RANGER AGAINST WAR: Barmy Bush's WOT Dropped <

Monday, April 16, 2007

Barmy Bush's WOT Dropped


This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
King Richard II, William Shakespeare

They are not blinkered anymore.

In yet another show of resolve, ''the British government has stopped using the phrase 'war on terror' to refer to the struggle against political and religious violence," according to International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, who explained that such terms actually ''strengthen terrorists by making them feel part of a bigger struggle.''
(''UK:No More War on Terror,'' Guardian.)

''We do not use the phrase 'war on terror' because we can't win by military means alone, and because this isn't us against one organized enemy with a clear identity and a coherent set of objectives,'' Benn said.

''It is the vast majority of the people in the world - of all nationalities and faiths - against a small number of loose, shifting and disparate groups who have relatively little in common apart from their identification with others who share their distorted view of the world and their idea of being part of something bigger.''

I'm really chuffed about this. The British position should be respected since it's spot-on. The Brits have dealt with terrorism, GW, UW and freedom fighters, insurgents and resistance fighters in the guise of the IRA and the PIRA since at least 1916. If any country has experience with institutional knowledge of domestic terrorism and dealing with violent insurgent groups, it's England.

Bush's primitive rhetoric about fighting them there, so as not to fight them here, is no longer washing, even with members of his own coterie (''Experts Accuse Bush of Exaggerating Threat.'')

''U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic experts in Bush's own government say the violence in Iraq is primarily a struggle for power between Shiite and Sunni Muslim Iraqis seeking to dominate their society, not a crusade by radical Sunni jihadists bent on carrying the battle to the United States.''

"There are very few foreign fighters who are going to be leaving the area because they don't have the skills or languages that would give them access to the United States," said (Daniel) Benjamin, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at The Brookings Institution who served as the National Security Council's director for transnational threats from 1998 to 1999. "I'm not saying events in Iraq aren't going to embolden jihadists. But I think the president's formulations call for a leap of faith."

Use of all cutesy phrases, such as
war on terror, only obfuscates the actual threat. Good for the Brits for banishing this one to the rubbish bin.


Anonymous trip wire said...

Juan Cole, in an article last week in the Nation
Turkey, Jordan and Iran are not going to put up with an Al Qaeda stronghold on their borders; nor would Shiite and Kurdish Iraqis. Most Sunni Iraqis are relatively secular, and there are only an estimated 1,000 foreign jihadis in Iraq, who would be forced to return home if the Americans left.

Bush doesn't even entertain the though that the Iraqi's would take care Al Qaeda if we left cause that would give him no reason for staying there.

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

trip wire,

That's what I've been reading, too.

Instead, Bush arms and supports Pakistan, which supports the Taliban and tolerates al Qaeda. So al Queda's headquarters have moved a few miles down the road from Afghanistan.
Some progress, huh?


Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 12:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

I wish someone would put a lot of things in the dust bin. Top of the list? The idea that the Brits dealt with, the one appearing in nearly every Bush statement of why we must stay in Iraq: that if we leave "they" will come over here! I get this cartoon image of arms bristling jihadists standing in airport lines shooting the bull about why they can't have troop carriers like our guys went home upon! And the idea IS just that silly.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 9:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


That is a great image.

You've touched on one of the main reasons Bush's scenario is unrealistic, namely, how will ''they'' get here? An armada? Aircraft carriers? If they come, there will be no shoot outs, as our troops are now enduring in the streets of Baghdad.

As we know, terrorists execute discrete operations. One may look at their mission as a long term undertaking, but it is not in their nature to fight a massed battle.

I shudder to think of the absurdity of that phrase, ''bring it on.'' If indeed the goal is to counter terrorism and al Quaeda, what an incredibly ignorant approach this has been.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 10:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous MK said...

What you also have to remember is that Britain, as opposed to the US as far as we can see, have quite a lot of conservative muslims as part of their population. Most of Europe has now a 1-3 % muslims, who still retain their cultural identity in varying degrees. I would guess that in the US they are much more integrated than here.

Britain is exactly right for once, and it is good to see competence seeping into their reality-structure. The European military establishment does not love the US very much... (except for your choppers, who are outstanding in Helmland from what I hear. They are the stuff of legends.) Bush should also be confronted with his whole Will of Nations- rhetoric, and how he has consistently used the military as a propaganda-backdrop. Mission Accomplished.

As an aside, did you catch the one with Bush allowing North Korea to sell arms? lol. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/07/AR2007040701365.html

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 10:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


I agree, it is abhorrent to watch Bush appropriate the military for his propaganda ends. Of all people.

Thanks for the link.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 12:07:00 PM GMT-5  

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