Sept. 11th 2011, war & death continues

Posted: 11/09/2011 in Finance, Struggle, War

Today is 11th September (9/11). It was the beginning of a war – the War on Terror. I remember one time going to Greece, and in a bar I was asked “how goes the war?” I looked strangely at the Dutch guy, and mumbled. The UK was involved in a war in Ireland, but I was maybe 28 and I was inured to it. Euphemistically called the “Troubles”, this was how the war in Ireland was presented. Now in the UK there is another war, War on Terror, and it has been happening for 10 years. Is this war seen differently?

This is the first thing to note about the War on Terror:-

Iraq Deaths Estimator

The West justified the invasion of Iraq a number of ways including the deaths of Kurds in the North, how many deaths were there in Iraq under Saddam? In Afghanistan the people don’t know why the coalition forces are there, and in Libya a group of opportunists fronted an uprising that had strong NATO backing against Qaddafi, the damage to Libya is yet to be seen. All of these wars come under the umbrella of War on Terror, although it is hard to see how. The Taliban in Afghanistan are supposed to have shielded bin Laden, the supposed perpetrator of the 9/11 attack. Even at the time when I was focused on my teaching in Bahrain, I could never understand how bombing Afghani herdsmen was going to find this needle in a haystack, the US war machine had turned the act of terror into a war. Saddam had continually been at odds since the first Gulf War, and somehow Iraq became a target in this war even though the connection to terrorism was slender and the country had been decimated by the first war and continuing sanctions. And then in the Arab Spring Libya becomes a target of NATO aggression but where is the terrorist connection?

Despite the lack of rationale the War on Terror has had a horrendous impact on the Middle East but there is limited impact – with all due respect to the families whose people died in 9/11 – in the West. Then you ask yourself “what dangers were there from the Cold War?”, and there are few answers. I grew up with fear of the Reds, but in retropsect I cannot see why – and that fear quickly dissipated at the falling of the Berlin wall. As John Stockwell says there was a need for a new enemy for the MIC to continue fighting the Third World War, and as Glenn Greenwald quotes “”The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It’s basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year,” said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor.”

There have been impacts on civil liberties in the West as described in this movie “Taking Liberties“. “The AP used freedom of information queries in dozens of countries, law enforcement data and hundreds of interviews to identify 119,044 arrests of terrorism suspects and 35,117 convictions in 66 countries, accounting for 70 percent of the world’s population. That included 2,934 arrests and 2,568 convictions in the United States” Whilst I can see this as an essential consequence of the need for increased repression to promote the War on Terror, my anger rises at the death count in the warring actions more than the lost civil liberties. We cannot ignore the fact that the western countries engaging in the War on Terror are democracies, and their leaders take tacit support from their peoples whilst engaging in this slaughter. The profits from the war whilst going into the pockets of the corporatocracy also end up supporting the economies and lifestyles of these western peoples. Sadly there is no other choice but for these people to stand up and fight the excesses of their corporatocracy, pressurise the governments that are taking the peoples into war. Perhaps the oppression of their own people will lead to such a democratic response but there will likely be much more oppression before such a response.

So the War on Terror will continue whilst the corporations and banks want their profits.

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