Thursday, October 18, 2007

Culture Briefs: Knowing the enemy

by Ariel Cohen from Policy Review

"Western democracies and their political and military leaders do not fully comprehend the multifaceted threats represented by radical Muslim nonstate actors. In this, they violate the most famous dictum of Sun Tzu, the Chinese strategic genius of 2,500 years ago: 'If you know yourself and understand your opponent, you will never put your victory in jeopardy in any conflict.' ... "The Bush administration lost valuable time before it finally defined radical Islam as the premier national security threat in October 2005. Initially in the post-9/11 period, the president targeted 'evildoers' and "terrorism' as the enemy. Moreover, Islam was declared a 'religion of peace' and Saudi Arabia, which has spent the last 30 years spreading its Wahhabi/Salafi gospel, was labeled as 'our friend.' Unsurprisingly, the nation and the military were somewhat disoriented."

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