Friday, January 25, 2013

Their Plan Worked? Who Knew?

This professor of peace studies is warning that al Qaeda is springing a trap for the West in Mali.

This is amazing:

The very first column in this series, published shortly after 9/11, suggested that al-Qaida supported the attack partly to set a trap for the United States and incite it into an extreme military reaction (see "Afghanistan: the problem with military action", 28 September 2001). That the lure worked was to be confirmed by the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the zealous rhetoric of George W Bush's speeches of 2002-03 that accompanied them.

The world, in short, has been here before - yet a mere decade on, its most powerful leaders have learned so little.

Yeah, we fought back and kicked jihadi asses in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and the Philippines. So much so that our president has boasted that "al Qaeda is dead." And soon Mali will be added to the list of battlefields that jihadis thought they could make stage one of the global caliphate.

This is a long war. And the military aspects (whether in a direct or supporting role) are a holding action until the Moslem world can--with our help, ideally--sort out its dysfunction that breeds jihadis.

But to suggest that smashing up jihadis has been falling into their trap is so ridiculous that I have to conclude that a mere decade on, our academy's most obscure peace studies professors have learned so little.

For many on our left, no Western victory is complete enough (or pure enough in motive) to count as a victory and no jihadi defeat is complete enough to count as losing.

I have little respect for "peace" studies. This doesn't improve my opinion. Footnoting Kumbaya and your intense caring doesn't make it any better.

UPDATE: Related (but better) thoughts from Strategypage:

The American invasion of Iraq forced the Islamic terrorists to rush home, and fight against an outbreak of democracy in their heartland. So how do you fight Islamic terrorism these days? Can't use the old ("kill 'em all") methods, so all you can do is keep the killers out of your own territory, and wait for the madness to die out naturally, as it has done many times before. Changing the poor and misgoverned Moslem nations that generate Islamic radicalism is another option. But that takes time as well, and the current wave of Islamic terrorism may die out before democracy takes root in the Arab world. The Arab Spring is helping that along, but there is still a lot of resistance from the Islamic radicals. Unless the Arab world reforms itself, the terrorism will keep returning until it does. And other countries will not stop fighting back.

Fortunately, there aren't that many peace studies professors to confuse enough people about the need to fight back.