Why the West is Losing
By Eric Margolis
The Toronto Sun
Sunday 12 September 2004
Three years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, America's politicians
and media continue to gravely deceive the public about the so-called
war on terrorism.
Now the definitive book on terrorism has appeared that should be
mandatory reading for every thinking person. It's called Imperial
Hubris: Why The West is Losing the War on Terror.
The cover simply identifies the author as "Anonymous," but he's
already been widely identified in the American media as Michael
Scheuer, a senior terrorism analyst for the CIA.
It is unprecedented that a serving CIA officer was allowed to publish
a book, one that is clearly a dramatic rebuke to the neoconservatives
who drove the U.S. into two wars.
Scheuer's work is a goldmine of information and brilliant analysis. It
breaks taboos and sweeps away the clouds of lies about al-Qaida, Iraq
and Afghanistan. He says U.S. leaders refuse to accept the obvious --
"we are fighting a worldwide Islamic insurgency -- not criminality or
The U.S. has made only "a modest dent in enemy forces."
None of bin Laden's reasons for waging war on the U.S., writes
Scheuer, "have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy
(as President George Bush claims), but everything to do with U.S.
policies and actions in the Muslim world," notably unlimited support
for Israel's repression of the Palestinians and the destruction of
"For cheap, easily accessible oil, Washington and the West have
supported Muslim tyrannies (Osama) bin Laden and other Islamists seek
to destroy," Scheuer writes. "The war has the potential to last beyond
our children's lifetimes and be fought mostly on U.S. soil."
A Coup for bin Laden
Bin Laden, argues Scheuer, is widely viewed by much of the Muslim
world, infuriated by American actions in the Mideast, as neither a
terrorist or madman but as a skilled warrior, the sole Muslim leader
standing up to predatory western powers.
Ironically U.S. and British military intervention in Afghanistan and
Iraq "are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world," a prime
bin Laden goal.
Bush's misbegotten invasion of Iraq was "icing on bin Laden's cake."
The threat today facing America "is the defensive jihad (holy
struggle), an Islamic military reaction triggered by an attack by
non-Muslims on the Islamic faith, on Muslims, on Muslim territory."
Muslims are increasingly fighting back.
The Muslim world believes it is under total attack led by Bush -- a
massive effort to crush all who oppose U.S. domination, destroy
Islam's inherent political role, eliminate Muslim charities, impose
western values on the Islamic world and maintain puppet rulers --
"spreading democracy" in Bush's lexicon. Terrorism is merely the
tactics of the poor fighting the rich.
The Ultimate Taboo
"U.S. military operations in the Muslim world," he adds, "validate bin
Laden's contention the U.S. is attacking Islam and supports any
country willing to kill or persecute Muslims."
Scheuer, breaking the ultimate taboo, observes of Washington's
"one-way alliance" with Israel that "Israelis have succeeded in lacing
tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to the ... Jewish state
and its policies."
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are lost causes, Scheuer concludes.
The U.S. is totally unable to create legitimate governments in either
chaotic nation, only puppet regimes, supported by American bayonets.
If the U.S. stays, it will bleed endlessly; if it retreats, it faces
Washington, he charges, has no strategy and is merely "winging it."
In one of his most acute insights, Scheuer explains the U.S. cannot,
for all of its riches, buy its way to victory in Afghanistan or Iraq.
"Honour is still the currency of value in the Middle East, more so
than goods and services."
Blood-links trump all other affiliations or loyalties.
Honour is why the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden to the U.S.,
a man they regarded as their guest and a war hero, and why he has
still not been betrayed in spite of a $25-million US reward in a
nation where the annual income is $147.
At least there is one person in Washington who understands the
violence surrounding us -- and has the courage and patriotism to tell
Americans the truth: Their own arrogance and ignorance are driving
them into a no-win war against 1.3 billion Muslims.