Monday, November 30, 2009
In response to my essays documenting that war is harmful to the American economy and produces a huge carbon footprint, some commentators have argued that the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are necessary to combat Muslim extremists.
Even putting aside the fact that Saddam was an atheist who hated Muslims, the argument holds no credibility.
A leading advisor to the U.S. military, the Rand Corporation, released a study in 2008 called "How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa'ida".
The report confirms what experts have been saying for years: the war on terror is actually weakening national security (see this, this and this).
As a press release about the study states:
"Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism."
And key war on terror architect Douglas Feith has now confirmed Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Wesley Clark in admitting that the so-called War on Terror is a hoax.
In fact, starting right after 9/11 -- at the latest -- the goal has always been to create "regime change" and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon so as to protect Israel. And the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda.
As reported in an article in Asia Times:
Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith's recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith's account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country's top military leaders.
Feith's book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states...
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].
When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, "All of them."
The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to "disrupt, damage or destroy" their military capacities - not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Where does Israel come in?
Well, the Asia Times article continues:
Rumsfeld's paper was given to the White House only two weeks after Bush had approved a US military operation in Afghanistan directed against bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Despite that decision, Rumsfeld's proposal called explicitly for postponing indefinitely US airstrikes and the use of ground forces in support of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in order to try to catch bin Laden.
Instead, the Rumsfeld paper argued that the US should target states that had supported anti-Israel forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1988] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden's sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders "refused to consider it", according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University.
A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a "small price to pay for being a superpower".
Even Newsweek has now admitted that the war on terror is wholly unnecessary.
Indeed, a former U.S. National Security Adviser told the Senate that the war on terror is "a mythical historical narrative".
See also this Los Angeles Times Article, reviewing a BBC documentary entitled "The Power of Nightmares", showing that the threat from Al Qaeda has been vastly overblown (and see this article on who is behind the hype).
If you still believe that the war on terror is necessary, this may be why.