Pulitzer-prize winning reporter James Risen reminds us:
We are now in the longest continuous period of war in American history. And yet there is remarkably little debate about it.
Many Americans assume “because 9/11″.
But regime change in Iraq, Lybia, Syria and Afganistan (and see this) was planned before 9/11.
Let’s take Iraq, for example. Former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.”
Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. And the Sunday Herald reported: “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil.” (remember that Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.)
Indeed, we’ve seen it all before.
We explained last year:
As just one example, in 2010 the war in Afghanistan became the longest war in U.S. history.
Why is the war of terror being waged indefinitely?
In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice, nor warped by interest, would declare, that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.
George Washington – in his farewell address of 1796 – said:
Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty.
James Madison said:
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.
Madison also noted that never-ending war tends to destroy both liberty and prosperity:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed by Text-Enhance”>debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
Greenwald noted in October:
As the Founders all recognized, nothing vests elites with power – and profit – more than a state of war. That is why there were supposed to be substantial barriers to having them start and continue – the need for a Congressional declaration, the constitutional bar on funding the military for more than two years at a time, the prohibition on standing armies, etc. Here is how John Jay put it in Federalist No 4:
“It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it; nay, absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans. These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”
In sum, there are factions in many governments that crave a state of endless war because that is when power is least constrained and profit most abundant.
Indeed, top American military officials and national defense experts say that our specific actions in the “war on terror” are creating more terrorists and more war.
As Greenwald points out today, the endless nature of the war on terror is a feature, not a bug:
There’s a good reason US officials are assuming the “War on Terror” will persist indefinitely: namely, their actions ensure that this occurs.
There’s no question that this “war” will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire. The only question – and it’s becoming less of a question for me all the time – is whether this endless war is the intended result of US actions or just an unwanted miscalculation.
It’s increasingly hard to make the case that it’s the latter. The US has long known, and its own studies have emphatically concluded, that “terrorism” is motivated not by a “hatred of our freedoms” but by US policy and aggression in the Muslim world. This causal connection is not news to the US government. Despite this – or, more accurately, because of it – they continue with these policies.
There is zero reason for US officials to want an end to the war on terror, and numerous and significant reasons why they would want it to continue. It’s always been the case that the power of political officials is at its greatest, its most unrestrained, in a state of war. Cicero, two thousand years ago, warned that “In times of war, the law falls silent” (Inter arma enim silent leges).
If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It’s that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.
Just this week, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration need not respond to the New York Times and the ACLU’s mere request to disclose the government’s legal rationale for why the President believes he can target US citizens for assassination without due process. Even while recognizing how perverse her own ruling was – “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me” and it imposes “a veritable Catch-22″ – the federal judge nonetheless explained that federal courts have constructed such a protective shield around the US government in the name of terrorism that it amounts to an unfettered license to violate even the most basic rights: “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret” (emphasis added).
Why would anyone in the US government or its owners have any interest in putting an end to this sham bonanza of power and profit called “the war on terror”? Johnson is right that there must be an end to this war imminently, and Maddow is right that the failure to do so will render all the due-process-free and lawless killing and imprisoning and invading and bombing morally indefensible and historically unforgivable.
But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They’re preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.
Congress members – part of the super-elite which has made money hand over fist during this economic downturn – are heavily invested in the war industry, and routinely trade on inside information … perhaps even including planned military actions.
No wonder the American government is making the state of war permanent, and planning to unleash new, widespread wars in the near future.
Postscript: Under Bush, it was the “war on terror”. Obama has re-branded the perpetual fighting as “humanitarian war”.
“Blowback” – invented by the CIA, refers to the unintended results of American actions abroad. Chalmers Johnson wrote a great book on it. If you do not describe American foreign policy as “empire building” then you are a MORON. If you blame just Obama, then you are a MORON because regime change has been in the works since before George Bush took office. For more on that, read The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski. He’s the guy who CREATED the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1970’s, provoking the USSR to invade, which ultimately caused their bankruptcy.
At the very least read this passage:
Indeed, the American government has been providing arms, money and logistical support to Al Qaeda in Syria, Libya, Mali, Bosnia and other countries – and related Muslim terrorists in Chechnya, Iran, and many other countries. So moderate Arabs all over the Middle East and North Africa are becoming furious at U.S. interventionist policies.
Army concern about the way President Mohamed Morsi was governing Egypt reached tipping point when the head of state attended a rally packed with hardline fellow Islamists calling for holy war in Syria, military sources have said.***Mr Morsi himself called for foreign intervention in Syria against Mr Assad, leading to a veiled rebuke from the army, which issued an apparently bland but sharp-edged statement the next day stressing that its only role was guarding Egypt’s borders.***“The armed forces were very alarmed by the Syrian conference at a time the state was going through a major political crisis,” said one officer, whose comments reflected remarks made privately by other army staff. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to talk to the media.***For the army, the Syria rally had crossed “a national security red line” by encouraging Egyptians to fight abroad, risking creating a new generation of jihadists, said Yasser El-Shimy, analyst with the International Crisis Group.At the heart of the military’s concern is the history of militant Islam in Egypt, homeland of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. The military source condemned recent remarks made by “retired terrorists” allied to Mr Morsi, who has deepened his ties with the once-armed group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya.
Is the Cold War part 2 the endless war on terror financed by chinese and russian banks as well as by Iran and OPEC nations that gain from the sale of oil to the USA?
Chinese Bank in terror
By Bhaskar Roy
In a startling
development, one hundred plaintiffs filed a
case last week with a Los Angeles Circuit
Court that a Chinese state-owned bank was
acting as a financial conduit for terrorist
groups Islamic Jihad (IJ) and Hamas. The
Bank of China Ltd. China’s third largest
bank, has expectedly denied the charge
saying it would contest the suit.
The law suit alleged
that the bank was aware of these illegal
transactions but did nothing to stop them.
It claimed, through certain supportive
documents, that millions of dollars were
sent through the Bank of China to finance
attacks by the two terrorist outfits,
resulting in death and injuries to innocent
The charges add that
the illegal transfers emanated from the
Middle East, sent to the banks’ branches in
the USA, and were then transferred to
accounts at the Bank of China branch in
Guangzhou in Southern China, and finally
wire-transferred to Hamas and IJ leaders in
Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
This money helped terrorist attacks between
2004 and 2007.
Israeli officials in
2005, brought these activities of the bank
to the notice of officials of China’s
Central Bank but the practice continued, the
law suit said.
Following the war on
terror led by the USA from 2001, US
intelligence and federal justice department
officials started working with a large
number of countries including China to block
the routes of terror financing. For example,
US Justice Department officials have trained
Bangladesh central bank officials on
tracking illegal money transactions. This
happened following the 2005 country-wide
terrorist bombings in Bangladesh and it was
discovered that a number of Gulf NGOs like
the Al Hamrain trust and the Revival of
Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) of Kuwait
were funding Islamic terrorist groups in the
According to the Bank
of China’s website, it reported by 2006 more
than one thousand cases of suspicious
transactions amounting to $ 56.5 billion to
the Chinese police, but there is no official
report on how these cases were dealt with.
transactions are also hidden in Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI) in China. Money sent
out illegally by some companies about which
not much is known, return as FDI.
Information on such financial flows is
rarely sought by the government agencies.
One partner involved in illegality will
surely need an unscrupulous partner outside
China. Money laundering is a murky world
where all the undesirable people – gun
runners, narco traders, terrorists and black
marketers are partners – with no questions
It is well known that
China assisted the Taliban during the war
against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
But it was not China alone who supported the
Taliban – the USA was the main culprit along
with king pin Pakistan. While the western
countries withdrew from Afghanistan after
the Soviet Union left to gradually implode,
China, with assistance from Pakistan, stayed
with the new rulers of Afghanistan, the
Al-Qaeda indoctrinated Taliban.
China’s commitment to
counter terrorism has always been suspect,
although it has its own problems with the
Muslim Uighur separatists in the western
region of Xinjiang. This problem is not
At a particular period
of the cold war, China maximized its gains
from most sides. The experience may have
encouraged the Beijing leaders to sit in the
middle and fish in troubled waters.
China was very much
aware that its Uighur militants were being
trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan by
Pakistani Jehadis of ISI creation, the
Taliban and even the Al Qaeda. Some of these
training camps were common to both Uighurs
and Kashmiri militants.It hoped that with
good relations with Pakistan and the Taliban
in Afghanistan, the Uighur separatist menace
would be resolved or, at least, kept within
It may be recalled that
even after the US missile attacks on Taliban
post 9/11, China maintained for some time
that there was no evidence that the Taliban
was involved in terrorism. Chinese companies
were entering Taliban controlled Afghanistan
in a big way in telecommunication, military
informatics, and oil and gas survey.
Further, Afghanistan was seen as a strategic
gateway to Central Asia.
Pakistan was, and
remains, China’s gateway to the Gulf and
West Asia or as the Chinese prefer to call
it these days, the “Golden Gate” out of US
encirclement. The route from western China
to Pakistan extending to Afghanistan into
Central Asia was also very important to
consolidate its multi-pronged surge in that
militancy in countries perceived to be
potential competitors or adversaries was
apparently seen as a bonus by the Chinese
security establishment. China’s larger
regional strategy seemed to have given some
cover to Islamic terrorism and militancy, at
least by omission. This strategy has also
enabled terrorists to sneak into southern
China from Hong Kong and near by areas in
the cover of petty businessmen. Terrorist
money laundering from Guangdong province
bordering Hong Kong was reported as early as
The Bank of China case
raises the question whether there is
disconnect between the hard line
intelligence and security establishment and
the top section of the Central leadership
group led by President Hu Jintao? If that is
so, this is a dangerous call for the rest of
the world, especially neighbouring regions
troubled by Islamic militancy and terrorism.
The West, of course, would be a major
Otherwise, it is
difficult to find an answer how such huge
illegal transfers through the Bank of China
in Guangzhou has remained unaddressed for so
long when evidence was staring the Chinese
security in the face. The related question
is whether the Bank of China case is the tip
of the iceberg, given the fact that
terrorists in UK, Europe and India appear
FUD To bolster military spending, sounds like the cold war years.
Either we haven’t learned that this is obvious or we dont care?
Meanwhile the GOP wants to cut education, social security, and healthcare benefits here at home.
And people vote for them? Why? FUD works on them too