The Tricky Definition of ‘Terrorism’

The classic definition of terrorism as violence against civilians to make a political point may make sense but the term’s elastic use even applied to attacks on U.S. soldiers operating in foreign lands has transformed the word into an epithet that depends on one’s preferred bias, writes John V. Whitbeck.

By John V. Whitbeck

The Western world has reacted to the “terrorist” shooting spree in Paris with near-hysteria, immediately intensifying its own lethal violence in the Middle East. Israel is branding as a wave of “terrorism” the continuing suicidal attacks by hope-deprived Palestinian children armed only with knives and scissors.

In the new “peace process” for Syria, Jordan has accepted the thankless task of deciding which of the many armed groups in Syria are “terrorists” and, as such, are to be excluded from the process and bombed.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

And Americans have been fiercely debating whether the latest in a long line of domestic gun rampages, carried out by a Muslim married couple in San Bernardino, California, deserves to be deemed an act of “terrorism,” as President Barack Obama termed it during his nationally televised speech on Sunday night.

In this context, it may be enlightening to recall the last international effort to define this indefinable word. At the UN’s 60th anniversary summit in September 2005, the 191 member states tried but failed to agree on a convention defining the word “terrorism.” Some commentators actually sounded surprised, even saying that there had been a failure “even” to agree on a definition. No one should have been surprised.

The definition being proposed by then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan would have defined “terrorism” as “any action intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such an act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to carry out or to abstain from any act.”

A fair and reasonable definition, surely. Read it again. Think about it. What are the odds that the United States would ever have permitted “terrorism” to be so defined?

For starters, if this proposed definition had been accepted and if George W. Bush and Tony Blair were correct in their repeated assertions that the motivations behind the 9/11 attacks and the 2005 London bombings were “because they hate our freedoms” or some other form of blind, mindless malevolence or sick desire to kill innocent people for the sake of it, then the term “terrorism” could not properly be applied to these events.

To make the label fit, Bush and Blair would have had to admit that the motivations were fundamentally political to intimidate their populations or governments into carrying out major changes in their Middle East policies.

Perhaps more significantly, this proposed definition was not limited to acts by “non-state actors.” It would have applied not only to the low-technology violence of the weak but also to the high-technology violence of the strong, which has always been vastly more destructive and deadly.

Further, if this proposed definition had been accepted, the attacks on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and Al-Khobar in 1983 and 1996 and on the USS Cole in Aden harbor in 2000, as well as any and all attacks against American and Israeli military forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine or elsewhere, would clearly not constitute acts of “terrorism.”

On the other hand, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki would clearly have constituted “terrorism” on a massive scale. Indeed, in the Twenty-first Century, the American and Israeli governments would have been and would still be among the world’s leading practitioners of “terrorism.”

If this proposed definition had been accepted, even the United Nations itself would have spent the 12 years between the two wars against Iraq as a “terrorist” organization. How could it be characterized otherwise in light of the “genocidal” sanctions regime against Iraq (so called by two successive coordinators of the UN’s “humanitarian” program in Iraq), which, by UNICEF’s own calculation, had killed half a million Iraqi children under the age of five by 1996 yet which, on the insistence of the United States and Britain and in full knowledge of the deadly consequences in the relevant “context,” was maintained until their 2003 invasion?

The ostensible “purpose” of these deadly sanctions was clearly to “intimidate a population or compel a government … to carry out or abstain from [an] act” specifically, to give up the “weapons of mass destruction” which Iraq did not possess.

The word “terrorism” has always been the ultimate subjective epithet, and the popularity and utility of the word for all its users and abusers around the world has been based largely on this subjectivity. Until the world is of one mind as to what constitutes good and evil, right and wrong and justice and injustice, it is inconceivable that the world could agree on a precise and legally binding definition of what actions are always, in all circumstances, under all conditions, on any grounds and regardless of who is doing it to whom, unjustifiable, impermissible and criminal.

However, the lack of a definition for “terrorism” did not stop the expansion of the word’s use at the 2005 UN summit. In what the BBC then trumpeted as a major success, Tony Blair did get the Security Council to adopt unanimously a resolution urging all states to pass laws making “incitement to terrorism” a crime.

Since every state remained free to define “terrorism” as it pleased, so as to demonize whatever behavior or ideas its government disliked, while “incitement” is simply a pejorative synonym for “advocacy,” if this resolution proved to be of any relevance at all, it could only have been to provide a cover of international legitimacy for the worldwide trend (even in countries like Britain and America which once enjoyed high standards of civil liberties) toward restricting (indeed, toward criminalizing) freedom of speech and toward the totalitarianization of societies.

Actually, it cannot have been very difficult to achieve unanimous agreement on this resolution. People may not be able to agree on what “terrorism” is, but, whatever it may be, politicians readily recognize that it is risky to appear less than resolute in opposing this ultimate evil. It’s also not hard to get governments to agree that they should silence and quash their critics and opponents as they see fit.

Since the term has been so widely abused, the word “terrorism” does not enhance understanding. It stifles rational thought and discussion and, all too often, is used to excuse one’s own illegal and immoral behavior.

Perhaps, rather than seeking an international convention agreeing on what the overused word “terrorism” should mean, it would have been more constructive ten years ago and would be more constructive today to seek an international convention obligating governments, government officials and media to stop using the word entirely, to focus rationally on the nature and causes of violent behavior by both the strong and the weak, and to work toward reducing all forms of violent behavior and reversing the accelerating trend toward a more vicious, less free and increasingly fear-infested world.

John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who writes frequently on the Middle East.

15 comments for “The Tricky Definition of ‘Terrorism’

  1. Mortimer
    December 8, 2015 at 11:45

    Notes on Samuel P. Huntington, Chapter III: “The United States” in “The Crisis of Democracy”,by Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, and Joji Watnuki

    This is a condensation and arrangement of Huntington’s argument, not a commentary upon it.
    1. The sixties as a decade of “democratic renewal”: “The 1960s witnessed a dramatic renewal of the democratic spirit in America. The predominant trends of that decade involved the challenging of the authority of established political, social, and economic institutions, increased popular participation in and control over those institutions, a reaction against the concentration of power in the executive branch of the federal government and in favor of the reassertion of the power of Congress and of state and local government, renewed commitment to the idea of equality on the part of intellectuals and other elites, the emergence of the ‘public interest’ lobbying groups, increased concern for the rights of and provisions of opportunities for minorities and women to participate in the polity and economy, and a pervasive criticism of those who possessed or were even thought to possess excessive power or wealth. . . . It was a decade of democratic surge and of the reassertion of democratic egalitarianism” (59-60).1

    In addition to increased campaign activity, there was “a marked upswing in other forms of citizen participation, in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and ‘cause’ organizations…” (61). There were “markedly higher levels of self-consciousness on the part of blacks, Indians, Chicanos, white ethnic groups, students, and women,” all seeking “their appropriate share of the action and of the rewards” (61).

    “Previously passive or unorganized groups in the population now embarked on concerted efforts to establish their claims to opportunities, positions, rewards, and privileges, which they had not considered themselves entitled to before” (61-62). Hadn’t they!? Look at the struggle of blacks, for example–Du Bois called for full civic and political equality in 1900.

    “…the sixties also saw a reassertion of the primacy of equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life. The meaning of equality and the means of achieving it became central subjects of debate in intellectual and policy-oriented circles. What was widely hailed as the major philosophical treatise of the decade (Rawls, A Theory of Justice) defined justice largely in terms of equality” (62).

    “The essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private. . . . People no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents. Within most organizations, discipline eased and differences in status became blurred. . . . More precisely, in American society, authority had been commonly based on: organizational position, economic wealth, specialized expertise, legal competence, or electoral representativeness. Authority based on hierarchy, expertise, and wealth all, obviously, ran counter to the democratic and egalitarian temper of the times. . .” (75).

    “In the university, students who lacked expertise, came to participate in the decision-making process on many important issues.” Governmental organizational hierarchy weakened. “In politics generally, the authority of wealth was challenged and successful efforts made to introduce reforms to expose and limit its influence” (75).

    Huntington notes the demand for an end to the near monopolization of political leadership by white men in these terms: “the value of ‘categorical’ representativeness’ was elevated to challenge the principle of electoral representativeness” (75-76).

    System assimilation: Apparently, Huntington sees the capacity of the American to respond by “assimilat[ing] those groups into the political system” and incorporat[ing] members of those groups into the political leadership structure” (61) as both a sign of its resilience and a problem, since it facilitated the pressing of demands on government that led to excess expenditures and other difficulties.

    2. The danger posed by democratic renewal — a legitimation and governability crisis stemming from a loss of trust in government and in major nongovernmental institutions:

    theoretical formulation — Madisonian doctrine: “‘In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men,’ observed James Madison in The Federalist, no. 5 1, ‘the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.’ To assume that there is no conflict between these two requirements is sheer self-delusion. To assume that it is impossible to reach a rough balance between these two requirements is unrealistic pessimism. The maintenance of that balance is, indeed, what constitutional democracy is all about. . . . Views as to what constitutes the precise desirable balance between power and liberty, authority and democracy, government and society obviously differ” (63).

    loss of trust in authority: “In a democracy, the authority of governmental leaders and institutions presumably depends in part o the extent to which the public has confidence and trust in those institutions and leaders. During the 1960s that confidence and trust declined markedly in the United States” (76). Perhaps he should read the Anti-Federalists on how to maintain trust in government–democratic accountability, close ties of elected officials with the represented, active citizenship, etc.

    traceable to an ideologically committed, active citizenry: “The democratic surge involved a more politically active citizenry, which developed increased ideological consistency on public issues, and which then lost its confidence in public institutions and leaders when governmental policies failed to correspond to what they desired” (76). He attributes part of the rise in ideological consistency to increased participation, and part to the nature of the issues: social, racial, and military. “On more strictly economic issues, on the other hand, ideology was a much less significant factor” (77).

    Furthermore, he blames loss of trust at least in part on ideological development: “those who took more extreme positions on policy issues . . . tended to become more distrustful of government. Polarization over issues generated distrust about government, as those who had strong positions on issues became dissatisfied with the ambivalent, compromising policies of government” (78). Thus strategies of compromise backfired.

    This loss of trust was reflected in opinion surveys. In the 1950s about three-quarters of Americans believed that government was run primarily for the benefit of the people. By 1972, only 38 percent believed this, while 53 percent thought it was “‘run by a few big interests looking out for themselves’” (78). This loss of trust began to be recovered for Congress, the Supreme Court, and the military by 1973, but not for the executive branch.

    “The leadership of the major nongovernmental institutions in society who had enjoyed high levels of public confidence in the mid-1960 — such as large corporations, higher educational institutions and medicine–also suffered a somewhat similar pattern of substantial decline and partial recovery” (80). Only the leadership of the press and television news enjoyed more confidence in 1973 than in 1966.

    substantial decline in the sense of political efficacy: which he relates back to loss of trust in government and the failure of its compromise policies to meet people’s demands.

    3. The political and economic consequences of the sixties: “The vitality of democracy in the United States in the 1960s produced a substantial increase in governmental activity and a substantial decrease in governmental authority” (64). Thus, “The vitality of democracy in the 1960s raised questions about the governability of democracy in the 1970s” (64).

    Economic problems engendered by the democratic surge: “The expansion of governmental activity produced budgetary deficits and a major expansion of total governmental debt from $336 billion in 1960 to $557 billion in 1971. These deficits contributed to inflationary tendencies in the economy. They also brought to the fore in the early 1970s the entire question of the incidence of the tax burden and the issues of tax reform” (103).

    He also blames growing public sector unionization: “Unionization produced higher wages and more vigorous collective bargaining to secure higher wages” (103). In the tendency of government to capitulate to unions he sees an inflationary spiral: higher wages without higher taxes lead to larger deficits and more inflation, which justifies calls for still higher wages.

    Completely absent from this discussion is any consideration of how much the military costs of the Vietnam War figured in this, or for that matter, the overall costs of the Cold War military-industrial complex.

    Weak foreign policy engendered by the democratic surge: Huntington argues that political leaders, unable to win favor through their domestic policies, look to foreign policy achievements to rebuild their popularity. But “The dynamics of this search for foreign policy achievements by democratic leaders lacking authority at home gives to dictatorships (whether communist party states or oil sheikdoms), which are free from such compulsions, a major advantage in the conduct of international relations” (105).

    Encouragement of economic nationalism as an indirect result of the democratic surge: “The expansion of expenditures and the decrease in authority are also likely to encourage economic nationalism in democratic societies. Each country will have an interest in minimizing the export of some goods in order to keep prices down in its own society. At the same time, other interests are likely to demand protection against the import of foreign goods. . . . The resulting unilateralism could well weaken still further the alliances among the Trilateral countries and increase their vulnerability to economic and military pressures from the Soviet bloc” (105).

    Restriction of military expenditures and action as a result of the democratic surge: “a government which lacks authority and which is committed to substantial domestic programs will have little ability, short of a cataclysmic crisis, to impose on its people the sacrifices which may be necessary to deal with foreign policy problems and defense” (105).

    Overall threat to global American hegemony: “For a quarter-century the United States was the hegemonic power in a system of world order. The manifestations of the democratic distemper, however, have already stimulated uncertainty among allies and could well stimulate adventurism among enemies” (106).

    4. The causes of the sixties: Huntington argues that the increase in political participation is not a root cause, nor are the specific policy problems that confronted the United States during the period (107). “The expansion of political participation was underway long before these problems came to a head in the mid-1960s, and the beginnings of the decline in trust and of the increase in attitude [ideological] consistency go back before large-scale American involvement in Vietnam” (107).

    Was it the baby boom?: He notes that the “generational bulge” of youth in the 1960s brought new values to the fore, chief among them a lack of respect for “‘established authority’” and for dominant forms of ideological authority. There were “broader changes in their attitudes and values with respect to sexual morality, religion as a source of moral guidance, and traditional patriotism and allegiance ‘to my country right or wrong’” (109).

    Moreover, youth tended to reject the behavioralist view of democracy, with only 37 percent agreeing with the opinion survey statement that “Voting is the only way that people like me can have any say about how the government runs things” (109).

    Was it due to the emergence of a post-industrial society?: “Rising levels of affluence and education lead to changes in political attitudes and political behavior.” The “better-off, white-collar, suburban groups” are “growing in numbers and importance relative to” the “poorer, working-class, blue-collar groups . . .” (109). Most importantly, “The more educated a person is, the more likely he is to participate in politics, to have a more consistent and more ideological outlook on political issues, and to hold more ‘enlightened’ or ‘liberal’ or ‘change oriented’ views on social, cultural, an foreign policy issues” (110).

    Unfortunately for this explanation, rates of participation “ran far ahead” of what changes in educational composition would lead on to expect. This was partly due to “the tremendous increase in black political participation during these years. . . . [, which] was the product primarily not of increased individual status but rather of increased group consciousness. . . . A decline in the saliency of school integration, welfare programs, law enforcement, and other issues of special concern to blacks will as some point presumably be accompanied by a decline in their group consciousness and hence their political participation” (110-111).

    Nor can education explain increased ideological consistency, again for empirical reasons: roughly equal increases occurred in the fifties and sixties among those at the high and low ends of the educational attainment spectrum. Nie and Anderson suggest that “‘The political events of the last decade, the crisis atmosphere which has attended them, have caused citizens to perceive politics as increasingly central to their lives.’” Thus the explanation must lie with changing political relationships.

    It was creedal passion during a period of social change: Huntington endorses the liberal consensus view: “American society is characterized by a broad consensus on democratic, liberal, egalitarian values. For much of the time, the commitment to these values is neither passionate nor intense. During periods of rapid social change, however, these democratic and egalitarian values of the American creed are reaffirmed. The intensity of belief during such creedal passion periods leads to the challenging of established authority and to major efforts to change governmental structure to accord more fully with those values” (112). He compares the sixties to the Jacksonian and Progressive eras.

  2. School
    December 7, 2015 at 23:31

    Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the firebombing of Tokyo were terrorist acts, of course. In some wars, everyone commits atrocities against everyone. The pretense that war can be civilized is just that.

    That being said, I submit that Western culture is less terrorist, and less abusive, than the culture of the Middle East. Women can drive and vote here–it’s not even questioned. Beating one’s wife, though it happens, is illegal. Non-consensual sex is illegal. Female genital mutilation to prevent women from enjoying intimacy with a man (the true reason for the practice) is abhorrent in the West. The way women are treated in the West compared to the Middle East–that says it all. Women are fifty percent of the population, after all.

    It isn’t a matter of who is good and who is bad. It is about who is more good, and who is less bad. It is about who is more egalitarian, and who is less oppressive.That’s easier to decide than choosing a universally acceptable definition of terrorism.

  3. Tony
    December 7, 2015 at 18:07

    It’s so simple really…..

    It is ‘terrorism’ when an Arab pulls the trigger or blows something up……..

  4. Abe
    December 7, 2015 at 17:22

    Without sending a single warplane or endangering a single pilot’s life, France and Germany could instead combine their considerable political clout to both expose and place pressure on Turkey to end its support for terrorists it is sponsoring inside Syria. Alternatively, if both nations are determined to commit military assets, they must do so in coordination with the only other nation in the region genuinely trying to eradicate these terrorist factions, Russia.

    Not only that, instead of talking about a necessary “ground component,” implying that Western troops must inevitably enter into the Syrian conflict, France and Germany could commit to the most logical and obvious course of action, supporting the Syrian armed forces who are already on the ground, already fighting the terrorists and the only force in the region capable of managing a post-war Syria without the country turning into another Libya.

    All For Show?

    For France in particular, these options should appear particularly attractive (however unlikely they are to be explored or implemented) as a means to seek contrition for its actions in Libya, the destruction of the Libyan government and the ensuing chaos that followed giving rise both to the refugee crisis and the rise of IS itself.

    France, by failing to do the right thing now, proves that it has no (and never had a) genuine intention of really fighting IS and instead seeks to contribute and take advantage of the growing global instability it itself helped spark during the events in Libya in 2011. It would also raise serious questions about the IS attack in Paris and why the French government appears disinterested in targeting this problem directly at its source and as soon as possible.

    Regardless of which course France and Germany take, it will become obvious soon what their true agenda is. As the UK rushes to join the fray as well, the world must keep in mind those who fail to mention the source of IS’ power are likely not truly interested in defeating IS itself, but instead seek to use it as a tool to destroy yet another MENA region nation, achieve long-sought-after “regime change” in Syria and then move onward to their next victim.

    Weepy candlelit vigils in the wake of horrific, fear-inducing terrorist attacks in Europe, can, if honest governments sit in power, rally people together to expose and dismantle the true source behind this terrorist scourge. Or they can serve as an empty show to manipulate the emotions of people to further pursue self-serving goals.

    France and Germany’s “Fight” Against the Islamic State
    By Ulson Gunnar

    • Amazed they can sell this shit
      December 7, 2015 at 20:02

      Any time France or Germany looks like they may take an independent course and co-operate with Russia rather than further antagonizing them, Obama puts the screws on them behind the scenes and they immediately snap to attention, supporting the NATO dogma that Russia is the great evil in the world that needs to be put in its place. Lord knows what kind of threats Washington makes to its “allies” to get absolute compliance, usually to the detriment of these countries. The CIA must have a dossier on every European leader, perhaps even heavily fabricated, to use as a cudgel.

    • Abe
      December 7, 2015 at 21:19

      In the NSA’s 2007 Strategic Mission List obtained by Edward Snowden, in a section of the document headed “Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence; Denial & Deception Activities: Countering Foreign Intelligence Threats,” Israel was listed as a leading perpetrator of “espionage/intelligence collection operations and manipulation/influence operations…against U.S. government, military, science & technology and Intelligence Community” organs.

      The term “manipulation/influence operations” refers to covert attempts by Israel to sway U.S. public opinion in its favor.

      Under a section headed “Mastering Cyberspace and Preventing an Attack on U.S. Critical Information Systems,” Israel was among the countries identified as “FIS [financial/banking system] threats.” Israel also appears on the list of countries believed by the NSA to be “enabling” electronic warfare “producers/proliferators.”

      Mossad has longstanding ties to Verint, Narus, and other Israeli surveillance technology companies used for both domestic and international spying, assuring that Israel has access to information collected by the NSA.

      Whether its Angela Merkel’s cell phone, François Hollande’s bidet, or Lindsey Graham’s rumpus room, the NSA and Israel have plenty of blackmail material on world leaders.

  5. Tom Welsh
    December 7, 2015 at 16:53

    It’s really very simple. An operational definition of “terrorism” is: “other people using violence to try to make us do something, or stop doing something”.

    On the other hand, for us to use violence to make other people do something, or stop doing something, is just our plain duty.

  6. Mortimer
    December 7, 2015 at 16:31

    What on earth could be more terrible than to have your National Leader declared a “vicious dictator” or “thug” — then see undeclared war perpetrated upon your historic way of life — for no other reason than so-called World Powers injudiciously decide to OVERTHROW your Government?

    In the process of that, you and Manifold Millions of your countrymen are Bombed Out of the Reality you and your Forebears have Known & Lived for ACTUAL CENTURIES !!!!!!!!

    Freak’n forced out of homes, schools, worship houses, employment, daily schedules, families/relatives, waving,smiling, Living Normally in Neighbor hoods of familiarity, commonality, community under a Structured Government that Provided a Stability that The Majority Understood and Abided By.
    That’s all been destroyed.
    The nation(al) Polity, an Entire Nation of people suddenly/radically disembodied, parts scattered into “refugee camps”-“detention centers” or under Hostile subjugation/control by Force of “Rational” moderates whose best interests are tied to the Chalibi camp of insiders that incite.
    They’re now displaced.
    The now homeless (Strugglers) as desperate and dependent, having their independence stolen
    have no voice in the world, no heritage, no belonging; being neither migrants nor immigrants
    they have been Removed into Freak’n Camps in Freak’n UNKNOWN COUNTRIES for shelter.
    “Mans Inhumanity”
    Is the rule by force of Raw Persuasive Power or the Control of World Economies.
    how debilitating to health&wellbeing would be a sudden change of diet/sleep patterns?
    What on earth could your National Leader do but RESIST for your Very Ethnic Existence?

    • Mortimer
      December 7, 2015 at 17:17

      The/our Now Police state rule of law.

      this is like zimmerman’s defense attorney
      now acting like a Civil Rights attorney
      while he appeared to be the Procsecutor
      against Treyvon in his prevaricated murder.

  7. Abe
    December 7, 2015 at 13:56

    “In the new ‘peace process’ for Syria, Jordan has accepted the thankless task of deciding which of the many armed groups in Syria are ‘terrorists’ and, as such, are to be excluded from the process and bombed.”

    For Jordan, a thankless and tricky task, indeed.

    In reality, the armed attacks on Syria began in March 2011 in Daraa, a city in southwestern Syria, just north of the border with Jordan.

    Daraa 2011: Syria’s Islamist Insurrection in Disguise
    By Prof. Tim Anderson

    Saudi Arabia and Qatar have continued to provide weapons, and the U.S. continues to train al-Qaeda fighters at a base in the Jordanian town of Safawi.

    • Abe
      December 7, 2015 at 15:45

      Since the beginning of the conflict in Daraa in 2011, CIA-trained fighters have continued to cross into Syria from Jordan along the 320-kilometer (198-mile) shared border. Most fight with al-Nusra while the rest joined the ranks of the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

      The Syrian armed forces, with Russian and Iranian support, have been rolling back the terrorists in Qalamoun, Ghouta and Aleppo in the north.

      Jordan and its neighbor, Israel, are no doubt eager to “decide” who is a terrorist before Syria and its allies turn their attention to the southern front of the U.S.-Israel alliance’s terror war on Syria.

  8. Abe
    December 7, 2015 at 12:36

    Establishing the Grand Fraud

    So what in the hell is really going on? Well, war of course. This is what modern war looks like. In particular this latest proxy war targets the multi-cultural, yet authoritarian regime of Syria’s Bashar Al Assad. NATO dislikes Assad because he is an ally of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Oil and gas pipeline routes also factor in. Western powers and Gulf States that don’t like Assad have, like a pack of wild jackals, been ripping at Syria since 2011. The primary supporter of ISIS and the Al Nusrah Front is Turkey, which by any objective measure should be considered a state sponsor of international terrorism and isolated immediately.


    No concrete steps are taken against these state supporters of terrorism. Far from it, they are intimate partners with the United States and form a coalition of the willing to use proxy terrorists to destroy Syria. ISIS has been a main component of this effort for years. It was not until they attacked targets in Europe (Paris), that Western leaders finally decided that they needed to appear to do things differently.

    What this coalition does and what it clearly does not do are the telltale signs for understanding these current events.


    In addition to avoiding the illegal oil trade occurring right beneath USAF fighter/bombers for over a year, there is also the matter of approximately 60 ISIS training camps. No training camps have been bombed to date, despite continually churning out “1,000” radical Islamic fighters per month. We can make some educated guesses as to why that is.

    Foreign intelligence and special forces (British and Qatari), and potentially US personnel, have operated inside Syria since at least February of 2012. The CIA admits to spending $1Bn per year training Syrian insurgents and boasts that it has “trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria over the past several years.” If US personnel aren’t actually inside the territory of Syria, their pets surely are.

    We know that ISIS, Al Nusrah, al Sham and Free Syrian Army (FSA) are all allies and work closely together. The FSA Colonel Abdel Jabbar al Olkaidi has plainly told us so. Olkaidi was the direct link to US Ambassador Robert Ford, and so there is no longer any plausible deniability on the subject. There is no legitimacy left for US claims of a “moderate” opposition that somehow exists separate from the genocidal terror armies of head-chopping extremists.

    Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game
    By Joe Giambrone

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