How Goes The War On Terror?

We are entering our 20th year of the War On Terror….after a trillion dollars I ask….how goes the War on Terror?

Let’s look at the costs…..

The War on Terror is a military campaign launched by President George W. Bush in response to the al-Qaida 9/11 terrorist attacks. It includes the Afghanistan War and the War in Iraq, and it added $2.4 trillion to the debt as of the FY 2020 budget.

the financial cost of the war on terror

Think about what that kind of cash could do for the people of this country.

But sadly the road of war has few exit ramps.

War on Terror has added nearly $2 trillion, or more than 35%, to the U.S. debt.  It also raises the U.S. budget deficit. Defense spending is such a big chunk of the budget that there is no realistic way to reduce either without cutting it.

Here is a look at the War On Terror…..

Keep in mind that the War on Terror  is not limited to Afghanistan and Iraq and to a smaller extent Syria….it is being “fought” in some 80 countries.

Let’s not forget the over 800,000 people who have been victims of the War on Terror….

I think it is time to declare victory and pull our troops away from the insanity and to place the War On Terror in the dust bin of history.

And I am not alone…..the Austrian Economics Center agrees…..

It’s amazing how we can become numb to circumstances with the passing of time. The U.S.-led War on Terror is nearing its twentieth year with no clear end in sight. Indeed, to many average people in the West, the perpetual violence of the War on Terrorism has become normal, and we have become indifferent.

America bombing and invading the Middle East has become a dark cliché. Nobody bats an eye. There are so many facets, so many groups, and countries involved, and so many interconnected moving parts that it’s perfectly understandable to throw your hands up and accept this whole dizzying headache as just the way things are and always will be, forever.

Let’s end this insanity!

What say you?

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Terrorism–Outta Sight, Outta Mind

There are problems that seem to be fading from the news until a major event takes place and then it will be news only when it effects white people….that problem is TERRORISM.

This world has many problems but the one that is common to ALL nations is the act of terror…..and it is a problem that will NOT go away…..

The old maxim of killing one terrorist leads to a handful more of newly enticed recruits to extremism is true. We have known that for a quite a while. But our policy does not reflect it. We assume that if we militarily defeat these extremists to a hard enough degree that they will be forced to surrender and the war on terrorism will be won.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. The lessons we were taught over the past almost two decades should have shown us that. The roots of terrorism are societal, political and economic. If anyone has some tribulation against the West or in our case, the United States, terrorist acts and extremism will exist. It is never going away and most especially not through brute force.

But perhaps the reason that we believe that terrorism is susceptible to military action in the way we have displayed it will work is because terrorists do in fact stop when hit hard enough. At this point, we think that we defeated them. The problem is that we misunderstand what it means when a terrorist group stops or is defeated according to a western perspective. Most policy officials do not get this but some intelligence analysts do.

Please keep this in mind…terrorism will never go away and the safest way to handle it is to always be aware of the situation…..this does not mean blaming anyone different as a terrorists that is the only way a slug can react to other humans….by accusing them of something…..immigrants to the US are very seldom terrorists……but idiots will find one that was and brand all as terrorists.

More On Bitcoin

Bitcoin has made the news in a big way….I even did a post recently trying to help my readers understand just what Bitcoin is and how it works……

The Bitcoin craze gets crazier….

It had to happen sooner or later.

Digital cryptocurrencies have been on a rocket ride in 2017. The most famous, bitcoin, rose from under $1,000 at the start of the year to $5,000 in October. Then it blasted off to nearly $20,000 per bitcoin by mid-December. Other cryptocurrencies were carried along by the craze.

The thing is, it’s always been hard to identify a “there” there. Digital cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aren’t very good mediums of exchange or stores of value. Nothing seems to be fueling the price rise other than, well, excitement over the price rise.

Bitcoin is making in roads in the shadowy world of terrorism……it is a grand way to launder money but can it be used to finance terrorist networks?

Signs are increasing that jihadist groups are looking to capitalize on the rising value of bitcoin, as massive price increases for the cryptocurrency in recent months garner growing public attention. Cold, hard, untraceable cash remains their preferred medium for transmitting funds, but new online activity shows that some jihadist groups are soliciting bitcoins, which can be acquired and spent without any government or banking intermediary.

Terrorist networks cannot easily transact in the formal banking system, so they often employ innovative methods to gain resources. Multiple media outlets that promote al-Qaida or Islamic State (IS) propaganda have asked supporters in recent weeks to send funds to specific bitcoin addresses. In some cases, these have been Salafi Jihadist news websites purportedly seeking donations for site maintenance. But one campaign–still live as of Dec.20–asks for funds to support fighters in Syria.

Just another aspect of terrorism that must be monitored……but with the turmoil in DC are our Intel agencies capable of watching everything they need to watch?

What will be the future of the Bitcoin craze?

This is a financial bubble….kinda like the tech stocks in the 90’s……

Terrorism And The Press

These days there is not much talk about terrorism unless it is some unrealistic crap about them running down Main Street chopping off heads…..or the standard “nuke ’em” and let God sort them out rhetoric for the election….

I have been doing a lot of research because I proposed a course at our local institute of higher learning on the introduction to terrorism…it all began when I started a white paper on the subject because most Americans are idiots when it comes to terrorism….that is their knowledge of the act is very limited….mostly dog whistle one liners which adds nothing to their knowledge but works wonders for their ignorance.

I will be posting a series on terrorism which is mostly an introduction….a way to help the average person to understand the acts and the responses…..

I shall write about the relationship between the press and acts of terrorism……

Violence, so the saying goes, begets violence. Now evidence is emerging that suggests even the reporting of violence can trigger further attacks. Research has found that sensationalist media coverage of acts of terrorism results in more such acts being committed.

The study will prompt further debate about how the international media responds to atrocities. It also raises the possibility that media reports about a terrorist act can be viewed as a “warning” that follow-on attacks will be perpetrated in the near future.

Source: Media coverage of terrorism ‘leads to further violence’ | Media | The Guardian

The terrorists would not exist in its glory that they have today without the press….the mass media.

“If it Bleeds….It Leads!”

There is a symbiotic relationship between the media and the terrorists……think not?

Mass media and terrorism have become ever more intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship often described as ‘symbiotic.’ This column examines that dynamic and outlines the need for news organizations to balance the public’s right to know against the ability of militants to exploit news coverage to promote their beliefs.

On its side, the mass media capitalizes from the confusion and consternation caused by terrorist attacks to produce the kind of dramatic news that draws the attention of its viewers and readers.

As for extremists, they carefully calculate the scale, target, location, and timing of their assaults to stir ample media attention—or in other words, to generate advertisements for their messages on a global scale. The broader and more prolonged the media coverage of terrorism turns out to be, the greater the terrorists’ feelings of accomplishment, influence, and power. As Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, put it: “Only by spreading the terror and outrage to a much larger audience can the terrorists gain the maximum potential leverage.”1

Source: The Symbiotic Relationship between Western Media and Terrorism

Your unrealistic fear is a product of the press…….for without them the fear card would not hold such power over the people and their attitudes.

Terrorism On Decline?

In the last year terrorism has made some amazing headlines……from San Berindino to Paris to Brussels to Orlando and most recently Istanbul…..of course there are the daily bombs going off somewhere in the world… appears as the world is awash in terrorists and their attacks, right?

If the broadcast news is one’s only option for current events then the world is doomed…..according to the reports we are receiving from the MSM….but there is evidence that the attacks are in decline (for now)……

I am sure that somewhere there is a mental midget that will take exception to this statement……(mostly bloggers with a very limited amount of knowledge)

Attacks are in decline, according to a in-depth report…..and in the West it is not the case….but read the report for yourself…..

The number of worldwide terrorist attacks declined in 2015 from the previous year, as did the number of related fatalities, according to new data from the Global Terrorism Database.

That may come as a surprise, at a time when mass terror attacks like the one on Tuesday at the airport in Istanbul, which killed 41 people, continue to dominate the news. The data, in fact, shows that the number of attacks and fatalities rose in Western Europe and North America. But the attacks declined in the Middle East and North Africa, where most terrorist activity takes place, bringing down the global number. (The Istanbul attack, which will be categorized with the Middle East and North Africa region, won’t be added to the database until June 2017, along with the ones in Orlando and elsewhere this year.)

Source: Terrorism Declined Last Year — But Not In The West | FiveThirtyEight

Again if one took the time to read the press they will see that it makes the case that they are in decline…..just not in the West…..

The official news from the MSM is that ISIS is on the run… is now on defensive footing rather than offensive……all the “official” news is that we may soon celebrate the destruction of ISIS….but should we take this to heart?

There’s a broad consensus in the analytical community that the Islamic State’s legitimacy would be damaged if it lost its government—the only debate is over how much. A state without a state would be a laughingstock, the argument goes, which I agree with in the main. But if the group’s previous incarnation is any indication, the laughter will be a long time coming—perhaps as long as a generation.

The Islamic State suffered ridicule for its outsized ambitions early on. When the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq dissolved the organization and proclaimed the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006, jihadis scoffed. How could a rebel group that controlled little territory possibly convince anyone that it was an actual state? The Islamic State’s rejoinder that it was a state because it was trying to behave like a state fell flat.

……Read on…….

Source: Don’t celebrate ISIS setbacks too soon | Brookings Institution

There is some proof that terrorism is on the decline……

The State Department’s 2015 Country Reports on Terrorism came out earlier this month. It will no doubt be overshadowed by events, as it deals with overseas rather than domestic terror and appeared ten days before the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. But it helps to explain the roots of America’s terrorism problem.

The document purports to be an objective review of the year’s terrorist incidents as well as an overview of some of the players, and it includes a discussion of “violent extremism” issues region by region and country by country. It is a valuable resource that provides considerable information on the various militant groups and the crimes attributed to them. But it is nevertheless a government document.

Source: The Decline of Terror in the West? | The American Conservative

There will be some that are dubious about this….but I expect that from those that spend more time reading food packaging than news….I know there will be those that will dispute this post….however they would be the ones with the food packaging….

Can Violent Extremism Be Beat?

The issue has slid from the news for now… seems that it is not as important as it once was…..for today there is more concern about some immigrants and the health of our candidates.  It will return to prominence as soon as another attack occurs……

In doing research on terrorism I have been looking for research that would lead to a successful program that could defeat extreme violence….terrorism if you will.

These days about the only place you can find opinions about a more realistic program against this form of terror is from the region where they must deal with it daily…..

The Muslim world needs to have a moment of reflection and reckoning. This needs to start from within. It requires a revolution of the mind

Violent extremism is a global phenomenon and has many causes. It can be motivated by religious, secular or nationalistic ideas. It is also related to the socio-political circumstances in which individuals react to what they consider to be great injustice and oppression. Wars, internecine fighting, civil wars, tribal hostilities, failed states and a host of other factors play a role in the rise and spread of violent extremism. There is more than one reason for the emergence of violent extremism and we need to adopt an integrated approach to understanding its causes and operate at several levels to contain and prevent it.

Such an approach requires work mainly at two levels: the level of ideas and the level of facts. Violent extremism as an idea is a driving force for various terrorist groups from Daesh and PKK to ETA and anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar. Fighting against them requires a battle of ideas where attempts to justify terrorist methods are rejected based on authentic and authoritative sources.

Source: Violent extremism: How to fight the monster without becoming one | Middle East Eye

During a the Islamic month of Ramadan there was a rash of attacks by the barbarous group that calls itself….ISIS……this group uses the religion of Islam as a cover for their inhumane acts….that is where the defeat begins…..

The recent terrorist attacks in several countries by individuals inspired by the so-called Islamic State (IS) highlight the enduring ideological threat of IS. Serious consolidated efforts are needed to meet the threat with counter-ideology messages to target audiences.

Source: CO16203 | IS Terrorism: How to Win the Ideological Battle | RSIS

Here’s a thought…..maybe instead of planning sessions at the Pentagon a better program would be to go to the region and get their take on a solution…..

These are only ideas to expand on….hopefully someone is listening.


Terrorism: A Defining Moment

Not a subject that many want to read about these days…..but what the Hell…………

I have been blogging for 10 years….nope does not make me some sort of expert…..just that is a long time to suffer from the regurgitation of the uninformed……if I see crap I have to say something……

Terrorism…speaking of crap.  I have decided to white a white paper on terrorism….there is enough misinformation…..I will be writing a series on the subject……

I have been writing about terrorism since the mid-70’s when there was a rash of plane hijackings and now with the threat of terrorism an ever present threat it has gotten no easier.

When you try to help people understand most times you will run into a brick wall…..first when one tries to analyze the situation in a rational thought provoking way you will inevitably be resisted by those that feel that you are giving  some sort of aid and comfort to the enemy….and sometimes you are accused of having sympathy for those that commit these acts of barbarity.  These days terms like “politically correct” or “apologist” are the most common.

The problem is to most this is not a serious problem that needs to be understood….but rather a chance to pile lots of info that has been arrived at from some bias or another….

Even with all the resistance people like me still continue to inform and analyze…..most of us write off the resistance to ignorance.

Since the attacks of 9/11 the country has been obsessed with the defeat of terrorism…..there is one problem with that cute slogan…..terrorism is a tactic not an entity….we cannot defeat a tactic…..all we can do is learn about the tactic and use knowledge to lessen the effectiveness……

The definition of terrorism is all over the map….there is NO one acceptable definition…..what works for the military is not so straight forward when the PD gets a hold of it…..and then there are the public voices…these people have NO idea of what the definition is….they work off emotional rhetoric not facts.

Let’s begin with the definition of terrorism… is not as simple as that….examples below…….

State Department definition, Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 38, Section 2656f(d)(2): “Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

FBI definition: “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Defense Department definition: “The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political.” (JP 3-07.2)

My definition is “Propaganda By Deed”…..simple huh?

Those are the definitions that different agencies work off in this country…..but what about internationally?

United Nations Definition:

“…any act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.”

As you can see just defining terrorism is a problem and yet someone wants to defeat a tactic……

But for such a widely used word, there’s actually no single definition of what “terrorism” means. There are many, and often, they’re incompatible.

Not only is the public confused about what to call “terrorism” — the U.S. government is as conflicted as anyone.

Then there is the color code for the chance of terrorism….

But for those that are not afraid of learning then maybe this article will be interesting than my rattling…..

Ramadan has ended peacefully with no ‘terrorist’ attacks in SA but is it safe to go out? Reports of ‘terror attacks during Ramadan’ in South Africa initiated by the US State Department sent waves of confusion and concern throughout the country.

The warning stated that ‘the government has received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where US citizens congregate in South Africa, such as upscale shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town’.

Source: Media Review Network » Riaz Gardee: Defining Terrorism

Turn The Page!

Predicting More Terrorist Attacks

Seems we have a horrific terrorist attack every 3 or 4 months…..this gives the paid “experts” something to do with every attack…..the pundits analyze it from almost every possible angle…….sometimes to the point of absurdity.

People are getting rich off of the “expertise” they provide for the MSM…..the thing they do best is help spread the fear that feeds their industry.  Apparently if you get a website and Tweet about terrorism regularly then you may claim the mantle of “Expert”……

At least 41 people were killed in the recent bombing of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.The day before, suicide bombers killed five people in Qaa, a small village in Lebanon. And while the Saudi-led and U.S.-backed war in Yemen continues to rage, an ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility for attacks in the Yemeni port city of Mukalla that killed at least 12.

As of June 29, ISIS affiliates had claimed responsibility only for the Yemen attacks. But just a few hours after the Istanbul airport attack, Turkish authorities were already blaming ISIS. Since Ankara (unlike the U.S., where many officials blame ISIS for every act of violence) has been eager to blame every attack against Turkish targets on its Kurdish opponents — especially the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK — the government’s early willingness to blame ISIS implies the likely existence of some convincing evidence.

Importantly, all three attacks took place following a significant defeat of ISIS on the ground.

Source: From Paris to Istanbul, More ‘War on Terror’ Means More Terrorist Attacks | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

And now Nice…….

I know this sounds a bit out there, right?

I have always wrote that a new approach to the threat of a terrorist attack needs to be found…..what that approach is…….very elusive.

Our only chance of an alternative to the stupidity of the system is to change the brains of the operation (insert raucous laughter)….very few people have any idea how to do that….voting is a worthless waste of energy…..for the song will stay the same…..

Declaring War on “Islamist Extremism” Is Nonsense

Another attack and another round of fights over terminology……most of it is NOTHING new…most of it should be just re-blogged and save what limited mental facilities that some have…I mean the lack of brain power it takes to say the same thing over and over is just amazing…..

But because there is NOTHING new in the words of the illiterate…..they are becoming a one theme post prodigy…….I need to post this piece written in the the National Interests……BTW not a liberal publication….just in case one wants to start the lame name calling… is one of you guys….

What matters is not whether a group is Islamist, but whether it endangers America.

It is news to no one that Congress is filled with cowards.

The Constitution places the power to declare war with the legislative branch. This does not mean simply taking note that the president has bombed or invaded another nation. Congress decides whether there will be a war to fight. Constitutional Convention delegate James Wilson explained: “It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is in the legislature at large.”

Source: Declaring War on “Islamist Extremism” Is Nonsense | The National Interest Blog

Arguing and debating over terminology takes valuable time and thought away from eliminating the culprit….but then if we do that then these one trick ponies will have NOTHING to write about…now would they?

Are We Winning?

If every success some of our supported minions have then we are told that we are winning the war on terror….when we kill a leader or destroy a cash stash or drive a group from this site or another…if every one of those we are told, mostly by the propaganda arm of the government, the media…..we are slowly winning the war…..but are we?

I read a story that says that the number of terrorist attacks has declined over the last year……

The State Department says there was a 13% decrease in the number of global terrorist attacks between 2014 and 2015—the first such decline since 2012. There were 11,774 attacks that resulted in 28,328 deaths in 2015, compared with 13,463 attacks in 2014 that killed 32,727 people, according to an annual survey of worldwide terrorism, per the AP. Of those killed in 2015, 19 were private American citizens, compared with 24 in 2014. Attacks and deaths declined in Iraq, Pakistan, and Nigeria, but they increased in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, the Philippines, Syria, and Turkey. Iran remained the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015” through its support of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and anti-Israel groups such as Hamas, the report says.

The Islamic State remained the greatest worldwide terrorist threat with a “formidable force” of fighters in Iraq and Syria. Al-Qaeda and affiliates also remained active in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of West Africa and North Africa, where it continued to stage mass casualty strikes, including on hotels in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Tunisia, as well as the bombing of a Russian passenger jet, the report finds. In East Africa, the report notes that Somali group al-Shabab remained a serious threat in 2015 not only in Somalia but in neighboring Kenya. Along with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, the Sinai, Somalia, and Syria, the report designated Libya, the southern Philippines, the Sahara, Yemen, and portions of Colombia and Venezuela as “terrorist safe havens” where groups are able to operate with relative ease due to poor or inadequate governance.

Could that be a realistic indicator that we are winning….or is it just another “feel good” story that the media likes to pass off as news?

Personally, I do not see it….I mean terror is a tactic not an entity…..we can possibly lessen the attacks….but defeating it…..I have my doubts.

Apparently the UN is not that optimistic either….

A new report from UN Undersecretary-General Jeffrey Feltman warned today that despite a lot of talk of ISIS suffering major setbacks in recent weeks, the group is not being weakened strategically, and continues to attract large amounts of recruits internationally.

Feltman’s report conceded that airstrikes have put ISIS’ oil revenue under pressure, but that they have been able to significantly diversify their sources of funding, including smuggling antiquities and taxing the local population of their territory.

The report also says ISIS is converting its stores of local currency into gold and other tradable commodities, and seeking to increase the amount of revenue it generates from kidnapping and ransoming international hostages.

Rather than an ISIS in decline, the report says ISIS is moving to “a new phase,” trying to build up its affiliates, move its assets abroad, and send more returnees back to their countries of origin to launch attacks globally.

What are your, my readers, thoughts?