Since 2001, the US has incited the world to engage in “the war on terrorism”.
The biggest problem with this entire concept is that “terrorism” is never truly adequately defined. It is an amorphous, vague term which can be applied to basically any activity by any authority against anyone they please.
Non-military combatants? Traditionally, terrorism is defined as armed actions by non-military personnel against either a civilian or military population. Yet in the case of Palestine, this poses a problem in and of itself. Palestine is not allowed to have their own military force by decree of the occupying Israeli Defense Force (IDF) under command of the Israeli government, who refuses to recognize Palestinian human rights. Therefore, any military actions in aggression or defense taken by Palestinians is deemed terrorism. Look at the living conditions of Israeli citizens and Palestinians and consider, whom do you think lives with more terror?
Non-traditional tactics. Historically, the term of terrorism also denotes nontraditional military actions, also known as guerrilla tactics. By this very definition, the American Continental Army was a terrorist force. They engaged in guerrilla tactics against the occupying British military, using methods described by the British as uncivilized and barbaric. It was also a fully civilian force at the outset of the American Revolution against a formal militia. Yet we consider our forefathers heroes for using those tactics.
More recent times. More recently, Muammar Qaddafi was described as a terrorist, even as he was the formal ruler of a country with a formal military. Many in our government and media describe Bashar Al-Assad as a terrorist, while he is also a democratically elected leader of a country with a formal military.
Military force is terrorism. Nobody can incite more terror in a populace than a formal military force. Interviews with civilians in countries subjected to US “humanitarian interventions” reveal just how terrorized the civilian population can be with very good reason. Children describing how they fear blue skies because that’s when drone strikes are most likely to occur. Just the fact that those children have that knowledge is horrifying in itself. How terrifying do you think it is to see family, friends, neighbors, playmates or your own children scattered in pieces or so torn apart as to be unrecognizable?
Refugees. To date, millions of people from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and other countries have been driven from their homes and countries from the terror visited upon them by terrorists and US military intervention. Forced to evacuate over land on foot, over sea in unstable boats where many die on the way. Only to arrive and seek shelter in countries where they, the victims, are treated with suspicion, hate and derision when all they really wish is survival at that point.
Camera angles and editing. Our media is fond of showing sanitized video of individual car bombs or suicide bomb attacks but never pan out to show the absolute destruction caused by our 121 bombs dropped per day, every day, relentlessly. Cities in rubble covering many bodies that may never be identified, if they are ever found. Cities where millions once lived. No longer inhabitable.
Skin color and religion. In America, a person of a certain religion or ethnicity can be deemed a terrorist by owning a firearm legally, wearing a traditional scarf or speaking their native language. Meanwhile, a white Conservative male can shoot over 50 people, massacre the patients and staff at a clinic or kill dozens of children in cold blood, only to be called a “mass shooter” who was “troubled”. But that’s not my point in this article.
Resources. Right now, in multiple countries on different continents, citizens are terrified. They are not terrified of some mad suicide bomber in the marketplace or driving across an IED. They are terrified of the US government, our foreign policy. Our “humanitarian interventions”. People right now are terrified in Iran, North Korea and especially Venezuela. In most cases, they sit atop oil resources envied by American corporate interests.
What to fear most? They have no idea what to fear most. Cooperating with the US, which would bring crushing poverty as in Haiti, with destruction of their culture and land. Or not cooperating and being prone to drone strikes, proxy or direct invasion by military or mercenary forces bringing rape, interrogation by torture, torture for torture’s sake, looting and leveling of their homes, disease and murder of their country’s people. While US media hails the attackers as “liberators”.
They understand what they are facing. These countries have seen what we are capable of, not only in the countries I mention above but closer to home, in their own histories. Americans do not know what regime change and fascism looks like. They do. Many of the older citizens of these countries have seen regime change and CIA-directed coups up close and personal. They’ve seen US military and proxy mercenary interventions in Venezuela, Honduras, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Iran and many others. They have watched Qaddafi accede to every demand placed upon him, only to be assassinated, cities destroyed and the citizens of Libya sold at slave markets on the streets of what was once their relatively peaceful land.
No surrender. So these countries have no reason to surrender to the will of the US. Even if they have problems in their country it is their right as a sovereign nation to solve their problems on their own without our “help”. Help which has already been defined openly by numerous US politicians as having nothing to do with the plight of the people and everything to do with oil. The other problems are caused by US sanctions, now being made worse by more sanctions.
Define terrorism. Has that definition changed for you yet?