10 Things Everyone Must Know About Terrorism

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(TFC) Terrorism is a complex subject, but the key elements can be distilled and presented in an internet-friendly format. Welcome to the definitive listicle on terrorism. This is the bare bones, so process all of it. Don’t skim this one.

Terrorism is “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear. It is intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies. Terrorists usually pursue political, religious, or ideological goals. Enemies who cannot compete with Army forces conventionally often turn to terrorist tactics. Terrorist attacks often create a disproportionate effect on even the most capable conventional forces.” (FM 3-0, 9-37) Even within the United States government, there are varying definitions related to terrorism. Most agencies tailor the definition to suit their mission and therefore increase their budget. The above definition is as close to a consensus as can be found.

Terrorism is not an ideology. It is a military strategy and a set of tactics. That’s it. While in today’s politically charged climate, the following statement will certainly be viewed with contempt, it needs to be said. Terrorism should not be a dirty word. Some of the world’s greatest heroes employed terrorism. That’s why you’ll find many writings use the term “asymmetrical warfare”. It’s terrorism by another name. Specifically, it’s the name the US government uses to describe the tactics of its allies who engage in terrorism.

 Terrorist success rates are high. Most estimates suggest that 85 to 90% of initiated terrorist attacks are successful. If a group is committed to using these tactics, they will be successful at the operational level. 

Terrorist attacks are militarily ineffective. The most spectacular terrorist attack in history occurred on the morning of September 11th, 2001. It’s still talked about and used as a justification for military actions today. Without a doubt, the 9/11 attacks were the most successful terrorist attacks in history. They did not hinder the US warfighting capability in the slightest way. So why do terrorists use a militarily ineffective tactic?

Terrorism is an advertising campaign. An act of terrorism is designed to bring attention to a specific grievance or list of grievances. Sometimes, it’s as simple as the IRA’s short term goal of “Brits out!” Other times, it’s a more complicated series of demands relating to ideology or religion or even a desire to completely undermine entire societal systems. The Unabomber wasn’t killing simply to kill and scare people. He was killing to draw attention to his beliefs.

The public reaction to an attack is more important than your actual emotions. Most of the world saw the man fleeing the London terrorist attack with his pint of beer in hand. That image is an image that defeats terrorism. The “Keep calm and carry on” mantra defeats terrorism. 24-hour news coverage, changing your social media profile, or hashtagging #PrayForPickTheNextCity encourages terrorism. Why? The goal of terrorism is advertising. It’s about dominating headlines. When you prolong the coverage, you are helping the terrorist. By the same token, emotional displays of anger and fear, such as the one from the Representative from Louisiana, Clay Higgins, provide the terrorists with exactly what they want. His rant can already be found on Al-Jazeera and will undoubtedly be used in ISIS propaganda videos. Islamic State strategists couldn’t have written a more useful response themselves.

“All of Christendom… is at war with Islamic Horror.” Thank you, Mr. Higgins, for providing the Islamic State with the perfect propaganda quote to promote the idea of Jihad to non-radicalized Muslims. You said it. It’s a Holy War between “all of Christendom” and Islam. I don’t say this lightly, but you’re an idiot and if you can’t control your emotions, you need to resign.

Terrorism is not new, nor is it going away. The use of surprise, unconventional, dirty, and horrifically brutal attacks against soft targets is as old as warfare itself. Modern incarnations of terrorism didn’t originate in the Middle East. They originated in Ireland after the Easter Rising in 1916. Car bombs, assassinations on public streets, and other modern terrorist tactics were pioneered by a man widely regarded as a hero today. Think back to the legends of Disney cartoons. Robin “taxation is theft” Hood fits the role of terrorist quite well, does he not?

Acts of terrorism create two kinds of victims. The obvious victim is the one who is maimed or killed in the actual attack. The second victim is in the viewing audience. The victim is the person who becomes overwhelmed by horror and allows emotion to override reason. If you believe we should “kill them all,” you’re a victim of terrorism. If you look the other way while your country bombs civilians, you’re a victim of terrorism. If you’re scared of a woman wearing a hijab, you’re a victim of terrorism. If you understand the above, you’re less likely to become one of the less obvious victims of terrorism. If you understand what’s below, you will never surrender to terrorism no matter what the cost may be.

The most important thing to know about terrorism is about you, personally. Many will claim the terrorists are out to destroy our way of life. The last time I checked, our way of life didn’t involve murdering civilians in reprisal. It didn’t involve being afraid of our own shadows. Either what we believe to be good and noble and true is good and noble and true, and is worth defending even to the point of death, or it isn’t worth defending at all. If you’re willing to kill children in airstrikes, you aren’t making tough decisions and you aren’t displaying the measure of a man. You’re a coward. You’ve sold out your proclaimed principles because you’re scared. Our civilization made a very quick descent from “you have nothing to fear but fear itself” to a President who talks about murdering the families of the opposition. If you think murdering families is ok, you’ve allowed your fear to override your reason. You’ve betrayed any beliefs you once held regarding honor simply because you’re scared. You’ve just become another butcher. Don’t try to paint that as being tough. It isn’t. We see you for what you are. You know the relatives of those murdered indiscriminately will take up arms and kill other civilians, you’re just banking it won’t be you. You aren’t a better man because you want to do it for a red, white, and blue flag and the other guy wants to do it for a black and white one. Indiscriminate murder is still indiscriminate murder.

Do not be misled by the cowardice of elected officials. Be braver, be stronger, and maintain your honor. If you want to “make America great”, you can’t sell out the principles that might accomplish that. If you’ve become so afraid that you’re willing to commit the same atrocities as those we claim to stand against, there’s nothing left to fight for. Today’s officials react from a place of fear, they do not lead from a place of honor or principle. You have to lead yourself. You have to steel your own resolve. Nobody will give you encouraging speeches to remind you that without our principles of justice, we are the Islamic State. It’s too hard. It requires too much to display the courage to say do your worst and we will remain. It’s easier to simply engage in a war of attrition and hope we walk away the victors. There is no victory if we surrender who we are.

If you want to win the war on terror, you cannot allow yourself to be terrorized by anyone. That includes the cowards in office.

By Justin King/TheFifthColumnNews/AntiMedia

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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Why the London Terror Attack Occurred Now

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One has to ask why terrorists like those who struck last night in London, and earlier in Manchester, launched their attacks now. It is difficult not to infer that their violence was timed to influence the UK election on Thursday. Those behind the attack – whether those carrying it out or those dispatching the terrorists – want to have an effect. Terrorism is the use of indiscriminate violence for political ends. It has a logic, even if it is one we mostly do not care to understand.

So what do these terrorists hope to achieve?

Based on prior experience, they will assume that by striking now they can increase fear and anger among the British population – intensifying anti-Muslim rhetoric, justifying harsher “security” responses from the British state and shifting political support towards the right. That is good for their cause because it radicalises other disillusioned Muslim youth. In short, it brings recruits.

Islam is not exceptional in this regard. This is not a problem specifically of religion. As experts have repeatedly pointed out, disillusioned, frustrated, angry (and mainly male) youth adopt existing ideologies relevant to them and then search for the parts that can be twisted to justify their violence. The violent impulse exists and they seek an ideology to rationalise it.

Once Christianity – the religion of turning the other cheek – was used to justify pogroms and inquisitions. In the US, white supremacists – in the Ku Klux Klan, for example – used the Bible to justify spreading terror among the black population of the Deep South. White supremacists continue sporadically to use terror in the US, most notably Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Terrorists can exploit secular ideologies too, on either the far-right or far-left. Just think of the Baader Meinhof Gang and the Symbionese Liberation Army, back in the 1970s. The latter famously made a convert of Patty Hearst, granddaughter of publishing empire magnate William Randolph Hearst (aka Citizen Kane). After she was taken hostage, she quickly adopted the group’s thinking and its violence as her own.

The Islamic terrorists of our time believe in a violent, zero-sum clash of civilisations. That should not be surprising, as their ideology mirrors the dominant ideology – neo-conservatism – of western foreign policy establishments. Both sides are locked in a terrifying dance of death. Both believe that two “civilisations” exist and are incompatible, that they are in a fight to the death, and that any measures are justified to achieve victory because the struggle is existential. We use drones and “humanitarian intervention” to destabilise their societies; they use cars, guns, knives and bombs to destabilise ours.

The dance chiefly takes place because both sides continue it. And it will not be easy to break free of it. Our meddling in the Middle East dates back more than a century – and especially since the region became a giant oil spigot for us. The tentacles of western interference did not emerge in 2003, whatever we may choose to believe. Conversely, a globalised world inevitably entails one where a century-long colonial battlefield can easily come back to haunt us on our doorsteps.

The solution, complex as it will need to be, certainly cannot include the use by us of similarly indiscriminate violence, more “intervention” in the Middle East, or more scapegoating of Muslims. It will require taking a step back and considering how and why we too are addicted to this dance of death.

by Jonathan Cook/DissidentVoice

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Fight Terrorism Or Control Resources: What’s the Real Reason for U.S.’s Increased Presence In Africa?

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Although the Trump administration has not expressed much of an interest in Africa, the U.S. has an increased presence in the continent. As China has ramped up its economic presence and enlarged its footprint in Africa, the U.S. is not waging economic war but rather a shadow commando war.

Uncle Sam is building a massive presence of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command as VICE news reported, with an unprecedented growth in deployment among elite units such as the Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs. While at least 116 special operations missions took place at once around the world in 2011, today these commando units are engaged in close to 100 missions in Africa alone. More specifically, 1,700 Americans are involved in 96 missions in 20 African nations at any one time, according to a declassified October 2016 document from the Special Operations Command in Africa, or SOCAFRICA. SOCAFRICA supports the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, which is responsible for Defense Department operations on the African continent. The U.S. military has divided the world into six geographic sectors — AFRICOM, NORTHCOM, PACOM, SOUTHCOM, EUCOM and CENTCOM. As reported by HuffPost, AFRICOM now maintains 46 U.S. military bases in 24 African countries.

The Government Accountability Office report on Special Operations Forces documented a dramatic rise of U.S. commandos in Africa, from 1 percent of all special forces abroad in 2006 to 3 percent in 2010 to over 17 percent last year. Only the Middle East has more elite U.S. forces conducting operations in its region.

Terrorism on the African continent is the reason for the deployment, according to the U.S. Special Operations Command, which lists by name the terrorist groups being fought, al-Qaida In the Lands of the Islamic Magreb, ISIS, al-Murabitun, Ansar al-Sharia, Boko Haram, the Lord’s Resistance Army and al-Shabaab. There are close to 50 terrorist organizations operating in Africa, according to The Intercept. Terror attacks in sub-Saharan Africa have increased from 100 per year in 2006 to nearly 2,000 in 2015, based on data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.

Seal of the United States Africa Command (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

“Our long-term vision is to enable and support our African partners to deter violent extremist organizations, achieve effective governance, promote future socio-economic development and protect the populace to achieve peace and prosperity in Africa,” reads the SOCAFRICA report, which declared that the U.S. is not at war with Africa, but its African partners are. SOCAFRICA says terrorist, insurgent and criminal groups are exploiting fragile environments in conflict: “Their goals are to expand illicit networks, establish safe havens, subvert legitimate authority, recruit and mobilize people and resources and to fuel crises to their advantage.”

The U.S. military claims it is countering violent extremism to allow African nations time to develop good governance and self-security. The report cites destabilizing forces that contribute to internal conflict and encourage popular uprisings and violent extremism, including corruption, poor government leadership, heavy-handed autocracies and socioeconomic inequality. External pressure from terrorists and foreign fighters, drug, weapon and human trafficking and illegal immigration pose a threat not only to African countries but to southern European countries, according to the report. These external factors also “contribute to security shortfalls, human rights violations, corruption and government mismanagement producing an environment conducive to subversion, military coups and mass atrocities.”

Terrorism on the African continent is the reason for the deployment, according to the U.S. Special Operations Command, which lists by name the terrorist groups being fought, al-Qaida In the Lands of the Islamic Magreb, ISIS, al-Murabitun, Ansar al-Sharia, Boko Haram, the Lord’s Resistance Army and al-Shabaab. There are close to 50 terrorist organizations operating in Africa, according to The Intercept. Terror attacks in sub-Saharan Africa have increased from 100 per year in 2006 to nearly 2,000 in 2015, based on data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.

“Our long-term vision is to enable and support our African partners to deter violent extremist organizations, achieve effective governance, promote future socio-economic development and protect the populace to achieve peace and prosperity in Africa,” reads the SOCAFRICA report, which declared that the U.S. is not at war with Africa, but its African partners are. SOCAFRICA says terrorist, insurgent and criminal groups are exploiting fragile environments in conflict: “Their goals are to expand illicit networks, establish safe havens, subvert legitimate authority, recruit and mobilize people and resources and to fuel crises to their advantage.”

The U.S. military claims it is countering violent extremism to allow African nations time to develop good governance and self-security. The report cites destabilizing forces that contribute to internal conflict and encourage popular uprisings and violent extremism, including corruption, poor government leadership, heavy-handed autocracies and socioeconomic inequality. External pressure from terrorists and foreign fighters, drug, weapon and human trafficking and illegal immigration pose a threat not only to African countries but to southern European countries, according to the report. These external factors also “contribute to security shortfalls, human rights violations, corruption and government mismanagement producing an environment conducive to subversion, military coups and mass atrocities.”

Each region of the African continent faces its own challenges, the SOCAFRICA report notes. For example, North Africa, which is a major source of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq, suffers from political instability and threats of violent extremism. Groups such as al-Qaida, ISIS and others are thriving in Libya. As The Washington Post reported in 2016, President Barack Obama secretly expanded its worldwide network of drone bases to Tunisia to conduct spying missions on Libya. In Western Africa, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and criminal organizations are gaining influence, fueled by inequality and ineffective governance. The Lord’s Resistance Army and criminal organizations operate in Central Africa, where they contribute to instability in already volatile places. In East Africa, where conflict is expected for the foreseeable future, the al-Qaida-affiliated group al-Shabaab is active in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Obama intensified a clandestine, shadow war in Somalia in his final year in office, as The New York Times reported, using special operations, airstrikes, African allies and private contractors to fight militants in the Horn of Africa. Al-Shabaab was responsible for a number of attacks, such as a 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed 60 and wounded more than 175. Last year, the group nearly brought down a Somali airplane with a bomb hidden in a laptop, and killed over 100 Kenyan troops before taking their vehicles and weapons.

In his “U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa” in 2012, Obama said, “Africa’s economies are among the fastest growing in the world, with technological change sweeping across the continent and offering tremendous opportunities in banking, medicine, politics and business.” The threat of violence and disruption stemming from internal and external forces only serves to undermine that economic growth, giving the U.S. military an opportunity to wage a secret war on the continent, purportedly for stability and security in Africa, but most certainly for American geopolitical interests.

As Al Jazeera reported, AFRICOM is key to consolidating U.S. interests in Africa. North Africa has vast oil and natural gas reserves, the Sahara and the continent as a whole are rich in mineral resources and six of the 10 fastest-growing economies are located in sub-Saharan Africa. With oil and natural resources in Africa, the continent has major strategic significance that belies the official U.S. narrative that it is waging primarily a war on terror in Africa.

By David Love/AtlantaBlackStar

Posted by The NON-Confromist

White supremacist is charged with TERRORISM after coming to New York to ‘stab a 66-year-old black man to death with a sword’

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James Harris Jackson is accused of killing Timothy Caughman, 66, last week
The New York District attorney announced the charges against him on Monday
The 28-year-old former veteran is charged with: murder as an act of terrorism, murder as a hate crime, and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon
Jackson served from 2009 to 2012 and worked as an Army intelligence analyst

A sword-wielding racist who traveled to New York City and allegedly killed a homeless black man was charged Monday with state terrorism charges – a rarity – in a crime that prosecutors decried as an assault on personal and racial freedom.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office took the dramatic step of filing first- and second-degree murder as an act of terrorism charges against James Jackson, 28. Terrorism charges are typically filed at the federal level and are reserved for suspects who planned mass attacks, anti-abortion killings, or eco-terrorism. Among the most famous domestic terror cases are the Unabomber attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Charleston church shooting.

Jackson was originally charged with run-of-the-mill murder charges but prosecutors on Monday upgraded the ante to terrorism. He is depicted in an indictment as an assassin who traveled from his Baltimore home for one simple reason: the scouting and killing of a black person on the streets of New York.

“James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate,” the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance, wrote in announcing the charges, which also include a count of murder in the second degree as a hate crime. “With total presence of mind, he acted on his plan, randomly selecting a beloved New Yorker solely on the basis of his skin color.”

Fatally stabbed in the March 20 attack was Timothy Caughman, who was picking through trash when Jackson is alleged to have pulled a 26-inch sword from a long black overcoat he was wearing and stabbed him in the chest and back.

Jackson, who was staying in a midtown New York hotel, told police that he hated black men for at least a decade, police said.

“The reason he picked New York is because it’s the media capital of the world, and he wanted to make a statement,” Assistant Police Chief William Aubrey said at the time of Jackson’s arrest.

Police suggested that Jackson had been thinking of attacking others but instead chose to turn himself in.

The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Jackson said in a Rikers Island jailhouse interview with a reporter that he hoped the attack on Caughman would stop white women from entering relationships with black men.

Jackson said he grew up in an “almost all-white” area outside of Baltimore. “My family is as liberal as they come … typical liberal Democrats,” he told the Daily News. “The white race is being eroded. … No one cares about you. The Chinese don’t care about you, the blacks don’t care about you.”

Jackson told the newspaper he is a fan of the web site Daily Stormer — which was also frequented by South Carolina church gunman Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to death for killing nine black worshipers in 2015.

Vance, the Manhattan prosecutor, said that in addition to New York’s reputation as a media capital, Jackson sought out the Big Apple because of its reputation as a melting pot for different people and cultures. It was in such a place that Jackson wanted to deliver his message of hate, Vance said.

“We must never take for granted New York’s remarkable diversity. We must celebrate it, protect it and refuse to let violence and hate undermine the progress we have made,” Vance wrote.

By Mike James/USA TODAY

Posted by The NON-Conformist

 

American Muslims: Yes, We Feel Targeted By Cruz Surveillance Comments

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“We’re targeted even if it’s not our fault,” said Omar Ghanim, 23, eating Lebanese pizza Tuesday at a suburban strip mall in Orange County’s Little Arabia neighborhood, just miles from Disneyland in California.

Ghanim said Islamic State doesn’t represent his faith.

“They don’t follow the Islamic rules or anything Islam,” he said. “We’re a peaceful people — we’re not violent.”

Cruz said Tuesday that law enforcement should be empowered to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” Echoing earlier statements from rival Donald Trump, Cruz also said the U.S. should stop the flow of refugees from countries where the Islamic State militant group has a significant presence. IS claimed responsibility for the attacks at the Brusselsairport and a subway station that killed dozens Tuesday and wounded many more.

More from Associated Press via TPM

Posted by Libergirl

Iowa Voters In Correctionville Think The U.S. Needs Correcting

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Image: Des Moines Register

The Iowa caucuses are 3 days away. Some voters in the rural and largely conservative part of western Iowa are struggling between the pull of their choice candidate and who they think is likely to win.

And they are also struggling with stupidity and ignorance….theirs….Libergirl*

*Please give the audio a listen…your mouth will fall open.

Story and audio from NPR

Posted by Libergirl

‘His Name Is Darsh Singh’: Pushback Against ‘Joke’ Goes Viral

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At a time when politicians and leaders are urging people not to discriminateagainst Muslim Americans, or those who could be mistaken for Muslim Americans, one social media post has struck a chord.

“Let me tell you why this…isn’t funny,” Greg Worthington, a PhD student in the Education Policy and Planning Program at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote Sunday on Facebook. Worthington’s 400-word long caption accompanied a screenshot of Darsh Preet Singh, the first turbaned Sikh American to play basketball in the NCAA. The photograph, which has been circulated by comedians and joke websites for months, identifies Singh as “Muhammad” and calls him an “explosive” player.

Image: NBC News

 

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Posted by Libergirl

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