Friday, July 08, 2005

The War on Terrorism


I remember a while back when many were saying that we had to begin to think of terrorism as being part of a greater war in which we are now engaged, and in which we must fight until "they" are defeated. When 9/11 occurred, there was also talk of Osama Bin Laden (whatever happened to him, anyway?) being treated as criminal to be brought to justice, much as you would with any criminal responsible for multiple homicides. I also remember that this idea was laughed at by many, in that you don't take police action against such a tremendous attack as was 9/11, what you do is go to war.

I think now that our current actions in Iraq have shown that going to war, against "them" (the Iraqis?), was about as wrong-headed as could be possible. 9/11 in fact should have been treated as a police action, in which we would have pursued the real criminals and brought them to justice. A police action deals with a specific crime, and the accompanying potential suspects to the crime. A war on terror is a lashing out against predesignated enemies, and against a nebulous "them", purposefully designed as such in order to encompass other agendas (oil, for instance?). What we have now is war, against an invisible enemy, which cannot be won. You cannot kill all of the terrorists. Our actions, in fact, have only succeeded in creating more. Many in the Muslim world now feel that America is at war with Islam. Although we have no issue with Islam, our actions have provided the fodder for those who wish to promote this idea, such as Islamic extremists like Bin Laden and his al-Quaeda. A war on terrorism is a war that will not work, and cannot not succeed. Did the British ever defeat the IRA through military action? Have the Israelis, perhaps the nation with the most experience in combatting terrorism, ever succeeded militarily in stopping Palestinian extremist terror within their own nation?

While there is still time, we should abandon this misguided policy of so-called "war" (but we should not abandon the people of Iraq, suffering from under a mess of our own making, which we must now work to repare), concentrate upon Bin Laden, al-Quaeda, and their associates, as the criminals that they are, and work to bring them to justice for their crimes. The vast majority of the Islamic world, as well as the rest of the world, can respect that; in that they also do not tolerate nor condone crimes such as 9/11 or the attacks upon the citizens of London and Madrid. Ireland and Israel have both shown us that wars on terrorism cannot be won. Perhaps it may be time to sit down with those who have so much hate (not with those who have committed crimes, they should be prosecuted), and actually listen to their grievances; grievances which many times are legitimate and require immediate attention, as with the issue of Palestinian independence and also with regard to the ongoing poverty of the Third World. If we don't listen now, it may be too late for all of us, to listen later.

2 Comments:

Blogger willowtree said...

Do you believe that "they" doesnt know where Bin Laden is? I have a hard time believing that for some reason. Maybe because of the dialysis thing. Machines for dialysis arent exactly portable. Even the portable ones arent easily portable. You can't put it on your back and run.
It's disconcerting that with so much evidence, and lack thereof that this war was even allowed to happen. Now what?
Anyone with eyes can see that it was some revenge business. Where are the WMDs that it was America's job as world police to sniff out? Iraq didnt fly planes into the WTC. I dont get it, what kind of democracy is this anyway? Is there a name for it?

6:46 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I have always believed that our govt. knows where Bin Laden is, and could pick him up at anytime if so deisired. It's almost inconceivable, with all of our technology, that we dont' know where he is, and can't get him. His being left out there, though, serves a pupose; if the "boogeyman" is out there roaming about, we can all be scared, give up our freedoms, and allow a dangerous group of people to transform this nation into a business enterprise to serve a very few elites. You see it all unfolding now. Fortunately, with the Iraq mess, people are finally waking up to the deceptions put upon them. Lies, deceptions, losses of freedoms, losses of democratic functions, all have a name - It has been called fascism in the past. We don't want that for this great nation.

10:54 AM  

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