"They make a wasteland and call it peace" was the bitter complaint of Caligus, a Scottish commander, when the Romans attacked Scotland. "Make no mistake: The US will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts," thus spoke President Bush in his address to the nation soon after the events of September 11. With these words the world got an endless war based not on realistic appraisals of the causes of conflict but on fables about human nature and a world divided between the absolutes of good and evil. Nowhere evident was the rationale to step back from the apocalyptic allure of this convoluted theory. Fear was instilled in the people to justify the global threat of this terror whereas evidence belies it. Oxford Research Group, a global security think tank, paints an absolutely different picture of the fundamental threats that we all face. In a book Beyond Terror: The truth about the real threats to our world, it argues that the real global threats will come from four interconnected trends: Climate change, Competition over resources, Marginalisation of the majority world and Global militarisation. The "paradigm of prevention," as the then US Attorney General John Ashcroft dubbed it, wrought nothing but utter devastation and human misery. The War On Terror became the umbilical surrogate of self-defence. Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza epitomise the brutal futility of this doctrine. At Guantnamo Bay, said to house "the worst of the worst," Pentagon's Combatant Status Review Tribunals' own findings categorised only 8 percent of about 775 detainees as fighters for Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. More than half of them have been released, scarred for life, though they may never have been "the worst of the worst" after all. President Obama has clearly stated that he wants to make Afghanistan, a country where nine million people face acute food shortage, the principal focus on the War On Terror. According to the Brookings Weak State Index (eight years on) it is also the most insecure state of the world. Historically in fighting counter insurgencies population is the prize, not the target. For the insurgents the population is the "centre of gravity" of the war. To survive, they need it to support and hide them. The War On Terror has the gruesome tally of millions killed or maimed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. These figures and other gory details are documented in various reports including that of the UN and Human Rights Watch. Using brutally disproportionate force to impress upon an enemy that the price of fighting is more than it can bear pays exactly the opposite dividends - more recruits who seek vengeance, if nothing else. The tactical defeats inflicted on the insurgents; including the killing of their top leaders and foot-soldiers has no perceptible impact on the volume of the violence or its political consequences. The word "guerrilla" was first used to describe the ferocious insurgency of the Spanish poor against their would-be liberators. On July 6, 1808, King Joseph of Spain presented a draft constitution that for the first time in the country's history offered an independent judiciary, press freedom and abolition of the remaining feudal privileges of the aristocracy and the Church. Till that time, abbeys, monasteries and bishops owned every building and piece of land in 3,148 towns and villages. These were inhabited by some of Europe's most wretched tenants. Despite the fact that the new constitution would have liberated them and let them keep their harvests for themselves, the Spanish peasantry failed to rise up in its support. Instead, they obeyed the priests, who summoned them to fight against the ungodly innovations of the foreign invader. This was because Joseph was the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, placed on the Spanish throne by French troops. That was all that mattered to most Spaniards - not the ideal constitution to better their lives but the perception about the man behind it. President Karzai (who cannot trust Afghans as bodyguards) and our own president is seen to be nothing but an extension of the US State Department. It is no secret that the US brokered our "ascension" deal when they were forced to ditch their erstwhile ally. Till the time this perception of bondage persists and the endless war may never be won. The sea change in race relationships in America started with Martin Luther King changing the paradigm of race relations. He had a dream of "Black and White walking hand in hand" replacing the violent struggle against racism. That shift has brought America its first non-white president, an ultimate tribute to the power of peaceful means. President Obama too promised a change. What could be more welcome globally than changing the paradigm of this endless brutal war? The writer is a freelance columnist E-mail: miradnanaziz@gmail.com