By WILLIAM MAYER
May 10, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The Sunday talk shows have proved themselves relevant for once, yesterday carrying the bombshell twin admissions by AG Holder and WH terror advisor John Brennan that the Pakistani Taliban was involved with Faisal Shahzad's abortive Times Square bombing plot.
Yet it is a safe bet that even visible proof that an al-Qaeda centric terror worldview is counterproductive to a reasonable war fighting strategy will not remove the blinders from team Obama.
From the outset, the president's policy in that regard has been defined by a number of attributes - all of them unsound.
1. A denial that many of the world's Muslims ascribe to a jihadist ideology, allowing the foreign policy team to put forth the politically expedient assertion that al-Qaeda is the sole enemy.
2. A belief that kind words and breast beating will convince the Muslim world that the West and America particularly - because of "colonialism" - take a large measure of responsibility [and apologize for] the hellish conditions faced by nearly every Muslim nation.
3. An assumption that simple mea-culpas are capable of repairing the rift between civilizations in conflict.
4. Faith that attacks by drone aircraft in the most radicalized areas of Pakistan [Waziristan & the tribal areas] will be of consequence in the final outcome of this conflict.
5. A belief that Pakistan - or any Muslim nation - can be more than a reluctant ally of the United States, given the ideological constraints that a radical interpretation of Islam demands.
6. Repeated assertions that "good" elements within the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban and other jihadist entities can be reasoned with and are thus amenable to working with the West.
The disclosure by the top WH terror officials that the supposedly malleable Taliban would take such a bold step as to instigate a domestic attack on the United States should in the best-of-all-possible worlds initiate a full rethinking of Obama's [and the Democrat leadership's] anti-terror policy which would in good order be accompanied by a quick and unequivocal rejection of the above noted half-dozen points.
But that is not and will not be the case because the decision making process has been hijacked by leftist ideologues to whom literal reality holds little appeal. One should note the additional complication that the power players in this administration in large part ascribe to the Islamist's critique of this society, especially as it pertains to the supposed sins of Western colonialism.
Refuting the administration's sleight-of-hand manner of dealing with Islamic terrorism only requires an examination of the failure of these foundational principles.
1. The administration-wide banning the use of terms such as Islamism, jihadist and Muslim terrorism has resulted in a complete inability to define who the enemy is, perhaps the most elemental necessity when going to war, or whatever team Obama wants to call this conflict, leaving these bumblers looking foolish while hiding behind the skirts of al-Qaeda.
I. A country which is considerate of the feelings of violent religious fanatics has lost the war before the first shot was fired.
II. The administration has shown far more will in making war on the lexicon of Islamism than of carrying the fight to a now intentionally nameless and ill-defined opponent.
2. Nearly a year-and-a-half of prostration to the Muslim world seems to have hardened its intransigence against policing itself. Why stop your opponent when he is tearing at himself?
3. Learning nothing from the Clinton administration's failed policy of confronting jihadism with the equivalent of cruise missile diplomacy, Obama happily adopted it for the very reason that motivated Clinton - any chance kills by this method looks flashy on the evening news, make it appear that something is being done and most of all place no American servicemen in harm's way. This is ordinarily a good thing if done for the right reason, however in this instance it speaks almost exclusively to a desire to avoid nettlesome PR consequences that would be caused by a serious effort to combat the problem. Getting down-and-dirty with this enemy requires...well...getting down and dirty, something which will always entail the introduction of elements which are by their nature difficult to fit within a slick public relations scheme.
III. The left is fully aware of and ever mindful of the way in which it and its media allies used the constant drip of negative news to deconstruct the George Walker Bush administration.
4. One of the most intractable problems when dealing with Pakistani based Islamic violence is in recognizing that a significant percentage of it is state sponsored, either via rogue elements of the Pak military or even more gravely, through the involvement of Pakistan's radicalized intelligence agency, the ISI, which after all was responsible for the creation of the Afghan Taliban in the first place.[see, New York Times, Pakistanis aided attack in Kabul, "U.S. officials say, American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan's powerful spy service helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India's embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to United States government officials," http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/world/asia/01iht-01pstan.14929392.html?_r=1]
5. Popular opinion in Pakistan and throughout the Muslim world is almost savagely antagonistic to the West and even more so to Israel. The figures from polling done by Pew Research are dismaying.
Percentage of population with attitudes favorable to the U.S. - Pakistan 16%, Turkey 14%, Jordan 25%, Palestinian territories 15%, Egypt 25% [source 2009 Pew Research poll, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1512/restoring-americas-reputation-globally-gains-may-be-fragile] and Saudi Arabia 8% [source, 2004 poll by Zogby quoted in the Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7080-2004Jul22.html]
6. Belief in the perfectibility of Islamist organizations runs deep in this administration, with Obama through Mrs. Clinton, both complete foreign policy novices, offering "olive branches" to groups whose existence is based upon eternal enmity against the West [see for example, "Clinton offers olive branch to Taliban...members...who abandoned extremism must be granted an "honorable form of reconciliation," http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE52U2EC20090331] yet it was this very group, the Taliban which aided Shahzad in a bold but fortunately bungled attempt.
The same holds with the Muslim Brotherhood [the intellectual ancestor of all modern jihadism and the creator of Hamas] elements of which were quietly invited by the administration to observe Obama's whimpering dissertation in Cairo.
The administration thus sets for itself an impossible goal in arguing that its rapprochement [and over all policy] with the Muslim world is working, with foreign based or linked attempted domestic jihadist attacks accelerating at an alarming rate.
Will the events of the last week result in meaningful change bringing about a more effective and realistic policy of dealing with jihadism? If we have learned anything from these political operators it's that when faced by obviously failing strategies, their tendency is always to double down on failure, the trap of ideologues from time immemorial. While such a strategy did work in the case of the Bush administration's destruction - starting with the faux allegation that the election of 2000 having been stolen - this is an entirely different matter, determined by objective reality rather than media borne squishy public opinion.
This inevitably leads to the conclusion that the only thing that will force reality upon those who unfortunately were elected to lead this country is a cataclysmic terrorist attack on the homeland that will so test public forbearance that resistance to the use of extreme, but necessary measures, will evaporate overnight.
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