“The Terror-Industrial Complex” by Chris Hedges


“The conviction of the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui in New York last week of trying to kill American military officers and FBI agents illustrates that the greatest danger to our security comes not from al-Qaida but the thousands of shadowy mercenaries, kidnappers, killers and torturers our government employs around the globe.”

Thus opens Mr Hedges article, and while most of the article space is dedicated to this particular and seemingly tragic case, “The Terror-Industrial Complex” according to Hedges and others, is a new leviathan to be reckoned with. The title of the article takes it’s cue from “The Military Industrial Complex”, in which  Daniel Guérin, in his 1936 book Fascism and Big Business, about the fascist government support to heavy industry defined as:

an informal and changing coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral, and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs

Chris Hedges received the Pulitzer for terrorism reporting and he and others see the emergence of a Terror Industrial Complex that feeds on itself as do the Military and Prison Industries in this country. He elucidates further:

“I spent more than a year covering al-Qaida for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East. The threat posed by Islamic extremists, while real, is also wildly overblown, used to foster a climate of fear and political passivity, as well as pump billions of dollars into the hands of the military, private contractors, intelligence agencies and repressive client governments including that of Pakistan. The leader of one FBI counterterrorism squad told The New York Times that of the 5,500 terrorism-related leads its 21 agents had pursued over the past five years, just 5 percent were credible and not one had foiled an actual terrorist plot. These statistics strike me as emblematic of the entire war on terror.”


“Once you build secret archipelagos of prisons, once you commit huge sums of money and invest your political capital in a ruthless war against subversion, once you empower a network of clandestine killers, operatives and torturers, you fuel the very insecurity and violence you seek to contain. “”

And again:

“These abuses, justified by the war on terror, have created a system of internal and external state terrorism that is far more dangerous to our security and democracy than the threat
posed by Islamic radicals.”

Mr Hedges is alluding to the very real present and future danger of a Military Industrial Complex that focuses on terror to further it’s profits and domination of the anti-terror market. The “Terror Industrial Complex” consists of all of the companies that may profit off of “The War on Terror”. This includes almost every company that has industrial and electronic business ties. Pharmaceutical companies can now be immune from lawsuits because they also manufacture drugs for the military.

And the list goes on and on, this is why they call it a “complex”. It becomes so complex that it has a mind of its own and becomes a complex of which the complexity is perplexing. And it is not just cold hearted capitalism that this monster is feeding on. It is also eating from our old fears of religion and race.

A dirty secret is that our military has been infiltrated by evangelical Christians who are swelling the ranks and filling the tanks. Add to that the lengthy history of US and western imperialism and economic enslavement of many developing nations, and it is no wonder that we don’t encounter more violent opposition around the world.




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. TomCat
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 20:56:57

    Hi Jason

    I’m rushing through to let you know that I’ve moved Politics Plus to http://www.politicsplus.org/blog

    You’re in the new blogroll there. Would you please update me in yours?


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