While we are waiting to find out who carried out the Boston terror attack, it is worth reflecting on one important fact …
America’s anti-terrorism policies since 9/11 have been a dismal failure.
Wasted Homeland Security Funding
Spending defense money on a workshop called “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” and DOD-run microbreweries is probably not helping stop terrorist attacks.
Moreover, using homeland security resources to spy on average Americans or crack down on peaceful protesters or government critics distracts from getting the actual bad guys.
If we had spent the money and deployed the resources on focused anti-terror efforts, we would be in a better position today.
Our Wars In the Middle East Have Created More Terrorists
Moreover, security experts – including both conservatives and liberals – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
Killing innocent civilians is one of the main things which increases terrorism. As one of the top counter-terrorism experts (the former number 2 counter-terrorism expert at the State Department) told me, starting wars against states which do not pose an imminent threat to America’s national security increases the threat of terrorism because:
One of the principal causes of terrorism is injuries to people and families.
Furthermore, James K. Feldman – former professor of decision analysis and economics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies – and other experts say that foreign occupation is the main cause of terrorism
University of Chicago professor Robert A. Pape – who specializes in international security affairs – points out:
Extensive research into the causes of suicide terrorism proves Islam isn’t to blame — the root of the problem is foreign military occupations.
Each month, there are more suicide terrorists trying to kill Americans and their allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Muslim countries than in all the years before 2001 combined.
New research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology independent of this crucial circumstance. Although this pattern began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, a wealth of new data presents a powerful picture.
More than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation, according to extensive research [co-authored by James K. Feldman - former professor of decision analysis and economics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies] that we conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, where we examined every one of the over 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to the present day. As the United States has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide have risen dramatically — from about 300 from 1980 to 2003, to 1,800 from 2004 to 2009. Further, over 90 percent of suicide attacks worldwide are now anti-American. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the local region threatened by foreign troops, which is why 90 percent of suicide attackers in Afghanistan are Afghans.
Israelis have their own narrative about terrorism, which holds that Arab fanatics seek to destroy the Jewish state because of what it is, not what it does. But since Israel withdrew its army from Lebanon in May 2000, there has not been a single Lebanese suicide attack. Similarly, since Israel withdrew from Gaza and large parts of the West Bank, Palestinian suicide attacks are down over 90 percent.
The first step is recognizing that occupations in the Muslim world don’t make Americans any safer — in fact, they are at the heart of the problem.
Our Program of Torture Created Terrorists
In addition, torture creates new terrorists:
- One of the top military interrogators said that torture by Americans of innocent Iraqis is the main reason that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the first place (and see this).
- Former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke says that America’s indefinite detention without trial and abuse of prisoners is a leading Al Qaeda recruiting tool
- A former FBI interrogator — who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects — says categorically that torture actually turns people into terrorists
- A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks, says:
Torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.
- A former US Air Force interrogator said that torture just creates more terrorists
- A former U.S. interrogator and counterintelligence agent, and Afghanistan veteran said, “Torture puts our troops in danger, torture makes our troops less safe, torture creates terrorists. It’s used so widely as a propaganda tool now in Afghanistan. All too often, detainees have pamphlets on them, depicting what happened at Guantanamo.”
- The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously stated:
“The administration’s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies … strengthened the hand of our enemies.”
- Two professors of political science have demonstrated that torture increases, rather than decreases, terrorism
- General Petraeus said that torture hurts our national security
- And the reporter who broke Iran-Contra and other stories says that torture actually helped Al Qaeda, by giving false leads to the U.S. which diverted its military, intelligence and economic resources into wild goose chases
So the widespread program of torture under the Bush administration didn’t help.
Nice Job Creating More Terrorists, You Morons …
Why Have We Given Up Our Rights If the Government Can’t Keep Us Safe?
The government insisted that – if we gave up our liberties – it would keep us safe.
It has failed to do so, and has instead squandered our national treasure, our resources and our troops on efforts which have only increased the risk of terrorism.
Will the Boston Terror Attack Lead to Shredding of Our Liberties 2.0 ... And More War?
War is always sold by artificially demonizing the enemy. Countries need to lie about their enemies in order to demonize them sufficiently so that the people will support the war.
That is why intelligence “failures” – such as the following – are so common:
- The U.S. Navy’s own historians now say that the sinking of the USS Maine — the justification for America’s entry into the Spanish-American War — was probably caused by an internal explosion of coal, rather than an attack by the Spanish.
- It is also now well-accepted that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident which led to the Vietnam war was a fiction (confirmed here).
I am not saying that the Boston marathon was a false flag attack. I have no idea at this point who carried it out. What I am saying is that the Boston bombings will be used by the powers-that-be to further their own agenda.
- Daniel Ellsberg, the famous Pentagon Papers whistleblower, said “if there is another terror attack, “I believe the president will get what he wants”, which will include a dictatorship
- Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (who helped to create Al Qaeda to fight the soviets in Afghanistan) told the Senate that any terrorist act carried out in the U.S. might falsely be blamed on Iran to justify war against that nation
- President Carter recently impliedly acknowledged the same risk
- Former Senator Gary Hart warned Americans that the White House might use a “Gulf of Tonkin” or “remember the Maine” type incident to justify war against Iran (starting at 7:15 minutes)
- Ron Paul stated the government “is determined to have martial law”, and that the government is hoping to get the people “fearful enough that they will accept the man on the white horse”. Paul said last year (at 28:00):
What I fear the most is a false flag – something happening where one of our ships goes down, or there’s a plane that goes down, and of course it HAD to be the Iranians, you know, for sure, for certain
- General Tommy Franks stated that if another terrorist attack occurs in the United States “the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government”
- A retired 27-year CIA analyst who prepared and presented Presidential Daily Briefs and served as a high-level analyst for several presidents stated that if there was another major attack in the U.S., it would lead to martial law. He went on to say:
“We have to be careful, if somebody does this kind of provocation, big violent explosions of some kind, we have to not take the word of the masters there in Washington that this was some terrorist event because it could well be a provocation allowing them, or seemingly to allow them to get what they want.”
- Robert David Steele – a 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer – says that elements within the U.S. government may use any terrorist attack as an excuse to blame Iran
- Former high-level CIA officer Michael Scheuer – who was the head of the CIA unit tasked with capturing Bin Laden – says that Israel or Saudi Arabia could be setting up Iran as a way to foment war
- Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh also says many ideas for blaming Iran have been proposed by various folks in government
- The highly influential Brookings Institution wrote a report in 2009 called “Which Path to Persia?” which hints that we should blame Iran for anything which happens (pages 84-85):
It would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be.Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.)
- One of America's top constitutional and military law experts – Jonathan Turley - writes:
Many critics have argued that there is a concerted effort to push the United States into a war with Iran by supporters of Israel. Patrick Clawson, director of research for the highly influential pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) think tank, seemed intent to prove those rumors true this week in comments as a luncheon on “How to Build US-Israeli Coordination on Preventing an Iranian Nuclear Breakout.” Clawson casually discusses how to create a false flag operation to push the U.S. into war to overcome any reluctance by the public. We have been discussing how many leaders like Senator Joe Lieberman had begun to use the same rhetoric that led to the last two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the suggest timing of an attack has been tied to the presidential election.
In his remarks, Clawson helpfully lists a series of historical events used to push the country into war like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that gave us the Vietnam War. Clawson expressed his frustration in acknowledging that it is “[v]ery hard for me to see how the United States President can get us to war with Iran.” However, there is hope. Clawson explains that the “traditional way” to get the country into a war is through false flags or manufactured incidents where Americans are killed. Thus, he observes, “we are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians, we could get nastier about it. So, if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war.”
The fact that one of the leading analysis for the WINEP would feel comfortable in making such comments is itself quite chilling. It indicates that such discussions have become sufficiently regular that it has creeped into public discussion. It is a measure of the secret pressure building to push this country into a third major war despite our crippling economic conditions and losses in military personnel. The assumption in Washington is that neither Romney nor Obama could oppose such a war. Even if Obama does not publicly support Israel, the assumption is that political allies of Israel in Washington can guarantee that we would offer extensive military loans and intelligence. Even if there is a delay in such military loans and support, the assumption is that Israel can go to war with the understanding that the United States will cover a significant portion of the costs. Moreover, in his remarkably candid remarks, Clawson shows how the U.S. can easily be forced into direct combat by pushing Iran to simply kill some Americans or sink a few of our ships. Then members would be clamoring for revenge. Notably, the Israelis have been ratcheting up the war rhetoric in pushing Iran, which predictably has now reserved the right to engage in a preemptive strike not just against Israeli but U.S. interests. We would then, again, find ourselves in a war without any public debate or collective decision.
While Clawson adds a passing caveat that he is not advocating such an approach, his remarks are clearly designed to show how the group can get the United States into a war for Israel if only we can get Iran to kill some of our citizens or soldiers. Those people are of course expendable props in Clawson’s realpolitik. By the way, Clawson has been enlisted to give his insightful analysis at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He is also a member of the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies. The World Bank connection is particularly interesting given the history with Paul Wolfowitz who pushed the U.S. into two disastrous wars in the Bush Administration and was rewarded with being made the head of the World Bank.
It is the callous disconnect that is most chilling in these remarks. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have died or have been crippled for life in these wars that have left the country near bankruptcy (and increasingly hostile “allies” in Afghanistan and Iraq). Those casualties and costs, however, appear immaterial in the discussion of supporting Israel in a war against Iran.
The Boston terror attack was an immense tragedy and a barbaric act of terrorism. Those who carried out the attacks should be brought to justice. But - just as the Federal Reserve, Fannie, Freddie, Treasury and other officials and the big banks "fail their way upwards" - enriching themselves with more power everytime their failure leads to some catastrophe - the homeland security "planners" who have so outrageously squandered our blood and treasure will use this tragedy to grab more power, to further erode our liberties, and to launch more witch hunts. Just watch ...