If we want to get to a world where terrorism isn’t such a regular tragedy, governments need to start recognizing the fact that the so-called “War on Terror” is a self-fulfilling prophecy destined to foment one thing and one thing only: more terrorism.
The Big Picture: The problem arising in the wake of the recent mass-murder event in Paris and the subsequent French bombing of the Islamic State (also a mass-murder event) is that the two acts (and hundreds like them) serve as justification for more of the same from the other side. They provide fuel for each other’s fire and the situation, not surprisingly, continues to metastasize.
The great paradox at play is that as the West continues to attack the Islamic State, the organization’s appeal continues to grow among those who view the West as an adversary. Nobody knows exactly what causes radicalization but my best guess is that its appeal will continue to increase as the West continues to respond to violent events with exponentially more violence in turn. Such has been the trend thus far.
Why Terrorism? Terrorism is likely to spawn from a number of things, such as a bankrupt ideology, a sense of injustice, and disenfranchisement with the status quo. Regardless of the exact origins in any particular case, there are two primary reasons that the “war on terror” will continue to fail (assuming the goal is to reduce the number of terrorist attacks and the rampant increase in radicalization). Reason #1: Western violence (the principal prescription for fighting terrorism) is also the primary motivation behind successful terrorist recruiting efforts. Reason #2: Western attempts to overthrow heads of state under the guise of fighting terrorism provide an incredible opportunity for terrorist organizations to take root in a more institutional fashion. Let’s discuss these two phenomena in more depth.
Nigeria’s Boko Haram is now officially the deadliest terror group in the world. That they have reached this position is a direct consequence of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Co’s war on Libya – and one that was perhaps not entirely unintended.
According to a report just released by Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram were responsible for 6,644 deaths in 2014, compared to 6,073 attributed to ISIS, representing a quadrupling of their total killings in 2013. In the past week alone, bombings conducted by the group have killed eight people on a bus in Maiduguri; a family of five in Fotokol, Cameroon; fifteen people in a crowded marketplace in Kano; and thirty-two people outside a mosque in Yola.
In 2009, the year they took up arms, Boko Haram had nothing like the capacity to mount such operations, and their equipment remained primitive; but by 2011, that had begun to change. As Peter Weber noted in The Week, their weapons “shifted from relatively cheap AK-47s in the early days of its post-2009 embrace of violence to desert-ready combat vehicles and anti-aircraft/ anti-tank guns.” This dramatic turnaround in the group’s access to materiel was the direct result of NATO’s war on Libya.
May former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura announce in March his candidacy for president of the United States? According to a new discussion of Ventura and Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst and former New Jersey Judge Andrew Napolitano on Ora TV, Ventura’s decision regarding a presidential run will largely depend on what happens in the early primaries and caucuses of the Republican and Democratic Parties.
US Census Bureau Has Your Ticket to Internment Camp
Beware the United States Census Bureau. While it may seem innocuous, this government agency, which asks Americans questions and publishes demographic statistics, can quickly be turned into an instrument for mass rights abuse.
Why is Turkey Not in Hot Water?
By any estimate, Turkey should be in hot water today. First, after violating Greek airspace thousands of times per year, after routinely violating Syrian airspace and territory in support of jihadists seeking to overthrow the government, Turkish President Racep Erdogan decided to shoot down a Russian SU-24 that may or may not have veered into Turkish airspace for a maximum of 17 seconds. In order to carry out such an operation, it is clear that the Turkish F-16s would have had to be lying in wait to ambush the Russians.
The Corporatocracy Behind US Foreign Policy
In a Tuesday interview with Real News Network host Paul Jay, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member and former United States Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson started off acknowledging that companies’ billions of dollars a year of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia “massively” influence US foreign policy.
Escalation! Two Russian Aircraft Downed in Syria!
In a sudden and dramatic escalation of the Syria conflict, two Russian aircraft -- a SU-24 fighter jet and a rescue helicopter -- have been downed in Syria. The fighter was shot down by the Turkish military after it claimed an airspace violation, and the rescue helicopter was reportedly shot down by US-backed rebels with US-made and supplied TOW missiles.