• Why the War on Terror is Failing

    August 31, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Iraq, Military

    al-awalki


    A well-done article in the New York Times reminds us that four years after the United States assassinated American citizen and Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (and his teenage son) in a drone strike, his influence on jihadists is greater than ever.

    At the same time, the UK’s Guardian tells us about William Bradford, an assistant law professor at West Point, who argued in a peer-reviewed paper that attacks on Muslim scholars’ homes and offices, Middle Eastern media outlets and Islamic holy sites are legitimate and necessary to “win” the war on terrorism.

    Bradford threatens “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage. Other ‘lawful targets’ for the U.S. military in its war on terrorism,” Bradford argues, “include law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews, all civilian areas, but places where a causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited exist.”



    Illustrations of Failure

    The two articles illustrate as sharply as can be the failures of America in the last 14 years. Not only has the United States failed to blunt terrorism, Islamic State and radical hegemony, it has made them worse. Indeed, the foreign terror attacks so many Americans live in fear of have morphed into Americans themselves committing terror attacks. That is not progress.

    But that’s how the articles in the Times and the Guardian show the WHAT of failure. The WHY is also revealed: terror is an idea, not a thing.

    You can bomb a thing into oblivion, but you cannot blow up an idea. An idea can only be defeated by another, better, idea. So killing al-Awlaki had no more chance of truly silencing him than turning off the radio and hoping the broadcast never exists elsewhere. At the same time the U.S. runs social media campaigns claiming we are not at war with Islam, allowing an instructor at America’s military academy to justify attacks on the institutions of Islam simply reinforces the belief around the world that we are indeed trying to destroy a religion.

    In an environment where martyrdom is prized, America might begin to turn around its failures first by creating fewer martyrs. In an environment where radicalism and support for groups like Islamic State are fostered by fear that the full weight of the world’s most powerful army is aimed at destroying a way of life, America might want to stop teaching just that doctrine at West Point.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Helen Marshall said...

      1

      The NYTimes article correcty noted that the FBI utterly failed to understand the impact that their 24/7 surveillance had, and the whole story might have been different had they changed their “strategy.” Instead their snooping helped keep him from returning to the US, and left him in the path of AQ. His sexual habits were none of their business, any more than those of MLK were. He was our very own creation. And then of course our “Kill List” leader completed the transaction. Anyone else remember the WH spokesman saying that while the drone shot was an “accident” al-Awlaki’s son should have chosen a different father?

      08/31/15 11:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      2

      0bombArrogance! It’s THEIR Countries!! As far as US: HOME (Hands Off the Middle East); for real HOMEland security!!!

      08/31/15 11:28 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      3

      quote”Bradford threatens “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage. Other ‘lawful targets’ for the U.S. military in its war on terrorism,” Bradford argues, “include law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews, all civilian areas, but places where a causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited exist.”unquote

      Says the West Point psychopath who’s vision is so far beyond “radicalized” it redefines the words “war crimes”, notwithstanding mocking Nuremberg and the international laws of war. Someone needs to slap this motherfucker. Although, now that he’s been exposed to the planet.. I’ve got $5 that says he’s already getting real nervous.

      Speaking of drones, who needs terrorists when we’re on the verge of 1984 on steroids…

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/26/first-state-legalizes-armed-drones-for-cops-thanks-to-a-lobbyist.html

      Some people scoffed at me a year ago. Wait till the arm them with machine guns. It’s only a matter of time.

      08/31/15 1:29 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      4

      Pitch, no one scoffed at you at this site. We differed on what the storm troopers might have up their sleeves and it won’t be something a regular citizen can buy at your local gun shop.
      Drones? They should be easy to shoot down. I am reminded of a very simple procedure for closing space to just about anyone. Send up maybe ten satellites filled with ball bearings and explode them at various orbits. Who’s going to be the next guy who suits up to visit the space station? No one I know of. Same with drones. Some ground based jamming device might be availabe at Radio Shack in a year.

      08/31/15 1:58 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      5

      ‘(W)e are many – they are few.’ Balls Bearing Down on DEM(iserepubilkans) ALL !

      08/31/15 2:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Nic108 said...

      6

      Wow, what a goose stepping fascist that Bradford is! He resigned or was forced out at West Point today.

      08/31/15 7:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      7

      Glad Bradford got the door — but watch for the revolving door and where he winds up next.

      His fellow idealogues were behind the Syrian putsch, oh a freudian slip erm ‘push’; let’s make sure his ideas dont reward him with a better tax-payer-funded job

      One would think advocating blowing out of the water, literally, the First Amendment would be a career killer in any government-oriented job, but let’s see ….such folks like to hide behind the First Amendment too, when it seems to save their butt

      08/31/15 8:20 PM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      8

      “I have come to the conclusion that there is no military solution to this issue that can be generated by the U.S. But I believe there is a political solution.”
      On the Impossibility of Fighting ISIS
      http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/02/on-the-impossibility-of-fighting-isis/385530/

      09/5/15 5:37 AM | Comment Link

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