The ‘war on terrorism’ is a fraud. From its inception, America’s latest war was designed to replace the ‘war on communism’ as a pretext for global interventionism. Furthermore, the ‘war on terrorism’ is a ‘war of terrorism’ being fought to dismember nation states and create ethnically, tribally, or religiously fragmented countries incapable of mounting sustained national resistance to imperialism.
In order to conduct a ‘war on terrorism’ the United States needs to deploy various terrorists. The terror brigades consist of both proxy forces and direct military deployments. In fact, the use of proxy forces justifies the intervention of conventional military troops.
To advance its hegemonic agenda, the United States has consistently resorted to terror operations against enemy states. Two prominent examples are in order. In 1979 the CIA launched ‘Operation Cyclone’ to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan creating Al Qaeda as part of its proxy force. In 2012 the CIA implemented ‘Operation Timber Sycamore’ by using an offshoot of Al Qaeda to attack the Assad government in Syria. That group of killers evolved from an organization known as Al Qaeda in Iraq to eventually become the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
To combat Al Qaeda and its step-child ISIS, the United States deployed its military forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to fight the very terrorists it had created. To add to the deception, the United States has played a double game of attacking the terrorists in some places (Mosul, Iraq) while supporting them in other places (Idlib, Syria), all the while conveniently setting up permanent military bases in the Middle East and Central Asia to protect its empire, its access to oil and the apartheid State of Israel.
A relevant political axiom can be deduced from even a cursory study of this history, namely, that wherever there is oppression there will be resistance. As a consequence of U.S. invasions of various countries, wars of resistance quickly developed that had to be neutralized by counter-insurgency programs. Counter-insurgency operations are a form of covert warfare that involve the use of death squads, unlawful detentions, extraordinary renditions, torture, black sites, targeted assassinations and drone warfare. Counter-insurgency operations are conducted by U.S. special forces under the direction of the United States Special Operations Command and the CIA. These operations produce atrocities that, when revealed, create controversy by blatantly contradicting those principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law that constitute the foundation of human rights.
The most recent controversy involves Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher who commanded a group of Navy Seals in Iraq. In 2018, Gallagher stood accused by his own troops of committing war crimes. In a New York Times documentary report seven Navy Seals under Gallagher’s command described him as a “psychotic”, “freaking evil”, “toxic” and “perfectly capable of killing anybody who was moving.” He was formally accused by the Navy of fatally stabbing a captive prisoner and then posing with fellow Seals for a photograph with the dead teenager as a trophy. Additional accusations were leveled against Gallagher that documented his involvement in the shooting of Iraqi civilians including a young girl, an elderly man and four women.
He was tried by a military court and exonerated of all charges involving the killings of Iraqi civilians and of killing the detainee but convicted and sentenced to four months of detention for posing in a photograph with the dead prisoner. Not without precedent, Donald Trump acting as commander-and-chief, ordered the military to remove Gallagher from a Navy prison and place him in a less restrictive house detention at a Marine corps base.
Gallagher was also stripped of his Trident Pin, a Navy Seal of Honor as an additional punishment only to have the honor re-instated by President Trump who hosted Gallagher and his wife at his Mar-a-Lago estate on December 23, 2019.
The logic is clear. The United States exonerates its war criminals but punishes those who reveal war crimes, like Chelsea Manning. It protects torturers but imprisons those who oppose torture. The logic reinforces a cult of military heroism. The cult of the military hero is, in actuality, the cult of the American terrorist.