Dr. Hans Koechler's Observations on the "War on Terror"

(Dr. Koechler's website.)

In addition to the skepticism recently voiced in New Zealand by Dr. Koechler, he has updated an essay originally presented at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang back in December, 2007. The essay will be published in Studies in International Relations, Vol. XXX, later this year.

The essay is called, "The “Global War on Terror” and its Implications for Muslim-Western Relations". Here are some excerpts;

At the beginning of the 21st century, a comprehensive analysis of the notion and practice of the so-called “global war on terror” and the role that has been “assigned” to Islam in this antagonistic, almost hypocritically Manichaean, post-September 11 scenario has remained a desideratum – in spite of all the proclamations to the contrary. My preliminary philosophical reflections focus on the aspect of the “metaphysical enemy” in the context of the actual discourse on terrorism and the global order...

In the framework of international power politics in which the term is used today, “terrorism” has become a reified concept that signifies an enemy for whose actions no motivation other than “doing evil” is being admitted. Thus, the term has become a kind of value label employed in a specific context of (often undeclared) political interests, with the purpose of de-humanizing the adversary and, thus, gaining the moral high ground in confrontations that are often driven by economic interests, not by a commitment to moral or legal principles. Accordingly, the construct of a “global war on terror” attributes to “terrorism” a kind of mythical dimension, personalizing something which is a method of violence or tactic – as distinct from the acting subject against whom alone a war can be fought. Thus, the collective effort described as “war” in this sense implies a rather strange reification of actual conflict situations the causes of which those who claim to act in self-defense refuse to analyze.

Traditionally, and in particular since the period of decolonization, the term “terrorism” was used to de-legitimize the resort to force as part of resistance against foreign occupation or national liberation struggles – irrespective of whether those are directed against civilian or military targets. The establishment discourse (whether by scholars, politicians or the corporate media) in countries involved in colonial or other forms of occupation or wars of aggression has always reserved the use of the label “terrorist” to the resisting side (i.e. to non-state actors), while steadfastly avoiding its application to the actions of regular armies. It goes without saying that such a policy of double standards is unacceptable in terms of philosophical ethics. Any inconsistency in the usage of the term has to be scrutinized as to the hidden interests that direct the selective application of the term as a tool of legitimation on the one hand and de-legitimation on the other...

This collective denial of reality on the part of the Western establishment has become a central aspect of what, since 2001, has been portrayed and propagated as the “global war on terror” – which, by now, is made to appear as an all-out effort at collective self-defense, but without a clearly defined operative goal.11 In sharp contrast to its extremely broad scope, this admittedly long-term (eventually – though non-admittedly – perpetual) struggle lacks even the most basic reflection on the reasons why the world finds itself in this kind of self-diagnosed confrontation.

We notice, in particular:

...a refusal to investigate – sine ira et studio – the “key” terrorist events of recent times – and in particular the “defining moment” of the “global war on terror,” the atrocities of September 11, 2001. Instead of dealing with the contradictions and inconsistencies in the official version of events and the numerous gaps in terms of the factual information, a “dogma of political correctness” has been promulgated according to which 19 Islamic-inspired Arab hijackers, directed by an elusive “Al-Qaeda” (“base”), succeeded in carrying out the acts all by themselves. Several other cases of recent history where the political establishment stubbornly refused to investigate the real causes of terrorist incidents could also be mentioned here.

In this context of international realpolitik (or more precisely: power politics) which deliberately ignores the real causes of conflict, the “terrorist” – as enemy – acquires an abstract dimension, representing “the other” vis-à-vis the self-proclaimed civilized world. In other words: the terrorist is becoming the “metaphysical enemy” who threatens humanity (civilization) as such. As rightly observed by a U.S. analyst, this leads to an irrational reaction, a régime of fear that is “more theological in nature.” ...

At the beginning of the 21st century, in the era for which a “clash of civilizations” has been proclaimed even before September 11, 2001, Islam occupies the place of the “metaphysical enemy.” Whether one is prepared to admit it or not, the instrumental role of the events on this fateful day – when it comes to attribute that place to Islam and the Muslims – has by now become a well-established historical fact, whatever the actual causes of the events may be. The vilification of an entire civilization (or religion) and the stereotyping of this civilization for the purposes of the imperial strategy of the only remaining superpower after the Cold War – justified by reference to that country’s “national interests” – cannot be denied any longer – especially if one looks at the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of public order in these two countries.

The misleading and selective presentation of the events of September 11, 2001, with factually wrong incriminations and the subsequent unjust accusations against Islam as a civilization and value system, has poisoned Muslim-Western relations almost beyond a level where they still can be “repaired.” The supposition of collective guilt, whether openly stated or just implied, may have made – at the present stage of alienation and confrontation between the two worlds – damage control a “mission impossible.” ...

Because this all-out effort in preventive self-defense, if not revenge (for acts that are falsely attributed to an entire civilization), is portrayed – and justified – as part of an eschatological struggle of good versus evil that excludes any form of negotiation with the purpose of reaching a peaceful settlement, “war” has acquired an entirely new dimension. Due to what Carl Schmitt* has characterized as the “moralization” of the use of force, the “global war on terror” transcends all norms of humanity. If war is conducted as final battle of good against evil, argues Schmitt, the enemy incorporates the absolute “other” that has to be destroyed. No room is left for compromise; the adversary is denied the very human dignity which the defender of a just “new world” claims for himself and which has become the basic principle of today’s international humanitarian law. It is against this background that Schmitt, in his analysis of the nature of politics, has argued for a strictly neutral interpretation of the friend-enemy scheme in politics...

To understand the magnitude of the problem, we must not overlook the fact that the indoctrination is mainly based on the “official” conspiracy theory about the perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocities. Regrettable as it may be, the official version is still not widely scrutinized – whether due to collective naïveté or sheer opportunism. The detailed and precise questions asked on 11 January 2008 by Yukihisa Fujita, member of Japan’s House of Councillors (Senate) and Director of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, about the 9/11 attacks as the origin of the war on terror are a rare exception. The total silence about Mr. Fujita’s intervention before the Committee (that was broadcast live on Japan’s public NHK television channel) in the Western corporate media is a telling example of the lack of courage in confronting a powerful political establishment. Thus, a rather docile and obviously opportunistic intellectual élite in the West, in tandem with client régimes in the Muslim world, has effectively silenced – or at least marginalized – critical opinion...

* For a brief introduction to Carl Schmitt, "The Crown Jurist of the 3rd Reich", check out this clip of author Ann Norton.

Thanks for your comprehensive posts.

You are working real hard at getting the word out and keeping us informed.

Thanks again.

Below is another very interesting article.

Civilization as instrument of world order?


Civilization As Instrument of World Order?

The Role of the Civilizational Paradigm in the Absence of a Balance of Power Hans Köchler*


“Civilization” has become a buzzword in contemporary discourse about global affairs. What is called “international order” – a system of power-centered interaction between states – has always invited the creation of “legitimating tools” by those who had an interest in the preservation of a given distribution of power. The very stability of world order is, inter alia, a function of its legitimation. While in an earlier era – in particular that of the “Holy Alliance” – religion was the determining factor in the discourse of legitimation, it has been gradually succeeded – as far as the dominant Western civilization is concerned – by secularized ideologies and, more recently, the paradigm of “civilization.”

As long as world order was characterized by a balance of power – such as the bipolar one during the Cold War –, each rival for global hegemony rooted its claim to power on a set of human values and abstract norms that were perceived, and propagated, as being superior to those of the other. After the sudden – and mostly unexpected – end of that system in the course of the events of 1989, ideological rivalry was followed by a claim to civilizational supremacy on the part of the only remaining global power.

To suit the aspiration towards global rule in the framework of the now unipolar order, a new antagonistic discourse has been created along civilizational lines. In the absence of a balance of power (at least insofar as political and military affairs are concerned), the global hegemon has embarked upon a self-proclaimed civilizational mission..................................

The CONSTITUTION is NOT going to "collapse" into pulverized dust no matter how much thermate/explosives or planes they throw at it

Speaking of Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang

William Rodriguez has been here on occasion to speak to the University.

He has also spoken to the former Prime Minister and other Cabinet Officials.


Honourable Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Malaysia and Rodriguez

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Tun Mahatdir Mohammed holding the WTC Master key
and William Rodriguez July 2006

Some insightful video.

Last Man Out Movie Trailer

William Rodriguez, hero of 9/11 and last man to exit the falling North Tower of the World Trade Center, saved many lives that horrible day. His story now will be told in full and how the Government failed on the investigation to answer the families and affected on what really happened.
Willie was scheduled to appear on "The View" with Rosie O'Donnell and Barbara Walters. His story must be heard.



Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir said he had doubts on the "collapse" of the World Trade Centre in New York.


"CRIMINALISING WAR"- Former Prime Minister of Malaysia & 911 Truther


AN APPEAL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE - Former Prime Minister of Malaysia (Also 911 Truther)


Malaysia has tried to do the something for 911 Truth by giving wider exposure to William Rodriguez who was on National TV in mid-2006 when he first visited.

I wish however more could be done.
The CONSTITUTION is NOT going to "collapse" into pulverized dust no matter how much thermate/explosives or planes they throw at it