One could reasonably expect that 9/11 was a wake up call. But, in retrospect, and most regrettably, we were led to believe by the geniuses that run our intelligence and military services, that they understood the nature and extent of the battle in which we are now engaged. And, sharing that belief, we were lulled to sleep in the sure and certain knowledge that miraculously, the shock and awe of American military might would lay bare the villains who so egregiously took from thousands of Americans their most cherished rights, liberty and life itself. As we witness yet another act of carnage, we remain mired in the inviolability of our own self-righteousness and spew forth all manner of debasing diatribe one American, against another.
Our intelligence and military services have less ethnic representation in them today, than when that towering American soldier Colin Powell rose to its highest ranks; our corporate board rooms are filled with 1990s and millennial cocaine-snorting investment managers who praised the 100 to one formula Clinton signed into law that allowed them to make millions on the war on crime, and to fill our increasingly privatized prisons with minor offenders, who sold drugs for an administration that sought a free hand in world affairs, an administration free from the necessity of going to the Congress for the wherewithal to carry out their unofficial international agenda from the sewers in which they operate replete with extra-governmental and extrajudicial unrestraint.
Some points of fact:
Uncharacteristically, if not extraordinarily, Saudi officials warned the British police and intelligence services about possible terrorist attacks before the suicide bombings on the London Underground in July 2005.
US military intelligence identified the Saudi citizen, Mohammar Atta, one of the plane hijackers that flew into the World Trade Center Towers, as a member of the Al Qaeda cell network in New York City, before the 11th of September.
There were also intelligence reports, from highly credible sources, but unfortunately delivered to low-ranking US intelligence interns, that Atta had participated in at least two ‘practice sessions’ in which several planes in the Middle East, Central and South Asia had been hijacked by knife wielding Islamic radicals and the planes made to land at Kandahar airport in Afghanistan. In each case, the passengers and crews were released and allowed to fly back to their airports of origin.
In 1997, a year before the Nairobi, Kenya Embassy bombing, a source, a member of Al Qaeda arrived at the American Embassy in Nairobi and asked to see the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency. The reason that individual could get in to see the Intelligence section chief was that he was known to them as a member of the Islamic jihadist group and had on previous occasions been known to provide actionable intelligence.
He told the CIA of the impending bombing plot against the embassy, including names (principals behind the plot), addresses (the rented house in Nairobi where the bomb was constructed and the trunk stored to carry the bomb to the embassy) and some possible dates. But the agency dismissed this intelligence as unreliable. The agency sign-off sheet resulting from that meeting makes interesting reading as does the intelligence shared with British, Israeli and our other international partners. The intelligence demonstrates clearly that other embassies were being considered as part of a multiple foreign embassy bombing coordinated attack.
A planned meeting of individuals with direct links to Bin Laden to take place in January 2000 in Malaysia was brought to the attention of Clinton Administration counter-terrorism experts. And, rather than to play the intelligence by the book (use whatever assets you have on the ground and get in there and weigh what goes on for yourself), the Clinton administration pressured Malaysian authorities (one of the most jihadist infiltrated intelligence services in East Asia) to conduct surveillance of the meeting and obtain photographs.
On first look (and those with the responsibility for making that initial review were simply incompetent), Clinton officials did not find the faces of people of interest in those photographs, and concluded that the gathering was not very important, and actually asked the Malaysian authorities not to bother recording what was being said in those meetings, as that would involve hundreds of hours of very expensive translation and analysis services, which under Clinton Administration directives were increasingly being performed by subcontracted private corporations.
The decision not to record the discussions was actually a relief to Malaysian officials, because of the fragile nature of their secret-keeping ability and due to the fact that they were weary of their own problems with some of the indigenous participants with suspected ties to their own intelligence services.
In early 2001, the FBI, as it does routinely, reviewed the photographs from the Malaysian meeting and found that two of the participants with direct ties to Bin Laden were also suspects in planning the suicide bombing attack on the Cole moored off the coast of Yemen. After 9/11, and another review of the Malaysian meeting photographs, two additional participants were identified as hijackers in the 9/11 attacks.
The decision not to listen in on the Malaysian meeting was a fatal flaw in intelligence gathering, obviously.
The importance of this litany of complaints is to draw attention to where those intelligence officials and operatives were then and what positions within our intelligence nexus they occupy today. They are now it’s most senior and celebrated members, and the condition of our counter-insurgency efforts reflect that fact.
K-sick by 1993 had served 10 years in the US Congress from the 12th district of Ohio, and risen (and I use that word loosely) to a seat on the Defense Appropriations Committee. Members of the military and our intelligence services who met with him, during that period, described him as prancing about like a latter day Alexander-the-Great who looked out upon the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union and believed that with these events, America had triumphed and there were no more worlds to be conquered. The end of history, as it were. And, with the pen, K-sick and his like-minded colleagues, went about decimating the heart and sword of the military and intelligence capability of the United States. K-sick showed no appreciation for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, or to the arguments of experts that there was a growing Islamic insurgency surrounding the activities of one Osama Bin Laden, which had not only corrupted Somalia, and the Sudan, but which posed a threat in a dozen or so other states.
Others, who met with K-sick from our services during that period, uniformed and non-uniformed alike, especially members of the military from the Carolina's, who had run interference for various ‘racist military groups within our military’ (a later example is the FEAR group (Google it)), found in K-sick a kindred spirit that would not stand in the way of their deliberate attempt to reverse the trend of promoting ethnic minorities to the highest-ranking leadership positions within the military. A group that had not wanted Powell as the top soldier. Other present and former military officers were implicated in meetings with members of the British National Front and associated American groups and funds raised at a North Carolina meeting were subsequently linked to the London pub bombing. This evidence indicates a wide range of racist activities were carried out against ethnic soldiers within the US military stationed in the South and Southeast.
Trump, in a recent speech, stated that his book, on the art of making a deal, negotiating, was one of the most read books on the subject ever written. Be that as it may, in relation to this subject, our relations with the Islamic World, there are three authors whose books and writings are read, referenced and discussed more in one day, and every day, by more people than have ever, or will ever have read, referenced or discussed Trump’s book in a lifetime.
Those authors are namely, Sayyid Qutb, Al Banna and Al-Maudoudi, respectively.
Al-Maudoudi’s work specifically addresses the means and ways others, non-Muslims, use in negotiating or trying to make a deal with the Islamic World.
And, in accordance with the highest standards of scholarship of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, not unlike the rulings of our own Supreme Court, each negotiating position, strategy, plank, ways and means are infinitely dissected and viewed in relation to a single standard. The standard of the nonreversibility of the outcome.
Al-Maudoudi, a Pakistani, and a renown scholar of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, considered the various ways and means of transforming society for the benefit of Muslims within the context of adherence to the tenents of the Islamic faith. He considered protest in the form of non-violent civil disobedience and rejected it. He considered negotiation as a means of arriving at political settlements or accommodations as well as legal approaches, instituting new laws as well as changes in existing laws, and these strategies were each rejected in turn, why?
Al-Maudoudi reasoned that a valid approach would meet the test, that is, the criterion of being nonreversible.
In weighing any agreement made between Muslims and non-Muslims, no matter how well-intentioned the negotiators are, the ability of the terms, nature or intent to be reversed is the essential standard according to this doctrine. If an agreement, accord or understanding, legal or political can be changed, altered or reinterpreted in any way that was proof that that particular approach to negotiated agreement could not be relied upon. Using this test, all approaches to negotiations and deal-making, in fact, by implication all interactions, whether based upon custom, drill or doctrine with non-Muslims, are critiqued by the followers of Al-Maudoudi in this way, using the nonreversibility standard.
And, as such, the standard of nonreversibility has become the accepted doctrine of the Islamic Revivalist Movement as well as Islamic Jihad.
It will not escape the thoughtful observer that there are very few interactions between different societies, often with conflicting laws, customs and strongly-held beliefs that can be held to this standard. Therefore, one might conclude, and correctly, that there is no basis for negotiation when one of the essential demands of radical Islam is to have every man, woman and child on the face of the earth either convert to Islam or die.
Martin Luther King stated that undue suffering was redemptive; this is an example of the moral persuasion approach to transforming society for the betterment of one's people. The essential idea being that those who cause suffering will come to accept that they cause harm to others and will eventually change their behavior for the betterment of society as a whole.
Gandhi believed in the inevitable victory of those who were set upon by the South African police and beat savagely, if those set upon did not fight back, because the injustice being inflicted would eventually turn even societies with hearts of stone from savagery to fair behavior.
However, for Al-Maudoudi and his followers, there are no grounds for these arguments within the tenets of the Islamic faith.
If, to Al-Maudoudi’s reasoning, someone is suffering unduly, it follows that someone else is enforcing an injustice, unduly. Whereas, there is within the Islamic faith the concept of a final judgement, there is no concept of suffering at the hands of another person in this life to be rewarded for that suffering in the life hereafter.
Therefore, undue suffering may be seen as redemptive to some, but to others undue suffering is simply unacceptable, intolerable, and justifiable grounds for mounting whatever is necessary to defeat it.
If, in Al-Maudoudi’s worldview, the person suffering unjustly at the hands of another is a Muslim, then it is the solemn duty of all other Muslims to do whatever is necessary to bring that suffering to an end now, and in a way that cannot be reversed. There is nothing moral within Islam that would justify allowing another Muslim to suffer, whether that suffering is inflicted by a Muslim or non-Muslim. In fact, it is the highest service to Islam to bring such suffering or injustice to an end and in this lifetime, and in the realm of high honors, the highest is to give one's life in the process of doing so. Within Islam, martyrs never die.
The Islamic concept of addressing problems in this lifetime is not unlike that which inspired the Baptist Revolt of the 1400s. That revolt began to protest the largely Catholic idea that suffering in one’s lifetime was a prelude to rewards to be received in heaven. The slogan the Baptist revolt adopted was, Heaven on earth, now!
Therefore in essence, the core logic and the driving force behind the campaign of global terror, and the use of violence to achieve the aims of radical Islamic Jihad, are to end injustices, both actual and perceived, inflicted on Muslims and to eliminate, in a non-reversible manner, the enemies of Islam. And, at the extremes of the Islamic Jihad Movement, all non-Muslims are the sworn enemies of Islam, and the choice for non-Muslims, the only acceptable alternative in the mind of the adherents of Islamic Jihad is enslavement, conversion or death.
The 1950s Eisenhower doctrine led Ike into grief in Syria, and taught us nothing about engagements in that region. Subsequent forays have been equally disastrous. We are mired in the conflict zone again, and in an ever-widening web of insurgencies.
Whereas, Trump exhibits a penchant towards, we can make a deal and restrict movements of populations, Cruz, the latter-day bellicose warrior, believes that we can carpet bomb the evil ones into oblivion. That is, once the specific location of the, or an Islamic State garrison, has been identified and targeted, properly.
Those unfamiliar with military doctrine, however, should consider that carpet bombing (when employed in an area known to be inhabited by combatants and non-combatants (women children and the elderly, and the Islamic uses non-combatants as human shields (they hide among non-combatants)) is guided by the principle that it is better that 10 innocents be killed, than one terrorist should go free.
And, if Cruz understood Medger Evers, who was carpet bombed into oblivion by forces within the United States no less brutal than those who orchestrated 9/11, for wanting to transform society through non-violent civil disobedience, he would understand that the Islamic State is also an idea. And, you can kill a man, but you cannot kill an idea. Cruz, must also accept that his insanely incendiary carpet bombing pronouncement, was met with an equally insanely incendiary response in which at least two Americans were slaughtered.
We may never know precisely how many Americans were killed and injured in that revenge attack, because as Trump is coming to appreciate, nationality is a very complicated affair.
The present election cycle in the United States (even more so than the 2015 Harper campaign in Canada, which resulted in his ouster) but only slightly more than the 2012 presidential plebiscite, has descended into the realm of deep-seated ill will.
The sediment of false tolerance has been removed and some of the least desirable elements of American society, which expose the underlying and untoward motives of some are at the forefront of political discourse.
Some of the loudest voices, at times piercing, like the ranting shameful antics of Harper, have made this race about race, not diversity, not unity with diversity as Everett Dirksen so nobly advanced, but simply about ethnicity, the outward appearance of form and figure, so easy to recognize, but at the same time, so unimportant to the nature of human character.
It is odd, that after nearly 10 years without an actual increase in real wages, the psychological wage of racial privilege, still satisfies and infests a significant proportion of the population of the United States. And, there are those unscrupulous employers who exploit this fact, to their advantage.
Yet, those who flew into the World Trade Center Towers, killed indiscriminately in Brussels, Paris and a host of other places, also grew into a society where they were indoctrinated with the air of superiority, inculcated with the notion that on earth there is room for only one belief system and one true religion, their own.
And, further that once a few centuries ago (it should be understood that within Islamic culture, the dates are of no significance) Islam was poised to literally conquer the world, they had nearly subdued all of the area of the Mediterranean, what we know as the Near East, most of Central, South and East Asia, and on the brink of defeating the last vestige of the Holy Roman Empire, the tide turned at the Battle of Vienna, and their fortunes waned and remained so until this latest round of Islamic Revivalism began in the 1950s.
Interestingly, while Eisenhower sat in the White House, a White House he had refused to enter after inauguration for the traditional tea handover ceremony until Truman and his wife had left, because Truman had done the unthinkable. Truman by Executive Order 9981, had integrated the armed forces of the United States.
In 1957, Eisenhower received intelligence that at an International Jihad conference held in Cairo, Egypt, at Al-Azhar University, a resolution had been passed declaring war against the United States. At that meeting were two individuals that would have an enormous influence on the United States and world security to this day, Sayyid Qutb and Ayman Zawahiri. Sayyid Qutb, the Stanford University educated Egyptian scholar would become, after his execution by Egyptian authorities, a hero to the Islamic Revivalist movement and the author of “Why America must be destroyed." And, Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, would become second-in-command to Osama Bin Laden and a founder of Al Qaeda.
If, I were to title and subtitle this next section, it would read something to the effect that: Obama’s foray at détente with Cuba is as significant to the history of the Americas as was Nixon’s 1972 trip to China, was to our relations with the East. I would then need to insert a parenthetical phrase before the period (full stop) stating, that is, unless the history was written by Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich (did anyone read the history he was paid millions for writing) or the American Enterprise Institute or one of their major contractors the Council on Foreign Affairs. No mincing of words here.
And, as to the subtitle, … Sikhs are not Hindus, and dispensing with the notion that Obama is a Muslim. Painful words, I know, for those who have made a career and a handsome living from claiming, rather shouting, otherwise.
A brilliant political scientist, Avey, in what might be seen as a restatement, and with the passing of time and subsequent events a reconstruction of Patton’s warning, drew the conclusion, that ... each and every time the military might of the Great Powers or the Super Powers, the United States and Russia and then the USSR, were pitted against even a small state backed by China e.g., such as Korea and Vietnam, respectively … it either ended in their defeat (France and the United States) or an ignominious stalemate (the United States).
Avey, had a way of peppering such monumental insights with McNamara’s … we are fighting on the wrong side, and other equally, at the time, somewhat provocative quotes from the Pentagon Papers, which while living in the Cincinnati area, of councilman and later mayor Jerry Springer, replete with CIA agents that were part of the domestic spying network, Operation CHAOS, only drew attention to why a young academic from Greenhills, Ohio (a New Deal era housing and community development, which Reagan would dismantle in favor of cutting funds to cities, while dealing drugs in those same cities to pay for the Reagan/Bush/Casey unofficial extra-governmental and extrajudicial international agenda) and another academic, a young man from small town southwest Ohio were interested in matters which were the remit of the Nixon/Kissinger White House. The latter would go inside into the upper chambers of international intrigue, The Ultimate Vanishing Act, while the former would remain and face the slings and arrows, and inevitably an early grave, in his mid-40s.
Given, defeat and ignominious stalemate, Avey surmised that maybe we should be talking to the Chinese. That insight, however, was not the greatest challenge to the Kissingeresque ‘linkage-laden’ worldview, adopted by the US administration.
Avey (1974) also suggested that … the Soviet Union had been in a state of dissolution, since 1957, when Khrushchev denounced Stalin, and therefore it ought to be the policy of the United States to prepare to relate to an inevitable, post-Soviet regime, Russia. Whose transition into a Scandinavian style, high taxes with a high provision of state services economy, could be accomplished seamlessly and without the upheaval that other equally large-scale regime changes had had.
Again, this was not in keeping with the anti-Soviet hysteria that had been the hallmark of US relations throughout the Acheson/Dulles era and beyond. Although stepping back from the brink in October 1963, pointed to the possibility of a new relationship, old habits, as is so often said, die hard. But more importantly, it allowed us to remain blind to our present problem, which also dates from 1957, when the first international Jihad Conference was convened in Cairo, Egypt, and the growing tide of multiple regime ending chaos that accompanies worldwide Islamic revivalism, also began.
We put all our efforts into fighting an enemy that was in a state of dissolution, while our military and civilian sentinels were unaware of an equally mounting threat to world stability and security, radical Islam.
Human relations, at any scale or level, at any time or place, from the interpersonal to larger groupings of people, some of who are organized into states others not, are often full of colorful as well as complex histories. And such is the case between Hindus and Sikhs, neither of which are Muslims.
And yet, Sikhs in the United States and Canada have been attacked in revenge for acts carried out by Muslims, Muslims who at various times in history have tried to literally wipe the entire existence of Hindus and Sikhs from the face of the earth.
At this juncture in what is a post-doctoral lecture, I ask the participants to take a moment, stand up and stretch. And, then to take a deep breath before proceeding. Having done so, it gives me an opportunity to say something important, that I have not found, but hope to find the most appropriate place in the lecture to make the following statement.
In a nation, in which those sworn to protect it from all foe, foreign and domestic, it does not enhance national security, when preeminence is given to threats of a foreign source, while those of domestic origin, are not. In this regard, the Oklahoma City bombing, which bore all of the hallmarks of the IRA, having been conceived, planned, organized, and executed by a single individual, without assistance in mastering any of the several arts and sciences, involved in carrying out that bombing, the mastery of which require extensive training and hands-on experience under the tutelage and guidance of experts, defies rational discernment.
Although Sikhs have been swept up in the latest wave of Islamophobic anxiety, Sikhs are, in fact, neither Hindus nor Muslims (na ham Hindu na Musalman).
Historically, both Sikhs and Hindus have suffered as Islamic Jihad swept through the Indian Sub-continent in what has been described as the bloodiest story in history.
Perhaps a knowledge of the past might have informed the American venture into Central Asia, where the Muslim conquest of Afghanistan led to the near annihilation of its Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush (Hindu slaughter) to this day.
The nature of the interaction between states and peoples who are not states are often complex, at times fragile and fraught with all sort of opportunities as well as difficulties, some brought about by internal forces, others by outside influences, either of human or natural origin.
The point being is that the containment of radical Islamic jihad will not be advanced by attacking others who are also on the receiving end of the terror campaign, that is, in a phrase, natural allies. This will require a more in-depth understanding of just who the allies are in the fight against violent Islamic jihad, and there is little prospect that that level of understanding will be attained in the near future.
While Sikhs pursue the right to be recognized as a distinct people, nation, and religion, other forces on the Indian-sub-Continent, mainly Hindus, want to engulf Sikhism, as it has Buddhism and Jainism, as iterations of Hinduism as part of a wider policy, stated in uncompromising terms, to block the recognition of all, what is in the Hindu worldview, minorities.
Not too long ago, when Hindus found themselves the target of a relentless Islamic jihad, the proportions of which had not been seen before or since on that continent, it was Sikh generals, warriors and armies that came to the defense of the Hindu. Employing battlefield tactics that like their African tribal counterparts, and Sobieski's cavalry charge at the Battle of Vienna, allowed them to face and defeat far superior numbers, and push the invaders back to the west, to where the Hindu slaughter had begun, before proceeding east, in the area known as the Hindu Kush.
Sikhs will fight to defend themselves, although waiting to engage the aggressor only when actual, as opposed to anticipated harm to them has been initiated. They will fight to repel and otherwise stop the attack, and when they have done so, they allow the enemy to retreat. Those critical of this modus vivendi, suggest that it only encourages the aggressor to regroup and to attack again. But that is the Sikh way.
And, to an extent, it has been Obama's eastern philosophical temperament, or bearing, if you will, that has confused (or intentionally been used by) his detractors. Few, who have interacted with the East, have not come away without a deeper appreciation for the idea that if we destroy nature, where shall we live; and if, we destroy each other, with whom shall we live.
The Nobel Peace Prize, which Obama so well-deserved, by facing the tempest, in one of its most revered centers, will be judged by history to have been courageous.
A Muslim warrior on the other hand, will attack and continue to do so well after it is obvious that the opposing force is spent, in retreat and can longer cause them harm. That fact will not stop the Muslim warrior from pursuing them until they have made a mountain out of their bones. Hindu Kush.
Obama, is not a Muslim.
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"... they are already calling the books, The Ultimate Vanishing Act and Common Ground, Profiles in Courage (JFK), Gregory and Trudeau."
Eric LaMont Gregory, an Oxford-educated diplomat, scientist and author, for more than four decades operated in the highly secretive corridors of the upper chambers of international intrigue and power.
The Ultimate Vanishing Act reveals how different the Middle East, Central, South and South East Asia, North Africa, Europe as well as the Americas would be today, had it not been for some rather monumental errors emanating not only from Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and other European capitals, but also from Moscow, Beijing as well as Tokyo and New Delhi.
The Ultimate Vanishing Act is a must read book for anyone who wants to understand current world events, and the onset and the assiduous surge of radical Islamic terrorism and insurgency on a global scale.