After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Now this article demonstrates a *REAL* understanding of terrorism and how to fight it!

I found this article (an alternate link to this article and the comments it recieved is at the author's blog here, thanks to POGGE for this link in POGGE's post here)via Red Tory this morning and I read it and found it so well written and clearly understanding of the real aim of terrorism that I simply had to blog about it myself. The problem with the current means of waging the so called war on terror is that instead of reducing the fear of terrorism and thereby preventing the terrorists from achieving their primary goal (which is to instill fear in the targeted group/population) instead we see the danger played up and hyped by politicians using this for domestic partisan political purposes instead. While this problem currently is far worse in America we have seen this being attempted by our current governing party, likely due to a combination of genuine belief that there is a threat (even if they do not recognize the actual odds against being a victim of terrorism as shown by the CATO Institute among others) and the recognition of how powerful this fear can be in allowing politicians to gain, hold and increase their power. The actions of the Cheney Presidency (Which on issues of foreign policy is clearly the case, while I can accept that GWB plays a real role in shaping domestic policy such as it is whereas it is clearly Cheney that has called the shots from day one in foreign affairs) have shown the world just how easily a open/free society with careful checks and balances between branches of government can be distorted/destroyed by the use of fear and partisan polarization through the use of "with us or against us" thinking. To think the CPC have not noticed this and is the main reason for the wholesale importation of GOP political tactics and strategies for use in this country as I have blogged about in the past is to be a fool IMHO.

Terrorism is about striking fear in the targeted population by the use of violence, usually random in nature leaving the population feeling less safe. This is done to get the targeted population to change their behaviour in some way and to force the government to alter certain policies. This is incidentally nothing new, terrorism in one form or another has existed for millennia, the idea that only since 9/11/01 terrorism is something new and must be fought in an entirely different manner than anything prior to it and that it is acceptable to override laws and legal protections we have kept while fighting real wars is actually the grasping arm for power by those politicians that advance this idea pure and simple. I would recommend this article to any and all that read this blog and I would ask people to consider carefully what it says. The way to fight the so called war on terror is to first off not call it a war as doing so elevates terrorism and terrorists to the same level as legitimate State combatants and gives them a legitimacy they do not deserve. Next we need to recognize the simple truth that we are far more likely to die in a car accident, slipping in the bathtub, falling down the stairs, and other far more common everyday occurrences than from a terrorist attack. This is something the well known conservative think tank the CATO Institute has shown recently. The most important way to fight terrorism though is to not hype the threat and whip up fear in the population, no it is to do the opposite. Recognize the real threat, put it into proper context, and do all one can within the law to fight it wherever possible.

We can never live in a world with perfect security, to think this is possible is to be delusional IMHO. Therefore the argument that we must sacrifice freedoms for security against terrorism is inherently flawed and indeed if the terrorists really do hate us for our freedoms (among other things like American/UK/Imperial colonial powers policies in their countries over the past several decades) then the thing we should be most reluctant to do is to limit/lose those freedoms, yet that somehow seems to elude the thinking of many that claim to believe in the "hate us for our freedoms" motivation of terrorism. The true target of terrorist attacks are not those killed/maimed but those left behind, to terrify them and to trigger them into making bad decisions that they would otherwise not have made. For example, if one had known who OBL was prior to 9/11/01 one would have known that a core principle of his beliefs was that the West and especially America wanted to take over the oil rich countries of the ME and therefore was hoping with the attacks he was engaging in to trigger a war of occupation of an oil rich Arab country just like Iraq (not Afghanistan, although he could and probably would have expected that if it was invaded that the terrain and people would be very helpful in bleeding American military power just as they did to the Soviets in the 1980s) to confirm his propaganda about America/the West and GWB and the neoconservatives in Cheney's circle fell for it with the ugly results we have seen.

In the last five years we have seen international terrorism become stronger, more frequent and increasingly deadly. We have seen the power of America, both hard and soft shown losses, limitations, and weaknesses. We have seen the American financial resources wasted in fighting a war on the cheap by giving tax cuts to the rich, which incidentally is the first time America has cut taxes in a time of war, normally they raise taxes in wartime because fighting wars is never a cheap thing. We have seen America become increasingly isolated from its allies, especially the other western democracies thanks to the unpopularity of American actions from Gitmo to renditioning to Abu Ghraib and other torture examples demonstrating a systemic policy of sanctioning torture despite all the claims by Bushco to the contrary. This has turned people away not just from American policy (which is nothing new) to against the American people themselves (which is something new) for sanctioning it by giving Bush a second term in the 2004 elections once much of this had become public knowledge. In every way possible this method of fighting terrorism has weakened American and for that matter global security and sacrificed important long term interests on the alter of short term political expediency and lust for increased power which we have seen in the creation of the Imperial Presidency under GWB.

This is the pattern the CPC wants to follow in fighting terrorism, and if followed will only work against our security interests as it has for America, not increase our security. I do not oppose the CPC on this topic out of partisan differences, I do so because I believe from the core of my being that the method they wish to follow is fundamentally flawed and actually works to the advantage of terrorists/terrorism and not to the interests of my country and its security. I felt the same way whenever I saw the Liberals following blindly the American lead, the case of Maher Arar being one example I was most displeased with from the moment his renditioning became publicly known (even if then his identity had not) because the Libs had sold out the rights of a fellow citizen and did not appear willing to make sure he was what the Americans claimed and definitely should not have been sent to Syria by America but to Canada instead. It is one example off the top of my head where I fundamentally disagreed with the Liberals on the security/terrorism issue but not the only one, I only mention it to underscore that on this issue my primary motivation is not partisan politics (whereas on some other domestic issues I will readily acknowledge that it is) but what I truly believe to be in the best interests of my country and the security of my fellow Canadians.