The Long Shadow of 9/11. Acknowledgement that US failures and obsession with terrorism is self-defeating and skewing US foreign policy

About time - from Foreign Affairs Journal. These next few sentences spell out the problem for a nation that has spent the last 17 years psyop-ing its own people about the threat of terrorist attacks..... and unfortunately it's making the rest of the world suffer for its ill-focused - and very American - obsession...

"That policy distortion has produced an unhealthy tendency among policymakers to formulate their arguments in counterterrorism terms, thereby downplaying or suppressing other serious issues. Officials quickly learn that they stand a better chance of being heard and carrying the day if they can argue that their ideas offer the most effective way to defeat terrorists."

And leads to this:

"...... an overly militarized approach aggravates the very conditions on which terrorist recruitment thrives. The destruction of entire cities and the unintentional (sic!) killing of civilians, in addition to being tragic, serve as powerful propaganda tools for jihadists. Such incidents feed resentment, grievances, and anti-Americanism. Not everyone who is resentful, grieving, or anti-American will turn to violence. The vast majority will not. But invariably, some will." 

17 years after 9/11 the timid foreign policy "thinkers" in the US are at last calling out the chicken-hawks and war-mongers by admitting that the US obsession with tackling terrorism is counter-productive. As the article states.."there are costs to this singular preoccupation and approach that are seldom acknowledged." Duh ! Why are they not being acknowledged? States of Mind - in this section - has already argued that the West's failure to deal with and understand the real nature of the terrorist threat is one reason why the US is going to hell in a handcart. The real problem is the country's total inability to understand the nature of the conflict they are in - and in this, Bush, Obama and now Trump are all equally at fault. "Hyping the threat of terrorism for political gain is bipartisan.."

Over and over again we tell them it's a psychological war - and not a war that can be led or won by military interventions. Yet, still we have the military conducting drone killings of people who are no threat to US national security; people who are still imprisoned illegally and used to inspire terrorist recruitment; legions of spies and agencies using warrantless wire-taps on their own citizens; and the wonderfully dangerous (to its own citizens) FBI setting up entrapment situations in a determined effort to portray the situation as much worse than it is (and themselves as heroes). Finally, we have legions of special forces wasting their time in shoot-outs across the globe that are none of America's business... under the pretence of "national security interests." Is there any country where they make things better?

What is the point of all these military interventions - and the deaths of probably hundreds of thousands of innocents who have been killed by the US since 9/11 - if, as polls regularly show, Americans are still frightened of their shadows and fear that they will be killed in terrorist attacks? Why are they more frightened of the idea of "terrorists" rather than their own police officers when it's the latter (or school shooters) that are more likely to kill them? Why is it that billions of dollars are spent on interventions designed to make America safe when it has the opposite effect? As the article says...."The United States has become captive to a national security paradigm that ends up magnifying the very fears from which it was born".

This public hysteria is why the military thinks it has a licence to carry-on killing and making illegal interventions. The worst part of all, is the almost total lack of competence due to a lack of an overall strategy that makes any sense at all. This is a psychological war. Military action does nothing to help the mass psychology of a people. And in a psychological war, if you can't think, you lose. Way to go, US !!

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US - a country with no real idea of the nature of the conflict it's in... and becoming a player in its own downfall.....