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The PRIMER Blog

Tactic vs. Enemy?

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
July 30, 2006

Can we agree that words convey thoughts and feelings and as a result enable people to develop a point of view? We therefore suggest that words do matter. I offer the following suggestion: terrorism is a tactic used by an enemy to cause harm to another group of people. It is intentional and is designed to cause maximum destruction of not only people and tangible items such as buildings, homes and cafes, but also to ultimately destroy a way of life.

It is necessary to be clear what we are facing today. We must correctly identify the enemy and separate this from the tactics used by this enemy. For many reasons, some justified, others unjustified, the Western World has been reluctant to make this necessary distinction. How many times have we heard that this is a different kind of war? It is a war without identifiable enemies or borders, by this we mean that there is no country or countries that we can blame or target. In the past we have fought against sovereign nations whose ideologies were indeed contrary to ours. We were physically attacked and thus it appeared justified for us to respond in kind. There seemed to be some moral and ethical absolution to our fighting the enemy.

For the past several years, world leaders and governments have suggested we are in a war against terrorism. Although politically correct, it did not then and does not now offer the truth. If this "new" war is unlike anything we have experienced in our past, then I suggest some new definitions and agreements are in order. The application of concepts and principles developed to explain previous world events therefore cannot justify what is going on in the world today.

Who is the enemy of the West? I do not need to be told too many times by a group of people that they are our enemy before I understand who the enemy is-do you? We have been told by the Bin Laden's, Arafat's, Mazen's, Narallah's and so many others that their enemy is the West. We have been told by them that the intention is to defeat all that is Western-from governments to law, to the acceptable behavior of individuals living within the multi-cultures found within the Western countries. I did not say this, they did! Our enemy can be labeled radical Islam, Fascist Islam and tomorrow yet another descriptor will surface. The tactic used against us is TERROR. The enemy is housed, sponsored, funded, supported within and by sovereign nations. In many of these countries the enemy serves in the so-called representative governments. Is it not time to acknowledge this and develop new ways of defining what is moral and ethical in combating this enemy when it strikes us and when it declares publicly its destructive intentions upon the West? Perhaps the truth is already known but being avoided by so many-the time has come to take a stand.

The current events in Lebanon and Israel address these points. Hezzbollah, a major political party within Lebanon's government, intentionally attacked the sovereign nation of Israel. The attack was unprovoked-any other time in history this would have been a reason to declare war. The President of Lebanon has yesterday and again today taken a side and is flexing his nation's muscle. He indicated that he respects Hezzbollah and its leader Nasrallah. Furthermore he indicated to turn the Lebanese army against Israel. Does this not make the country of Lebanon complicit with the acts of terrorism perpetrated upon Israel? Is Lebanon not culpable? Does this not mean that the government, thus the country of Lebanon must be held responsible for its own civilian deaths?

Why do I suggest this? My response is simplistic. A political party in the government of Lebanon, with full support of its President-an elected leader and thus representative of the civilians inside of Lebanon, is waging war against Israel. It is a war they started. I have written much about the horror of war in other recent pieces and do not feel compelled to review the angst created for innocents found within warring factions. Currently, Lebanon is up to its eyeballs in responsibility for what is tragically occurring with its citizens and with the citizens of Israel (a story mostly untold in the media).

It is therefore disingenuous on the part of world leaders and most of the media when it presents the concepts of disproportionate actions and collective punishment. Israel, unlike any other country in past or recent history, has sacrificed its own soldiers in order to diminish the collateral damage done to the citizens of Lebanon. By now you should have been told the following truths: All of the preceding presents a side of this war that has been incredibly understated in Europe, the Middle East and in Asia. On the other hand the media seems to be obsessed with body counts and building destruction. The strategy of terror and the na•ve, at least I hope it is na•ve, gullibility of the media to focus upon these gross outcomes of war allows the Hezzbollah to create the paradigm for analysis of this war. In other words, if you can frame the way people are told to view this action, then you have cleverly performed a magician's slight of hand action upon the world's peoples. Instead of attempting to describe the truth behind this war, you can disguise it by presenting the outcome of war-tragic death and destruction. This keeps the focus away from what must happen if peace is to have any possibility. The focus is clearly upon the damage to civilians of one country-Lebanon. This in turn is used by the enemy against Israel and the West, e.g., specifically the USA and Great Britain. Develop sympathy for recipients of the fighting. Lay blame upon Israel. Misrepresent facts of the war, lie to your own people about an entire nation, have all this reinforced in the Arab media and supported in kind in much of the Western media. You have now created a fifth column within the western communities. Here is but one example of this strategy: "civilians" are needed to create the body counts. Our soldiers have reported that they have encountered these "civilians" as enemy combatants. These so-called innocents fire upon the IDF soldiers, direct intelligence to the Hezzbollah, and together with elements of the Lebanese army have been working with these terrorists. Thus, when Israel targets, justifiably so, the Hezzbollah enemy and kills the enemy, the "civilians" are counted as civilians you and I know. The media, eager to add to the growing death count, report to the world-the implication and/or declaration is the evil Israelis are destroying not only innocent people but also a nation. I suggest it is time to re-define civilian in this "new" type of war.

The NGO's , well intentioned individuals, peace organizations and believe it or not, the Israeli government and IDF all want peace. However, there is no possibility of peace or even cessation of the violence of war, until the world honestly states what is behind this war, who the culprits really are and what every honest peace broker knows must be done. Then and only then will the proper strategies be enacted. The tight rope of political correctness has lead this world to the brink of human disaster. Who is courageous enough to join us in demanding that the paradigm of truth be finally shared and honored?



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