The Global “War on Terror”: It’s Not Really
About Terrorists Because It’s Not About People
Last month the Washington Post reported that the Pakistani government had implored the U.S. military in Afghanistan for more helicopters to use in flood relief efforts. With over a fifth of Pakistan under water, tens of millions of people affected, and international aid trickling in like ketchup from a bottle, the Pakistanis were desperate to avoid a massive humanitarian crisis. But helicopters are in short supply, said a senior U.S. military official. “Do they exist in the region? Yes. Are they available? No.” And nothing short of a direct command from the White House could divert them from their appointed mission.
An August 20 report by the Asian Human Rights Commission details a decision by the Pakistani government, presumably under U.S. pressure, to divert flood waters away from a U.S. airbase in Shahbaz and toward nearby towns and villages where, as a result, over 800,000 people were displaced. As one minister admitted, “If the water was not diverted, the Shahbaz Airbase would have been inundated.” This landing field was given to the U.S. by former President Musharraf as a base from which to launch aerial attacks against terrorist targets. In order to spare the base, a local bypass was demolished, which diverted waters toward hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis instead, who are now stranded without homes, food or water. With no other airbase in the area from which to launch relief efforts, the situation of those affected remains extremely dire. Couldn’t the U.S. base be used for the relief effort? No.
Hey, we’re fighting global terrorism. We don’t have time to care about abstract things like Humanity. We’re spending trillions killing Muslims. Do we have to show we care about them, too?
So once again we have clearly demonstrated the terrorists are right: we don’t give a tinker’s damn about the followers of Islam. Apparently, our policy is “the only good Muslim is a dead one.”
One other thing is abundantly clear from our response to this crisis: this so-called War on Terror is not about terrorism. If it were, we would immediately stop what we are doing, put down our weapons and devote our time, treasure and technology to relieving the suffering of the very people who hate us. Why? To show them they are wrong. But clearly, and sadly, they are not wrong.
This endless war is not about terrorism; it never was. That was just the pretext. As with Iraq, it is and has always been about greed: about the potential billions of dollars of oil that should be flowing from countries like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Russia, through our pipelines, through Afghanistan, through Pakistan, and into our waiting tankers. Ours. Ours. Ours. And about the billions of our tax dollars and borrowed money being shoveled into that insatiate Plutonian furnace ycleped the “military-industrial-congressional complex.”
As our government, along with others’, under the spell of petrodollars, continues to stonewall development and conversion to clean energy, the race to tap the world’s yet untapped oil reserves becomes even nastier. And we must have it. All of it. It is ours. And why not? We have, after all, sacrificed a trillion dollars and thousands of American lives, not to mention hundreds of thousands of other lives (no, we won’t mention that) to insure we can fill up our tanks (both automobile and the military kind).
Well, what about freedom? Yes, this war is about freedom. Our freedom to get oil, our freedom to get what we want, to invade whom we choose, all to line the pockets of powerful companies, even though that addiction is killing us, the rest of the world and all that dwells therein.
But no, don’t say this was ever about terrorists, please, because it was never ever about people.