ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Who Will Put Out the Fire?

What the so-called global "war on terror" has done is to spread strife on a global scale. It has facilitated a suppression of rights, led to civil conflict and only benefited the global arms industry.

In a recent issue of Newsweek, wellknown political commentator Fareed Zakaria joined the growing chorus of voices within the mainstream of the United States (US) that are calling for a serious appraisal of the “war on terror”. Zakaria a rgues that Al Qaida has become a perennial bogeyman invoked by governmental bureaucracies to expand their power and that this acquisition of extraordinary p owers by the state represents a threat to cherished individual liberties. Zakaria’s a rgument is straight out of the handbook of American conservatism, but there is a major discrepancy; it was the American right with Dick Cheney at the helm that launched the “war on terror” in the aftermath of the terror attacks on the US in 2001. It seems a bit disingenuous after almost a decade to suggest that the whole enterprise was compromised to begin with.

Having said this, we should accept that people all over the world resisted the dominant “terror” discourse from the m oment it was introduced into the social and political mainstream, and continue to do so today. The folly of trying to rein in religious radicalism through brute force and American-style “regime change” was decried by principled observers within the US and outside of it long before establishment intellectuals conveniently changed their tune. Even now American commentators seem the least bit concerned with the effects of the “war on terror” at its front lines: Zakaria’s gripe is with how the terror discourse has affected the “mainland” and he makes no mention of what has happened to the millions of ordinary people who are affected by American wars of aggression all over the globe, and particularly in the Muslim world.

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