Glenn Carle: Separating Jihadists fact and fiction
Carle dares to write, "Separating Jihadists fact and fiction"
the history of mankind, insecure men have found their false security in
rattling up others, they have been wrong and will continue to err. You cannot
have security when others around you are not; neither can you have peace when
Neocons believe in keeping the Americans frightened, and when we are
vulnerable, they get away doing things that are not in the interest of our
nation. Their polices have done nothing but destruction around the World and
they have figured out the formula very well; to rule, you have to keep the
public scared all the times and it is okay to manufacture the facts and tread
like the 6 o'clock news, for 20 minutes all you see is murder, robbery, arson
and other evils of the society, it is indeed a minute tiny speck of the truth
but not the whole truth. Because you, your family members and your friends have
made back home safely. Terrorism is there, but much of it is cooked up by the
Neocons and their bonded media men. It is time to dare the scare.
Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer.
He is president of the Foundation
for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local
television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the
founding president of World
Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good
for the world. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found
on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. Mike is a Dallasite
for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com
Glenn Carle: Separating Jihadists fact and fiction
12:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
L. Carle, a member of the CIA's Clandestine Service for 23 years, retired in
March 2007 as deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats.
Sen. John McCain has repeatedly characterized the threat
of "radical Islamic extremism" as "the absolute gravest threat
... that we're in against." Before we simply accept this, we need to
examine the nature of the terrorist threat facing our country. If we do so, we
will see how we have allowed the specter of that threat to distort our lives
and take our treasure.
The "Global War on Terror" has conjured the
image of terrorists behind every bush, the bushes themselves burning and an
angry god inciting its faithful to religious war. The inclination to trust our
leaders when they warn of danger is compelling, particularly when the specters
of mushroom clouds and jihadists haunt every debate.
In my 23 years in the CIA, I drafted or was involved in
many of the government's most senior assessments of the threats facing our
country. I have devoted years to understanding and combating the jihadist
From that experience base, I suggest that the next
commander in chief base his counterterrorism policies on the following
• We do not face a global jihadist "movement,"
but a series of disparate ethnic and religious conflicts involving Muslim
populations, each of which remains fundamentally regional in nature and almost
all of which long predate the existence of al-Qaeda.
Osama bin Laden and his disciples are small men and
secondary threats whose shadows are made large by our fears. Al-Qaeda is the
only global jihadist organization and is the only Islamic terrorist
organization that targets the U.S. homeland.
Al-Qaeda remains capable of striking here and is plotting
from its redoubt in Waziristan, Pakistan. The organization, however, has only a
handful of individuals capable of planning, organizing and leading a terrorist
operation. Al-Qaeda threatens to use chemical, biological, radiological or
nuclear weapons, but its capabilities are far inferior to its desires.
Even the "loose nuke" threat, whose consequences
would be horrific, has a very low probability. For the medium term, any attack
is overwhelmingly likely to consist of creative uses of conventional
• No other Islamic-based terrorist organization targets
the U.S. homeland, is part of a "global jihadist movement," or has
more than passing contact with al-Qaeda. These groups do and will, however,
identify themselves with global jihadist rhetoric and may bandy the
bogey-phrase of "al-Qaeda." They are motivated by hostility toward
the West and fear of the irresistible changes that education, trade and
economic and social development are causing in their cultures.
These regional terrorist organizations may target U.S.
interests or persons in the groups' historic areas of interest and operations.
None of these groups is likely to succeed in seizing power or in destabilizing
the societies they attack, though they may succeed in killing numerous people
through sporadic attacks such as the Madrid train bombings.
• There are and will continue to be small numbers of
Muslims in certain Western countries – in the dozens, perhaps – who seek to
commit terrorist acts, along the lines of the British citizens behind the 2005
London subway and bus bombings. Some may have irregular contact with al-Qaeda
central in Waziristan; more will act as free agents for their imagined cause.
We need to catch and neutralize these people. But they do not represent a
global movement or a global threat.
The threat from Islamic terrorism is no larger now than it
was before Sept. 11, 2001. Islamic societies the world over are in turmoil and
will continue for years to produce small numbers of dedicated killers, whom we
must stop. U.S. and allied intelligence do a good job at that; these efforts,
however, will never succeed in neutralizing every terrorist everywhere.
We must not delude ourselves about the nature of the
terrorist threat to our country. We must not take fright at the specter our
leaders have exaggerated. In fact, we must see jihadists for the small, lethal,
disjointed and miserable opponents that they are.
Glenn L. Carle, a member of the CIA's Clandestine Service
for 23 years, retired in March 2007 as deputy national intelligence officer for
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