While counter-terrorism operations might have legitimate causes in certain exceptional cases, today it has come to represent hegemony and power. The record of the United States, especially under eight year reign of George W. Bush speaks ill of the notion of counter-terrorism. Interrogators working on the War on Terror project have resorted to such dehumanizing tactics such as solitary confinement in nudity in order to elicit intelligence information from suspects. Interrogators were learnt to have imposed nudity,
“hoping to induce ‘learned helplessness’ (similar to the American public in regard to its own domination by powerful political-economic classes and strata). The Obama administration continued this tactic with Pfc. Bradley Manning. Whistle-blowers are held naked in solitary confinement, while our political establishment, a complicit media, and a professional class of lawyers and behavioural scientists attempt to veil American atrocities. Current targeted assassinations of American citizens, landmines, torture, and military tribunals sadly converge with the Bush-Cheney era policy of war and counter-terrorism.” (Glazier, 2009, p.957)
Hence, in the backdrop of what counter-terrorism has come to mean in current geo-political situations, it is useful for policy makers to consider more ethical and humane approaches. To start, foreign policy should take the suffering of people in other countries seriously. This refreshing policy orientation would not only be progressive, but also starkly contrasts with counter-terror practices of today, which perceive “human suffering as irrelevant, or even as a reason to inflate the terrorist danger.” Whatever may be the purposes of those states that sponsor and promote terrorism (some of which may be genuine causes), “their capacity to recruit terrorists and to glorify their deeds rests on widespread public support for their moral claims. To put the issue more concretely, if governments in the West really wanted to put a stop to most varieties of terrorism, it should start using its diplomatic and economic clout more effectively, instead of using forceful means.” (Falk, 1996, p.873)
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