THE “VARIABLE GEOMETRY” OF THE ‘WAR ON TERROR’
I’ve thought from the beginning that the Bushies’ ‘war on terror’ is a farce. You can’t declare war on terrorism. Terrorism is merely a politically subjective term for politically oriented violence. In other words, it is a tool that will be described differently based upon whether one is the target or the perpetrator. The suicide bomber who blows himself and others to pieces on an Israeli bus is a ‘terrorist,’ but the IDF sniper who guns down a defenseless little Palestinian girl is ‘just doing his job.’ The pilots who flew planes into buildings killing thousands– including themselves– are labeled ‘cowardly terrorists,’ while the US pilots who drop MOABs and cluster bombs on defenseless Afghans and Iraqis are heroes. (The invariably invoked false distinction– the US doesn’t ‘target’ civilians– is rendered meaningless when one bothers to acknowledge the destructive capability of US weapons; it doesn’t matter who you say you’re targeting, when you know you’re going to kill those who you aren’t.)
The invocation of the specter of terrorism is a useful political tool for those who are operating in an environment of aggressive political ignorance. Why are those who oppose US policies (or satellite US interests such as Israeli expansion) with violence (or sometimes even harsh language) invariably labeled and attacked as terrorists, while those who support US policies (either directly or peripherally) with violence are either praised or conveniently ignored?
The Bush administration has staked its claim to the height of this nation’s historical hypocrisy regarding international political violence with its stance toward anti-Cuban terrorism. Of course, the US corporate media have been effectively silent on the issue. However, any misgivings one may be harboring about US moral authenticity on the issue of terrorism should be chiseled into stone by the following stories:
Super Power Principles
US terrorism against Cuba