How to end terrorist attacks: Two men with the answer
If terrorists measure success by the confusion they cause when people try to guess when the war will end, then the terrorists have already won.
This was made shockingly clear in an article by reporter Charles Hanley, writing for the Associated Press, titled “A new kind of war brews new fears.”
Just what is this kind of new war that Hanley speaks so candidly and informatively about? It is the series of unexpected attacks that have erupted in Madrid, caused chaos in Saudi Arabia, and shaken London, evoking such questions as: “When will it end, and where will it all lead?” The consensus seems to be, maybe never.
That al-Qaeda has “mutated” into a global insurgency is clear. It is no longer content to simply hit selected targets, but is now “branching out” and making the whole world its battlefield.
In keeping with modern parlance, theorists see this global approach to terrorist acts a “virtual network” that can adapt itself to almost any situation, thus bringing the fight on terrorism up to a mind-boggling new level.
Making matters even worse, there appears to be compartmentalized groups who are in touch electronically, but with little central control. But let’s not kid ourselves. The “every man for himself” concept is hardly the modus operandi of the insurgents—not with their “virtual network” setup, and in full operation.
All this has, predictably, given rise to a fresh batch of theories on how to handle this new development; and bringing with it a storm surge of fresh doubt, inasmuch as the present theories and methods of counter-insurgency have been so weak and ineffectual.
One new theory about the terrorists’ “virtual network” attacks comes from Bruce Hoffman, a RAND Corp specialist who sees this as an endless (read: un-winnable) war. “It seems,” says Hoffman, “that they have calculated they need to do just one significant terrorist attack a year in another capital, and it regenerates the same fear and anxiety.” What should be broken, he says, is the cycle of terrorist recruitment through the generations.
Cynthia Combs, co-author of a terror encyclopedia, gives us her view: “ If we hadn’t been ignoring Afghanistan and instead offered real assistance, would it have become a base for bin Laden?”
Stephen Sloan, a veteran scholar in the field, thinks the answer is stoicism; stiff upper lip and all that. “The American, British and other target publics must give their intelligence and police agencies time to close ranks globally and crush the challenge.”
And on and on and on.
And then, when I was about to regurgitate, comes a REAL answer to the terrorist problem; the answer I had been waiting for, and thought I would never hear. At least in any of the controlled American media.
Michael Scheuer, an ex-CIA analyst, and one of the men who has the answer, busted the whole discussion wide open with this: “Rather than move toward solutions, the United States took a big step backward by invading Iraq.”
Seeing it differently than most “experts”, Scheuer maintains that the answer to terrorism is through a change in U.S. foreign policy. He resigned last November to expose U.S. leadership’s “willful blindness” to what needs to be done.
And what does Scheuer say needs to be done? This: Withdraw the U.S. military from the Middle East, end “unqualified support” for Israel, and sever close ties to Arab oil-state “tyrannies.” Such actions aren’t likely to happen soon, Scheuer acknowledges, but until we do, bin Laden will make us bleed enough to get our attention.
I said up top that there were two men who had the answer. Who is the other man? With due respect, and in all humility, me.
I have written until my computer begins smoking that if we would abide by the advice of our nation’s founders and keep ourselves out of foreign entanglements, and our troops off “sacred” soil, no Arab nation, nor anybody else on earth, would have any cause to terrorize us or any country we’re friendly with.
Thank you, Mister Scheuer. We may be two voices in the wilderness, but I’ll stack us up against a million voices in the big city.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”