After the first two shots of the War on Terror on September 11, 2001, the first major battle of the war occurred, and was lost, on October 26, 2001. This was the day the PATRIOT Act was signed into law by President Bush.Pakistan and US Drone Policy
Terrorists, by killing 3,000 people in a spectacular fashion, goaded the United States into compromising its values and betraying its citizens.
As a followup, the terrorists won another victory with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security on November 25, 2002. This department gives a much more menacing facade to the federal government and proved to be the moment when American citizens got the idea that they were viewed as the enemy by their own government.
Defeats continued with the establishment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), representing an increase in funding for an already bloated (and misnamed) Department of Defense. By this point, the American idea was on life support with little hope of reversal. The final blow that rang the bell of defeat for our nation was PRISM. Although PRISM began in 2007, we have only recently learned of its existence thanks to Edward Snowden.
The defeat of America in the War on Terror provides an excellent explanation for the resurgence of libertarian politics at home. It is a natural reaction, when one no longer trusts the government, to demand the right to keep and use arms and to demand that the government extract itself from most if not all aspects of our lives.
We don't only have to look internally to see that the terrorists have won. Al-Qaeda has not gone away and has not been obliterated. In this grand game of whack-a-mole, the moles see our weakening resolve to preserve ourselves and are encouraged by it. The passage of these laws must be seen as propagandistic victories to the terrorists and undoubtedly help in their recruitment. We must rediscover the American idea and begin living by it once again. This would be the best way to turn the tide on the War on Terror.
Shortly after 911, the US had support of the vast majority of Pakistani citizens. Polls now show only 55% unfavorable attitude towards Al Qaeda even as support dwindles elsewhere.
74% of Pakistanis View US as an Enemy
A PEW Research survey on Global Attitudes shows 74% of Pakistanis Call America an Enemy.
Roughly three-in-four Pakistanis (74%) consider the U.S. an enemy, up from 69% last year and 64% three years ago. And President Obama is held in exceedingly low regard. Indeed, among the 15 nations surveyed in both 2008 and 2012 by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, Pakistan is the only country where ratings for Obama are no better than the ratings President George W. Bush received during his final year in office.Pakistani Views of US, OBama
Moreover, roughly four-in-ten believe that American economic and military aid is actually having a negative impact on their country, while only about one-in-ten think the impact is positive.
Only 17% back American drone strikes against leaders of extremist groups, even if they are conducted in conjunction with the Pakistani government.
Terror is a method. It is not possible to win a war on a method.
And because US drone policy kills many innocent people as did senseless invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, more people resent US aggression now, than before 911.
Place yourself in the shoes of the average Pakistani who has lost a friend or family member in drone attacks. Would you think the US was an enemy? Of course you would.
Would you view those drone attacks as an act of terror? Of course you would. The US is making enemies hand over fist with its drone policy (which itself is an act of terror killing innocent civilians along the way).
How can you win a war on method, especially when you use the method yourself?
Is Obama another Bush Clone?
Please also see Is Obama Another Bush Clone? Another Nixon Clone?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock