January 5, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Yesterday, the State Department announced the creation of a Bureau of Counterterrorism [see, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/01/180136.htm]. This bureau will supposedly help, in the words of Secty of State Clinton, "...to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on counterterrorism. We have a broad and ambitious agenda, and to carry out this work, I am upgrading our office devoted to counterterrorism to a full-fledged bureau within the State Department..."
According to State's presser the new policy will seek to undermine the capacity of those practicing "violent extremism," "their ability to recruit."
But how does one target an amorphous body of would be terrorists without being able to define them past the fact that they conduct themselves in a generally unpleasant manner?
In traditional law enforcement, one would normally seek to discern specific traits or identifiers in groups or individuals which might prove predictive of future criminal activity.
Stripped of the pejorative narrative now attached to the word, "profiling," it remains a primary tool in law enforcement, as reflected in standard criminology texts, "In its role as yet another forensic tool to compliment thorough investigation by competent and educated law enforcement professionals...it can be very useful." [source, Ronald & Stephen Holmes, Profiling Violent Crimes, An Investigative Tool, pg. ix, http://books.google.com/books?id=dzAy2Uf5b30C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false]
Traditionally, terrorists have generally been treated as stateless combatants carrying out warlike actions against targets identified within the parameters of a specific ideology. Because these forces are irregular by choice, rejecting uniforms, employing atrocity for effect and all of the other qualities which help define state-based soldiers, terrorists until very recently have not been covered by agreed upon covenants of war. These players are defined by their belief system, their ideology.
However, the State Department seeks to suppress, not an ideology at all, but an action "violent extremism" which has a myriad of motivations.
Such a strategy is doomed to failure because under State's restrictions, the enemy can only be an individual or group of would be practitioners-in-waiting. This opponent has no substance or form. If the intention is to explode a car bomb or commit other acts of war then that party is a terrorist by definition, but only post hoc. So in effect the State Department is creating an army of blind men to help them identify the color of terror.
It's a hollow policy to essentially assert that, "we will stop the terrorists, by stopping their terrorism." It's a circular and illogical argument designed to be incapable of defining the threat in advance. Thus, those charged with maintaining national security are given no road map, methodology or guidance whereby the United States can act pro-actively in an offensive manner [rather than simply picking up the pieces, washing away the gore and declaring that the act was one of violent extremism] engage it before it happens.
By this definition, the universe from which this new State Department agency will winnow out the violent extremists, is the entire population of the world, rather than a specific and far smaller subset of players who are clear and very vocal about their motivation, an ideology requiring physical violence to achieve well defined political ends.
If this isn't madness it's pure idiocy, something in which State seems to revel. If Mrs. Clinton actually thinks the new Bureau of Counterterrorism will hamper terrorist activities she must also hold that there is no relationship between cause and effect.
The clarifying phrase missing here would of course be "Islamic terrorism" and since this administration has made itself Shari'a compliant by refusing to link religious/political ideology with acts of terror, State's newly announced policy is merely window dressing served up for consumption by the gullible and those irretrievably in the grasp of a pathological multiculturalism.
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