Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror

Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror


    Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror that we are, in fact, losing the war on terror Further, until US leaders recognize the errant path they have irresponsibly chosen, he says, our enemies will only grow stronger According to the author Michael Scheuer, the greatest danger for Americans confronting the Islamist threat is to believe at the urging of US leaders that Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than for what we do Blustering political rhetoric informs the public that the Islamists are offended by the Western world s democratic freedoms, civil liberties, inter mingling of genders, and separation of church and state However, although aspects of the modern world may offend conservative Muslims, no Islamist leader has fomented jihad to destroy participatory democracy, for example, the national association of credit unions, or coed universities Instead, a growing segment of the Islamic world strenuously disapproves of specific US policies and their attendant military, political, and economic implications Capitalizing on growing anti US animosity, Osama bin Laden s genius lies not simply in calling for jihad, but in articulating a consistent and convincing case that Islam is under attack by America Al Qaeda s public statements condemn America s protection of corrupt Muslim regimes, unqualified support for Israel, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a further litany of real world grievances Bin Laden s supporters thus identify their problem and believe their solution lies in war Scheuer contends they will go to any length, not to destroy our secular, democratic way of life, but to deter what they view as specific attacks on their lands, their communities, and their religion Unless US leaders recognize this fact and adjust their policies abroad accordingly, even moderate Muslims will join the bin Laden camp."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 309 pages
  • Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror
  • Michael Scheuer
  • English
  • 15 January 2017
  • 1574888498

10 thoughts on “Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror

  1. Matthew Matthew says:

    A Muslim, native Pakistani law professor of mine published an article which paralleled one of the main observations of this book, and it is an observation which I agree with wholeheartedly As my law professor wrote, America s discourse on Islamic terrorism is couched in language which portrays the terrorists as essentialist terrorists The language used both explicitly and implicitly denies that the those who use violence in such manners have any reason for doing what they do whether such re A Muslim, native Pakistani law professor of mine published an article which paralleled one of the main observations of this book, and it is an observation which I agree with wholeheartedly As my law professor wrote, America s discourse on Islamic terrorism is couched in language which portrays the terrorists as essentialist terrorists The language used both explicitly and implicitly denies that the those who use violence in such manners have any reason for doing what they do whether such reasons are valid or not is a separate inquiry never reached by those characterizing terrorists as essentialist terrorists Instead, terrorists are labeled as crazy, evil, or just plain violent To treat them this way is to suggest that these people somehow operate fundamentally differently, psychologically, than we ourselves do a patently absurd concept When we engage in actions, it is so ridiculously common to attribute a cause to our actions as to make the assertion that we NOT do so a thesis so controversial as to raise hundreds of articles in journals devoted to philosophy of the mind This folk psychology is simple, common sense, and used by basically everyone All it amounts to is this Action I opened my backpack and pulled out a notebook.Reason I wanted to take some notes in my notebook.Action Sally got a glass of water.Reason Thomas asked Sally if she might fetch him a glass of water.When we deny that terrorists also have reasons for their actions, we deny that their minds work like ours, making them easy to demonize as being sub human It also denies the fact that virtually every terrorist tells us, explicitly and in surprising detail exactly WHY they felt the need to do the things that they did what they feel their reasons are When we demonize the enemy and deny that they have any reason for doing what they are doing, we fundamentally fail to reach the grounds by which the conflict can be brought to a halt discussing with them their reasons, finding out whether those reasons are valid, and doing something about those reasons if they are.For laying out that amazingly simple thesis a thesis surprisingly lacking in most American political discourse in recent years this book earns some hefty praise


  2. Maria Andreu Maria Andreu says:

    Why do I do this to myself I am a few chapters in, and I am completely frustrated all over again by the things we as a nation are doing around the world Imperial Hubris is the well written, slightly angry and fed up book by intelligence official Michael Scheuer that outlines not just the broad strokes of why our Middle East policy is going so wrong, but the subtle cultural and political nuances our leaders completely missed.More to come when I m done with it.


  3. Jerome Jerome says:

    Dated at this point Adherents of Catch Phrase spouting, Chronic Labelist conservatism have entirely missed the point of the book Mikey Scheuer, in this babbling buffoonistic tome that not only gives aid and comfort to our enemies but also to the usual Blame America Hate Israel goons gathered around the Soros Moore MoveOn.Org kool aid pail, chooses to blame American Middle East policies and our support of Israel for why Osama is mad at us With Imperial Hubris, Anonymous who we now know Dated at this point Adherents of Catch Phrase spouting, Chronic Labelist conservatism have entirely missed the point of the book Mikey Scheuer, in this babbling buffoonistic tome that not only gives aid and comfort to our enemies but also to the usual Blame America Hate Israel goons gathered around the Soros Moore MoveOn.Org kool aid pail, chooses to blame American Middle East policies and our support of Israel for why Osama is mad at us With Imperial Hubris, Anonymous who we now know as fomer CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA s bin Laden Issue Station Alec Statiom gives us a piece of his mind on the failings of the United States to deal adequately with the problem of radical Islam The result is an incredibly long winded, horribly written, rambling piece full of contradictions.This book suffers most noticeably from poor editing It is repetitive to the point of being downright annoying Awkward, unclear sentences and rambling passages make it all the worse Schueur s heavy reliance on newspaper and magazine articles give his work an air of psuedo scholarship but only an air While it is true that his project was to demonstrate that the US government has not done its homework by checking publicly available information, Schueur s use of the writings of journalists as un challenged truth is problematic.Most troubling are Schueur s contradictory recommendations While he states that radical Islamists hate the United States for its detrimental Middle East policies, with the exception of changing our reliance on Middle East oil, he never really recommends that the US alter its foreign policy Instead, he calls on the US tofully engage in the war in which it is embroiled even if it does not yet believe it is at war Schueur repeats over and over again that Muslims hate America lumping all Muslims together, by the way because of its hurtful policies, and then states that the best way to win this war is to pull a Sherman on the Middle East and raze the physical and economic infrastructure of Islam I m not an expert on the Middle East by any means, but that sure sounds like way to engender a lot of hatred.Lastly, and perhaps this is being picky, but Schueur has read entirely too much Civil War history, and has an annoying habit of making sketchy analogies between that war and this one Sherman, Lee, Lincoln, or Grant make an appearance on nearly ever page, or so it seems It gives the entire work an air of buff history and makes it seem like the ramblings of a self important yet neatly self effacing bitter civil servant.Broadly the book is a criticism of not only current US policy but also US perceptions of the threat faced by Bin Laden Some commentators have argued that Sept 11 has resulted in the disgust felt by conservative Muslims at US society its moral looseness and free enterprise tradition Scheuer effectively shows that this is piffle and the real motivation behind Bin Laden s movement is that of a defensive Jihad He has been able to convince the Muslim world that America has meddled and continues to meddle with the freedom of those who believe in Islam Scheuer argues that the United States unquestioning support of Israel, its support of corrupt non democratic regimes in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the issues which have galvanised terrorists rather than mini skirts and re runs of Sex and the City.Scheuer seems to be a conservative who admires Reagan and his criticism of the Neo Cons who have supported the attacks of Afghanistan and Iraq reflects America s isolationist history rather than do good leftism He quotes historical thinkers who argued against America being caught up in crusades and suggest that foreign policy should be limited to national interest Scheuer thinks that the suggestion that a democratic regime can be established in Afghanistan is a fantasy In fact he thinks that both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq have been huge propaganda wins for Bin Laden.The problem with a lot of what he says is that it is largely speculative One of the most repeated beliefs of the author is the assertion that America will find itself in the same position that the Soviet Union did in Afghanistan There are a number of arguments advanced to suggest that this will happen The first is that the American sponsored invasion to remove the Taliban succeeded but it destroyed only a small number of Taliban fighters and none of the leadership That the leader who has been supported by America is secular, is supportive of women s rights and supports an American notion of representative democracy The majority of Afghans are deeply religious, they do not support western secularism and apart from those who live in the capital none have much of an affinity for the rights of women Lastly the majority of the people of Afghanistan are Pashtans The Taliban was a Pashtan dominated organisation but the current rulers of Afghanistan are members of minority tribes who formed the Northern Alliance Now it may well be that the Taliban leaders who survived might be able to mount a successful insurgency based on resentment by the majority of Afghans about the imposition of a secular state by the Americans On the other hand maybe it will not happen The fight against the Soviets was bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US Weapons were paid for by the US and supplied through Pakistan Large numbers of Arab volunteers many from Saudi Arabia travelled through Pakistan to fight against the Soviets In the war which saw the Taliban achieve dominance Pakistan supplied weapons and volunteers which enabled them to win.The current climate is unlikely to see any of the major powers support the remnants of the Taliban with weapons and logistical assistance One thus wonders if a resistance is possible The reality is that rather than speculate it isappropriate to look at what is happening on the ground However this book contains little information about the level of insurgency which is going on in Afghanistan at the moment and the book remains a theoretical work As such it is hard to say that the book has supported the assertion that the West is losing the war on terror The book does however present a compelling case to say that the war on terror has become sidetracked by the invasion of Iraq and the focus on terror rather than on Islamic insurgency directed against the US is counter productive Suggesting that terror is the problem rather than one form of insurgency has shackled the US to supporting Russia and China in two dirty domestic wars Other writers have suggested that following the Sept 11 attacks the United States set in chain the location and breaking up of El Qaeda Cells Across the world arrests were made not only by the US but by the British, German and French Governments Safe houses were closed down, bank accounts frozen It would be interesting to know how the tide is going and whether Bin Laden has the same ability now that he had in 2001 This book does not convincingly suggest that he has .Scheuer yammers away repeatedly about Bin Laden s limited goals, and justifies this view with an egregious and often fictitious list of grievances which includes America s purchase of Muslim oil at below market prices pp xi xviii, 210, 212, 258, American support for Serbs against Bosnian Muslims p 130, Israel s ambition to extend its borders to the Euphrates p 14 Scheuer rightly condemns tyrannical Arab governments currently supported or recognized by the U.S., but he utters not a single word of criticism against the kind of alternative government groups like Al Qaeda have in mind Consequently, he notes without a hint of irony how these governments oppress Muslims trying to install Sharia law p 12 and praises the Taliban for giving Afghanistan what he believed to be this country s first chance at peace and security p 33.Huh The Taliban gave Afghanistan security I hear time and time again from the news media, and from those who parrot what they say, that before the Taliban rose to power Afghanistan was in a state of chaos and anarchy In this Hobbesian state of nature yes political philosophers, I acknowledge the popular misinterpretation of Hobbesian , brutality and misery abounded But when the Taliban appeared out of nowhere the people rejoiced and basked in the security provided by the benevolent religious students To sum up, with less sarcasm and hyperbole, many journalists and commentators believe that a war weary population universally terrorized by warlords and militias throughout Afghanistan welcomed the Taliban and the security they provided.However, the facts on the ground contradict this ridiculous lie I call it a ridiculous lie because the pre Taliban chaos myth is basically Pakistani ISI and Taliban propaganda Further, The US State Department actually helped promote this propaganda William Maley notes the US State department had responded to the Taliban takeover of Kabul in a way which was frightening in its sheer naivet .So what is my argument It is the same argument that has a high level of consensus among those who have Afghanistan included in their claimed areas of expertise that the vast majority of the country was not in a state of anarchy.So where was there anarchy Actually just in Kandahar city and the surrounding area According the Anthony Davis this was the only part of the south where chaos and anrchy were endemic Davis notes the later tendency to portray the religious students as having swept the south on a wave of popular adulation with scarcely a shot being fired has strayed from the factual record Davis goes on to analyze the areas outside of the Kandahar region in most other areas the Taliban laid down ultimata and fought their way into regions that were at peace, and in many instances Qari Baba s Ghazni and Ismail Khan s Herat recognized as being relatively well administered Ironically, administration, services and schooling in these regions were far in advance of anything delivered by the Taliban Their energies were focused exclusively on war.What is indisputable is that Herat and western Afghanistan, Mazar i Sharif, Kunduz, Taloqan and the entire north, Bamiyan and the Hazarajat, The Shomali Plains, the Panjshir, as well as many other cities and regions were not in need of rescue by the Taliban And the Taliban rescue of many of these areas was quite strange indeed In Mazar i Sharif the Taliban raped and murdered thousands of civilians, with the Hazaras being specifically targeted, but with Tajiks and Uzbeks also being victimized The Taliban commanders who took Mazar claimed that Taliban leader Mullah Omar had given them permission to take revenge and carry out massacre for two hours They turned a couple of hours into several days In general, during the northern campaigns Taliban soldiers targeted and killed Uzbeks and other civilians in what UN investigators say were ethnically motivated actions.Before the arrival of the Taliban much of the north was run by Rashid Dostum Before the Taliban invaded, the north was mostly unaffected by the civil war Dostum s area of control in the northwest had commercial relations with Central Asia, functioning schools, as well as thriving local media Shahrani 2002 719 By 1997 Dostum was collecting taxes as well as operating a legal courts system Dostum even printed bank notes between 1994 and 1996 Dostum s administration also operated health and educational systems, including the only functioning university in Afghanistan at the time The administration was relatively effective because Dostum had left in place most of the administrative structures in its areas of control remaining from the Soviet era.Conrad Schetter puts Dostum s area of control in the same category as Ismail Khan s Dostum and Ismail Khan actually had administrative structures on a broad regional basis, albeit fragile They were not just a city or valley stronghold Another stable area was Rabbani s area of control in Badakhshan But I won t get into a discussion here since I am a little short on sources for the north east.So how about the Hazaras I would argue that the Hazarajat was not in any state of anarchy And according to Human Rights Watch, the Hazaras were most unappreciative of the benevolent Taliban rescuing them from anarchy I guess that s why the 2001 HRW report is titled Massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan OK, so the Hazaras and Uzbeks had relative security before the Taliban and did not welcome the Taliban s arrival How about Tajiks Well, stable and prosperous Herat has been dealt with How about the Panjshiri Tajiks They revere Massoud and hated hate the Taliban The only conflict in the Panjshir was when the Taliban would aerial bomb the place And out in the Shomali plains the Taliban followed a scorched earth policy Orchards and crops were destroyed, houses burned, irrigation bulldozed, people executed, etc I m not even going to bother to come up with a citation for this It is a universally acknowledged fact that the Taliban destroyed the area.But I will cite one story, the story of the Taliban s sex slave trade in girls, particularly Tajik girls from Shomali plains It s sickening According to the UN, The State Department, and other sources, Tajik girls from Taloqan and the Shomali plains as well as Hazara girls from Mazar were sold as sex slaves to Pakistani and Arab brothels Dubai in particular There are also human trafficking NGOs who have good info on this.Well, on to thecomplicated issue of Kabul Kabul was most definitely not in a state of anarchy as was Kandahar But you will probably point out that there was factional fighting that claimed many lives in Kabul This is true However, it was less true by the time the Taliban arrived The lines of control had mostly stabilized We could argue over the meaning of anarchy until we are blue in the face So I ll move to the perception of the Taliban by Kabulis Taliban fighters believed their own propaganda and were surprised and disappointed that Kabulis did not view them favourably as had Kandaharis The minorities strongly opposed the Pashtun Taliban The non Pashtuns and many Pashtun as well viewed the Taliban s idea of a state to be extremely violent, intolerant and primitive Rais 1999 6 So in a bid to win over Kabulis the Taliban rocketed Kabul s civilian areas Long gone were the days of Taliban moral ascendancy when their leaders had vowed they would never rocket civilian populations.I ll leave it to William Maley to sum up the Taliban s campaign in a paraphrase of Tacitus While the Taliban attempted to legitimate their power by reference to their provision of security , with the passage of time it became clear that.they had made a wilderness and called it peace.So why does this myth persist I would guess it is a combination of several factors 1 Poor journalism 2 Deliberately deceptive journalism 3 Successful early Taliban and Pakistani ISI propaganda 4 Domestic political priorities in Europe, USA and Canada whereby people will use anything to attack their political opposition i.e., The Taliban delivered security but you can t do that even after 6 years in the country 5 Islamists outside Afghanistan who champion the Taliban as a way of voicing protest against Western and Middle Eastern government s policies 6 Intellectual laziness.To help his readers better appreciate the Muslim perspective p 125 126 Scheuer stoops to some of the worst kind of moral relativism I would argue that Bin Laden believes in the same moral universe as Abraham Lincoln , and that Muslims love, respect, and support him because he speaks and defends that reality This is not the kind of talk one would expect from a self styled conservative, much less a Catholic Given Scheuer s failure to distinguish between the religious values of Lincoln and Bin Laden, it s no small wonder that this book is so popular among hard leftists who regard Evangelical Christians opposing gay marriage as no better than Muslim supremacists who think homosexuals should be killed.Scheuer justifies the defensive nature of the current jihad by virtue of Al Qaeda s support for insurgencies that only involve land once ruled by Muslims, but anyone who has seriously perused through a world history book knows that Spain, India, and much of Eastern Europe were all Muslim territory at one time In fact, Bin Laden has repeatedly expressed an interest in Al Andalus Moorish Spain Nonetheless, Scheuer reassures his readers early in the book that expansionist or offensive jihad is no longer a problem because it can only be executed under the authority of a caliph, and that the caliphate was abolished in 1924 And yet, it is Scheuer himself who acknowledges Bin Laden s goal of re establishing the caliphate across the entire Muslim world I find it profoundly disturbing that a former high level agent can succumb to this level of cognitive dissonance How manynuts like Michael Scheuer are still in the CIA He contradicts himself saying bin Laden doesn t really care about what is going on outside of the Middle East but says also that bin Laden and basically all Muslims are interested in world domination He says bin Laden offered to show Americans the correct Islamic way and since we turned him down by not jumping at the chance not rushing to Mosques to be instructed in the Islamic way, not grabbing up those burkas and Korans we are going to be terrorized insurgensized till we take down those crosses, get on those veils and get down on our prayer rugs We are going to have our buildings and landmarks destroyed we are going to be infected with terrible things anthrax and we are going to be irradiated and incinerated in short order as soon as bin Laden can come up with the stuff he needs and a good workable plan Scary I mean it He somehow claims Britain, not Turkey s first secular leader, Atat rk, abolished the Caliphate in 1924 For someone claiming Middle Eastern CIA analyst expertise, that s a credibility damaging error in my book.Some views of the author are too bizarre to belong to analyst He repeatedly claims that America supports Saudi and Kuwaiti monarchs to keep the oil price below market level It is well known, however, that thanks to OPEC cartel efforts, crude price is actually much above the market level.Boiled down to a 50 page manifesto, this work may have offered something As it currently stands, it offers little Thoughtful Americans have been grappling with the issues Schueur raises for years now Unthoughtful ones will likely never read the book And government officials are too caught up in their myopic worldview to ever change


  4. Stephen Stephen says:

    This book is still worth reading, for its often stunning prescience as well as the snapshot it offers of the particularly crazy time in America s public life surrounding the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath The author seems to buy into the clash of civilizations thesis, as evidenced by his references to authors like Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington He has a rather old fashioned and quixotic Reaganite conservatism that wavers between militarism and isolationism Ultimately I find his pos This book is still worth reading, for its often stunning prescience as well as the snapshot it offers of the particularly crazy time in America s public life surrounding the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath The author seems to buy into the clash of civilizations thesis, as evidenced by his references to authors like Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington He has a rather old fashioned and quixotic Reaganite conservatism that wavers between militarism and isolationism Ultimately I find his position incoherent On the one hand he argues that the Islamic world is angered by America s actions rather than by its values, and then goes on propose a war to the knife against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, an action which would seemingly enrage the Islamic world all theI think he vastly overestimates the danger of Al Qaeda and of Islamism in general, which while a challenge, is hardly an existential threat to the US Although it is a challenge that holds forth an existential mirror reflecting back America s own crisis of vision and morality


  5. Anthony Anthony says:

    this is a great book It s somewhat lengthy but it s very insightful Scheuer s book got me started on my own book Dioxinomics The Myth of Superpower in the Age of Dioxin to address the huge fallacy that a total war can quash so called terrorism.Many Thanks for writing this.


  6. Dawn Dawn says:

    So my first review disappeared Yes, this is dated, but I forgot it was on my history shelf The edition I have doesn t have Michael s name on it I also have no desire to see if he made any corrections, despite his claim of not writing another book or making any corrections Finding out who wrote this explains a lot Scheuer who left the CIA in 1999 relies on his personal opinions, newspaper articles ironically enough , and other public sources for this I will admit that I did learn at lea So my first review disappeared Yes, this is dated, but I forgot it was on my history shelf The edition I have doesn t have Michael s name on it I also have no desire to see if he made any corrections, despite his claim of not writing another book or making any corrections Finding out who wrote this explains a lot Scheuer who left the CIA in 1999 relies on his personal opinions, newspaper articles ironically enough , and other public sources for this I will admit that I did learn at least a few things I didn t already know, but it wasn t worth the aggravation He babbles on incoherently and repeats himself quite a bit, as if trying to remember where he lost his train of thought or trying to figure out how to make his point I ve seen quite a few reviews complain about his use and comparisons between these events and the Civil War History does repeat itself, but some comparisons just don t quite work Many examples are these I honestly don t know what kind of analyst he was I can t imagine a very good one based on his opinions It s clear that he doesn t quite understand Islam, or if he does, he allows his own opinions to cloud his judgment at least in the book In the beginning he attempts to claim that Bin Laden is just a devout Muslim, how basically, all Muslims are the same they live, breathe, and love God his words , and it s our policies that are going to turn all of them against us Essentially, meet one Muslim, you ve met them all, and that includes Bin Laden But somehow, Christians are different Take the powerful Evangelical leaders who have been blasting Islam, for instance They don t represent all Christians, yet they do, because all Muslims around the world listen to what they have to say and it pisses them off Or Catholics They had the Crusades and some Christians don t consider them Christians Or Protestants They re different I ll let you figure it out And my personal favorite among all the reasons Al Qaeda hates us is our manipulation of oil prices and support of conservative Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt for the way they rule and practice Yet also mentions the different sects throughout Afghanistan in several places when attempting to explain the history and why setting up a Democratic government is a horrible idea Even quite a bit of his history of the war against the Soviet Union, the mujahideen, and the rise of the Taliban had serious errors He also berates the government for reacting too slow, for even invading both Afghanistan and Iraq, but also goes on to give the opinion that we should have and should still, given the time it was written , just level Afghanistan But doesn t offer any real solutions I do agree with him that our intelligence communities failed when it came to 9 11, which he seemed to forget a plane went down in PA Overall, I kept wanting to put this book downokay, give up throw it across the room, but I m stubborn and have OCD At least I can say I learned something and may have found a few decent history reads, but I think I ll vet those a little better Well, besides who actually wrote the book


  7. Jerry Smith Jerry Smith says:

    I have to be honest in that I didn t finish this book since I moved onto others that werepressing to me I received this book from a friend and it hasn t aged terribly well to be honest The World has moved on since this was written and we were still talking about a war on terror whereas we are now apparently fighting a war on coronavirus It s pretty apparent that there were problems with looking at terrorism as a war when it is essentially a criminal act and should be dealt with acco I have to be honest in that I didn t finish this book since I moved onto others that werepressing to me I received this book from a friend and it hasn t aged terribly well to be honest The World has moved on since this was written and we were still talking about a war on terror whereas we are now apparently fighting a war on coronavirus It s pretty apparent that there were problems with looking at terrorism as a war when it is essentially a criminal act and should be dealt with accordingly I will come back to this but as I say, written over 10 years ago, its relevance has declined somewhat


  8. Jim Jim says:

    The edition I read of this book was written in 2004, and Michael Scheuer, the author, was not identified in the book, but rather the author was named Anonymous Despite the fact that this book is now 10 years old and that it has been several years since United States forces found and killed Osama bin Laden, the conclusions raised in this book remain valid Bin Laden was not a terrorist, but the leader of an Islamic insurgency, which was waging jihad against the United States in defense of Islam The edition I read of this book was written in 2004, and Michael Scheuer, the author, was not identified in the book, but rather the author was named Anonymous Despite the fact that this book is now 10 years old and that it has been several years since United States forces found and killed Osama bin Laden, the conclusions raised in this book remain valid Bin Laden was not a terrorist, but the leader of an Islamic insurgency, which was waging jihad against the United States in defense of Islam This defensive jihad is promoted by the Quran and the writings of Mohammed and, therefore, are the responsibility of every Muslim Bin Laden and his followers do not hate the United States because of our belief in democracy and freedom They hate the U.S because of its policies, which they perceive as threats to the core of Islam These policies include support for Israel that keeps the Palestinians in poverty and stateless the presence of U.S and Western troops on the Saudi peninsula, the home of Islam s two most revered sites Mecca and Medina the U.S occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan support for Russia, China and India in their fights with indigenous Muslims Chechnya, the Uighurs of Western China, and the Muslims of Kashmir U.S pressure on Arab oil producing countries to artificially keep the price of oil low U.S support for apostate, corrupt and tyrannical Muslim governments.The author contends that until and unless the U.S changes its policies as listed above, it will remain in a costly in terms of bodies and money war with Islam jihadists And if it remains at war, then the U.S must wage war unrelentingly and accept that the war will result in substantive casualties, both American and Islamic both fighters and innocent bystanders.The author urges the U.S to review and reconsider the wisdom of the policies as they relate to the real self interests of the U.S acknowledge bin Laden and his followers for what they are fighters in defense of Islam be prepared for a protracted and costly war unless the policies for which the Muslims hate the U.S are altered.This is a book that should be required reading for all Americans If it were, the U.S might have a different view of its relationship with Israel, its relationships with Arab countries and its policy of energy self sufficiency


  9. James James says:

    A solid sequel to the author s first book, Through Our Enemies Eyes The author, a retired intelligence officer much of whose career was focused on Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, is eloquent and angry, and makes a persuasive argument that the approach America s leadership has taken to the conflict with Islamic fundamentalists worldwide has been worse than ineffective as he explains it, coming up with a worse set of responses would have been difficult if they d set out to do so.I was troubled b A solid sequel to the author s first book, Through Our Enemies Eyes The author, a retired intelligence officer much of whose career was focused on Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, is eloquent and angry, and makes a persuasive argument that the approach America s leadership has taken to the conflict with Islamic fundamentalists worldwide has been worse than ineffective as he explains it, coming up with a worse set of responses would have been difficult if they d set out to do so.I was troubled by the last part of the book, in which Mr Scheuer offered his thoughts on how we should respond to Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and other elements of the militant Islamic movement his prescription doesn t sound much different from the way the Russians behaved in Afghanistan andrecently in Chechnya and Georgia, or for that matter the way the Nazis responded to insurgencies Not only did that bloody minded approach ultimately fail wherever it was tried, it would be a betrayal of what we stand for We can and must beselective, as a power that is not willing to engage in genocide in the 21st century We are not Rome, and we can t make a desert and call it peace without losing ourselves.I don t claim to have a precise set of answers, and I would not presume to challenge this author s credentials in his field of expertise I agree with him that our conduct of the so called war on terror so far has been incompetent, but I don t believe his scorched earth plan would work either We have to keep looking for other ways to do this until we find somethingeffective that will not make the name of the U.S one that is remembered in the same context as the Third Reich and the U.S.S.R


  10. Jack Jack says:

    Thought provoking Originally I thought the book was a rant and or an outpouring of sympathy for Osama Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda Yes, we and our demand for cheap oil and the dictatorous countries that provide us the same oil created Muslim hatred for us Yes, our strategy lack thereof in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nightmare regimes we created was a boost for Muslim insurgency recruitment posters All very true Originally, I did not care for what I thought was an ex intelligence officer saying Thought provoking Originally I thought the book was a rant and or an outpouring of sympathy for Osama Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda Yes, we and our demand for cheap oil and the dictatorous countries that provide us the same oil created Muslim hatred for us Yes, our strategy lack thereof in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nightmare regimes we created was a boost for Muslim insurgency recruitment posters All very true Originally, I did not care for what I thought was an ex intelligence officer saying, I told you so However, later I realized many of his points were very sound 1 Al Qaeda is not our enemy Muslim insurgency recruiting from 1.4ish billion people most certainly is In other words, we face an army not a terrorist organization Stop using law enforcement to fight a global army 2 Do we need to continue to support Israel If Israel falls, what will happen in my backyard Nothing much probably 3 Do we need to prop up such nice folks as the Kuwaiti s and the Saudi s Not really, I agree 4 We need to develop our own energy self sufficiency Go nuke power I like it especially since I am a former nuclear trained type guy 5 Senior intel and military officers do not rock the boatthat will hurt those future lucrative retirement jobs Some may find these thoughts and discussions incredibly harsh Outrage may follow since that is what we do these dayswe get outraged at stuff However, the thinking is sound even though there is some tiresome monologue to deal with The book was written in 2004 Looking at the situation with the Syrian civil war and the growing power of ISIS and all the other terrorist organizations, his predictions unfortunately came true I enjoyed this one and hope you will too


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Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror➥ Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror Ebook ➫ Author Michael Scheuer – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Access a Comprehensive Bibliography Though US leaders try to convince the world of their success in fighting al Qaeda, one member of the US intelligence community would like to inform the public that Why the PDF ✓ Access a Comprehensive Bibliography Though US leaders try to convince Imperial Hubris: ePUB ´ the world of their success in fighting al Qaeda, one member Hubris: Why the Kindle Õ of the US intelligence community would like to inform the public that we are, in fact, losing the war on terror Further, until US leaders recognize the errant path they have irresponsibly chosen, he says, our enemies will only grow stronger According to the author Michael Scheuer, the greatest danger for Americans confronting the Islamist threat is to believe at the urging of US leaders that Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than for what we do Blustering political rhetoric informs the public that the Islamists are offended by the Western world s democratic freedoms, civil liberties, inter mingling of genders, and separation of church and state However, although aspects of the modern world may offend conservative Muslims, no Islamist leader has fomented jihad to destroy participatory democracy, for example, the national association of credit unions, or coed universities Instead, a growing segment of the Islamic world strenuously disapproves of specific US policies and their attendant military, political, and economic implications Capitalizing on growing anti US animosity, Osama bin Laden s genius lies not simply in calling for jihad, but in articulating a consistent and convincing case that Islam is under attack by America Al Qaeda s public statements condemn America s protection of corrupt Muslim regimes, unqualified support for Israel, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a further litany of real world grievances Bin Laden s supporters thus identify their problem and believe their solution lies in war Scheuer contends they will go to any length, not to destroy our secular, democratic way of life, but to deter what they view as specific attacks on their lands, their communities, and their religion Unless US leaders recognize this fact and adjust their policies abroad accordingly, even moderate Muslims will join the bin Laden camp.


About the Author: Michael Scheuer

Why the PDF ✓ Michael F Scheuer is a former CIA employee In his Imperial Hubris: ePUB ´ year career, he served as the Chief of the Bin Hubris: Why the Kindle Õ Laden Issue Station aka Alec Station , from to , the Osama bin Laden tracking unit at the Counterterrorist Center He then worked again as Special Advisor to the Chief of the bin Laden unit from September to November Scheuer resigned in He is currently a news analyst for CBS News and a terrorism analyst for The Jamestown Foundation s online publication Global Terrorism Analysis He also makes radio and television appearances and teaches a graduate level course on Al Qaeda at Georgetown University He also participates in conferences on terrorism and national security issues, such as the New America Foundation s December conference, Al Qaeda Transnational Terrorism After Source Wikipedia.


10 thoughts on “Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror

  1. Matthew Matthew says:

    A Muslim, native Pakistani law professor of mine published an article which paralleled one of the main observations of this book, and it is an observation which I agree with wholeheartedly As my law professor wrote, America s discourse on Islamic terrorism is couched in language which portrays the terrorists as essentialist terrorists The language used both explicitly and implicitly denies that the those who use violence in such manners have any reason for doing what they do whether such re A Muslim, native Pakistani law professor of mine published an article which paralleled one of the main observations of this book, and it is an observation which I agree with wholeheartedly As my law professor wrote, America s discourse on Islamic terrorism is couched in language which portrays the terrorists as essentialist terrorists The language used both explicitly and implicitly denies that the those who use violence in such manners have any reason for doing what they do whether such reasons are valid or not is a separate inquiry never reached by those characterizing terrorists as essentialist terrorists Instead, terrorists are labeled as crazy, evil, or just plain violent To treat them this way is to suggest that these people somehow operate fundamentally differently, psychologically, than we ourselves do a patently absurd concept When we engage in actions, it is so ridiculously common to attribute a cause to our actions as to make the assertion that we NOT do so a thesis so controversial as to raise hundreds of articles in journals devoted to philosophy of the mind This folk psychology is simple, common sense, and used by basically everyone All it amounts to is this Action I opened my backpack and pulled out a notebook.Reason I wanted to take some notes in my notebook.Action Sally got a glass of water.Reason Thomas asked Sally if she might fetch him a glass of water.When we deny that terrorists also have reasons for their actions, we deny that their minds work like ours, making them easy to demonize as being sub human It also denies the fact that virtually every terrorist tells us, explicitly and in surprising detail exactly WHY they felt the need to do the things that they did what they feel their reasons are When we demonize the enemy and deny that they have any reason for doing what they are doing, we fundamentally fail to reach the grounds by which the conflict can be brought to a halt discussing with them their reasons, finding out whether those reasons are valid, and doing something about those reasons if they are.For laying out that amazingly simple thesis a thesis surprisingly lacking in most American political discourse in recent years this book earns some hefty praise

  2. Maria Andreu Maria Andreu says:

    Why do I do this to myself I am a few chapters in, and I am completely frustrated all over again by the things we as a nation are doing around the world Imperial Hubris is the well written, slightly angry and fed up book by intelligence official Michael Scheuer that outlines not just the broad strokes of why our Middle East policy is going so wrong, but the subtle cultural and political nuances our leaders completely missed.More to come when I m done with it.

  3. Jerome Jerome says:

    Dated at this point Adherents of Catch Phrase spouting, Chronic Labelist conservatism have entirely missed the point of the book Mikey Scheuer, in this babbling buffoonistic tome that not only gives aid and comfort to our enemies but also to the usual Blame America Hate Israel goons gathered around the Soros Moore MoveOn.Org kool aid pail, chooses to blame American Middle East policies and our support of Israel for why Osama is mad at us With Imperial Hubris, Anonymous who we now know Dated at this point Adherents of Catch Phrase spouting, Chronic Labelist conservatism have entirely missed the point of the book Mikey Scheuer, in this babbling buffoonistic tome that not only gives aid and comfort to our enemies but also to the usual Blame America Hate Israel goons gathered around the Soros Moore MoveOn.Org kool aid pail, chooses to blame American Middle East policies and our support of Israel for why Osama is mad at us With Imperial Hubris, Anonymous who we now know as fomer CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA s bin Laden Issue Station Alec Statiom gives us a piece of his mind on the failings of the United States to deal adequately with the problem of radical Islam The result is an incredibly long winded, horribly written, rambling piece full of contradictions.This book suffers most noticeably from poor editing It is repetitive to the point of being downright annoying Awkward, unclear sentences and rambling passages make it all the worse Schueur s heavy reliance on newspaper and magazine articles give his work an air of psuedo scholarship but only an air While it is true that his project was to demonstrate that the US government has not done its homework by checking publicly available information, Schueur s use of the writings of journalists as un challenged truth is problematic.Most troubling are Schueur s contradictory recommendations While he states that radical Islamists hate the United States for its detrimental Middle East policies, with the exception of changing our reliance on Middle East oil, he never really recommends that the US alter its foreign policy Instead, he calls on the US tofully engage in the war in which it is embroiled even if it does not yet believe it is at war Schueur repeats over and over again that Muslims hate America lumping all Muslims together, by the way because of its hurtful policies, and then states that the best way to win this war is to pull a Sherman on the Middle East and raze the physical and economic infrastructure of Islam I m not an expert on the Middle East by any means, but that sure sounds like way to engender a lot of hatred.Lastly, and perhaps this is being picky, but Schueur has read entirely too much Civil War history, and has an annoying habit of making sketchy analogies between that war and this one Sherman, Lee, Lincoln, or Grant make an appearance on nearly ever page, or so it seems It gives the entire work an air of buff history and makes it seem like the ramblings of a self important yet neatly self effacing bitter civil servant.Broadly the book is a criticism of not only current US policy but also US perceptions of the threat faced by Bin Laden Some commentators have argued that Sept 11 has resulted in the disgust felt by conservative Muslims at US society its moral looseness and free enterprise tradition Scheuer effectively shows that this is piffle and the real motivation behind Bin Laden s movement is that of a defensive Jihad He has been able to convince the Muslim world that America has meddled and continues to meddle with the freedom of those who believe in Islam Scheuer argues that the United States unquestioning support of Israel, its support of corrupt non democratic regimes in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the issues which have galvanised terrorists rather than mini skirts and re runs of Sex and the City.Scheuer seems to be a conservative who admires Reagan and his criticism of the Neo Cons who have supported the attacks of Afghanistan and Iraq reflects America s isolationist history rather than do good leftism He quotes historical thinkers who argued against America being caught up in crusades and suggest that foreign policy should be limited to national interest Scheuer thinks that the suggestion that a democratic regime can be established in Afghanistan is a fantasy In fact he thinks that both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq have been huge propaganda wins for Bin Laden.The problem with a lot of what he says is that it is largely speculative One of the most repeated beliefs of the author is the assertion that America will find itself in the same position that the Soviet Union did in Afghanistan There are a number of arguments advanced to suggest that this will happen The first is that the American sponsored invasion to remove the Taliban succeeded but it destroyed only a small number of Taliban fighters and none of the leadership That the leader who has been supported by America is secular, is supportive of women s rights and supports an American notion of representative democracy The majority of Afghans are deeply religious, they do not support western secularism and apart from those who live in the capital none have much of an affinity for the rights of women Lastly the majority of the people of Afghanistan are Pashtans The Taliban was a Pashtan dominated organisation but the current rulers of Afghanistan are members of minority tribes who formed the Northern Alliance Now it may well be that the Taliban leaders who survived might be able to mount a successful insurgency based on resentment by the majority of Afghans about the imposition of a secular state by the Americans On the other hand maybe it will not happen The fight against the Soviets was bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US Weapons were paid for by the US and supplied through Pakistan Large numbers of Arab volunteers many from Saudi Arabia travelled through Pakistan to fight against the Soviets In the war which saw the Taliban achieve dominance Pakistan supplied weapons and volunteers which enabled them to win.The current climate is unlikely to see any of the major powers support the remnants of the Taliban with weapons and logistical assistance One thus wonders if a resistance is possible The reality is that rather than speculate it isappropriate to look at what is happening on the ground However this book contains little information about the level of insurgency which is going on in Afghanistan at the moment and the book remains a theoretical work As such it is hard to say that the book has supported the assertion that the West is losing the war on terror The book does however present a compelling case to say that the war on terror has become sidetracked by the invasion of Iraq and the focus on terror rather than on Islamic insurgency directed against the US is counter productive Suggesting that terror is the problem rather than one form of insurgency has shackled the US to supporting Russia and China in two dirty domestic wars Other writers have suggested that following the Sept 11 attacks the United States set in chain the location and breaking up of El Qaeda Cells Across the world arrests were made not only by the US but by the British, German and French Governments Safe houses were closed down, bank accounts frozen It would be interesting to know how the tide is going and whether Bin Laden has the same ability now that he had in 2001 This book does not convincingly suggest that he has .Scheuer yammers away repeatedly about Bin Laden s limited goals, and justifies this view with an egregious and often fictitious list of grievances which includes America s purchase of Muslim oil at below market prices pp xi xviii, 210, 212, 258, American support for Serbs against Bosnian Muslims p 130, Israel s ambition to extend its borders to the Euphrates p 14 Scheuer rightly condemns tyrannical Arab governments currently supported or recognized by the U.S., but he utters not a single word of criticism against the kind of alternative government groups like Al Qaeda have in mind Consequently, he notes without a hint of irony how these governments oppress Muslims trying to install Sharia law p 12 and praises the Taliban for giving Afghanistan what he believed to be this country s first chance at peace and security p 33.Huh The Taliban gave Afghanistan security I hear time and time again from the news media, and from those who parrot what they say, that before the Taliban rose to power Afghanistan was in a state of chaos and anarchy In this Hobbesian state of nature yes political philosophers, I acknowledge the popular misinterpretation of Hobbesian , brutality and misery abounded But when the Taliban appeared out of nowhere the people rejoiced and basked in the security provided by the benevolent religious students To sum up, with less sarcasm and hyperbole, many journalists and commentators believe that a war weary population universally terrorized by warlords and militias throughout Afghanistan welcomed the Taliban and the security they provided.However, the facts on the ground contradict this ridiculous lie I call it a ridiculous lie because the pre Taliban chaos myth is basically Pakistani ISI and Taliban propaganda Further, The US State Department actually helped promote this propaganda William Maley notes the US State department had responded to the Taliban takeover of Kabul in a way which was frightening in its sheer naivet .So what is my argument It is the same argument that has a high level of consensus among those who have Afghanistan included in their claimed areas of expertise that the vast majority of the country was not in a state of anarchy.So where was there anarchy Actually just in Kandahar city and the surrounding area According the Anthony Davis this was the only part of the south where chaos and anrchy were endemic Davis notes the later tendency to portray the religious students as having swept the south on a wave of popular adulation with scarcely a shot being fired has strayed from the factual record Davis goes on to analyze the areas outside of the Kandahar region in most other areas the Taliban laid down ultimata and fought their way into regions that were at peace, and in many instances Qari Baba s Ghazni and Ismail Khan s Herat recognized as being relatively well administered Ironically, administration, services and schooling in these regions were far in advance of anything delivered by the Taliban Their energies were focused exclusively on war.What is indisputable is that Herat and western Afghanistan, Mazar i Sharif, Kunduz, Taloqan and the entire north, Bamiyan and the Hazarajat, The Shomali Plains, the Panjshir, as well as many other cities and regions were not in need of rescue by the Taliban And the Taliban rescue of many of these areas was quite strange indeed In Mazar i Sharif the Taliban raped and murdered thousands of civilians, with the Hazaras being specifically targeted, but with Tajiks and Uzbeks also being victimized The Taliban commanders who took Mazar claimed that Taliban leader Mullah Omar had given them permission to take revenge and carry out massacre for two hours They turned a couple of hours into several days In general, during the northern campaigns Taliban soldiers targeted and killed Uzbeks and other civilians in what UN investigators say were ethnically motivated actions.Before the arrival of the Taliban much of the north was run by Rashid Dostum Before the Taliban invaded, the north was mostly unaffected by the civil war Dostum s area of control in the northwest had commercial relations with Central Asia, functioning schools, as well as thriving local media Shahrani 2002 719 By 1997 Dostum was collecting taxes as well as operating a legal courts system Dostum even printed bank notes between 1994 and 1996 Dostum s administration also operated health and educational systems, including the only functioning university in Afghanistan at the time The administration was relatively effective because Dostum had left in place most of the administrative structures in its areas of control remaining from the Soviet era.Conrad Schetter puts Dostum s area of control in the same category as Ismail Khan s Dostum and Ismail Khan actually had administrative structures on a broad regional basis, albeit fragile They were not just a city or valley stronghold Another stable area was Rabbani s area of control in Badakhshan But I won t get into a discussion here since I am a little short on sources for the north east.So how about the Hazaras I would argue that the Hazarajat was not in any state of anarchy And according to Human Rights Watch, the Hazaras were most unappreciative of the benevolent Taliban rescuing them from anarchy I guess that s why the 2001 HRW report is titled Massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan OK, so the Hazaras and Uzbeks had relative security before the Taliban and did not welcome the Taliban s arrival How about Tajiks Well, stable and prosperous Herat has been dealt with How about the Panjshiri Tajiks They revere Massoud and hated hate the Taliban The only conflict in the Panjshir was when the Taliban would aerial bomb the place And out in the Shomali plains the Taliban followed a scorched earth policy Orchards and crops were destroyed, houses burned, irrigation bulldozed, people executed, etc I m not even going to bother to come up with a citation for this It is a universally acknowledged fact that the Taliban destroyed the area.But I will cite one story, the story of the Taliban s sex slave trade in girls, particularly Tajik girls from Shomali plains It s sickening According to the UN, The State Department, and other sources, Tajik girls from Taloqan and the Shomali plains as well as Hazara girls from Mazar were sold as sex slaves to Pakistani and Arab brothels Dubai in particular There are also human trafficking NGOs who have good info on this.Well, on to thecomplicated issue of Kabul Kabul was most definitely not in a state of anarchy as was Kandahar But you will probably point out that there was factional fighting that claimed many lives in Kabul This is true However, it was less true by the time the Taliban arrived The lines of control had mostly stabilized We could argue over the meaning of anarchy until we are blue in the face So I ll move to the perception of the Taliban by Kabulis Taliban fighters believed their own propaganda and were surprised and disappointed that Kabulis did not view them favourably as had Kandaharis The minorities strongly opposed the Pashtun Taliban The non Pashtuns and many Pashtun as well viewed the Taliban s idea of a state to be extremely violent, intolerant and primitive Rais 1999 6 So in a bid to win over Kabulis the Taliban rocketed Kabul s civilian areas Long gone were the days of Taliban moral ascendancy when their leaders had vowed they would never rocket civilian populations.I ll leave it to William Maley to sum up the Taliban s campaign in a paraphrase of Tacitus While the Taliban attempted to legitimate their power by reference to their provision of security , with the passage of time it became clear that.they had made a wilderness and called it peace.So why does this myth persist I would guess it is a combination of several factors 1 Poor journalism 2 Deliberately deceptive journalism 3 Successful early Taliban and Pakistani ISI propaganda 4 Domestic political priorities in Europe, USA and Canada whereby people will use anything to attack their political opposition i.e., The Taliban delivered security but you can t do that even after 6 years in the country 5 Islamists outside Afghanistan who champion the Taliban as a way of voicing protest against Western and Middle Eastern government s policies 6 Intellectual laziness.To help his readers better appreciate the Muslim perspective p 125 126 Scheuer stoops to some of the worst kind of moral relativism I would argue that Bin Laden believes in the same moral universe as Abraham Lincoln , and that Muslims love, respect, and support him because he speaks and defends that reality This is not the kind of talk one would expect from a self styled conservative, much less a Catholic Given Scheuer s failure to distinguish between the religious values of Lincoln and Bin Laden, it s no small wonder that this book is so popular among hard leftists who regard Evangelical Christians opposing gay marriage as no better than Muslim supremacists who think homosexuals should be killed.Scheuer justifies the defensive nature of the current jihad by virtue of Al Qaeda s support for insurgencies that only involve land once ruled by Muslims, but anyone who has seriously perused through a world history book knows that Spain, India, and much of Eastern Europe were all Muslim territory at one time In fact, Bin Laden has repeatedly expressed an interest in Al Andalus Moorish Spain Nonetheless, Scheuer reassures his readers early in the book that expansionist or offensive jihad is no longer a problem because it can only be executed under the authority of a caliph, and that the caliphate was abolished in 1924 And yet, it is Scheuer himself who acknowledges Bin Laden s goal of re establishing the caliphate across the entire Muslim world I find it profoundly disturbing that a former high level agent can succumb to this level of cognitive dissonance How manynuts like Michael Scheuer are still in the CIA He contradicts himself saying bin Laden doesn t really care about what is going on outside of the Middle East but says also that bin Laden and basically all Muslims are interested in world domination He says bin Laden offered to show Americans the correct Islamic way and since we turned him down by not jumping at the chance not rushing to Mosques to be instructed in the Islamic way, not grabbing up those burkas and Korans we are going to be terrorized insurgensized till we take down those crosses, get on those veils and get down on our prayer rugs We are going to have our buildings and landmarks destroyed we are going to be infected with terrible things anthrax and we are going to be irradiated and incinerated in short order as soon as bin Laden can come up with the stuff he needs and a good workable plan Scary I mean it He somehow claims Britain, not Turkey s first secular leader, Atat rk, abolished the Caliphate in 1924 For someone claiming Middle Eastern CIA analyst expertise, that s a credibility damaging error in my book.Some views of the author are too bizarre to belong to analyst He repeatedly claims that America supports Saudi and Kuwaiti monarchs to keep the oil price below market level It is well known, however, that thanks to OPEC cartel efforts, crude price is actually much above the market level.Boiled down to a 50 page manifesto, this work may have offered something As it currently stands, it offers little Thoughtful Americans have been grappling with the issues Schueur raises for years now Unthoughtful ones will likely never read the book And government officials are too caught up in their myopic worldview to ever change

  4. Stephen Stephen says:

    This book is still worth reading, for its often stunning prescience as well as the snapshot it offers of the particularly crazy time in America s public life surrounding the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath The author seems to buy into the clash of civilizations thesis, as evidenced by his references to authors like Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington He has a rather old fashioned and quixotic Reaganite conservatism that wavers between militarism and isolationism Ultimately I find his pos This book is still worth reading, for its often stunning prescience as well as the snapshot it offers of the particularly crazy time in America s public life surrounding the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath The author seems to buy into the clash of civilizations thesis, as evidenced by his references to authors like Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington He has a rather old fashioned and quixotic Reaganite conservatism that wavers between militarism and isolationism Ultimately I find his position incoherent On the one hand he argues that the Islamic world is angered by America s actions rather than by its values, and then goes on propose a war to the knife against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, an action which would seemingly enrage the Islamic world all theI think he vastly overestimates the danger of Al Qaeda and of Islamism in general, which while a challenge, is hardly an existential threat to the US Although it is a challenge that holds forth an existential mirror reflecting back America s own crisis of vision and morality

  5. Anthony Anthony says:

    this is a great book It s somewhat lengthy but it s very insightful Scheuer s book got me started on my own book Dioxinomics The Myth of Superpower in the Age of Dioxin to address the huge fallacy that a total war can quash so called terrorism.Many Thanks for writing this.

  6. Dawn Dawn says:

    So my first review disappeared Yes, this is dated, but I forgot it was on my history shelf The edition I have doesn t have Michael s name on it I also have no desire to see if he made any corrections, despite his claim of not writing another book or making any corrections Finding out who wrote this explains a lot Scheuer who left the CIA in 1999 relies on his personal opinions, newspaper articles ironically enough , and other public sources for this I will admit that I did learn at lea So my first review disappeared Yes, this is dated, but I forgot it was on my history shelf The edition I have doesn t have Michael s name on it I also have no desire to see if he made any corrections, despite his claim of not writing another book or making any corrections Finding out who wrote this explains a lot Scheuer who left the CIA in 1999 relies on his personal opinions, newspaper articles ironically enough , and other public sources for this I will admit that I did learn at least a few things I didn t already know, but it wasn t worth the aggravation He babbles on incoherently and repeats himself quite a bit, as if trying to remember where he lost his train of thought or trying to figure out how to make his point I ve seen quite a few reviews complain about his use and comparisons between these events and the Civil War History does repeat itself, but some comparisons just don t quite work Many examples are these I honestly don t know what kind of analyst he was I can t imagine a very good one based on his opinions It s clear that he doesn t quite understand Islam, or if he does, he allows his own opinions to cloud his judgment at least in the book In the beginning he attempts to claim that Bin Laden is just a devout Muslim, how basically, all Muslims are the same they live, breathe, and love God his words , and it s our policies that are going to turn all of them against us Essentially, meet one Muslim, you ve met them all, and that includes Bin Laden But somehow, Christians are different Take the powerful Evangelical leaders who have been blasting Islam, for instance They don t represent all Christians, yet they do, because all Muslims around the world listen to what they have to say and it pisses them off Or Catholics They had the Crusades and some Christians don t consider them Christians Or Protestants They re different I ll let you figure it out And my personal favorite among all the reasons Al Qaeda hates us is our manipulation of oil prices and support of conservative Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt for the way they rule and practice Yet also mentions the different sects throughout Afghanistan in several places when attempting to explain the history and why setting up a Democratic government is a horrible idea Even quite a bit of his history of the war against the Soviet Union, the mujahideen, and the rise of the Taliban had serious errors He also berates the government for reacting too slow, for even invading both Afghanistan and Iraq, but also goes on to give the opinion that we should have and should still, given the time it was written , just level Afghanistan But doesn t offer any real solutions I do agree with him that our intelligence communities failed when it came to 9 11, which he seemed to forget a plane went down in PA Overall, I kept wanting to put this book downokay, give up throw it across the room, but I m stubborn and have OCD At least I can say I learned something and may have found a few decent history reads, but I think I ll vet those a little better Well, besides who actually wrote the book

  7. Jerry Smith Jerry Smith says:

    I have to be honest in that I didn t finish this book since I moved onto others that werepressing to me I received this book from a friend and it hasn t aged terribly well to be honest The World has moved on since this was written and we were still talking about a war on terror whereas we are now apparently fighting a war on coronavirus It s pretty apparent that there were problems with looking at terrorism as a war when it is essentially a criminal act and should be dealt with acco I have to be honest in that I didn t finish this book since I moved onto others that werepressing to me I received this book from a friend and it hasn t aged terribly well to be honest The World has moved on since this was written and we were still talking about a war on terror whereas we are now apparently fighting a war on coronavirus It s pretty apparent that there were problems with looking at terrorism as a war when it is essentially a criminal act and should be dealt with accordingly I will come back to this but as I say, written over 10 years ago, its relevance has declined somewhat

  8. Jim Jim says:

    The edition I read of this book was written in 2004, and Michael Scheuer, the author, was not identified in the book, but rather the author was named Anonymous Despite the fact that this book is now 10 years old and that it has been several years since United States forces found and killed Osama bin Laden, the conclusions raised in this book remain valid Bin Laden was not a terrorist, but the leader of an Islamic insurgency, which was waging jihad against the United States in defense of Islam The edition I read of this book was written in 2004, and Michael Scheuer, the author, was not identified in the book, but rather the author was named Anonymous Despite the fact that this book is now 10 years old and that it has been several years since United States forces found and killed Osama bin Laden, the conclusions raised in this book remain valid Bin Laden was not a terrorist, but the leader of an Islamic insurgency, which was waging jihad against the United States in defense of Islam This defensive jihad is promoted by the Quran and the writings of Mohammed and, therefore, are the responsibility of every Muslim Bin Laden and his followers do not hate the United States because of our belief in democracy and freedom They hate the U.S because of its policies, which they perceive as threats to the core of Islam These policies include support for Israel that keeps the Palestinians in poverty and stateless the presence of U.S and Western troops on the Saudi peninsula, the home of Islam s two most revered sites Mecca and Medina the U.S occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan support for Russia, China and India in their fights with indigenous Muslims Chechnya, the Uighurs of Western China, and the Muslims of Kashmir U.S pressure on Arab oil producing countries to artificially keep the price of oil low U.S support for apostate, corrupt and tyrannical Muslim governments.The author contends that until and unless the U.S changes its policies as listed above, it will remain in a costly in terms of bodies and money war with Islam jihadists And if it remains at war, then the U.S must wage war unrelentingly and accept that the war will result in substantive casualties, both American and Islamic both fighters and innocent bystanders.The author urges the U.S to review and reconsider the wisdom of the policies as they relate to the real self interests of the U.S acknowledge bin Laden and his followers for what they are fighters in defense of Islam be prepared for a protracted and costly war unless the policies for which the Muslims hate the U.S are altered.This is a book that should be required reading for all Americans If it were, the U.S might have a different view of its relationship with Israel, its relationships with Arab countries and its policy of energy self sufficiency

  9. James James says:

    A solid sequel to the author s first book, Through Our Enemies Eyes The author, a retired intelligence officer much of whose career was focused on Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, is eloquent and angry, and makes a persuasive argument that the approach America s leadership has taken to the conflict with Islamic fundamentalists worldwide has been worse than ineffective as he explains it, coming up with a worse set of responses would have been difficult if they d set out to do so.I was troubled b A solid sequel to the author s first book, Through Our Enemies Eyes The author, a retired intelligence officer much of whose career was focused on Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, is eloquent and angry, and makes a persuasive argument that the approach America s leadership has taken to the conflict with Islamic fundamentalists worldwide has been worse than ineffective as he explains it, coming up with a worse set of responses would have been difficult if they d set out to do so.I was troubled by the last part of the book, in which Mr Scheuer offered his thoughts on how we should respond to Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and other elements of the militant Islamic movement his prescription doesn t sound much different from the way the Russians behaved in Afghanistan andrecently in Chechnya and Georgia, or for that matter the way the Nazis responded to insurgencies Not only did that bloody minded approach ultimately fail wherever it was tried, it would be a betrayal of what we stand for We can and must beselective, as a power that is not willing to engage in genocide in the 21st century We are not Rome, and we can t make a desert and call it peace without losing ourselves.I don t claim to have a precise set of answers, and I would not presume to challenge this author s credentials in his field of expertise I agree with him that our conduct of the so called war on terror so far has been incompetent, but I don t believe his scorched earth plan would work either We have to keep looking for other ways to do this until we find somethingeffective that will not make the name of the U.S one that is remembered in the same context as the Third Reich and the U.S.S.R

  10. Jack Jack says:

    Thought provoking Originally I thought the book was a rant and or an outpouring of sympathy for Osama Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda Yes, we and our demand for cheap oil and the dictatorous countries that provide us the same oil created Muslim hatred for us Yes, our strategy lack thereof in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nightmare regimes we created was a boost for Muslim insurgency recruitment posters All very true Originally, I did not care for what I thought was an ex intelligence officer saying Thought provoking Originally I thought the book was a rant and or an outpouring of sympathy for Osama Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda Yes, we and our demand for cheap oil and the dictatorous countries that provide us the same oil created Muslim hatred for us Yes, our strategy lack thereof in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nightmare regimes we created was a boost for Muslim insurgency recruitment posters All very true Originally, I did not care for what I thought was an ex intelligence officer saying, I told you so However, later I realized many of his points were very sound 1 Al Qaeda is not our enemy Muslim insurgency recruiting from 1.4ish billion people most certainly is In other words, we face an army not a terrorist organization Stop using law enforcement to fight a global army 2 Do we need to continue to support Israel If Israel falls, what will happen in my backyard Nothing much probably 3 Do we need to prop up such nice folks as the Kuwaiti s and the Saudi s Not really, I agree 4 We need to develop our own energy self sufficiency Go nuke power I like it especially since I am a former nuclear trained type guy 5 Senior intel and military officers do not rock the boatthat will hurt those future lucrative retirement jobs Some may find these thoughts and discussions incredibly harsh Outrage may follow since that is what we do these dayswe get outraged at stuff However, the thinking is sound even though there is some tiresome monologue to deal with The book was written in 2004 Looking at the situation with the Syrian civil war and the growing power of ISIS and all the other terrorist organizations, his predictions unfortunately came true I enjoyed this one and hope you will too

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