August 13, 2004

The war on truth

We're apparently engaged in "war on terrorism." How can we wage war on "terrorism"? All war is terrorism. All terrorism is war. Conventional war is "approved" terrorism on a grand scale, and "terrorism" is "unapproved" war on a lesser scale. "Terrorism" as a tactic is actually justified the moment conventional war is waged against a population. And anyway, we're not waging conventional war against an entity called "terrorism". That cannot be done. We're waging conventional war upon a whole population. And only some of those people are "terrorists", the rest are innocent civilians, dismissed, cynically, as "collateral damage". The term "terrorist" is merely a convenient propaganda word used to disguise the fact that these are guerilla fighters or freedom fighters in their own right. We just don't want to acknowledge that they have a cause as valid as ours.

And now you can see what kind of trap we've gotten ourselves into: We're trying to wage conventional war against guerilla warfare. That concept failed for the US (and us) in Vietnam; it failed for the Soviets in Afghanistan. At present it's failing for the Russians in Chechnya; it's failing for the US (and us) in Afghanistan; it's failing for the US (and us) in Iraq; it's failing for the Israelis in Palestine.

It doesn't work. It doesn't work because it creates more patriots than it kills. It's a self-defeating concept - and always has been - unless we're prepared to commit genocide. Are we really going to try to wipe out entire populations/races/religions/ideologies from which guerillas emerge? Now that would be the road not just to another holocaust but to an endless series of holocausts. It would be the road to Hell itself. Whatever happened to "never again"? I'll tell you what: The warmongers have taken over again!

So, how do we defuse the threat of "terrorism"? Well, I'd say we start by telling the truth instead of spinning webs of deceit to hide our complicity in their brutalisation, oppression, exploitation, disposession and maltreatment.

The truth is that those on the receiving end of that baseball bat that is the globalisation of "US interests", feel their physical, religious, ideological, ecological, and/or economic sovereignty is being threatened. The truth is that they have many, many valid grievances. The truth is that we don't want to deal with their grievances no matter how valid they are. The truth is that the reason we don't want to deal with their grievances is because "it's not in our interests". The truth is that we've become corrupt. The truth is that "it's not in our interests" to admit that we're corrupt. And so we'll create more "terrorists" ad infinitum.

The truth is that "the war on terror" is in fact the war on truth.

P.S. If the warmongers wanted to wage war on war, they'd be waging peace. We here at Australian Veterans For Peace have not been contacted by any peace-waging warmongers yet. But we live in hope.

Gerry Binder
Vietnam veteran