Peace Action Geneseo held an eye-opening viewing of Dirty Wars on Oct. 2. The documentary explores the true nature of the War on Terror and the role the United States is playing in it. Along with Peace Action, senior Tiba Fatli held this event to raise awareness, saying, “The war on terror is much more than just violence in Iraq and Afganistan.”
“There are so many more secrets that people should know, especially since it’s our money that the government is using for these operations,” Fatli added.
The operations that Fatli referred to are the covert actions and air strikes that are meant to prevent terrorism, but create a cycle of increased terror. In these covert actions, military forces are going into countries and targeting anyone who might be a suspected terrorist, including American citizens.
“Peace Action Geneseo seeks to focus on global issues and how we can solve them without violence,” Fatli said. “The so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ is actually provoking terrorists to act more, rather than preventing terrorism from occurring.”
The documentary Dirty Wars was written by New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Scahill. Scahill received the William Sloane Coffin Jr. Peacemaker Award on Monday Oct. 6 from Peace Action New York State, the parent organization of Peace Action Geneseo’s chapter. His work both as an investigative journalist and a documentary writer has earned him this honor.
“One of the most surprising facts from the documentary came from an anonymous military official who stated that there are secret operations happening in 45 countries,” Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace member and former assistant professor of political science and international relations Victoria Farmer said in a phone interview.
The feedback from students was unified in a common theme.
“Students were in agreement with their concern about U.S. policy regarding drones and counter-terrorism measures that are not under clear democratic control,” Farmer said.
“People were shocked that the War on Terror is actually happening,” Fatil said.
According to Farmer, one of the most thought-provoking comments came from a student who had lived in a war-torn area. The sentiment that U.S students have rights that many other students in other countries do not have created the need for us to use these freedoms and rights to take action.
Farmer encouraged students to learn and be active in response to this issue. “The most important thing is to get information out about what is going on,” she said. “Students should be politically active, whether it’s through peaceful protest or simply voting.”