What follows are just some thoughts, designed to provoke more thoughts, about the state of what one might call the Western crusade against Islam. Is it? And who is winning? And, should the West think about other methods, or even other goals?
Despite the change in administrations,
According to Harvard terrorism specialist Jessica Stern:
Bin Laden has described his goal as bringing
into conflict with Muslims along "a large-scale front" which it cannot contain and al Qaeda strategists report that they want to expand what they call the "jihadist current," eroding American power and prestige and separating the America from its allies. United States
If that’s the enemy’s goal, it is doing quite well. The U.S. still has a monstrous 300,000-man force in Iraq (half mercenaries more-or-less outside the law, half uniformed soldiers under the legal authority of Congress) and another 120,000 (more than half mercenaries) in Afghanistan (according to the Pentagon).
Over the last seven years we have had almost no coherence in our strategy, in our civil-military planning. It took us more than half a decade to begin to seriously resource the war. Most of the aid money has gone outside the country and wasted, or been corrupt. We found ourselves only seriously beginning to create Afghan forces, in terms of actual flows of money, in 2006. Our troop levels have never approached the troop levels we’ve had inside
....We have not provided any transparent or honest reporting on the growth of threat. The closest we have are metrics which came out in a Department of Defense report issued in July, that does not show the expansion of the threat area anywhere in the document. And up till January we were still reporting as if there are only 13 out of 364 districts threatened by the enemy. That was flatly dishonest. It did not reflect any of the maps which showed the penetration of threat influence. Iraq
Then there’s that new front in
Meanwhile, Iran has made three moves that could be taken as conciliatory gestures on the nuclear front in the last week (not counting the effort by one official to invite talks that his masters promptly squelched), and the IAEA has just issued a report that seems at first glance quite positive. Is anyone going to take advantage of this opportunity to try to break some ice? Well, no, Netanyahu is on a diplomatic crusade in
Hastening to open his mouth without doing his homework,
“Based on what we have seen in press reports … it seems clear that Iran continues to not cooperate fully and continues its enrichment activities,” US State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly said, according to Reuters.
Perhaps the State Department spokesperson should read press reports from sources not approved by
Be that as it may, based on the evidence considered here (and I did not even mention the brutal tactics of U.S. soldiers that result in a steady stream of innocent deaths or the radicalization of Sunni Lebanon or the convenient pretense that Russian injustice toward Moslems of the Caucasus does not exist, just to cite three further examples), it does appear that bin Laden is moving smartly toward his goal of “bringing America into conflict with Muslims along ‘a large-scale front’ which it cannot contain.”