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Thursday, March 23, 2017
 
Terrorism: The Product of American Military Policy

Terrorism: The Product of American Military Policy

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President Obama and the national media constantly warn Americans about ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups that they say pose a great threat to this country. They refer to them as evil, that they are barbarians, and they must be destroyed.

Donald Trump is determined to inject even more fear into the minds of Americans by attempting to make the case that there is a direct connection between terrorism, Muslims in general, and their religion.

When confronted with a serious and complex problem such as terrorism and trying to understand why it is instilling a great deal of fear into this society, it’s very important to identify its root causes: where and when did this deadly threat originate, why is it spreading so rapidly, and what motivates these terrorists?

Well, we don’t have to look very far to find the answers to those questions if we review the history of the U.S. government’s highly aggressive military policies and actions in the Middle East and North Africa over time.

This is a situation in which this government and its leaders refuse to acknowledge something that is becoming more and more evident: that they have created the very terrorist groups that they say now threaten our country. They are, in effect, reaping the harvest produced from the seeds of domination and intimidation that they have planted in that region of the world over many decades.

It is absolutely astounding but I can’t recall hearing even one discussion about this issue of terrorism on TV and radio in which either the host or the guests have stated the truth, which is that this government has been creating its own enemies. The evidence is right before their eyes; can’t they see it? They certainly can, but they can’t talk about it when they’re muzzled by their corporate masters.

Yes, we can easily conclude that the American media knows exactly what is going on and it says nothing; it accepts, it condones, it is a mouthpiece for this government and powerful corporations which control the information they present. Reminds me of the old saying, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

The War on Terror is not a war unto itself; it is just one facet of the larger agenda of perpetual war that this government, filled with bloodthirsty war hawks, has conducted for far too long.

Let’s pose this question and give it some deep thought: if the U.S. government had never used highly aggressive military actions in the Middle East, had never invaded or occupied nations or toppled governments or replaced dictators, would we even be talking about the War on Terror or the threat of terrorism?

Would certain militant groups in those countries be so determined to seek revenge against this country if our military had never done anything of any kind to harm their nations and people? Would they want to attack us just because they hate our freedoms and our democracy, as some of our shallow-thinking politicians keep insisting?

Terrorism has been an important subject for discussion during this highly controversial presidential election. But have any of the candidates ever discussed the major factors involved and suggested that the threat could be significantly reduced if our government stopped the current bombing in Syria and removed all military forces from the Middle East?

Have we heard Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump talk about ending the agenda of perpetual war that this government continues to pursue and which is bleeding this country dry because of its monumental costs? Did either of them indicate that we should scale back the current empire of military bases; and that America would still possess the most powerful military on the planet?

No, we most certainly haven’t, and we probably never will because Clinton’s foreign policy has continually emphasized the use of military force. She will, no doubt, conduct a very aggressive foreign policy. Trying to get her to even discuss scaling back any part of the U.S. military establishment would be an exercise in futility. To think that under a new Clinton administration she would be in favor of transferring funds from the bloated military budget into badly needed domestic needs is delusional thinking.

What about Bernie Sanders who initiated a political revolution meant to bring dramatic changes to this country and government? He has been promoting many programs such as free tuition in public colleges, universal healthcare, and expanding Social Security, all of which are very costly.

When he was asked how he would fund these initiatives he said the funds would come from increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans and imposing a tax on certain speculative Wall Street transactions; but I never heard him suggest that many billions of dollars could and should be transferred from the military budget to America’s domestic needs.

Trump doesn’t say much about the military, the massive costs, the rampant waste, and the endless wars, but did say that he would consider doing away with NATO and, of course, that he knows more about ISIS than the generals. However, he doesn’t even mention the trillions of dollars that has been spent on the many invasions and occupations of other countries.

Did any of the candidates state that every time the U.S. government drops bombs on other countries it is generating more terrorist recruits who are then motivated to seek revenge; that every time the government launches Reaper and Predator drones over Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, and rains Hellfire missiles down upon these countries, killing both suspected terrorists and innocent civilians alike, that they are fueling the fires of hatred against America?

Those who manage U.S. foreign policy know exactly what they are doing and, yes, they fully know the consequences of their actions.

The fact of the matter is that America has a deeply embedded military establishment whose existence depends upon a continuous stream of massive amounts of taxpayer dollars for contracts that are awarded to defense industry corporations. How in the world could this government justify the funding of this war machine if there were no specific enemy to fight?

When one reviews the military history of this country it’s evident that America has always had one or more enemies that were said to pose a threat to this country. During World War II our nation had two very dangerous and very formidable enemies that had to be defeated, and they were. But what about all the wars since then, how many of them were really justified and necessary for the defense of this country?

The day will come, it has to come for the good of this country, when new leaders will emerge that will realize that this agenda of endless war is not working, it never has, and it never will. They will see to it that this country still maintains a very powerful military to defend this nation from any real threat. But the days of overly aggressive military actions in the Middle East and other regions of the world will come to an end over a period of time, and America will be on the road to becoming a truly exceptional nation.

Is this an impossible dream? Is this something that can never happen? Should we just accept what has been going on for these many decades? Should we consider this to be a permanent condition in America?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO.

End the U.S. Policy of Perpetual War

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Michael Payne
Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.

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