Five Years of War on Terra
19 June, 2006
By Anwaar Hussain
Come September this year, it will be full five years of President George Bush's War on Terra (Texanese for ‘terror’…I won’t be reminding you again).
As the duration of War on Terra has now almost matched that of the 2nd World War, let us see how the man from Texas has done in his War on Terra in the last five years.
Let us turn to a survey done by one hundred leading American foreign policy analysts. Released by the Foreign Affairs Journal on June the 14th, the report is titled as “Terrorism Index”.
The participants of the survey included an ex-secretary of state and former heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, along with well-known members of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment. The majority served in previous administrations or in senior military ranks. Chances are, they know what they are talking about.
The overwhelming consensus of the report on the War on Terra is not quite what the ruling cabal in the US wants to hear.
Despite the US President’s claim that he is winning the War on Terror, some 86 per cent of these specialists believe otherwise. They think that the world has grown more, not less, dangerous and the main reasons for this were the war in Iraq, the detention of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, U.S. policy towards Iran and U.S. energy policy.
Almost 80 per cent of the analysts said widespread rejection of radical Islamic ideologies is crucial if terrorism is to be eradicated, but that goal requires "a much higher emphasis on its non-military tools." Across the board, they rated Washington's diplomatic efforts as appalling, with a median score of 1.8 out of 10. The Department of Homeland Security was rated for effectiveness at only 2.9 out of 10.
Joe Cirincione, vice-president of the Center for American Progress, the Washington think-tank which co-sponsored the survey said, "When you strip away the politics, the experts, almost to a person, are very worried about the administration….they think none of our front-line institutions is doing a good job and that Iraq has made the terror situation much worse".
Asked what presents the single greatest danger to American security, nearly half the analysts said loose nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Only 4 per cent said Iran. Cirincione says the fact that so few experts think Iran is a threat and so many regard Iraq as a mistake "turns the administration's policies on their head."
Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations was even more upfront in his remarks. In the survey's accompanying report, he said, "The reason is that it's clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view of what they can accomplish with military force and threats of force."
In plain English what these experts are saying is that after five years of war on terra, the world is much more insecure than it ever was and that the war itself is a ringing failure. Period.
What the experts did not say was said by the Washington-based Pew Research Center’s poll of almost 17000 people from Britain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the United States. The Foreign Affairs Journal report comes at the heels of this Pew poll and the combined reading puts to rest any doubts that one may have regarding the total collapse of the War on Terra.
According to the global poll, conducted between March and May, Pew found that President George Bush’s six years in office have so battered the image of the US that people worldwide see Washington as a bigger threat to world peace than Tehran. This despite the fact that throughout the period the poll was conducted, the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, intensified by hard-line comments from its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was repeatedly in the news.
The annual survey also shows a continued decline in support for the US since 1999. In Muslim countries with which the US has customarily enjoyed a good relationship, such as Turkey - a member of NATO - and Indonesia, there have also been slumps. In Indonesia favorable ratings for the US have dropped from 75% to 30%, and in Turkey from 52% to 12%.
Even in the UK, Washington's closest ally, favorable ratings have slumped from 83% in 1999 to 56% this year. The pattern is similar in France, down from 62% to 39%, Germany 78% to 37%, and Spain 50% to 23%.
As part of the overall decline in US support, the survey also records a drop in support for the US-led "war on terra", even in countries such as Spain, in spite of the Madrid bombings two years ago by al-Qaida that left 192 dead. Support for the "war on terra" dropped in Spain from 26% last year to 19% this year. Favorable ratings of the US in India dropped over the year from 71% to 56%.
In the UK, the second biggest contributor of troops in Iraq, 60% said the Iraq war had made the world more dangerous. Only 30% said it had made the world safer, and 41% of British people said the US presence in Iraq represented a great danger to world peace, with 34% citing Iran as a big threat.
For the first time in the past five years, two influential reports are simultaneously speaking straight and to the point. No more of six-of-one-and-half-a-dozen-of-another kind of language. The message is clear and that is that the Texan’s War on Terra is a miserable disaster.
There is, however, a silver lining in the Pew poll for the man from Crawford. Majorities in two countries, India and Nigeria, have expressed confidence in him.
With a 3rd reelection not possible for him in the US and the world willing to start a 'war on erra' on him and his gang, rather than continuing to speak non-stop with a forked tongue, he better start weighing his chances for the top slot in one of these countries (hint, hint—Nigeria has proven oil reserves of 36 billion bbl).
FH Admin's Note : For the War on Terra to make perfect sense (or nonsense, as the case may be), my article 'Terra, Terra, Terra' is an absolute must-read with this one.
Copyrights : Anwaar Hussain