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Drone Attacks and The Cycle of Terror

Abu Yahya al-Libi in 2008. Photograph: Reuters/Guardian.
This Comment Is Free piece from today's Guardian newspaper, Abu Yahya al-Libi and this perpetually self-defeating "war on terror," written by Moazzem Begg, is one of the most illuminating pieces I have read on the West's approach to dealing with terrorism - and the effect of the US campaign of drone assassinations of alleged high-profile terrorist targets.

I am not for a minute suggesting that we do not face real threats from real people, but the dehumanization of the "war on terror" by these remote-controlled attacks from the sky, and the failure to even try to engage in any meaningful dialogue with what the intelligence services would term "bad actors" (the terrorists) seems to imply a never-ending cycle of killing and incitement to hatred of the West and, in particular, the US.

The irony of our dealings with people who at times are our "allies" (Osama bin Laden, funded by the CIA during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan) and then our worst enemies, is too sad and self-defeating actually to be ironic.

We need a new beginning, somehow, in our dealings with even militant Islam - and perhaps dialogue, rather than drone attacks, might prove more fruitful and less inhumane.


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