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The Terrorism of War

On September 1st, I sat on a panel at the National Press Club made up of four former terrorists – an Islamist jihadi, a skinhead, an Ulster paramiltary, and a 60’s geurrilla revolutionary – who had renounced violence. Each of us talked about acting out in ideology, rage, and alienation, and of coming to see clearly the deadly outcomes of our actions.

That same day, The 9/11 Wars by Jason Burke was published in England. According to Burke,

“In Iraq … a very conservative count puts violent civilian deaths (excluding police) from the eve of the invasion of 2003 to the end of 2010 at between 65,000 and 125,000. The true number may be many, many times greater.

“In all, between 11,000 and 14,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan, and at least three or four times that number wounded or permanently disabled.

“In Pakistan… the number of casualties is estimated at around 9,000 dead and between 10,000 and 15,000 injured.”

Our own government is one of the terrorists responsible for these numbers. How long will it take to renounce war as a tool?

(Figures from an extract of the book printed in The Guardian, August 22, 2011.)
(A video of the panel discussion will soon be available at the website of the Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.)

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About Katherine Power

I didn’t set out to be a terrorist. As a student activist, I moved from protesting the war in Viet Nam to waging guerrilla war to overthrow the government….

Recent and Upcoming Appearances and Publications
1/15/2014 Complexity and Social Change, Occupy Radio
10/31/2013 Surrender, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
10/25/2013 Surrender, Taos Community Theater, Taos, NM

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