Achin Vanaik is an independent Indian scholar and journalist and Professor of International Relations and Global Politics at Delhi University. He was speaking at the Independent and Radical Bookfair in Edinburgh on Friday, 13th of October 2006, about Political Terrorism and the US Imperial Project.
Here are two audio recordings of his talk, which is about 30 minutes, and some notes on the talk.
Political Terrorism and the US Imperial Project
after 9/11 : statement of the US
- global war on terrorism
- doesn't distinguish between countries which host and perpetrators -> worldwide imperialismli
- takes decades 8-10 years
Definition of international political terrorism:
concepts of intimidation and violence
Understanding of terrorism:
- ancient/modern phenomena ?- historical form?
- neutral definition?
- morality? 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler as positive example?
- broad/narrow definition of violence? - policy of poverty?
- objective/subjective definition?
- philosophical: only acts which knowingly kill civilians? also acts which consequential kill civilians? (US foreign policies?)
- Acts: threats and carrying out
- by state terrorism and individual groups
- framework for understanding
- non-state terrorism
- 2-ways-directional (opponents and supporters)
- “propaghanda of the deed”: symbolic aspects of non-state terrorism
- arbitrary/random character
- one directional
- blatantly open organisation: morally de-sensualised population
- question of scare and scale: very huge in contrast to non-state terrorism e.g. US killed people in numbers of millions
- grandios character of the “end” of state terrorism: “in the name of fighting communism” / ”in the name of democracy”
- state-terrorism is not that random
- usually takes place away from home population
State terrorism is our biggest problem today.
Ideology - can be opposed
Global War on Terrorism
- militarise the solution to the problem
- violence promoted in order to oppose violence terrorism is used to oppose terrorism
more aggressive than state terrorism during cold war
- War on Terror
- Humanitarian Internvention
- Democracy -> regime change
- Failed States
- War on Drugs
- domestic population
- Middle East
- government and elites in other countries
-> to understand the impact
-> discourse: messianic and paranoiac
- duration: long times
- geographical scope
- addresses failed problems within US public
- vasted interests justified and further followed up
- WMD – nuclear terrorism
- demonisation of Islam and Muslims
-> religion got connected with terrorism
=> historic: stronger resistance against imperialism, historical consistency against imperialism
West Asia and Central Asia
What do we do?
-> politically defeat it
=> contest of wills
Progressive Politcs: initiating that will to resist!
- politically (terrorism of the strang)
- emotionally (universalist)
“Never again …to my people.”
long-term struggle, adjust political context, push for international and national laws
UN court tribunal:
- US, Israel, China, India not members