Drawing on historical precedents, Peter Dale Scott exposes the contradictions and perverse effects of the “war on terror”, which adds insecurity to instability and increases the number of terrorists it pretends to be fighting.
The most urgent political challenge to the world today is how to prevent the so-called “pax Americana” from progressively degenerating, like the 19th-century so-called “pax Britannica” before it, into major global warfare. I say “so-called,” because each “pax,” in its final stages, became less and less peaceful, less and less orderly, more and more a naked imposition of belligerent competitive power based on inequality.
To define this prevention of war as an achievable goal may sound pretentious. But the necessary steps to be taken are above all achievable here at home in America. And what is needed is not some radical and untested new policy, but a much-needed realistic reassessment and progressive scaling back of two discredited policies that are themselves new, and demonstrably counterproductive.
I am referring above all to America’s so-called War on Terror. American politics, both foreign and domestic, are being increasingly deformed by a war on terrorism that is counter-productive, actually increasing the number of perpetrators and victims of terrorist attacks. It is also profoundly dishonest, in that Washington’s policies actually contribute to the funding and arming of the jihadists that it nominally opposes.
Above all the War on Terror is a self-generating war, because, as many experts have warned, it produces more terrorists than it eliminates. And it has become inextricably combined with America’s earlier self-generating and hopelessly unwinnable war, the so-called War on Drugs.