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The war on terror goes on… or does it?

Reaction to the London bombings: US President George Bush told reporters at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles that “the war on terror goes on.”

It occurs to me that if one is to wage a war on terror, it could do with not playing second fiddle to the war in Iraq. While Saddam was a ruthless tyrant, and eventually the Iraqi people might maybe be left with a peaceful democracy, I think we all know now that all that Coalition Of the Willing muscle-flexing had very little impact on terrorist activity, because the Iraqi regime was not a threat to western countries. The WMD thing was quite clearly a crock.

So, what the Iraq war has done is stirred up anti-western sentiment amongst the extremists — who really are a threat to western countries — while burning up huge amounts of military resources and billions of dollars in not finding and aprehending them.

And unfortunately it doesn’t yet seem to have occurred to our leaders that spending a fraction of that military money in aid instead might keep the impoverished peoples of the world looking more kindly towards us, rather than joining the extremists to take up arms.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “The war on terror goes on… or does it?”

Millions of Americans celebrate their bloody rebellion against British rule, followed by near immediate terrorist attacks against Britain when they dare celebrate an Olympic bid.

Coincidence? I say yes.

With you all the way on that one Daniel, although Osama Bin Laden could hardly be claimed to be poor, his reactionary policies would be far more difficult to propogate if the people he preached to lived in comfort and safety and weren’t looking at the “civilised” world in envy and fear.

Yeah for my money Daniel, the “extremists” as you call them (I prefer to think of them as the people who are fed up with American intrusion in their countries and who are prepared to take whatever measures are open to them to fight back) wouldn’t be pacified with “aid”. They want us the hell out of their countries. The US in particular have been interfering in their affairs ever since they recognized the importance of arab Oil supplies (after WW2). Before that, they had the British to deal with. In the leary 20th century they didn’t have the money or the weapons to fight back. Now, thanks to oil and CIA training, they do.

Daniel, you have summed up my own feelings on the war. Actualy my own opinions are more extreme, like many of the above replies, but what you have said is all that think it fairly indisputable. I like to think I know a good range of Australian’s but I cannot understand the popular support of the war here.

I have heard nothing of cancelling third world debt, which is an obscenity, since the summit started. I would love to know how the increased aid compares to the total third world debt. And it is my limited understanding that so called aid usually requres repayment, which even at very low interest rates would probably still increase debt in the long run.

Anti-Western sentiment will always be there, despite any amounts of aid. I don’t think the way it’s distributed does anything much to alleviate the conditions of those who really need help and much of the time, the knowledge of where the funds come from is not acknowledged or shared or the people don’t care. You only have to look at where the $$ donated for the victims of the December tsunami to see that. I was checking newspapers of the region in January when Howard announced the $1billion package and it made page 8 in Indonesia.

Trish, aid alone wouldn’t end the attacks. But I think what it would do is starve these groups of many of their recruits, who have a choice of living in poverty, or joining them to fight the hated western oppressors.

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