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Perspectives

January 11, 2010
U.S. seeks hearts and minds in combatting global jihad

A U.S. Soldier stands in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Photo: U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II

An American soldier in Kandahar. Photo: Flickr user

Ambassador S. Azmat Hassan is a former Ambassador of Pakistan to Malaysia, Syria and Morocco and Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations. He is currently an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University and is a contributing Worldfocus blogger.

Mankind has engaged in violent extremism since Biblical times. Cain became the world’s first terrorist by slaying his brother Abel. Voltaire pessimistically characterized human history as nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

In a sense, America lost its innocence on 9/11. The international community sympathized with Washington but it also said, “Welcome to the real world!”

The Bush administration with its Manichean world view exploited a fearful populace to execute its agenda of “full spectrum dominance” and preemptive war. It invaded two countries — Afghanistan and Iraq — and openly threatened military action against a third: Iran. In the desire to exact retribution, the motivations driving such terrorist attacks were largely ignored. The lives lost and financial resources squandered have been enormous.

More than 8 years have elapsed since the 9/11 atrocity, but it is a moot point if the U.S. is any safer today. That no further attacks on the U,.S. mainland have taken place, suggests that the revamped security structure despite its flaws, is keeping American citizens safe.

What should be clearly understood is that there is no foolproof security system that can prevent committed terrorists from carrying out violent acts against the citizens of another country.

For years, Armenian terrorists were killing Turkish citizens as revenge for the alleged genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turks on its Armenian subjects during World War I. Israelis and Palestinians have been killing each other since the founding of Israel in 1948. Kashmiris and Indians are doing the same in Indian-administered Kashmir. The list goes on.

The Nigerian underwear bomber’s recent failed attempt to blow up an American airliner, which the media played up, has once again brought a wave of fear to our shores. I wish some senior official of the Obama administration had calmed the public by recalling Roosevelt’s sage advice to his countrymen: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Terrorism is propaganda by deed, since terrorism is theater. Al-Qaeda succeeds every time it plants fear and uncertainty in our hearts and minds. We should get over being overly obsessed about our security. Our despondency comes close to pusillanimity, which runs against the America tradition of courage and fortitude.

Capturing or killing bin Laden and his deputy al-Zawahiri should remain a U.S. objective, but without the media hype. Because by doing this, we are in a sense helping to resurrect them for their dwindling band of followers. The less heed we pay them publicly, the more quickly they will fade away into obscurity.

In concentrating on bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, we may be focusing on the symptoms rather than the disease. Let us be clear: if one or both of them are eliminated tomorrow, al-Qaeda, which has become a transnational enterprise, will not fold. It is not even known how much influence these two fugitives continue to exercise on al-Qaeda’s global reach.

Violent extremism is like a chronic disease. It cannot be eradicated but its effects can be considerably mitigated by a combination of soft power and hard power, with soft power being the predominant element in the mix. The U.S. and the West should focus on winning hearts and minds of the people in whose midst violent extremists operate.

Once we empower these people by making them stakeholders in peaceful economic development, violent extremists will be marginalized. Right now the U.S. seems to be relying much more on hard power in Afghanistan and Iraq. Such an approach — far from being crowned with success — is likely to put the U.S. on the slippery path to ultimate failure.

– S. Azmat Hassan

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Comments

7 comments

#7

Is it not nice to see all of the Indidels in America complain about America. It is called the Freedom of the Press. Since all who live in America are consider Infidels by bin Laden all shall meet the same fate. Swine Flu was a poor test, the next will not be. I wonder how many Mulism will be left in the great Satan land. Any Muslim that has taken the Swine Flu vaccine has put part of a swine into themselves. They have accepted Satan in their hearts. They have embrace the devil. If you happen to live in California it is a State that any good decent Muslim would avoid at all cost.
I do love those who rant and rave, the Infidels who give out their beliefs just to be seen by fellow goat herders.

#6

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH – THE BENEFICENT – THE MERCIFUL;SAY;HE,ALLAH IS ONE.ALLAH IS HE ON WHOM ALL DEPEND.HE BEGETS NOT,NOR IS HE BEGOTTEN.AND NONE IS LIKE HIM.[QUR’AN;112]-THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD IBN ABDULLAH [PBUH]SAID” A TIME WILL COME WHEN A MAN WILL NOT CARE ABOUT HOW HE GETS THINGS,WHETHER LAWFUL OR UNLAWFUL.” [BUKHARI].THIS TRULY SUMS UP THE USA.THE THIRTEEN COLONIES AND THE USA WERE CONCEIVED IN OPPRESSION,TORTURE,IMPRISONMENT AND GENOCIDE OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND AFRICAN PEOPLE.NO MUSLIMS HAD ABYTHING TO DO WITH THE ATROCITIES OF SEPTEMBER 11,2001 AND YET WE ARE BEING MURDERED, TORTURED,IMPRISONED HERE IN THE USA AND ABROAD.WHAT EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SHOWN TO JUSTIFY AMERICA’S ACTIONS HERE AND ABROAD ? TERRORIST DID IT ? WHO ARE THE TERRORIST ? THE SAME THING WOULD BE SAID OF US OF AFRICAN DESCENT AND WE WOULD BE LYNCHED AND BURNED BECAUSE IT WAS A NIGGER [S] THAT DID IT .HOW MANY PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT ARE DEAD,WOUNDED AND IMPRISONED SINCE 1619 TO 2010 BECAUSE HE SAID SHE SAID ? TO RESIST IMPERIALISM,ZIONISM ETC.YOU ARE A TERRORIST ? ” TRAGEDY AND HOPE ” [QUIGLEY]. ” 100 YEARS OF LYNCHING ” BY GINZBURG IS MUST READING WHEN IT COMES TO DOCUMENTING TERRORISM.WHAT GOVERNMENT HAS SUPERSEDED AMERICA IN HER GENOCIDAL PRACTICE AGAINST AFRICAN AMERICANS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE ? ” BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE ” DEE BROWN.” WAR IS A RACKET.” [SMEDLEY BUTLER,COMMANDANT,USMC,RET.].HERE IN CALIFORNIA ONE UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN BUILT IN 30 YEARS AND OVER 20 PRISONS HAVE BEEN BUILT WHICH COMPRISES MOSTLY OF AFRICAN AMERICANS AND LATINOS.THIS IS GENOCIDE.TAIF’TUL’ISLAM-P.O.BOX 338-COMPTON,CA.90223-dawah_ma_90221@yahoo.com

#5

Simple we need to do like the old days. Round all terriost up or people with connection to terror ties and even of middle eastern decent until we take out ALL terriorst in the region. That way innocent civilans will not be kia. There are pros and cons. The Pros are that it will save lives! The cons is that it isn’t really right but how else are we suppose to win when the terriorst blend in with the peopole. Put the people in camps and capture the terriorst when they have no one to hide out around. A horrible way but somtimes u need to just get the job done!

#4

America stills lives in a dream, while the rest of the world lives in the nightmare.
The Russian long ago had a solution to anyone who decides to attack the government. The personfamily is sent to a large cold place to serve the State. If that was not possible the family was shot. It works, attacking the State in Russia could in theory wipe out a few generations of family members. If you remember the old KGB, it is now called the Russian Mob that still does its thing. A person of jihad that attacks a Russian can be sure that his family will feel the full weight of the State upon their heads.

#3

Read the Old Testiment if you want to know about distroying the next town over that does not worship your God! We of faith can not fix the terror problem – the various scriptures will always disagree and there will be clashes in society. We need people who do not need faith, but feel real compassion in their hearts and feel God within – not to be feared! Only those who view humanity as a single family and work diligently to support cardinal humnan moral values can fix this problem of fundamentalistic infighting.

#2

President George H.W. Bush (#41) was to give/lecture the first world historic lesson in the “New World Order” shortly after his first year in (approx. 1990)office. I remember it as if it were yesterday,…and honestly never could connect the dots to this radical thesis? Now, going back to the Turks (Ottoman) during WW1,and the cruel genocide on the Armenian people,I have to ellaborate on prior history leading up to this sad (oh to real retribution for all war crimes accomplices?) series of never-ending revengeful hit-squad events, that all world terrorist use as their recruiting (past and present narrative) propaganda. In August/1914 WW1 began involving the usual european(entities) countries (Britain,France,Germany,Austria-Hungary(Austro Hungariaian),Russia(USSR),and Turkey (Turks/Ottoman). Germany ironically was winning the war two (late/1916) years into the fighting,and offered Britain,and France a negotiated peace deal,but historians tell us that some powerful factions in Britain saw an opportunity to futher their selfish hidden agenda,…thus eventually making a deal to get the United States into the fray/war assuring the ultimate defeat of the Germans,Austria-Hungary,and Turks. Shortly after the United States entered the war under President Woodrow Wilson ( yes,the same president that gave America the Central Bank blessing,ie.”The Federal Reserve” in 1913?)in April/1917. There were approx 4.73 million americans to serve during WW1. The war ended in late 1918,while going into 1919 for the signing of “The Treaty of Versailles” where Germany was forced into bankruptcy,and social chaos,fomenting the likes of Adolf Hitler a decade later. It was a cruel treaty,… alot of the German expatriots,and american immigrants had percieved it evolution as prejudiced. You see,…the United States populus at the time was almost totally pro-German,and couldn’t quite understand why the United States would get involved with a friendly ally from the past? (Noteworthy: There was a worldwide epidemic from 1918-1919 that killed approx. 100 million people at the end of WW1 called the “Spanish Flu Pandemic” which swept through America killing approx 700 thousand,and scarring millions more). As we futher delve into past WW1 history,and gloss through the archives,we find that Britain promised to give Palestine to the Jewish (Ashkenazi Jews) europeans. This all came about in 1917 before the war ended,with the British wrestling Palestine from the Turks (Turkey/Ottoman),and solidified the treaty ensuing the “Balfour Declaration”,thusly implementing a nationally explicit home for the Jewish people to found Israel. Lastly,as our WW1 vets came home,they had been promised by the United States government a wartime bonus. Unfortunately, by 1932 they hadn’t received a penny,…thus they marched on Washington DC to protest the broken promise. President Herbert Hoover met with his Army Chief of Staff,and told the general ,that as long as the march was peaceful,the veterans marching were to be left alone (the vet’s were living in tar paper shacks/tents at Anacostia,and recieved permission to do this),and the general’s aide strongly advised him to follow the president’s orders. Needless to say the general ordered a unit of US Calvary to charge into the marchers killing two veterans. They also burnt down the Anacostia living (homesite) quarters of the veterans from WW1, leaving them no where to go! The “Army Chief of Staff” recieved absolutely “No Reprimand” under President Hoover? The Chief of Staff: Gen. Douglas MacArthur,…the General’s Aide: Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower,…and lastly, the “Commanding Officer of the Calvary Unit”: Major. George Patton. Finally,..the British are seen as our closest ally where in fact they have been trying to destroy our very democracy from our infancy,and somehow have been responsible for dragging us into every war that is of their own creation,through unadulterated arrogance,and greed. How,and why I can make a claim like this is quite simple when you look at the geographic fragmentation they deliberately set up between India,and(Pakistan?); the Baghdad Pact signed in 1955-; China,and Hong Kong turnover; the “Suez Canal crises 1956 during the newly elected President Dwight D. Eisenhower first term, which manifested itself into the enunciated “Eisenhower Doctrine”,…and the list goes on,and on,… with our ill-gotten alliance with this diabolical ilk across the bloody pond! PS. If america were smart we should severe our ties with these diabolical transient war-mongers that weigh to heavily on our political landscape,period, and take their Central Banks ,”New World Order ( this worthless manuscript of deception)Doctrine”,and flush it down the toilet,for it has only brought upon our great country a economic,and social plague!

#1

And aren’t we doing a wonderful job?

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