that the British labeled terrorist in the Sudan and Egypt (1880s-1890s) as well as Southern Africa, Nigeria and Ghana. Parallel to the anti-imperialist struggles in the non-Western World, there were also terrorist activities within the West, from Russia to Europe and US undertaken primarily by anarchists who believed that targeted attacks on high-profile public officials would publicize their cause for social justice and bring about systemic change.  

Granted it takes a certain type of personality to engage in unconventional warfare, but the average person is not by nature prone to killing innocent civilians for the sake of revenge and publicity any more than they are interested in mass killings through the lawful cover of a government air force or army. Human beings within the context of an institutional structure can become part of a mass killing machine (armed forces), as they can just as easily become involved in “terrorism”, which is merely an unconventional form of war but lacking legitimacy. Just as many of those engaged in conventional war combat are mentally unstable if not sociopaths as there are terrorists who are just as mentally unbalanced. However, after the Paris bombing, one of the ISIS or ISIL operatives that defected explained to the authorities the reasons people at the grassroots gravitate toward the jihadist organization is mainly endemic poverty in Syria that did not exist before the US, Western and Turkish-Arab-backed rebel movement. 

Even with all the deaths and injuries that terrorism has created, it is estimated that in the 20th century between 165 million and 175 million people were killed in conventional wars where most of the victims are indeed civilians. How many were killed by terrorism in the last 100 years? There are no precise statistics, but they number into the tens of thousands and not hundreds of millions. Even President Obama pointed out in one of his speeches that terrorism has killed a few thousand Americans in the last two decades, whereas gun violence has eliminated close to 350,000. 

In fact, according to the Heritage Foundation:  From 1969 to 2009, almost 5,600 people lost their lives and more than 16,300 people suffered injuries due to international terrorism directed at the United States.” (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/terror-trends-40-years-data-on-international-and-domestic-terrorism). According to the New York Times, from 1968 to the present, more Americans have been killed by gun violence than in all US wars combined. (http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/aug/27/nicholas-kristof/more-americans-killed-guns-1968-all-wars-says-colu/)
Despite these statistics, the US media, politicians and pundits incessantly perpetuate a culture of fear, projecting the impression that the average citizen is threatened by terrorism when in fact the average citizen is likely to die by gun violence in the hands of some mentally ill or enraged individual. Moreover, the media, pundits and politicians never point out that conventional wars kill on a massive scale, that gun violence is a real existential threat,  while terrorism activities, as reprehensible and loathsome as they are, kill very few by comparison because of the nature of the operations. Nor do they ever address the underlying causes of terrorism, preferring instead to cultivate racist attitudes that a segment of the public entertains about Muslims no matter who they are. 

Realistically, is it possible to stop terrorist attacks in Europe and the US, using modern intelligence and police methods? 

If it were possible to stop terrorist attacks, why has it not happened since 9/11, especially with the institutionalization of an anti-terrorism virtual police state in the US that shares intelligence with its allies?  It is completely understandable that the average person cries out for the government to just stop terrorism, just as they cried out in the 1980s “Say No to Drugs” and the government declared “war on drugs”. Has the US “won” the war on drugs, a war through which many banks were making immense profits laundering drug money? According to Huffington: Bank of America, Western Union, and JP Morgan, are among the institutions allegedly involved in the drug trade. Meanwhile, HSBC has admitted its laundering role, and evaded criminal prosecution by paying a fine of almost $2 billion. The lack of imprisonment of any bankers involved is indicative of the hypocritical nature of the drug war.”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/avinash-tharoor/banks-cartel-money-laundering_b_4619464.html

Unlike conventional wars between countries with specific targets and through conventional means, terrorism is dispersed throughout the planet in more than one-third of the countries. Immediately after the Paris bombing, came a hit in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram, the militant Islamic group active in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. Although the media hardly devoted any coverage to it because the victims were not Westerners, the organization has been active since 2002. Is the war on terror going to eliminate Boko Haram as well as Northern Mali where pro-al-Qaeda Islamic rebels took hostages on 20 November 2015 just as the West making promises to end terrorism? If there are an estimate 41 countries with Islamic rebels as some reports indicate, where exactly would the US and its allies begin to end terrorism on a world scale with more than one-and-a-half billion Muslims and growing at much faster rates than any other religious group?

Immediately after the Paris bombing, China asked for political support to crush its own militant Muslims, just as Russia demanded that its anti-jihadist campaign is justified.  Besides going after Muslims in southern Xinjiang, spreading fear, repression, and violence, the Chinese government also has been fighting the Uyghur militants in the western region who want to create an independent East Turkestan. Are the Chinese repressing the minorities of their country and ignoring human rights, or are they fighting terrorism? Is the US interested in helping China fight its domestic terrorists, or is it only interesting in China backing US efforts to dethrone the pro-Russian Assad in Syria and fight against select jihadists in Syria and Iraq? 

Where does this absurd game of the war on terror begin and where does it end in the 41 countries with Islamic militants? Does the Western war on terror stay focused on what the US and EU want, does it include what Russia and China want, does it go farther to include Africa and India? Who decides, who carries out these costly campaigns and where does it stop considering the nature of terrorism is unconventional and the next door neighbor could be one do carry out an act despite Russian, US, and French planes bombing specific targets. One reason that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ruled out troops on the ground in Syria (19 November 2015) is because she knows it will end in political, military and economic failure for the US, while alienating if not radicalizing Muslims across the world. 

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, president Obama asked the American people to support his war on ISIS operating in parts of Syria and Iraq. If we look at the rebel groups operating in Syria against Assad just two years ago, there were more than 1000 and numbered roughly 100,000. Broken down, however, we are struck that they are either ISIS, al-Qaeda, pro-ISIS or pro-al-Qaeda (al-Nusra Front), with very few that are with neither ISIS nor al-Qaeda. In other words, where are the elements for establishing a pro-West moderate democratic regime in this country? Even if a few of them amid their struggle profess pro-US, pro-West leanings, what guarantees are there that they will not turn on the West just as did al-Qaeda that the US assisted in the 1980s during the war against the USSR in Afghanistan, or more recently ISIS in the war against Syria.
 
In his speech on the 13th anniversary of 9/11, Obama stated: “This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.” What he had in mind was drone warfare that many organizations and governments have condemned as causing indiscriminate damage and killing far more innocent civilians than rebels in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries. For this kind of war that has proved controversial, if not a war crime, Obama is asking the support of the people, knowing full well very few would dare to criticize any kind of war against terrorism. Clinton supports this as well and many Republicans would have the marines land in Syria because the record shows that things worked out so well in Iraq and Afghanistan!

The Obama policy is in essence a rehashed Bush policy with drones and covert operations through various local agents. Will this achieve its goal, or create more terrorism which is the unspoken goal because it serves the political, economic and diplomatic (balance of power) interests of the US? The only thing that matters is that the president and the government project an image of strength identified with military action that makes Americans feel safer at home and perhaps put the fear of God in America’s enemies. Right wingers and of course Israel and its American supporters believe that America must do more militarily to teach terrorists a lesson - no doubt a lesson that would only create more terrorism as it has in the last fifteen years. Reality is not important for these people driven by ideology, racism, political opportunism, and defense industry lobbying influence. The image projected through the media that they are “fighting terrorism” is the only thing that matters.





When Pope Francis announced that people join terrorists is the result of absence of social justice, many in the West took it as criticism that lacks basis in empirical reality. However, this is something well established long before the Pope’s announcement. There are media outlets that try to provide a more rational approach to these issues, avd occasionally there are voices of reason even within the mainstreal media. However, self-censorship is what rules the day when it comes to conformity with government and business, otherwise people lose their jobs. For example, on 19 November 2015, CNN foreign affairs correspondent Elise Labott, had to apologize after her network suspended her merely because she wrote in TWITTER  House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish. If this innocuous comment was sufficient for CNN to suspend this mainstream reporter, what would they do if the reporter dared ask who had been providing funding, technical training, intelligence and other support to Syrian rebels fighting against Assad but then turning against the West that had been supporting them in the first place?  Given the reality of survival that comes first in peoples' lives, they will not express their opinion freely - in government, media, academia, business, and even social circles - because they know self-censorship is the way to put food on the table.


Is Homeland Security recollection of data from all servers the best alternative to intercept future attacks or are they other ways to get the job done more efficiently?

It is incumbent upon any government to protect its citizens from threats domestic and foreign, while working within the constitutional and legal framework. The establishment of Homeland Security has violated the constitutional (Fourth Amendment - prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause) and legal framework (open records law) as we now know as a result of the Edward Snowden revelations, while it has not deterred terrorism on a global scale, although it has helped to deter it up to a degree domestically. Homeland Security projects the image that it is the solution to a problem. Moreover, Homeland Security is in essence a pretext to strengthen the police state that the US has become so that it can justify the continuation of the dying Pax Americana and neoliberal policies that continue to weaken the social fabric at home.  

The key question is whether there has been an increase or decrease of terrorism in the last thirteen years that the US has been engaged in this global campaign at an enormous cost to the US taxpayers by creating Homeland Security. According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) (University of Maryland), terrorism increased in Asia, Africa, Middle East and on a global scale. Many have reached the conclusion that the war on terror feeds terrorism and its increase throughout the world. Others note that the US and its allies engaged in formal war against terrorism killing thousands of innocent civilians, injuring and many more millions of displaced and impoverished people that have become refugees.

The Homeland Security “fix” is in large measure an extension of the military-industrial complex intended to dish out contracts to private companies and to maintain the US a quasi-police state. The idea that more and better technology is the solution is itself an extension of such thinking to dish out billions of taxpayer dollars to high tech companies so that government could then argue that it provides security when in fact it is working hard to create insecurities and stimulate even more terrorism than we now have around the world. On the surface, this may indeed seem absurd, but it makes sense if examined from the perspective of the very influential corporate interests that have a role in policymaking and want nothing better than more government contracts for their companies and the public’s focus on terrorism rather than raising the minimum wage and raising living standards.

Homeland Security plays into the hands of right wing ideologues, racists and xenophobes what want strict immigration laws, applied in a discriminatory manner, all in the name of national security. Even Obama ridiculed the idea that a three-year Syrian orphan poses a threat to rightwing xenophobes who do not want Muslims coming to the US. France has already decided not to cave to right wing pressures on this issue and to accept 30,000 refugees in the next two years as agreed with Germany and its EU partners. The French government did not cave to the neo-Fascist National Front Party led by Marine. “Migrants bring filth, crime, poverty and Islamic terrorism, Ms. Le Pen has suggested in recent weeks; a dead migrant child’s photo was simply a ploy to manipulate European feelings of guilt. France is about to be “submerged” in a “terrifying” wave of migrants who represent only a “burden.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/world/europe/for-marine-le-pen-migration-is-a-ready-made-issue.html?_r=0

Led by the populist billionaire Trump, the US Republican presidential candidates have taken a hard line on immigrants to win the right wing vote. That the Republican-led US House of Representatives passed xenophobic immigration reform blatantly racist a few days after the Paris bombing is indicative of the direction that a segment of the political elites are taking the public. People are looking for a scapegoat in the tragedy of Syrian migrants that the US and its allies caused in the first place by destabilizing Assad. Having absolutely nothing to show for US direct and indirect operations in Syria, largely because Russia, China and Iran would not cave in to US pressures, the solution is racist and xenophobic legislation against the victims of the war the US and its allies caused.

If terrorists detonated a nuclear bomb inside a major city in Europe or the US, would governments consider an extermination rampage, including the expulsion of Muslims in western countries?
Terrorists can only obtain nuclear weapons from governments, whereas conventional weapons are sold by commercial vendors for the right price. According to the UK paper The Daily Mail: Isis are using ‘significant quantities’ of US-made weapons to spread their reign of terror across the Middle East, according to a new report. This finding came from London-based research group Conflict Armament Research (CAR) after it conducted on-the-ground investigations in Iraq and Syria. It’s been known for a while that Isis has been using U.S military hardware, but CAR’s study is the first by a non-government body to try and document in detail what hardware the terrorist group, also known as the Islamic State (IS), is deploying.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2749197/ISIS-arming-US-military-hardware-wage-jihad-Middle-East-seizing-weapons-Syrian-rebels-Iraqi-soldiers.html#ixzz3s20D4JCz
 
Just as terrorists today obtain arms, trucks, and all kinds of supplies as well as money from governments and businessmen, similarly the only way to secure a nuclear weapon would be from one of the “nuclear club” states. Just as ISIS had been receiving direct and indirect support of various kinds from the countries I mentioned above, including the US and UK largely responsible for its growth and expansion, similarly future terrorist organizations would enjoy the same privilege. If Israel, Pakistan, India, France, UK or the US wants to create havoc in the Middle East, giving jihadists a nuclear bomb would achieve the goal. However, the root cause of the problem would be the government that provided the nuclear weapon.  

This is extremely unlikely and only a scenario of rightwing propaganda we have come to expect not just from FOXNEWS that ISIS particularly enjoys because it serves its goals to recruit and retain rebels and supporters, but mainstream media propaganda intended to cultivate the culture of fear among the public. It is just another in a series of myths so that people are not focused on their immediate lives, on repaying the college debt, having government raise the minimum wage above the poverty line, providing affordable housing, cops killing black teenagers every day and justifying on the basis of law and order. Nuclear bomb threats can only come from the “nuclear club” that has them and only if one of the club members wishes to sink the world into chaos would we see a nuclear bomb in the hands of rebel groups.

Has the moderate Muslim world done enough to stop terrorist networks or could they do a better job to help prevent attacks?   

What is “the moderate Muslim World” and who exactly determines the criteria? Is it Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States that have a history of financing militant jihadists, including ISIS while closely allying themselves with the US? Is it pro-US Egypt that failed to protect the Russian plane from an ISIS bomb? Is it Pakistan that has been a US strategic satellite under the gun and all along playing all sides from the Chinese to the Taliban? Is it Iraq and Libya that the US and its allies left in shambles and caused the refugee problem?
Let us assume for the sake of argument that the anti-Islamist Egyptian government constitutes “moderate” because US the Arab dictatorships in the Gulf and Israel favor it. Why was ISIS able to plant a simple soda pop-bomb to bring down the Russian plane and kill 224 passengers?  In the absence of cooperation on the ground, terrorist attacks are not possible at an airport, and cooperation on the ground means that there are enough people sympathetic to the jihadist cause. 

Considering that the only stable and strong Middle East Islamic regime is Iran, which has been willing to cooperate with the US to contain Sunni jihadists, does Washington want Iran to play the preeminent role in the regional balance of power? Does Iran fit in with Washington’s broader goals of perpetually destabilizing the Middle East and using Israel to help out?  Considering the waning influence of the US in the region against the reality of China’s rising economic role in the world, Russia’s historic ties with certain countries like Syria, Iran’s dominant regional role, why would destabilization not make sense since Israel wants the exact same thing as the Washington? 

Why would Muslim governments take comfort from US policy of destabilizing and overthrowing Middle East-North African regimes so that it could exert preeminent economic, military and strategic influence when in the process chaos is the only result? Even if Muslims want to support the US war against ISIS, how can they do so when the US has a long history of “a crusading foreign policy” toward Muslim countries, exempting the more authoritarian Saudi Arabia and Gulf States that have been funding ISIS, while striking selectively at regimes that the US wants replaced. Even after the Paris tragedy, the US goal remains to overthrow Assad and replace him with a pro-US puppet instead of one beholden to Russia and Iran.  
Assuming there is 100% popular and political support for Obama’s version of the Bush anti-terrorism policy, or even the Republican version of revisiting the Iraq model of war and occupation in Syria, can this bring the desired goal into fruition, or is it merely another public relations ploy on the part of both Democrat and Republican politicians who cannot deal effectively with domestic problems like a declining middle class and a massive public debt? 

Conclusions  

Do US policies increase terrorism rather than decreasing it as the government claims? We must assume that policymakers are very smart people with experience who also rely on outside consultants to formulate policy. While this would be a safe assumption, it is not as safe to vouch for their mental stability, their blinding ideological frame of mind, and career-based opportunism that take precedence over everything else from human rights to social justice.

It is safe to assume that those in policymaking, politicians, pundits, and the media believe the same formula that worked in bringing down the Communist bloc would work on ending terrorism, regardless of the reality that Communists were organized in states and employed conventional methods just as those opposing them.  Finally, it is safe to assume that the more astute apologists of the bogus “anti-terrorism” industry that the US has created realize it is doomed to fail and in fact to bring about an increase in terrorism.


The Turkish downing of a Russian jet fighter on 24 November 2015 and Putin ’s reaction that the government in Ankara is in essence an accomplice of ISIS and terrorism profiting from its operations going through the country are the latest and clearest evidence of a NATO member obstructing anti-ISIS operations.  There are several issues here. First, Turkish air space is legitimate if it were not for the fact that Turkey repeatedly violates the airspace of all its neighbors without them shooting down Turkish war planes. 
At the start of the foreign-instigated civil war in Syria, Syrian forces shut down a Turkish reconnaissance plane (June 2012). Unlike Turkey refusing to apologize to Russia for downing the Russian plane, Syria apologized for the incident and called for cordial relations with its neighbor.  Second, ISIS oil does in fact go through Turkey and it is sold on the black market to the tune of $1.5 million per day. Amazingly, Erdogan argued that ISIS and Assad are collaborators because ISIS in fact sells its oil to Assad, the president they are trying to overthrow!

Second, ISIS oil does in fact go through Turkey and it is sold on the black market to the tune of $1.5 million per day. Third, Turkey as a NATO member most likely consulted with the US and probably NATO before it shot down the Russian plane, considering that the Russians had been violating Turkish air space for at least a month.  Without US giving the green light, Ankara would never carry out such an act that would only cause a series of retaliatory measures from Moscow.  Fourth, the shooting down of the Russian plane exposes the farce about the war on terror that is in fact a war to perpetuate terrorism, considering the message Turkey’s action and indirectly the US are sending to ISIS.  Fifth, judging by the reaction of the Western media regarding the shooting down of the Russian place, the US and its partners had no problem at all with Ankara’s action.  Russian intelligence did uncover that within the NATO alliance, some members were not happy with Turkey’s action, but the US position was to back Ankara.

I was hardly surprised to see a recent CNN report claiming that ISIS loves Western media because it plays into its propaganda goals. They are especially appreciative of FOXNEWS that constantly preaches war with Islam and “boots on the ground”, thus justifying the call of ISIS to recruit Muslims to defend their land and their faith. Absurdity’s limits do not stop with Jihadists that the West praises when they are involved in toppling a regime that the US opposes – Libya or Syria, for example - but baptizes terrorists when they carry out political acts of violence against Western or pro-Western targets.

Because of such blatant absurdities in US foreign policy reveal the ultimate in irrational, unconscionable sheer political opportunism and total absence of any moral foundation, Robert Ford, former US Ambassador to Syria, had warned that US policy assisting anti-Assad Islamic militants would result in the rise of terrorism that could potentially touch US interests. Ambassador Ford noted the example of Afghanistan in the 1980s when the US trained Jihadists that would eventually turn into al-Qaeda.

Similar contradictions as Ambassador Ford noted are blatant in the case of Ukraine where containment and encirclement US policies are bound to backfire in the absence of a political solution or ideological foundation rooted in democratic principles rather than political opportunism intended for short-term geopolitical and economic gains. Supporting neo-Nazis among other heterogeneous elements in the Ukraine against the Russian-backed separatist elements is not merely a manifestation of an incoherent foreign policy filled with contradictions and aimlessness for the ‘democratic’ West, it also reveals Washington’s desperate anachronistic Cold War solutions to 21st century problems amid the slow decline of the US in relationship to China.

One could argue that there is no greater machine of terror than the state that has at its disposal the massive means of the police and military to inflict massive damage, as I noted in the introduction. It is also noteworthy to point out that “terrorizing” an entire nation can be carried out by non-military mechanisms, such as the IMF representing finance capital has at its disposal when imposing austerity and impoverishes and bankrupts millions of people within a remarkably short period. Finally, there is also the phenomenon of “corporate terrorism”, most prominently demonstrated in Colombia where US-based corporations were hiring death squads to assassinate and intimidate the peasants.

According to the UN, and human rights organizations, left wing killings carried out in Colombia have accounted for 12% of clash-related fatalities, while right wing paramilitary deaths account for 80%, raising the question of who is behind right-wing death squads and for what purpose. Similarly, the vast majority of disappearances and kidnappings are attributed to right wing paramilitary groups that are at the core of human rights violations invariably ignored by the Colombian government and the US that has historically close ties with Colombia.  According to a number of pres reports and human rights organizations, Coca Cola Bottling, Chiquita Banana and Drummond mining operations are three companies that have in the past financed right wing paramilitary operations resulting in killings, disappearances and persecution of trade unionists, labor organizers and leftist activists. The German TV network Deutsche Wella recently ran a long documentary on this issue, focusing mostly on Drummond and its role in Colombia. This was taking place during the second term of the Bush administration and early years of Obama, years that coincided with US global campaign against Islamic terrorists, while turning a blind eye to US corporate-hired terrorists.

When the foreign minister of Sweden proposed that working toward a solution to the Palestinian Question could help contain terrorism, Israel and the Western press condemned such linkage. It is no secret to the entire world that Israel has been terrorizing the Palestinian people under apartheid conditions since 1948. It is also no secret that Palestinians are condemned as terrorists when they are fighting for a homeland while the Israeli armed forces killing them en masse is presented as “defending its security”. This type of hypocrisy is not lost on people, including many Jews all over the world.  It is naïve to assume that simply settling once and for all the Palestinian Question while pursuing imperialist policies toward Islamic countries would somehow end terrorism.

The Palestinian Question must be settled on its own merits, even though it has reverberations across the entire Islamic world. That the Swedish foreign minister’s comments were criticized instead of embraced is just another illustration that the Western countries led by the US want terrorism to continue and to thrive as long as they are not the ones suffering casualties or having to accept refugees fleeing their countries because the US destabilized them. As long as casualties and refugees are confined to Muslim countries, as was the case in Beirut just days before the Paris bombing, then all is well because racism is alive and well in the Christian West.

 The different lobbies, the ideologues, and the cheerleaders of Pax Americana will not stop cheering any measure that on the surface appears to deal with a political problem through military means. The “within the system critics” suggesting both a military and political solution are always there offering the so-called ‘liberal balance’ in democracy. What is lacking is a realistic approach based on the true capabilities and limits of Pax Americana in the age of rising Asian economic hegemony.  Finally, is the US interested in regime change because it has in mind the best interests of the people in those countries it destabilizes, wishing them to have greater social justice and economic well being? If so, shouldn’t the US be focusing on achieving these same goals at home for its own citizens, especially minorities but also the weaker middle class suffering downward mobility in the last three decades?

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