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March 13, 2008

How To Reduce Terrorism

by Christine Smith

Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. Job 4:8 (King James Version)

Often people express concern about future acts of terrorism in America and about terrorists entering our country at our borders. I feel it is most important Americans come to realize that our borders would only be (if that) a last resort at stopping potential terrorists – if they've gotten that far without our intelligence being aware of their plans then our government has again failed in intelligence gathering. We've got our focus grossly misplaced if we think our biggest security risk is at the border.

I think the greatest focus must be placed on prevention. So what does prevention encompass? First and foremost it requires non-provocation, as well as security/national defense/intelligence gathering. And the simplest and most effective of these is to stop provoking the wrath of millions worldwide. Is it not better to have never created a threat rather than try to thwart a threat?

The federal government has effectively used the powerful tool of fear to manipulate millions of Americans into believing we are under constant threat of more murderous terrorist attacks all because they resent our freedom and liberty – nothing could be farther from the truth.

In my opinion, the horrible murderous 9/11 attack on American civilians and other examples (past, present, and those which may be being planned) are a direct result of our federal government intruding upon the Muslim world for the past 50 years. Had it not been for our presence, manipulative control, and all manner of interventionism in areas of the world we have no business being in – I do not believe 9/11 would have occurred.

Further, I think that Americans on American soil are at a far greater risk now – as a direct result of the unjustified invasion of Iraq – to again being subjected and victimized by more such attacks.

Why? Because we've done a great job of making even more enemies out of people who would otherwise have left us alone. How can one not understand the rage and indignation innocent civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan must feel when their families are killed for nothing – when their families suffer extreme hardship for nothing – nothing except American imperialism. In no way are terrorist attacks upon our civilian population justified – one evil does not justify another – but there's one big lesson in all of this which Americans must awaken to: It is our US government's meddling in the affairs and conflicts of other nations which is directly responsible for fueling the hatred and subsequent violence against us. Our government's "iniquity" and "wickedness" in subjugating other sovereign nations and their people worldwide is now reaping the same (Job 4:8 KJV).

Destroying their countries and killing and maiming their people creates only more enemies – including individuals who before they suffered at the hands of the US government would have been quite content to simply live their lives and never join a terror group. But when one loses loved ones at the hands of an invader, many will seek justice (however they may perceive obtaining it) or outright vengeance. Add to this the use of humiliation and torture of detainees, and you've just created a whole lot more people whose empathy with their countrymen suffering at the hands of the US government will cause them to seek revenge. One cannot terrorize others without expecting to receive the same. Our unjustified affronts upon the Muslim world have gone on for decades – just look at the geopolitical control we exert in the Arabian peninsula. Never have we had any true justification for the enormous military presence there, yet we continue to exert control in a part of the world we have no business being in. That control is resented and rejected worldwide.

Our military should never be used for the agenda of a president and his gang who thrive in escalating the war state, neither should it be used to gain control of other's resources, nor should it be used as a force against an entire nation in the quest to capture one man, and it certainly is not meant to be used to "spread democracy." Its purpose is the defense of American soil and waters. Nothing more.

Thus, it is the US government who first and foremost should be held accountable for creating a world where millions hate us and therefore seek to inflict pain upon our country.

Why then would the US government continue to meddle in the affairs of other nations? Because it's big business for them – and the dollar trumps American security. That is the conclusion I derive from the support the majority of our Senators and Congressmen give to Bush and his gang. In my opinion, the majority of our politicians – "our representatives" – do not seek peace, for peace would mean an end to billion-dollar Pentagon procurements, peace would mean an end to lucrative lobbying on behalf of the warfare state, peace would mean the US government would actually have to focus on real problem solving of matters such an energy here at home rather than relying upon decades of empire building of throwing our weight/might (our force and threats) worldwide to obtain what we want. Peace would mean an end to the kick big banking gets off the warfare state, and an end to the continued debasement of the dollar as more and more worthless money is printed for the war chest. Peace would mean a true free market economy for all commodities, including oil, with an end to corporate subsidies. Peace would mean an end to the continued affronts on our civil liberties.

Peace would mean an end to the multitude of excuses the federal government uses to victimize the American people and people worldwide, and thus an end to the public coffer from which these parasites feed thereby ending their power over the American people. A people living in fear is a people easily manipulated, controlled and exploited.

Only when the US government stops all interventionist foreign policy (end all sanctions and embargoes, end foreign aid, end delivery of US taxpayer-financed military weaponry to other nations, end all US government intervention/intrusions in the governments and elections of foreign nations, and all involvement in international conflicts unrelated to America, close military bases and bring home all military troops from all parts of the world which pose no direct threat to America), will we hope to achieve a more peaceful and thereby more prosperous and safe nation.

It is the American people who have tolerated the warfare state for decades, and thus it is now an ingrained part of our government's operation and the national psyche. It is a mentality which clings to a false definition of patriotism, as if subverting others' political affairs-leaders-elections-governments and taking their resources under our control is our prerogative. It is not. Our government arrogantly goes worldwide to take and destroy, and we apathetically permit it. Indeed, some actually believe might makes right.

And now we, the people, suffer because we have allowed the warfare state to become the norm. We are sorely reaping the consequences of our actions – and it bodes only to worsen as both our security is eroded and our economy is on its way to collapse. But do we, as a people, question the warfare state?

What we tolerate, we become.

Our government, in the name of our country and our citizens, has become as the rogue nations and those behaviors we profess to reject.

It is time to choose again.

In short, peace doesn't financially benefit politicians as we know them. Peace would benefit the American people – our security and safety, our civil liberties, and the economy of our nation. Peace would benefit humanity. But the advancing of, much less the achievement of, peace will not happen until it becomes the will of the people to end this counterproductive unjust unethical and immoral empire building. Only when it becomes the will of the people will it be reflected by the federal government. Meanwhile, the government will continue in its militaristic warmongering, because it means big business for them no matter the suffering Americans will endure in security and economically – and certainly no matter the misery it will cause worldwide.

You want to decrease terrorism? Then the US government must stop provoking people worldwide. And that change in foreign policy will occur only when the American people reject all politicians, regardless of political party, who support and maintain the warfare state. Demanding representatives who truly seek peace is the only answer. Until then, we, as a nation, will continue to reap that which we sow... and sadly, we're likely to reap the whirlwind.

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Christine Smith is a writer, public speaker, humanitarian and political activist from Colorado. She is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for president.

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