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Spengler

Contrary to Obama, the Terror War Has Barely Begun

May 27th, 2013 - 12:42 pm

If Afghanistan fed the terrorist pool during the 1980s and the 1990s, the sectarian wars of the 2010s will increase the prospective pool of terrorists–young men with no skill except irregular warfare, nothing to return to, nothing to lose, and with no motivation except fanatical hatred.

Contrary to popular impressions, the most important means at the disposal of American intelligence services to control terrorism was the cooperation of Arab intelligence services. I do not mean to deprecate the diligence and sacrifice of the CIA team that hunted down Osama bin Laden, but the fact is that U.S. intelligence never had enough Arab speakers to infiltrate terrorist organizations, or enough translators to process the flood of SIGINT. It also did not have the mandate or the personnel to employ interrogation techniques which are routine in the Arab world. America leaned on Arab governments; after the overthrow and execution of Saddam Hussein, it had considerable credibility to do so. Nasty, dictatorial, oppressive regimes usually chose to help rather than thwart the U.S. out of fear that they would be next. That is why it was a good idea to make a horrible example out of one unfriendly regime (I would have preferred Iran), and why I supported the American invasion of Iraq (although not the nation-building commitment that followed).

Arab governments are less states than hotels, where the proprietor rents out rooms without asking too many questions about what happens inside the rooms. It is possible to twist the proprietor’s arm to kick down the doors when the behavior of the guests becomes to troublesome. Now many of the states are gone. There is no-one to lean on. There are no cooperative state intelligence services to control their own unruly elements and do our dirty work.

The result is an enormous increase in the number of prospective terrorists and a drastic reduction in our capacity to control them. The motivation for terrorism has increased correspondingly. Radicalized Muslims must now contemplate the ruin of their civilization from Tripoli to Kabul. Millions of Syrians are displaced and have no homes to go back to. Millions of Egyptians are hungry. Not only the suffering, but the humiliation of the national ruin of Egypt and Syria leave radical Muslims with little to hope for. The motivation to take as much of the world down with them has mushroomed in the context of state failure.

It is not simply a matter of non-state actors running out of control. The remaining states, prominently Iran, have seized the opportunity to increase their ability to use terror on a grand scale. Iran’s open attempt to turn Syria into a Persian satrapy–through Hezbollah as well as the infiltration of tens of thousands of Iranian fighters–is intended to gain control of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and to turn Syria into a weapons platform from which to attack Israel. The scattering of Middle Eastern arsenals (starting with Qaddafi’s shoulder-fired surface-t0-air missiles), meanwhile, provides terrorists with a quality of weaponry they never before possessed.

There simply is no historic precedent for this deadly mixture of state and civil breakdown. American policy has piled blunder atop blunder. I argued in the Tablet symposium:

American policy considerably worsened the problem though a series of blunders. America devoted its main attention during the 2000s to nation building in Iraq while ignoring Iran’s expansionism in the region. By wasting resources and credibility on Iraqi nation-building and neglecting Iran’s influence, the United States allowed the Shia government in Baghdad to drift toward the Iranian sphere of influence, compelling Iraq’s Sunnis to respond. Funding and arming the “Sunni Awakening” during the 2008 surge gave the Sunnis the means to respond. And encouraging the Muslim Brotherhood to replace Mubarak was a destabilizing factor. Threatened by Iranian expansion on one side, and encouraged by the Brotherhood’s success in Egypt on the other, Syria’s Sunnis decided that the moment had come to overthrow the Assad regime.

Now we face a military challenge unlike any we have had in the past. Our military was designed to defeat the Soviet Union. Now we face tens of thousands–perhaps millions–of anonymous enemies armed with cheap weapons,  but advantaged by the element of surprise and the will to commit suicide in order to damage us. We have entered a new and terrible epoch of war–and the president has announced that the war is over.

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I don't know how anybody can believe that obama is just a bumbler, or even mistake prone. There is only one explanation that fits all of the available facts with respect to what is going on in the middle east, and here in America. The only explanation that fits the facts is that events in the middle east and here at home ARE BY DESIGN. Many people avoid the use of the word conspiracy even when a conspiracy is hitting them right in the face every day. All that is required to see it is to take the marxist obama at his own word- when he said "we are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming America", he meant it. Pull your head out of the ground and comprehend what is going on around you. obama's goal is to destroy America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"... it intensifies the despair that motivates Muslims like the Tsarnaev brothers or Michael Adebolajo to perpetrate acts of terrorism. "

They are not motivated by despair. They are motivated by hatred.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Now we face a military challenge unlike any we have had in the past. Our military was designed to defeat the Soviet Union. Now we face tens of thousands–perhaps millions–of anonymous enemies armed with cheap weapons, but advantaged by the element of surprise and the will to commit suicide in order to damage us. We have entered a new and terrible epoch of war–and the president has announced that the war is over."

The Islamic war against the West has barely begun. Obama lacks the intelligence to understand the problem. Spengler 's use of the term "radicalized Muslims" is an evasion. Islam's only rationality is supremacism. Violence is necessary because how in the world could you persuade any rational person that Islam is good and beneficial.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (90)
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We all have a tendency to try and bend reality to match our ideology, but liberalism in general and President Obama in particular have a very bad case of the ideological bends.

Islam and Liberalism are facing a very similar problem. Both believe they are possessors of the one all encompassing truth that is supposed to lead the world to enlightenment and peace.

Facing the reality that their big truths don't work, and in fact lead instead to collapse and despair is unacceptable and so they must keep bending that darn reality to explain their failure as being the fault of others.

We are not fighting a war on terror. We are fighting a war on tyranny. A war as old as history itself. Whether it is in the form of Islam's desire to force us to worship their god, or Liberal's desire to force us to join their welfare state, or crony capitalists desire to use the government to force us to buy their products, it may look different outwardly, but at root it always shares the same desire to coerce others into doing what you want.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Goldman, PLEASE stop with this nonsensical "war on terror". We are not at war with terror, nor even terrorism. Terror is an emotion, and terrorism is a tactic.

We are at war with Islam, and it is very harmful to continue this myth of being at war with "terror".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So if the Terror War has "barely begun," as Spengler suggests, the obvious next question is: what kind of U.S. foreign policy can we expect in the coming years? For how many years will we be actively intervening in the Middle East? How many more Iraqs will we have to overthrow? How many more "friendly dictators" will we be funding militarily in order to fight the Jihadist threat?

I can tell you right now that if you see 50 years of heavy U.S. involvement in Middle East relations, I won't support any of it. I won't pay taxes for more multi-trillion dollar wars, I won't "patriotically" stand behind every single military action our government tries to get us into.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"With this background, it is not so shocking that we are not grasping the reality facing us in Syria. That reality is a humiliating defeat of the United States at the hands of Iran and Hezbollah, aided by Russia, in a manner that destabilizes and weakens all our allies and our influence in the Middle East, emboldens our worst enemies, and has a significant geopolitical impact." excerpt from the weekly standard
Elliot Abrams

Islam is not the problem it is the perversion of Islam. Look at all the good Islam people in USA. The same thing can be said about Christians. Why do so many Christians believe abortion is good when abortion is a culture of death practice? But all three Abraham faiths have people called to repentance.
it is nasty to say but if Hitler won Christians would still be hunted down the last remaining few Jews in the world as if this was the holy thing to do.
The atheist perversions are the worst as we see in North Korea and what that will mean when China becomes the superpower (Russia will go back to Christian , China will see one day christian is useless along with Islam)
What kind of world awaits us if USA practices isolation?



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
""With this background, it is not so shocking that we are not grasping the reality facing us in Syria. That reality is a humiliating defeat of the United States at the hands of Iran and Hezbollah, aided by Russia, in a manner that destabilizes and weakens all our allies and our influence in the Middle East, emboldens our worst enemies, and has a significant geopolitical impact." excerpt from the Weekly Standard
- Elliot Abrams

Well neocons, you picked this fight, you thought your boys the Saudis and Qataris would put up enough cash and dumb Libyan jihadis it would be smooth and clean. Instead it's been horrifying and messy, and now all you can say about your strategic brilliance is that you have Sunnis and Shi'a fighting each other instead of fighting us. Now you Weekly Standard niks have to pretend John McCain hugging the Al-Heart and Lung Eaters Brigade's suit-wearing representatives is somehow as patriotic as apple pie.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
so get your little enemies to rub elbows with you and your goodness rub off on them as you unite to battle the real enemy
The Three Abraham faiths have much in common with each other when the enemy is exposed and the three faiths heal from culture of death ideas and practices
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There are no "Three Abraham faiths". Mohammed (if he was even a real person) ripped off some of the features of Judaism and Christianity, pasted them onto the local worship of the Moon God, added his own ideas (to justify his sexual perversions), and called it an Abrahamic faith.

Islam is completely antithetical to Judaism and Christianity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ralph Peters says...

Iraq was carved out for British interests, while Syria was France’s consolation prize. Now Syria’s collapsing in a too-many-factions-to-count civil war. And Iraq’s in the early stages of its own dissolution; even a would-be dictator — another of our one-time “friends,” Nouri al-Maliki — can’t keep the “country” together.

We don’t even know how many new states will emerge from the old order’s wreckage. But the Scramble for the Sand is on, with Iran, Turkey, treacherous Arab oil sheikdoms and terrorists Sunni and Shia alike all determined to dictate the future, no matter the cost in other people’s blood.

We had our chance to extend the peace and keep both Iran and Wahhabi crazies at bay after we defeated Iraq’s insurgencies. But a new American president, elevating politics over strategy, walked away from Baghdad, handing Iraq to Iran. Now it’s too late. If George W. Bush helped trigger the Arab Spring, Barack Obama made this Arab Winter inevitable.

We must not be lured into the current fighting — centered, for now, on Syria — by cries of humanitarian necessity. The local powers could step in to stop the killing. But they won’t. Once again, they want us to pay the bill. (It’s time for the Saudis, especially, to give their own blood.)

We’ve paid enough

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_arab_collapse_tfjo7W92EreoUHdxdQq1DN
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We need to dump the Defense Department and bring back the War Department. War is to important to be left to the community organizers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't forget David the John McCain supported al-Heart and Lung Eaters Jihadi Brigades.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think DG needs to look at Muslim capabilities here: poplulation does not equate to power. Mussolini prated about 12MM bayonets but did not mention that they travel by foot.

The only true danger Islam presents is simply allowing within our borders. Beyond that they are impotent, and disorganized by any measure, unless a Mahdi or some such make the scene.

Islam is hoping to start a war or at least claims that the West is at war with them, in the hope of recruiting more people.

I suggest that helping them in anyway is unproductive as they will see it as simply a sign of weakness or rather an expression of Allah's will.

Some believe we have a duty toward them, which I do not: if they want to fight, it should not be on our dime.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
DB, I agree that if we take stern countermeasures we can turn away the threat. But we do not want to allow circumstances that might (for example) shut down the Straits of Hormuz or destabilize Saudi Arabia. We might be headed for energy independence (although we are still far from it) but we have allies who depend on it. Do we really want Europe entirely dependent on Russia for energy?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
OMG! Because the Russians will turn off the taps...not...

David your Cold War nostalgia is showing. Russia is already facing fierce competition from Norway for energy supplies, not to mention all that liberated light, sweet Libyan crude the Duck of Death was removed to free up....in fact the worst problem Gazprom has is not tankerloads of LNG being shipped from the U.S. (and just by coincidence, my favorite Russophobe fanatic Craig Pirrong has a relative who works at Cherniere Energy) but dirt cheap U.S. coal and customers in southern Europe that simply can't pay their gas bills, ala Ukraine in 2005.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The oil will be sold to someone. So the global market will be affected to a much lessor degree. It will also spur more rapid development in the saner parts of the world.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not so.

With the proper amount of chaos, oil production collapses.

As for spurring oil drilling elsewhere: that's been under way for a generation. OPEC has gone from 50% of the market to, say, 20%.

Indonesia left OPEC entirely.

Iran and Iraq have NEVER gotten back to where they were in 1980.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only true danger Islam presents is simply allowing within our borders. - bob

Needs to be repeated, until it sinks in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"winding down the “war on terror”–a misnomer to begin with"

I think perhaps the Bushies had an intuition of just what Spengler is saying here: the Jihad terrorist disintegrates states and fights not on behalf of any state or national liberation movement one might name, but on behalf of chaos in service to a vague Utopian eschatology of Caliphascism. War on terrorism is just short for war on Islamic Utopianism or Islamic militantism. I've never quite understood why so many get upset shouting "you can't have a war on a tactic". Well, you can, when the means and the ends are one and the same.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Remember the '60's rubric "What if they had a war and nobody came?". True to the faith, the left is trying for half a loaf..."What if the have a war and we don't go?"
I assume it will work as well as all their other brilliant ideas.
ta
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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