News Release

Is “War on Terror” Fueling Terror?

Last night, President Obama gave a speech on terrorism, vowing to defeat ISIS. This morning, the Independent reports: “Syria calls U.S.-led coalition air strike on Assad regime forces an ‘act of aggression.’” Reuters reports: “Four Syrian soldiers die in suspected U.S. coalition strike: group.”

The following analysts are available for interviews:

JEAN BRICMONT, [in Belgium], jean.bricmont at uclouvain.be
Bricmont is author of Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War. He is also a mathematical and statistical physicist at the University of Louvain, and he is the co-author of Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. He said in a recent interview with The Real News: “If they want to defeat ISIS they should coordinate with the Russians and the Syrian state. … The United States has been fighting terrorism supposedly in Afghanistan since 2001, and what has happened there? … Where is the victory? I don’t see the victory. And terrorism is, ISIS-like terrorism, is spreading in Africa. … What I find remarkable is, for example in Paris, there [are] demonstrations about climate change. But there is no demonstration whatsoever about war and peace.” See his piece on Syria from 2013: “The Wishful Thinking Left.”

PAUL GOTTINGER, paul.gottinger at gmail.com, @paulgottinger
Gottinger is an independent journalist. He recently wrote an analysis of the”war on terror”: “Despite 14 Years of the U.S. War on Terror, Terror Attacks Have Skyrocketed Since 9/11,” which states: “Terror attacks have jumped by a stunning 6,500 percent since 2002, according to a new analysis by Reader Supported News. The number of casualties resulting from terror attacks has increased by 4,500 percent over this same time period. These colossal upsurges in terror took place despite a decade-long, worldwide effort to fight terrorism that has been led by the United States.

“The analysis, conducted with figures provided by the U.S. State Department, also shows that from 2007 to 2011 almost half of all the world’s terror took place in Iraq or Afghanistan — two countries being occupied by the U.S. at the time.

“Countries experiencing U.S. military interventions continue to be subjected to high numbers of terror attacks, according to the data. In 2014, 74 percent of all terror-related casualties occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Syria. Of these five, only Nigeria did not experience either U.S. air strikes or a military occupation in that year.

“The U.S. invasion of Iraq destabilized Iraq and Syria, creating the conditions for the emergence of ISIS, which now controls large parts of the two countries. The invasion of Afghanistan has not been able to wrestle large sections of the country from the Taliban, leaving Afghanistan in state of perpetual war. And the air war to oust Muammar Gaddafi has left Libya in a state of chaos.

“The instability caused by these wars, along with the atrocities perpetrated by U.S.-led forces, which can be exploited for terrorist recruitment, have played a significant role in the increase of terrorism worldwide.”