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Guardian : A war that can never be won

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Manix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 02:45 AM
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Guardian : A war that can never be won

Terrorism is a technique. It is not an ideology or a political philosophy, let alone an enemy state. Our leaders' failure to understand that point emerged immediately after September 11 2001 when they reacted to the attacks in New York and Washington by confusing the hunt for the perpetrators with the Afghan "state" that allegedly "harboured" them. The Taliban ran avicious regime, but Afghanistan was a disastrously failed state and its nominal leader, Mullah Omar, had no control over al-Qaida.

By the same token the "war" on terror should have remained what it initially was, a metaphor like the "war" on drugs. But instead of being harmless linguistic exaggeration to describe a broad campaign encompassing a range of political, economic and police counter-measures, it was narrowed down to real war and nothing else. The slippery slope that began with Afghanistan quickly led to the invasion of Iraq, a symbolic and political enormity whose psychological impact Bush and Blair have not yet grasped.


The shock this week is that Bush and Blair not only still believe that war is the way to deal with terrorists but that even when faced by the escalation of Istanbul they think victory is possible. The real issue is how to control risk. Anti-western extremism will never be eradicated, but it can be reduced by a combination of measures, primarily political.

The first is an early transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people and the withdrawal of foreign forces. An arrangement whereby the new Iraqi government "requests" US troops to stay on will convince few in the Middle East. Second is firm and sustained pressure on Israel to make a deal with the Palestinians, presumably on the lines of the recent accord worked out in Geneva by Israeli and Palestinian dissidents.

There is no guaranteed defence against a suicide attack on a soft target. "Hardening" targets by turning every US or British building, at home or abroad, into a fortress makes little sense. It is better to try to reduce the motivations (hatred, revenge, or an overwhelming sense of injustice) that make people turn themselves into bombs. That endeavour will also never produce complete success. In Blair's misguided words, it cannot be done "utterly" or "once and for all". But it is the more productive way to go.,3604,1090724,...

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JailBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 02:51 AM
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1. How pessimistic!
Why, the war against terrorism is being won by the world's greatest terrorist, George W. Bush! The losers include U.S. citizens.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 03:19 AM
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2. insightful article
Maybe bush and blair should read it so they can get a clue.

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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-22-03 12:23 PM
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3. Sorry, Guardian.
Please don't be shocked by anything they say "The shock this week was that Bush and Blair..."

Think of these two men and the administrations behind them as riverboat gamblers. High-stakes gamblers with the highest stakes anyone can imagine: countries, lives, oil, billions. The cost? Lives, lots of them. Money, infitessimal amounts.

The gain? Oil. Control of oil. Control of the Middle East which combined with Saudi Arabia is the largest concentration of oil on earth.

If they win, they will be two sovereign nations on earth, ruling over all the others who will wait their turn at the oil pump. They will control transportation, agriculture, the very means of our society functioning.

If they lose, they will lose BIG. Hundreds of thousands of lives, maybe millions will be lost before it's over. The US treasury will be bankrupted for this mad gamble.

Why would they do a thing like this? Do you get a sense of desperation? Only a country that is desperate would do a thing like this. It's hard to imagine the US, the most powerful country on earth doing something this desperate. But they are. Stan Goff explained it in an article, that our need for petroleum is going up while the supply is going to start heading south. We will start a precipitous decline in about 10 years.
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