London – The war on terror continues to reap devastation across the globe, causing the death of at least 800,000 Muslims, led to the creation of black sites to imprison and torture and the extra judicial murder of suspects on an unprecedented scale. More have died due to the ripple effects in the form of malnutrition, damaged infrastructure, and environmental degradation. In addition around 37 million people have been displaced in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines.
There is no memorial to these victims , and no roll call of their names. Their humanity and suffering has no meaning at the altar of vengeance erected by America and its allies. Those who speak for the dead, wounded and displaced are condemned and vilified – labelled “terror apologists” . The vitriol of hate has spewed out relentlessly since 9/11 from a complicit media, politicians and various international courts.
The estimated cost of $8 trillion has been sucked up by the military industrial complex and the myriad of right wing think tanks who feed off the horrors of war . At home, counter-terrorism policies have shredded basic principles of the rule of law, eroding basic civil liberties and facilitating a surveillance architecture that criminalises dissent and invades the privacy of every individual.
We have always called for dialogue and debate to silence the war-mongers like Tony Blair and institutions like the Henry Jackson Society . Their shameful vision urges more of the same – discrimination and policies that have caused harm to millions and bolstered oppressive states. It is time to take heed instead of denigrating those who call for justice, equality and an end to oppression.
To commemorate two decades of the War on Terror, we have launched the International Witness Campaign with over 50 partners in action, to repeat the call upon which CAGE was founded in 2002: that dialogue, understanding and an ethical foreign policy are the bedrock upon which we must build a better world. This world will be not just for the few, but for all of humanity.
Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE said:
“We were once again reminded of the falling man on 9/11 when helpless Afghan men clung onto a US aircraft and fell to their deaths. The War on Terror at that moment came full circle, and indicated that it was time to stop and see sense.”
“Ending the War on Terror, is not simply accepting it is a failed global policy and ceasing wars in its name; it is to upend the discourse that has targeted Muslims and paved the way for laws that primarily target us, but that have now extended beyond the Muslim community.”
“From war overseas to securitisation at home in the guise of Prevent, Schedule 7 and citizenship deprivation, the War on Terror has been nothing but an abject failure, most ironic of all for the rule of law principles that are supposed to be a tenet of all western justice systems.”
(Image courtesy of US Army on Flikr)
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)