Cited Book: The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians, Why It Has Always Failed and Why it Will Fail Again


book cover recommend book⇒The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians, Why It Has Always Failed and Why it Will Fail Again
by Caleb Carr 978-0-375-76074-7 paperback
birth 1955-08-02 age: 59 978-1-58836-205-6 eBook
publisher Random House
published 2003-03-11
Terrorism: killing civilians with the intent of changing their political affiliation.
~ Caleb Carr, military historian

Carr is a conservative military historian. He never once questions the need for war. He believes it is utterly inevitable. He completely fails to notice the success of the European Union at ending centuries of non-stop warfare within Europe. He completely swallows the Bush party line about what happened on 9/11, the Gulf War, the necessity of the war on terror, and the right of American to wage war on anyone it pleases, including pre-emptive wars on those it things might cause trouble in future. However, he makes a number of important points:

  1. Terrorism, killing civilians to try to change their political allegiances never works, at least not in the long run. He uses examples all though history starting with the Roman Empire. It fails because it is a waste of time and materials as far as military objectives go. Further, it unifies the victims with a desire for revenge that inevitably springs forth at the first opportunity, even if generations later. Terrorism is an emotional indulgence, motivated by revenge and sadism, not by any practical progression of war toward victory.
  2. It is dangerous to use mercenaries. As soon as you discard them, they often turn on you using the very training and materials you furnished them with.
  3. The CIA should be abolished. It overlaps other agencies. It is not accountable. Its main mode of action is terrorism, which always backfires. It has done nothing but give the USA a black eye. It has failed time and time again to provide crucial intelligence.
  4. You must treat terrorists as if they were an army, not as if they were civilian criminals.
If a man is slain unjustly, his heirs shall be entitled to satisfaction, but let him not carry his vengeance to excess, or his victim is sure to be assisted and avenged.
~ The Qur’an Al Isra 17:33
If an unjust and rapacious conqueror subdues a nation and forces her to accept hard, ignominious and insupportable conditions, necessity obliges her to submit, but this apparent tranquility is not a peace, it is an oppression she endures only so long she lacks the means of shaking it off and against which men of spirit arise on the first favourable opportunity.
~ Emerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations
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