Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Weissman: Kill Them There, or They'll Kill Us Here

Kill Them There, or They'll Kill Us Here


By Steve Weissman
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
From: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/072605I.shtml

Tuesday 26 July 2005

Having lived in London during the IRA bombing campaign of the 1970s, I can feel a small part of the terror that bus and subway riders must have felt when the four bombs exploded on July 7, and again when only the detonators went off last week. This is what life has become in an age of terror, and it could get even worse unless we get a grip on how terror works.

One key is how we choose to respond.

Like most people, I feel anger and revulsion for the suicidal "Fools of God" who believe that their religious faith gives them the right to maim and kill others. But history and logic suggest that striking back the wrong way too often harms more of the innocent and only helps the terrorists get what they want. Just look at how our deadly military reaction to 9/11 has built support for Osama bin Laden throughout the Islamic world.

To prove more effective against the terrorists, I would act on a different emotion - the disgust many of us feel when President Bush rushes to use every act of terror to sell his own murderous Crusade.

Addressing the July 7 bombings in London on his weekend radio address two days later, Mr. Bush could hardly wait to repeat his customary mantra:

"We are now waging a global war on terror - from the mountains of Afghanistan ... to the plains of Iraq," he declared. "We will stay on the offense, fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them at home."

Kill them there, or they'll kill us here.

Never mind that Mr. Bush's show of force in Afghanistan and Iraq did not stop the terrorists from killing and maiming in Bali, Casablanca, Riyadh, Jakarta, Istanbul, Madrid, Baghdad, and London.

Never mind that the CIA's National Intelligence Council warned over a year ago that Iraq had replaced Afghanistan as both a recruiting and training ground for the next generation of professionalized terrorists, who will over time "disperse to various other countries," including the United States.

Never mind that the CIA warned again this May that Iraq had become a real-world laboratory for urban combat, dispersing to other countries Iraqi and foreign combatants more adept and better organized than they were before the conflict.

Forget every inconvenient fact. Just suck in your gut and repeat after your president: Kill them there, or they'll kill us here.

In the terrifying shadow of 9/11, Mr. Bush's words worked. They helped win him a second term. And they allowed him to pursue control of an increasing share of the world's oil and natural gas - not just in Iraq, but across Central Asia. Somehow, Mr. Bush always seems to find the biggest terrorist threats in those countries that his friends in Big Oil and his neo-con advisers most covet.

But, his mantra appears to be losing its magic. According to the polls, a sizeable majority of Americans now oppose the war in Iraq, and many are beginning to see the continued presence of American troops over there as a provocation to Arabs and other Muslims and a growing threat to American security at home....

Give the disillusionment a few more months to simmer, add a bit more scandal over the administration's outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, and even more Americans will see just how Mr. Bush has betrayed us all in a truly disgusting way.

The hard job will be to mobilize that disgust into an effective political opposition.

But, don't go cock-a-hoop quite yet. Though Iraq has enflamed Muslims everywhere and recruited untold thousands to commit terrorist atrocities, bringing American troops home will not end the attacks. As the Muslim Brotherhood splinter led by Abd al-Salam Farag showed with the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and the North African Salafis showed with their bombings in France during the 1990s, politicized Islamists turned to terror long before Iraq.

The gain would be more nuanced. Terrorists would find far less support among their fellow Muslims. Team Bush would suffer a major political defeat, opening the door to a more rational response to any further acts of terror. And the world would turn away from a faith-based clash of civilizations, in which we would all end up being losers.

*************

A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France, where he writes for t r u t h o u t.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news