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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/30/14

Fear-Mongering, Ignorance And Jingoism

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The United States, its ruling oligarchs and their rabid Right Wing hangers on and enablers are once more orgasmically shoving the country into another war. Welcome to Iraq War III. Unable to get it on with Iran and outflanked by President Obama on Syria, the warmongers now have their newly minted war -- ISIS or ISIL in Iraq. And a president who boasted that he'd be the one to end America's love affair with endless war has all but fallen on his sword.

The neoconservatives have dusted off the old tried and true fear-mongering play book and are now in serious "terror alert" mode, jacking up mythical "terror threats" and creating a narrative of "defending the homeland and America's national security interests," as talking heads, Monday morning political quarterbacks, sundry pundits and jaded experts all beat the drums of war.

And not to be outdone Israel's thuggish Prime Minister Bibi Nethanyu went to the United Nations and sought to make the most incredible of brass-faced untruths linking Iran with ISIS. Of course, offering proof is never necessary for "Bibi" who is so full of himself that he genuinely believes his grandiloquent and expansive rhetoric is divine gospel (after all he's from Israel, he "holy Land") even though nobody, not even the chronically blind, does.

Here was a man so wrapped up in his own arrogance, drunk with political power, a limited strutting machismo on the world stage, puffing and huffing about terrorism. Having just collectively punished an innocent and defenseless people and snug in the understanding that he can come and dare to lecture heads of nations at the UN because of American patronage and protection, the Israeli leader was at his fear-mongering and jingoistic best.

Nethanyu is given to quixotic and bombastic posturing at the United Nations and I believe that some polite heads of state tittered behind their hands at an intellectual midget of a small, beleaguered and militaristic state preening and puffing up himself as if preparing to attack, Don Quixote, non-existent windmills. Many may have just barely controlled themselves from laughing out loud.

The rush to war in the United States is accompanied by Iraq-Era fear-mongering, elevated racism, demonization of those America hates, and insulting rhetoric by both political leaders and their mouthpieces in the media. Men (and some women) who never held a rifle, whose families sheltered and got them "deferred" from America's wars, based on their privileged class status, now fan the flames of war knowing that they and their kith and kin would never have to face an ISIS rifle.

We're told that terrorism is to blame and intellectually lazy Americans refuse to challenge this broad, interpreted definition of something that they assume their government and elected leaders are more qualified to speak about. But terrorism is not new and even though it has been used since the early times of recorded history, it can be relatively hard to define. Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented.

Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter

That is why pre-emption is being considered to be so important. In some cases, terrorism has been a means to carry on a conflict without the adversary realizing the nature of the threat, mistaking terrorism for criminal activity. Because of these characteristics, terrorism has become increasingly common among those pursuing extreme goals throughout the world. But despite its popularity, terrorism can be a nebulous concept. Even within the U.S. Government, agencies responsible for different functions in the ongoing fight against terrorism and extremism use different definitions. []

When a set belief and political dogma is married to American jingoism - extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy -- the final mixture is a national belligerence, triumphalist posture that says, "we're right because of our might." This position seeps into the national dialogue and permeates the language of the media.

So now news reporters and anchors on CNN, Fox 5, MSNBC et al. have become accustomed to and now comfortable with describing those the American political establishment deems its enemies as "bad guys that need to be taken out." No less an individual than House Speaker John Boehner called ISIS barbarians who want to kill Americans and they should be "taken out."

Yet in the midst of all this saber-rattling and jingoistic posturing none of our vaunted leaders have provided one shred of evidence that ISIS, an admitted evil and despicable group, has the capability or desire to attack America. And calling ISIS a terror group is simply not based on any logical or factual rendering.

Let me explain. ISIS's stated goal is to set up a caliphate in that part of the world that Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran now occupy. They have seized territory, set up a quasi-government, are now engaged in some form of illegal trading of goods -- oil -- and are operating with an armed force out in the open with tanks, trucks, missiles and over 30,000 men under arms.

ISIS's focus is on creating a state -- no matter how odious, backward and primitive its ideology and methodology. Its penchant for murder of innocent people based on its intolerance for any other religious belief other than its most extreme and barbaric interpretation of Islam does not make ISIS a terrorist organization. A brutal, murderous, reactionary, backward, primitive and punitive group, yes, but ISIS has done not one act that constitutes any definition of terrorism.

The hilarious thing is that at the United Nations, Israel's Prime Minister whose bombs rained down on defenseless Palestinians and whose armed forces surrounded the Gaza Strip, just as ISIS did with the Yezedis in Iraq, and killed over 400 children in a sustained, one-sided military pogrom only a little more sophisticated than ISIS, dares to rail against an organization doing the same thing that Israel has done -- only in a more non-sophisticated way.

My point? Your definition or understanding of terrorism depends on whose side you are on. Israel was engaging in its "right of self-defense" (meaning that the Palestinians do not have that right) and claimed that its actions of killing innocent Palestinians was the direct responsibility of Hamas who "caused this to happen."

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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