6 March 2002

Former CIA Senior Officer Says Bush War on Terror Won't Work

A very good read on the "War on Terror" by an ex-CIA officer - he gives his reasons why he believes U.S. military action will never be effective in solving the problem of terrorism against the United States and he explains why he feels we need to understand the root causes behind the terrorism.
  1. My number one root cause is the support by the U.S. over recent years for the policies of Israel with respect to the Palestinians, and the belief among Arabs and Muslims that the United States is as much to blame as Israel itself for the continuing, almost 35-year-long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

  2. My number two root cause is the present drive of the United States to spread its hegemony and its version of big-corporation, free enterprise globalization around the world. At the same time, the massive poverty of average people, not only in Arab and Muslim nations but also in the whole third world, has become more important as a global political issue. The gap between rich and poor nations, and rich and poor people within most of the nations, has grown wider during the last 20 years of globalization or, more precisely, the U.S. version of globalization. Animosities against the United States have grown among the poor of the world, who have watched as the U.S. has expanded both its hegemony and a type of globalization based on its own economic system, while they themselves have seen no or very little benefit from these changes.

  3. The number three root cause I want to discuss is the continuing sanctions and lack of food and medicines for the people of Iraq, deaths of Iraqi children, and the almost daily bombing of Iraq by the U.S. and Great Britain. Right or wrong, the Arab and Muslim "street" blames this on the U.S., not on Saddam Hussein.

  4. My number four root cause is the continued presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

  5. The fifth root cause on my list is the dissatisfaction and anger of many average and even elite Arabs and Muslims over their own authoritarian, undemocratic, and often corrupt governments, which are supported by the United States.

  6. The sixth and last root cause on my list arises directly from the U.S. "war on terrorism." It has to do with the kind of war the U.S. is now able to fight. On three recent occasions ­ the Gulf War of 1990-1991, the Kosovo war of 1999 against Yugoslavia, and the current war against Afghanistan ­ the United States has easily achieved victories by relying almost exclusively on air power, on missiles launched from a great distance, and now even on drone aircraft with no humans on board. The U.S. has won these wars with practically no casualties among its own forces. But while few Americans get killed, sizable numbers of other nationalities do.

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