JOHN ENTINGH - 20 APRIL 2012
Mental health and world peace could enjoy a very intimate relationship. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
It seems the very definition of mental health describes happiness for just about any culture or society, and does so without judgment on values. Historically the focus on world peace has been from a position of power rather than a perspective of mental health. Perhaps this is the very reason why world peace has proven so elusive. Is it possible that instead of building up military installations, the building up of mental health care would provide a safer and more peaceful world? The stark reality is that military might and wars have done little to attain world peace.
Nearly sixty years ago American political scientist Quincy Wright wrote:
War arises because of the changing relations of numerous variables--technological, psychic, social, and intellectual. There is no single cause of war. Peace is an equilibrium among many forces. Change in any particular force, trend, movement, or policy may at one time make for war, but under other conditions a similar change may make for peace. A state may at one time promote peace by armament, at another time by disarmament, at one time by insistence on its rights, at another time by a spirit conciliation. To estimate the probability of war at any time involves, therefore, an appraisal of the effect of current changes upon the complex of intergroup relationships throughout the world (p. 1284).
Wright’s observation is as true today as it was then. Not long after these immortal words were penned, noted political scholar R.J. Rummel redefined war as an “international conflict.”
Perhaps this was from countries such as the United States invading sovereign nations without actually declaring war (e.g. Vietnam). Rummel’s definition became popular in an era of behaviorism, an era where every action was a behavior and every behavior had a stimulus. Rather than say “this is what caused the war,” it was politically correct to say “international conflict behavior” is stimulated by:
· opposing interests and capabilities (specific sociocultural differences and similarities between the parties),
· contact and salience (awareness),
· significant change in the balance of powers,
· individual perceptions and expectations,
· a disrupted structure of expectations,
· a will-to-conflict.
It is aggravated by:
· sociocultural dissimilarity,
· cognitive imbalance,
· status difference,
· coercive state power.
It is inhibited by:
· sociocultural similarity,
· decentralized or weak, coercive state power.
It is triggered by:
· perception of opportunity, threat, or injustice,
These causes, aggravations, inhibitions, and triggers of international conflict behavior have some surprising similarities to the facts surrounding mental health. Like international conflict behavior, so too are mental, neurological and behavioral disorders common to all countries and cause immense suffering. People with these disorders are often subjected to social isolation, poor quality of life and increased mortality. These disorders are also the cause of staggering economic and social costs. There is absolutely no difference between the consequences of conflict behavior and the consequences mental health disorders. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people are affected by mental, behavioral, neurological and substance abuse disorders every day. For example, estimates made by WHO in 2002 showed that 154 million people globally suffer from depression and 25 million people from schizophrenia; 91 million people are affected by alcohol use disorders and 15 million by drug use disorders. A recently published WHO report shows that 50 million people suffer from epilepsy and 24 million from Alzheimer and other dementias.
Aside from the debilitating disorders, many other disorders affect the nervous system or produce neurological sequelae (any abnormal condition that follows and is the result of a disease, treatment, or injury). Projections based on a 2005 WHO study show that worldwide, 326 million people suffer from migraine; 61 million from cerebrovascular diseases; 18 million from neuroinfections or neurological sequelae of infections. Adding substantially to the burden are 352 million people with neurological sequelae of nutritional disorders and neuropathies, and 170 million people plagued with neurological sequelae secondary to injuries. These numbers reflect millions of very unhappy people that at a bare minimum have cognitive imbalance, a factor that Rummel points out will aggravate conflict behavior.
More importantly, 877,000 people die by suicide every year, 86% of them in low and middle income countries, and more than half are aged between 15 and 44. Billions of dollars are spent each year to further conflict behavior and to kill people whereas just a small fraction of those billions could be devoted to saving millions of lives with increased mental health and in promoting human societies more prone to peace than to war. Consider, one in four patients visiting a health service has at least one mental, neurological or behavioral disorder, but most of these disorders are neither diagnosed nor treated. There is no getting around how mental illnesses affect and are affected by chronic conditions such as cancer, heart and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, left untreated, they bring about unhealthy behavior, non-compliance with prescribed medical regimens, diminished immune functioning, and poor prognosis. The consequences of ignoring mental health issues are the very facets of life that cause and aggravate conflict behavior. One needs no degree in psychology to know that “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community” will be a state that is hard to drive into conflict behavior.
The salient point here is that cost-effective treatments exist for most disorders, and if correctly applied, could enable most of those affected to become functioning members of society. Unfortunately, the strongest barriers to implementation of mental health services include a failure of awareness on the seriousness of mental illness and lack of understanding about the benefits of services. Stringent policy makers, insurance companies, and health/labor policies, along with the public at large, have instilled discriminate practices between physical and mental problems. It is this type of agenda that Rummel’s conflict behavior causes speak to on status difference and coercive state power. Most resources are devoted to urgent physical care, and the preventive power of mental health is marginalized. Indeed, most middle and low-income countries devote less than 1% of their health expenditure to mental health. As a result, mental health policies, legislation, community care facilities, and treatments for people with mental illness are not given the priority they deserve, which is a clear case of the conflict behavior cause of sociocultural dissimilarity. WHO is presently pushing for more global support of mental health, especially in developing countries; however, the connection to conflict behavior has been overlooked.
Stepping back to look at the two things that Rummel contends inhibit conflict behavior: 1.) sociocultural similarity; and, 2.) decentralized or weak, coercive state power; we have to ask if increasing mental health for all people would actually lead to these phenomena. WHO finds the facts. Nearly half of all mental disorders begin before the age of 14 (untreated family members contributing). Close to 20% of the world's children and adolescents are estimated to have mental disorders or problems, with similar types of disorders being reported across all cultures. Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. This astounding social fact exemplifies the conflict behavior cause of perception of opportunity, threat, or injustice. Most of the low and middle income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people. There is no sociocultural similarity in these facts. The highest suicide rates are found among men in eastern European countries known for coercive state power, yet mental disorders are one of the most prominent and treatable causes of suicide. Stigma about mental disorders and discrimination against patients and families prevent people from seeking mental health care. In South Africa, a public survey showed that most people thought mental illnesses were related to either stress or a lack of willpower rather than to clinical disorders. Contrary to expectations, levels of stigma were higher in urban areas and among people with higher levels of education, which gives rise to Rummel’s conflict behavior cause of lack of awareness and the trigger of surprise. Human rights violations of psychiatric patients are routinely reported in most countries. These include physical restraint, seclusion and denial of basic needs and privacy. Few countries have a legal framework that adequately protects the rights of people with mental disorders. The largest sociocultural inequity is in the distribution of skilled human resources for mental health across the world. Shortages of properly educated and trained psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers are among the biggest hurdles to providing treatment and adequate care in low and middle income countries. WHO reports that low-income countries have 0.05 psychiatrists and 0.42 nurses per 100 000 people; whereas, the rate of psychiatrists in high income countries is 170 times greater and for nurses is 70 times greater.
WHO contends that are there are five key barriers that need to be overcome in order to increase the availability of mental health services: 1.) the absence of mental health from the public health agenda and the implications for funding; 2.) the current organization of mental health services; 3.) lack of integration within primary care; 4.) inadequate human resources for mental health; and 5.) lack of public mental health leadership. These five barriers to worldwide mental health are the exact things that Rummel argued would inhibit conflict behavior if overcome. This would mean that governments, donors and groups representing mental health workers, patients and their families need to work together to increase mental health services, especially in the low and middle income countries. WHO explains that the financial resources needed are relatively modest, as little as $2 per person per year in low-income countries and $3-4 in lower middle-income countries. In contrast, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports a world military expenditure in 2010 at an estimated $1.62 trillion in current dollars which represents a 1.3% increase in real terms since 2009 and a 50% increase since 2001.That comes to about 2.6 % of the world gross domestic product (GDP), or approximately $236 for each person in the world.
There is little truth in the cliché that history repeats itself, simply because so many variables in the world are in constant flux. However, themes in history do repeat themselves, and striving for peace through conflict behavior is one of the most resilient. From looking at the facts, peace is indeed an equilibrium between many forces. History has demonstrated that conflict behavior will not be inhibited by anything less than sociocultural similarity (equal opportunity at a minimum), and a decentralized or weak, coercive state power (democracy in some flavor). A relatively inexpensive way to achieve both and also provide “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community,” is to further efforts that implement mental health, equally, on a global agenda. It is time to own up to the fact that conflict behavior adds little to peace and harmony, yet comes at a huge expense to resources. When we add to that knowledge the fact that happy people are easier to work and live with, then exploring an alternative such as expanded mental health in a world peace strategy becomes a little more attractive. For the bean counters, it seems like a hand down win. Rather than spend $236 per person on conflict behavior, maybe just $232 and give $4 to WHO for implementation of its global mental health plan. That seems like a very small price to pay for something that has such huge possibilities, especially since the money is being spent anyway.
There are two important considerations in the argument for investing in an extension of the mental health agenda. First and foremost is that this urging does not call for an immediate lying down of arms. The world is such that military peace keepers are indeed required. This would be a peace strategy that would be implemented in the long term and may well be a generation away from bearing fruit. But if we look back at the tens of thousands of years of conflict behavior, a strategy that takes a generation to implement does not seem so unreasonable. The point is that military spending can be significantly reduced and those resources better spent. The second consideration is that mental health is relative to individual needs. A popular field of research has emerged in “positive psychology.” We tend to think of only the destitute afflicted with mental health issues when that is not the case at all, as the stigma from the South African survey clarifies. Functioning people can suffer from mental health issues just as much as the destitute. In fact, the functioning can at times actually be more of a threat to world peace than the dysfunctional (e.g. Hitler), especially in a society with restricted mental health care. The goal is to lift the stigma and extend the view that going to a mental health center is the same as going to the gym. The only difference is that one keeps the body in shape and the other keeps the mind in shape. Take for example the manner in which the field of psychology not only boomed during World War II, but split. Prior to the great wars psychology was largely viewed as a clinical domain for the unstable. The realization came in the early 1900s that psychology had another function as well and that was the ability to determine an individual’s abilities and capabilities, or strengths and weaknesses. This helped military trainers assign troops to what they were best at, or discharge the person altogether.
After WW II, returning troops were in dire need of counseling services, not as much for trauma as for aptitude testing and job/education placement. Thus a new branch of psychology emerged as counseling psychology. The focus of counseling psychology is to assess people and direct them toward what the assessment warrants. It may be some form of treatment, but is often just informing the person of their strengths and weaknesses and what might work best for them, or what type of environment they may expect to thrive in. Many contemporary education and employment placement procedures fall under this domain of mental health services. Mental health is no longer an exclusive domain of psychologists. Mental health embraces all forms of helping professionals including social workers, certified counselors in numerous areas from weight loss to job placement, and family counseling. It is these types of social services that lift a society up more than dropping bombs on their infrastructure.
Beyond the conflict behavior argument, there is a clear employment agenda built into the mental health strategy. Millions of people worldwide will find employment on all levels, from the construction crews and architects that construct the facilities to the helping professionals that staff them, and the technology industry that equips them. Not only are the employable provided opportunities, but those suffering from mental health issues become employable through counseling and/or treatment. This strategy does not leave out the egos that enjoy winning wars, it merely has shifted who the enemy is. Mankind has a penchant for picking fights it can win; we now have one. 
Virot, P. WHO urges more investments, services for mental health
., 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012 from http://www.who.int/mental_health/who_urges_investment/en/index.html 
Wright, Quincy, The escalation of international conflict. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 9 (December, 1965). 434-449. 
Rummel, R.J. Understanding Conflict and War: Vol. 4: War, Power, Peace,
Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1979 
UCDP/Human Security Centre Dataset. Retrieved March 26 from: http://www.humansecuritygateway.com/showRecord.php?RecordId=34079 
Shah, Anup. World Military Spending. Global Issues: Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All. May 02, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2012 from: http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
JOHN ENTINGH - 26 MARCH 2012
Mankind has no greater enemy than itself. Despite the clever and innovative machines that strong warriors devise, it is the small things the warrior overlooks that eventually win out. When Europeans came to the Americas, they did not land on a sparsely populated shore. Although there is no pervasive agreement between scholars, the population in the Americas when Christopher Columbus set sail is estimated between 60 to over 100 million people.
When the Spaniards and Portuguese arrived in South America archeological evidence suggests that 15 million people populated the Aztec Empire and six million in the Inca Empire alone. It was not superior weapons or even military prowess that allowed a boatload of Europeans to conquer such vast empires, it was microscopic organisms the invaders had no knowledge of, yet carried every where they traveled. It was Eurasian diseases such as smallpox, influenza, bubonic plague and pneumonic plagues that devastated the Native Americans who had never developed immunity. Even the most conservative estimates hold that the Native American death toll due to these diseases was at an astonishing 80% by the end of the 17th century, eight million people in 1650 alone.
Surprisingly the warring Europeans that had been devastated by the “The Black Death” between 1348 and 1350 failed to make the connection. The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60 percent of Europe's population, reducing world population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in the 14th century.
However, the ever clever man did not miss the potential biological agents had for waging war as technology grew.
By World War I (1914–1918), the Imperial German government developed what they termed biological sabotage using anthrax and glanders (an infectious disease that occurs primarily in horses, mules, and donkeys). Although the results were not as devastating as hoped,
world powers still gathered to take strong measures by banning bioweapons in the Geneva Protocol of 1925 (that nearly every country ignored).
By the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and World War II (1939–1945), biological weapons were in full use. The Japanese launched biological warfare on the Chinese, and shortly thereafter Nazi Germany was openly producing biological weapons. The new danger with Germany was that the prior loss of life by intentional biological weapons had been limited due to poor delivery systems, but the Nazis had developed rockets to overcome that drawback. This gave the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada a justification to initiate their own biological-warfare development programs in 1941 that resulted in the weaponization of anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxin (Fear of the German program turned out to be vastly exaggerated.).
This is how mankind’s clever mind works: We take something we know little about, turn it into a weapon that kill most of the world’s population, and say it’s for our own protection.
That statement is not as facetious as one may think. Step back and take a look at how nuclear weapons have played out. Perhaps the first nuclear weapons were justified to end World War II. But in any case, the point is, that the United States spent a great deal of resources to produce this weapon, for our own protection, and has been consumed ever since with protecting us from the very weapon they developed. Of course we have to recognize the argument that nuclear weapons were going to be made anyway. Regardless, the same situation applies to all nuclear states. We have yet to exclude Russians, Chinese, Israelis, Koreans, or Iranians from mankind. I hold my ground; mankind has no greater enemy than itself.
Case in point, a computer worm was discovered in June 2010 that is called Stuxnet. The malware is spread via Microsoft Windows, and targets Siemens industrial software and equipment. The Siemens industrial software and equipment infected is literally the equipment that runs the world as we know it. These industrial systems run everything imaginable, traffic light systems, subway systems, power generating systems (including the grid and nuclear plants), food processing plants, warehouses, emergency alert systems, every form of manufacturing, hospitals, police and fire departments, and even the air traffic control systems. The danger from this worm is that it preys specifically on industrial systems and has a very complex programmable logic controller (PLC) rootkit.
That means it can be programmed to target a specific operating system and take over the running of the program unbeknownst to even the most observant operator.
CBS 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft did a piece on Stuxnet
that revealed some startling information. One of the interviews was with Liam O’ Murchu, an operations manager for computer virus security company Symantec. O’ Murchu was one of minds behind figuring out Stuxnet and explains how the worm was programmed to target industrial systems such as that the Iranians use to enrich fuel cells for nuclear weapons. The target of the worm, along with the sophistication, leaves little room for speculation that this is anything other than state sponsored technological warfare. Evidently, the program was spinning centrifuges too fast for the enrichment to work properly and at the same time was burning the equipment up. To the plant operators, everything seemed okay, their diagnostics and readings were on point. Stuxnet has the ability to run the equipment at one speed, but report to the operators another speed. The danger of this worm is that any manner of equipment could be taken over the same way and the operators have no idea. Kroft also interviewed Sean McGurk, one time leader of the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to secure U.S. systems from cyber attack. McGurk emphasized that very point: "You can download the actual source code of Stuxnet now and you can repackage it [and] point it back to wherever it came from." McGurk stated the biggest fear now was that a terrorist group or a rogue country could refashion the programmable malware to attack U.S. infrastructure like the power grid, adding: "They opened the box. They demonstrated the capability...it's not something that they can put back."
The most distressing point of the Stuxnet fiasco is the attitudes from the governmental bureaucrats. Kroft also interviewed retired Gen. Mike Hayden, former head of NSA and CIA, but denied being in office when the Stuxnet attack occurred, and denied knowing who was behind it. However, Hayden’s sentiments might well be an indicator of his colleagues. When Kroft asked him if it was a good idea to unleash something so dangerous to all: "This was a good idea, alright? But I also admit this was a big idea, too. The rest of the world is looking at this and saying, 'Clearly, someone has legitimated this kind of activity as acceptable.'" That sounds an awful lot like the justification for using nuclear weapons on Japan. Even worse, Hayden admits knowing “… there are those out there who can take a look at this...and maybe even attempt to turn it to their own purposes." That acknowledgement in and of itself shocks the conscious. The power brokers on high have no misunderstanding of how this type of cyber weapon can be turned back on the entire world, and simply shrug it off. Ralph Langner, another expert in industrial control systems, and who also was instrumental in analyzing Stuxnet, drove home the point about how easily this program could be reversed: "You just need a couple of millions…and it wouldn't take the resources of a government to find the right people…if I would be tasked with assembling a cyber force, yeah, I would know whom to approach. So that's not a real secret." Clearly the Iranian nuclear threat pales in comparison to that of U.S. and Israeli leaders that “legitimated this kind of activity as acceptable.”
Mankind has no greater enemy than itself. 
Alan Taylor (2002). American colonies; Volume 1 of The Penguin history of the United States, History of the United States Series.
Penguin. p. 40.  La catastrophe démographique
(The Demographical Catastrophe), L'Histoire n°322, July–August 2007, p. 17. 
Austin Alchon, Suzanne (2003). A pest in the land: new world epidemics in a global perspective
. University of New Mexico Press. p. 21. 
Koenig, Robert (2006), The Fourth Horseman: One Man's Secret Campaign to Fight the Great War in America
, PublicAffairs. 
Ken Alibek and K Handelman (1999), Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World Trade From the Inside by the Man Who Ran It, New York, NY: Random House. 
Covert, Norman M. (2000), A History of Fort Detrick, Maryland
, 4th Edition: 2000. 
Last-minute paper: An indepth look into Stuxnet. Virus Bulletin. http://www.virusbtn.com/conference/vb2010/abstracts/LastMinute7.xml. 
Kroft, Steve, (March 4, 2012), Former CIA head calls Stuxnet virus "good idea." http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57388982/fmr-cia-head-calls-stuxnet-virus-good-idea/
MATTHEW BISHOP - 2 MARCH 2011
It does not make sense to consider valid the rhetoric of U.S. isolationism in a world where the entire American structure depends on global work, global security, and global economy. Our oil comes from a host of different nations. Our food is exported around the world. Our financial services and higher education attract people from across the earth, while our businesses turn international and become cornerstones for other nations' economies. Our students travel the world and globalize themselves, or live abroad teaching English. Our lifestyle is global, whether or not we as individuals acknowledge ourselves as global, and to discuss isolationism is to ignore who we are and upon which structures our nation, our security, and our economy are built.
This essay focuses on the ideals of interventionism v isolationism as a whole, and not specifically in regards to the military. This essay is more concerned with foreign aid and crisis prevention, and does support "trimming down the military" in the many places where a military presence is not necessary and will not be in the near future. There are a host of reasons and underlying beliefs that isolationists or noninterventionists offer to explain why we should remain "uncommitted" or "uninvolved" in global affairs, and this paper will address them as it mentions them. These are:
1) The underlying belief that it is morally acceptable to remain uninvolved politically in regards to crisis areas or target issues with which U.S. companies are already involved with economically. (More common than this belief is the outright failure to realize that political disengagement does not mean commercial disengagement, and along with this failed realization proponents of isolationism also fail to realize that international commercial policies have extremely adverse and at times extremely violent effects among foreign populations.)
- In this case, isolationism is nothing but irresponsibility and a failure to accept the humanitarian burdens that go hand-in-hand with ethical business policies. To permit a company to work abroad, for example, and then to say that no human responsibility is involved, is to allow for forced labor, slave labor, dangerous working conditions, and in the worst cases the emergence or continuance of war or genocide. Foreign governments that depend on U.S. investment are less willing and less able to enforce human rights policies in the workplace. The responsibility, therefore, lies with the investor. This applies to private companies, but it also applies to organizations like the World Bank and IMF.
2) The underlying belief that each nation should be responsible for itself only.
- This is a fallacy in itself. Nations that depend on one another for trade, growth, and jobs, in being responsible for themselves, must acknowledge these connections and then be responsible for the well-being of others. The well-being of others, in turn, supports the well-being of the nation. Autarkic trade policies have failed in the past, are inconceivable in the present, and are not worthy of consideration in the near future.
3) The moral disconnect between nationals of one nation and nationals of another nation, leading to the belief that one American life is ultimately far more significant than the life of any non-American individual. Resulting from this belief is the argument that Americans should not involve themselves in cases of genocide or other widescale human atrocities and crimes against humanity, even, in a rather hypocritical situation, when Americans teach a "never again" story of the Holocaust in public schools. This also leads to the reluctance to attempt to even understand foreign problems, and the refusal to accept valid solutions for these crises even at minimal cost to the United States.
- This argument sustains itself on its own self-invented moral tenants, which are often racist, more often hypocritical, and always inconsiderate of human lives. It is a valid argument in a world where one human has absolutely no interest or obligation in saving the life of another human. It seems natural for any decent and caring human being to reject this argument outright by denying the truth of this worldview and by insisting that humans do hold a natural human obligation to help and care for one another.
4) An aversion to military intervention unless "state security" or "economic interest" is involved.
- Military policies toward situations that are already military or which involve genocide, crimes against humanity, etc., do legitimately merit military responses. The Law of Proportion should always be adhered to in these cases-- if only 2,000 lives are at stake, for instance, we should not risk 2,500 in saving them. Conversely, if 12,000,000 lives are at stake, it is a valid and defensible policy to intervene in real military terms.
- "State Security" and "Economic Interest" are generally defined by individuals and organizations in positions of power and, contrary to popular belief, they actually do reflect the interests of those organizations and individuals rather than the actual and legitimate interests of the nation. It was not in the interests of security to invade Iraq, it was the personal vendetta of GWB and his colleagues. It is not in the interests of security to maintain an aggressive and nuclear Israel on an American budget, it is in the interest of well-funded Zionist fundamentalist organizations like AIPAC. "Economic interest" policies frequently result in mass impoverishment, displacement, and starvation in other countries-- a well-explored example is American farm subsidy policies and international trade policies. These are rhetorical tools utilized by quasi-isolationists that do not account for the real reasons or consequences of American actions.
5) The idea that costs for foreign aid and interventionist programs could be better applied on the home front, and that causes abroad mirror causes at home that are not being given due attention. A common argument in this vein of thought goes something like this: "Why are we feeding children in Africa when there are kids starving here in the United States?"
- There have been no reported deaths due to starvation anywhere in the United States for many years now. The United States wastes more food than any other nation, and its residents are the most well-fed in the world. Meanwhile, one third of the human population lives malnourished, undernourished, or on the outright brink of starvation.
- This argument is valid in regards to certain issue areas. Surely Egypt does not need three billion a year to keep it from attacking Israel? Surely Israel does not need three billion a year to keep it from being destroyed by rock-throwing Palestinian teenagers? Surely Pakistan does not require three billion to fight the Taliban when they are actually training the Taliban? Surely Ethiopia does not deserve 2-3 billion to feed its people when it continually uses those funds to distinguish between political allies, who it will feed, and political enemies, who the state decides to let starve? An overhaul of foreign aid is needed. But there are many crisis areas in the world right now that deserve much more funding; Sudan/South Sudan and DR Congo come to mind the most. The overhaul should carry with it renewed efforts at transparency and requirements for inspectors. All things considered, however, this is the most valid of the arguments against isolationism, if only because so many funds abroad get wasted or lost in channels of official government corruption. This is a difficult problem, as many of the weakest governments, in need of the most aid, are also the most corrupt, so lending x amount of money in aid only actually delivers x-y amount to the people in need of that aid. This is why transparency and inspection must become pillars of a new foreign aid policy.
6) The reliance on the false idea that America invests a huge proportion of its resources to foreign aid.
- In fact, the United States frequently spends only around 1% of its budget on foreign aid, whereas the Department of Defense, in FY 2011, spent an amazing 19% of the United States Federal Budget. This should be the opposite, if we comprehend the now common knowledge that prosperity breeds peace and stability. Trimming down the military, which operates bases around the world that it does not require and maintains bases that are not even occupied, should be a much more pressing discussion than trimming down aid, the little of which we do give generally goes toward preventing large-scale civil wars, setting up refugee camps in war-torn areas, securing allegiances, and providing disaster relief. All of these efforts bolster our security by showing the world that America is not just some collection of heartless military operations that they should hate and fight against.
7) The belief that we can't solve other people's problems.
- Yes, we can. As a wealthy, strong, and ideally independent third-party mediator, we are actually in an ideal position to do so. We need to engage problems on the terms in which they actually exist, and not drag them through the machine of US partisan politics and so distort their reality. Distorting their reality prevents them from being solved. This is the only real conceptual requirement to address "other people's problems". A lot of problems are actually quite simple, and can be overcome by human cooperation. It is only the refusal to cooperate that creates and sustains problems. When we are cooperating and behaving as a single unit, we gain the power to help really mediate and solve "other people's problems." This should be the theory with which we approach mediation. Realistically it will require legal, structural, and budget reform within our own government and in regards to foreign policy, and will also require a dedicated effort on all sides of the political spectrum to actually understand and solve specific world problems, a motivation that Congress usually seems to be rather unfamiliar with.
8) The understanding that it is natural for parts of the world to pass through traumatic stages and that part of a nation's or the world's evolution is to evolve through phases of war and genocide
- This is a disgusting argument to anyone who fully comprehends it. We should not put an end to the summary mass execution of unarmed civilians because "it just happens" and we "have to get over it"? No, I won't get over it. I would not expect any Holocaust survivor to "get over it" and tell me that "it just happens". I would not expect anyone in the eastern DRC or South Sudan or Darfur, 1970's Cambodia or 1990's Rwanda to tell me that I should "just move on" and "forget about it, because it happens to everyone." It should not happen to anyone. People who use this argument have no idea of what they are talking about. There is nothing "natural" about walking for 300 meters on corpses without touching the ground. There is nothing "natural" about seeing baby brains smeared on the floor. There is nothing natural about being forced at gunpoint to pick up your father and throw him into an incinerator and watch him burn. The people who use this argument don't understand what "trauma" even is.
- The fulfillment of "Never Again" requires constant vigilance. This means that when genocide or crimes against humanity are witnessed, we are obligated to act. If one part of the world is experiencing a phase in its history ridden with war, crime, and inhuman atrocities, then it is the duty of another part of the world, experiencing peace, power, stability, and far-reaching influence, to stop that crime in its tracks.
9) "They should just move"
- That would be convenient. Cattle-herders cannot find land for their cattle in another person's property in another country. Farmers who struggle every day cannot leave a season's harvest to find another nation. Emigration and immigration policies often forbid moving in very rigid legal terms. These are the reasons people do not flee before conflict. Once conflict is upon them, the story changes. Conflict can confound these arguments. Conflict can burn the farmer's field, or kill his cattle, and can even burn his home and steal the money from his own pocket. So why don't people move in anticipation of this scenario?
It is in human nature not to move. Humans generally believe that good things happen to good people and that they themselves are more invulnerable to attack than others. In general, they overestimate the likelihood of positive events and underestimate the likelihood of negative events. They also understand the world as meaningful and as operating with certain rules, religious or otherwise, that prevent bad things from happening arbitrarily to good people. These beliefs and precepts create a certain naivety about reality-- "the soldiers might come nextdoor, but they have no reason to come here," or "Whatever happens is God's will, so I am staying here." There is often, as well, an element of denial. For instance, even when rural Jewish communities were warned of the Holocaust by survivors trying to alert them, they would refuse to believe that the Holocaust would reach them. After all, they were only a small rural community and were not bothering anyone-- why should anyone want to bother them?
Furthermore, a very significant part of human meaning and perception of life as meaningful derives from the value of close family and/or friends, or in some cases other human networks. These networks are almost always confined to close psychical spaces and uprooting oneself is extremely difficult; conversely, it is very difficult to uproot the entire network. All of these factors combined lead many individuals to dismiss "just moving" as a possibility at all, much less a viable option.
TRESTON WHEAT - 25 JANUARY 2012 Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Acts of War and America’s Responses Introduction
Contrary to popular opinion, the world has not changed since September 11, 2001. All that is different is that Americans became aware of the animosity the rest of the world feels to the United States. Two stories from the twentieth century illustrate this. The first happened on September 6, 1901: the assassination of President William McKinley. Leon Czolgosz shot the President twice at the Pan-American Exposition after McKinley had been shaking hands with the people there. Although it appeared the President might recover from the bullet that ravaged his internal organs, he died a little over a week later. Czolgosz was an anarchist influenced by the ideas of anarchist Emma Goldman. His goal was the elimination of the US government. The second story happened almost a century later. Ramzi Yousef, an Islamist and the nephew to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, wanted to commit terrorism against the United States. On February 26, 1993, he and Eyad Ismoil drove a truck with over 1,300 lbs of fertilizer in the parking garage of the World Trade Center. Their goal was to blow up the base of the North Tower and knock it onto the South Tower; he wanted to kill tens of thousands of people. Luckily only six people died. His motivation was America’s support of Israel and the removal of American intervention in the Middle East. On September 11 al-Qaeda acted in the same way terrorists for the last century have. The destruction of the US government, American-Israeli relations, and American’s involvement in the Middle East motivated the hijackers. Furthermore, they were not the first to try and bring down the Twin Towers. Nothing has changed. Historicizing Sub-State Violence in America
America has dealt with what academics call sub-state violence since the beginning of the 19th century. Thomas Jefferson, and later James Madison, had to deal with the Barbary pirates. The two presidents responded by sending the US navy to swiftly deal with the Barbary states, which were quasi-independent powers in the Ottoman Empire. Later in the 1800’s, America had to deal with the Civil War. Although this conflict is often characterized as a war between two state actors, the Federal government of the United States did not consider the Confederacy to be a legitimate government. For Abraham Lincoln, the Confederacy would be what people call sub-state actors today. A little known set of cases during the Civil War actually greatly affects the conceptualization of how Americans should view the War on Terror. The Supreme Court decided the Prize Cases in 1863 because President Abraham Lincoln blockaded the Confederacy without a formal declaration of war. The Supreme Court ruled “[a] state of actual war may exist without any formal declaration of it by either party, and this is true of both a civil and a foreign war.”
Furthermore, the Court ruled that “[t]o create this and other belligerent rights as against neutrals, it is not necessary that the party claiming them should be at war with a separate and independent power.”
The Prize cases established a legalist paradigm on how Americans should view war with sub-state actors.
On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda operatives attacked the United States by flying planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. However, even before those attacks, al-Qaeda was at war with the United States. Osama bin Laden released a fatwa in 1996 titled “Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Place.”
In the fatwa he writes: “Today your brothers and sons, the sons of the two Holy Places, have started their Jihad in the cause of Allah, to expel the occupying enemy from of the country of the two Holy places…And as you know, it is wise, in the present circumstances, for the armed military forces not to be engaged in a conventional fighting with the forces of the crusader enemy…unless a big advantage is likely to be achieved; and great losses induced on the enemy side (that would shaken (sic) and destroy its foundations and infrastructures) that will help to expel the defeated enemy from the country.”
A fatwa is a religious declaration by someone within the ulema, religious scholars of Islam. Whether Osama was allowed to deliver a fatwa is nugatory. What is important is that he declared war against America, which means the US and al-Qaeda were in a state of war according to the Prize Cases even though America did not offer a formal declaration. America did not need to declare war for the country to be drawn into one.
Second, al-Qaeda is a sub-state actor; however, there does not need to be a legitimate government to create a state of war. As the Supreme Court ruled, the US could be at war with someone who is not a “separate and independent power.” This is usually the part of contention between those who say terrorism is an act of war verses those who say it is merely a crime. The Prize Cases settle this in a legal sense, although someone may disagree with the principle in theory. Yet, in the American context, the precedent set by United States law is that when a sub-state actor attacks the legitimate authority then the state is at war. This broad historical analysis establishes the framework that politically motivated sub-state violence has been and will always be an act of war. However, every particular case is different and deserves a different response. How to fight the war…
Usually after establishing that terrorism is an act of war, academics or policy makers follow through with the “logical” step of saying the military needs to respond. However, even though terrorism is an act of warfare, this does not necessarily mean that a military response is necessary. Each case is specific and needs a specialized response. It would be reckless to send the military after an individual terrorist, but it would be more appropriate to use them against an international terrorist threat. People cannot generalize about terrorists and respond to them in the same way. As previously demonstrated, there is a long history of sub-state violence in and against America. Each time, the United States did not respond the same every time; a specified approach is necessary to deal with the threat of terrorism.
In response to individual terrorism, the United States has a tradition of responding with a trial and punishment. The previous mentioned case of Leon Czolgosz is an example from the 20th century, and Nidal Malik Hassan is an example from the 21st. Nine days after Czolgosz attempted to kill the president, he went on trial, and the prosecution finished their case in two days. He was found guilty and received the death penalty a little over a month later. Hassan was a soldier in the US military, who for[C1]
religiously motivated reasons, opened fire against his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood while yelling “Allahu Akbar.”
He killed 13 people and wounded dozens of others before being brought down. At the end of November and beginning of December, the government began the proceedings to try Hassan. He has a trial coming in March. For individual terrorists, it is not necessary to respond with military action. Although it was a soldier who stopped Hassan, and civilians who stopped Czolgosz, the two just needed to be put on trial for their crimes.
Compare this to America’s response to September 11. After al-Qaeda brought down the Twin Towers andattacked the Pentagon, America went after the terrorists in Afghanistan with military force. This was necessary because the Taliban, the government of Afghanistan, shielded al-Qaeda from receiving justice. The United States needed to intervene in the country to neutralize the threat of al-Qaeda. This should raise the question as to why the two responses differ. Hassan and Czolgosz were individual terrorists, while al-Qaeda was an international terrorist organization that had cells throughout the world and the protection of a government. The only appropriate responses to the former examples were trials, while the latter needed a military response to bring down the Taliban and pursue al-Qaeda in the mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
These are not the only two responses to terrorism available, though. If America wants to stop terrorism, then the country needs to have an honest assessment of how to stop it. Contrary to the popular conception of the FBI or CIA stopping the terrorists in the nick of time, the vast majority of terrorist attacks are not thwarted that way. According to the Institute for Homeland Security Solution, “More than 80% of foiled terrorist plots were discovered via observations from law enforcement or the general public. Tips included reports of plots as well as reports of suspicious activity, such as pre-operational surveillance, para-military training, smuggling activities, and the discovery of suspicious documents.”
Roughly 40% of the cases of thwarted terrorism happened because of public awareness or informants sharing information.
Intelligence is another response to terrorism and trying to interdict the attacks. Restructuring the System
Fundamentally, this will need a systemic and philosophical restructuring of how the government deals with terrorism. This shift will have to be similar to how America reorganized itself after World War II with the creation of the National Security Council, CIA, and the Department of Defense. The current war against radical jihadists and other types of terrorists is unlikely to go away in the foreseeable future. Therefore, America’s national security apparatus needs to create a multilevel response with a combination of hard and soft power. First, the FBI and local police forces need to continue and extend their intelligence gathering abilities. Before September 11, the FBI was primarily a force to collect evidence and prosecute criminals within the country. After the terrorist attacks, the government forced intelligence gathering upon the institution. A possible restructuring is to build up a part of the FBI to resemble the gendermaries of European countries, which would require specific training for agents and analysts to work to interdict terrorism more than just collecting evidence. This would be a para-military part of the government rather than either military or police. A model America could utilize is Britain’s MI5, which is the country’s internal security force. MI5 had great amount of success against both the Provisional IRA and the Real IRA. Along these lines, the government needs to decide if terrorists will be tried in military or civilian courts. Currently, if a terrorist is tried in a military court, the FBI has to hand over all their intelligence to the military and is no longer part of the process. This causes turf wars, frustration, and competition. Another restructure would involve allowing the FBI to still collect the intelligence, and for the Department of Justice to stilltry the terrorist, whether it is in civilian court or military tribunal. The Department of Justice would need a special department of military lawyers who could work with the FBI and bring individual terrorists to trial.
Next, America needs to reconsider how it engages in diplomacy within the State Department. Traditionally, the State Department conducted foreign policy within the Westphalian system. Foreign ministers would meet with other foreign ministers and reach conclusions. However, in this conflict, sub-state actors are equally important as state actors. The new approach should allow the Secretary of State and Ambassadors to negotiate and talk with sub-state actors, including organizations that are considered the enemy like the Taliban. More diplomatic power will allow possibly peaceful ends to the conflict with certain terrorist organizations. Here, Britain is another good example with the IRA. Eventually the British government came to a settled agreement with a sub-state actor to end a decades long war between the IRA and the UK. Finally, because this is a war, America should always be ready to utilize military force. This does not always mean invading another country with a battalion; it could simply mean the use of Reaper drones to neutralize a terrorist in a foreign country or a special operations team like the one that eliminated Osama bin Laden. Yet, the option of a full military operation needs to always be available if the terrorist threat reaches international proportions, like in Afghanistan. This last option needs to only be used when there is a danger large enough to threaten American interests abroad. A combination of intelligence gathering, police work, diplomacy, and military action, both hard and soft power, are necessary to interdict, stop, or remove a terrorist threat. Conclusion
The varying cases of terrorism throughout American history necessitate that the US consider the nature of terrorism and how to respond to it when it occurs. Terrorists do not always act in the same way and have different organizational structures. There are “lone wolves” like Hassan and Czolgosz, cells like those lead by Ramzi Yousef, and international ones like al-Qaeda. America should be ready to handle each type of case differently and should not respond dogmatically to acts of terrorism. A static approach will ultimately fail in the end because the same solution cannot always work. America needs to use a combination of tools available, including trials, interrogation, intelligence, local communities, informants, and military action when necessary. The counter-terrorism establishment needs to be reasonable and flexible in how it tries to stop and prevent terrorism in the homeland and abroad. 
Prize Cases, 67 U.S. 2 Black 635 (1862) 
Osama bin Laden’s fatwa, originally published in Al-Quds Al Arabi,
Aug. 1996: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html 
Fort Hood Soldier: I ‘started doing what I was trained to do.’ Nov. 9, 2009: http://articles.cnn.com/2009-11-09/justice/fort.hood.foster_1_gen-robert-cone-nidal-malik-hasan-soldier?_s=PM:CRIME 
Institute for Homeland Security Solution, Building on Clues: Examining Successes and Failures in Detecting U.S. Terror Plots, 1999-2009.
Oct. 2010, pg. 1: https://www.ihssnc.org/portals/0/Building_on_Clues_Strom.pdf 
MATTHEW BISHOP - 20 JANUARY 2012
The power of war, like the power of love, springs from man's heart. The one yields death, the other life. But life without death has no meaning; nor, at its deepest level, does love without war. Without war we could not know from what depths love rises, or what power it must have to overcome such evil and redeem us.
- William Broyles Jr.
Image from DailyKos
This article is a psychological examination of how humans conceptualize war and aggression in general. William Broyles Jr.'s "Why Men Love War", an article that tries to understand why, as the author says, "There is a reason for every war and a war for every reason" is the foundation of this essay, and this paper serves to expand upon the ideas that Broyles develops. Rathus's work "Theories of Aggression" and Brown's "Manchild in the Promised Land" will also be used for this paper's arguments.
1: Theories of Aggression
Rathus arrives at the conclusion that there are five foremost ways in which psychologists understand war, and in which individuals react to or participate in war and aggression in general. These are the biological, cognitive, psychodynamic, humanistic-existential, and learning perspectives.
The biological assumes that aggression is natural in the human state and ultimately works for the betterment of the individual participating in aggression and that it can also exist for the betterment of the collective society involved in aggression. Sociobiology says that humans compete for survival and for their goals in life and that this leads to aggressive behavior in a very basic and natural way.
The cognitive perspective assumes that aggression is a result of conscious thought and decided intentions, and that aggressive behavior is present in those individuals who have experienced the most aggression in their own pasts. Aggressive individuals understand other individuals as aggressive and hostile even when they are not, and this can often result in aggressive acts including war.
The humanistic-existential perspective is the most optimistic. It understands war and aggression as something contrary to human nature. Aggression, this theory contends, comes in the form of defensive reactions against outside incursions. What causes those outside incursions is not addressed.
The psychodynamic theory contends that aggression usually manifests in small acts that in fact prevent larger acts. Small-scale, everyday aggression can prevent large or more devastating aggression simply by allowing the individual or the society to "let off steam". Even wars, in this perspective, are a result of the need to let off steam.
The learning perspective views aggression as a learned behavior passed down and inherited from one to another. Individuals that are treated in an aggressive manner, in turn, behave aggressively. Individuals who become aggressive are influenced by their own experiences, the experiences they view (this includes viewing violence in the media) and the experiences that they are otherwise aware of.
2: "Why Men Love War"
While any of the above theories might provide the motive for war, Broyles contends that there is something so unique about the experience of war that it draws men into it in the most instinctive and natural way. It is something removed from aggression, and the above theories of aggression can only begin the probing into the human mind in search of understanding war. The proximity to death and the resulting "epic" narrative of war is attractive. The otherworldliness of the entire experience, the uniqueness, is something almost fully irresistible. The ability to destroy life and property without punishment is attractive and allows men to be entirely destructive without consequence-- as is part of man's nature, the author contends. The bonds that exist in the world of war-- total allegiance to those who might save your life and total disregard for the lives of those who are trying to take your own-- is simple, instinctive, and profound in human nature. Controversially, Broyles spends a lot of time discussing the thrill of the kill-- it is not just that killing may be a part of nature, he contends, but it is instead the fact that people enjoy killing which is the general casus belli of every conflict in human history.
People are allowed to enjoy killing in wartime-- they are encouraged to do so, and there is no regard for regular civilian rules. Nor is there any indication that the enemy could ever exist in a civilian world-- they are demons to be vanquished, not people whose interests must be considered. As Broyles recalls in his own experience in Vietnam, "...we didn't burn houses and shoot people; we burned hooches and shot gooks."
The processes of dehumanization-- which Broyles only briefly alludes to in that single and profound statement-- that are inherent in and necessary for every war are also inherent in and necessary for every act of genocide and other large-scale forms of aggression (including structural aggression such as slavery and state violence). It is something easy to identify with in the us-them world of killing or dying, but it is terribly difficult to overcome. Many World War II veterans who fought in the Pacific during World War II still do not consider "Japs" to be humans, for example, or if they do then they are a lesser breed of human. It's been almost seventy years. But time is of no consequence in this. The experiences of the Pacific arena in World War II were so profound and required such a shift in the perception of the Japanese and the perception of self and of Americans that once these shifts occurred, they could not be undone. What Broyles describes as the "epic" narrative of war and the "proximity of life and death" is something that strikes so deep into the core of a human being that there is virtually no force able to exert more influence in the human mind. To many veterans, the Japanese were machines programmed to kill or die, and they still are. In war, everyone becomes a machine programmed to live or die. In some sense, no one is human. In another sense, Broyles would remind us, we are more human in war than in any other phenomenon of human history.
Broyles talks about war as something attractive to mankind, woven into the fabric of man's nature. And to overcome the instinct that creates war, we must always be conscious of that instinct in the first place. We must acknowledge it and react to it by resisting it, not by abiding by it. It is dark to suggest that we recognize this instinct-- it requires that we suspend the rules by which we are raised and admit that we are all capable of terrible, terrible things-- but then again, so does war. Yet recognition is necessary to overcome what ultimately propels every war in the history of our world. We must acknowledge that it is part of the nature of man, and then we begin to change the world around us by changing our own nature and resisting war.
A friend of mine, who suffers from severe PTSD after eight years in the Marines, cannot even understand Americans as human-- he sees nothing as human, and everything, at every point in time, on the brink of killing or dying. War is his reality, and leaving Somalia, Afghanistan, or Iraq never changed that reality. Coming back to America did not change that reality. I was in the mountains with him one day, and he looked down at the small people beneath us. He sat down and pretended to be taking out a sniper rifle, and started laughing. He'd make the motion of pulling a trigger and make the pop sound with his mouth. He'd count them. Then he started talking about how we should jump off a cliff, and see how far down we make it before we die. Death is as close to him as life is, I realized in that moment. To Broyles, this is the human state. To us, it seems unnatural. But to any man who had spent the last eight years doing what my friend had done, he'd have to agree with Broyles. To people like my friend, our own daily lives are a distortion of reality-- war is the only actual reality.
3: America Today
Claud Brown's "Manchild in the Promised Land" is a recollection of Brown's own childhood in 1940s-1950s Harlem. It is an article that seems far removed from World War II, Vietnam, or Iraq, but it is in fact very close to them all. People in 1940s-1950s Harlem were encouraged to fight. Reputations were based on fights won. People were described by how they fought, which hand they hit with, etc. Parents taught their kids that fighting was a way to win respect in the community and that is was necessary, and would be ashamed when their young children would run from fights. The world they lived in was simple, as the author recalls-- people are constantly trying to steal away "your manhood", which was everything necessary for life, and you had to defend it through physical violence. This is a sort of world that is well-known to any veteran. The enemy is trying to take away what is important to you. You must defend that thing by killing your enemy. Killing your enemy may involve terrible and seemingly inhuman atrocities, but it is necessary, because you must defend that thing which is important to you. That "thing" changes from war to war, but the basic concept remains the same.
It is also a world very similar to the world in which many Americans live today. It is the world of poor inner cities, rural dirt backroads, impoverished ghost towns, and competitive upper-class, fast-paced communities. It is the way in which a huge number of Americans are introduced to violence and the way in which they arrive at the conclusion that violence is acceptable, necessary, natural to the human state, or even inherently good or otherwise not worth resisting. Violence is a tool to achieve one's own ends or to defend that important thing. It does not come in the form of war, but instead in the form of small-scale violence. Yet this is the very same concept that must be present in the human mind for war to exist.
A year ago I stood outside the gates of Dachau. Written in twisted black iron upon those gates was a phrase: Arbeit Macht Frei, the German for Work will set you free. It is easy to remember the Holocaust and to proclaim that the Nazis were inhuman. Yet nearly 70,000,000 German humans watched while more than 12,000,000 humans were cremated, shot, or gassed in their own territories, and that is the fact of it. The Japanese humans killed more than 300,000 humans in the city of Nanking in a systematic raping in little more than six weeks. German and Soviet humans killed millions of humans as they advanced back and forth, sometimes for sport, sometimes to further a racist agenda. Allied humans killed millions more humans in the firebombings of cities in Germany and Japan-- almost every major city in those countries, in fact. Then, over the course of little more than a month, more than 210,000 humans would die in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States chose to drop these bombs because they decided a naval blockade would be inconvenient, and would drag on for a few more weeks-- they decided they were unwilling to wait those few weeks, so 210,000 people died.
Inside of Dachau there stood the only statue that has ever chilled me to my bones. It was a simple black iron statue of starved bodies, almost fully two dimensional, with their mouths open and crying. They were welded together in terrifying positions, reaching for heaven or each other. Some were stacked on each other, but an observer could tell that these figures had some last breath of life in them, that they were still waiting for some sort of deliverance. Under the statue there was a plaque which read Never Again.
But it happens every day. It is the thing in our minds that lets us separate one group of humans from another. That separation lets us hit someone else. When developed further, it lets us kill someone else. Then it lets us drop a bomb, or throw a body in a furnace, or twelve million of them. It is the same concept that takes root in the human mind-- that we are human, and they are machine. That we must defend what is important to us, and killing those machines is what is necessary to secure that important thing. These things happened again. They will always happen, unless, as Broyles advises, we understand that love and war emerge from the same place, and that it is only our conscious direction that could ever possibly decide that the one is more prudent than the other.
JOHN ENTINGH - 4 JANUARY 2011
Alternative media is quickly becoming the primary source for news worldwide, and thus an annexation of the Fourth Estate. Americans and citizens of other developed countries view “mainstream media” as very different from how citizens of the many under-developed countries view westernized mainstream media. Americans typically cling to every word broadcast on the network evening news, yet these same words draw ire and rebuke from underdeveloped countries as capitalist propaganda. However, even Americans, and westerners on a whole, are slowly shifting to questioning the verity of information gleaned from mainstream media and turning to alternative sources of information such as the Internet, social media, and yes, even Arab media for news. Mainstream media is becoming more and more commonly referred to as “corporate media,” (Zinn). The biggest problem in America may be a simple human fallacy of self-awareness. Americans view themselves as the knights in shining armor on a crusade to save a world that is unable to fend for itself, a view mainstream media strongly supports. In reality, it boils down to cultural relativism where Americans honestly believe their flavor of democracy is the best form, and their way of achieving such is the only way (i.e., Iraq). This worldview is not only protected by how mainstream media covers terrorist events, but is actually expanded. As stated by Harold Zinn: "The media are a pitiful lot. They don't give us any history, they don't give us any analysis, they don't tell us anything. They don't raise the most basic questions..." (The World Traveler
It is this exact lack of self-awareness that frustrates terror groups into action against the countries like the United States, whose presence they view as dangerous, and furthered by the “skillful use of media [which] has also created misconceptions about how terrorism works,” (Seib and Janbek, preface, p.x).The emerging trend is that since mainstream media has evolved into more infotainment than objective news (Nacos), alternative news sources are booming even given the fact that there is comparabely less profit (Olmstead, Mitchell and Rosenstiel). Companies one would have never imagined having an interest in news, such as Yahoo, are now using a broad Internet base to reach untolled millions (Helft). It is little wonder that on-line social media has also emerged as not only a source of news for millions in the world, but as a news gathering tool where “37% have contributed to news creation, commented on news or shared it via social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter,” (Schroeder). This interactive approach to gathering and reporting news via the Internet is what has allowed Al Jazeera English to gain a hefty global market share with its “Your Media” contribution page that allows anyone in the world with Internet to have participative media access (Al Jazeera English). One might reasonably ask if open media access will reduce future terrorist acts since getting their message out seems to be a motivating factor.
Other advantages of the trend toward alternative news sources are very profound. The masses are now getting the perspective of the actual people in and around events in distant areas of the world that historically were only gained through the networks and their reporters' interpertations and biases. The current openess of alternative media provides rich insight into the context of foriegn cultures and gives the public a realistic look into the environments from which political groups arise within these cultures.The disadvantages to alternative media are both obvious and obscure. The obvious disadvantage is that anyone can log onto a social media outlet or Al Jazeera’s “Your Media” and put out any type of twisted information they choose and there is little time for edits before the message goes viral or gets locked into the ethereal world of the web. Terror groups are well known for using this facet to their advantage in recruiting and inciting unrest (Anwar Awlaki, who was very proficient at internet recruiting, is a clear example). Beyond terror groups, the recent successes of the Arab Spring turned largely upon the Fourth Estates’ annexation of alternative media where social network sites were ostensibly used to organize the ousting of oppresive regimes.
The not so obvious disadvantges, as Zinn points out, are the subtle messages of propaganda all sides use that confuse the real issues at hand. The recent political developments in Egypt evidence this perspective. Following the 2011 Egyptian revolution and fall of Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood was legalized by and through propaganda (Yezdani, 2011). The Brotherhood supported the constitutional referendum in March which was also supported by the Egyptian army and opposed by Egyptian liberals (El Rashidi, 2011). But then in April 2011 the Brotherhood launched a new party called the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which has fairly well taken over an emerging governent (Gahnnam, 2011). According to the Anti-Defamation League, several former Brotherhood officials from the organization's 15-member Guidance Council have assumed key roles within the new party, and have used their positions in the FJP to reiterate the Brotherhood's long-standing hostility toward Zionism and support for terrorist organizations that serve as obstacles to peace and stability in the Middle East (2011). All of these developments were made possible and then furthered through the opening provided by the initial use of social networking technology (alternative media).
Nacos (2007) explains that the growth in alternative media as a news source has been exploited by terror groups for many years, but today we see how American politicians have developed campaigns on Facebook and Twitter as well.
From a perusal of the alternative media campaigns in this election year can one reasonably shift through the rhetoric and propaganda and understand the underlying agendas, or is the voting public in a democracy to be taken in as the Egyptians were? We have experienced mainstream media failure to call attention to this and similar phenomena in agenda setting arguably out of the fear for a revenue loss as viewers may well go to that alternative source for future news. Regardless of anyone’s fears, alternative media is the nascent news source in our growing world of technology, and the Fourth Estate has indeed annexed a valuable resource.
U.S. Politics facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/uspolitics
REFERENCES Al Jazeera English. (n.d.). Your Media: Submit Your Contribution.
Retrieved October 29, 2011, from Al Jazeera English: http://yourmedia.aljazeera.net/
Anti-Defamation League (2011). Brotherhood of Hate: Muslim Brotherhood's Hatred for Jews and Israel Flourishes in "New" Egypt. Accessed January 3, 2011 from: http://www.adl.org/main_International_Affairs/muslim_brotherhood.htm
El Rashidi, Yasmine, "Egypt: The Victorious Islamists", New York Review of Books, July 14, 2011
Ghannam, Angy (December 28, 2011) Islamists in Egypt's tourist spots win surprise support. BBC News. Accessed January 3, 2011 from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16348229
Helft, M. (2010, March 30). With Hirings, Yahoo Steps Up Its News Coverage. The New York Times
Yezdani, Ipek (2011).'shariah in Egypt is enough for us.' Muslim Brotherhood leader say. Hürriyet Daily News.
Accessed January 3, 2011 from: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=8220shari8217a-law-in-egypt-is-enough-for-us8221-tells-a-muslim-brotherhood-leader-2011-05-23
Nacos, B. (2007). Mass-Mediated Terrorism: the Central Role of the Media in Terrorism and Counterterrorism
(2nd ed.). New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
Olmstead, K., Mitchell, A., & Rosenstiel, T. (2011). Online: Key Questions Facing Digital News .
Retrieved October 29, 2011, from Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism; the State of the News Media 2011: http://stateofthemedia.org/2011/online-essay/
Schroeder, S. (2010, March 01). Social Networks Play a Major Role in How We Get News [Stats].
Retrieved October 29, 2011, from Mashable Social Media: http://mashable.com/2010/03/01/social-networks-source-news/
Seib, P., & Janbek, D. (2011). Global Terrorism and New Media.
New York: Routledge.
Zinn, H. (n.d.). Third World Traveler
. Retrieved October 29, 2011, from http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
26 DECEMBER 2011 - Guest Writer Treston Wheat
There are many similarities among the different types of sub-state violence, which has led some to erroneously equate all of them. Fundamental differences exist between an insurgency and terrorism and other forms of violence. When people try to equate sub-state violence no matter its source, they strip their analysis of any meaning. This is ultimately like saying that premeditated murder is the same act as vehicular homicide and that these are the same as self-defense. It denudes any actual thought concerning the nature of force by saying they are identical. Although insurgency and terrorism are both politically motivated violence, they have different strategic choices and organizational structures that demonstrate how they are different political phenomena.
The most fundamental difference between insurgency and terrorism can be found in the definitions of the words. The definition of terrorism is politically motivated violence or the threat of violence against non-combatants by sub-state actors ; the definition of insurgency, on the other hand, is a “struggle between a nonruling group and the ruling authorities in which the nonruling group uses political resources and violence” and is a “protracted political-military activity” that uses irregular military forces. Long term objectives can appear similar between insurgents and terrorists, like al-Qaeda and the Taliban wanting Shariah law implemented in states. Yet, it is the second-tier and short term objectives of insurgents and terrorists that separate them. One must separate the teleological objectives from the immediate objectives of organizations. Terrorism’s objectives are, according to Louise Richardson, revenge, renown, and reaction. Take for instance the suicide bombings in London in 2005; the four attackers did not believe theirs actions would lead to the establishment of the Caliphate. Rather, they wanted to seek revenge for Britain’s action in the Middle East and the country’s support for the war there. Terrorists measure the success of their attacks by how much attention it receives. In addition, they received the renown they wanted. The terrorists sidelined the G-8 summit and became famous across the world. Although they did not achieve the reaction they wanted, i.e. retaliation to increase hatred of the West, a reaction was part of their immediate objectives. Finally, terrorists plan for their attacks to “have far-reaching psychological effects beyond the immediate victim(s) or object of the terrorist attack.” Terrorism wants to spread terror amongst the population. The terrorist’s objective is therefore more about scaring civil society and making themselves known.
Insurgents differ from terrorists by their own immediate objectives, which are military by nature rather than media or revenge prone. An insurgent’s tactics will look to wear the enemy down through constant attacks against the regular forces while acquiring weapons and support from the disenfranchised population. Eventually, the insurgency tries to establish its own regular forces and fight the opposing government on equal footing. Furthermore, the insurgency wishes to give public services to the public while diminishing the government’s ability to do so. Hezbollah does this consistently by offering access to water and schooling in Lebanon when the government is not able to do so. Also, insurgents want to mitigate international support for the opposition by increasing their legitimacy in the eyes of other states. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority have gained international support and even acquired representation in international organizations like the UN. Yet, they try to undermine Israel by constantly pointing towards supposed human rights abuses and other maladies. Insurgents’ immediate goals are specific military aims while terrorists try to create attention with their acts for political causes.
Strategic choices and targets by insurgents and terrorists also demonstrate how they differ from each other. The terrorist by definition attacks non-combatants; the insurgent attacks combatants. Some forms of violence have legitimacy and some have illegitimacy. The target of force determines whether or not the act is right, legitimate, or wrong, illegitimate. A quick survey of terrorist attacks shows that their ultimate targets are non-combatants rather than those that fight on the battlefield. Al-Qaeda chose to target the World Trade Centers as a way to assault people for specifically being American, not because they were soldiers on the battlefield. Hamas suicide bombers go on buses full of Israeli civilians to attack the population rather than going after members of the IDF. Aum Shinrikyo pumped sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway to hurt ordinary Japanese instead of attacking the military. The Red Brigade in Europe kidnapped and killed specific members of the government, not soldiers in the Italian military. In each of these cases the terrorist organization’s target was a non-combatant to draw attention to their cause because they were symbolic of their problem with the current order.
Contrast this with the insurgent that attacks the soldier on the battlefield and goes after military targets. The insurgency in Cuba that put Fidel Castro into power and Mao Zedong’s campaign against the Japanese give examples as to how these are military operations against regular forces. The point of an insurgency is to eventually gain enough strength to have a regular army strong enough to conquer the ruling authority’s regular army. This is why insurgencies use guerilla warfare and enact a protracted war. They must maintain enough time to gain the strength to fight the government. Batista’s government failed before Castro could create a standing army, but Castro attacked military strongholds and soldiers. Some might point out that insurgents generally only deal with the military, both domestic and foreign, and that is why they do not target civilians. The primary difference is that insurgents’ primary target are combatants as part of their overall strategic initiative. They cannot gain recruits if they continually assault the population they supposedly want to protect from the ruling authority. As mentioned before, one of the immediate objectives is to gain support and membership from the local population. In contrast, a terrorist has an audience and tries to bring attention to their cause and can indiscriminately attack the population. These two forms of violence have different targets because of their different objectives. Insurgents want to take control of the area and control the population; the terrorist wants revenge, renown, and a reaction to her action.
One of the difficulties with this analysis is that people have to determine the difference between a combatant and a non-combatant. The quintessential difference is that a combatant operates on the battlefield with an established uniform and weapon according to international standards. An example that seems to blur the line between combatant and non-combatant is Nidal Malik Hassan who attacked soldiers at Fort Hood. He must be considered a terrorist because the soldiers he attacked were not on the battlefield. Also, his immediate objectives follow that of a terrorist rather than an insurgent. Hassan supposedly believed that the “War on Terror” was a war against Islam and believed Muslims should not be in the military. His motivations appeared to follow revenge for America’s actions in the Middle East. He was not trying to gain followers to fight the military on equal ground. This case shows it is possible to determine whether violence is by an insurgent or a terrorist based on their targets and objectives.
Besides the targets and objectives of an organization, the organizational structure differentiates terrorists and insurgents. Terrorists operate either in cells or as individuals. There are a plethora of examples of individuals acting as “lone wolfs:” Eric Rudolph, Scott Roeder, Timothy McVeigh, Anders Behring Breivik, et al. More often, though, terrorists operate in cells. This is a more modern phenomenon, where in the past terrorists had a hierarchical structure. Terrorist organizations now employ “leaderless networks.” The Earth Liberation Front employed this strategy where they had several cells throughout the country that had no “chain of command” and are merely connected by their radical environmentalism. In comparison, an insurgent organization mirrors itself to a military. Mao Zedong envisioned a clear hierarchy and military structure. He believed that an insurgency need military commanders, political commissioners, officers, headquarters, chief of staffs, and divisions based on areas. There is a clear military structure, but the insurgent differs from a regular army by having mobile forces that can move agilely across the country and attack points of weakness. Terrorists operate in cells and as individuals; insurgents have to operate as a paramilitary organization with specific people in command so that they can achieve success.
Because of the difference between terrorism and insurgency the response by governments, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, have to be different. Although Bard O’Neill writes that all forms of sub-state violence are types of insurgency, even he explicates the need for divergent responses to dissimilar forms of violence. What he named conspiratorial and urban-warfare is synonymous to terrorism. The proper response for this kind of violence is intelligence gathering and police work rather than military operations. He offers the examples of Northern Ireland and Italy where terrorism decreased after the governments increased disciplined police forces. However, military force is not out of the question. Special operations against terrorists residing in other countries can help eliminate the organizations, as Israel has done several times. When a country engages an insurgency, the state must necessarily use alternate tactics. America could not have just used intelligence and police forces to bring down the Taliban government and fight the subsequent insurgency that occurred. The US had to send thousands of troops along with NATO to successfully fight off the Taliban led insurgents. Because of the varying nature of sub-state violence, understanding that terrorism and insurgency differ allows for governments to develop proper strategy to combat them.
Analysts need to differentiate between insurgents and terrorism because proper analysis leads to successful counterattacks. If one assumes that an insurgent is a terrorist, then they may try to arrest the offender rather than stop what will become a protracted conflict. If one assumes that a terrorist is an insurgent, then they may use military operations where simple intelligence gathering and police work would suffice. However, if one accurately assesses the situation, then the government can develop and implement an appropriate strategy for eliminating the sub-state actor. Governments that fail to understand the difference will implement incorrect tactics and fail to neutralize the threats to their country.
By Guest Writer John Entingh
This paper initiates discourse on mass-mediated terrorism literacy at its most basic level. Terror groups use wanton acts of violence to create a culture of fear in an attempt to gain mind control. The media then usurps the control and perpetuates the culture of fear for its own ends. More often than not, government entities manipulate the media’s control through a controlled release of information. Because terrorism is a very real danger to all, and new forms of media are vying for control, people need to have the ability to understand where the true threat actually lies. The core principle is that humans have a tendency to become desensitized by over-stimulation. Consistently perpetuating a culture of fear will inevitably desensitize human awareness to very real dangers. The most practical method for avoiding desensitization is through literacy of a mass-mediated culture of fear. In addition, by cultivating a culture of fear, the general public is distracted from asking critical questions on agenda setting. Without asking critical questions, agendas lack any sense of objectivity on all fronts. This brief introduction is not intended to be a comprehensive media-literacy course, only to initiate discourse on a growing phenomenon of the Fourth Estate and hopefully to encourage literacy of such. The general public has only one defense against cultivation, mind control, and the culture of fear, and that is Fourth Estate literacy.
A Guest Article by Nicolaas Vergunst, author of Knot of Stone: the day that changed South Africa’s history
08 December 2011
In a world without end, spinning endlessly in space, is there such a thing as an East or a West? And if so, where does the one end and the other begin?
Is it between the Euphrates and Tigris, legendary home of the Garden of Eden and so-called Cradle of Civilisation? Well, the word Mesopotamia means “between rivers” and fits, scholars assert, the biblical description of Paradise. However, humans are now believed to have originated in Africa before dispersing, much later, into Eurasia via the Rift Valley corridor. Despite this, the Fertile Crescent remains an accepted home for the birth of our first cities. It is from here, modern Iraq, that civilizations appear to have spread both east- and westwards.
Unlike the narrow Rift Valley gorge, Eurasia’s own plains and open plateaus provided a favourable passage for migrating clans and their herds. So then, was it on the Russian steppe or in the deserts of Iran that sweeping hordes and conquering armies first crossed from East to West? And if so, was it a steppe or a desert that separated the lands of the rising sun from the place where the sun set?
Or did East and West meet on the Bosphorus where different cultures have bumped into each other over the millennia? Here the city of Byzantium-Constantinople-Istanbul saw Greeks, Romans, Latins and Turks step across the great divide. Or is it in Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims have rubbed shoulders for several centuries? Jerusalem was, after all, the conceptual centre of the world. Or was it perhaps Berlin where, only decades ago, capitalists and soviets faced each other across the wall? During the Cold War era, c.1946–1991, the wall symbolically divided East from West, separating what had once grown and belonged together.
Is it actually a river, a mountain or a wall, at all? Is it a crossroad, trade route or military frontier? Or a set of borders, like the state lines dividing Eastern America from the American West?
Or could it be out to sea, perhaps, somewhere in the Atlantic? Historically, the Pope divided the earth in two, pole to pole, along an imaginary line in the mid-Atlantic, giving Spain one half of the world and Portugal the rest. Excluding Europe, of course. On that day, 7 June 1494, the Western territories included a still unknown America and the East of Africa—though its full extent still had to be discovered.
That was then, but what about today? Perhaps it is the Greenwich prime meridian that now determines where we are? Well, yes, it is around zero degrees longitude that we orientate ourselves spatially and relativise our time on an East-West basis, isn’t it? But this puts Europe on the East with Africa too?
For now the question is not where but when did East and West meet? It’s a question that always vexes me because, as a westerner, I can’t step outside my own shoes. Questions of relativity require both feet on the ground and, simultaneously, a head above the rest. Nevertheless, the question does force us to rethink our histories.
The East-West line has clearly shifted position over time and, from a Western perspective, reflects the ebb and flow of Europe’s overseas expansion. For instance, during the Age of Exploration c.1400–1600, the southern tip of Africa became the new threshold between an ancient East and a modern West. The Cape of Good Hope was the southernmost Portal to the Indies and one of the most dangerous then known to man. Ironically, it is known as the Fairest Cape today.
Towering above modern Cape Town, Table Mountain was then seen to personify the character of a Stormy Cape. The mountain was a wild and vindictive giant called Adamastor, a tormented figure derived from Greek mythology. Like the Titans, Adamastor dashed all hopes of passing mortals. The Cape was his forbidden portal, a threshold between the Atlantic and Indian oceans, beyond which neither ship nor sail should pass.
The long voyage East, amid raging storms and inner temptations, symbolized a journey of spiritual enlightenment. It was a concept that possessed Prince Henry and the explorers of Atlantic-Africa, a concept that also transformed the ‘Discoveries’ into a quest for individual spiritual enlightenment. Portugal’s exploration from West Africa to East Africa, from the shores of the Atlantic to the Indian seaboard, was thus more than a mere adventure in maritime geography. And so in 1488 a weatherworn Bartolomeu Dias first crossed this great divide, unknowingly, after being driven out to sea by a raging storm.
A decade later, on his historic outbound voyage to India in 1497, Vasco da Gama too clashed with Adamastor off the Cape. Their confrontation came to symbolise the conflict between modern man and the classical gods. For the poet laureate of Portugal, Luís de Camões, the clash symbolised mankind’s inevitable triumph over the gods, a triumph of the Renaissance over the Medieval, of humanism over dogmatism.
Table Mountain has also been likened to the double-headed god Janus of Roman mythology. With one face looking forward and the other back, Janus was the renowned Gatekeeper. He looks ahead and behind, seeing the future while knowing the past. Table Mountain thus became the “Watcher of the South”, guarding the Atlantic and Indian oceans while protecting those travelling between East and West, old and new, warm and cold, good and evil. Or so it was until 1869, when the Suez Canal opened.
Before the Canal, the Cape of Good Hope had offered the most direct sea passage to the Indies. Like the once impassable Pillars of Hercules, Table Mountain helped reproduce a concept of an intermediary Africa. With a northern and southern portal at Gibraltar and the Cape, respectively, Africa mediated between a fabulous East and a robust West. To this end the Portuguese also tried reaching the other side of Africa via the Congo River. But malaria thwarted their efforts (as it did during the building of the Panama Canal in the 1880s and 1900s). Be that as it may, East was not to be found by transversing the continent. A fact White explorers would only discover for themselves centuries later.
Traversing a continent along its East-West axis is not new, of course. Earliest long-distance migrations followed the same pattern, moving within the same climatic zone. Moving laterally allowed caravans and armies to harness the same pack animals, gather the same food and, so far as possible, avoid new diseases. To the North lay ice and bitter cold, to the South sand and scorching heat. For contemporary geographers, the world was elliptical. Their maps show distances between East-West and North-South on a ratio of 5:3. A true Golden Mean?
The main East-West route ran from the Chinese capital of Chang’an, Xian today, via the Himalayan valleys and Afghan passes, and then across the Arabian Desert to the port-cities of the eastern Mediterranean. Exchange along this line of oases, once known as the Khurasan or “Old Silk Road”, prepared the ground for varied beliefs; blending cultures and promoting religious tolerance. All the great conquerors of Eurasia—Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane—used this route while criss-crossing the continent.
The expanding Muslim empires had an East-West axis too and a formidable array of Ottoman, Mamluk and Zamorin fleets that controlled the main trade routes from the Strait of Malacca to the Strait of Gibraltar. Their oceanic network had evolved as an alternative to the heavily taxed and bandit-ridden land routes across the Eurasian continent.
By 1500 the centre of this vast commercial network was the Middle East and not the Mediterranean. Europe was of limited value, Portugal merely peripheral. The West had no raw materials or manufactured goods to offer India, China or Japan—except imported gold and silver. And without Africa’s gold there would have been no grand sea-trade in the sixteenth century and, subsequently, no modern world economy.
Perched on Europe’s most south-westerly corner, Portugal was ideally positioned for its westward expansion. Pre-empting the discoveries of the 15th century, ancient Phoenicia had faced west too. Likewise, the powers that would succeed Portugal—Holland and England—also faced the Atlantic. But it was not the open sea that gave them the advantage, it was the prevailing Westerlies that blew at their backs. As a result the world opened up toward the West. In short, it was the East that first discovered the West and not the other way around. But this history is best told another day.
Perhaps when or where the two meet is not as important as why we need both to make us feel whole? For now I’m sure of only one thing, we orientate ourselves by facing three directions: the rising sun, the open sea and the way forward. This is the result of ceremonial, conceptual and navigational necessity. Seen from outer space, of course, our planet has neither a top nor a bottom, nor a left half or a right side. And, thankfully, it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear.
A Featured Essay for the Autumn 2011 Quarterly Release
by Nadja Panchenko (Leipzig, Germany)
Edited by Director Matthew Bishop
Recent scholars have coined terms such as "soft" power, "hard" power, "sticky" power, "sweet" power, and "smart" power. This essay analyzes these categorical descriptions of foreign policy power and suggests that "smart" power lays at the intersection of these categories. Smart power, the essay asserts, is the sort of power which the United States should most often seek to employ-- but it must do so within the framework of multilateral and multinational actions and with approval from the international community, a framework that the current president is very much adhering to.
Nadja is an undergraduate student from Russia who has studied in both Germany and the United States. She works with nuclear energy and environmental policy and with American foreign policy.