The sham “terrorism expert” industry
A highly ideological, jingoistic clique masquerades as objective scholars, all to justify US militarism
Because this is a long post and I suspect many of my reader(s) won’t take the time to go through it, I chose to highlight a few passages I think are important. My take on the matter is that this meaningless word ‘terrorist’ is used to justify all sorts of illegal, immoral and unethical behavior by our citizens, legal system and government. It is important that people realize that anyone that uses this word is either ignorant or deliberately playing upon emotions with an agenda to promulgate…
…in the 1980s, Iraq was put on the U.S. list of Terror states when the U.S. disliked Saddam for being aligned with the Soviets; then Iraq was taken off when the U.S. wanted to arm Saddam to fight Iran; then they were put back on again when the U.S. wanted to attack Iraq. The same thing is happening now with the MEK: now that they’re a pro-U.S. and pro-Israel Terror group rather than a Saddam-allied one, they are magically no longer going to be deemed Terrorists. That is what Terrorism is: a term of propaganda, a means of justifying one’s own state violence — not some objective field of discipline in which one develops “expertise.”
Be very, VERY aware that anyone calling themselves a terror expert is a shill for the government helping to disseminate propaganda and focus the attention of the sheeple on an external threat so they are too stirred up to consider the threat of our own government against us…
…most self-proclaimed “terrorism experts” simply ignore the primary cause of the violence they claim to study: “most terrorism scholars, politicians and the media don’t seem to ‘know’ that terrorism is most often caused by military intervention overseas, and not religion, radicalization, insanity, ideology, poverty or such like” — even though “the Pentagon has known it for years.”
Why can’t the sheeple realize that if someone comes in and attacks you in your own space, responding in-kind is not terror, it is self defense? I guess that would require acknowledging that our own acts are indistinguishable from ‘terrorism’, which would force the sheeple to accept that our government actively acts against the best interest, not just of random defenseless people in other countries, but against its own citizens because some small fraction of those subject to US terror attacks will have (or develop) the means to retaliate.
In a book critiquing the “terrorism expert” field, Jackson argued that “most of what is accepted as well-founded ‘knowledge’ in terrorism studies is, in fact, highly debatable and unstable.” He therefore scorns almost four decades of so-called Terrorism scholarship as “based on a series of ‘virulent myths’, ‘half-truths’ and contested claims” that are plainly “biased towards Western state priorities.” To Jackson, terrorism is “a social fact rather than a brute fact” and “does not exist outside of the definitions and practices which seek to enclose it, including those of the terrorism studies field.” In sum, it means whatever the wielder of the term wants it to mean: something that cannot be the subject of legitimate “expertise.”
It is very sad to me that our country has grown so anti-science and anti-intellectual that these self-serving ideologues are not called out and run out of town tarred and feathered. Though I complain that elite forces have acted to keep the masses ignorant and idiotic, I am still upset because I expect humans to use their native intelligence to realize shit when they step in it and ignore the sweet talk of the elite convincing them it was something pleasant.
There is no term more potent in our political discourse and legal landscape than “Terrorism.” It shuts down every rational thought process and political debate the minute it is uttered. It justifies torture (we have to get information from the Terrorists); due-process-free-assassinations even of our own citizens (Obama has to kill the Terrorists); and rampant secrecy (the Government can’t disclose what it’s doing or have courts rule on its legality because the Terrorists will learn of it), and it sends people to prison for decades (material supporters of Terrorism).
Poor Glenn, shouting in the vacuum. As a by the by, he is moving to the Guardian and will no longer be at Salon.