What's Left

December 24, 2004


There Will Be No Peace, Without An End To This Terrorism

By Stephen Gowans

On a visit to Jerusalem just before Christmas, British PM Tony Blair expressed optimism about reviving “peace talks” but warned, “There is not going to be any successful negotiation or peace without an end to terrorism."

Blair wasn’t talking about Israel ending its terrorism. And he certainly wasn’t talking about ending the war of terror Britain is pursuing as junior partner to the United States.

But he could have been.

That’s because getting the people who keep taking shots at the Anglo-American occupation force in Iraq to stop what they’re doing, and putting an end to terror attacks on American civilians, means, in the very first instance, putting an end to the Anglo-American war of terror.

And I don’t mean the “war on terror” cooked up after 9/11 as a label to make it seem a program of aerial bombing, invasion and torture is new and justified, but the war of terror that is the real face of the Anglo-American imperialist project whose existence antedates 9/11.

Why are Iraqis killing US troops, and why does al Qaeda – originally a U.S. creation whose purpose was to oust the progressive Najibullah regime in Afghanistan – continue to exist?

Is it because the “terrorists” hate our freedoms? Or is it because there is a regular and lawful tendency for the natives to be provoked by the designs of foreign powers to deprive them of their resources, economic assets, and lives?

Each action provokes a reaction, and the reaction to Anglo-American imperialism is the recalcitrance of the natives.

Indeed, it has almost invariably been true that annexationist, plundering and predatory wars have provoked the victims to resort to whatever means are available – rarely pretty – to fight back.

And let there be no mistake about the nature of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Palestinians. They’re annexationist, plundering and predatory, as thoroughly as any war advanced industrial countries have waged in the past against weak, Third World nations, prized for their resources, low wage labor and turf.

So US troops get their brains blown out and limbs severed and minds destroyed by suicide bombers. It’s not nice, but neither is a decade plus of sanctions, and neither is hunger, disease, fuel-air bombs, and Abu Ghraib.

Aircraft plow into office buildings, killing thousands – not pretty. But nor is U.S. backed despotism in the Middle East, or Israel’s rogue behavior, which carries on because Washington furnishes Israel with the military, economic and political means to annex Palestinian territory, abridge Palestinian rights, and terrorize the Middle East as the region's U.S. proxy.

There will be no enduring peace until this terrorism – and what sustains its -- comes to an end.

There will be no enduring peace until this terrorism – and what sustains its -- comes to an end.

[1] “Blair, in Mideast, Sees New Talks on Reforms,” The New York Times, December 23, 2004.

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