Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Algiers in the News: The War on Terror is Global

This headline is a reminder of something rather important:

"UN security chief resigns as Algiers bombing panel cites weaknesses"
International Herald Tribune (June 25, 2008)

"UNITED NATIONS: The U.N. security chief resigned Tuesday over the Dec. 11 Algiers truck bombings after an expert panel found "gaps and weaknesses" in the U.N.'s overall security operations due to cost-cutting."

Two points:
  1. For the second time in three days, the United Nations has shown the sort of leadership and maturity that its founders hoped for
  2. The War on Terror isn't limited to Iraq, Syria, Israel, Jordan, and the 'Stans
News - American news, at any rate - tends to focus on conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a few other countries. That can leave the impression that the War on Terror is a regional affair.

People in Indonesia and the Philippines know better.

In fact, I think that before it's over, the War on Terror will deal with blots on the landscape like the Mugabe regime of Zimbabwe. There's a backlog of petty dictatorships to deal with, and this may be the time that civilized nations start catching up.


Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Sure the Middle East region provides the biggest challenge, indeed in the 21st century the ME may very well be to the U.S. what Europe was in the 20th century. But that does not discount the fact there are other hotspots, the pursuit of freedom and democracy dictates that our attention will sooner or later be needed elsewhere ... Zimbabwe by years end?

Brian H. Gill said...


Good to hear from you.

It's possible that Zimbabwe will boil over in the next six months. (I posted about Zimbabwe's mess yesterday: "War on Terror: Zimbabwe Has Trouble, Too" (June 23, 2008).)

I'm not sure that Zimbabwe will become a major focus of attention very soon. This will sound cynical, but in the war on terror, Mugabe's a low-value target.

Mugabe is a terrible leader, and has managed to alienate nearly all other nations' leadership. He should be removed from office, and seems invulnerable to legal and political attacks by his subjects.

However, he does not seem to be a threat to people who are not in his country. He seems content to bully and murder Zimbabweans, with little interest in exporting his violence.

As for removing him, it's possible that the rank-and-file membership of the United Nations will be able to handle the Mugabe mess on its own.

How long-lasting that solution is likely to be is a whole different topic.

phl 118 said...

Of course the Americans are just focusing on Iraq and Aphganistan but the fact is they are the ones that attcked us from the begginning. Do you not think that this war on terror for the American people affects our civil liberties in any way? Since we have been over there families have been hurting and civil rights have been crushed, there is no reason for the war in Iraq have any affect on other countries. Why do you think that the war on terror will expand its landscaps?

Brian H. Gill said...


My guess is that you are asking rhetorical questions.

However, you raised interesting points.

I've posted about civil liberties and the War on Terror before, and probably will again.

Briefly, I'm not in the 'security cameras are bad' camp. And, unlike some members of the American Congress, I regard Al Qaeda and the Taliban as more serious threats than the FBI and the CIA.

As for "there is no reason for the war in Iraq have any affect on other countries" - friends and relatives of people killed in Mosul, by Syrian-based terrorists, have a different, if biased, view.

And, as for "why do you think that the war on terror will expand its landscaps?" - I think so, because terrorists are using Syria as a base, and are active in many other countries.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.