Monday, June 4, 2007

A Whisper of Truth?

Finally, something in the newspaper that smacks of truth about terrorism. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was quoted in Sunday’s paper as having said that fighting terrorism will require a focus on “combating poverty and other underling causes of extremism.”

Here’s a quote for an article by Robert Burns, an AP military writer:

"On the negative side of the ledger, I think we have not made enough progress in trying to address some of the root causes of terrorism in some of these societies, whether it is economic deprivation or despotism that leads to alienation," he (Robert Gates) said.
He called for more "creative thinking" to address the root causes of Islamic extremism, but he added that even those efforts will not be the complete answer to winning what he called a long war on terrorism.”

Reasonable folk of all stripes have known for a long time what it would really take to quell terroristic furor, but the government of the U.S. has concentrated on using firepower – showing power instead of strength of character. Well before we invaded Iraq, and perhaps even before we invaded Afghanistan – my memory doesn’t serve me well here – Osama bin Laden issued a proclamation stating his reasons for approving of 9-11; including our predatory foreign economic policies in the list.

Gates, of course, didn’t refer to economics in that way. His implication is that the economic deprivation involved arises from despotism within the nations giving rise to terrorism. His ultimate plea was for help from Asian nations on the grounds that the U.S. couldn’t win this war alone.

He only eluded (or is it deluded?) two minor aspects of reality. First, he ignored the fact that outright, high-tech warfare is not a viable method of combating terrorism. Second, he mentioned economic deprivation, but it would have been nice – though political suicide – to have recognized the U.S. complicity in generating foment through the economics linked militaristic policies of rape and plunder that have been in force for the entirety of American history.

As I have asked repeatedly in this blog and many times over the years before beginning these posts, who will be the next terrorist; the son whose father we kill or the father whose son we feed?

Gates was asking for Asian guns. He should have been asking for forgiveness and passing out American butter.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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