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Thread: Global War On Terrorism: Are We Winning?

  1. #1

    Global War On Terrorism: Are We Winning?

    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Pharma-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
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    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul

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    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

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  3. #2

    Some Perspectives on the War on Terror

    Anyway you look at it, it's a failure


    The twenty-first century, at least up until this point, might well be described as the age of the terrorist. Even though most Americans and Europeans rank terrorism as low among their concerns, the repercussions when a terrorist attack does take place are greatly magnified by the sheer horror associated with the mass killing of innocent people going about their daily lives.

    There are a couple of annual reports that look at terrorism as a global phenomenon. The best known is the U.S. State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Terrorism that comes out in the Summer and covers the previous year. It is mandated by Congress and is largely based on Embassy and intelligence community sources.

    The Country Reports purports to be an objective review of the year’s terrorist incidents as well as an overview of some of the players to include a discussion of “violent extremism” issues region by region and country by country. It is a valuable resource which provides considerable information on the various militant groups and the crimes attributed to them as well as their involvement globally. But it is nevertheless a government document. The Obama Administration definitely has had a point of view on what constitutes terrorism and how to deal with it based on how the White House would like to frame things from a political perspective. The section on Afghanistan, for example, implicitly makes a case for a more robust American role in the conflict engulfing that country.

    I often find that how something is described or even ignored just as important as what is revealed. There is, for example, a section of the report identifying State Sponsors of Terrorism, a status that brings with it various sanctions. It would be difficult to find a section that is by definition more hypocritical as many would certainly consider Washington the leading practitioner of state sponsored terror with its claimed authority to go after militant targets anywhere at any time. The 2015 report names only Iran, Syria and Sudan as state sponsors even though Damascus and Tehran are more often than not on Washington’s side, heavily engaged in fighting ISIS, which the U.S. government in its own reporting clearly identifies as international enemy #1. Regarding Sudan, the report states that it is no longer in the supporting radicalism business while earlier annual reports actually commended it for helping international efforts against terrorists yet it remains on the list, apparently because several individuals close to the White House do not like its government very much and have written scholarly articles attacking its president.

    The numbers in the Country Reports tell us something about the impact of terrorism. Deaths attributed to people who might be regarded as terrorists is certainly a huge global problem with the State Department report recording nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks producing 28,000 deaths worldwide in 2015. But the mayhem is very much concentrated in countries that are gripped by what might reasonably be termed civil war, to include Syria, Iraq, and Somalia. Several other countries with high levels of “terror” deaths, to include Nigeria and Pakistan, are engaged in bloody regional conflicts over economic issues fueled by anti-central government sentiment, not exactly civil war but something close to it.

    American victims are a lot harder to find. The State Department report, which is only about acts of terrorism overseas, identifies 19 American citizens as victims of terror for the year 2015. Eight of the deaths were in Afghanistan, one in Syria and one in Somalia, all of which can be regarded as war zones. Three were in Jerusalem and on the Israeli occupied West Bank, a region also suffering from endemic violence, killing two American visitors plus a settler who held dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship.

    Twenty-two more Americans were injured in terrorist incidents worldwide in 2015 and there were no reported kidnappings during the year. Though I in no way wish to minimize the killing of anyone in a criminal act, which terrorism is, the death and injury toll hardly constitutes a major international threat and I am sure that many more Americans are killed every year “overseas” in traffic accidents while vacationing. The report clearly suggests that international terrorism is an enemy that is largely ineffective at least in terms of being able to do direct damage to the United States, its citizens or its other interests.

    A second terrorism report is prepared by the highly reputable Institute for Economics and Peace, which is based in Australia. It’s Global Terrorism Index, currently in its fourth edition, has just come out and it differs from the State Department report in that while it covers 2015 in some detail it is also progressive, meaning that it incorporates new information on terrorist activity into observations derived from reporting that covers 16 years, since 2000. Its overview information itself derives from a large terrorism data base, consisting currently of records relating to 150,000 incidents, maintained at the University of Maryland. As a result, the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is sometimes more useful than the State Department if one is seeking to identify long term trends.

    One might conclude that what we call terrorism is quite simply warfare by other means and it might not even be useful to try to define it in a distinctive fashion. The GTI report basically confirms the State Department Country Reports on numbers and places where terrorist attacks take place, adding that more than 93% of all reported incidents occur in countries that are already internally extremely repressive or unstable while more than 90% take place in countries engaged in external violent conflicts. Fewer than .5% of terror attacks are in countries that have neither internal or external issues. The most afflicted countries are Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria. Three out of the five have experienced direct U.S. military interventions while Pakistan has been under intense pressure from Washington to “do something.” In other words, terrorism deaths occur most often in places where a state of acute internal repression or even civil or external war exist and the role of the U.S. military as an accelerant for instability should be regarded as a given.

    And then there is the global U.S. led war on terror, which costs upwards of hundreds of billions of dollars a year and has not actually eliminated any terrorist group while serving as a recruiting poster for assorted radical wannabes. It has also killed, by a very conservative estimate, 1.3 million people. Relying on overwhelming conventional military force and air power, the U.S. can always prevail either on the battlefield or against a radical group that seeks to hold on to territory that it is occupying, but unless Washington is prepared to remain indefinitely it cannot change the dynamic in a country or region that is unstable. Indeed, armed intervention itself followed by staying in place to nation build might actually be counterproductive if one looks at the examples of Afghanistan and Iraq as a U.S. presence frequently inhibits a possible political settlement. When the foreign security presence departs, sooner or later a dissident group will inevitably appear to fill the void. Based on the State Department and GTI reports one has to question a counter-terrorism strategy that has cost cumulatively trillions of dollars to combat an enemy that only rarely can project its power and that normally is only dangerous in the short term and in the immediate area in which it operates.

    I have been reading various reports on terrorism for many years now and my firm impression is that the international terrorist threat, as poorly defined as it is, has actually been receding as more and more governments actively seek to eliminate militants in their midst even as fewer states are willing and able to provide them with either assistance or a safe haven. ISIS, the du jour terrorist threat, sought to establish a new territorial state, a Caliphate, but is currently facing complete defeat in Libya, Syria and Iraq. Terrorism is a “dying” industry in every sense of the word and while the U.S. government should take every reasonable step to protect American citizens the key word must be “reasonable.” A global anti-terror Crusade led by the United States is not a reasonable response, nor is it necessary as terrorist groups always eventually fade away due to their own internal contradictions and the intense hostility of the host country and neighbors. It is time to declare the war on terror finished, move on, and bring the troops home.

  4. #3
    10 Ways to Reduce Terrorism

    1 Stop overthrowing moderates and arming crazies ...
    2. Stop supporting dictators who fund terrorists ...
    3. Stop bombing and invading ...
    4. Prioritize stopping terrorists over stopping Shia crescent ...
    5. Stop imperial conquests for Arab oil ...
    6. Stop torture ...
    7. Stop mass surveillance ...
    "Let it not be said that we did nothing." - Dr. Ron Paul. "Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone." - Sophie Magdalena Scholl
    "War is the health of the State." - Randolph Bourne "Freedom is the answer. ... Now, what's the question?" - Ernie Hancock.

  5. #4
    Short answer: If you are still fighting it you are losing it.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    A few points.

    Firstly, Dr. Paul appears to have fallen for the false schism between "civilians" and the rest, whoever and whatever they might be and called. This is distinction without difference. We are all presumably human, so why even mention "civilians" vis-à-vis some other subpopulation? I understand how it may be used as a conversational instrument, but will assert that it is a dangerous one that leads the minds easily astray from truth. I would further point out that the most often tacit subtext that "civilian" lives are somehow more sacrosanct than others is key to the danger of which I speak. It's like the old "think of the children" trick so often employed to strong-arm people into doing as you want them. It is complete nonsense because the life of a 98 year old white male (evil of evils) is no shred less valuable than that of a newborn.

    McAdams is only partly the money where he paints the "hates us for our freedoms" argument as a lie. IMO, it is a true assertion, the lie part coming in when considering degree. The loons who are running amok and sawing off the heads of other human beings certainly hate us for our freedoms. Denying it is not credible. But those jack-0ff neocons turned the truth of it into a lie by blowing it so far out of proportion that nearly all credibility flew the coop.

    We as a statistical "people" face many problems; things we simply do not want to face, for any of a number of reasons of which we could write several books. One is our steadfast refusal by some circles to accept the fact that we have erred gravely in putting our nose into the business of other nations. Along a similar line, we refuse to face the bitter truth that on the order of seven thousand Americans have been killed in foreign wars for absolutely no good reason whatsoever, with tens of thousands horribly maimed in the precise same fold. We don't want to face that the only proper course now is to accept that we as a people have pooched in grand fashion for so much as tolerating this behavior from "government", much less supported it. We don't want to face that the only right action is to withdraw from all these lands and leave the indigenous people work it our for themselves.

    Do this and terror will take a vacation from our shores. That it will continue in other lands, well that is partly our shame, but also no longer our business. As for terror here, the only proper solution is the warrior culture, but that demands too much responsibility and smarts, so we won't be holding the breath for that to happen.

    The world is become a Gordian knot of trouble. Unraveling it will not be forthcoming under "normal" circumstances. This, I will say with high confidence, is a statistically virtual impossibility. The sobriety that come with death and destruction is the only thing that will bring the now woefully degraded race of men back to some sense. Mark my words on this. The only choices we have in real practicable terms are to remain on the path toward global imbecility, lead around by our noses at the hands of the oligarchs and aided by their equally narrow-between-the-eyes hand servants with guns, or become embroiled in vast bloodshed in the hope of bringing people back from the edge of the razor on which we now all dance, bare of feet.

    The mean American psyche is become so delicate and fragile that I cannot see us making any decisions beyond those of default. Whatever circumstance is served up to us is that with which we will engage. The notion of making our own conditions through intelligent action appears to lie beyond the envelope of consideration of the meaner. It doesn't exist for Johnny and Janey.

    Proof? "90% of those killed by drone strikes are not the intended targets" elicits no substantive response from Americans. What more evidence do we need? The douche GW Bush makes a naked assertion about our moral obligation and authority to insert ourselves into the affairs of other nations and Americans either do nothing to defy, or more likely get on their "The State" knee-pads in preparation to slurp their lives away in obsequious worship of the Master.

    Yeah, we're screwed. Utterly.

    For you folks who claim to want to be free, if you are serious then you should be praying for civil war or some other reset event because those are the only avenues back toward some semblance of freedom. I hate to break it to you, but peaceable avenues are no longer available anywhere other than Fantasy Island.

    Dr. Paul talks of the loss of freedom, but will not tell the real truth, that we are completely $#@!ed. I wonder about that. Perhaps for him it is a line that, once crossed, puts him in a square that would close ears to his message. But how relevant are these messages in a land of people unwilling to take effective action? All we see is talk, save for the works of a pitiful few, and look how Finicum ended up... on bloody video no less for the entire nation to see! What has America done in response? At best, nothing; worse, I have seen videos of people saying he got what he deserved. Civil war or Jesus or aliens or meteors looking any more attractive yet? Work on it.

    Finally, Dr. Paul uses "flaunting" in place of "flouting". Tsk tsk...

    "Government" represents not an entity in sé, but a mob of fellow humans with no more authority to act as bosses, than do you.

    We get what we tolerate and we deserve what we get precisely because we tolerate it.

    Weakmen are the rule, Freemen the exception.

    Convincing the world he didn't exist was the Devil's second greatest trick; the first was convincing us that God didn't exist.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AZJoe View Post
    10 Ways to Reduce Terrorism

    1 Stop overthrowing moderates and arming crazies ...
    2. Stop supporting dictators who fund terrorists ...
    3. Stop bombing and invading ...
    4. Prioritize stopping terrorists over stopping Shia crescent ...
    5. Stop imperial conquests for Arab oil ...
    6. Stop torture ...
    7. Stop mass surveillance ...
    11. Nuke Mecca. 20Mt and not a grain less.

    Not sure how serious I am.

    "Government" represents not an entity in sé, but a mob of fellow humans with no more authority to act as bosses, than do you.

    We get what we tolerate and we deserve what we get precisely because we tolerate it.

    Weakmen are the rule, Freemen the exception.

    Convincing the world he didn't exist was the Devil's second greatest trick; the first was convincing us that God didn't exist.

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