The Alice in Wonderland Scenario: The Optical Illusion of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and the U.S.

Contribution to the Faceless Enemy of Terror By Richard L. Dixon “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God." This is in addition to the words of Almighty God "And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated and oppressed--women and children, whose cry is 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'" We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson. Almighty God said "O ye who believe, give your response to God and His Apostle, when He calleth you to that which will give you life. And know that God cometh between a

man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall all be gathered." Almighty God also says "O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of God, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For God hath power over all things." (Osama Bin Laden, February 23, 1998). If there is any doubt in any one’s mind that we at war with a faceless enemy, then Osama Bind Laden’s Fatwa’s for the killing of innocent Americans and others should be evidence enough. We are at war with an enemy who has unlimited resources, loyal troops, and a united ideology of radical terror. We are fighting an enemy on many fronts and located on every continent. The enemy comes in many races, shapes, and sizes. It could be your friendly co-worker or next door neighbor as evident by the background information on the 911 terrorist. They don’t play by the same rules of war because anyone that does not adhere to their eleventh century ideology of Islam is to be killed. That includes innocent men, women, and children. We are fighting a protracted war against terrorism. “Today’s terrorism differs in many ways from that of earlier eras, not least in terms of the weapons it employs and the mass-media saturated environment in which it operates. Undoubtedly, both have had an effect on how terrorists ply their trade and how the world perceives and reacts to it: so much was apparent from the use of simple box cutters on Sept. 11, 2001, to crash sophisticated airliners into high-profile buildings, at the cost of thousands of lives, and while the world watched transfixed via television. There is also

continuity in terrorism, not least in the motives which lie behind it.” (Mark Burgess, May 20, 2004). Therefore, how do you define a stateless enemy which (let alone trying to devise a combat strategy) has no defined national boundaries? How do you separate the religious from the cultural and the political from the economical? TRADOC (United States Army Training & Doctrine Command has applied the following variables and threat multipliers in defining the faceless enemy of terrorism, “The Contemporary Operating Environment (COE) has several common threats or constants for defining the environment…. complementing these overarching constants or factors, the U.S. Army describes eleven critical variables that enhance a comprehensive appreciation of a particular mission setting. This assessment and analysis is appropriate for both real world contingencies and training preparations. Whether a real world threat or an opposing force created to simulate realistic and relevant conditions for training readiness, the COE is a dynamic and adaptive process of being more aware, better prepared, and fully ready to counter any adversary that could negatively impact on conduct of an assigned U.S. Military mission.” Those COE variables are: “1. Nature & Stability of the State 2. Regional & Global Relationships 3. Economics 4. Sociological Demographics 5. Information 6. Physical Environment 7. Technology

8. External Environment 9. National Will 10. Time 11. Military Capabilities (TRADOC, 2005). Hence, we have defined the threat variables of the faceless enemy of terrorism from a military perspective but not a textbook or theoretical definition of what constitutes terror. Once again I believe that TRADOC has the done the best job in defining terror from a military, academic, and real world perspective. “Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Much depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter. Terrorism is a means to an “end” or objective.” (TRADOC). Crafting a comprehensive strategy to fight terror by the US and various governments around the world has become a complicated affair because each one has a general definition of terrorism but no universal strategy of combating from either a military or strategic point. “The connection between terrorism and political goals is related to the perceived illegitimacy of political violence – especially in the West. This in turn reflects the legitimacy of the liberal democratic state? As perceived by other liberal democracies. In such states, democracy is considered to provide an alternative to violence as an agent

of political change, with the state viewed as sole custodian of the monopoly of legitimate force. Political violence against the state is therefore more apt to be termed ‘terrorism’? With all the negative connotations the term denotes – than is political violence on the part of the state.” (Mark Burgess, August 1, 2003). The difficulty in encountering and defeating the likes of Al Qaeda is that they view struggle against the west from a global perspective and not from a nation-state viewpoint. In fact, the very nature of Islam is foundationally founded as a universal banner that unites all Muslims around the world regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin under one religious banner. This explains the reasons why there are huge contingents of foreign fighters from such countries as Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Yemen, and Sudan fighting against the United States and its allies in Iraq. These hardened ideological fighters view the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan not as conflicts between countries, but rather a war that pits Islam against the great Crusaders of the United States, Europe and Israel. The face of stateless terror as we know it is both political and religious at the same time. They are two sides of the same coin. They are indistinguishable from one another. Stateless terror employs many tools, organizations, fronts, and criminal empires to fund the objectives. These include safe houses, cells, charities, drug trafficking, disenchanted youth, propaganda, brain washing, coercion, arms trading, and money laundering. There are many terrorist groups from Al Qaeda to the FARC, Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, the Taliban, and the Muslim Brotherhood. For practical purposes I will concentrate on Radical Islamic Ideology as espoused by Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Radical Islam is both

political and religious at the same time. There are two components to its ideology: Political Islam & Whabbaism. Political Islam as espoused by the likes of Al Qaeda seeks to radicalize the Islamic World against the advances which they believe is a decadent Western Culture. They detest and oppose all forms of democratic processes such as women’s rights and religious freedom. They practice an unorthodox version of Islam that wants to dominate and eventually conquer the world under the rule of single caliphate. “My opinion, political Islam is a contemporary reactionary movement; which has no relation, other than in form, to the late 19th and early 20th century Islamic movements. As for its social content and sociopolitical and economic objectives, this new movement is completely rooted in contemporary society. It is not a repeat of the same old phenomenon. It is the result of a defeated - or better put - aborted project of Western modernisation in Moslem-inhabited Middle Eastern countries from the late 60s and early 70s as well as a decline in the secular-nationalist movement, which was the main agent of this economic, administrative and cultural modernisation. The ideological and governmental crisis in the region heightened.” (Mansoor Hekmat, Winter 2001).

Wahhabism is the most radicalized form of religious Islamic extremism. As the official state adopted religious doctrine of Saudi Arabia, it has become a launching pad to radicalize and eventually to convert the Muslim World to a narrow religious ideology based on eleventh century precepts. “Wahhabi belief provides the religious and ideological underpinnings to enable militant movements to take up arms against existing governments if they deem the need arises. Though these movements are ideological in

nature, they easily resort to armed struggle. While most governments are able to reconcile and reach compromises -- as one may easily compromise with a moderate Muslim -extremists reject any kind of compromise, insisting on their way and no other. They have tunnel vision, believing in a duty and message to deliver.” (Islamic Supreme Council of America). What are the conditions which causes young men and women to join Islamic terrorist groups? What is the magnet that attracts throngs of misguided Muslim youth to such a backwards ideology which eventually turns them into fundamentalist Islamic terrorists? Colonel Brian M. Drinkwine in his entitled “The Serpent in the Garden: Al-Qa’ida and the Long War,” spells out four reasons that terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda & the Taliban have been successful in attracting masses of youth to their cause: “Poor living conditions and socioeconomic factors, as well as political repression, are often the motivation for individuals to join terror groups or cells, but they are not the only reasons. The Islamic based terror groups we face today have gained in number and capacity because of four major root causes: (1) Political repression within Islamic governments that have close relationships with the United States. (2) Lack of monetary financial sharing within Islamic states. The elites maintain the wealth; the masses are economically repressed. (3) Resentment of the West due to the perceived exploitation of Islamic countries, primarily by the United States. (4) The increasing credibility gap between Muslims (primarily in the Middle East) and the United States.

The majority of individuals and groups that become motivated to pursue terrorism do so because they envision and long for a future that they believe will not materialize unless they resort to violence. The perception of the United States as a primary adversary, us versus them, is an underlying theme that has given rise to anti-American sentiment and provided an incentive for Islamist-based terrorist groups.” (Colonel Brian M. Drinkwine, 2009). In order to defeat Global Terrorism we must first examine, correct, and eliminate the conditions that sowed these seeds of discontent in the first place. That means improving the general economic conditions of both the Gulf regions where autocrats and dictators such as the Saudis have failed miserably to reinvest the Oil revenues back into improving and raising the living standards of their citizens. It means that religious moderates such as Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani of The Islamic Supreme Council of America must stand up to the destructive ideologies of the Islamist and recapture the youth through education and a return to the proper interpretation and applicant of traditional Islamic beliefs. Just as important though, the United States and its Global allies must cut off the flow of money that funds terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda. It should come as no surprise then that the biggest source of funding for the Taliban is the utilization of the drug trade to raise funds to further spread and build their terrorist apparatus. “The nexus between drug trafficking_ and terrorism is growing at quantum speed. This trend is not new: the last twenty-five years have seen numerous links identified between drug trafficking and terrorism. Of the forty- three officially designated foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), nineteen have been linked by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to some aspect of the

global drug trade and it is believed that up to sixty percent of terrorist organizations are connected with the illegal narcotics trade…A terrorist organization and a global drug cartel share many traits. Both oppose nation-state sovereignty, function best in ungoverned spaces, depend on mutual shadow facilitators, have no regard for human rights, rely on the hallmarks of organized crime such as corruption, intimidation, and violence, and are highly sophisticated organizations that operate with the latest technology.” (Michael Braun, 2009). However, I want to take the topic of this essay and turn it on top of its head by pointing out that the United States made the bed that we sleep in when it comes to the GWOT (Global War on Terrorism). Both the Muslim Brotherhood and 911 Terrorists had direct ties to Saudi Arabia whom we continually support militarily, politically, and economically. As one top State Department official put it, “The Saudi’s may be Islamists but they are our Islamists.” Lest not forget that it was the CIA who backed and trained the Radical Islamic Mujahedeen as a counterweight against the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. “Zbigniew Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version, the CIA's support for the Mujahedeen began in 1980, i.e. after the Soviet army's invasion of Afghanistan on 24 December 1979. But the reality, which was kept secret until today, is completely different: Actually it was on 3 July 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for the secret support of the opposition against the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And on the same day I wrote a note, in which I explained to the president that this support would in my opinion lead to a military intervention by the Soviets.” (Jared Israel, September 6, 2004,). Hence it is safe to say that the whole notion of the Clash of Civilization was given

birth by the creation of Radical Islam in a region of Asia that had been known for its moderation. I point these things out and with solemn reservation about the path that our country is taking strategic wise and what consequences will befall us due to the conflict in Iraq and our involvement in attempting to put down the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan. Our involvement in Iraq was a hindrance that took our eye off the main goal of crushing the Al Qaeda and Taliban cell network which at the time did not exist in the Middle East. It was also a carefully manipulated disinformation campaign orchestrated at the highest levels within the Bush Administration. “Anyone seeking to understand what has become the central conundrum of the Iraq war—how it is that so many highly accomplished, experienced, and intelligent officials came together to make such monumental, consequential, and, above all, obvious mistakes, mistakes that much of the government knew very well at the time were mistakes—must see beyond what seems to be a simple rhetoric of self-justification and follow it where it leads: toward the War of Imagination that senior officials decided to fight in the spring and summer of 2002 and to whose image they clung long after reality had taken a sharply separate turn. In that War of Imagination victory was to be decisive, overwhelming, evincing a terrible power— enough to wipe out the disgrace of September 11 and remake the threatening world.” (Mark Danner, December 21, 2006). We now know though the release of recently declassified documents such as the memo from between George W. Bush & British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the rationale for the preemptive war against bloodthirsty madman Saddam Hussein was already planned (regardless if Saddam Hussein complied with the WMD demands or not) even

considering using deception (such as painting the U2 Spy Planes with Combat Colors which would force Iraq Air Defenses to fire at it thereby violating the no-fly zone and giving credence for an invasion) when the evidence of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) failed to materialize within Iraqi. “In the weeks before the United States-led invasion of Iraq, as the United States and Britain pressed for a second United Nations resolution condemning Iraq, President Bush's public ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was blunt: Disarm or face war. But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.” (Don Van Natta, Jr., Monday March 27, 2006). In initiating the invasion of Iraq, both the Bush and Blair administrations broke with past protocols in establishing a strong man to control the various countries in the Persian Gulf region when it comes to the flow of Oil. “The ousting of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent direct occupation by American forces to secure Iraq’s oil were a decisive break with traditional US policy in the region. It was also a dramatic departure form the experience of European rule in the Middle East, where Britain and France had preferred to install a strongman who would do their bidding, usually to ensure their uninterrupted exploitation of local resources such as oil. If the local ruled defied the colonial power, he

was replaced with another strongman-in what today would be called regime change.” (Jonathan Cook, 2008). In retrospect, the decision to invade Iraq and dispose of Saddam Hussein wasn’t about the politics of oil, the invasion’s true intention was to cushion Israel with absolute hegemony in the region by leaving the Arab states in a state of disarray without posing a threat. Hence to say that this war was one with overly covert neo-conservative influences would be a correct and valid assessment. “The aim of the neoconservative/Likudnik foreign policy strategy was to weaken and fragment Israel’s Middle East adversaries and concomitantly increase Israel’s relative strength, both externally and internally. A key objective was to eliminate the demographic threat posed by the Palestinians to the Jewish state, which the destabilization of Israeli’s external enemies would achieve, since the Palestinian resistance depended upon external support, both moral and material. Without outside support, the Palestinians would be forced to accede to whatever type of peaceful solution Israel offered. (Stephen J. Sniegoski, 2008). The mixture of politics, oil, and neo-conservatives influences in the Middle East and Persian Gulf area by the Bush Administration and others have stretched an all-volunteer military beyond capacity and have subjected us to other multiple threats such as the rising bellicosity of North Korea. “The cynicism and callousness of foreign policy that closely marries the interests of oil companies (and other powerful corporate players) with the military and intelligence complex will be a touchstone for future historians when they describe the Bush foreign policy”(Wayne Madsen, 2006).

There are those who may disagree with the somber reality that the events leading up to and into the Gulf War were all flash and mirrors, a purposely constructed optical illusion to cover up the truth. As of now, the reputation of this country is still smarting from this foreign policy blunder. There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a bloodthirsty monster who needed to go, but the path of manipulation by the Bush Administration and the neo-conservatives did not help our cause to dethrone him from his imperial perch. What should have been pursued was the assembly of a coalition force in concert with nations within the region in a coordinated military effort in disposing of Saddam Hussein. This strategy proved to be very successful in outing Hussein out of Kuwait in the first Persian Gulf War. . We are not considering the unthinkable of initiating a preemptive strike against Iran. There are those who are now foaming at the mouth like a mad dog slowly pushing this country into that general direction. Events that have transpired over the past few months with student protest in that country following the corrupt presidential election, will show that democracy will prevail and circumstances will take care of themselves. To invade now would be a blunder of such monumental portions that it threatens to inflame an already fragile Persian Gulf region with Anti-American sentiments that will put the supply and flow of oil at risk. If the United States and its European allies are to successfully defeat and defuse the faceless enemy of terror, they employ different methods, tactics, and solutions in all theatres of their operations. They must build coalitions with other nations such as Jordan that they may not have been on the best relations in the past. However, their assistance is greatly needed to cut off the flow of foreign terrorist operatives into the Iraq theater of

Operations. These methods if properly implemented will eventually see the dissolving of Islamic terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda both in Iraqi and Afghanistan.

Endnotes 1. OSAMA BIN LADEN, “Text of Fatwah Urging Jihad against Americans -1998,” Published in Al-Quds al-'Arabi on February 23, 1998 http://www.mideastweb.org/osamabinladen1.htm (accessed September 11, 2009). 2. Mark Burgess, “Explaining Religious Terrorism Part 1: The Axis of Good and Evil,” Center for Defense Information, May 20, 2004, http://www.cdi.org/friendlyversion/printversion.cfm?documentID=2224 3. TRADOC (U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command) “A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century,” DCSINT Handbook No 1. Version 3.0 (Ft. Leavenworth, KS: TRADOC, 2005), 2 4. Ibid., 1-2. 5. Mark Burgess, “Terrorism: The Problems of Definition,” Center for Defense Information, August 1, 2003, http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=1564&from_page=./ind ex.cf (accessed September 11, 2009). 6. Mansoor Hekmat, “The Rise and Fall of Political Islam,” Hekmat Internet Archives, First Published: Porsesh, a Quarterly Journal of Politics, Society and Culture, Number 3, Winter 2001 in Persian, “http://www.marxists.org/archive/hekmat-mansoor/2001/misc/rise-fall-islam.htm (accessed September 11, 2009).

7. The Islamic Supreme Council of America “Islamic Radicalism: Its Wahhabi Roots and Current Representation,” http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/bin/site/wrappers/extremism_wahabroots. html (accessed September 11, 2009). 8. Colonel Brian M. Drinkwine, The Serpent in the Garden: Al-Qa’ida and The Long War, (Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Strategic Studies Institute, 2009), 4. 9. Jared Israel, “The Muslim Terrorist Apparatus was created by US Intelligence as a Geopolitical Weapon,” Brzezinski's Interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, The Emperor’s New Clothes, http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/brz.htm (accessed September 11, 2009).

10.Michael Braun, “Drug Trafficking & Middle Terrorist Groups: A Growing
Nexus”? Matthew Levitt and Michael Jacobson, ed., “Countering Transnational Threats: Terrorism, Narco-Trafficking, and WMD Proliferation,” Policy Focus #92 (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2009), 27. 11. Mark Danner, “Iraq: The War of the Imagination,” New York Review of Books, Vol. 53, Number 20 (December 12, 2006) http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=19720 (accessed September 11, 2009). 12. Don Van Natta Jr. “Bush Was Set on Path to War, Memo by British Adviser Says,” Common Dreams.org, as originally published Monday, March 27, 2006 by the New York Times, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0327-05.htm (accessed September 11, 2009 ).

13. Jonathan Cook, “Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iraq, Iran, and the Plan to Remake the Middle East, (London: Pluto Press, 2008), 14. 14. Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neo-conservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest, (Norfolk, VA: IHS Press, 2008), 5. 15. Wayne Madsen, Jaded Tasks, Brass Plates, Black Ops, & Big Oil: The Blood Politics of George Bush & Co., (Walterville, OR: Trine Day Publishers, 2006), xx.

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