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The Truth About Terrorism

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 Since our invasion of Iraq, we have seen a steady rise in terrorist attacks around the world. The sad fact is that the so-called “war on terrorism” is failing and that terrorism is spreading around the world like a cancer and is posing more and more danger for us.


The truth is that none of our thousands of nuclear weapons can protect us

from these threats. No missile defense system, no matter how sophisticated, no matter how many trillions of dollars are poured into it, can protect us from a tube full of anthrax. On 9/11, not one weapon in our vast arsenal, not a penny of the $500 billion a year we spend on so-called defense could defend us against a terrorist on an airplane armed with nothing but a box cutter.


 If military force cannot defend us from terrorism, the obvious

 question is, "Then what can we do?" Is there nothing we can do to provide security for our people?"


There is. But to understand how requires that we know the truth about the threat. We are told that we are a target for terrorists because we stand for democracy and freedom in the world.  This is nonsense!


 We are the target of terrorists because, in much of the world, there is a deep resentment against us.  People see us as using our military power to extend our economic power. For many people around the world, our invasion of Iraq was more about liberating the Iraqi oil fields than it was about liberating the Iraqi people. The harsh reality is that the U.S. is often viewed as being more interested in building its empire than in building democracy. When people around the world compare our actions to our noble words about freedom and justice for all, they react with disappointment, disillusionment, and anger. And that's why we're the target of terrorists


 Once the truth about why the threat exists is understood, the solution

 becomes obvious. We must change our ways. The root of terrorism is despair and hopelessness. If the U.S. became the biggest supplier of hope in the world instead of the world's biggest arms supplier, the wellsprings of terrorism would soon dry up and disappear.  Terrorism will never be defeated by military force. Violence breeds more violence and more violence breeds more terrorists.


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Joe Parko is a retired college professor who taught for 28 years in the School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and serves on the steering committee of Cumberland (more...)
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