War on Terrorism

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The War on Terrorism, the War Against Terror, or War on Terror is an umbrella term used by the Bush administration to refer to the various military, political, and legal actions taken to curb the spread of terrorism.


  • President Bush has consistently argued that Iraq is the central front in the War on Terror. Al Qaeda leaders describe it the same way, which is why they are trying to use murder and mayhem to provoke sectarian violence, foment chaos, and create a safe haven for terror. Defeating al Qaeda has been central to our new strategy in Iraq from day one and will continue to be.
  • “All actions have consequences, and all nations, like individuals are ultimately held accountable for their actions. I felt that waging war in Iraq would have the consequence of harming America, not making it safer, both in the short and long term.”
    • Ann Wright, American diplomat who resigned her post in 2003 in protest, in an article for Peace and Policy, vol. 9, journal of Toda Institute, www.toda.org
  • I Define a “terrorist” as a non-state actor who attacks civilian targets in order to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy community.. A “state terrorist” is a state doing the same thing.
    • Michael Mann, Professor of Sociology, UCLA in ‘Incoherent Empire’, p 159
  • Though one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter, terrorists do what the name suggests: they seek to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies by killings that blur distinctions between soldiers and civilians. Terrorists are conventionally defined as non-state actors, but they are matched by “state terrorists”—states doing the same thing.
    • Michael Mann, Professor of Sociology, UCLA, in Incoherent Empire, page 16

Conflicts do not arise out of the blue. The occur as a result of causes and conditions, many of which are within the antagonists’ control. This is where leadership is important. Terrorism cannot be overcome by the use of force because it does not address the underlying problems. In fact the use of force may not only fail to solve the problems, it may exacerbate them, and frequently leaves destruction and suffering in its wake.

    • Dalai Lama in his “Commemoration of the First Anniversary of September 11, 2001
  • "I think they very much see the world in a black and white way, us against them, Muslims against infidels."
  • The so called war against terrorism is in fact a war between two fanaticisms. One is theocratic, the other positivist and secular. One is the fervent belief of a defensive minority, the other the unquestioned assumption of an amorphous , confident elite. One sets out to kill, the other plunders, leaves and lets die. One is strict and the other lax. One brooks no argument, the other 'communicates and tries to spin into every corner of the world. One claims the right to spill innocent blood, the other to sell the earth's entire water. Outrageous to compare them.”
    • John Berger, 'Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance', Verso.
  • You know, terror is an idea. You don’t fight an idea with a conventional Army. To win a war on terror you have to win the hearts and minds of people from whom, from where the terrorists are operating from. If you win their hearts and mind and get them on your side, you’ll win the war. If those people start regarding the terrorists as freedom fighters, history has told us that you can’t win the war.
  • I’ll give you an example of (George Bush's) war on terror. He’s spent something like almost a trillion dollars. The estimates are that anything up to a million people have died and has he made the world a safer place? In my opinion he’s made the world a far more dangerous place. These are now nurseries for future terrorists.

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