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Thread: AP: 'Jihadist' booted from government lexicon

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    Default AP: 'Jihadist' booted from government lexicon

    Don't think I've seen this on here... if so, sorry for the repost as it is a bit old. A co-worker just passed this on earlier in the week.

    'Jihadist' booted from government lexicon

    By MATTHEW LEE – Apr 24, 2008

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't call them jihadists any more.

    And don't call al-Qaida a movement.

    The Bush administration has launched a new front in the war on terrorism, this time targeting language.

    Federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen," according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Lingo like "Islamo-fascism" is out, too.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i...DCXrwD908CUGO0
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    Council Member LawVol's Avatar
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    I still prefer "criminals" since it decribes what they are and removes any sense of legitimacy.
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    "The Investigative Project on Terrorism" http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/659 has links to each memo

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawVol View Post
    I still prefer "criminals" since it decribes what they are and removes any sense of legitimacy.
    Agree, deny them legitimacy, I like the visual of "taking the wind out of their sails". Win the support of the 99% to better kill the 1 percenters. I think this is an important measure, but see that many have displeasure with it. I think knee jerk reaction against perceived political correctness, is going to undermine its acceptance. Its going to be perceived as "soft" instead of "smart", it will be fodder for the Washington Times, just like that article they wrote about David Kilcullen.

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    Default A quick thought

    The UK policy in Northern Ireland, during The Troubles, was to label the Provisional IRA (PIRA) and other groups as criminals. The criminalisation route, in both the language / psyops / publicity etc and actual enforcement action did not always work. Indeed some commentators, then and now, have remarked it worked well for the mainland UK government, plus people, the vast majority of the Loyalists, but very few in the Nationalist / Catholic community. All the time, we now known far more, the UK government was speaking to PIRA and its political arm.

    So, nice word criminalise, has some value and is not the answer.

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Another suggestion

    Currently, I'm in advanced studies at the Naval Postgraduate School, and an international brother of mine from Pakistan offered the following. He's an infantry officer who's spent extensive time in NW Pakistan and UN peacekeeping missions. His brother is still fighting up there. It taught me that I still have a lot to learn.

    "Mike, they're miscreants. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less....You call them jihadists, and you don't understand what jihad means. You've just infuriated 2 Billion muslims and given credence to their cause. Their simply miscreants."

    Additionally, an excerpt from Greg Mortensen's 3 Cups of Tea:

    “Osama, baah! Osama is not a product of Pakistan or Afghanistan. He is a creation of America. Thanks to America, Osama is in every home. As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy’s strength. In America’s case, that’s not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.”

    -Pakistani General (Ret) Bashir
    Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time

    I think we still have a lot to learn. I will never use jihadist again.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I'm unsure whether we have a lot to learn or

    whether we just too easily forget every thing we learned in Kindergarten about dealing with other people...

    Right after my son deployed to OIF 2, he called on the Satphone and referred to "Hajis." I asked if he knew the meaning of the word and pointed out he was insulting about a billion people. Told him he ought to forbid his Platoon using the term, period and try to get the rest of the Bn to quit. He did that, with some success -- but that was one Bn out of 12 or more...

    Just plain old common sense -- we have a bad tendency to not engage our brains before we talk. We have really created as many problems as we've solved. We're getting smarter but it really didn't have to be this hard.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Additionally, an excerpt from Greg Mortensen's 3 Cups of Tea:

    “Osama, baah! Osama is not a product of Pakistan or Afghanistan. He is a creation of America. Thanks to America, Osama is in every home. As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy’s strength. In America’s case, that’s not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.”

    -Pakistani General (Ret) Bashir
    Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time
    When Mortenson was in Pakistan during 911 the flip in how we treated him was pretty much an abomination. Here is a guy who is scraping together money to build one or two western style schools a year (that require girls to be educated too), and he watches hundreds of Madrassa spring up around him and nobody prior to 911 can connect the dots.

    Religion and intolerance are as linked in Islam to jihadism as Christianity and the forced conversion process of evangelism (having seen this process well into the 1970s ouch). The militancy of the Christian fundamentalist "right to life" groups bombing abortion clinics are just another side of the counterfeit penny of illogic found in radical Islamic teaching too. Neither view represents either society, but both societies are judged harshly for the existence. Islamofascism, and jihadism rarely represent an entire peoples view, but using those terms can create identity and radicalize populations that never would have considered it.

    The American neo-conservative policy position that the wahabism and salafalism (sp?) are truly representative views of the entire population are simplistic but make for great punditry. Similarly American liberalism fails to realize that even one percent of a population radicalized is an imminent threat to stability and peace. In the dichotomy between opposing views one sides polarized views of "kill em all" radicalizes while the other similarly polarized view of "give peace a chance" fails to take even the most basic protective measures.

    In an effort to be right the method is to yell louder, create echo chambers of thought, ignore rather than debate, insult rather than consider, and our own process of American radicalization continues. How many conservative or liberal only BLOGs are there? Are CNN and FOX fair and balanced? As an intelligent American population prizing our first amendment rights we should embrace considered debate as a societal obligation and expectation. We should not need a law or rule to enforce courtesy on the field of discourse when it the first and central tenet to the American system. Instead we hide in stovepipes of intellectual stagnation and repress and denigrate views we do not agree with. Denigration has become the center pillar of discourse.

    When we start arguing over taxonomies rather than debating solutions we have insured failure and surrendered the high ground.
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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Talking Very eloquently put

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    When Mortenson was in Pakistan during 911 the flip in how we treated him was pretty much an abomination. Here is a guy who is scraping together money to build one or two western style schools a year (that require girls to be educated too), and he watches hundreds of Madrassa spring up around him and nobody prior to 911 can connect the dots.

    Religion and intolerance are as linked in Islam to jihadism as Christianity and the forced conversion process of evangelism (having seen this process well into the 1970s ouch). The militancy of the Christian fundamentalist "right to life" groups bombing abortion clinics are just another side of the counterfeit penny of illogic found in radical Islamic teaching too. Neither view represents either society, but both societies are judged harshly for the existence. Islamofascism, and jihadism rarely represent an entire peoples view, but using those terms can create identity and radicalize populations that never would have considered it.

    The American neo-conservative policy position that the wahabism and salafalism (sp?) are truly representative views of the entire population are simplistic but make for great punditry. Similarly American liberalism fails to realize that even one percent of a population radicalized is an imminent threat to stability and peace. In the dichotomy between opposing views one sides polarized views of "kill em all" radicalizes while the other similarly polarized view of "give peace a chance" fails to take even the most basic protective measures.

    In an effort to be right the method is to yell louder, create echo chambers of thought, ignore rather than debate, insult rather than consider, and our own process of American radicalization continues. How many conservative or liberal only BLOGs are there? Are CNN and FOX fair and balanced? As an intelligent American population prizing our first amendment rights we should embrace considered debate as a societal obligation and expectation. We should not need a law or rule to enforce courtesy on the field of discourse when it the first and central tenet to the American system. Instead we hide in stovepipes of intellectual stagnation and repress and denigrate views we do not agree with. Denigration has become the center pillar of discourse.

    When we start arguing over taxonomies rather than debating solutions we have insured failure and surrendered the high ground.
    Thats why I enjoy coming here to debunkoops debate such things with those who are willing to reflect on more than simple accepted protocol
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    Default Word

    Only one exception to the voice....

    "Greg established western style schools..."

    On the contrary, he established schools that did not have western influence nor did they try to convert to catholicism or christodem....that's the beauty of his work.....he simply wanted to educate the children (both boys and girls) in english, math, science, history, etc.....in doing so, he broke the barriers of religion and idealogue.

    The Grand Ayatollah of Iran issued fatwah's promoting his work and protecting him.

    Greg's project was a mixture of a simple structure and an adhocracy.

    Now, this is what I've been wrestling with....I've spent my entire adult life killing bad guys and burning towns in the hope of building schools. Is it possible for any bureacracy (US included) to adopt Mortenesen's creed? Specifically, can battalion's adopt his approach in Iraq and Afghanistan???

    Standing by....

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    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Another Alibi

    It appears to me through my own blunt trauma of experience and through every extensive study of COIN models available that the only net result is security- a short term effect....How/Can you move to stability without the thorough cooperation of the host-nation and the indigenous people and tribal structures (ie Iraq and the surge).

    From the blinders of this captain's eyes, it appears that there is a significant gap between security and stability that can only be bridged by the people....

    During the surge (diyala in particular), we secured diyala for a short amount of time; however, we could not settle the underlying centuries of tribal disputes (AQI and JAM aside).

    From my perspective, that's not our fight. When they're done fighting, I'll come in and build schools.

    Again, standing by...

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    Default Two questions, two answers...

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    ...Is it possible for any bureacracy (US included) to adopt Mortenesen's creed?
    I'd say very difficult and probably somewhat less effectively but the bureaucracy can do it.
    Specifically, can battalion's adopt his approach in Iraq and Afghanistan???
    Some have, more are to the extent they are able. I suggest a better question is; should they?

    They as opposed to OGA or NGOs who are far better suited for the role...

    Edited to add; More questions, more answers.
    ...How/Can you move to stability without the thorough cooperation of the host-nation and the indigenous people and tribal structures (ie Iraq and the surge).
    Not being facile, serious answer -- you can't. Not reliably, anyway. All you can do is give it your best shot.
    ...From my perspective, that's not our fight. When they're done fighting, I'll come in and build schools.
    Once again, a serious answer. I understand and agree with you but IMO that's not our call. Bad jobs go with the territory. Many do not like that and I understand that. Some accept it for various reasons while others elect to not do so. Choice each of has had to make...
    Last edited by Ken White; 05-19-2008 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Addendum

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    I would disagree that OGA is an answer. NGOs are are better option but many of them won't work in Iraq and many of them do tend to create a lot of friction with the military. Many of them also have competency issues. There are some great NGOs our there doing great things but there are also some idiots out there with big hearts and small brains making things worse. It would be great if we could get some quality control on these guys and then start organizing packages of NGOs to go do what needs to be done but I suspect that there is probably a lot of distrust of the government amongst many of those who join the NGOs. I can guarentee that the military would be all to happy to get the hell out of the rebuilding effort and would happy to let someone else do it.

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    Default By OGA, I meant, literally Other Government

    Agencies, plural, as in State, Ag, etc. -- not that OGA

    Realize that's hard to do but we're trying, finally, and hopefully we can make it work -- finally did in Viet Nam and in about the same amount of time; thus I'd hope this time we institutionalize in case of future need.

    Agree with the rest of your post, particularly this:
    I can guarentee that the military would be all to happy to get the hell out of the rebuilding effort and would happy to let someone else do it.
    True dat...

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    Default Sticks, Stones, and Slang

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Right after my son deployed to OIF 2, he called on the Satphone and referred to "Hajis." I asked if he knew the meaning of the word and pointed out he was insulting about a billion people. Told him he ought to forbid his Platoon using the term, period and try to get the rest of the Bn to quit. He did that, with some success -- but that was one Bn out of 12 or more...
    At a different place in a different time, I once encountered a U.S. infantry battalion commander who had banned the Arabic word for "friend"--"sadiqi"--because his troops were using it perjoritively (along the lines of "gook," I suppose, in still other places and times) to describe the local friendlies and contractors.

    At the time, I thought it to be a potentially futile (and Orwellian) attempt to control thought through vocabularly. Looking back, however, I have to report his order had the desired effect: It did not allow soldiers to dehumanize the very people they were there to help.

    To expand on your point, then: I guess it pays off not only to recognize What the Other Guy Means by Using a Given Word, but to continually calibrate on What Your Troops Mean by Assimilating Some of the Local Terms.
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    Default True. They don't mean to be evil...

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Brown View Post
    ...To expand on your point, then: I guess it pays off not only to recognize What the Other Guy Means by Using a Given Word, but to continually calibrate on What Your Troops Mean by Assimilating Some of the Local Terms.
    most of 'em, anyway -- but they sometimes don't think it through. S'okay, 19 year olds aren't supposed to do that; that's what those 25 year old SSGs are supposed to be doing and gently educating the kids to think a bit. Emphasis on 'gently' because harsh foolishness doesn't educate...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    Agree, deny them legitimacy, I like the visual of "taking the wind out of their sails". Win the support of the 99% to better kill the 1 percenters. I think this is an important measure, but see that many have displeasure with it. I think knee jerk reaction against perceived political correctness, is going to undermine its acceptance. Its going to be perceived as "soft" instead of "smart", it will be fodder for the Washington Times, just like that article they wrote about David Kilcullen.
    "Mike, they're miscreants. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less....You call them jihadists, and you don't understand what jihad means. You've just infuriated 2 Billion muslims and given credence to their cause. Their simply miscreants."
    Fully agree with both of these statements. Deny them legitimacy, but, how to wean them completely out of their Islamic support base, as their piety has many admirers? Well, over here in the Gulf states I am running a little experiment ... when speaking professionally I refer to AQ as "common criminals", not even terrorists. I clearly state that they are not Moslems but "apostates" and insist they not be considered Jihadis but bandits who use Islam and jihad as a mask to allow them to kill other Moslems outside of Allah's justice. When you show a chart of only 100-200 US soldiers and +20,000 Iraqi Moslems killed by AQ SVBIEDs (just car bombs, not IEDs), then one can almost state the effects of AQ's war is really weighted towards killing Moslems ... right after I apologize for the invasion of Iraq I usually say- "But tell me, what Moslem loves to kill Moslems? An Apostate." My audience (75% local Arabs, 25% other Arabs) usually start to brighten up about that point. Because they see a way out in the argument of AQ vs USA.

    This description of AQ absolves the Moslem audience of the unfortunate associations our politicians have been making with Islam. Once AQ are removed as legitimate co-religionists this framing gives them a purely Islamic way of rejecting them as criminals and non-believers. A light always goes on when I propose these frames. When I don't, I am deluged with arguments as to why they have legitimacy, right or wrong, as Mujahideen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Buckwheat View Post

    This description of AQ absolves the Moslem audience of the unfortunate associations our politicians have been making with Islam. Once AQ are removed as legitimate co-religionists this framing gives them a purely Islamic way of rejecting them as criminals and non-believers. A light always goes on when I propose these frames. When I don't, I am deluged with arguments as to why they have legitimacy, right or wrong, as Mujahideen.

    For my Mideast History course last semester I had to review a book called "The Many Faces of Political Islam" by Dr. Mohammed Ayoob, a professor at University of Michigan. I cut and pasted some snippets from my review below.

    ===================


    The Many Faces of Political Islam By Dr. Mohammed Ayoob
    University of Michigan Press, 2006, 232 Pages.

    Dr. Ayoob’s work on political Islam is a timely assault on many of the myths surrounding the nature and threat of Islamic activism that is often portrayed in popular American media. Dr. Ayoob characterizes the majority of these groups under the title of “Political Islam”, which he defines as “a form of instrmentalization of Islam by individuals, groups, and organizations that pursue political objectives.” In essence, political Islam seeks to apply Islamic principles to the execution of modern government through acquiring the power of the state.

    The appeal of political Islam is multifaceted. The author cites the most basic appeal as the romantic notion of a “Golden Age” of Islam at the time of the Prophet and the first four caliphs. The golden age was modeled most prominently in the city-state structure of Medina during this period. Popular conception of this period has been idealized in popular literature and stories much the way the “founding fathers” are venerated in America. This appeal has been maintained throughout the centuries and found major revival in the 19th and 20th centuries as the majority of the Islamic world was brought under European domination during the colonial period.

    Dr. Ayoob contends the rise of Arab dictatorships in the mid-20th century has greatly aided the growth of political Islam due to the repressive natures of the regimes which often restricted or outlawed public dissent. Therefore dissent was often voiced through religious, rather than political means, and thus has reinforced the perception that religion and politics are inseparable in Islam. In fact, political repression is often so extreme that if many of these governments fall a religious replacement is the only organized option in many states.

    A number of myths regarding the threat of political Islam are addressed in this book. Dr. Ayoob successfully takes on several key contentions of the pundit masses regarding Islam as a monolithic religion. He asserts that “no two Islamism’s are alike”, and notes that almost every Islamist movement has characteristics specific to its local character despite similar rhetoric. Dr. Ayoob contrasts six political Islamic movements in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, and finally the insurgent groups Hamas and Hezbollah to prove his case.

    Dr. Ayoob studies each case where a political Islamic group has risen to power and the resulting effect on civil society. In every example the political Islamist groups have either failed to achieve their lofty goals of a religious state (such as Saudi Arabia and Iran), moderated extreme religious principles for democratic unity (Turkey and Indonesia) , or taken a balanced path (Pakistan and Egypt). In each case, the impact of political Islam was far less radical in execution than rhetoric. One of the key problems for many groups is a common vision of what a perfect Islamic state would look like. Dr. Ayoob largely assigns this to the requirements of governing large and complex societies.

    Transnational Islamic groups are also addressed; primarily the Al Qaeda movement and also the “Caliphate” movement that have so captured western attention. Dr. Ayoob contends that for all the scare-mongering, the idea of a renewed Caliphate is a fringe idea, with its base of support among British expatriates. He cites numerous surveys to document the extremely small amount of support these groups have and contends western (primarily US) over-reaction is slowly increasing what little support these groups do enjoy. While dangerous, Dr. Ayoob contends that they have no chance of achieving their lofty rhetoric of Islamic domination. On the contrary, most affiliated groups have local, not transnational, goals.

    Overall, the book was a fascinating insight into a subject that is much misunderstood and often demonized in the American media. Dr. Ayoob’s dispassionate analysis succeeds in dispelling many myths of an Islamic juggernaut bent on establishing a new world Caliphate. Indeed, most of these movements are local in nature, and political responses to repressive regimes which fail to address the needs of their peoples. The book was highly readable for the student or casual observer. In compiling this book, Dr. Ayoob has done a great service. I would like to see a more mainstream circulation and discussion of these issues in the mass media.
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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Let me throw in another take on the "lexicon of extremism" issue (albeit one that will make most Americans uncomfortable):

    Precision in the War of Ideas

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question A friend sent me that one

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Let me throw in another take on the "lexicon of extremism" issue (albeit one that will make most Americans uncomfortable):

    Precision in the War of Ideas
    I'm still working on getting through it. But I think your right about the audiences reception of it, and not yet sure that they would be wrong. We'll see
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