The Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan, has now confirmed he carried out his attack as an act of defense of the Taliban leaving no doubt he was reacting to the United States conducting attacks on foreign soil. This follows other recent attacks that were conducted for similar reasons, such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the brutal and very public killing of a British soldier in the streets of the United Kingdom. In all three cases, the persons responsible for the killings have made it clear they were revenge attacks for what they perceive as the West viciously and needlessly killing Muslims around the world.
Which brings us to the reality the recent estimation by the Pentagon that the War on Terror would last another 15 to 20 years is probably a gross underestimation of how long it will truly last. Even the youngest and simplest of minds can see the obvious connection and relationship of one side’s attacks versus the other and can also see there is no end in sight to this war barring a drastic change in tactics by the United States. People may unreasonably argue the West didn’t “attack first” in the case of the War on Terror but one thing is undoubtedly clear now: recent terror attacks have been reactions to the West attacking Muslims overseas, which will prompt more attacks by the West continuing the endless cycle of violence.
The worst and most dangerous part of this is the normalizing of the War on Terror in the minds of the public and the passive acceptance of what it brings. Part of making this war perpetual is simply making the situation and its atrocities, whether conducted by or against the United States, seem a normal part of everyday life. Glen Greenwald summarizes this as well as anyone:
And then there’s the most intangible yet most significant cost: each year of endless war that passes further normalizes the endless rights erosions justified in its name. The second term of the Bush administration and first five years of the Obama presidency have been devoted to codifying and institutionalizing the vast and unchecked powers that are typically vested in leaders in the name of war. Those powers of secrecy, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, and due-process-free assassination are not going anywhere. They are now permanent fixtures not only in the US political system but, worse, in American political culture.