'Global War On Terrorism' to mobilize Americans

One day Mulla Nasruddin went to his neighbor, known to be a mean fellow. "Sir," he explained, "your ox has gored my cow and killed her after she refused his amorous advances." His neighbors shot back, "So what has that got to do with me? Should a man be held responsible for what an animal does." The Mulla answered cheekily, "Thank you, Sir. It was my ox that gored your cow."

Adapted from the book 'The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasruddin' by Idries Shah

The United States declared a 'global war on terrorism' within days of the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Instantly, terrorism was elevated by the US establishment and media into the greatest, most ominous threat the 'civilized world' had faced since the collapse of communism. 

Why did the United States choose to frame its imperialist posture after 9-11 as a 'global war on terrorism?' Not a few have been puzzled by this way of justifying the new projection of American power. Terrorism is a tactic, not a country; it is tool, not an ideology or an end. How does one wage war against a tactic or a tool? 

Nevertheless, the frame was cleverly chosen. It was and remains a most effective tool for mobilizing the American public behind the neo-conservative project of using wars - multiple and endless, if necessary - to deepen America's global dominance and to make it irreversible.

On September 11, 2001 nineteen terrorists tragically brought death to Americans on their own soil. Barring the attacks of Pearl Harbor, this was unprecedented in American history. The terrorists had demonstrated that Americans were vulnerable to attacks inside their own shores. It now appeared that the blowback from US policies in the Middle East could reach across the Atlantic to hit the US itself. To say the least, this was disconcerting. 

American policy makers chose to magnify this new vulnerability to advance their imperialist goals. By constantly harping on terrorism, by hyping the threat of terrorist attacks, fearful Americans would both endorse curbs on liberties at home and endless wars abroad - anything that would prevent 'Islamic' terrorists from crossing American shores. The 'global war against terrorism' looked like the perfect tool for producing these twin results.

The rhetoric of terrorism had other uses too. Terrorists operate without a return address, are ready to strike anywhere, and sometimes die with their victims. Instead of tracking them down through surveillance and police work, the United States has used the elusiveness of terrorists to justify preemptive strikes and wars. In addition, since terrorists may be hiding anywhere, the war against terrorism must be global.

Just as importantly, the United States has used its rhetoric of terrorism to delegitimize all forms of resistance. This occurs in two stages. First, US agencies employ a definition of terrorism that covers all groups that use violence as a means to achieve political ends, even legitimate political ends. Thus, Hamas and Hizbullah are 'terrorists.' Next, individuals or groups who provide 'material assistance' to 'terrorists' are also 'terrorists.' The United States has stretched this logic to delegitimize all resistance movements that it views as contrary to US interests. 

Although the United States has almost exclusively targeted Muslims in recent years, it continues to insist that Muslims per se are not the enemy. They only target those who are 'terrorists' and those who support 'terrorist.' It is a clever distinction that empowers the 'good' Muslims who are on our side - mostly corrupt and despotic rulers - to fight the 'bad' Muslims, who are 'terrorists.'

In other words, the 'global war against terrorism' is a powerful rhetorical device that mobilized overwhelming domestic support - at least, before the Iraq war became a quagmire - behind America's imperialist posture that depended on endless, preemptive and illegal wars.

It is scarcely surprising, therefore, that 'terrorism' - as the new cover for a more invasive imperialism - has quickly come to dominate the global public discourse. A Google search for 'terrorism' turned up 72 million hits, not too far behind the 97 million hits for 'democracy.' Taken together, the related terms 'terror,' 'terrorism,' and 'terrorists' generated 236 million hits, which exceed the 210 million hits for 'freedom.' 

A Google search also reveals that the 'global war on terrorism' is directed primarily at Muslims. A search for exact phrases that combined 'Islamic,' 'Muslim,' 'Moslem,' and 'Islam and,' with 'terrorism,' 'terrorists,' and 'terror' yielded a total of 3.3 million hits. On the other hand, exact phrases that combined 'Tamil' with 'terrorism,' 'terrorists,' and 'terror' turned up only 26,000 hits. Substituting 'Jewish' for 'Tamil' produced 211,000 hits. 

Why is the talk of terrorism directed overwhelmingly at Muslims? Despite the rhetoric of a 'global war on terrorism,' by now we know all too well that this war is aimed at Muslims, mainly at Muslims in the Middle East. This is a war of 'colonial pacification' of Islamic lands: the Muslims must be 'pacified' to secure 'our' oil wells in the Persian Gulf, and to entrench Israeli hegemony over the Middle East. This is also a religious war for the radical core of American evangelicals; it fits into their theology of end times. We ignore this only at our peril.

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. He is author of Challenging the New Orientalism (IPI Publications: 2007). Visit his website at http://aslama.org He may be reached at [email protected].
M. Shahid Alam

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Older Comments:
It is needless to say that we Muslims are the only target and
considered terrorist. Any where in the world Muslims raise their
voice against oppression and suppression it is considered illegal
and as an act of terrorist. If one looks around the world like
Palestine, Chechnia, Kashmir, Mendiano ( Philippine), Bosnia,
Kosobo etc. the only reason they are not getting their due rights
established because they are Muslim majority estate/regions.
Though we all know majority of the world population including
the people of USA & Israel doesn't want war and love to see each
and ever problem is solved justly and the whole world leaves in
peace and harmony.

This article continualy refers to "terrorists" that the US has designated to be Muslim extremists. Why are these people singled out? Because they are the ones who blow things and human beings (all God's children) including your own Muslims, as a sacrifice for the cause. I ask. Why?? do they kill their own? Kill anyone who doesn't believe their way (God gave us "free will" to choose him. It is up to Him to determine when we die or suffer for Him. Not because someone else thinks it is God's will (thou shall not kill - Love thy neighbor - etc.)
Quite killing any of Gods' children and forcing your view of religion or death as your goal and you will gain understanding and friendship. Oh yes, the US is NOT imperialistic, or colonial. If ISLAMIC extremists are so wonderful, let the people choose, make decisions for themselves.. That is what God does, intended. Sorry for going off into several thoughts.

Actually, the US and its allies are concerned with Muslim nationalism. If it is nationalism (Since the down fall of Ottoman Empire)than the muslim action against the terrorist West is justified. This is what they do not want the world to know.

In order to justify their terrorist action against the nationalist-what word to use-Terrorist. Who knows a terrorist better if you yourself is not a terrorist.

Secondly, the Palestinian terrorist has been terrorise in their own homeland for donkey years.

But they forget that god has better plan for them.

Br. M. Shahid Alam, (professor of economics at
Northeastern University), here are other facts to reach to the truth, finding Muslameen guilty as charged by Zionists in USA, UK, Canada and Israel even before trail:

Total Truth Sciences

War on Islam?

False Flag, Mothers of Wars on Muslim Countries:911 Q&A

Israel's Grand Design: Leaders Crave Area from Egypt to Iraq

"By Way of Deception" by Victor Ostrovsky, ex-Mossad agent

The CIA Creates Terrorism

Terror Storm Deluxe High Quality (Alex Jones)
http://video. google.com/ videoplay? docid=7860484536 86176230&q=Terror+Deluxe

TerrorStorm Deluxe High Quality (Alex Jones) [911, 7/7]

http://loosechange.cjb.net/ http://www.physics911.org

Terror Expert: 7/7 Mastermind was working for British Intelligence, Group was used by Brits in Kosovo in the late 90s http://infowars.net/Pages/Aug05/020805Aswat.html
The London Bombings 7/7
Ludicrous Diversion - 7/7 London Bombings Documentary http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4943675105275097719&q=7%2F7+bombings
77 release 6 [London bombings] [Shocking new evidence]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3770877779111334563&q=7%2F7+bombings

You must Learn to recognize the true face of your enemy... The "global socialist" bankers using their stolen money and power to entangle the world. http://www.bcrevolution.ca/bilderberg.htm


US need an enemy after the USSR fall, who better than the Muslims and Islamic nations who are at war againist each other. US used this to their advanatage to gain and declare war on Islam.
With their strong supporter the Zionist State on they side they couldn't lose.

It is not ....
It is war on Muslims and Islam....
It is a crusade ......

this is the feeling of everyone who has been given the gift of senses. nobody who wants to reflect can deny the evil behind the 'war on terrorism' farce. 'The end is for the believers...'

while many muslims agree with the article yet we cant do anything to change the status quo as we dont have a strong & sincere leader to take this ummah to another level. I believe most of us look upon the Saudi King or Makkah Imam to be our leader but unfortunately the king is sided with the US and the imams are under the control of the king. OIC & Arab League are doing lip services more than anything else. Are we destined to be doomed? May Almighty Allah forgive us, protect us & guide us all to success in this world & the hereafter, ameen!

I have never ignore this reality Prof. I'm with you all the way so are teeming no. of muslims 'm sure. The issue is they have the bombs (for now) and we have Allah. And he who has Allah must triump at the end of all difficulties. Thwat is His promise.

The world, out of the US-subjugated,weak UN, must declare an open, collective war declaration against the United States of America. China Russia and Cuba should unite to eradicate the US menace now.The world must have the moral and lawful stance to stop the world from destruction by this despicable tyrant, USA. Peace loving, non-aligned nations of the world must begin to legitimise and support all anti-US entity, organisation and forces in their effort to eradicate US injustice and killings from the surface of Earth forever. The world must be saved from US-Israel tyranny and terrorism. It is time the world, stand up as one and police, judge and indict the USA.

USA must be incapacitated now, economically. Oil flow into the USA must be stopped immediately and all diplomatic and social link with the US be severed. Sovereign nations must leave the UN until the UNSC is dissolved and the UN re-structured.

Action against the USA now is the only option. Help free the world from US-Israel tyranny and killings now.

Global War On Terrorism is merely a slogan.

It is really a war for the control of oil. Myuslims in the Middle East are (un)fortunate to possess it. So, US invaded Iraq (a muslim country).

If muslims did not have oil; rather it was Israel which had oil, US would have been very happy to invade Israel, if Israel had refused to allow control of its oil by US corporations. It is that simple.