WAR ON “TERRORISM” June 18, 2007Posted by wmmbb in Duckspeak.
One side’s terrorist, is another’s freedom fighter. One side’s insurgent is another’s resistance fighter. So it has been in one imperialist war after another. Did the Romans call the Jews who opposed them at Masada and the other uprisings terrorists? Possibly. Did the Germans call the Czechs and others who opposed their invasion terrorists? Certainly. And so the British in Kenya called the insurgents there terrorists as well. There are other examples. Thus it may be concluded that terrorist and terror is the language of empire.
In the recent Republican debate at St Anslems College in New Hampshire, one of the questioners, whose questions are vetted by the television station referred to Saddam Hussein as a terrorist leader. It almost beggars belief that any American could be blissfully, or otherwise unaware, of the state terrorism carried out by their government. Shock and awe is but terrorism by another name. It is the precise definition. The question and the self satisfaction of the questioner in New Hampshire is the testament to indoctrination.
Chalmers Johnson has I think a more sensible approach:
It is perfectly possible that [Iraq will prove to America's Afghanistan, that it will replicate the experience of the Soviet Union.] Let me, just for once, give the Pentagon credit instead of criticizing it. I’ve always preferred their phrase “asymmetric warfare” for terrorism. Terrorism is a wrong word. It’s a pejorative term. It’s used to attack other people. We don’t recognize the amount of terrorism we ourselves perpetuate, particularly from the air. But asymmetric warfare means the warfare of the poor, of the people who must rely upon ambushes and traps, and knowing their own country. That’s what the Soviet Union ran into.
The fact that we are again repeating that — you simply have to wonder whatever happened to Tony Blair? Is he an educated Englishman or not? Doesn’t he know what happened to England in Afghanistan in the 19th Century, where the Afghans wiped them out? They would leave one single Englishman and send him back to the Khyber Pass to inform the army in India what had happened. We’re back there again, and there’s no doubt that we’re going to be facing something very much like what the Soviet Union faced, in this coming summer.
Empires because they must dominate by military force, deny their failures and their crimes as a matter of course. There is nothing new under the sun in that respect. Blair probably did not know the British story in Afghanistan, nor probably did those around him. (More information about Blair’s role in Iraq is now coming to light).
Lies and propaganda it turns out do not have provisional truth, even if they can be imposed through fear and hubris. The fatal flaw is that those who act upon them are fated to defeat. That might be the crack in the foundation of empire.
The War on Terror is the classic example of duckspeak giving satisfaction to the ideologically insensible undermining in critical ways the possibility of democratic citizenship.