Nine Things We Have Learned Since September 11, 2001
Published on: September 11, 2006
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  • DM

    Once again Francis I find logic in your writing which I’ve never been able to discern in your colleague’s work (Wolfowitz, Kristol, et al) … many thanks.

    However, I must ask if in your 3rd point you’ve excluded Palestinians from you list of “Nationalist Groups” for any particular reason? It would seem that this is the elephant in the room which many Islamists or Arabs identify with for religious or cultural reasons.

    Can there be any discussion of Arab/Islamist “root causes” of violence which does not address Israel and Palestine?

  • On Monday Tom Brokaw appeared in a televised interview with Chris Mathews, and stressed the importance of understanding that the point of view, the basic perception, of Muslims concerning the events in Iraq and Lebanon, in Israel and Palestine, is antithetical to the established US point of view articulated above.

    In addition, Brokaw mentioned the intense cultural differences between the wealthy western states and the traditional way of life of Islamic society. This extends to family structure, women’s equality, even matters such as diet and entertainment. Each side sees the other as threatening its viability.

    There is genuine polarization. Brokaw states that until we begin to understand the viewpoint of those who oppose US national policy, and why they do this so virulently, struggle will prevail over resolution. Dialogue and discourse must happen at all levels.

  • Suggest browsing articles on similar subjects published in, a trilingual magazine, successor to Deutsche Rundschau, Germany’s oldest political review.

  • J. Koch

    The test of sincerity of those who insist that Iraqi insurgents and Iranian theocrats are threats on par with Hitler and Tojo is that none is prepared to institute a draft, raise taxes, impose rationing and price controls, or give up the freedom to buy the biggest monster SUV or Mcmansion that money can buy. Otherwise, all the babble about isranofashionism is no more than a dirt cheap ploy to scare people to vote pro-Bush.

    When will we wake up from this manic frenzy and figure out, as after the fall of Saigon in 1975, that there is no monolithic enemy, but only a diversity of competing interests and opponents that can be managed, deterred, and ultimately surpassed?

    Yes, Iran can be deterred. They are no more suicidal than Russia or China. N. Korea is more of a troublemaker.

    We would get far more protection, and spare many lives, by spending more on surveillance of decommissioned nuclear weapons and scattered devices with U-235 or plutonium. These could be dangerous in the possession of terrorists, whose potential number our folly in Iraq has done nothing to reduce.

  • Frank’s nine points at once overlap and differ from some of the six that fgrew into John Mueller’s current FA article, and my 2004 TAC essay ‘Weaker than we think:

  • opposingpower

    Just a quick question about points 1 &2. – War on Terror.

    I understand your logic to enunciate that the metaphors of “War on Terror” are often the wrong ones to use, and are at most a play of words by the Bush administration for their own political purpose.

    However, do you not think the term ‘War on terror’ fits the purpose exactly when referring to ‘state sponsored/supported terrorism.’

    When the ‘terrorists’ are ‘state sponsored/supported terrorists’ such as Hezbollah +is+ by Iran/Syria, therefore, it is not a tactic used by the weak, but one by a state itself.

    That ‘War’ is the correct terminology as its the fighting of ‘terrorists’ who by proxy are the states themselves.

    I look forward to hopefully hearing a reply.

    Many Thanks

  • Ali

    I am not an intellectual, but I do read often and observe people. I ve lived in muslim countries and suggest a not so subtle understanding of the roots of middle easterners dissent from “western” policy. Those roots are in the Quran and Sunnah and various other writings of the shia community and all concentrated in the words of Muhammed. History is important in analysing the root causes of islamic militancy but the core of the ideological battle rests in the rhetoric of Muhammed , who’s teachings are deemed infallible by Islam.

    Muhammed was of a perverse mentality that sought political power by using arabians already fervent religious beliefs as a means to unify them in a lustful pursuit of unity through conquest. Since the caliphate was destroyed in the early 20th century, the various sects have battled with each other over “true” Islam, but in their hearts they all understand the essentials which is to not trust the Jews and the christians personified in the world’s last superpower , the USA and, of course, Israel.

    “Believers, do not hold Jews and Christians as allies. They are allies of one another; and anyone who makes them one of his friends is one of them.” (Quran 5:51)

    This is why the cause celebre of Islam, palestine, is not really a fight for a people, but a religion(ideology). The Palestinian Christian population has slowly disintegrated under threats of intimidation for not staying on line with the tenets of Islam. If even Palestinians were truly united you wouldn’t have the regular backlash against Palestinian Christians that we do especially today after critical words about muhammed were spoken by the Pope.

    You want to understand the tension, understand the ideological underpinnings enshrined in the Quran and Sunnah and preached daily by Imams. The cartoons of muhammed, the various wars by jewish and christian powers(defensive or not), the critical words of the Pope , all come together in the hyper-sensitive words of muhammed who allowed absolutely no dissent from his words, under threat of death.

    “those who annoy Allah and his messenger and speak evil things of them, Allah has cursed them in this world and in the hereafter….those who stir up sedition, the agitators in the city, do not desist, we shall urge you to go against them and set you over them. Whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain without mercy, fierce slaughter, murdered, a horrible murdering. “(Quran 33:56-60)

    Muhammed even had a mother of 5 murdered while she slept, because she criticized him in public (see Bukhari V4B52N270)
    Bukhari is considered the most authentic hadith in Sunni Islam.

    This is why Islam resists any thing “western”, their “history” is also “sacred” history that is being thrust before their eyes and they are commanded to do something about it. What should we do?

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