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The Terror We Give Is the Terror We Get
Posted on Feb 8, 2015
By Chris Hedges
Terror serves the interests of the war mongers on both sides of the divide. This is what happened during the 444-day Iran hostage crisis that took place from 1979 to 1981. And this is why Jordan—unlike Japan, which saw two of its nationals executed but is not involved militarily against ISIS—has reacted with sanctimonious fury and carried out retaliation. It is why Foley’s murder strengthened the call by the war lobby in Washington to launch a bombing campaign against ISIS. Terror—the terror we commit and the terror done to us—feeds the lusts for war. It is a recruiting tool for war’s crusade. If ISIS were not brutal it would have to be made to seem brutal. It is the luck of the fanatics we oppose, and the fanatics in our midst, that everyone’s propaganda needs are amply met. The tragedy is that so many innocents suffer.
Mideast governments allied with the West, including Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, have watched in horror as ISIS has carved out of parts of Syria and Iraq to create a self-declared caliphate the size of Texas. ISIS has managed through oil exports and the business of hostage taking to become financially self-sufficient. The area under its control has become a mecca for jihadists. It has attracted an estimated 12,000 foreign fighters, including 2,000 from Europe.
The longer the rogue caliphate remains in existence the more it becomes a mortal threat to the West’s allies in the region. ISIS will not invade countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, but its continued existence empowers the discontented and the radicals in those countries, many groaning under collapsing economies, to stoke internal upheavals. The United States and its allies in the region are determined to erase ISIS from the map. It is too destabilizing. Dramas like these, because they serve the aims of ISIS as well as those of the nations seeking to destroy ISIS, will be played out as long as the caliphate exists.
Terror is the engine of war. And terror is what all sides in this conflict produce in overabundance.
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