Saturday, June 10, 2006

State Violence and Strategic Use of Terrorists

Two quotes to get the ball rolling. The first is from Ishtar of Iraqi Screen, making much the same point as Riverbend:
It seems that the Iraqis learned from the previous events passed by Iraq after 2003 war, not to react directly after hearing any big news even if it is the killing of Zerqawi.

People are more aware now than before that the killing of one person does not mean the end of their countless problems, does not mean, they can go to their work safely, their kids can go to school without the fear of kidnapping, their young sons won’t be detained and tortured just because they are Sunni, their sons and daughters won’t be shot dead just because they are Sunni or Shiite.

The endless list of problems won’t be nullified with the departure of Zerqawi, he was one partner in a big game, and in fact the US administration did not give the Iraqis the chance to breathe, after few hours, it declared that Abu Al-Masri will succeed Zerqawi and warned of more drastic attacks.

The second is from Ed Kilgore on New Donkey, providing a US take:
Here in the U.S., the snuffing of Zarquawi may give the Bush administration a small and temporary lift, demonstrating that even a blind hog will find an acorn now and then. If, however, the violence in Iraq does not significantly abate, then all the administration's focus on Zarquawi may ultimately backfire. It's one thing to acknowledge that Bush got re-elected mainly because millions of Americans bought the idea that by fighting jihadists in Iraq, he was keeping them from perpetrating terrorist acts here; who could prove otherwise? But if things don't get better in Iraq now that Zarqauwi's gone, the administration's whole Iraq-War-Is-The-War-On-Terror argument will quickly unravel.

What the Cheney administration has done is use the threat of mahem and anarchy against the American people to inflict that condition upon the Iraqi people. They used lies about the big bad terra-ists, deploying (both crudely and artfully at the same time) the few acts of barbarity commited by these psychopaths, such as the beheadings of their captives, to try to make the American people endorse unleashing violence magnitudes greater upon the Iraqis, who never had a damn thing to do with the WTC bombing.

I can agree all day long that the world is a better place without Zarqawi running around killing people, and that does not change the fact that the invasion of Iraq is unjustified and the horrors inflicted upon the citizens far worse than the worst that Zarqawi could ever dream of doing.

Sadly, there is no transcript of the video interview The Young Turks did with Wes Clark at YearlyKos in the last few days, but you can watch the video here. In the first part of it, he has two stories of being a young general, a one-star, and having some interesting conversations with Condileezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, and (of all people) Scooter Libby back in the administration of Bush I, where they make very clear their goals of invading the middle east and establishing a US-friendly zone - by force.

This has always been the long term plan - to impose American power via invasion and occupation. As Ishtar points out, Zarqawi was a partner, or pawn, in the much larger and more deadly game these imperialists are playing with the fate of nations, which is to say, the fate of ordinary people. Terrorists have been incorporated as part of the operation. No matter what these minor madmen do, right up to and including setting off a nuclear device, their role is to serve as justification for greater and more deadly expansion of US power over non-participants.

The absence of terrorists is a greater threat to their goals than their presence, which is Kilgore's point. If getting rid of Zarqawi A) doesn't reduce the violence in Iraq and/or B) doesn't hamstring the action of terrorists in other places around the world, then what good is this War on Terror? This is the logical response - if eliminating an enemy doesn't change things, then why are we in this war in the first place? This is the kind of question that begins to expose the rotten heart of the enterprise, because it makes clear the ways in which the Cheneyites use the continued presence of terrorists as a rhetorical and psychological lever, without actually trying to be rid of them.

Irrational fear of terrorists is strategically deployed by the current US administration in domestic politics to perpetuate their own hold on power. They have never considered al-Qaeda a true threat, and have no interest in stopping them.


No comments: