July 29, 2004
Book description: Imperial
Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror by Anonymous
(Brassey's Inc, 2004). Anonymous is a senior U.S. civil servant with
nearly two decades of experience in the U.S. intelligence community’s
work on Afghanistan and South Asia. >>> Read introduction
Though U.S. leaders try to convince the world of
their success in fighting al Qaeda, one anonymous member of the
U.S. intelligence community would like to inform the public that
we are, in fact, losing the war on terror. Further, until U.S.
leaders recognize the errant path they have irresponsibly chosen,
he says, our enemies will only grow stronger.
According to the author, the greatest danger for
Americans confronting the Islamist threat is to believe -- at the urging of U.S. leaders -- that
Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than
for what we do. Blustering political rhetoric "informs" the
public that the Islamists are offended by the Western world's
democratic freedoms, civil liberties, inter-mingling of genders,
and separation of church and state. However, although aspects of
the modern world may offend conservative Muslims, no Islamist leader
has fomented jihad to destroy participatory democracy, for example,
the national association of credit unions, or coed universities.
Instead, a growing segment of the Islamic world
strenuously disapproves of specific U.S. policies and their attendant
and economic implications. Capitalizing on growing anti-U.S. animosity,
Osama bin Laden's genius lies not simply in calling for jihad,
but in articulating a consistent and convincing case that Islam
is under attack by America. Al Qaeda's public statements
condemn America's protection of corrupt Muslim regimes, unqualified
support for Israel, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and
a further litany of real-world grievances.
Bin Laden's supporters
thus identify their problem and believe their solution lies in
war. Anonymous contends they will go to any length, not to destroy
our secular, democratic way of life, but to deter what they view
as specific attacks on their lands, their communities, and their
religion. Unless U.S. leaders recognize this fact and adjust their
policies abroad accordingly, even moderate Muslims will join the
bin Laden camp >>> Read introduction
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