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They Still Hate Us

Terrorism on the decrease? Not so fast – that's probably unfounded optimism.

By Bernard I. Finel

A mere six months ago, the Bush Administration was arguing that the terror threat was so severe that even a momentary lapse in the domestic surveillance authorization would place American lives at risk. Now, a series of briefings and speeches by high-level officials, reported on and amplified by prominent columnists has created a veritable drumbeat in support of the notion that not only is the threat diminished, but that victory in the “war on terror” is in sight. The timing is tremendously convenient in the run-up to an election that will inevitably become something of a referendum on the Bush years.

Think about it. This was supposed to be a generational conflict, and now it turns out that it that victory was always just an Iraqi awakening, a few predator strikes, and an obscure manifesto away. Islamo-fascism? Forget about it. The threat is now just from a bunch of yahoos. Porous American borders, disaffected Muslim populations in Europe, madrassas pumping out fanatics in Pakistan… all largely irrelevant.

Well, personally, I don’t buy it.

There are three recent reasons to be optimistic about progress in the struggle against violent extremism, but none of them is particularly compelling when examined closely.

First, there has been some decline in casualties from Islamist terror attacks both inside and outside of Iraq. But as I have argued elsewhere, casualty figures have a largely random element to them. In the meantime, the number of incidents of Islamist violence around the world remains at an all-time high.

Second, there is some promising debate and discussion within jihadist circles about the efficacy and legitimacy of terror. This may, over time, promote some moderation. But as a practical matter, terrorists are not motivated by sophisticated theological arguments; they are motivated more commonly by a visceral belief that Islam is under attack from the West and that violence is the only mode of resistance. Jailhouse conversions are significant, but not as significant as the still-popular belief in many Muslim communities that America is a hostile power bent on domination and exploitation.

Third, we have seen a significant decline in state support for terrorism. The problem, of course, is that the current threat has never really been a problem of states, but rather of transnational networks empowered by the tools of globalization – ease of travel and communication, access to financial networks, and the internationalization of local grievances.

Is the terrorist threat diminishing? It may be, but certainly not at the speed that recent coverage would suggest. Consider the big picture. First, al-Qaeda has established a sanctuary in Pakistan, and despite the increased predator activity in the area, the fact is that domestic developments in Pakistan have made this base more secure, not less. Second, the terrorist media apparatus remains active and dynamic. Some would like to paint the increased number of videos and communications as a sign of desperation. It isn’t. It is a sign of a secure base and solid funding. Third, speaking of funding, the massive increase in heroin production in Afghanistan has undoubtedly filled the coffers of terrorist organizations. Fourth, while the jihadists are debating tactics, they largely remain unified on goals. And while some are ready to condemn al-Qaeda, few are willing to embrace the United States. Whether we like it or not, our presence in Iraq, the festering sore of Guantanamo, our support for Israel and preference for authoritarian secular regimes over Islamist movements all create conditions that make sustainable progress in the struggle against violence extremism difficult to achieve. The broader structural challenge of Muslim perceptions of their own political weakness and of a hostile West are even more difficult to alter.

This is a generational struggle. Our enemies are serious, dangerous, and unfortunately resilient. We cannot declare the struggle over for electoral convenience. The media failed to challenge the Bush Administration sufficiently on the Iraq war; perhaps as a group, the media ought to cast a more skeptical eye on recent claims that the “war on terror” is being won.

Dr. Bernard I. Finel is a Senior Fellow at the American Security Project and lead author of “Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the Struggle against Violent Jihadism.” He was previously a professor of military strategy and operations at the U.S. National War College.

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Comments (98)

Jim:

How do you know who the terrorists are when half of them are on the US payroll. Literally.

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Anonymous:

Are there moderate moslems and violent ones? How could a moderate Moslem turn into a violent one since violent Moslems are turning into moderate ones?

This is very interesting question because I heard that Moslem terrorists in Saudi were turned into very good and peaceful ones, not moderate but even better!!!

BURAK:

you support the israelis in killing palestinian women and children and you expect people to like you. Look at what is happening in Gaza? isn't this human mass murder???!!!!

Carol:

Heh heh. If the US were a fascist nation you can bet you would not get away with posting such crap on a public forum.

zqll:

Fascism includes a lot of intolerant and conformist traits. The following are from
"Accuracy in Media," "Liberal Fascism Explained."
"The side of fascism he [Jonah Goldberg]attributes to American liberalism is not that associated with the works of George Orwell or the racism and genocide of the Holocaust. It is much less brutal, “smiley-face fascism,” as he puts it. He asserts that liberals hold political principles which are similar to those found in many fascist regimes. They have a desire to form a powerful state which coordinates a society where everybody belongs and everyone is taken care of; where there is faith in the perfectibility of people and the authority of experts; and where everything is political, including health and well-being. Apparently, the Nazis were strong promoters of organic foods and animal rights, fought against large department stores, and promoted antismoking and public health drives."

Oops, he forgot one thing. They hated the Jews and blamed them for many of their problems and presently they hate Israel.

zqll:

So what! We were hated by the nazis, the Imperialist Japanese, the Italian fascists, and the communists and all their supporters. Now all those hateful and intolerant ideologies and their supporters here and abroad have been condemned to the dustbin of history. And so will the Islamic fascists, the fundamental Islamic theocrats, their sympathizers and supporters here and abroad.

Just as a person's character can be judged by the friends he keeps, so may a people's character be judged by the enemies it has here and abroad.

And too, while we are at it, the character of a person may be told by those who endorse him.

From Newmax.com:

"Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has received an endorsement he might well wish he hadn’t — from the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

Ahmed Yousuf, Hamas’ top political adviser in the Gaza Strip, delivered his endorsement in an interview with WorldNetDaily and WABC Radio in New York.

“We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections,” Yousuf said."

You can bet your bottom dollar that there is no hate toward Obama by Hamas, Hezbollah, al Queda and amadinejad. Only love, plenty of love.


Dave:

Why bother? America is imploding under the weight of it's own decadence, just like Bin Laden said it would. These days, the "terrorists" in the Middle east have better things to do, like dealing with the REAL terrorists waging wars in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq.

Nice post, G. Thackham. We ARE a fascist country, these days. It's a cryin' shame that most Amercians probably can't even SPELL the word fascist, let alone tell you what one is.

G Thackham:

Look around you. See any of this ??

14 CHARACTERISTICS
COMMON IN FASCIST REGIMES

1) Powerful and continuing nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia Flags are seen everywhere as are patriotic symbols on clothing, public displays, and cars.

2) Disdain for the recognition of human rights
Because of the fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights and civil liberties can be ignored in certain cases because of "need". The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, long incarcerations of prisoners without trial, etc.

3) Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy .over the need to eliminate a perceived a common threat or foe: ethnic or religious minorities, liberals, communists, terrorists,
etc.

4) Supremacy of the military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected.

5) Rampant sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high as is homophobia, and anti-gay legislation as national policy.

6) Controlled mass media
Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is common.

7) Obsession with national security
Fear is used as a motivational tool over the
masses.

8) Religion and government are intertwined

Governments in fascist regimes tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies and actions.

9) Corporate power is protected

The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship for the power elite.

10) Labor power is suppressed

Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government. Labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed

11) Disdain for intellectuals and the arts

Fascist regimes tend to promote and tolerate hostility to higher education and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

12) Obsession with crime and punishment

Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13) Rampant cronyism and corruption

Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures, to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14) Fraudulent elections

Sometimes elections in fascist regimes are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and the manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also tend to use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Chaotician:

One of the ironies of out time is to use the term fascist for the terrorist/freedom fighters of the Islamic faith; The NeoCon regime of George incorporates the Straussian ideals of Fascism and the stated goal of George is to create a business dominated government which is the basic and core Fascism tenet!

America is easily the closest thing to Fascism and contains all of the essential traits of a corrupt Fascist government! Its demand for unlimited power, its demand for secrecy at all levels, its development of "private", corporate Armies, judges, and prisons; its royal pretensions in all social acrivities; its control and use of propaganda by "owned" media like Fox, its use of the Strassian "noble" lies to manipulate the ignorant "many"; its "unholy" alliance with the tyranny of the Fundamental Christian sects....

The greatest danger to the world and the American people is to continue the policies of the Neo-Cons and other Straussian ideologs; to allow the corporate Fascism agendas to prevail; to succumb to the deadly ignorance of Christian Fundamentalism!

Anonymous:


AMH defines Islam as such:
" Islam is not a religion but a political ideology that is masquerading as a religion to gain legitimacy among the ignorant masses. This in order to control them and also manipulate them to do the dirty work of the rulers; Caliphs and their corrupt subordinates. As a political ideology it has core shortcomings to make it incompatible with rationality and in turn with civilized concepts, such as freedom of conscience, liberty and human rights. Such an ideology could not be advanced except by ignorance and compulsion including outright violence which is allowed as a service to the Creator."

I am no fan of George W. Bush, but I am sure that when he said "Crusade against terrorism" that many Muslims take as incitement against them and their religion, was meant as "struggle ". It is like saying a Crusade against hunger, Crusade against waste etc.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Richard,

I was elated toread your response this morning.

Readers will appreciate.

Have a good day!

Citizen of the post-American world:

"The term "Global War on Terror" is nonsense. Had President Bush been more direct he would have called it a "Global War on Islamists"."

The President was quite explicit and direct. He indeed stated publicly: "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile." That was reported throughout the world.

"President Bush's reference to a "crusade" against terrorism, which passed almost unnoticed by Americans, rang alarm bells in Europe. It raised fears that the terrorist attacks could spark a 'clash of civilizations' between Christians and Muslims, sowing fresh winds of hatred and mistrust." (Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 19, 2001 edition)

Richard, Brookfield IL::

To Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

I agree with you in one respect. The term "Global War on Terror" is nonsense. Had President Bush been more direct he would have called it a "Global War on Islamists". Terror is a tactic and fighting it is like fighting the Blitzkrieg during World War II. Islamists, on the other hand, are the enemy of Western civilization who have repeatedly attacked us. Sadly, Political Correctness and Multiculturalism (both nonsensical terms as well) outweighed reason for him and he failed to clearly define who it is we are fighting.

And while I might welcome the opportunity to discuss with you your statement that the attacks were 'no more than score-settilng [sic] by former business partners in a relationship 'gone sour"', I find your list of "moderate Muslim countries" ridiculous and have to question your sincerity. Saudi Arabia is moderate? Who knew? Furthermore, please understand that while I appreciate your suggestion of a 'global hudna' being offered by these "moderate" countries, as a non-Muslim I would like to know how long I should expect it to last. Will it be a 10-year treaty like the one Mohammad made with the Kuraysh in 626 or will they also like Mohammad break it after only 2?

Likewise, your desire for appeasement (of the Mullahocracy in Iran, I presume) calls to mind what Churchill said. Is there a particular reason for you to hope that the crocodile will eat you last? I can assure you that the drums of war have been beating in Iran since the return of Kohmeini. Maybe you just refuse to hear them.

One last thing. Before responding to this post, please do me a favor. Don't. I enjoyed my brief dialogue with Mr. Finel and for me the subject is closed. I am merely doing you the courtesy of replying to your unsolicited post to me. I have read a number of your posts on this site, haaretz.com and worldpress.org so I believe that I have some understanding of what you present in these on-line communities. And based on those postings and the points I made above I have no use in wasting any more time on you.

paul:

I have no love at all toward muslims, and I dont care if the US are still relevants or not History will judge,.But what makes me sick is the ignorance of some haters who smell fear in their very comments about something they are not able to understand; like this "victoria" who is a shame for American Spirit of tolerance. Others are more subtils , they mixte Hitler and the quran.I wonder: Who is the common ennemy of the Nazis and the radicals muslims?
What about manipulation?

Richard, Brookfield IL:

To Mr. Bernard I. Finel:

Thank you for the timely and considerate response to my points.

Yet again, I find reason to agree with you. But while one can argue that "cheery picking" is taking place, it is true that we have been making progress against AQ and like-minded Islamists and what administration wouldn't raise this with the media? And let's face it. Regardless of what the Bush Administration or it's surrogates tell the media, they are not in charge of what gets reported to us.

Keeping with the theme of "cheery picking", I could very easily argue that for a long time the media in America has overwhelmingly reported the bad in Iraq and Afghanistan and missed the good. For how many consecutive days did the New York Times have a front-page story on Abu Ghraib? And how often are we reminded of the next "grim milestone" in US casualties? Where is the running total of innocent Iraqis killed by car bombs and "martyrdom" operations by those we are fighting? Knowing this would help to provide a clearer picture of the situation our military and, by extension, we face.

As for myself, I have long since looked elsewhere than the mainstream media for the facts about virtually every topic, though I still trust the box scores from the game played the night before. To some extent, daily print media is at a disadvantage and incomplete stories must run due to deadlines. But it is clear to me that in the widely distributed weekly "news" magazines and broadcast airwaves, editorializing has often replaced reporting and quite honestly, I don't care for it either way. Like Dennis Prager, I prefer clarity to agreement.

Again, thank you for your time.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Darden Cavalcade,

Hey! You sleeping?

I'll knock on your door again tomorrow morning, hoping that you would have had a good sleep if the innocent.

AMH:

Playa says:
"Carol....moslems are laughing at you as the U.S. is fast becoming the irrelevant country in the world. Thanks to your idiot leader Bush."

Refugees from failed societies who risked life and limb to enter this country are talking about who is and who is not relevant. This country is the richest and most powerful that ever existed. It is the only superpower; an empire whose interests span the whole globe and the outerspace. Bush might not be the best president this country had, but this is not a place ruled or owned by one person or one family as many of those third world countries especially in North Africa or the Middle East. This is a country of laws and not personalities. Those enemies of America can entertain their wishful thinking from now to eternity. That is all they can do.

Observer:

People in the West keep complaining that they cannot understand why some Muslims do what they do. There is a reason for that. Practicing Muslims were raised to believe in demons , Jinn (spiritual entities), angels with thousand wings and also talking ants and talking birds. They were taught to believe in the medicinal value of camel urine. Many do honestly believe that rotating around a cubical rock or killing an infidel would grant them admission to a place with flowing rivers of wine, milk and honey and receptive black-eyed virgins reclined on green pillows underneath silken tents. Those people have long lost the ability to distinguish between fact and fancy and that is why it is hopeless to carry a rational dialogue with them or understand their behavior.

ZZim:

So, we're winning and that's good news for everyone, why does it have to be a "trick"? Why can't anyone ever accept that sometimes the good guys win one and that's ok?

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Darden Cavalcade,

Knock, knock!

You're still there?

Or have you morphed into 'Victoria' -- not the Victoria that I used to know, but a new-fanged one who sometimes signs 'Victoria, USA', at other times simply 'Victoria'. Or is it 'Ibrahim Mahfouz' you have morphed into? Or is it 'Anonymous'?

Whichever way, cowardly hiding mad, mad, mad hatred behind anonymity or semi-anonymity.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

JANEPHILIP,

I am glad to learb that Ivory Coast, also known as Cote d'Ivoire, is 90% Muslim.

I was working at the African Development Bank AfDB) in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire from 1991 to 2006 and, all that while, I thought otherwise. In 2002, the AfDB had to relocate to Tunis because Cote d'Ivoire had spiralled into never-ending civil unrest under, first, one Military rogue called Robert Guei and afterwards another African Big Man called Laurent Gbagbo under whose watch, together with his wife, mass graves, mostly of Muslim victims, were uncovered by UN forces and Human Rights Watch.

I never knew that Cote d'Ivoire was 90% Muslim, What I DID know was that the saviour of the country after Houphouet Boigny messed it up by adding his own dose of coffee trade speculation to the customary speculation of Western savage-capitalist speculators, Alassane Ouattara, who had been appointed Prime Minister and in that capacity saved the country, was very brutally aggressed by Gbagbo's forces and is now in exile.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Warren Raymond says;

"Stop this madness now: reverse Muhammedan infiltration, shut the mosques and madrassah's and ship the Muhammedan invaders back to the deserts they came from."
Below is a confirmation of Warren's suspicions.

2008 WorldNet Daily
An undercover survey of more than 100 mosques and Islamic schools in America has exposed widespread radicalism, including the alarming finding that 3 in 4 Islamic centers are hotbeds of anti-Western extremism, WND has learned.
The Mapping Sharia in America Project, sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, has trained former counterintelligence and counterterrorism agents from the FBI, CIA and U.S. military, who are skilled in Arabic and Urdu, to conduct undercover reconnaissance at some 2,300 mosques and Islamic centers and schools across the country.
"So far of 100 mapped, 75 should be on a watch list," an official familiar with the project said [emphasis added].
Many of the Islamic centers are operating under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian government and U.S. front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood based in Egypt.
Frank Gaffney, a former Pentagon official who runs the Center for Security Policy, says the results of the survey have not yet been published. But he confirmed that "the vast majority" are inciting insurrection and jihad through sermons by Saudi-trained imams and anti-Western literature, videos and textbooks.
The project, headed by David Yerushalmi, a lawyer and expert on Sharia law, has finished collecting data from the first cohort of 102 mosques and schools. Preliminary
. Preliminary findings indicate that almost 80 percent of the group exhibit a high level of Sharia-compliance and jihad threat, including:
*
Ultra-orthodox worship in which women are separated from men in the prayer hall and must enter the mosque from a separate, usually back, entrance; and are required to wear Hijab.
*
Sermons that preach women are inferior to men and can be beaten for disobedience; that non-Muslims, particularly Jews, are infidels and inferior to Muslims; that jihad or support of jihad is not only a Muslim's duty but the noblest way, and suicide bombers and other so-called "martyrs" are worthy of the highest praise; and that an Islamic caliphate should one day encompass the U.S.
*
Solicitation of financial support for jihad.
*
Bookstores that sell books, CDs and DVDs promoting jihad and glorifying martyrdom.
Though not all mosques in America are radicalized, many have tended to serve as safe havens and meeting points for Islamic terrorist groups. Experts say there are at least 40
episodes of extremists and terrorists being connected to mosques in the past decade alone.
Some of the 9/11 hijackers, in fact, received aid and counsel from one of the largest mosques in the Washington, D.C., area. Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center is one of the mosques identified by undercover investigators as a hive of terrorist activity and other extremism.
It was founded and is currently run by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Imams there preach what is called "jihad qital," which means physical jihad, and incite violence and hatred against the U.S.
Dar al-Hijrah's ultimate goal, investigators say, is to turn the U.S. into an Islamic state governed by sharia law.
Another D.C.-area mosque, the ADAMS Center, was founded and financed by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been one of the top distributors of Wahhabist anti-Semitic and anti-Christian dogma.
Even with such radical mosques operating in its backyard, the U.S. government has not undertaken its own systematic investigation of U.S. mosques.
In contrast, European Union security officials are analyzing member-state mosques, examining the training and funding sources of imams, in a large-scale project.
Some U.S. lawmakers want the U.S. to conduct its own investigation.
"We have too many mosques in this country," said Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y. "There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully."

Victoria:

There's no such thing as "moderate Muslims."

They are all covert sympathizers.

Read Tony Blankley's book, "The West's Last Chance."

Anyone who follows the War Manual called the "Qur'an" is not "moderate." No. Way.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Darden Cavalcade,

Happy to onlige, Darden.

You no doubt are aware that, since Howard was ousted in Australia a few months ago, it is the 'sinophile' (well, at least Chinese-speaking and partly Chinese-educated) rags-to-Continental- Supremo, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, has been warming up to Asia and in particualr to Chine. On the pther hand, fast-growing China has a voracious appetite for raw materials of which sparsely-populated Australia has more than its fair share. There is, of course, no 'axis' -- economic, not necessarily geo-strategic -- as yet, but as multi-polarity takes shape on the ground (even if in stubborn cold-warrior minds, multi-polarity flies on the face of theor 'manifest destiny'), Australia is going inevitably to be drawn into fulfilling its Asian destiny.

However intensely touted, I don't think a China-India geostrategic alliance is likely, irrespective of whether the notion of an Asian NATO runs a few laps more or whether the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation becomes less amorphous and more focused on geostrategic 'grand strategy'. The democratic, western-orientated pedigry of India is too deep-rooted and there is too strong a disconnect between the vitality of its young population and the confucianist bent that still lures Chinese opinion-leaders for a smooth Chinese-Indian geostrategic pole to take shape that contends with other poles that are likely to take shape in Russia-Central Asia in Greater West Asia. I would cast my vote for a Greater West Asia that includes South East Asia. It is in juxtaposition with such a geostrategic realignment that I see a China/Australia economic 'axis'.

But then, from the start I may have made the wrong choice of word by using the term 'axis' -- maybe 'economic community' would have been more appropriate. But since the new geostrategy is about resources, I may not have been so unfortunate in my choice of term.

Darden Cavalcade:

Mohamed MALLECK:

Mohamed, it has been a long time since I've seen you in this space. I hope things are going well in Swift Current.

I will confess that I am staggered by your reference to a China/Australia axis that requires balancing! Can you elaborate?

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Richard in Broolin Il, Finel,

The argument that '... [there is] a drumbeat of coverage highlighting how AQ is being "defeated" and is "on the run". ' misses the point that the GWOT itself was nonsense in the first place. The 9/11 atrocity/crime against humanity and the GWOT, as everybody with any sense of 'current affairs' since Irving Kristol advocated the invasion of Saudi Arabia, in an article in Foreign Affairs published on the morrow of the quadrupling of oil prices following the US sharing with Israel highly sensitive intelligence on Egyptian troop movements during the 1973 Yom Kippur war, were no more than score-settilng by former business partners in a relationship 'gone sour". The precise dynamics of how it went sour (and the maciacellian calculations that had been imprinted beforehand for it to eventually turn sour) have been told with great erudition in John K. Cooley's book "Unholy Wars" first published in 1999.

What is happening now is that moderate Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, even Libya, Syria and Iran, have been offering a 'global hudna' that could be built on rational recognition that a post-American-hyperpower, multipolar world has dawned. The shape of that new world order can be reconstructed around a 'West'/Islamic-counties/Western-and SouthEastAsia axis that could counterbalance, not necessarily antagonistically, a Russia/Central Asia axis and a China/Australia axis that could include Japan. In anticipation of an intelligent response by the US and EU to that eminently global-welfare maximizing 'grand strategy', various forces have, indeed, been at work to tune down drastically the belligerent dynamic of mutual retribution following the souring of the business partnership mentioned above.

Alas! Instead of appeasement, we hear even more insane beats of the war drums against Iran.

But I am optimistic that reason will prevail.

Janephilip:

Mali, Niger, Sudan, Chad, Somalia, Eritrea and Ivory Coast are more than 90% muslims. If America is in decline, why are muslims risking their lives to go there?

Playa:

Most people starving to death in sub-saharan africa are christians.

Anonymous:

Carol - those are great comments. You're absolutely right. But, you know that! Didn't you comment yesterday that the word "Jihad" is found 164 times in the Q? Thanks, that was useful info.

You may have seen that I also warned against reading Dhimmi ex-nun (!) Karen Armstrong. She is a "taqiyya" teller just like the Barbarians she defends.

Concerning Ali Sina, have you gotten his book, "Understanding Muhammed?" You can order it from Amazon, now.

Keep speaking out against Islam, Mo, and the "Q," just as we speak out against Naziism, Hitler, and "Mein Kampf." Did you know that Hitler's book is the 2nd most-read book in Islamic countries? That's because "MK" and the Qur'an are so similar. Both Jew-hating for one. Both advocates of mass-murder, for two. Both evil.

Playa:

Christian Bush begging Muslim Saudis to pump more oil to help out red state Christian fundies drive their fat behinds in their gus guzzling SUVs....PRICELESS.

Janephilip:

Knowing what they know about blood-thirsty muslim radicals, why do Europeans still accept muslim immigrants. They should be looking to take in labour from South America to meet their labour shortfall.
Wake up or Europeans will become second class citizens in your own country.

Playa:

Carol....moslems are laughing at you as the U.S. is fast becoming the irrelevant country in the world. Thanks to your idiot leader Bush.

Carol:

I left out a very important writer, Ali Sina of Faith Freedom. He knows, he WAS a moslem.

Carol:

"You have no clue about the tennets and practices of Islam do you? If I could I'd like to recommend you read "Islam a Short History" by Karen Armstrong."

You must be kidding.
Karen Armstrong is the most dhimmified Westerner ever, either that or she is a "revert".
Read Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Pipes, Trifkovic, Steven Emerson...and read the quran for yourself.
The quran is available on-line.
It is a war manual that details how much "booty" the raiders of Muhammad should get, how the slaves are divided, etc.
Any peaceful writings in the quran are abrogated by later writings. Please don't take my word for it, read it yourself.
How can a moslem be sure of paradise? Why, by dying in the process of jihad if he kills an unbeliever, that's how.

Playa:

President Bush is an "idiot leader?" And America is fast becoming a "joke"....that's not my opinion. That's fact. Paid $4/gallon for your gas lately? Guess where that money is going to. maybe you should read the post about another muslim country Qatar. It's on the top right side of this page. All the anti-muslim screed ain't hurting moslems nor helping America. With oil at $130/barrel...the arabs and Iranians are doing very well thank you. Al Qaida couldn't have asked for a better ally than Bush.

Anonymous:

Concerning the hysterical rant from playa, anyone in the U.S. can criticize or insult the Qur'an and Muslims. It's called Freedom of Speech. You know, how you just felt free to criticize and insult America and the President. Funny how you don't see your own self "bashing," isn't it, and feeling free to do so. What a hypocrite you are.

President Bush is an "idiot leader?" And America is a "joke?" Oh, really? I see, that's your opinion. Well, in my opinion, and in the opinion of MANY others, Islam is evil, The Qur'an is a Terrorist Manual, and Mo is a false prophet!

Look at that! YOU had your free speech, and so did I! The First Amendment certainly is a wonderful thing. Never limit or change Free Speech.

Concerning "hate" -it's a valid human emotion. Just think, if we couldn't hate, we'd have to love Nazis. There wouldn't be any other choice. Hate is one of the most important human emotions. It allows me to hate Nazi ideology, Fascist ideology, rapists and child molesters, monstrous mass-murdering dictators such as Idi Amin, Pol Pot, and Stalin. I can also hate mass-murderer Mohammed, who mass-murdered Jews and Christians who refused to convert to Islam. I can hate the Qur'an which orders everyone not Islamic to be either killed or subjugated. The Qur'an is worthy of hate. Mohammed is worthy of hate. Pol Pot is worthy of hate. Hitler is worthy of hate.

People - let no one imbecile PC MoonBat take away your First Amendment freedoms to criticize, insult, offend, and hate.

Playa:

To all you Koran and Muslim bashing freaks out there, thanks to your idiot leader...USA is fast becoming the Soviet Union of the 21st century. Go to any moslem country except Iraq, and nobody cares what the US says and does anymore. In fact nobody even cares about Iraq anymore either. Bush is so lame that the lefties in Europe don't even want to waste their energies to stage protests for him anymore. I wish 'they' still hated us, cuz that would mean the US is still relevant. Get your head out of the sand and stop listening to Fox news, and you'll find that the US is the only country that has gone backwards economically in the last 8 years, while the entire world has gone forward. When Clinton left office 18 of the 20 richest people used to be Americans. After 8 years of Bush, only 4 of the 20 richest people are Americans. Another 4 years of McSame and the US would be behind Brazil in real GDP development. America is fast becoming a joke, so you can lay of your hate. Honestly, nobody is listening anymore.

fcunmys:

Maybe we should stop the world cause I want to get off.

Victoria:

Specifically, it's a war against Global Islamic Terror and Jihadism.

And, it will be eventually translating into WW3, called "West v Islam."

There have been 2 previous "West v Islam." The first occurred in 732, Battle of Tours. Read about Frankish king Charles Martel and how he saved the West from Islamic expansion into Europe.

The second occurred in 1683, Battle of Vienna. Read about Polish king Jan Sobieski and others who literally saved Vienna from being conquered by the Ottoman Turks.

If these two Battles had not been won by us, the West, the Islamic Barbarians would have been our Master's for a long time now. With September 11, 2001, the Islamists are again trying to conquer the West. BTW, the Mohammedans lost the Battle of Vienna on September 11, 1683.

And you thought bin Laden just chose that date at random.

ZZim:

Very nice job, Richard from Brookfield. You exposed Mr. Finel's sophistry. Too bad academia if full of guys with ideological axes to grind.

Maybe he should consider that (a) we are winning slowly, and (b) people are starting to see that and the hype and hysteria is starting to subside. Since (by definition) the hysteria was overblown, the deflation of said hysteria happens pretty rapidly. Rapidly enough for folks like Finel to suspect it's a trick and start looking for someone to blame.

Please note that I support the war on terror and think that the real campaign (as opposed to the media protrayal of the campaign) has been well fought so far, by both the US and our allies - even the French. ;-)

Bernard I. Finel:

Richard:

Thank you for the very thoughtful post. I agree, I am reading perhaps more into Administration statements than is there. I am responding to what is clearly an organized campaign to put a good face on the "war on terror." The way I see it, what is going on is a sophisticated cherry picking operation,looking for a few good signs while systematically downplaying the negative developments. While no one is coming right out and saying that the GWOT is almost over, it is clearly the impression that is conveyed -- deliberately I would argue -- by a drumbeat of coverage highlighting how AQ is being "defeated" and is "on the run."

--BF

Youngj1:

janephilip wrote "If muslims were allowed to leave Islam freely and not be threatened with death there would be no more muslims. That is why they have hatred of infidels."

You have no clue about the tennets and practices of Islam do you? If I could I'd like to recommend you read "Islam a Short History" by Karen Armstrong. It might help you with your understanding of the Muslim faith and it will explain how the terrorists we confront today are not really following the true tennents Islam.

scepticus:

As long as the no mans land of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan exists and as long as the madrassas churning out would be jihadis exists Al Quaeda or any other Islamic terrorist group can be wiped out. It does not look like that Pakistan was sincere in combatting terrorism at all. Only some half hearted motions of action. Otherwise right in the capital in an up market area how there could have been a Lal Mosque. How many other Lal Mosques will be in different part of Pakistan functioning now also. A claim that many soldiers have died is not proof that there was sincere efforts to tackle terrorism. It could be that they were killed due to poor strategies. It could have been that the terrorist were having inside information of every troop movement. After all the Taliban and ISI were hand in hand when fighting Russians.
The greatest joke of the centuary is co-opting Pakistan for fighting terrorists.

janephilip:

If muslims were allowed to leave Islam freely and not be threatened with death there would be no more muslims. That is why they have hatred of infidels.

anonymous:

Do you know that "Jihadist" and "Mujahedeen" have the same root in Arabic? Do you remeber how Mujahedeens were created in Afghanistan? Read Charlie Wislon's War, Ghost War, or at least watch the movie Charlie Wilson's War. Do not just blame the bunch of Muslims and their Quran.

Richard, Brookfield IL:

I may be new here and to be honest, have no idea who you are, Mr. Finel. But since you were kind enough to provide multiple links in you post, please include the one that supports your statement that the Bush Administration believes "victory in the “war on terror” is in sight". This is the primary point you are making, right?

Your link to the Washington post titled 'briefings' states that "Al Qaeda is essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the world, CIA Director Michael Hayden said in a Washington Post interview published on Friday." And "Near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al Qaeda globally -- and here I'm going to use the word 'ideologically,' as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam," [CIA Director Michael] Hayden said." Likewise, the one titled 'speeches' from the New York Times reads that "American and Asian intelligence analysts say financial and logistical support from Al Qaeda to other groups in the region has long dried up, and the most lethal are scrambling for survival." However, neither of these articles quotes the administration as claiming that "victory in the “war on terror” is in sight". On the contrary, the administration appears to be taking a cautious approach and makes a point to acknowledge that these changes can be reversed. For example, the Post article included the following, "Despite the optimistic outlook, the Post said Hayden expressed concern that the progress against al Qaeda could be halted or reversed because of what he views as growing complacency and a return to the mind-set that existed before the September 11 attacks." which, if taken as an opinion of the Bush Administration, is clearly contradictory to the claim you make.

Please allow me one more question. I have read your post (it wasn't a bother) and while I have not followed every link I do respect your position on the three points you make. I do however find it interesting how you conclude this post. In particular, I would hope that a professor of military strategy and operations at the U.S. National War College would know the difference between 'claims that the “war on terror” is being won' and 'the notion' that 'victory in the “war on terror” is in sight'.

Thank you for your time.

Salmun Al Farsi:

To Dr. Finel:
I did read your article before commenting and my post concerning sociopaths pointed out what you described as a 'generational struggle' should be addressed in terms of the continual re-birth of sociopath/terrorist in all human societies and that these diseased persons are the easiest to recruit for whatever the 'great leader' believes will get him into the history books. It doesn't necessarily involve Jihadist terrorism but a much larger problem. The fact that sociopaths can be continually recruited by structures in and out of governments is not usually discussed as a serious world problem by the media but many in this post go into a 'bash' mode that doesn't really say much. Is the threat diminishing? In the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant would have called Al Queda terrorists a skirmish line before the battle. But no one seems to want to define the 'enemy' in the proper terms. Wonder how many sociopath/terrorists could be cured with twenty minute laser surgery on their brains?

Anonymous:

"Tsk, tsk - filled with hate, DJ."

Ha! Nothing better then hypocracy, eh? You've been indoctrinated well, double-thinker.

Love the one-line witty-quick responses, Anon. No frothing at the mouth gutteral vomit of mental defeatism, Anon? No formulating a sentence that has a point or isn't an ad hominem, Anon? Maybe you should treat that nasty case of cranial rectal inversion, Anon? While you're at it, pulling the Executives' collective flacid policies out of your mouth for a second would probably enable you to debate the not-so-subtle irony of these pro-death posters I pointed out?

It's okay! I'm sure the ladies love your one-liners.

Anonymous:

"They still hate us"... "they envy us"... "they're jealous"... "it's because of the Koran"... "they're just fanatics"... "they're insane"... "it's in their genes"... "they've been like that for centuries"... "these muslims smell like goats that were raised inside farts"... "it's all because of Bush"...

How amazing that readers prefer to play broken record, so as to better avoid looking into the real causes of phenomena! Too scary, isn't it?

Bernard I. Finel adds: "Some very interesting posts here... though I am surprised how few of the commenters bothered to read my post aside from the headline. Sad in a way." Quite.

As with all our enemies, one will be in a position to say that al-Qaeda may have been "more or less defeated" only after the genuine causes for its existence, once fully identified, analyzed, and dealt with, at last, will no longer exist.

Meanwhile, all those profound, fundamental causes not only subsist but their numbers have grown exponentially in the last five years. For us to keep doing more of the same, on a daily basis, believing our conduct will ultimately lead to results radically different from the ones we witnessed, on 9-11, is pure delusion. Fighting fire with petrol is unlikely to be successful in the foreseeable future.

Political solutions that everyone can live with are needed all over the Middle East and the Muslim world. Failing that, one can only expect more of the same: permanent conflict and perpetual war.


Anonymous:

Tsk, tsk - filled with hate, DJ.

DJ:

Haha! Nice come back, guess intelligence only comes to you one insult at a time? Please go back to worshipping your God, maybe he'll send you another stimulous check with a nice added bonus on your welfare check.

Take your PHD in being a hater and shove it.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Hey, Joe!

Good to be on the same platform as you after a long, long time.

You write : " We broke it, now we have to fix it ". That's what Thomas Friedman write way back when ... Now he is writing the exact opposite 00 gotta make a living after all and times they have a-changed.

Also, no worry. We'll break Iran also before we leave. And the next administration with its newfanged coalition of the newly-willing or newly-unwilling will have no choice but to have permanent bases in Iran to fix it.

See you soon, Joe! So long!


DJ:

Quite a lot of Christian-Crusader Extremists here! Still praying for your "second coming" eh? We get another so-called "compassionate conservative" into office and you'll be assured your "apocolypse" will come true. Onwards, to kill ALL Muslims, and Arabs too, cause we all know they secretly worship "Allah" too.

We should convert Muslims! If they don't convert, then we should nuke Iran. Down with the infidels! Remember, the bible is the word of "God" so you must obey what your religeous leader tells you! To paraphrase Jesus, "Turn the other cheek, then bomb them with cluster bombs when they're not looking!" And always follow the "Decider" cause people are too inept to understand the "real" world like Bush does. Seriously, he has to lie to us to execute is extermination of Muslims! That takes guts and courage to turn into a liar for our salvation!

You people better kill Mohammed Ali while you're at it, all those children and people he's helped is a threat to America!

Victoria:

I wish you could be, too, Mr. Rahman.

All you have to do is read the Qur'an. It's a very simple and short book. And, all you have to do is read about the life of Mohammed, the Warlord mass-murderer, enslaver, rapist, torturer, thief, polygamist pedophile - all historically documented. He was a Warlord, not a Prophet.

In addition, research Arabian pagan mythology. "Al-ilah" is the chief deity, the Moon god, of the 350 Arabian pagan deities. Which Mo shortened to "Allah." Worshipping "Allah" is akin to worshipping Zeus or Jupiter, with the enormous exception that the Greek and Roman gods didn't order the execution of all non-Greeks and non-Romans. Allah, of course, does order the execution of all non-Moslems. Which is really Mohammed the Warlord, since there is no "Allah," a pagan rock idol.

You can do it, Mr. Rahman. Just read and research, as many, many people do.

Carol:

The reason we have seen the rise of Islam's violence is because they have money (by way of oil, an accident of nature) supplied to them by us, the kuffaar. They believe the time is now to realize the Caliphate.
The argument that poverty and joblessness creates jihadists is just not true. Most if not all of the "Magnificent 19" were educated and longed for "paradise" and their 72 houris.
The reason for jihad are the 164 mentions of jihad in the quran. It says in the writings of Bukhari:
Bukhari:V4B52N44 "A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, 'Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad in reward.' He replied, 'I do not find such a deed.'"
Time to wake up, the "religion" of Islam is an imperialist political system that elevates Arabs above all other people.

Steven Rahman:

Victoria,
I wish like you I could be all-knowing about Islam (volumes of text, explanation, commentary, etc) and more than a billion of Muslims spread throughout the world, and declare my knowledge in a public forum in a simplified black-and-white terms like the way you did.

Jim:

Some people will always find a way to hate other people. Hate is a sickness. I am not sayig that as an excuse. But people who hate other people because of race, religion, or ithnicity are sick people in my opinion. Hate is not an excuse for violence but because of hate lots of damage to other poeple can be done. Thats why is is so dispicable and sometimes very hard to deal with. Like I say some people can always find a reason to hate. And when it is taught to children from the earliest stages of their lives it is just another reason why it is a crime against all humanity, not just the local community. And by that I also mean that the teaching of hate itself is a crime against humanity in the truest sense.

Robert of Los Angeles:

A Bush critic who calls Fareed's and other academic critics talking points as administration policy - I honestly didn't see that coming.

Mike:

Wow! A Bush critic on Post Global!

Didn't see that coming.

Victoria, USA:

Mr. Rahman, you can twist yourself in knots over semantics all you want. However, here is the clear "prophecy:" The Qur'an's primary theme is hatred of Jews and Christians, particularly Jews, and to annihilate them as the "Sons of Apes and Pigs" that they are (see: Qur'an). Accompanying the hatred are the commands by "Allah" to "Kill the Infidels," "Slay the Unbelievers" etc until the world is "all for Allah" (see: Qur'an).

Loud and Clear. No need for your pretzel-like semantics. They hate us. They are commanded to kill us by their "god" for which act they get Paradise. (see: Qur'an). Who? Muslims. Where? In the Qur'an. Simple as that.

Bernard I. Finel:

Some very interesting posts here... though I am surprised how few of the commenters bothered to read my post aside from the headline. Sad in a way.

Steven Rahman:

Three key words in the title of the article --“they,” “us,” and “hate,” --need to be understood in a nuanced way to have a better understanding of the issue.
Who are “they”? Are they Al-Qaeda terrorists? Al Qaeda sympathizers? Muslims who do not support US foreign policies? Non-Muslims who do not support US policies?
Who are “us”? The Bush Administration? Hawkish politicians in the US who promoted the Iraq War? Virulent political, cultural and religious commentators who leave no chance to attack Islam? American pop culture? Or, American people?
My 10-year old daughter who was raised here in the US uses the word “hate” in every sentence. I seldom use the word. I know the word “hate” is used differently in this country. For me it’s a very strong word. We need to take a serious look whether it is “hate” what they really do. Many of those blanked in the expression “they” probably do not love “us.” The absence of love is not hate. Ambivalence? Maybe dislike. We should not alienate “them” any further than they already are by just repeating the catch phrase “they hate us.” Then, we will fulfill our own prophecy.

Nobama:

Don't you think statement made by the Jihadists claiming the lands throughout Europe as theirs is reason enough to raise a red flag? The fact that we don't hear much, if anything, from Muslims in general about discrediting UBL that it shouldn't raise a flag? That CAIR members backgrounds have put a few in jail?
And the State Department can't call it Jihad. We all want to look at it through rose colored glasses and take their word for it put actions don't mean much; it;s results that matter.

Joe:

Becky, as regards to the Germans and Japanese "wanting us there", I'm sure they had quite a different viewpoint just after World War II ended. And there are many protests in Japan, South Korea and yes, even Germany (think cruise missle/Pershing deployments in the 80's) against the presence of US troops.

There are some Iraqis who want us there and some who don't (and of course our enemies such as the Mahdi Army and Al Qaeda decidedly DO NOT want us there). But our assessment of whether Iraq can stand on its own without our forces in-country should be the only critique that matters in the decision on when to withdrawl our troops.

We broke it, now we have to fix it (although the country was already pretty despoiled by Saddam's mafia-like rule before we got there). That's just the nice thing to do.

Anonymous:

"Stop this madness now: reverse Muhammedan infiltration, shut the mosques and madrassah's and ship the Muhammedan invaders back to the deserts they came from." --from post of Warren Raymond

Exactly. The West has gone insane. Western Europe is being demographically-conquered by the uber-breeding Mohammedans. And they all live on welfare! And they don't assimilate! Already the Barbarians are demanding their savage, misogynist, barbaric and cruel Shar'ia law. Yeah - let's start stoning women in the
West as they do in Islamic Crapistans! "Honor Killings," also called "Daughter-Slaughter" are occuring in the West due to Islamic immigration. They murder their own daughters! In huge numbers! And the men NEVER get punished because Daughter-Slaughter is A-OK in Islamia!

West - you better stop with this crap "political correctness" and "multiculturalism" because those are just code words for Suicide. Western Civilization Suicide. The Qur'an has no mercy -no mercy- for any of us. All "Infidels," according to "allah," must be annihilated or subjugated as Dhimmis. Do you get that? West - you better start fighting back against the Islamic Barbarians.

IRN:

Victoria, USA


Thank you for proving my point

Purplepeople_eater!:

Becky,
The Republicans can't even win the war on Education, for the simple reason that it is "No Child Lift Behind" which doesn't work and it is under funded.

pgr88:

Who cares? Islamofacists don't love anyone, especially other Muslims. They will kill themselves even faster than the infidels. As long as clowns like Obama and Pelosi don't go around giving out big hugs and EST therapy as a solution, it can be managed.

IRN:

IGNORANCE....thou have manifested yourself in abundance...starting with Mr. Finel and so many of the post here.

Reason and intellectual rigor seems to be a lost cause here.

faithfulservant3:

I remember CNN interviewed Bill Clinton in his Harlem office either the morning after 9/11 or the next day. He gave his expected self-serving summary of what he had done as president to combat terrorism, and then said something remarkable that has been mostly overlooked.

When asked about the already leaked plans to go to war, unleash the special forces in the counterterrorism fight, enhance intelligence operations, and pass laws to make things like wiretapping easier he said:

"If you get the whole network it will work..."

We haven't heard much on this from Clinton since, either because of the tradition of ex-presidents not criticizing their successors or not wanting to hurt Hillary's presidential ambitions. But the answer to his premise is obvious.

The "network" cannot be completely reigned in. Killing terrorists and invading countries alone only breeds more terrorists.

This is why our policies are going to fail unless changed. Why don't the media and the so-called experts analyze this simple formulation by a flawed but very intelligent former president?

warren raymond:

Muhammedanism is a mental disorder.

I don't give a flying F*kc what and who they hate, I just don't want any of them in my country. They don't allow churches, temples or synagogues in countries where the sword of the prophet rules. They claim a mandate from 'Allah' to make the world Islamic and to force other peoples under the slavery of Islam, which means burka's for women and beards for men, banging your head on the floor 5 times a day and terror against all unbelievers. No, there will be no peace until the whole world lives in a fanatical frenzy, a fearful apathy and a perverted sensualism, according to Koranic teachings. Jews and unbelievers must be wiped out. In Muhammedan countries they have just about succeeded. Stop this madness now: reverse Muhammedan infiltration, shut the mosques and madrassah's and ship the Muhammedan invaders back to the deserts they came from.


Tucker:

Well said Mr. Finel, except you forgot to mention that neither Obama or McCain will do anything about solving the root problems of Islamic terrorism, which you addressed in your article. In fact, neither of these two presidential candidates will even give you a straight answer on why we were attacked and why there is so much hate out there. I think it's time the American people hear the truth from our politicians, even if it's hard to hear. If Obama and McCain can't even admit why people hate us, they sure as hell can't solve the problem. I'm voting for someone else!

USorThem:

They still hate us.

They have always hated us.

They will always hate us.

The Koran directs muslims to "make not unbelievers your friends".

Why is this even a topic for discussion?

The Koran calls for the subjugation of all non-believers until Islam is dominant throughout the world. Was the Koran amended recently and I didn't get the memo?

This is what bin Laden preaches. It is what Ahmedinejad has declared. It is the very motivation for Al Qaeada, the Taliban, Hamas, CAIR, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and all the remainder of that "small minority of extremists" who have hijacked the great "religion of peace".

Best of all, there is 1400 years of empirical evidence to prove it.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Hey, Charlie!

I am so happy that you have finally gotten the point.

So, when can we expect that total, TOTAL T.O.T.A.L. pullout?

Thanks in advance.

Bob Field:

GOERING Nazi Hermann Goering's famous formula for fascism: "All you have to do is to tell them (the people) they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Langx:

Yes they still hate us. They probably hate us even more.

I'd hate to have another country's army in my country telling me what to do also.

No reason they hate us.

We give them plenty of reason to hate us.

charlie:

If we want to "win" the fight on terrorism, why don't just give them what they want - let's completely pull out of the Middle East since Muslims claim to be so superior - and we are so "evil".

Let the Middle Eastern nations fight among themselves - without us providing weapons. If it means that we have to do without some oil (but somehow I think they will be more than happy to continue selling oil to us) we should be creative and figure out how to live without so much of it.

What price do we have to continue to pay for the security of our own people? Why do we have to continue to send young men to be multilated for life for oil money and the protection of Muslims who don't think much of the "decedant" United States? Let them solve their own problems the Islamic way.

Salmun Al Farsi:

Note the definition of Sociopath:

Antisocial Personality disorder, usually coming to attention because of a gross disparity between behaviour and the prevailing social norms, and characterized by at least 3 of the following:
(a) callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
(b) gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules and obligations;
(c) incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
(d) very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
(e) incapacity to experience guilt and to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
(f) marked proneness to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalizations, for the behaviour that has brought the patient into conflict with society.
There may also be persistent irritability as an associated feature. Conduct disorder during childhood and adolescence, though not invariably present, may further support the diagnosis.

Just suppose that the terms sociopath and terrorist were interchangable. If sociopathia is an inherited disease and some societies produce one sociopath for every 800 normal people, how many terrorists would be born in a given 200 kilometer square? How many of these could a smart politician recruit for his own purposes if he 'fed' them the appropriate physical and mental materials?

Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the term 'Enemy of the Human Race'.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Gary Masters, Five-foot long whatever, Mr. Finel,

Since this forum is WAPO PostGlobal, it might not be unreasonable to expect readers and commentators to have at least read the Panelist Comment by Fareed Zakaria several days ago about the Simon Fraser University (Yes, that is in Canada and I am Canadian, not American) Report that showed how drastically the number of 'victims of terror' has been reduced if we exclude the civilian victims of the illgal invasion of Iraq. But, official Pentagon studies lump those victims as 'victims of terror'. Terror by whom? An answer is implied in the fact, known to everyone, that Representative Dennis Kucinich is introducing a motion of impeachment today against a presumed war criminal.

But, to come back to the main point : yes, 9/11 was a crime against humanity, but the illegal invasion of Iraq, with all the tens of thousands of 'collateral damage', is a far, far, far worse crime against humanity.

I maintain that most Americans, leave alone 'westerners', are on my side when I 'hate' the oil-thieving and war-profiteering warmongers (but, I don't -- that would be doing them too much honour; I simply dismiss any thought of them that crosses my mind).

Jack:

Islam does have a deep devotion to the Mother of Jesus. In the Koran she is recognized as the only person higher in heaven than Mohammad's own daughter Fatima. Jihadism has little to do with the true practice of the Islam. It is about anger and resentment and jealousy - and none of that has to do with worshipping the one true God which Christians call the Blessed Trinity, Jews and Christians alike call Yahweh, and Muslims call Allah. Afterall - if it was about religion the Jihadists would be targeting people that aren't of the "Book".

Jack:

Why did Jihadists target us? We were providing help against the evil Soviet Empire in Afghanistan. So why did Bin Laden target us - support of Israel - not really - if the Jewish people were in Baja California I suspect Bin Laden would still have attacked us.

We buy their oil. Is that a good enough reason to hate us? What if we didn't? What if the American people didn't need the Middle East at all - would they like us. No, because we aren't Muslims. They might not have known us very well but as they did get to know us - they (the Jihadists) would be jealous of us and then hate us. Because for better or worse we are the face of the West - the dominant culture for the time being.

So while the situation in Israel is very sad with neither Jews nor Palestineans able to get along with themselves let alone each other, and our oil purchases have forced some unwanted changes upon Islamic culture, and our invasion of Iraq an immoral and unjustified action, the fact remains Jihadists did attack us and the war in Afghanistan though poorly led by our Blunderer in Chief is moral and justified.

VBW2008:

Five words that would end jihad:

"God, the Father and Mother..."

No, this is not simplistic, silliness. Read this in the deepest, broadest sense of the statement - ie. think it all the way down - - in terms of concept, belief, and questioning our own unconscious assumptions - - not "golly gee, if we all said Mom, jihad would end." This is to think through to implications. What are the implications of our choices as to whom we include and whom we exclude in our own cultures, within our own religions, within our own families. If you can't think beyond literal, don't read this.

What impact does the fact that Allah is seen as a male-only, Father-only god? What impact does that have on the family unit, on the perception of mothers and their ability to raise their male (and female) children? What impact does it have on children who are raised to believe that a human being, even if it's your own mother, can be erased as an individual, to made not to exist, to be considered less than human, to be pyschologically conditioned to believe that living in a walking cloth prison is normal.

To look at it the other way 'round: What kind of society which has two-genders would not automatically have a two-gendered God (If a trinity, why not a duality?) The question should not be: why would you want to see Allah as a Father and Mother god, one that is called upon as a Father and Mother joined together to watch over their human children - - but the question should be: why would a society have a Father-only God? Or even a Mother-only God?

This is not about "facts" or for debate on the surface level. This is about the undercurrents that shape cultures. Are we unable to see the devastation of such one-gender dominated cultures because their religions and cultures lean the same way as ours do?

If there were no burkas, if Allah was a union of a Father and Mother god, what would Islam be like? What would jihad be like? If you can erase your mother and half the human population, what attitude does that give a young man? Don't we think that contributes to jihad?

Do we condone this attitude subconsciously because we ourselves have a one-gendered supreme being? And our own religions (and our cultural practices) erase mothers and women too.

Does "God the Father" and "Mrs. Barack Obama" (rather than Michelle Robinson) effect us negatively too? Does the figurative practice of erasing women in our country when they marry (though highly celebrated)have an impact on our ability to fight terrorism because it makes it more difficult for us to find its causes in male hierarchical practices?

Is there any understanding that hierarchy of any kind is what is at root of this. If we want to fight jihad and terrorism, we need for cultures, including our own, not to devalue half their populations - to not have innate hierarchies within the family unit, within religions, within cultural practices themselve (ie. don't throw a party for someone who is losing her own identity).

This is where one starts to raise oneself on the back of another and then to call someone less than human because they have become your personal stepping stone. This is where killing infidels begins - because if their own mothers can be made to be less than human - anyone can be made to be less than human. Sound familiar?

Proud_Infidel:

To Mohamed Malleck: were the people of Bali or Kashmiri Pandits also "oil-thieving warmongers and war profiteers"? Stop your taqiya and face the truth: Islam is a violent cult. Period.

Becky:

Lets be real...The only "war" that the Republicans can win is the War on Education...If I hear John McCain compare Iraq to Korea or Germany ONE more time I am going to scream...Why you might ask? Because BOTH THE GERMANS AND THE KOREANS WANT US THERE. IRAQIS DO NOT.

How would we like to be occupied by an imperial force? Oh yeah...We were...What did we do about it? Sit by and let a foreign government tell us what to do and commit crimes against us with impunity? NO! Our forefathers committed terrorist acts against our occupier so we could be free...Why are Iraqis less qualified to enjoy the same freedom we have?

Deb Chatterjee:

I agree with this article, which links a column by the otherwise pragmatic, scholarly Dr. Fareed Zakaria on his views on (Islamic) terrorism.

It is well-known, even conversative columnists such as George Will (Newsweek), agree that Americans have this infantile optimism, culminating in a bias that any "political change" shall be a breather into society. It is just like a sure-shot failed attitude: most Americans, judging by the published reports from financial institutions, have a tendency to spend (and hence borrow) more than they can actually afford. Its a cultural trait. Similarly Americans are very naive so that after reading "feel-good" columns by Zakaria (on terrorism), they believe that all the sources of terror have gone, Al-Qaeeda is now toothless, and Iraq is won over in a few months.

The author (Finel) rightly argues that such is phoney baloney, but still it is probably a source of pleasure to believe in what maybe unfounded. It is a part of the neo-American dream, perhaps ?

Love being an american, Hate the american way:

Has anyone ever really looked at the way our country treats those who "hate us"? We defend isreal and condemn Iran, yet they both have killed the innocent. How bout we talk a listen a little more and stop talking. How bout we be the bigger man and have a direct talk with "terrorist"? I mean will it hurt? or will it show that we actually are willing to hear what the others have to say. I would like to know exaclty why they hate us. Not some bogus media answer, buit an answer from the horses mouth. I love my country but we are ignorant to a fault when it comes to using this tool between our 2 shoulders.

Zathras:

I agree with this, in part. The Bush administration's record of trying to spin every day of good weather anywhere for political advantage is too well established to take claims of victory over terrorism at face value.

However, there has in fact been progress against terrorism, some of it aided by American policies and some driven more by the actions of other governments. Terrorist organizations in Southeast Asia, for example, seem to have been weakened compared to what they were five years ago; Islamist terrorism has not developed in places like West Africa as some feared it might; the most violent Sunni Arab factions in Iraq have been badly damaged by American military action there. Moreover there have not been major terrorist incidents in Europe, North America or the Pacific in some time. There is no reason to treat these things as anything other than good news.

It might be time as well to be a little more specific when we talk about the terrorist threat and where it comes from. For some years most Western commentators have used shorthand expressions like "the Islamic world" and "the Muslim countries" when what they really mean are the Arab countries plus a few others, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan. Muslims elsewhere may certainly be influenced by Arab and Southwest Asian thinking, but it would be an error on our part to overestimate that influence or assume that West African and Southeast Asian Muslims are as prone to terrorist violence as those in the Middle East.

Ricardo Malocchio:

The bottom-line: there is no more faith in any public statement made by the Bush Administration.

The obvious shift in rhetoric that occurred over the last month may be an accurate statement of very real progress against Islamic militants. On the other hand, it may be yet another cynical manipulation of the public, a last-ditch attempt to justify the policies of the last 7 years, put a positive spin on the Bush legacy, and provide a leg-up for McCain as he embraces every last Bush policy that he once publicly and righteously deplored.

I know what I believe. You know what you believe. But none of us can honestly believe a single word that emerges from the fog of this incompetent, corrupt, and thoroughly-politicized administration.

A total restoration of American democracy, morality, and commmon sense will be required before we again can place any trust in our government. That is the Bush Legacy.

JBE:

Yup they still hate us because we are still supporting the theft of land and the oppression of an entire culture by one of our closest aloies.

If we forced that partner in peace to give back the stolen land, empty out the illegal settlements, remove the road blocks and help them prosper, the killer's line of resoning would have no effect on the ears of young people who would be working, going to school, getting married, and having children.

As long as Israel keeps the Palestinians in bondage AMERICA WILL BE BLAMED.

Bringing Israel's hypocrisy to an end (aka: "We're being attacked by people we're oppressing and occupying so help us oppress them further by saying nothing about our illegal theft of the west bank land they live on") IS HOW YOU END TERRORISM'S INFLUENCE AMONGST THE DIRT POOR AND IGNORANT WHO HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BY BLOWING THEMSELVES UP

5 dollar foot long:

Mohamed MALLECK

I forgot, Sept. 11 and subsequent videos made by Bin-Laden are all directed specifically toward the "minority of American oil-thieving warmongers and war-profiteers"...In case your history is rusty these attacks along with Bin-Laden's words are directed against the entire west. However, you may be sympathetic to these terrorists so they may be happy to accept you into their ranks. I can assure you however, you are not with the majority of Americans in that.

Tiresias:

"Tehy still hate us? Probably, but they can learn. The lesson of the last few years is "do not attack the USA or they will go nuts and shoot just about everyone in sight."

That is called terrorism, Gary. At leaast when teh Gestapo and the Japanese did.

And if that is US policy, then no wonder "they" hate you.

Bleeds Green:

Dr. Finel--Thank you for this refreshing and clear-eyed perspective. I couldn't understand how General Hayden--the CIA director--could warn us about not renewing FISA and then a week ago tell us that al Qaeda was on the ropes.

I apparently forgot we were talking about Washington in an election year where nothing is what it seems.

Thanks for binging us back to reality.

John Hansen:

Yes the terrorist still hate "us." The "us" should have been defined as the west. Western culture with all its liberties and freedom, especially for women, stand in stark contrast to the Islamic world view and is seen by many of the Islamic fundamentalist as natural enemies for those who want create an Islamic world. We westerners need to begin to feel pride in our culture and to recognize that it is natural and just for us to stand up and defend our way of life. The problem is that we have, by and large, sought to confront the Islamic fundamentalist with bombs and armies instead of with words and ideas. One thing we cannot do is turn a blind eye to those who live amongst us but stand ideologically with those that seek our destruction. We must be tolerant and seek diversity but we cannot in the name of being tolerant allow the knife to be put to our throat. Let us not forget that Islam has been a religion of conquest from its very beginning. Most of the areas that are not considered to be Islamic areas were in the year 300 Christian. Until the leaders of Islam see that coexistence is the only bedrock from which we humans can build our house they must be treated skeptically when they speak of peace.

Katman:

Right on Mr. Mohamed Malleck!

Gary E. Masters:

Tehy still hate us? Probably, but they can learn. The lesson of the last few years is "do not attack the USA or they will go nuts and shoot just about everyone in sight."

That works for me.

Mohamed MALLECK,Swift Current, Canada:

Mr. Finel,

If, by 'us' in 'they still hate us' you mean the minority of American oil-thieving warmongers and war-profiteers, I ask you: " Which self-respecting human being on our planet, whether he or she is an American citizen or a citizen of any other country, does not? YOU TELL ME!"

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.