Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a
law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law
--Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Never give in. Never, never, never,
in nothing great or small, large or petty,
never give in, except to convictions
of honor and good sense.
Never yield to force; never yield to the
apparently overwhelming might of the enemy
--Sir Winston Churchill
Terrorism is not a high-level existential threat to the U.S. Ranger has been saying this for 20+ years. The hyperbole surrounding the Phony War on Terror (PWOT©) and the resultant policies are far more dangerous to American security than are any terrorist operatives, including Osama bin Laden.
Former CIA officer Marc Sageman's book, Leaderless Jihad, takes a non-emotional look at the data surrounding the 9-11 attacks. He finds that the PWOT is an unreasoned overreaction lacking proportionality to the cause. None of the presidential candidates seem to be addressing this salient fact.
The WaPo's David Ignatius says,
"The heart of Sageman's message is that we have been scaring ourselves into exaggerating the terrorism threat -- and then by our unwise actions in Iraq making the problem worse. He attacks head-on the central thesis of the Bush administration, echoed increasingly by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, that, as McCain's Web site puts it, the United States is facing "a dangerous, relentless enemy in the War against Islamic Extremists" spawned by al-Qaeda (The Fading Jihadists.)"
Sageman says the first two waves of terrorists have been largely decimated. Those remaining -- 100 or so along the Pakistani frontier -- "are genuinely dangerous. . . and they must be captured or killed. But they do not pose an existential threat to America, much less a 'clash of civilizations'."
Even those 100+ are inconsequential to the welfare of America. They are local threats and cannot project their ill-will to the American Homeland. They cannot operate beyond their own backyard because they do not possess the skill sets to do so.
While they are containable, these 100 or so presently dictate American policy. Launching an armed attack was entirely the wrong approach. It is like using a mallet to get rid of a ball of mercury; you now have 20 new balls of mercury, and will never catch them with the mallet approach. It is utter futility.
He identifies the current Third Wave of terrorists as a growing "leaderless hodgepodge" of thousands of "terrorist wannabes," criminals, crazies and crusaders who have gotten together via internet chat rooms and the like. "They are disaffected, homicidal kids -- closer to urban gang members than to motivated Muslim fanatics."
The U.S. is growing these third-gen of terrorists via its martial actions. Sageman likens it to a fire that would have burned out, save for our pouring our $4/gallon gasoline on it.
He says the U.S. should "take the glory and thrill out of terrorism":
"As the threat from al-Qaeda is self-limiting, so is its appeal, and global Islamist terrorism will probably disappear for internal reasons -- if the United States has the sense to allow it to continue on its course and fade away."
Ignatius summarizes, "Stop holding news conferences to announce the latest triumphs in the 'global war on terror,' which only glamorize the struggle. And reduce the U.S. military footprint in Iraq, which fuels the Muslim world's sense of moral outrage."
GWB is riding the gravy train that is the PWOT, and become a brilliant "war time leader," instead of the confused bumbler that he is. The PWOT has become a mantle of glory that our leader and his minions have wrapped themselves in, but the problem is not al- Qaeda.
The problem is an American leadership that needs their "evil empire" to justify their rapacious actions.
The Terrorist Long War is a fiction of the GWB White House.
--Jim and Lisa