How Do You Stop Terrorism?
By Dennis Loo (12/7/15)
After Paris and now San Bernardino, the world wants to know: how do you stop this cycle of violence?
It’s a legitimate question. But it’s like walking into a movie 45 minutes after it started and trying to figure out what’s going on without knowing how what’s going on got triggered in the first place.
World leaders want you to think that the only thing going on is these terrible acts of (anti-state) terrorism and they want the public to endorse their “war on terror” (state terror) which is like drinking more poison from the poison bottle that made you sick in the first place.
You stop drinking the poison, first of all.
Terror, for the record, is a tactic that is distinguishable by the fact that those who employ it are either deliberately targetting innocent bystanders or so indifferent about the casualties that their violent actions will cause, that they might as well be consciously targetting non-combatants.
Both anti-state and state terror share this distinguishing trait. It's what makes an action terror and makes it different than other kinds of violence. Torture, drones that have killed thousands of innocents (including hundreds of children) and that include "double-tapping," preventive and indefinite detention for crimes you might commit and in which due process has been suspended replaced with the presumption of guilt, invading and occupying countries that were not threatening you and had nothing to do with 9/11 (the supreme international war crime per Nuremberg), dropping anti-personnel weapons on innocent gatherings like wedding parties and hospitals: these are all forms of state terror. I hardly need to elaborate on the atrocities committed by anti-state terrorists since you can read about that in the media everyday.
Here is an excerpt from a 2005 Foreign Affairs article. Foreign Affairs is published by the Council on Foreign Relations and it's one of the places where the people who make public policy talk more openly and more frankly debate among themselves about what is going on and what they should do:
The current war in Iraq will generate a ferocious blowback of its own, which -- as a recent classified CIA assessment predicts -- could be longer and more powerful than that from Afghanistan. Foreign volunteers fighting U.S. troops in Iraq today will find new targets around the world after the war ends.
This was in 2005. This was after al-Qaeda had been created as the first bitter fruit of that “ferocious blowback,” producing 9/11 in 2001, but before the second bitter fruit of blowback, ISIS, came into being.
ISIS was formed by US policies, inadvertently.
Here is the most telling excerpt of an interview of NYTimes’ Iraq Bureau Chief Tim Arango in 2014 with NPR’s Terry Gross where he recounts how this occurred:
[T]here's been a Sunni elite governing Iraq for, you know, centuries. And they [the US] come in. The Sunnis realize they're going to be left out of this. They're not going to be running the country anymore. And so resistance movements sprung up. And the other things the Americans did was disbanding the Iraqi army, which created a whole group of would-be potential insurgents. And so al-Qaida in Iraq is formed. And, you know, many of the things that the Maliki government has done to alienate Sunnis they learned from the Americans. The Americans taught them how to exclude Sunnis from political life with debathification and things like that. The other thing Maliki's done is, you know, these mass arrests of Sunni men and of suspected terrorists. And that's exactly what the Americans did. And so as the Americans tried to fight these guys, they would do these mass arrests. And they would put them in places like Camp Bucca. And most of the leaders of ISIS were in Camp Bucca. And, you know, they got to know each other. They got to plan. They got to hang out. And so, you know, on every turn in the Iraq story, now, is the American legacy and the epic American failure in Iraq. (Emphasis added).
I’m going to repeat that last line: “on every turn in the Iraq story, now, is the American legacy and the epic American failure in Iraq.”
Paris and San Bernardino are legacies of the US policies in the Middle East.
So the answer to that question is: US policies created ISIS. Not on purpose, contrary to some conspiracy nuts who think that ISIS is a pure creation of the CIA, but as an inadvertent result of US policies.
What can we expect will happen as the US, France and others escalate these exact same policies? More gasoline poured onto the fire supposedly to drown the fire.
In June 2014 Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acroynm TV interviewed me about ISIS and US policy. It’s well worth watching and if you’ve seen it before, worth watching again.
How do you stop terorrism? You stop using terror. You stop using terror to supposedly put a stop to terror because all you are doing is creating more terror by doing so. Which, from authorities' perspective, may very well be their objective because it justifies all of their emergency powers to "stop terror" and suspend civil liberties.
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)