War on Terror/War on ISIS: History Repeats Itself

As the West and its allies continue their war on ISIS and whatever new bogeyman (Khorasan?) they can use to terrorize their citizenry with to make their violence and oppression look acceptable by comparison, I quote the words of my late friend and mentor, John Judge, who aptly predicted the government’s response to the attacks on September 11, 2001, while, in my opinion, just as aptly proposed a solution that would not come to pass in his prescient essay, “A New War or a New World?

Our choice now seems to be between a “new war” and a new world. As always, the forces of reaction and wealth are telling us we have no choice but war, and no right or power to decide.

It is a time for reflection and calm, not for reaction from the pain and fear we understandably feel. Now, more than ever, the voices of reason, social justice and democratic values must take on the task of correctly defining the situation.

The protracted war envisioned by some in the White House, under the rubric of ending terrorism and “eradicating evil” will destabilize not only the oil-rich Arabic world, but potentially the various states of the former Soviet Union. These counties are similarly rich with the sort of resources and well-educated labor that the globalization agenda demands. It will also change economic relations here in the United States, throwing us back into the permanent war economy of the Cold War years, and a severe economic slump.

This agenda always stresses military expenditures at the cost of industrial infrastructure useful to the civilian world, and cuts into the social services, education and medical research and care that could instead be the benefit of our vast reserves of wealth.

The Pentagon planners, who want always to operate in secret and dictate the terms to the rest of us, know who the real enemy is. It is not terrorists or religious fanatics. It is not foreign countries with their limited stockpiles of weapons, most of which the US sold or gave them. As Walt Kelly’s cartoon character Pogo once noted, “the enemy . . . is us”.

There are many models for successful community and conflict resolution, for grievance, mediation and restitution, for economies of scale, for alternate means of exchange, for cooperative ventures and community credit, for democratic referendum and direct participation, for decentralization of power and decision making, for open communication, for inclusion and education. We do not lack the tools or the models, only the hope and the will. Those, like all else, belong to the people themselves.

To access more of John Judge’s work, visit http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/#essays

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