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A Different Perspective For The War On Terror; Qui Bono

By       Message Hal O'Leary     Permalink
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From flickr.com/photos/35703177@N00/2734678299/: war on terror
war on terror
(Image by The U.S. Army)
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Since September, 11 2001, our foreign policy can be summed up with the euphemism, "The War On Terror." Not only is such a war unwinnable, it is unending, and contrary to popular misconception, it is by design. But not, however, by the design of Islamic evil-doers out to do us in. It might be well to ask the question: Whose military forces invaded whose lands? I contend that such warfare is the design of a consortium, or cabal, consisting of the world's most wealthy individuals and institutions seeking global economic and military hegemony without allegiance to any but themselves. And here we might do well to ask another question, the first to be asked in solving any crime, and war is a crime. The question is, Who profited most? This should be followed with the age old advice to, follow the money.

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In that regard, let me cite an experience I had during the Vietnam war. I had a friend. We'll call him Joe, a fellow veteran of WWII. Joe lost a son in Vietnam, and it has been my experience that when the unthinkable happens, either the father becomes extremely bitter, or he becomes a super patriot. In this case, my friend Joe became the latter.

He and his distraught wife launched a national program in support of the war. One phase of the program was meant to alert an increasingly distrustful public to the tremendous cost of preserving our freedoms, or so he thought. To this end, his wife had researched the cost for all of America's wars and claimed to account for every penny spent. Joe phoned me, as an actor, to ask if I would consider making an audio recording of his wife's article to be distributed nationally. I said that I would like to read it first before committing myself. After reading it, I had to call my friend and decline. He was, to say the least, surprised and a bit upset. He asked me immediately if I had some trouble with his wife's figures. I told him that I had no trouble at all with them. He then bluntly asked what my reason for refusal could possibly be. I told him that, while his wife's figures were alarming, I had no reason to doubt their accuracy but they did. however, raise a question. The question was what had happened to all that money. What became of it?

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This confused Joe a little as I went on to explain that my fear was that it had wound up in the pockets of those who profited most from the war, and that it was not inconceivable that a few of them may even have been instrumental in bringing the war about. I said that while his wife was calling on 'we the people' to sacrifice, there was no such call for those who profit from such a war. Sadly, our friendship ended on that bitter note.

But, back to a different perspective for the, war on terror. It began with 9/11, a crime which is yet to be solved or even independently investigated. And here again, we should ask the question, who profited most, and most advisedly we should, follow the money, if we are ever to arrive at an answer.

In the wake of 9/11, in this unending, war on terror, we've had a plethora of military operations, many of them labeled "OPERATION (Whatever) FREEDOM," and, we are incessantly told that all of this is necessary to preserve our American freedoms. What we are not told is that these are the very freedoms which, under the Patriot Act, we are, ironically being denied. We're told that we live under a constant threat to both our lives and our liberty. But do we? A look at some statistics may cast some light on a much different perspective for an understanding of, The War On Terror.

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Wikipedia notes that you are 1,904 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack, as CNN reporter Fareed Zakaria wrote last year. It's been noted that, in America, there has not been a single attack by Al Qaida since 9/11. How many Americans have been killed in terrorist attacks inside the United States since that day?

Arguably 16. Egyptian Hesham Mohamed Hadayet killed two Israelis at the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles airport on July 4, 2002. On June 1, 2009, Abdulhakim Muhammed killed one soldier at a recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 soldiers during a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009, for a grand total of 16. Now if we add the 2,949 lost on that fateful day, we get a total of 3,002 of our citizens having died from terrorists attacks here in America.

A staggering figure indeed, but it is more than doubled by the 7,046 American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. There is, however, an even more frightening statistic. In their 2010 (more recent figures are difficult to find) joint report, Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the "War on Terror, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that at least 1.3 million lives had been lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following the attacks on 9/11.

Then, of course, there are the drone attacks. An analytically conservative Council on Foreign Relations tally assesses that 500 drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have killed 3,674 people. A couple of examples might help us understand the insanity of it. In the targeting of Ayman al Zawahiri, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults. They failed twice, and Zawahiri still lives. It took the US six attempts to kill Qari Hussain, a Pakistani target. During these attempts, 128 people were killed, including 13 children. Beyond these direct assaults, the U.S. drone program is terrorizing entire civilian populations, nearly half of which are children.

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Hal O'Leary is an 88 year old veteran of WWII who, having spent his life in theatre, and as a Secular Humanist, believes that it is only through the arts that we are afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. As an 'atheist (more...)
 

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