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top level report: bush's war on terror "disaster"

Discussion in 'News' started by BROWNer, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. BROWNer

    BROWNer Guest

    The new Pentagon Paper

    A scathing top-level report, intended for internal consumption, says that Bush's "war on terrorism" is an unmitigated disaster. Of course, the administration is ignoring it.

    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    By Sidney Blumenthal

    Dec. 2, 2004 | Who wrote this -- a pop sociologist, obscure blogger or antiwar playwright? "Finally, Muslims see Americans as strangely narcissistic -- namely, that the war is all about us. As the Muslims see it, everything about the war is -- for Americans -- really no more than an extension of American domestic politics and its great game. This perception is of course necessarily heightened by election-year atmospherics, but nonetheless sustains their impression that when Americans talk to Muslims they are really just talking to themselves."

    This passage is not psychobabble, punditry or monologue. It is a conclusion of the Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication, the product of a Pentagon advisory panel, delivered in September, its 102 pages not released to the public during the presidential campaign, but silently slipped onto a Pentagon Web site on Thanksgiving eve, and barely noticed by the U.S. press.

    The task force of leading strategists and experts within the military, diplomatic corps and academia, and executives from defense-oriented business, was assigned to develop strategy for communications in the "global war on terrorism," including the war in Iraq. It had unfettered access, denied to journalists, to the inner workings of the national security apparatus, and interviewed scores of officials. The mission was not to find fault, but to suggest constructive improvements. There was no intent to contribute to public debate, much less political controversy; the report was written only for internal consumption.

    The task force discovered more than a chaotic vacuum, a government sector "in crisis," though it found that, too: "Missing are strong leadership, strategic direction, adequate coordination, sufficient resources, and a culture of measurement and evaluation." Inevitably, as it journeyed deeper into the recesses of the Bush administration's foreign policy, the task force documented the unparalleled failure of its fundamental premises. "America's negative image in world opinion and diminished ability to persuade are consequences of factors other than the failure to implement communications strategies," the report declares. What emerges in this new Pentagon paper is a scathing indictment of an expanding and unmitigated disaster based on stubborn ignorance of the world and failed concepts that bear little relation to empirical reality except insofar as they confirm and incite gathering hatred among Muslims.

    The Bush administration, according to the Defense Science Board, has misconceived a war on terrorism in the image of the Cold War -- "reflexively" and "without a thought or a care as to whether these were the best responses to a very different strategic situation." Yet the administration seeks out "Cold War models" to cast this "war" against "totalitarian evil." However, the struggle is not the West vs. Islam; nor is it "against the tactic of terrorism." "This is no Cold War," the report insists. While we blindly and confidently call this a "war on terrorism," Muslims "in contrast see a history-shaking movement of Islamic restoration" against "apostate" Arab regimes allied with the U.S. and "Western Modernity -- an agenda hidden within the official rubric of a 'War on Terrorism.'"

    In this conflict, "wholly unlike the Cold War," the Bush administration's impulse has been to "imitate the routines and bureaucratic responses and mindset that so characterized that era." So the U.S. projects Iraqis and other Arabs as people to be liberated like those "oppressed by Soviet rule." And the U.S. accepts authoritarian Arab regimes as allies against the "radical fighters." All of this is nothing less than a gigantic "strategic mistake."

    "There is no yearning-to-be-liberated-by-the-U.S. groundswell among Muslim societies -- except to be liberated perhaps from what they see as apostate tyrannies that the U.S. so determinedly promotes and defends. (Original emphasis.)" Rhetoric about freedom is received as "no more than self-serving hypocrisy," daily highlighted by the U.S. occupation in Iraq. "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies." The "dramatic narrative since 9/11" of the "war on terrorism," Bush's grand justification, his story line connecting all the dots from the World Trade Center to Baghdad, has "borne out the entire radical Islamist bill of particulars." As a result, jihadists have been able to transform themselves from marginal figures in the Muslim world into defenders against invasion and attack with a growing following of millions.

    "Thus," the report concludes, "the critical problem in American public diplomacy directed toward the Muslim World is not one of 'dissemination of information,' or even one of crafting and delivering the 'right' message. Rather, it is a fundamental problem of credibility. Simply, there is none -- the United States today is without a working channel of communication to the world of Muslims and of Islam. Inevitably therefore, whatever Americans do and say only serves the party that has both the message and the 'loud and clear' channel: the enemy."

    Almost three months ago, the Defense Science Board delivered its report to the White House. But a source on the board told me it has received no word back at all. The report has been studiously, willfully ignored by those in the White House to whom its recommendations are directed.

    For the Bush administration, expert analysis as a rule is extraneous, as it is making clear to national security professionals in its partisan scapegoating of the CIA. Experts can only be expert in telling the White House what it wants to hear. Expertise is valued, not for the analysis or evidence it offers for correction, but for propaganda and validation. But no one -- not in the Bush White House, the Congress, or the dwindling "coalition of the willing" -- can claim that the ever-widening catastrophe has not been foretold by the best and most objective minds commissioned by the Pentagon -- perhaps for the last time.

    here's another article claiming...

    A Dwarf Known as Al Qaeda
    The threat posed by the group is hugely overblown.
    By Dirk Laabs
    Dirk Laabs is a journalist based in Germany.

    November 30, 2004

    The German federal police, the BKA, was once famous for its relentless, coolly efficient pursuit of terrorists. Hundreds of BKA agents eliminated the first three generations of the Red Army Faction, a terror organization that killed scores of politicians and civilians in the 1970s and 1980s. Then the hunt was on for the fourth generation. Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested; again, legions of agents were dispatched.

    But finally, in 1997, BKA experts admitted there may never have been a fourth-generation Red Army Faction. The experts had been hunting a phantom. Lone-wolf terrorists or isolated veterans had committed the few, random attacks that occurred.

    It was a striking example of how a police force — and a whole nation — fell for propaganda from the terrorists, which was pumped up by almost obsessive media hype. Looking at the current reporting on Al Qaeda, the question is: Is history repeating itself?

    This month, at the BKA's annual conference, Germany's top investigators and international experts discussed what they had discovered since Sept. 11 about Al Qaeda and the international Islamist terror network. The main thing they have learned is that there is less than meets the eye.

    Yes, Al Qaeda was once centralized, structured and powerful, but that was before the U.S. pulverized its camps and leadership in Afghanistan.

    In other words, this battle in the war on terror might already be over. It's as an ex-CIA agent once said: "I quit the agency at the end of the Cold War because I was tired of politicians making me describe the Soviet Union as a 20-foot giant — when it was really only a dwarf."

    For more than three years, Al Qaeda has been described by investigators, academics and self-styled experts as an almost uncontrollable menace. It was said to work closely with organized crime, to have access to unlimited funds, to have hidden those funds in gold and diamonds, to be capable of moving its money with a sophisticated finance system to whatever country Osama bin Laden chose to attack next.

    The media tended to believe the worst and amplify it. The general idea was that a perfect crime such as 9/11 needed a perfect organization behind it. Most of the descriptions of Al Qaeda proved more legend than fact.

    Al Qaeda never had a "macro-financing" structure, said Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the dean of Europe's anti-terrorism investigators. In fact, analyzing the clusters of activists, he found that there were never large flows of external money financing any attack. In nearly a decade of searching, all Bruguiere was able to find was "micro-financing" activists raising the little money they needed to survive and commit their crimes through credit card or debit card fraud. They turned out to be petty thieves, not grand gangsters.

    The terrorists did not need a lot of money to finance the attacks in Madrid, Bali and Tunisia. "They could carry around the money they needed in cash," said Nikos Passas of Northeastern University in Boston.

    There is, according to Passas, no evidence that Al Qaeda ever invested in the gold market or in African diamonds. It never moved money around the world through the traditional and untraceable informal money transfer systems known as hawalas. It used Western Union.

    That didn't stop the United Nations and the United States from harnessing the hawalas with rigid controls, which hurt the hundreds of small businesses in the United States, the Middle East and Pakistan that rely on them.

    Meanwhile, authorities pay little or no attention to much simpler ways to transfer money globally. PayPal, for example, which has become the de facto international bank of the Internet, is open to anyone with a credit card.

    All too often, investigators have fallen for myths — many times fed by the terrorists themselves. The BKA has constructed profiles of 60 radical Islamists. "There was no pattern, no model … every activist had individual motives to become radical," a German investigator said.

    But being less structured doesn't mean the terrorists are less dangerous or easier to stop. Quite the contrary. The smaller the fish, the tighter the net needed to catch it. "We take every case seriously now precisely because there is no pattern," one German investigator said.

    Investigators admit that 3 1/2 years after 9/11, they know next to nothing about the motives of Islamic terrorists. Knowing so little means they have few means to predict — or prevent — future acts.

  2. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,278 Likes Received: 235
    ever see 'pimps up, hoes down' on hbo? pimps can beat a girl for something as simple as 'reckless eyeballing', which is simply looking at another pimp...or even at her own pimp. it used to be acepted that simply not saying thank you to a man was genuinly worth fighting over. now a days our government ignores the truth and lies to the people and we're like...'yeah man, they're all liars. ha. fuck what can you do? all politicians are crooked, it doesnt matter who they are'.

    bullshit. kerry would not be sitting there ignoring the word of experts, because he thinks he knows better. fuck america, the muslims are right, we suck.
  3. spectr

    spectr Guest

    thanks for the links man, but we all knew this before right wel i hope we all did and havent been falling for goverments rhetoric.
  4. ledzep

    ledzep Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 21, 2002 Messages: 146 Likes Received: 1
    not surprising.
  5. <KEY3>

    <KEY3> Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 24, 2004 Messages: 6,878 Likes Received: 2
    and we all remember how well that 'war on drugs' ended.....
  6. I'm very curious on that, i really dont know what Kerry said before the elections but the idea i formed (i could easily be wrong) is that he didnt say that he'd stop this war, take the troops out, etc, etc....seriously, if Kerry was in the office, what would you guys expect from him?

    Its common sense that bush is the ultimate disaster in every aspect and that his presence automatically made Clinton look like a saint but still muslims(or yugoslavian orthodoxe christians) thought you sucked back then too.
  7. BROWNer

    BROWNer Guest

    yea, i'm curious too. kerry seems to get kid gloves.
    i thought it was insightful he didn't say a peep about abu graib.
  8. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,278 Likes Received: 235
    he didnt saqy he'd stop the war, because truth be told, we can't just 'stop' the war. if we just pulled stakes and walked away, it would be a disaster, both for the iraqi people, and for our standing in the world view. yes, i know it's difficult to imagine us looking worse, but it is still possible. it would reaffirm the idea that we're soft and any resistance will back us down. never mind the fact we shouldnt have been in it in the first place.

    anyway, kerry said he would work to bring all of our allies back to the table and get a true multi-national force into iraq working to stablize things, then gradually start to pull our troops out. it's the only 'right' answer at this point. if you get your leg stuck in a bear trap, you can't just 'yank' your leg out, you have to slowly pry the bars apart. it might take a minute, but it's the only real option.

    my faith in kerry stems from the fact that simply put, he is not bush. that the world would actually give him a chance and would try to work with him. every country realizes that whats going on in iraq (and the middle east as a whole) effects them. they have as much stake as we do. im sure they all wish they could play a roll in this, but because of bush, that's not an option for a number of reasons. remove bush, and you clear the table.

    as for kerry not mentioning abu graib, i'm sure it was intentional. while it could have been a good way to stick it to bush, it could have also opened up a whole can of worms that would have just stunk up the entire country. you can't talk about it without condeming the troops that did it, which is not good for moral. you cant do it without pointing fingers at the white house, which can be twisted into 'conspiracy' shit since there is no conrete proof linking them. then on top of that, it just opens up a wound that i think everyone would just rather forget.

    personally, i'da called the bitch out on it, but i did too much acid to be president, so that's not gonna happen.
  9. While i generaly agree i still dont follow the quoted part. First of all and in all honesty the US will never be able to change iraq, the moment the army is gone shit will go back as it was, new faces same condition. What we're talking about here isnt a regime that violated a country's and a culture's continuity, We're talking about trying to brake a tradition of hundends of years about how things run, a tradition that has turned into a public consiousness. Secondly, the whole 'us will appear weak' argument is totally made up for internal consumption. I'm part of the 'rest' of the world and i can asure you that backing out of Vietnam isnt concidered as a weak move. Of course everyone was happy the US arrogance boomeranged but its totally enjoyed against scumbags like kissinger and the masterminds of the whoel thing than the US in general. JFK is still viewed in a possitive way in the eyes of even the most antiamerican parts of the rest of the world. Backing out of Vietnam was viewed as america setting the record straight and backing out of iraq would even more so.

    Kerrys plan to get more people in there is fuckin weak, why would anyone that was agaisnt the war in the first place would want to jump in and take equal risk for something like that? The chain of supporters is linked for very specific reasons and noone that had nothing to gain in the first place will be intrested now.

    On top of that, bush's supermacy is very comfortable for other big powers. Evil and stupidity is alive in flesh and bones, all you have to do is point your finger and laugh. But truth is, euro leaders are scumbags too, just not in the same way. Europe is enjoying the luxury of being the guy who trows the kicks when the fight is already on but noone will remember as the fightstarter, its the kid that dont bully kids in the hallway but still laughs his ass off on the side.

    Under that spectrum bush can be viewed as revolutionary in the sense that he brakes the current flow where everyone is happy and plays his part. Hitler was revolutionary in the exact same gross way and look what happened. But thats the way it goes, apathy grows the worst monsters.

    The only thing evil needs to prevail is good sitting on its ass doing nothing.
  10. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    idle hands are the devils playground, and here we are in the USA, land of bread and circus. the devils in the details etc. etc. etc.

    I think the most important thing kerry could have done, and hopefully could still do if he is somehow put in office, is to put the boots to halliburton and it's subsidiaries and actually use the reconstruction money for the people that need it, iraqis and troops...