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Rubin Reports

Why the CIA Director Is Wrong: Rethinking Al-Qaeda

February 22nd, 2013 - 10:20 am

Consider this historical analogy. Once Hitler took power he dismantled the storm troopers, even killing their leaders, because he didn’t need them any more. The Bolsheviks wiped out the anarchists and the Social Revolutionary Party which had committed so much terrorism in earlier years. Lenin’s own brother was a terrorist who was executed by the Czarist regime. When Lenin took power, terrorism of the old type disappeared. There was only, as in Nazi Germany, state repression.

And state repression, according to the way the Obama administration sees things, is real progress. 

The Muslim Brotherhood goes nowhere near that far. The Salafist groups are still quite useful for indoctrinating citizens and intimidating opponents. When you want Christians taught a lesson, women put down, an embassy stormed, or an Islamist constitution passed, the Salafists provide wonderful and when necessary deniable service.

Here is an important principle in studying the politics of this contemporary era: violence (including terrorism) is not the main measure of radicalism. Instead, the way to judge the extremism of a group is the organization’s ideology, goals, and seriousness in seeking total victory. Strategic and tactical flexibility should be taken into account, but do not mitigate the threat posed by the objective toward which any political force is striving.

Finally, the bottom line is different from what both sides of the debate have claimed: ironically, the United States has a counterterrorist policy, but it does not have a national security strategy.

It has a way of reducing anti-American terrorism — let or even help Islamists seize power — but does not realize that anti-American regimes are far more dangerous than a bunch of guys in caves.

If terrorism was ever merely a law enforcement issue, that is certainly true today in terms of al-Qaeda. Instead, what the Obama administration has done is like trying to reduce crime by turning over cities to the Mafia, letting it make the laws and run the police and court systems.


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With all due respect Dr. Rubin, the fact that you are correct, as are the comments below, means nothing.
Answers are generally simple.
Execution, that is the problem.
We have talked it to death. What are we going to do? Are any of you, citizen of the USA or not going to support, for example, Leo Linebeck III's grass roots project?
Are any of you running for office in your local arenas? (It starts at the local level) or are we just a bunch of nattering old ladies, as frequently charged by the left.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I can't read the minds of Obama and his officials, but it is not clear to me that are anything more than the product of long post colonial indoctrination. This world view is so dominant in American academic circles and on the left that they could be simply putting into practice the policies that they believe are right for the US by their ideology. The kind of people who said on 9/11 'what did we do wrong?' are now running the country. Sure they know what they are doing, but the more serious problem is that they know that are right.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Sherab, I agree with you. If a ME regime is anti-Israel and anti-America, then for sure Obama will support it. Of course Obama is aware of it.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Your articles are deep and thoughtful, but you seem to think that the Obama administration is not aware of what it is actually doing.
I don't believe that.
They know what they are doing. They do help the enemies of America and of the West because they want to.

2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
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