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In the name of counter terrorism

September 16, 2012

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It is quite easy to become familiar with the facts about terrorism and counter terrorism. Google will educate you far better even than the Enclyopedia Britanica and certainly all the mainstream media, but there is a lot to take in.

Information overload is the main problem, which is why we rely on “experts” in public service who inform politicians. These are academics, analysts, military experts, police and other obscure government bodies who lay the facts out after spending their time being paid to know how to sift the data so that politicians can make properly considered decisions. We elect people in our democracy to be able to make those decisions.

There is a pact between us the electorate and those we elect that they will perform in our interest and will make decisions for us by proxy. In this respect, recent history has come to show the political classes are detaching from their electorates by hijacking the countering terrorism agenda for their own ends.

Richard Jackson ( Manchester University 2005) writes:

The language of the “war on terrorism” is not simply a neutral or objective reflection of policy debates and the realities of terrorism and counterterrorism; rather, it is a very carefully and deliberately constructed public discourse that is specifically designed to make the war seem reasonable, responsible, and inherently good.”

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/IMG/pdf/langage_guerreauterrorisme-2.pdf

We see this language  throughout the politics of the west used to justify:

  1. Wars with other countries using pretexts based on “secret” and unverifiable intelligence. E.g Iraqi war based on the fabricated pretext of weapons of mass destruction. The same principle may soon be applied to Iran.
  2. Taking sides (either by arming forces or participating in propaganda) in other countries wars using ambiguous pretexts for involvement. The general population believes the civil wars in Libya and Syria were exclusively, but naively about human rights and democracy.
  3. Imposition of global and crippling economic sanctions on states that refuse to wholly comply with the requests of nations like the US. Failure to comply usually results in the use of force. Often when nations do comply, force is used anyway.
  4. Creation of terms like rogue state, axis of evil, sponsor of terror. These are labels pinned on any nation that refuses to bow to the world order imposed arbitrarily on them.
  5. Extra judicial killings bypassing local jurisprudence. Drone attacks on suspected terrorists with innocent deaths being accepted as collateral.
  6. Imposition of excessive surveillance (bugging phones without warrants), government monitoring of all electronic communications, CCTV, and the monitoring of bank accounts and all financial transactions.
  7. Rendition of suspected terrorists to prisons bypassing courtrooms. Extradition of foreign nationals to face prosecutions in foreign courts. Intelligence led procedures not open to any public scrutiny.
  8. Guantanamo and the US National Defense Authorisation Act, which allows the US to imprison anyone they like (including Americans without trial) on merely the suspicion they are involved in terror. Clearly these rules propagate to all acolyte states in the west.

The list goes on and on, and yet we as an electorate are given no one to vote for who can change this. We have no direct say over who heads up the United Nations, no say on who heads up the WTO, WHO, IMF, even the prime minister of the UK or the presidents of the USA, France or Russia. We are merely an electorate that choose between two party leaders whether we like them or not. After that our involvement is no longer required or our opinions wanted.

Therefore it is unlikely that anything is going to change through anything attempted at a ballot box in the west. The best we can expect is a slowing down of the above and the use of distraction technologies to keep our minds off it. Expect to watch more pictures of half naked princes and princesses through big screen TV’s and our IPhones.

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