Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News The War On Error

  1. Apr 6, 2004 #1
    Some days I have the impression that most people simply are not aware of the undercurrents of global politics. In particular, I would like to focus now on what the slogan-generators have labelled the "War on Terror".

    What is the War on Terror? Supposedly it is an attempt to hunt down and eliminate terrorists. However, there are several problems with this premise:

    1) Large-scale military operations such as demonstrated by the USA against Afghanistan and Iraq target entire nations or areas, rather than the small, mobile, secretive groups supposedly being hunted. Those small groups can be in any nation, even within the USA (as demonstrated by Timothy McVeigh and the 9/11 chaps). They do not have to be in a distant nation, and in fact the dangerous groups are those within the USA, since that is their target and that is where they will act.

    2) In this supposed War on Terror, the USA has instead destroyed the social order (good or bad) in two nations. Over 8,000 Iraqi civilians died during the USA's invasion (1). Neither invasion captured terrorist cells within the USA.

    Regarding the invasion of Iraq in particular, what must we notice about the politics involved? First the USA claimed a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks in America. No evidence to support this claim was ever produced. Then the USA claimed Iraq supports terrorist groups. No evidence for this claim was produced either. Then the USA claimed Iraq was trying to build nuclear weapons. Again, there was no evidence for the accusation. In fact, one document referring to Saddam Hussein's efforts to purchase uranium from Niger was proven to be a forgery. Likewise, claims that Iraq was preparing chemical and biological weapons were also without evidence. Yet the USA invaded, and killed over 8,000 Iraqi civilians. All this from the nation which boasts the mighty principle of justice "Innocent until proven guilty".

    What about the morality of invading Iraq? Was Saddam Hussein a bad guy? Some say he gassed a lot of Kurds in Halabja. Some say he didn't (2). One thing I do know is that the USA is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons against civilians (Nagasaki, Hiroshima), and the USA itself has used chemical and biological weapons both against foreign nations (3) and against its own people (4). The USA has over 300,000 soldiers on foreign soil. George Bush's cabinet is made up of people from large resource companies and such (5). The company Dick Cheney used to head (6) was given the contract to look after Iraq's oil without even having to bid for it (and has now been busted for war-profiteering).

    I do believe that those capable of creating justice and equality should do so. I believe they have a duty to their fellow humans to do so. However, I do not believe this was the motivation for the USA's invasion of Iraq. I do not believe this is the motivation behind their ongoing War on Terror. The people suffering are the civilians of Afghanistan and Iraq. The people profiting are Bush's cabinet and their friends and families. Always, regarding global politics, we must look at two things: who loses something, and who gains something.

    Apart from some people gaining money from these acts, what else might be behind it all? Consider the model or example given to us by George Orwel. A state which creates a fictitious enemy which can therefore never be beaten, an enemy which will always be there as the excuse for the state's machinations. So the USA labelled not any person or state or group as its prime adversary, but "terrorism". In indefinite enemy, to be fought over an indefinite time, through any means possible. This provides the state with the reason it needs to do just about anything. President Bush may simply say "We're at war, this is an emergency measure", to affect any changes he wishes within the USA. And in fact he did that very recently (7).

    What we have is a nation on the edge of economic implosion. The USA is making spending cuts in health and education and other areas to pay for wars and occupations. This will result in less eduaction for the masses, and a greater number of the poor being willing to enter military service as their only means or earning a wage. More people in the military needs justfication for all that spending, so they need to be active; so they need more wars, more occupations. So far the USA has over 300,000 soldiers on foreign soil. With decreasing spending on health and education, and more of the lower economic classes turning to the military for health care and wages, and with the increasing tensions between the USA and everyone else, this creates a vicious (although intentional) circle.

    What about these ill feelings between the USA and others? It seems to me that creating anger and resentment among other nations, particularly those who can't really harm the USA greatly, is the perfect way for the USA to justify its actions. Make them angry, until one or two strike back in some small way, and that strike will provide them with justification for invasions and wars and more. Retaliation against the USA is precisely what Bush wants, as it will perfectly justify everything he has said and done. So, no doubt we will see further off-hand comments from Bush now and then, further trade sanctions, a few more military actions, and eventually there will be a bomb in a USA federal building, and then Bush will say "This is why we're doing it. It needs to be done." And the unfortunate part is that the only real choice some folks have is to perform those retaliatory strikes. It's either that or do nothing and be trampled underfoot.

    Does this mean I support terrorism? Absolutely not. To me, terrorism is attacking civilians. To me, this is what the USA did by killing over 8,000 Iraqi civilians. It was terrorism by a state. I do not approve of ANY terrorism, by states or by other groups. I can only hope that all forms of warfare in the future are restricted only to military and government targets, but I doubt this will happen.

    Well, I'm almost done now. Some people make assumptions that Iraq had something to do with those 9/11 attacks, even though there is no evidence for it. Some people assume that governments can afford to do things out of altruism. And some of us look at who gains what. Which are you?


    1) www.iraqbodycount.net

    2) http://forums.transnationale.org/viewtopic.php?t=1458

    3) http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=...ietnam+birth+defects&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

    4) http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2002/t10092002_t1009ha.html

    5) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/americas/1138009.stm

    6) http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/6/24/80648.shtml

    7) http://www.archivists.org/news/secrecyorder.asp
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2004 #2
    Ah heck. I intended to supply a LOT more information, but the post size limit is killing me here. Before responding, PLEASE take the time to read the rest of this stuff at: Currently uploading to my own website.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2004
  4. Apr 7, 2004 #3
    Your post is excellent summary. The conclusion that the term "War on Terror" is a propaganda tool, probably doesn't go far enough. They've confused not only the difference between conventional war and guerilla war, but war in Iraq and the actual anti-terror effort. Left unchecked, your conclusions are right, that the president would continue until the US looks like a 3rd world superpower.
    And about inviting attacks-- the president's approval rating was never higher than shortly after the great attacks, so there's no doubt he has weighed the political benefit of American casualties. But now, he looks careless and callous, approving & implementing a vastly flawed plan drawn up by arm-chair generals and those crooked among the corporate.
  5. Apr 7, 2004 #4

    This is a fairly accurate lead up:

    29 October 1997: Iraq bars US weapons inspectors, provoking a diplomatic crisis which is defused with a Russian-brokered compromise.

    13 January 1998: Iraq blocks an inspection by a US-dominated team and accuses its leader, Scott Ritter, of spying for America.

    23 February 1998: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announces a deal on weapons inspections after meeting Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

    31 October 1998: The Iraqi leadership says it has ceased all co-operation with Unscom, the United Nations Special Commission set up for weapons inspections in Iraq.

    14 November 1998: Baghdad tells the UN it is willing to allow inspections to resume.

    17 November 1998: Unscom inspectors return to Iraq.

    16 December 1998: The UN orders weapons inspectors out of the country after Unscom chief Richard Butler issued a report saying the Iraqis were still refusing to co-operate. US air strikes on Iraq begin hours later.

    Also, remember the Iraqi information minister broadcast stating that all Americans should leave the country.
    Now, by your logic, if I point a gun at you and run away, you CHOSE to leave and that's all that matters........although, the rest of us know that there is much more whe it is put in context.
  6. Apr 7, 2004 #5
    True. The UN gave the order for them to leave, and all the way up until that point the UN supported us against the Saddams discrimination of American nationals working for the UN.
  7. Apr 9, 2004 #6
    Its called moderation...get used to it.
  8. Apr 9, 2004 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Strangely enough, Zero, this past week was the first time I was looking for more of it from you...I was debating whether to PM you about this, um, stuff.
  9. Apr 10, 2004 #8
    Where's the rebuttal? Is there a clear argument against the idea that our casualties were unaccounted for in the design of this plan?
  10. Apr 10, 2004 #9
    No, there has never been any rational rebuttal or response of any kind to threads showing actual laws and such, with clear references. Usually just ad hominems. But it's an internet message board. Can't expect too much really.
  11. Apr 10, 2004 #10
    You can always expect this sort of thing to get locked...and it has. Cheerio!
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: The War On Error
  1. The war on Easter. (Replies: 12)

  2. Emote Wars (Replies: 41)

  3. The war on Hannukah (Replies: 23)

  4. The war is over! (Replies: 10)

  5. Robotic war (Replies: 10)