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An End to Al-Qaeda: Destroying Bin Laden's Jihad and Restoring America's Honor MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Intelligence veteran Nance offers a problematic prescription for defeating al-Qaeda in this disappointing polemic. Arguing that bin Laden's objective is the destruction of traditional Islam and the real ideological conflict... is about control of Islam itself, the author contends that if we break [al-Qaeda's] spiritual link to the Muslim community, they will be quickly defeated. Moreover, victory can be achieved not only quickly but also simply and inexpensively by employing simple counter-ideological tools of compassion and debate. Such an approach requires that the U.S. reframe ourselves as Well-Meaning Ones Who Want to Help and reframe al-Qaeda as an exceptionally dangerous armed militant cult. Toward this end, the author recommends that the U.S. employ the national bullhorn, appoint a new czar of counterideological warfare, and organize conferences. Noting President Obama's ability to make people believe his words, Nance calls the president [t]he best tool in our quiver. If the author's conclusions are controversial, the underlying material is mostly derivative, the format approximates PowerPoint, and the style alternates among melodramatic (raindrops of chaos), preachy ([t]he Muslim dream is the American dream), and pedantic. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Malcolm Nance is the executive director of the newly formed International Anti-Terrorism Center for Excellence. A 27-year intelligence and combat veteran, he has fought in the Balkans, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. He was the master terrorism training officer at the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) school. His two technical books on fighting terrorists are bought in bulk by several government agencies.
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Al Qaeda is still with us almost nine years after successfully attacking the greatest power the world has ever know. American firepower has won every battle, but al Qaeda is winning the war of ideas, and the war of ideas is decisive.
Mao said "The guerilla must move among people as a fish swims in the sea." Al Qaeda has survived and prospered because they swim in the sea of Islam, a world of over one billion people. This is possible because al Qaeda has convinced much of the Islamic world to see them as Holy Warriors defending the Faith against the infidel. They have succeeded because America has been almost completely AWOL in the battle for the hearts and minds of the Arab Street, incompetent on those rare occasions it has tried anything, and, worst of all, until recently treated al Qaeda like Holy Warriors defending the Faith, and acting to confirm al Qaeda's framing of America as an evil empire out to destroy Islam.
Fortunately for us, al Qaeda is actually a criminal, heretical cult. Al Qaeda will be destroyed when they are viewed as such by the Islamic World. They are a criminal, heretical cult because they kill Muslims, kill innocents, and encourage suicide; all of which are explicitly forbidden by the Koran.
In the Sunni areas of Iraq, al Qaeda came to be viewed as criminal and suffered a terrible defeat when the local people turned against them and allied themselves with the American army. This is why the surge worked. In Afghanistan NATO is still fairly popular after over eight years of occupation in an area that hates foreign intervention because the people know how awful the Taliban/al Qaeda were when they were in power. Even with frequent annihilation of wedding parties by the US air force, many Afghans have still not turned against us. This is astounding.
Mance's approach to defeating al Qaeda is a full scale, well-funded, all-media assault on al Qaeda conducted primarily by Muslim-Americans and our Muslim allies, framing al Qaeda as what they are, a criminal, heretical cult. This will sever their connection to Islam without which they cannot survive. Mance suggests several specific policies to accomplish this. These include (from chapter 9):
Denounce al Qaeda as Heretics
Publicize al Qaeda's Atrocities
Play up former al Qaeda Members' Renunciations of the Group
Back Islamic Political Movements, particularly democratic movements
Playing up Internal Disputes
Start a Social Epidemic of Rejection
Identify the Criminality to al Qaeda's Target Audience
Make al Qaeda Answer Publicly for Killing Innocents, Particularly Children
Make the Terrorists' Community and Families Fear for the Spiritual Safety of Recruits
Make People Remember They Can't Depend on Terrorists
Reframe al Qaeda as Political Opportunists
Encourage Positive Ideological Fitna (Fitna is ideological civil war, which is occurring between former and current al Qaeda members)
Use the Same Viral Media Techniques They Do (particularly the use of YouTube)
Organize Counter-Extremist Message Swarming (drowning al Qaeda web sites with our activists)
Help Stand Up and Support De-radicalization Programs and Plans (for example, Saudi Arabia sends Imans to argue religion with captured terrorists, often converting them to more main-stream Islam and thereby getting complete and full cooperation in fighting al Qaeda)
Do No Harm and Do Know Harm
Mance also stresses the importance of killing bin Laden and other senior leadership. Cults are dependent on charismatic leaders, and al Qaeda is no different. Kill bin Laden and it will be very difficult to hold al Qaeda together. Interestingly, "One of the first acts of the Barack Obama presidency was the signing of the executive order to capture or kill bin Laden."
It is also important to reframe America, which al Qaeda has successfully labeled as an enemy of Islam. Fortunately, America effectively defended Bosnian and Kosovo Muslims against Christian Serbs, defended religious Saudi Arabia against a secular Saddam Hussein, and helped Islamic Afghan warriors defeat the Soviet Union. We need to point this out to the Islamic World loudly and often.
This reframing has been immeasurably aided by electing a President with a (non-practicing) Muslim father, who lived in Muslim Indonesia as a child, and, best of all, has the middle name "Hussein." This is a political liability in America, but the last election rocked the Muslim world's negative perception of America. Al Qaeda's view of us is incompatible with Obama becoming president. This opened a window of opportunity to reframe America in Islamic eyes. Unfortunately, a number of critical domestic issues have taken most of Obama's time and has prevented deploying him in Islamic media as much as he should be.
Many conservatives want to treat captured al Qaeda members as 'enemy combatants,' in other words, Holy Warriors Defending the Faith. Until recently, we've fought the war that way, but notice we haven't won. If we treat captured al Qaeda members as criminals, trying and convicting them like any other criminal, we send a clear message that, once accepted, means al Qaeda is beaten. Then it will just be a matter of mopping up.
There you have it, how to defeat al Qaeda. Notice that this will take a small fraction of the $700 billion we spend on the U.S. military each year which, after nine years of trying hard, has failed to win. It's not their fault. They can't. This war cannot be won by firepower and maneuver, it can only be won in the minds of Muslims. We'd better start fighting there.
Let me start by stating that the author knows his stuff. He provides clear concise explanations of what al-Qaeda's operations are doing and how these actions are impacting the region.
There were numerous glimmers of real understanding related to the war on terror, of which it is clear he abhors, but then the silliest of liberal lines like "then uses counter-ideology programs as amnesty, repatriation, and rehabilitation for those who wish to leave militancy." We are talking terrorists who have sought to kill...not only Americans but are willing to ignore their own faith and kill innocent Muslims in the process.
It is clear that the author was not fond of President Bush but it was amazing that he completely ignored the fact that the Bush policies toward al-Qaeda have continued into the Obama Presidency.
I will agree with the author that a full-on frontal assault of the ideology is hugely important and that reaction times by the military (or related counterpart) in needed in a virtual war of video and blog responses. A true "propaganda" war is being waged and the world is losing to a militant sect of Islam.
Of course, the eloquent point that Nance makes in this book is that the key to fighting Al-Qaeda is political, cultural, and religious.
Most importantly, we can never buy into the fallacy that Al-Qaeda promote, that they somehow represent Islam. This evil fiction is one that gives them power and one that the right in this country for some reason likes to promote.
Instead, as Nance points out, Al-Qaeda are more or less heretics to a true Islam, divorced from the moral underpinnings of the religion.
Luckily, since Nance wrote this book, there have been tremendous developments in the Arab world, not least of which is the rejection of Al-Qaeda by the Iraqis.
A really fascinating and interesting book and one that should be read by everyone.