'War on Terror' is far from over - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

‘War on Terror’ is far from over

Another terror threat looms in the West. The paranoia created by ‘gloating jihadist’ veers into more troubled waters. The ‘axis of evil’ is again placed in the crosshairs of United States foreign policy. The angst of fear has been aroused. The peace of the world is again susceptible.

The intercepted  electronic communication  by intelligence officials that Ben Laden’s successor Ayman al- Zawahri and Al-Qaeda leader in the Arabian peninsula  Nasser al- Wuhayshi  were  hatching plots  to attack Western targets,  has now propelled  a post 911 world to follow an enemy into  even more remote and precarious shores.

And the aggressive use of drones by the US to kill and mar the enemy will continue to suffer extensive and deadly backlash.


Ayman al- Zawahri

The closure of more than 21 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa and the worldwide travel alert, which followed this vague terrorist plot now rekindle questions of privacy and civil liberties.

Not only does the plot come when the Obama administration  is wrestling  to defend NSA surveillance programs, but also at a time when it gains momentum with civil libertarians, democrats, lawmakers and even civilians who want introductory measures to disclose more information about the government’s monitoring request.

But how did America get to the nadir on national security so fast?

While many opponents charge that “the Obama administration has shown weakness in the face of extremism” or that “the embassy closures were an over reaction,” proponents on the other hand, approve that there is no reason to think that the Obama administration behaved inaptly in the closing of its embassies for the war on terror was already spun.

The plot vividly shows that the tide of the war on terror has not been vanquished and al-Qaeda is not battered, broke or weakened as many were led to believe. The   killing of Bin Laden never spelled the end of real and imaginary terror threats neither did it change the political subtleties of America where terrorism was concerned.

Nasser al- Wuhayshi

Nasser al- Wuhayshi

No reason exists to beleive that the Obama administration behaved unsuitably through this quandary.

However, the conclusions of State Department officials that “embassy closures were made out of an overabundance of caution” clearly means that they should stop playing politics with diplomacy and begin looking at the validity of their own diagnoses especially where the fear of terrorism is concerned.

It is enough to  create an opinion perceptibility  on terrorism, but it  does not require a myopic  vision  to see that to achieve its goal, the symbol that has now become characteristic of terrorism requires a continuous  feeding on human fears.

While it is true that terrorist hijack planes and kill people, ideologues also hijack people’s consciousness allowing them to suffer more in apprehension than in reality.

Intelligence officials confirmed that the national counter terrorism  receives more than 8000- 10,000 threats  in a day  so  how was one to ascertain that a brazen threat  by al-Qaeda  to seize an important port and kill foreigners working there  may in any way be  related  to a possible threat that led to the closing of embassies and consulates?

Instead of being blown away by its own rhetoric, it is important for America to see that the war on terrorism is not over and never will be. While intelligence officials seek for possible approaches to tackle a waging war which they themselves have helped to create, it is important as   Fareed Zakaria writes that “one of the best policy is to shift the struggle over to Muslims who can most effectively battle al -Qaeda in the realm of ideas.”

But probably America needs a lesson in ‘terrorism reform’ to understand.

About the author

Rebeca Theodore

Rebeca Theodore is a national security and political op-ed columnist based in Washington DC. Her work has appeared in various newsprint throughout the Caribbean, Canada and the US. Follow her on twitter @rebethd. Contact the author.

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