“Anonymous” is a career CIA terrorism expert, who has published a book called Imperial Hubris, which claims that the U.S. has got the war against al Qaeda all wrong. I’m not inclined to read books on this subject by unnamed persons because, in today’s environment especially, one must always consider the source. Of course, anonymous analysis could be so compelling as to nonetheless merit attention. However, this USA Today interview with Anonymous demonstates that his analysis is more contradictory than compelling. Here are some of the seeming contradictions that appear in the space of just two-thirds of a USA Today page:
* We’re losing the war on terrorism because our militaristic response enables bin Laden to rally followers against us and causes Europeans to back away. We’re losing the war on terrorism because we have “lived up to our reputation of being unwilling to be a ruthless military power.”
* We’re losing the war on terrorism because we’re not “moderating” the Israelis. But “frankly, I don’t what else the Israelis can do [other] than what they’re doing.”
* We lost in Afghanistan “on the first day” because while we debated whether bin Laden was responsible for 9/11, everyone dispersed. We lost in Afghanistan because we let bin Laden and the Taliban escape after he had them cornered in the Tora Bora mountains.
* Bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora because we sent in surrogates rather than U.S. soldiers to get him. Bin Laden is still in Afghanistan, but our “occupation” of that country is helping him.
* Bin Laden’s strategy is to drive the U.S. out of the Middle East. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula is helping bin Laden.
* Bin Laden’s “genius” has been to focus his attacks on the U.S., since the governments in the Arab World are too strong for him to overthrow. Bin Laden figures that if he drives the U.S. out of the region, it will “fall like fruit from a tree.”
* Bin Laden argues that the U.S. is weak because it is “hypersenstive to any kind of opinon around the world.” The U.S is losing the war on terror because it is insufficiently attuned to opinion in the Arab world and in Europe.
* President Bush and so many others have it entirely wrong when they say that bin Laden is attacking us because of who we are. Bin Laden is only concerned with “a very limited number of U.S. policies.” Our response to the terrorist threat [apparently] should be to address [apparently by changing] these policies. But we’re losing the war on terrorism because our mind-set is too “politically correct.” We don’t understand that Islam is a central motivating factor and that al Qaeda is “fighting [for] its faith.”
* The reason why there haven’t been any attacks on the U.S. since 9/11 is that “everything has gone bin Laden’s way” since then. It’s in bin Laden’s interest to attack us again.
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