The Ouroboros of War

People in this country often assume that the people labeled terrorists hate us because of our freedom. It’s an absurd concept on the surface. Why would people in a foreign country give a damn about the freedoms a person living in a foreign country enjoys? Unless they have nothing else to worry about they most likely are going to invest their time, money, and lives on such matters. If the terrorists don’t hate us because of our freedoms then why do they hate us? It’s simple, our government is bombing them:

For the first time, a civilian affected by a US drone strike in Yemen has testified before members of Congress. Farea al-Muslimi, an American-educated Yemeni journalist whose home village of Wessab had been attacked by a US drone just six days prior, went before the Senate’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights yesterday, during a special hearing on the effects of America’s secret drone wars on civilian populations and the US rule of law. But despite previous commitments, representatives of the Obama administration were notably absent.

“The drone strike and its impact tore my heart, much as the tragic bombings in Boston last week tore your hearts and also mine,” said Muslimi to the bipartisan panel of US Senators, which included committee chair Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Al Franken (D-MN). The strike killed six people including its intended target, Hamid Radman al Manea, a local man suspected to have ties with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula (AQAP). Muslimi was not an eyewitness to the strike, but he claims that the man was well-known around his home town and could have easily been arrested by local authorities — seemingly at odds with the US government’s legal position that drone strikes are only justified when capture is “unfeasible.”


Muslimi described his experience living in America as having changed his life, and has spoke highly of the US to his fellow Yemenis ever since his return. “Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads, ready to fire missiles at any time,” he said, describing the anger he has seen play into the hands of terrorist recruiters. “What the violent militants previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant… This is not an isolated instance. Drone strikes are the face of America to many Yemenis.”

Most people remember how they felt during 9/11. First they were shocked then, after the shock wore off, they became angry. The same thing happened after the bombing in Boston, people were first in a state of shock and became angry afterward. It’s no different for people living in other parts of the world. When an American drone bombs a village and takes out several children along with the target the people of that community, especially the people who knew the victims, become furious. They want justice, they want to strike back at the monster that struck their community.

War is a self-feeding cycle. One group bombs another group, the other group bombs the first group back, the first group retaliates for the other group’s bombing by bombing them back, the other group retaliates for the first group’s retaliation, and so on. Eventually everybody is either dead or one side is out of soldiers, ordinance, or willpower to continue the fight. Nobody really wins. Sure, one group gets to declare victory but their victory only came at a tremendous cost.

Considering the fact that the United States is bombing people in the Middle East is it any surprise that the bombing in Boston was likely a retalitatory strike:

The two suspects in the Boston bombing that killed three and injured more than 260 were motivated by the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials told the Washington Post.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, “the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack,” the Post writes, citing “U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.”

Patriotic folk are usually quick to say “We’re bombing military targets, they’re bombing civilian targets. It’s completely different!” That sentiment is bullshit. The United States has been targeting specific individuals and hasn’t made a notable attempt to avoid taking out innocent bystanders in its quest. Instead of using snipers or other assassins to take out targets in a manner that carriers minimal risk to bystanders the United States has taken the lazy route of dropping Hellfire missiles on suspects (since there is no trial to affirm guilt the people being bombed are merely suspects). Then, to compound its stupidity, it drops another bomb to ensure the target’s death and often kills emergency responders who arrive to care for the victims of the initial blast. There is no notable difference between bombing suspects with drones and the tactics of the people labeled by the state as terrorists.

Another thing often said by patriotic folk is “They’re targeting civilians, we’re not!” Ironically these are the same people who blame all Muslims and Middle Easterners for the actions of a handful of individuals. These bombers were likely patriotic folk themselves and, like patriotic folk here, lay the blame for the actions of a handful of American individuals on all Americans. In other words they don’t see their actions as targeting civilians just as many patriotic folk here don’t see dropping bombs from drones on civilian populations as targeting civilians. When you assign blame collectively don’t be surprised when your enemy does the same.

So here we sit. The government which claims to represent us has declared war on the people of the Middle East. Knowing they cannot win a conventional war they have opted to use the only tactic that has been effective at fighting the United States, fourth generation warfare. Many people here claim that the Muslims, Middle Easterners, or Muslim Middle Easterners are attacking us and we need to attack them back. When the people of the Middle East are attacked they claim that the Americans are attack them and see the need to return the favor. This cycle will continue until one side either wises the hell up or runs the other out of resources. Unless the United States does the former the people we call terrorists will do the latter. Until one of those two conditions are met the cycle will continue, bombs will be dropped, people will die, and demands for revenge will continue.