U.S., Nigeria, Military Intervention, Boko Haram
There is no doubt that Terrorism issue is getting serious and more complicated. This is in spite of on-going war on terror since September 2001. Huffington post has estimated that a whopping 1.28 trillion dollars are spent on war on terror from 9/11 to Osama Bin Laden’s death. A Wikipedia article mentions that there have been a total of 2,717,991 U.S. military casualties in wars since American civil war. Out of these 6717 in War on Terror, ranked number nine in number of casualties, out of all U.S. wars which include highly devastating wars like Civil War, World War I and World War II. A very viable question here is: “Is war on terror working?”
As the name indicates, the war on terror was aimed at ending the terror. Has it been able end or even reduce the terror? Overwhelming evidence points out to the contrary. The acts of terror are, now, far more common than they were on September 11, 2001. The loss of life, money and property has far more cost, now, than it was in 2001. So, what does the spending of over 1.2 trillion, and over six thousand casualties related to our military personnel, mean to us? Has that served any purpose or all is going in wane? Certainly the results, so far, do not show any evidence of this situation getting better from any standpoint, what so ever.
This serious failure and waste of resources like loss of life of our precious military personnel, and tax payers’ money demands us to re-evaluate the whole situation. We must seriously re-think and find definitive answers to critical questions like what is terror? Where is it coming from? What are its causes? Why we are the target? What do they want? What could be the better and successful strategy? Dictionary.com defines terror as follows; “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”
The history of terrorism is very old. A Wikipedia article lists terrorists starting from first century A.D. This list includes Jewish Zealots in Rome. The first official use of term terrorism was actually a form of state terrorism when Jacobins ruled the revolutionary state during French revolution’s reign of Terror. Ideologies like Anarchism, Nationalism and Anti-Monarchism are often blamed for terrorism, though these claims are highly controversial, especially when it comes to Anarchism. A worst form of state terrorism was practiced in Nazi-Germany. List also includes Boston Tea Party and George Washington in American War of Independence.
Over time, mainly because governments, now, have the largest accumulation of power, wealth and global corporate media accessibility, the terrorism is becoming synonymous with use of violent force by a non-governmental group against government. Although, this highly skewed view of terrorism is extremely irrational and ridiculous, the corporate media and corrupt politicians love this definition of terrorism. What this basically means is that government is always right, and you have no right to an armed and violent resistance to any government. Unfortunately, this skewed view of terrorism is extremely hesitant to label extreme violence from governments like in Syria, as terrorism. If you accept this view of terrorism than virtually almost every mass revolutionary, resistance and independence movement in human history turns into terrorism.
Now, why people resort to terrorism? This is the truth about history of Terrorism. Throughout the course of history, governments have enjoyed enormous power, resources and control over masses, all around the world. Very often this has led to extreme secrecy, corruption, exploitation and violation of rights of their people. Governments more often than not have, represented the elite ruling class, and have made sure the lower or labor class remains fully submissive.
Often, whenever this class struggle went too far the resistance, revolutionary and struggling groups have often resorted to violence. Their main argument has been, what government already doing is violence. So, they have a right to defend themselves through violence. After keeping people under through a full blown use of state authority, and not letting them work for their true rights and freedom, should be considered violence, anyways. Usually governments use violent force to suppress this kind of unrest. These resistance groups, armed or unarmed, unarmed being at even more disadvantage, commonly do not have fire power which may even come close to the power and authority of most governments. So, for most of them, a face to face, traditional war, is generally out of question.
Hence what they do is to carry out acts that would cause loss of, and damage to life, property, money, business and everyday life, and spur fear, in the hope that these acts would help them achieve their goals. The aims and objectives of a resistance group may be good or bad. You may or may not like their goals, depending upon which side you are on. For example, the people who were fighting war of independence in America were heroes for most Americans. But, the same warriors were collectively called as “nation of pirates” by most British authors.
Objectives may be right or wrong. But, there are always serious underlying reasons which make people to go on and risk everything they have including their lives, families, property and wealth. They are either the ones who have nothing to lose, except life, still a very precious thing, in general sense or they are totally fed up of existing circumstances, situation and system. People with more and deeper ties to existing system are always considered safer. Whereas the people who are not too tied to the system, yet like younger ones, can always be very dangerous for status quo.
The fact that everything in current war on terror is going from bad to worse, in spite of all that cost that we are paying in terms of loss of life, money, broken families, long term psychological and psychiatric damages, and permanent disabilities, requires us to have complete re-evaluation of this fruitless war on terror. We must fully understand, what went wrong, where and how? If you are still debating that everything going on in this war should continue or even wretched up than I have four words for you, “You must be crazy”.