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Comments about ‘Jihadist aim? To expel U.S. from Mideast’

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Published: Wednesday, May 8 2013 6:22 a.m. MDT

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Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

I would emphasize that we Americans must understand that Jihadists are not representative of Muslims in general.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

It’s a fairly accurate diagnosis of the problem but the solutions do not seem forthcoming, as the last few sentences of this article appear to lamely concede. For example:

” We must deal with the root causes of Jihadist extremism and terrorism and address those problems with long-term solutions.”

So how do we do this short of getting Muslims to reject the parts of their sacred scriptures that Jihadists use to support their views? Also…

“America cannot solve their problems for them, but we must be willing to offer positive help whenever possible”

OK, but from the Jihadists’ perspective the kind of “help” they want is for us to leave (and perhaps even be subjugated or destroyed) and for the new caliphate to arise. What other help can we provide that would marginalize these objectives?
This article is in desperate need of “part 2.”

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Both the Muslim countries that look to the U.S. for help and the U.S. itself must have realistic expectations for what a superpower can do. The U.S. has learned that the hard way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. Bringing about justice in the Middle East is a tall order that wouldn’t necessarily neutralize an intractable Jihadist agenda that’s been framing the narrative since 911.

Rapunzelthebrave
The Great State of, TX

Very good start explaining to the average American the concept of "blowback". When you play the role of conqueror (ie the United States) you can expect the peoples you subjugate to defend themselves, their families, and their lands. We call them "extremists" only because WE are the conquerors. Some outstanding books on the subject are: Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert Pape, Blowback by Chalmers Johnson, Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer, and A Foreign Policy of Freedom by Ron Paul.

You want to understand your enemy? First you have to understand that they are human - just like you. And, then you have to realize that your decisions might be very similar were you put in the shoes of your enemy.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Rapunzelthebrave,

"....We call them "extremists" only because WE are the conquerors...."
______________________________

America is sometimes shortsighted but it's not naive about the world.

The Iraqi insurgency opposing coalition forces was such an odd assortment of militias, tribal sectarian fighters, Ba’ath party loyalists supporting Saddam Hussein, and foreign fighters that it’s not accurate to characterize the insurgency as extremists, whatever one means by that. For the most part, al-Qaeda in Iraq was content to stay out of the fight and let events take their course while waiting for an exploitation opportunity that never came.

I’ve no doubt that Ron Paul is sincere in what he believes. But his foreign policy strategy is simplistic and so close to isolationist that it’s scary.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Rapunzelthebrave – “When you play the role of conqueror (ie the United States) you can expect the peoples you subjugate to defend themselves, their families, and their lands.”

So how do you explain the lack of Tibetan suicide bombers?

What China has done to Tibet is every bit as bad as any of our “adventures” in the Middle East, and it is far more cynical (the annihilation of an entire cultural identity).

So why aren’t we seeing Tibetans blowing up buses and pizza places in Shanghai or Beijing? Also, why don’t we see Tibetan Buddhists (or any Buddhists or really any other religious group) calling for the deaths of apostates, authors, cartoonists and anyone else who “disrespects” their faith?

And are you aware that the 19 highjackers on 911 did not appear to be oppressed in any way? All were college educated and most had graduate degrees. They appeared to have all the advantages of the so-called good life and yet something deranged them to the point of deciding to fly planes into buildings.

What do you think that missing ingredient is?

FT1/SS
Virginia Beach, VA

Old news, this was shared in the military two decades ago.

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