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The Failure of Security Policy Against Terrorism

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The policy (singular) of national security is a failure, says the author. Colombia should resolve the dilemmas it encounters, but without darkening its future with the fallacies woven around a sensitive (and marketable) theme for Colombians, as is its conflict with FARC.

(From Bogotá) THOSE WHO SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE REALITY of today’s world do not want to understand it. But there are, against all evidence, examples that demonstrate how things are. Neither the deception of some leaders, nor the media’s well organized campaign of disinformation (orchestrated with the best existing technical resources), nor the demonstration of economic power, can oppose the real truth. The lies last for awhile, even for a long time, but their discovery produces deadly effects. Iraq and Afghanistan are the soundest recent examples but not the only ones. And the United States and their allies know this very well. And now they are afraid.

For decades now, nobody has won a war. And nobody will win a war in the future.

“Before the tragedy the United States experienced on September 11th and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the world (above all the powerful world), believed that it knew what security was”

Battles can be one, but they are by no means the end-all. Now that armies have reached perfection, battles have other fronts and other possibilities. A great number of deaths becomes a defeat; the ruins that remain are a defeat; a military defeat can now be an unexpected success. The Popular Party in Spain amply proved (pray multiplied) this affirmation. And the world is paying attention.

And so are many leaders, and according to how they treat it they will or will not compromise their future and prestige. No longer is the only objective to win some elections at the ballot with an ample number of votes. The true success goes beyond certain existing premises of triumph. And besides, it is correct to judge that triumph and success are not the same.

THE CONCEPT OF SECURITY

Before the tragedy the United States experienced on September 11th and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, to cite an example, the world (above all the powerful world), believed that it knew what security was–the sort of gibberish that was used to sell progress. “The recourse that some leaders find in speaking of security like a flat concept is not simple and systematic. They are ignorant of certain values that mediate the meaning” What is security? A difficult question for these times. Where is one most secure? What is the most secure way to travel? Or, what is the most secure way to invest? And if one adds adjectives to the noun security, it is more delicate to establish, at least with certain vigor, its true force. Democratic security, for example, can make us think that there is also antidemocratic security, or that there is also democratic insecurity. Or if it is national security, national insecurity or international security can also exist.

Until now, this has been a simple rhetorical or linguistic matter. However, it goes past simple semantics to constitute a political problem (and a grave political problem), and the policy (or the policies) move away more every day from grammatical analysis, from logic (and pragmatism), if you want to call it that. This means that the recourse that some leaders find in speaking of security like a flat concept is not simple and systematic. “To return to the case of Iraq and Afghanistan is to discover barely half of the United States government’s coarse lie–a coarse lie that is costing it, that is going to cost it a lot” They are ignorant of certain values that mediate the meaning. Neurological values, for example, citing only one case. And those are values of contemporary culture (and also of other cultures), that recognize at the same time certain levels of elaboration that, furthermore, are able to determine exactly the actual dimension (not metaphorical) of a concept.

National security, for example, as the common citizen thinks of it, has to do with the nonexistence of delinquents, injustice, mishaps. Its important aspects even reach religious and ideological criteria. A country in which everyone can believe and think what they want is secure. A country in which union members and homosexuals are killed would not be secure. Nor would a country in which there is unemployment be secure. In the collective unconsciousness, there is not security if this happens.

ABOUT FALLACIES AND FAILURES

At the same time, this collective unconsciousness can think that there is security when one has access to everything one needs, from an individual or communitarian perspective, although everyone sees and hears that the rest are not secure or do not enjoy this cited security. “The Iraq of Saddam Hussein was more secure for Americans (an incredible paradox) than the occupied country is today” A fallacy from many view points. A fallacy handled with a certain shamelessness by the mass media, which perfects its advertising messages, for example, founded on individual, not collective, security. What would it mean, therefore, to buy a secure telephone? Why is the security of using sanitary towels emphasized?

Therefore, is the failure of the security policy (or policies) notable? To return to the case of Iraq and Afghanistan is to discover barely half of the United States government’s coarse lie–a coarse lie that is costing it, that is going to cost it a lot. Imagine that Iran and Iraq befriend each other, to mention a not-so-remote possibility: could that then constitute a national security problem?

“Is it worth it, for national security, to fight the guerrillas with blood and fire and arrive at an agreement with the paramilitaries? Is it for the security of the United States, or of Columbia, or of the neighboring countries that is in danger?”

A national security problem for whom? If drug trafficking is a national security problem for the United States or for the European Union, why has the heroine market increased even with the immense military presence now in Afghanistan. Was the Afghanistan of the Taliban not more secure than Afghanistan today? The Iraq of Saddam Hussein was more secure for Americans (an incredible paradox) than the occupied country is today.

And in Latin America also, U.S. security is entangled (or disentangled) with the very serious conflict that Columbia is experiencing, to cite a case worthy of mention. And many people ask: Are the paramilitary terrorists safer than the guerrilla terrorists? Is it worth it, for national security, to fight the guerrillas with blood and fire and arrive at an agreement with the paramilitaries? Is it for the security of the United States, or of Columbia, or of the neighboring countries that is in danger?

WASHINGTON AS AN IRRITANT IN THE COLOMBIAN CONFLICT

“The crisis that Columbia is experiencing is as long as it is wide. It has now become a problem for the continent. An external agent has complicated and aggravated it: United States interference” It is necessary to think of the formulas that can generate certain confidence in all sectors of conflict. Security cannot be exclusive, nor can it be the patrimony of some majorities or of some strong minorities. To actually be effective (and creative) it should cover all of the citizens, even the bad citizens. Just judgments, with respect to life, dignity, human rights. Security cannot be racist, nor religious, nor gendered, nor ideological. It is a universal guarantee. Security does not need adjectives; on its own it has all of the meanings needed to understand it.

The crisis that Columbia is experiencing is as long as it is wide. There is not only an internal crisis of unimaginable proportions, but one that has been extended in such a way that it has now become a problem for the continent. And an external agent has complicated and aggravated it: United States interference. “The United States needs to care for new reserves not only of oil, but also water, food, and other fundamental minerals for technical and scientific development”

A serious interference inasmuch as it does not propose to help to resolve the conflict but rather is interested in extending it in order to conceive its survival strategy with the excuse of the widely spread thesis of national security. It is not the simple outline of the intensity of the problems, but the global economic scope of these problems.

The United States needs to care for and create new reserves not only of oil, but also water, food, and other fundamental minerals for technical and scientific development.

A WARHORSE THAT TAKES LIVES ALL OVER THE WORLD

“The terrifying bombs dropped by the American air force and their allies over Baghdad also produces deaths and injuries” If Colombia and its neighbors were not immensely rich, they would not be in the gaze of any power nor any economic force in the world. They would only be an object of the charitable help of the rich and nothing more: there would be no Colombia Plan or Patriotic Plan, nor would they have to fight for the signature of a free trade agreement. If Saddam Hussein had only grown potatoes he would be in power and nobody would have cared that he violated human rights or that he was a bloodthirsty dictator. So national security is gibberish to which an unbridled impetus, the macabre subject of terrorism, is added.

And Bush and Putin, Rodríguez Zapatero and Rajoy, Chávez and Uribe, the Palestinians and the Israelis all talk of terrorism. A warhorse that in the meantime takes the lives of thousands of people all over the world. “Fifty years ago it was communism, now it is terrorism, with the semantic aggravations of a word that is turned into an adjective” The terrifying bombs dropped by the American air force and their allies over Baghdad also produces deaths and injuries. The Palestinian missiles against the Israelis take lives of people of flesh and blood, including children, women, and the elderly, regardless of which religion they profess.

If we counted all of the times the word terrorism has been pronounced, it would win over words like democracy, justice, well-being, human rights. Fifty years ago it was communism, now it is terrorism, with the semantic aggravations of a word that is turned into an adjective. Another linguistic problem one must handle with care.

Terror, from which terrorism is derived, cannot be exclusive to those who have economic and military power. The bombings of Afghanistan or Iraq are as terrifying as those of communist Russia, or the attacks of Luis Posada Carriles and Pablo Escobar Gaviria, and the legendary Colombian drug trafficking.

THE TRUE TRUTH

“To recognize that the crisis results from a poorly developed policy and that the solution is not blood and fire, is the first step in cementing a secure democracy” Now, and to conclude this first part, we can only guarantee that the policy (not the policies) of national security is called a failure. This policy has not been woven with honesty, it has favored a cloak of impunity and disloyalty, it does not promote consensus, it is not fair to all, and it frequently seeks to annihilate a presumed (recognized) enemy and with that extends the problem of security to other ranks, to other borders. Colombia should resolve, and very soon, the dilemmas it crosses. But Colombia should do this without darkening its future with the fallacies constructed around a sensitive (and marketable) theme for Colombians

The alliances concerned with some suspect instigators of the conflict are not the best way to start this. To recognize, therefore, that the crisis results from a poorly developed policy and that the solution is not blood and fire, is the first step, it is the search to cement a secure democracy, without more tacitly gathered adjectives.

To fail to recognize, for example, the failures of the battle against drugs, or the hardship of wide sectors of Colombian society and to want to attribute them to others is to favor insecurity and to work with terrorism. It is not a rhetorical problem, it is historical, and only human beings (and that is to understand the term human) resolve these problems. This is the true truth.