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    Default Assessing Al-Qaeda (merged thread)

    12 Dec. issue of Newsweek - Women of Al Qaeda.

    Very little is known about the first woman to become a suicide bomber for Al Qaeda in Iraq, except that she dressed as a man. Two weeks after a U.S.-backed operation to clean out the town of Tall Afar near the Syrian border in September, she put on the long white robe and checkered scarf that Arab men commonly wear in Iraqi desert towns. The clothes disguised her gender long enough for her to walk into a gathering of military recruits with no one taking much notice. The clothes also concealed the explosives strapped around her womb...

    Never before had any branch of Al Qaeda sent a woman on a suicide mission. Since female bombers first appeared in Lebanon two decades ago, their ranks have come mainly from secular Arab nationalist groups, from Kurdish rebels in Turkey and the non-Muslim Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam fighting the government of Sri Lanka. Only in the past few years did the Palestinian "army of roses" carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis, and the "black widows" strike at the enemies of Chechnya's rebels. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Qaeda and its offshoots around the world held back. But as he has before, Zarqawi broke the taboos. His strategy is to create images of horror, "to look like he has more capability than he truly has," says Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the Coalition forces spokesman in Baghdad. Zarqawi recruits where he can, he exploits whom he can and he attacks the softest of targets to get the peculiar kind of publicity he craves. Women are his new weapon of choice...

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    Default Assessing AQ's future (merged thread)

    Moderator's Note

    Today after a review I have merged ten threads covering the future of AQ and changed the title to 'Assessing AQ's future' (merged thread). This was prompted by my new post (ends).


    A Hundred Osamas: Islamist Threats and the Future of Counterinsurgency
    If America’s pursuit of a Global War on Terror is strategically and politically well-grounded, then why are Islamist insurgencies and extremist movements continuing to operate, generating parallel cells that terrify the world with violent attacks from Iraq to London?

    While analysts debate the intensity and longevity of the latest round of terrorist attacks, we would do well to consider whether U.S. long-term goals in the war on terror—namely diminishing their presence and denying terrorists the ability to operate, while also altering conditions that terrorists exploit—are being met. If we are not pursuing the proper strategy or its implementation is not decreasing support for terrorists, then we should adapt accordingly.

    This monograph addresses these questions and examines the efficacy of proposed or operative strategies in light of the evolution of Islamist jihadist leaders, ideas, and foot-soldiers. Jihadist strategy has emerged in a polymorphous pattern over the last 30 years, but many Americans only became aware of the intensity of this problem post-September 11, 2001 (9/11), and through observation of the 2003-insurgency in Iraq.

    The author proposes that extremist (jihadist) Islamist groups are not identical to any other terrorist group. Islamist discourse, and extremist discourse within it, must be clearly understood. Given the fiscal challenges of the Global War on Terror, the fact that its coordination may be at odds with great power competition, and certainly contests the interests of other smaller states (like Iran), why are we aiming at eradication, rather than containment, and is eradication possible? Differentiating a “true Islam” from the false and destructive aims of such groups is an important response. Each region-based administration has so crafted its anti-terrorist rhetoric, and Muslims, in general, are not willing to view their religion as a destructive, anachronistic entity, so this unfortunately difficult task of ideological differentiation is an acceptable theme. But it is insufficient as a strategy because Islamist insurgencies have arisen in the context of a much broader, polychromatic religious and political “Islamic awakening” that shows no signs of receding. That broader movement informs Muslim sentiment today from Indonesia to Mauritania, and Nigeria to London. Official statements will not diminish recruitment; deeds, not words, are needed. Finally, eradication may be impossible, but containment is philosophically unattractive. A combination of eradication (denial) and cooptation, as we have seen in the Muslim world thus far, probably makes sense. Certain assumptions that underlie U.S. strategies of denying and diminishing the terrorism of Islamist extremists therefore need to be reconsidered.

    Among the recommendations made in this monograph are:
    1. Revise strategies that too narrowly or too broadly define extremist networks and their operational modes.
    2. Acknowledge the evolution and change of Islamist extremist leadership and develop strategies to contain it. Utilize those who know the extremist bases of operations well and speak the appropriate languages instead of relegating this enormously difficult task to those who have no deep understanding of the area, ideological issues, or delicacy of the issues.
    3. Focus on antiterrorist as well as counterterrorist principles.
    4. Understand and respond to the increasing sophistication of Islamist tactical and strategic efforts.
    5. Carefully consider the impact of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and in other areas of the Muslim world on the stated aims of the Global War on Terror.
    6. Continue working with local governments in their counterterrorist and counterinsurgency efforts.
    7. Establish centers for international counterterrorist operations to specifically address Islamist extremists (rather than all global forms of terrorism).
    8. Avoid the use of physical and psychological torture and extralegal measures.
    9. Encourage local governments to normalize relations with Islamist groups, and utilize dialogue programs or amnesty efforts in order to return supporters of jihad to society.
    10. Recognize the potential of moderate Islamist groups and actors to participate in political processes. This does not mean that moderate or “progressive” Islamists as defined in urban American settings can serve as mediators or spokespersons for counterparts in the region.
    11. Extra-governmental diplomacy should be used to achieve mutual understanding on the relevant issues or obstacles to a more “global” pursuit of the Global War on Terror.
    12. Establish a multi-country, full media (Web, television, radio, and print) program to discuss and debate Islamist and other forms of religious extremism.
    13. Stay the course in promoting democratization of the Middle East and the Muslim world.
    14. Provide advanced training to military, intelligence, and political leaders on the history, evolution, and tactics of Islamist extremists.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-14-2013 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Add Mod's note

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    Default Containment requires deterrence

    A policy of containment has always had a component of deterrence. The enemy in this war is a death cult made up of religious bigots. They think they are on a mission from God so any compromise means they are going to hell rather than to the 72 white grapes/virgins. The only way to defeat them is to destroy them and their ideology. Containment is a concept that requires a rational enemy. A Nihilist enemy must be destroyed.

    BTW, the torture meme has had no apparent effect on the enemy one way or the other. Its principle effect has been in the west where it has impacted the sensitivities of those who do not want to fight the war vigorously. Clearly the NY Times and other leftist media organs have had much more to say about it than Bin Laden or Zarqawi. Since they have shown they would do worse if the situation were reversed it is hard to argue that they care beyond wanting to have their operatives give up less information.

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    Default I disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by Merv Benson
    The only way to defeat them is to destroy them and their ideology. Containment is a concept that requires a rational enemy. A Nihilist enemy must be destroyed.
    No it isn't. You out mobilize (mobility in the Maoist sense) and out organize while maintaining the moral high ground. In COIN, constant physical destruction of the enemy only proves futile; winning support amongst the population, they leverage your heavy handed overreaction to limited combat against you. You cannot fall into this trap by always responding with sheer violence of action. Eroding their popular support, you must steal their voice; you disenfranchise their ideology. It has nothing to do with being "less vigerous" to fight a war( ), nor does it have any "leftist" sway but has everything to do with succeeding.
    Last edited by GorTex6; 01-23-2006 at 08:40 PM.

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    Default Al Queda Shifting Focus to the "Near Enemy"?

    Interesting symposium on the state of the Jihad.

    One participant -- Bill Roggio -- claims Al Queda is shifting focus to the Middle East to form a caliphate, away from attacking the West directly.

    Until recently, al Qaeda's leadership has thought their goals would best be achieved by attacking the 'far enemy' – the U.S. and her allies - directly in order to force the nations to withdraw the support from the Middle East. This strategy has shifted over the past several years, as al Qaeda is now focusing operations and their organization primarily in the Middle East and the Muslim crescent. Al Qaeda's operations show it now wishes to focus its energy primarily on the 'near enemy.' This will the organization to consolidate power after forming their Islamic Caliphate, and set the stage for a final confrontation with the West.

    This does not mean that al Qaeda is not engaging Western forces – they are doing so directly in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the purpose of the operations are to first drive out the U.S. and the West by destroying their political will to engage in the region, and then create the individual emirates from which neighboring Muslim countries can be attacked and absorbed. While direct attacks on Western countries have not been excluded – al Qaeda will take an opportunistic shot to strike the West if it believes it will further their goals – the primary focus is now on fighting the regional wars.

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    Default Frontpage...

    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralAdama View Post
    Interesting symposium on the state of the Jihad.

    One participant -- Bill Roggio -- claims Al Queda is shifting focus to the Middle East to form a caliphate, away from attacking the West directly.
    ... is hardly the non-biased source for a decent reference point for the items you have put up for discussion on our Council. You are trending towards a lot of "link drive-bys" without much original discussion on your part. I'm getting a bit concerned that you might think you have your own personal - "no-rules" - soapbox here. Ain't gonna happen - got it?

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    Of course. I certainly don't want to violate any rules here.

    Are the opinions of Stephen Emerson (writer for The New Republic and author of the book Warriors: Inside the Covert Military Operations of the Reagan Era, Walid Phares who has written for Global Affairs, Middle East Quarterly, and Journal of South Asian and Middle East Studies, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross (who was himself a radical Muslim and wrote a book on the experience) and Bill Roggio (who is a former infantryman doing reporting in Iraq now) not considered sources of plausible analysis? Or am I misunderstanding you?

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    Default Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralAdama View Post
    Of course. I certainly don't want to violate any rules here...

    Or am I misunderstanding you?
    Yes you are and you don't get it. This is our (Council members) living room - farting in it is one thing - a steaming #### is another. No ###-for-tat with you is on my agenda - get with the program here or move on - more of your insights and observations - the writer that you claim to be - rather than full-auto links to any and all items that support 'whatever you are about'.

    Side-note - maybe it is me - but your screen name and the Colonial Defense Force 'thingee' conveys that you really do not want to be taken seriously here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralAdama View Post
    Interesting symposium on the state of the Jihad.

    One participant -- Bill Roggio -- claims Al Queda is shifting focus to the Middle East to form a caliphate, away from attacking the West directly.
    I'll give you my opinion. I think AQ and its affiliates would like to rule a state and probably to recreate some sort of Islamic super state. I think they may be capable of seizing a state at some point in time (more likely through means other than terrorism and insurgency). I do not believe they could ever create a "caliphate."

    Ultimately Al Qaeda can kill and destroy but cannot create or administer. As salafists, al Qaeda has no executable political plan or strategy. They are not like the Bolsheviks and Nazis who had explicit political plans and strategies even before they seized power. Recent history suggests that even should al Qaeda's allies or affiliates take power somewhere, they stand little chance of unifying the Islamic world, much less creating a super-state which can challenge the United States. It is hard to imagine, for instance, the benighted Afghan Mullah Mohammed Omar, whom Osama bin Laden considered the paragon of an Islamic leader, ruling a modern, powerful state which could challenge the West. It is equally hard to imagine that Indonesia, Bangladeshi, Indians, Afghans, Iranians, Turks, Kurds, Chechen, Uzbeks, and others would accept an Arab-dominated super state, or that Arabs would accept a caliphate ruled by one of these other nationalities.

    To the extent that we can glean any sort of political program or plan from the Islamic extremists, it is a recipe for a failed state. The "new caliphate" is, like the medieval European idea of "Christendom," a fantasy, clung to by both some Islamic extremists and some Americans. To build American strategy on the delusions of our opponents rather than their capabilities is a mistake. To distort al Qaeda into the type of enemy we know and understand—a Hitler, Stalin, or Saddam Hussein who can be defeated by war—may be emotionally appealing, but it does not reflect reality. And by pretending that the challenge from Islamic extremists is something it is not, we are less able to deal with the threat that it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    I'll give you my opinion. I think AQ and its affiliates would like to rule a state and probably to recreate some sort of Islamic super state. I think they may be capable of seizing a state at some point in time (more likely through means other than terrorism and insurgency). I do not believe they could ever create a "caliphate."

    Ultimately Al Qaeda can kill and destroy but cannot create or administer. As salafists, al Qaeda has no executable political plan or strategy. They are not like the Bolsheviks and Nazis who had explicit political plans and strategies even before they seized power. Recent history suggests that even should al Qaeda's allies or affiliates take power somewhere, they stand little chance of unifying the Islamic world, much less creating a super-state which can challenge the United States. It is hard to imagine, for instance, the benighted Afghan Mullah Mohammed Omar, whom Osama bin Laden considered the paragon of an Islamic leader, ruling a modern, powerful state which could challenge the West. It is equally hard to imagine that Indonesia, Bangladeshi, Indians, Afghans, Iranians, Turks, Kurds, Chechen, Uzbeks, and others would accept an Arab-dominated super state, or that Arabs would accept a caliphate ruled by one of these other nationalities.

    To the extent that we can glean any sort of political program or plan from the Islamic extremists, it is a recipe for a failed state. The "new caliphate" is, like the medieval European idea of "Christendom," a fantasy, clung to by both some Islamic extremists and some Americans. To build American strategy on the delusions of our opponents rather than their capabilities is a mistake. To distort al Qaeda into the type of enemy we know and understand—a Hitler, Stalin, or Saddam Hussein who can be defeated by war—may be emotionally appealing, but it does not reflect reality. And by pretending that the challenge from Islamic extremists is something it is not, we are less able to deal with the threat that it is.
    I would also put forward (as one of my pet rocks) that as al Qaeda moves farther down the terrorist spiral of violence they will become less capable of governing anything (assuming that they ever were capable of such activity). They will become more wrapped up in their tactics of violence (and justification for same) and more distant from whatever their founding goals were. This is a common trend with all groups that make the slide from insurgent to terrorist, and I don't really see a TNI like al Qaeda being any different. In al Qaeda's case it could even be worse, as they will run head-on into a number of ethnic and tribal considerations as you mention, Steve.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Default Historical Method

    AA, I'd suggest you broaden your research a bit to include things you don't agree with. I don't know what your academic background is, but you might want to take the time to do some reading into historical methods and research. Cherry-picking sources isn't research - it's filtering your sources until they agree with your conclusion. I've pointed out before that you paint things with a very broad stroke...which may work well on the editorial page but falls short when it comes to serious research and scholarly writing (in most cases...some of the newer fields seem to like this kind of writing, but I digress).

    Your methods seem akin to those of the Fundamentalist Christian who does all her research in Christian bookstores or the Arabist who believes that Al Jazeera is the one source of all that's true in the world, or the dedicated eco-warrior who only believes what he hears from Al Gore or Michael Moore. Every source has some degree of spin, created by the perceptions of the author and aided by what the reader brings to the table. If you want to be taken seriously, take off your blinders, use a wide variety of sources, and present your opinions as opinions, not the One Word of Truth.

    Check out the required books for an upper-division history course at your nearest university bookstore. There's usually one class devoted to research methods (although for some idiotic reason some schools don't require this until the graduate level). Find some of the books that deal with research methods. Buy them and read them cover to cover until you understand them. That's your first step to quality research. I wish you well.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Default After al Qaida?

    In a brilliant essay in the journal The American Interest, Barry Posen of MIT writes,

    "Today the most imminent U.S. security problem has to do not with conquest or intimidation but safety...The main discrete threat is al-Qaeda, but if the foregoing analysis is right, there are deeper forces feeding that organization than its interpretation of religious texts. These forces could give rise to other violent organizations. In other words, al-Qaeda is not the problem, but a particularly threatening example of a condition of global disorder and disaffection capable of giving rise to numerous such groups, Islamist and otherwise."

    Posen asks what the United States can do to address the conditions that gave rise to al Qaida. This is a vitally important issue. The implication, of course, is that the Bush strategy misdiagnosed the problem by focusing on the absence of liberal democracy.

    But there is another question which fewer strategists are grappling with: If in fact, it is systemic conditions which gave rise to al Qaida and if, in fact, the United States cannot ameliorate them, who will arise to replace al Qaida once that organization is destroyed? Are there proto-insurgencies or nascent radical organizations out there now which will rise in power with al Qaida gone? How can we identify them? How can we stop them?

    Strategy is not simply dealing with extant threats, but preventing the rise of new ones. Here's hoping that someone is grappling with this issue now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    In a brilliant essay

    But there is another question which fewer strategists are grappling with: If in fact, it is systemic conditions which gave rise to al Qaida and if, in fact, the United States cannot ameliorate them, who will arise to replace al Qaida once that organization is destroyed? Are there proto-insurgencies or nascent radical organizations out there now which will rise in power with al Qaida gone? How can we identify them? How can we stop them?

    Strategy is not simply dealing with extant threats, but preventing the rise of new ones. Here's hoping that someone is grappling with this issue now.
    I've seen similar questions being asked in various BAAs and SBIRs, but its a question (in its most basic form) that's been asked by all ruling powers throughout history. Where will the threats to our power arise from and what can we do to prevent it? There's the biblical example of Pharoah and Herod attempting to intercept the rise of a great threat to their power (Moses and Jesus) by killing all of the first born children in their kingdom. That clearly didn't work, and no similarly motivated strategy has worked for any government since.

    Posen wrote:

    "The activist U.S. grand strategy currently preferred by the national security establishment in both parties thus has a classically tragic quality about it. Enabled by its great power, and fearful of the negative energies and possibilities engendered by globalization, the United States has tried to get its arms around the problem: It has essentially sought more control. But the very act of seeking more control injects negative energy into global politics as quickly as it finds enemies to vanquish. It prompts states to balance against U.S. power however they can, and it prompts peoples to imagine that the United States is the source of all their troubles."

    We need to lighten our touch, and change our global strategy; and part of that change is not pursuing the fool's errand of trying to predict and control every possible factor which may lead to future threats. The chaotic nature of life doesn't permit such control.

    At the end of the essay Posen recaps his points with a brief summarizing statement:

    "The United States needs now to test a different grand strategy: It should conceive its security interests narrowly, use its military power stingily, pursue its enemies quietly but persistently, share responsibilities and costs more equitably, watch and wait more patiently. Let’s do this for 16 years and see if the outcomes aren’t better."

    I wholeheartedly agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
    I've seen similar questions being asked in various BAAs and SBIRs, but its a question (in its most basic form) that's been asked by all ruling powers throughout history. Where will the threats to our power arise from and what can we do to prevent it? There's the biblical example of Pharoah and Herod attempting to intercept the rise of a great threat to their power (Moses and Jesus) by killing all of the first born children in their kingdom. That clearly didn't work, and no similarly motivated strategy has worked for any government since.

    Posen wrote:

    "The activist U.S. grand strategy currently preferred by the national security establishment in both parties thus has a classically tragic quality about it. Enabled by its great power, and fearful of the negative energies and possibilities engendered by globalization, the United States has tried to get its arms around the problem: It has essentially sought more control. But the very act of seeking more control injects negative energy into global politics as quickly as it finds enemies to vanquish. It prompts states to balance against U.S. power however they can, and it prompts peoples to imagine that the United States is the source of all their troubles."

    We need to lighten our touch, and change our global strategy; and part of that change is not pursuing the fool's errand of trying to predict and control every possible factor which may lead to future threats. The chaotic nature of life doesn't permit such control.

    At the end of the essay Posen recaps his points with a brief summarizing statement:

    "The United States needs now to test a different grand strategy: It should conceive its security interests narrowly, use its military power stingily, pursue its enemies quietly but persistently, share responsibilities and costs more equitably, watch and wait more patiently. Let’s do this for 16 years and see if the outcomes aren’t better."

    I wholeheartedly agree.
    If I were king (and I realize I can't be since John Fishel is), I'd create a director for long term/emerging threats on the National Security Council to try to use interagency assets to identify and respond to emerging threats. One of the first things I'd do is commission research on the actual mechanics of strategic threat recognition in the United States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Osborne View Post

    The war which has been imposed upon us and the rest of the West in general is an Islamic war of aggression. Islam is at war with anything and everything that is non-Islamic. Even Muslims who do not tow the ideological pure line are considered apostates and deemed good fodder for immediate, cold-blooded slaughter.

    A religion-based ideology can only be addressed or countered in like manner. Apples to apples.

    That's my 0.02 worth.
    This is an issue that has recently been the topic of much discussion on another site I frequent, so I'll pose the same issue. If Al Qaeda's brand of terrorism is indeed a global insurgency, do we not play into their hands by painting this as a war between religions?

    Let me explain. The prize in this "global insurgency" is the people, as it is in all insurgencies. We currently have a vocal (and violently active) subset of the world Muslim population (how large or small is debatable). This vocal subset seeks to harness all of Islam in a war against the West. However, another subset is either opposed to this or at least neutral. If we subscribe the theory that this is indeed a war of religion, as Al Qaeda argues, then we force those Muslims that haven't chosen a side to choose the side antagonistic to us.

    I don't believe that Islam, in and of itself, is out to conquer the West or Christianity or anything else. I do believe that some have determined that the use of Islam can provide a valuable tool in their fight against the West. I just don't believe we should take actions, or pursue strategies, that make this tool more effective for Al Qaeda and their ilk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawVol View Post
    This is an issue that has recently been the topic of much discussion on another site I frequent, so I'll pose the same issue. If Al Qaeda's brand of terrorism is indeed a global insurgency, do we not play into their hands by painting this as a war between religions?

    Let me explain. The prize in this "global insurgency" is the people, as it is in all insurgencies. We currently have a vocal (and violently active) subset of the world Muslim population (how large or small is debatable). This vocal subset seeks to harness all of Islam in a war against the West. However, another subset is either opposed to this or at least neutral. If we subscribe the theory that this is indeed a war of religion, as Al Qaeda argues, then we force those Muslims that haven't chosen a side to choose the side antagonistic to us.

    I don't believe that Islam, in and of itself, is out to conquer the West or Christianity or anything else. I do believe that some have determined that the use of Islam can provide a valuable tool in their fight against the West. I just don't believe we should take actions, or pursue strategies, that make this tool more effective for Al Qaeda and their ilk.
    I've been struck in a discussion board I frequent where most of the participants are "red state" non-experts just how many subscribe to a manichean, Islam versus Christianity, end of the world sort of perspective. I guess I didn't think that much about it until I started hearing the same thing from presidential candidates like Giuliani and Huckabee.

    I suspect if I looked more closely at the late 1940s and early 1950s, I'd see the same phenomenon. During times of challenge, extremism gains legitimacy and moderation is deprecated, even delegitimized. I compare it to the witch trial in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the only way to gain attention is to stake out a position even more extreme than the person who went before.

    Islam makes a useful "witch" because its violent extremists claim to speak for the religion and many Americans don't know enough about it to recognize what does and does not represent defining characteristics of it.

    One of the most bizarre discussions I had in that "other" board came when someone floated out the line from the Koran about slaying non-believers. I pointed out that there are some pretty bloodthirsty and down right genocidal divine instructions in the Bible as well. The other discussants were absolutely shocked that I couldn't see what was to them a perfectly clear distinction: the legitimization of violence in the Bible was God's instruction while that in the Koran was not. I guess I am just too thick to see what to them was an obvious point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    I've been struck in a discussion board I frequent where most of the participants are "red state" non-experts just how many subscribe to a manichean, Islam versus Christianity, end of the world sort of perspective. I guess I didn't think that much about it until I started hearing the same thing from presidential candidates like Giuliani and Huckabee.
    I see this happen at Blackfive.net, Townhall, and pretty much every Republican-oriented board that I infrequently visit. I still can't get used to hearing it, and, to be honest, I find it a little bit frightening. Religious wars last a very long time because both sides believe that they have a mandate from their respective Higher Powers to kill the nonbeliever.

    The other frightening aspect to the "War on Islam" faction is that these are 21st century Americans who are advocating it. Granted that what's said in the Comments section of a political blog is often written in a more exaggerated style due to the anonymity of the medium, but still, this type of fear-mongering should have ended a long time ago.

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    Great article and thanks for the link. Agree wholeheardetly. We've burnt the Army to ash over the last 17 years, we need to take a long pause and realize that military actions has definitive limits for countless reasons.

    I think there are two counteracting forces at work in the world right now. Globalization and the rise of non-state actors. The patient who gets to feel the brunt of these two forces is the nation-state - both globalization and the rise of non-state actors pull the nation state apart from two different spectrums. Globalization pulls it apart from the economic angle, and the non-state actors pull it apart from the political, religious and cultural angles. Globalization really means homogenization - you see the same stores, brand names and the like everywhere you go. On a personal level, I hate this but you can't stop progress, even if its not progress.

    I think Americans like "either/or" scenarios way too much. We reduce everything to this dichotomy, and the world is much, much more complex and grey. I suppose the media could be blamed, but in reality it's a matter of self education and not trusting what is put out in front of you as gospel.

    The Moslems are no better and no worse then most of us in the world. There is a small minority of Qtubists who are deluded into thinking they are the new blend of Leninist/Mohammedanian vanguard of religious revolutionaries. They tend to die a lot, mainly by choice. Isolate them through good propaganda (I mean IO), and increase the standards of living in Islamic countries and they will die off.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

    The Eaglet from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

  19. #19
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ski View Post
    Great article and thanks for the link. Agree wholeheardetly. We've burnt the Army to ash over the last 17 years, we need to take a long pause and realize that military actions has definitive limits for countless reasons.

    I think there are two counteracting forces at work in the world right now. Globalization and the rise of non-state actors. The patient who gets to feel the brunt of these two forces is the nation-state - both globalization and the rise of non-state actors pull the nation state apart from two different spectrums. Globalization pulls it apart from the economic angle, and the non-state actors pull it apart from the political, religious and cultural angles. Globalization really means homogenization - you see the same stores, brand names and the like everywhere you go. On a personal level, I hate this but you can't stop progress, even if its not progress.

    I think Americans like "either/or" scenarios way too much. We reduce everything to this dichotomy, and the world is much, much more complex and grey. I suppose the media could be blamed, but in reality it's a matter of self education and not trusting what is put out in front of you as gospel.

    The Moslems are no better and no worse then most of us in the world. There is a small minority of Qtubists who are deluded into thinking they are the new blend of Leninist/Mohammedanian vanguard of religious revolutionaries. They tend to die a lot, mainly by choice. Isolate them through good propaganda (I mean IO), and increase the standards of living in Islamic countries and they will die off.
    I just signed off on a very interesting forthcoming publication by my Islamic studies expert. Among other things, she explains why the word "Qtubists" (which is in wide circulation) is wrong. I'll pass along the link when the study comes out. I learned a lot from it myself (in my eternal quest to rebut those hundreds of people who consider me uneducable).
    Last edited by SteveMetz; 12-10-2007 at 01:39 PM.

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    We have to label the radical Sunni terrorists as something. I hear Salafist/Wahhabist/Qtubist - I'll be interested to see what her definition of "right" is.
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

    The Eaglet from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

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