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The Engine of Terrorism

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2004 by RDFollendoreIII

October 29, 2004

The fact is that America has been at war with Iraq for over a decade. The war in Iraq began because of oil, and American interest in Iraq began because of oil. Oil is fueling more than just the hydrocarbon plants that provide us with gasoline, it is fueling the continual creation and perpetuation of millions of angry citizens. It should be quite reasonable to understand why other people of the world in which we live become indignant when we occupy their nations.  It also should be understandable why within situations like this, terrorist come to be created. We should be able to understand that the religious and nationalistic rhetoric we hear around us are exactly what they are, the cloaked excuse for the use of the most violent forms of warfare. We have been taken into a war where weapons of mass destruction like Cluster Bombs and Daisy Cutters are being pitted against suicide and improvised bombs.  At last count just over 1,000 American Soldiers have been killed in fighting, while over 100,000 civilians have now been killed, mostly by bombing by the United States Air Force.

To the average American it may seem like victory is just around the corner. One sided battles seem to be taking place in our favor.  The trouble with this visualization of war is that to a significant percentage of over twenty five million citizens living in Iraq, this  war is a war that must be won regardless of the cost.  The simple fact is that beneath it all, the Iraqi people are united in the single idea that Americans should leave their country.  After our Vietnam experiences, we Americans should have understood by now that wars are not won simply through military battles but through civil determination. Perhaps, we should also go back into history to reconsider the official reason given for dropping two nuclear weapons on Japan. The reason was to save lives; that there could otherwise be no economical means of reaching peace without demonstrating that we could and would destroy entire cities full of innocent civilians.  We are told that we had to prove to the Japanese that we could and would do this for as long as it took in order to get our way.

In retrospect the use of those nuclear bombs may or may not have been necessary because we now know that President Truman knew then that Japan was actively attempting to surrender. The residue of Japan is not merely the radioactive dust that blew around our earth.  Regardless of what was known, to this day, that action remains a continuous issue of our American deeds and our American sense of morality with our fellow residents on this planet.  Moreover, there should be no doubt that the use of two thermonuclear weapons that laid waste to two 'virgin' cities also necessarily wrecked the concept of the World War II machine. The trouble was the fact that no such weapon, even nuclear weapons, can completely destroy the spawning of newer self perpetuating terrorist war machines. No, the point is that if we are are to find solutions to acts of terror, then before we turn to creating our massive war engines we should and must take a closer look at ourselves. The fact that we are only now analyzing our justifications for war because and as a result of the Presidential election is indicative of the tremendous problems with using military force as a solution to violence.

We Americans have arrived at this point in our history where we are being required to face the fact that a machine that is able to bring a nation to its knees is not the same one that can also defeat terror. The modern problem with invading and occupying any country with an army is the responsibility that comes with that action. America can not in good conscience simply back out of Baghdad and then lay it to radioactive waste.  The thing is that this is not the 1940's and it certainly is not 1917.  Intelligent people around our world are wired with information and much of that information is noise perpetrated by both sides.  The fact is that it is impossible to extract ourselves from this terrorist engines desperate grasp without a fundamental change in American leadership. 

If we are to prevent future acts of terror, then we Americans must come to terms with the fact that any war that continues as long as this one already has is being kept alive by a finely tuned egotistical engine that generates at least as many enemy as it destroys. The censorship of the war news media as a means to benefit our war on terror is a fundamental part of this engine. (Could there be a message in the fact that in a nation of 293,027,571 people, the son of the Secretary of State is also the FCC Regulations Commissioner?  Perhaps not, but to any true skeptic, plausible denial is always the other side of the idea of a conspiracy theory.) In any case, if we are to govern the engine of terrorism, then the rights of our free and honorable press to report the truth that exists, without nationalistic and political prohibitions or spin must not be inhibited.   

The bottom line is that any intelligent, sane and decent individual will act in ways that are against his or her fundamental nature when confronted within an impossible situation. There may not be any legitimate moral argument for the use of terror but given the Iraqi circumstance, any American among us could become a terrorist. If we are to judge the Iraqi people then perhaps we should consider spending some time walking in their shoes. We might then not see it so strange to use terror to drive out the 'infidels' who killed our mothers, fathers, brothers or sisters. With an Iraqi median age of 19 years old, we are now locked into fighting diverse communities of Iraqi people who are suppressed and quite naturally became desperate.  In a desert climate, the potential for a Western brand of hope becomes a dry well when electricity, food and water give out.  For the administration that has brought us to this point in history, the corruption and lack of planning for the rebuilding of Iraq has transformed our war on terror into something unexpected. Our nation has come to the point where the very engine that we say we are using to destroy terrorism is also the same engine that is creating new terrorists.  

 

 

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Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved