Monday, October 08, 2007

The 'War On Terror' : What A Disaster

You don't hear leaders in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia talking about the 'War on Terror' all that much anymore. They'll talk about "the war" or "the fight" or "battling the extremists", but even President Bush has pulled away from trying to umbrella the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the border regions of Pakistan and the new fighting breaking out in Africa under the ubiquitous WoT banner.

President Bush recently gave an hour long interview to an Arab TV news channel and didn't say "War On Terror" once. He barely even used the word "terrorists" favouring "murderers" instead.

In the UK, the British government has all but banned the use of 'War on Terror' and the Australian government is likewise starting to define the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as separate events.

Why this widespread departure from the 'War on Terror' script? Could it be because military experts and intelligence agencies around the world now view the 'War on Terror' as having failed in its key mission - to stop terrorism?

A reputable British think tank has now released a report which sums up what many in the world's military and intelligence circles already : The War On Terror is a failure, but worse than that, it has been an outright disaster and played directly into the hands of Al Qaeda.

From SkyNews :

The study by the Oxford Research Group think tank claims Iraq has become a training ground for violent jihadists - and advises that British and US forces withdraw from the country immediately,

It also warns of the dangers of military action against Iran.

....the think tank's report - Towards Sustainable Security: Alternatives To The War On Terror - calls for a complete withdrawal from Iraq.

Report author Paul Rogers said: "Every aspect of the War On Terror has been counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the loss of civilian life through to mass detentions without trial.

"In short, it has been a disaster. Western countries simply have to face up to the dangerous mistakes of the past six years and recognise the need for new policies."

From AFP :
The US-led "war on terror" has been a "disaster" and Washington and its allies must change their policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaeda, an independent global security think tank said Monday.

The Oxford Research Group (ORG) said in a report that Western strategy since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States had failed to extinguish the threat from Islamist extremism and even fuelled it.

The report's author Paul Rogers said :

"Western countries simply have to face up to the dangerous mistakes of the past six years and recognise the need for new policies."

"Going to war with Iran will make matters far worse, playing directly into the hands of extreme elements and adding greatly to the violence across the region," he added.

"Whatever the problems with Iran, war should be avoided at all costs -- the mistakes already made will be completely overshadowed by the consequences of a war with Iran."

Chief among the report's criticisms is that the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was a "grievous mistake", which had created a combat training zone for extremist elements linked to or inspired by Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda.

The report, "Towards Sustainable Security: Alternative Approaches to the War on Terror", said the situation was comparable to the rise of the mujahedin that rose against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

On Afghanistan, the ORG said ousting the hardline Taliban from power in late 2001 had been of "direct value" to Al-Qaeda and militia sympathetic to its violent Islamist ideology were now re-invigorated, it added.

In addition, mass detentions of suspected extremists, torture, prisoner abuse and the "extraordinary rendition" of suspects for questioning in third countries outside US legal jurisdiction was a useful propaganda weapon.

Among the ORG's recommendations are the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq and an increase in diplomacy, including with Syria and Iran; greater civil aid to Afghanistan, a scaling down of military action and talks with militia.

Will the NeoCons listen and do what needs to be done to stop fueling the cycles of terrorism?

Well, first you have to believe that the NeoCons actually want the 'War on Terror' to end sometime before 2020.

And why would they want that? The NeoCons have deep ties with American, European and Israeli weapons and defence contractors, and the 'War on Terror' has seen profits soar year on year since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Why would they want to see American defence budgets fall from some $500 billion a year?

The 'War on Terror', as a separate entity to democracy movements, has mostly been successful in getting taxpayers dollars in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia diverted from health and education spending and into the pockets of defence and arms contractors.

From that perspective, the 'War on Terror' has not been a disaster, or even a failure, it has been a spectacular success, which many explain why so many NeoCons repeatedly state the war is "working" and has been "successful".