Now there is a term we do not hear much these days….War on Terror.
I am sure that it will make the headlines again soon….but until then….
For 16 years we have been waging a war on terror….Bush brought us to this point in our history…..with all that time under our belts just how goes this war?
As the new year begins I ready myself for the class I will teach on terrorism….but we must look at this war with an open mind….something NOT many Americans are capable of doing these days….but I have to try…….
Below are perspectives from the Unz Reader which has a decidedly Libertarian lean to them….but good points one and all……
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.
After 15 years or more….could we be doing something wrong….could whole Western world be doing something wrong?
European political leaders are making the same mistake in reacting to the massacre at the Christmas fair in Berlin, in which 12 died, as they did during previous terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. There is an over-concentration on the failings of the security services in not identifying and neutralising the Tunisian petty criminal, Anis Amri, as the threat he turned out to be. There is too little focus on bringing to an end the wars in Syria and Iraq which make this type of atrocity unstoppable.
In the aftermath of the killings the visibility of Amri, who was shot dead in Milan this morning, as a potential threat looks misleadingly obvious, and the culpability of those who did not see this appears more glaring than it really was. The number of possible suspects – suspected before they have done anything – is too great to police them effectively.
But not to worry a American general has predicted that ISIS has only 2 more years of existence….
In a Christmas Day interview, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the command of US-led coalition forces in Iraq, faulting the Iraqi military for denying that the Mosul offensive was paused, insisting that “people need to rest” and that the offensive would resume soon.
Townsend also provided an estimate on the overall war, saying it’s going as well as could be expected, and that it’d probably be “another two years of hard work” before ISIS is really defeated in Iraq and Syria, saying that he didn’t want to put a specific timeline on the war.
We start a new year with a new president…..maybe it is time for fresh eyes on this subject….but the question is…are we capable of an adjustment in our reasoning?
My thought is….NOT this time around.