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War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism - Foreign Affairs - Nairaland

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War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Afam(m): 12:58pm On Dec 26, 2006
From the inbox, I agree with the writer completely anyway as facts are there to support his positions as against sentiments, bias etc

War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism
By Howard Zinn

THERE IS SOMETHING important to be learned from the recent experience of the United States and Israel in the Middle East: that massive military attacks, inevitably indiscriminate, are not only morally reprehensible, but useless in achieving the stated aims of those who carry them out.

The United States, in three years of war, which began with shock-and-awe bombardment and goes on with day-to-day violence and chaos, has been an utter failure in its claimed objective of bringing democracy and stability to Iraq. The Israeli invasion and bombing of Lebanon has not brought security to Israel; indeed it has increased the number of its enemies, whether in Hezbollah or Hamas or among Arabs who belong to neither of those groups.

I remember John Hersey's novel, "The War Lover," in which a macho American pilot, who loves to drop bombs on people and also to boast about his sexual conquests, turns out to be impotent. President Bush, strutting in his flight jacket on an aircraft carrier and announcing victory in Iraq, has turned out to be much like the Hersey character, his words equally boastful, his military machine impotent.

The history of wars fought since the end of World War II reveals the futility of large-scale violence. The United States and the Soviet Union, despite their enormous fire-power, were unable to defeat resistance movements in small, weak nations -- the United States in Vietnam, the Soviet Union in Afghanistan -- and were forced to withdraw.

Even the "victories" of great military powers turn out to be elusive. Presumably, after attacking and invading Afghanistan, the president was able to declare that the Taliban were defeated. But more than four years later, Afghanistan is rife with violence, and the Taliban are active in much of the country.

The two most powerful nations after World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union, with all their military might, have not been able to control events in countries that they considered to be in their sphere of influence -- the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and the United States in Latin America.

Beyond the futility of armed force, and ultimately more important, is the fact that war in our time inevitably results in the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. To put it more bluntly, war is terrorism. That is why a "war on terrorism" is a contradiction in terms. Wars waged by nations, whether by the United States or Israel, are a hundred times more deadly for innocent people than the attacks by terrorists, vicious as they are.

The repeated excuse, given by both Pentagon spokespersons and Israeli officials, for dropping bombs where ordinary people live is that terrorists hide among civilians. Therefore the killing of innocent people (in Iraq, in Lebanon) is called accidental, whereas the deaths caused by terrorists (on 9/11, by Hezbollah rockets) are deliberate.

This is a false distinction, quickly refuted with a bit of thought. If a bomb is deliberately dropped on a house or a vehicle on the grounds that a "suspected terrorist" is inside (note the frequent use of the word suspected as evidence of the uncertainty surrounding targets), the resulting deaths of women and children may not be intentional. But neither are they accidental. The proper description is "inevitable."

So if an action will inevitably kill innocent people, it is as immoral as a deliberate attack on civilians. And when you consider that the number of innocent people dying inevitably in "accidental" events has been far, far greater than all the deaths deliberately caused by terrorists, one must reject war as a solution for terrorism.

For instance, more than a million civilians in Vietnam were killed by US bombs, presumably by "accident." Add up all the terrorist attacks throughout the world in the 20th century and they do not equal that awful toll.

If reacting to terrorist attacks by war is inevitably immoral, then we must look for ways other than war to end terrorism, including the terrorism of war. And if military retaliation for terrorism is not only immoral but futile, then political leaders, however cold-blooded their calculations, may have to reconsider their policies.

Howard Zinn is a professor emeritus at Boston University and the author of the forthcoming book, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress to be published by City Lights Books (www.citylights.com) this winter.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 1:51pm On Dec 26, 2006
Neither is terrorism the solution to "perceived" injustice. Our dear Professor sure forgot to mention that bit.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Nobody: 8:30pm On Dec 26, 2006
Terrorism is not the solution to settle land disputes!
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by 4Play(m): 10:31pm On Dec 26, 2006
When a group of people,in the name of religion , embark on a mission to use terror to actualise their aims,it is inevitable they will be met with a military response.Is the US supposed to negotiate with Al Qaeda and their ilk?

Since Bin laden launched his 9 11 attacks , purpotedly to strike against US policies in the Middle East,it has led to greater US troop prescence in the Middle east and the muslim world in general.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Afam(m): 10:28am On Dec 27, 2006
While I agree with the first 2 responses it is important to note that it is better to avoid problems than to create them and now spend forever deciding the correct way to redress them.

@4 Play,

Has the greater US troop presence in the Middle East made the US or the world safer?

It is strange that a policy that majority of the people in the world today thinks is a huge failure is being stated as a counter measure that should make sense to the problem in the middle east today.

Bush simply made the job of recruiting suicide bombers easier based on what they see in Iraq on daily basis.

In terms of numbers, about 2 days ago, the number of US casualties exceeded the total number of people that died on 911 at NY, Virginia and Pennsylvania put together.

In terms of the Iraqis themselves the number of casualties, mostly civilians had been staggering, so I fail to see the usefulness of the steps taken by Bush and his fellow war mongers in response to 911.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 4:06pm On Dec 27, 2006
So is dialogue the way to appease Osama and his likes? If not dialogue, then what?

In a society where crime thrives, a government will usually tackle the issue in two ways. The first is arrest and punishment, and the second is to address the societal cause of the malaise. Same is true for terrorism. Seek and punish/kill the terrorsit, while addressing the other issues that makes some involve in terrorism.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Afam(m): 4:33pm On Dec 27, 2006
Seeking and punishing the terrorist is in order and the onus lies on the punisher to make sure that the terrorist is punished not explaining the killing of innocent people all in the process of finding the terrorist.

No innocent person has to die for whatsoever reasons.

Osama is still alive but hundreds of thousands of people are dead based on careless and delibrate lies and miscalculations of Bush and the US led coalition that waged an illegal war in Iraq.

I am in total support of fighting the enemy, I am not in support of killing of innocent ones regardless of the excuses from collateral damage to terrorists hiding in civilian areas.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 6:09pm On Dec 27, 2006
When civilians willfully use their homes as hideouts for terrorists who fire at the advancing armies of their foes, then they deserve what they get. If I may recall, Isreal actually sent out fliers to warn the civilian population to leave in preparation for their attacks. Now that is bending over backwards to minimise civilian casualties. Not that their enemies will do the same.

Osama may still be alive, but what a way to live! His freedom is completely taken away from him and he can not show his face in public. He is a prisoner and that is part of the punishment he gets for his role in terrorism. His end will be worse than those he killed on 911.

And can you please suggest how these criminals can be killed with no civilian casualties? Or is it that you believe the casualties can be minimised and a greater effort should have been put into seeing to this?
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 6:29pm On Dec 27, 2006
TayoD:

Neither is terrorism the solution to "perceived" injustice. Our dear Professor sure forgot to mention that bit.

What exactly is terrorism?
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 6:30pm On Dec 27, 2006
davidylan:

Terrorism is not the solution to settle land disputes!

What is terrorism?
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 6:58pm On Dec 27, 2006
@Easyy,

What is terrorism?

What do you understand by terrorism?
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by 4Play(m): 10:20pm On Dec 27, 2006
I define terrorism as the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 10:25pm On Dec 27, 2006
@4play,

I define terrorism as the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians

So are you in disagreement with the fact that terrorism cannot be used to settle land disputes?
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Afam(m): 10:25am On Dec 28, 2006
4 Play:

I define terrorism as the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians



TayoD:

@4play,

So are you in disagreement with the fact that terrorism cannot be used to settle land disputes?

lipsrsealed lipsrsealed

We are waiting for answers oooo.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 8:28pm On Dec 28, 2006
TayoD:

@Easyy,

What do you understand by terrorism?

I asked first: are you shying away from defining it?
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 8:29pm On Dec 28, 2006
4 Play:

I define terrorism as the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians

Thanks. I'm waiting for others to respond.

Hopefully, no one will jump ship at this point grin
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 8:31pm On Dec 28, 2006
TayoD:

@4play,

So are you in disagreement with the fact that terrorism cannot be used to settle land disputes?

What does terrorism mean?

We may be able to determine better who is a terrorist if we define terrorism grin
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 8:32pm On Dec 28, 2006
From the dictionary:

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 10:03pm On Dec 28, 2006
@Easyy,
define terrorism as the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians
While i will not like to pre-empt your destination, can you kindly tell us the parties that are involved in the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 10:51pm On Dec 28, 2006
TayoD:

@Easyy,While i will not like to pre-empt your destination, can you kindly tell us the parties that are involved in the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians.

I'm sure you are smart and you know that I cannot name all the parties in the world that are involved in the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians.

Perhaps if you narrow it down and be more specific, I'll be able to give it a go
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 11:08pm On Dec 28, 2006
@Easyy,

Please limit your list to the parties involved in our dear Professor's write-up.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 11:30pm On Dec 28, 2006
TayoD:

@Easyy,

Please limit your list to the parties involved in our dear Professor's write-up.

OK. Based on the definition, the terrorists are Israel, Hamas, Hezbola, United States of America, Taliban.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Afam(m): 9:34am On Dec 29, 2006
@Easyy,

Add Al Qaeda to the list so that you will not be accused of bias or support for Osama.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 11:50am On Dec 29, 2006
Afam:

@Easyy,

Add Al Qaeda to the list so that you will not be accused of bias or support for Osama.

Afam, cheers bro.

Al Quaeda should be included
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 2:03pm On Dec 29, 2006
@Easyy,

K. Based on the definition, the terrorists are Israel, Hamas, Hezbola, United States of America, Taliban.
Can you please share with us how Isreal and the United States, by official policy and action are involved in the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 2:31pm On Dec 29, 2006
TayoD:

@Easyy,
Can you please share with us how Isreal and the United States, by official policy and action are involved in the indiscriminate and deliberate use of violence against innocent civilians

the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

Israel has been involved in indiscrimate killings of civilians(women and children included) including journalists in Palestinian territory over the years in it's quest to 'tame' Hamas followers while also controlling the nation of Palestine. Israel has also been involved in killing lots of Lebanese civilians on the strength of their claim to be chasing Hezbolla.

America has been involved in terrorising Iraqis into submission in the attempt to ensure political influence in the Middle East. American soldiers have raped, tortured and maimed several Iraqis during this process.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by TayoD(m): 3:31pm On Dec 29, 2006
@Easyy,

Now you have changed the goal post, and still unable to sustain your point with proofs.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by 4Play(m): 3:37pm On Dec 29, 2006
See how he added Al-Qaeda as an afterthought.

As an African the Govt of Sudan did not leap into his mind when including Govts as terror organisation
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 3:56pm On Dec 29, 2006
TayoD:

@Easyy,

Now you have changed the goal post, and still unable to sustain your point with proofs.

How has the goalpost been changed? proof of what?

I am not going to engage in the kind of arguments which you have been engaging in with a few other people here. Just tell me exactly what I have said that is wrong and where the goalpost seems to have changed.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 3:59pm On Dec 29, 2006
4 Play:

See how he added Al-Qaeda as an afterthought.

As an African the Govt of Sudan did not leap into his mind when including Govts as terror organisation



AFTERTHOUGHT

I'm really scared of the kind of mind you have for saying that's an afterthought?

Why would anyone think in such way? I missed out something and I was reminded, then, it is an afterthought.

Ridiculous. I do not like to engage in that kind of argument you seem to cherish so please don't go there as I wont follow.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Easyy(m): 4:02pm On Dec 29, 2006
4 Play:

See how he added Al-Qaeda as an afterthought.

As an African the Govt of Sudan did not leap into his mind when including Govts as terror organisation



Why would I think of the Government of Sudan?

The context of my reply was- Please limit your list to the parties involved in our dear Professor's write-up.

Besides, I never at any time claimed that I could name everyone/organisation engaged in such acts. Do you just like to argue?

I like to contribute and learn at the same time, if there's anything to learn. My life is not a one-way unthinking traffic and I dont get carried away so easily by any ideology or doctrine so much as to lose my God-given ability to reason.
Re: War Is Not A Solution For Terrorism by Afam(m): 4:07pm On Dec 29, 2006
Easyy:

AFTERTHOUGHT

I'm really scared of the kind of mind you have for saying that's an afterthought?

Why would anyone think in such way? I missed out something and I was reminded, then, it is an afterthought.

Ridiculous. I do not like to engage in that kind of arguments you seem to cherish so please don't go there as I wont follow.

@Easyy,

You have not seen anything yet, these guys are ready to even blame air for not being able to translate their thoughts into meaningful contributions.

I have stopped replying posts that aim to deviate from the real issues as that is the new style on board, real shame.

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