NO New Nuclear Weapons... NO New Nuclear Targets... NO New Pretexts For Nuclear War... NO Nuclear Testing...
NO Star Wars... NO Weapons In Space...
NO All Types Of Weapons, War & War Culture...
We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?

On A New Version Of The
"Strategy of Preemptive Strike"

by Mehmet UCA

If we are serious about pre-emption, we should understand the probable causes of "what makes an individual" a terrorist, and then try to change them. This is much more effective and long lasting than any military solution.

Recently it become very fashionable among conservative politicians to speak about and actually go ahead and implement what they call as "the strategy of preemption".

In order to fight terrorism, the premise is that, the party fearing to be hit has the legitimate right of defending itself by hitting first the suspect nation or group, thus "pre-empting" their likely damage.

The war against Iraq was the first example of this theory put in action. Though the intelligence used to prove the preeminence, and immediacy of Iraq as a source of terrorist threat to the USA is highly questioned now.

After thousands of civilians and other deaths in Iraq, it is still highly questionable if terror is "preempted", or its seeds are furthermore planted.

We would like to reflect on political developments in the last 20 years or so, and suggest an alternative theory of "preemption".

Following the Second World War, the world was divided in two camps. The cold war witnessed an arms race between the two, which resulted in the negligence of civilians' needs, and overall lack of democratization.  As the cold war ended, it was expected and discussed that the "peace dividend" (large sums of money that were spent on armament were to be diverted to civilian needs, accumulated technological know-how was to be converted to civilian use).

September 11, unfortunately gave an excuse to the already War prepared, war loving Bush reactionary conservatives. Their move to eradicate religious terrorists was internationally understood and supported. However, their aims went beyond, eradication of religious terrorism. As is discussed in every daily these days we need not to address the different motives for the War with Iraq.

Let's start with a legitimate and internationally accepted aim, to eliminate terrorism.  It is shown by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that sheer military strength, brutal application of the same, does not stop terrorism. The Israeli government has been trying to pre-empt terrorist attacks in the last couple of years, and rather has been failing.

For thousands of years, the Middle East has been a scene to many wars.  The saying after all is that "you wash blood with water, and not with blood". Washing blood with "water" is preemptive. And that is one of the inspiration we get for suggesting a new theory of preemption.

Terrorism is fed mostly by hopelessness, and religious fanaticism. Preemption should aim at changing hopelessness into hopefulness, and religious fanaticism, to culture of tolerance.

The one and only superpower, must lead the world not in "show off brutal force, and military might" but in spreading hope and tolerance.

The peace dividend must be used to effectively reduce the disparity between the poor and the rich. Aids should aim at educating the poor of the world, so that, they know how to catch a fish.  This will give them a "hope", to survive and be able to maintain themselves, and their families.

For people who can feed themselves, "hopelessness" at times, is what is missing in relative terms. For a Palestinian youth, e.g. this is not to have any political freedom. The same may be the case for a Saudi, or an Iranian youth.

Only after September 11, what should have been obvious suddenly became a matter of importance. The Saudi philosophy of theocratic state, and non-tolerant Wahabi Islam, is an ideal climate for growth of terrorism. The two elements of hopelessness and culture of non-tolerance are nowhere more prevalent than Saudi Arabia. That is why nine of the eleven hijackers were Saudi young men.

If we are serious about pre-emption, we should understand the probable causes of "what makes an individual" a terrorist, and then try to change them. This is much more effective and long lasting than any military solution.

E-mail to Mehmet Uca:mehmetuca1@cs.com

© Mehmet Uca
, July 29, 2003, New York

This issue is dedicated to Global Awareness: All The Shah's Men & "Strategy of Preemptive Strive"

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