For those fighting and dying there – only Death is real. For the American people, Middle East Terrorism is a total fabrication.
A standard definition of War is that it is “a conflict carried on by force of arms”
We all know the old face of war in the classical days, where two sides in different coloured uniforms lined up and charged at each other until the sun set. Whoever had the most soldiers standing at the end of the day was the winner and they took over the territory of the losers. It was all about territory and redrawing borders.
This kind of warfare held up until around the time of the American Civil War. Since then lines have become blurred.
A standard definition of Guerrilla War is that it is “the use of hit-and-run tactics by small mobile groups of irregulars operating within a territory controlled by a regular military”.
By the the time of the Anglo-Boer War (circa 1900) the Boers had invented Guerrilla Warfare, where small bands went in and did as much damage as possible using what they had.
It was very effective. — An online register lists the names of 293,209 British Soldiers who had to be brought in to wage the war. However, adding in all the other Colonials it was probably closer to 500,000 who were needed to subdue about 30,000 rag-tag South African Boers.
Eventually the British found a very workable solution. They rounded up all the women and children remaining on the farms (who had been feeding and sleeping the rebels every night) and put them all in concentration camps. Their suffering was extreme. The men had to give up.
Guerrilla warfare is not about capturing Territory, but about demoralisation, damage to infrastructure, and forcing vast numbers of very expensive regulars to guard infrastructure.
A standard definition of Terrorism is that it is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”
By the 1960s another form of warfare was emerging. We called it, “Terrorism”.
We can all agree that none of the above methods are mutually exclusive. Modern mainstream Media spends a lot of time blurring these lines for the public, but I think we have a reasonably clear understandings of what the differences are.
Modern Terrorism is actually more complicated than this definition. It started as aircraft high-jacking; then evolved into small bands shooting innocent people at certain events; and has now evolved into its ‘classic’ contemporary form of suicide vests, suicide vehicles etc.
Terrorism is always an “Asymmetric Warfare” (for obvious reasons) where the powerful side, (usually a State or Country) has state of the art military equipment and the other side has very little other than hand held weapons and human bodies.
Suicide-vests are the quintessential weapon of terror. Because they are hidden they can have a kill ratio of ten or more to one. They are therefore extremely effective as psychological weapons.
Terrorists are almost by definition a very small group of disenchanted radicals who do not have access to modern sophisticated and expensive military equipment, so they have to resort to this sort of asymmetric terrorism.
Terrorism has a different aim and a different modus operandi from conventional war. For terrorists time and place of battle or time and place of victory are not a factor. Terrorists choose a target, and then over time slowly start infiltrating the area. They look like regular people. They remain as “sleepers” until called to action. They are unobtrusive and have no visible weapons; they often befriend and mix freely with the local population.
Once activated, they make sure that they terrorise the population.
Terrorism is not about capturing Territory; it is aimed at destroying economic infrastructure, about killing and wounding the local population in a game of demoralisation, economic destruction, discrediting the existing government, and sapping the morale of the local people, which can then lead to an economic collapse and/or making the State ungovernable.
History does not show many (if any) instances of a conventional military winning against Terrorism.
The British-Irish insurrection lasted from 1915 until 1998 without a military victory. Finally a political settlement had to be agreed upon.
The US’s standard duplicitous propaganda has given the American People a totally false view of what is going on in Syria and much of the Middle East.
Most of the mainstream media are in on the game of deceit about America’s war on Terrorism.
In Mosul, Raqqa, Aleppo, and all the others, the “terrorists” have magically acquired large numbers of tanks, howitzers, rocket platforms, cannon Vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, etc. They seem to have flags, uniforms, and badges. Somehow they all have the entire range of military equipment.
This is absolutely not asymmetric Terrorism, this is genuine conventional war.
The US and its surrogates are in a real military war. The American (and allied) politicians should be held accountable. US Politicians and mainstream media have allowed the US government to hide behind a false flag of “Terrorism”. This has fooled the people into supporting a conventional war without realising that that is what it is.
When the US announced its ‘War on Terror’, it was creating a subterfuge. When a country is put on a war footing, the powers-that-be understand well that under a condition of war the conventional laws-of-the-and can be modified and sidestepped. Lots of things which would never be acceptable in times of peace can be justified in times of war.
In the Middle East (and a few other places) the US cannot ever admit that they (and their surrogates) are in a military war. This would be unconstitutional .
By declaring a ‘War on Terror’, the US leadership has been able to legitimise its illegal war making and put its illegal acts in a pseudo- legal framework whilst without formally declaring war placing the nation onto a war footing.
The US has developed the habit of declaring anything and anybody they wish to hurt, anywhere in the world, as “terrorists” so that they can the use their loosened set of rules.
Somehow the American people have failed to hold their media corporations, or their elected and appointed officials accountable.
Instead they routinely allow them to subvert the Constitution by subterfuge and deceit.
When the government of a country allows the well being of its people to be compromised in this way, the outcome is usually civil disobedience and/or revolution.
In extreme situations, the final refuge of governments wishing to escape responsibility for their failures is War.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.