What is "Winning" to the Islamic Terrorists?
This is a discussion on What is "Winning" to the Islamic Terrorists? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Since 9/11, I just haven't been able to figure out what the end game of the Islamic terrorists is.
Their stated goal may be the ...
August 10th, 2006 05:42 PM
What is "Winning" to the Islamic Terrorists?
Since 9/11, I just haven't been able to figure out what the end game of the Islamic terrorists is.
Their stated goal may be the overthrow of all non Iran-style or Taliban-style Islamic governments with such governments, worldwide.
I just cannot fathom them ever succeeding, no matter how apathetic or complacent we become. There just aren't enough of them and there a just too many of us.
They were able, once, to fly airplanes into buildings. They might have been able to blow some airplanes up while they were flying over the ocean.
Maybe they can plant bombs in places with lots of people or drive cars with bombs into such places or government buildings.
They can snipe at our soldiers and blow up our vehicles on the other side of the world.
Don't get me wrong- all those things are bad.
But do they REALLY think they can, EVER, plant enough bombs or fly enough planes into buildlings to actually take over every government in the world that they don't like?
It's hard to take over ANY country by force of arms, and harder still to control it, especially when some folks in that country don't want you there, let alone want you controlling it. Just ask our soldiers in Iraq.
It's hard to run ANY country, even when most everyone there wants it run under the system running it, and there is little or no violent opposition. Just ask the Republicans in our country, the political party that controls both houses of Congress and the White House.
It's even harder to run a country when more than a minimal portion of the country's population doesn't want the system under which the country is run to continue running it (see Iraq, above).
In fact, it can get impossible in a real hurry, especially when you add in lots of people with weapons who want a change- - whether they succeed (quickly) or not doesn't diminish the difficulty they pose.
So what is up with them? Are they just irrational?
Some of them no doubt earnestly (though wrongly) believe that there is some organized conspiracy, headed by the U.S., to take over the world by undermining their ideals of Islamic values and virtues. While contact with the West may indeed undermine their ideals regarding Islamic values, it hardly comes about from a concerted effort to make it happen.
I guess I'm taking the world situation from the other end of the question- -not how bad they are, or how weak we are, but how strong are we, and how do they intend to work around that?
So my question remains. What on earth do they hope to accomplish?
August 10th, 2006 08:09 PM
May I suggest you read Imperial Hubris by Michael Sheuer, former head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit. I have read both of his books several times and heard him speak twice. He is a very knowledgeable man.
I do not subscribe to everything he says (though I do agree with much of it), but he makes a compelling arguement and a strong case for his point of view. Though much of what he says is unpopular and difficult to admit, there is some degree of truth in it, perhaps more than many would like to admit.
He identifies six U.S. policies that are the root cause for Al Qaeda's violence. It is these policies, not the destruction of the United States, that motivate Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
1. U.S. support for Israel against the palestinians
2. U.S. and western military forces on the Arabian peninsula
3. U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
4. Tacit support for Russia, China and India against Muslims
5. U.S. pressure on Arab countries to keep oil prices low
6. U.S. support for apostate (and often oppressive) Muslim governments.
"Winning" amounts to altering U.S. policy in these areas. There is more but it is complicated. That's the short version.
If you do read the book, get a copy with the updated epilogue and read the epilogue first. You will have a better appreciation for his point of view and motivation when reading the rest of the book.
August 10th, 2006 09:05 PM
Another way to look at what is going on is it's not so much them winning, it's about us losing.
And if you don't think we are losing, you should have been at an airport today. Losing isn't always about loss of life in a war of terror. It's forcing your adversary to change. Just think about the changes in the way we do things since 9/11.
EOD - Initial success or total failure
August 10th, 2006 10:05 PM
I believe Blackhawk6 to be very close to the mark. Good points.
The Gunsite BlogITFT / Quick Kill Review
"It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008
August 10th, 2006 10:46 PM
rstickle also makes a very good point. Everytime terrorist do something our government makes us pay for it.
August 11th, 2006 12:08 AM
Death of one or more non-Muslim, by declaration. By their actions, death to everyone including themselves in the process. Very smart, as this is the one thing nearly impossible to guard against. The whole world is going blind, by degrees. As a tactic, very smart.
What is "Winning" to the Islamic Terrorists?
August 11th, 2006 12:13 AM
IMHO winning to them any more is finding enough dupes willing to kill themselves to keep the funding coming in from some of the regiems in the area .
Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
August 11th, 2006 02:03 AM
I am going to say something many people might find stupid here, but I don't think that the Al-Queda (sp) movement is about 'winning' for those at the highest level. It is about power and prestige. The leaders of these types of movements are Kings in their own circle. Valuable as long as there is some 'evil' that the peasants need to conquer. Take a starving and oppressed person, show them an enemy and tell them that God will give them a better life for killing the enemy. If you are charismatic enough you are more that a leader, you are the voice of God, a prophet even. Don't get me wrong. I am not one to stand here and say that the USA has been perfect in policy or decision making, just that I think that we happen to be the best target to point people towards.
The world is a dangerous place to live... not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein
August 11th, 2006 02:09 AM
They can be defeated. It was done in the past and can be done again. But we must stop playing by the ACLU/Human Rights rules and get downright nasty. Unfortunately this will not happy until a major attack happens and tens of thousands of lives are lost... and I mean a terrotist nuke somewhere in the Western World.
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
August 11th, 2006 02:23 AM
August 11th, 2006 02:32 AM
That IMHO is dangerously close to offering justification. US policy may anger many and may drive recruitment to some extent, but provocation for killing innocents? I dunno about that. I believe the root cause of Al Qaeda's violence is just plane racism and intolerance of others' beliefs. It is rooted in a bastardized interpretation of their own messed up religion. It is messed up because death is at its core. Other religions celebrate life. Their religion celebrates death. A wise person once said that they will not be at peace until they love their children at least as much as they hate us. Bin Laden hates us because he believes he will go to heaven for hating us.
Originally Posted by Blackhawk6
August 11th, 2006 04:30 AM
Straight from Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book"
There are 3 levels of guerrilla warfare:
Stage I is mere discontent; the idea of revolution but without signifigant action.
Stage II is the terrorist stage. The VC were at this stage for most of Vietnam. Hide during the day, attack at night, harrassing attacks, undermine the govt's authority, make those in power look bad, etc. Stage II guerrillas can't/ don't hold ground so they can't win in a conventional sense but they are also protected by their ability to blend in. They can only "win" at this stage if those in power give up, if the confidence of the people is shaken enough that the govt conceeds.
Stage III is where the guerrillas take to the open battlefield in an attempt to win a conventional victory. The Contras were at this stage, holding territory and acting like a regular govt. The weakness here is that Stage III guerrillas can be fixed and destroyed by conventional forces... driven back to Stage I or II.
Stage II guerrillas CAN be defeated by propaganda and special action forces, but it is very difficult. No guerrilla movement can be pushed back beyond Stage I, there are always those who are unhappy and dissaffected even if they never openly express those feelings or take action.
So, to answer your question:
"Victory" at this point is getting the US to make signifigant policy changes in directions the terrorists favor. Ultimately their goal is to topple the US govt and alter the Western way of life in accordance with their view of Islam. They see this as a multi-generational struggle, whereas we want our boys home by Christmas.
They see conversion or destruction of infidels as a religious duty, much as we in the west saw our "White Man's Burden" of civilizing and converting heathens and pagans around the world to Christianity in the 1800-1900's.
There is definitely something to that. I don't believe OBL or other high-mucky-mucks are true Muslims, they've found a way to power and fame and are using it.
Originally Posted by talon
Last edited by tanksoldier; August 11th, 2006 at 04:37 AM.
"I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.
August 11th, 2006 11:41 AM
I see this approach advocated by a number of people. Could you expand on it? Exactly what would be the steps you'd take?
Originally Posted by Miggy
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
August 11th, 2006 04:34 PM
Would you care to support those assertions?
Originally Posted by lowflyer
August 11th, 2006 04:52 PM
I thank Blackhawk6 and everyone else for your thoughts. I have a little better understanding of what is going on now.
Some of the things that we do that they don't like aren't good, but (to us, at least) are the lessers of two or more evils: (supporting apostate and repressive muslim regimes- - sometimes we have done this in order to prevent an Iraq-like situation from developing).
Others are things that may be more perceived on their part than real: (support for other countries "against" Islam). I don't think U.S. foreign policy has ever been intentionally directed toward destroying or degrading Islam.
Some of the things they don't like us doing can't be "helped" and shouldn't be: (our troops in Afghanistan- if one country is behind bombing us, they damn well better expect to at the very least be "occupied").
Others things they don't like about us are things I just don't really know much how to address, like upport for Israel over the Palestinians. We do support Israel most of the time. I'm not always sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with them being democratic, stable and supportive of us.
I don't know how to address the oil price thing, either. That seems to me to just be part of playing in a market economy. We want the prices low, they want them high. Our interests are directly adverse there. I don't know why that makes us bad in their eyes. It doesn't make them bad in MY eyes to know that they want to make as much money as they can. It shouldn't make us bad to them to know that we want to pay as little as we can.
Troops on the Arabian penninsula? I'm not going to debate the war in Iraq, but I'm thinking they're thinking that the war isn't the only reason why our soldiers are there. It might piss me off if their troops were in Canada. It might not. I don't know. It would seem to me more like Canada's problem.
If their troops were in Florida, even for what might seem to be a good reason from their point of view, I would be mightily pissed, and if younger, might be easily tempted to protest such a presence by "other than completely peaceful" means.
Maybe they see that whole region as their "Florida". Food for thought, sure enough.
You can get to going in circles real fast if any of these things is somehow intertwined (as apparently they are) with others.
So what do we do?
If "winning" is influencing our policies, they might. If "winning" is taking us over, that just won't happen.
How come the Saudi government is so friendly to us? If all those Muslims really want to get us to do something different, I'm thinking oil prices might be a good way. $ 10.00 a gallon gasoline might get our attention.
OTOH, it might make us look real hard at other sources of oil (are there any?) hybrids and electric cars or mass transit, or other technologies.
It didn't help the South in the Civil War to let the cotton rot on the docks in order to drive up prices. And if something gets too expensive to use, you just stop using it. Again, it sounds like a flawed understanding of market economics might be playing a role here...
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