Michael Scheurer Is Right, And It’s High Time That We All Listened Carefully

10 Sep

Saw a brilliant interview last night on Their ABC’s Lateline, with former CIA Bin Laden Tracking Unit head, Michael Scheurer.

An interview in which Mr Scheurer really started speaking truth to power towards the end (emphasis added):

ALI MOORE: In fact your argument is, isn’t it, that really the US has underestimated the type of organisation that Al Qaeda is; it’s not an organisation against freedom, it’s an organisation fundamentally driven by a hatred of US foreign policy?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Yes ma’am. You know the American and the western position in the Middle East has been based on tyranny, our whole strategy has been based on tyranny for the past 40 years, and now that’s fading away.

But there’s not one American in 1,000 who realises that if we were fighting an enemy who hated democracy and liberty and women in the workplace and beer after work, that the threat wouldn’t even rise to the level of lethal nuisance.

They wouldn’t have any of the things we have in our own country. But they’re not fighting us because of who Americans are, how we live or how we think, they’re fighting because of what our government has done in the Muslim world over the past 40 years.

Whether it’s support for the Saudi police state, our military presence in various Muslim countries and probably the most dangerous thing now is our unqualified, unquestioning support for the Israelis. This is a very substantive religious war from the perspective our enemies.

And none of that really is to say that our policies are evil or were made by mad men. But if you’re going to understand how to defeat an enemy, you best understand his motivation. And right now the United States government, under both parties, is fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist. There is not an enemy out there who’s just crazy wild to die because my daughters go to university.

ALI MOORE: What about the impact, I guess, of the Arab Spring on Al Qaeda, because many have argued that, in fact, the organisation is at a crossroads because the various revolutionary groups didn’t do anything in the name of Al Qaeda, they didn’t call on Al Qaeda? Has it weakened the organisation?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: No, of course not. It strengthened it. The American government will not have as close relations with successor government in the Middle East. Their goal has been help to destroy the Arab tyrannies.

And I’m afraid much of the media turned out, turned their credentials in as reporters and became cheerleaders. In Tahrir Square they interviewed 100 or 200 middle class, English speaking, democracy talking, well groomed Egyptians. Then they read their Facebooks and their Twitters and then they extrapolated that over 85 million devout Muslims, more than 60 per cent of whom are illiterate, and decided that secular democracy was blooming. I think that can only be described as a fantasy…

I highly recommend that you watch the whole interview here.

And I leave you with my own little comment on the so-called “war on terror”, published on the day Bin Laden was (supposedly) killed –

The War On Error

Osama is dead.
There’s been enough said.
Now the war on terror needs a new figurehead.
I declare War on Pollies who can’t lie straight in bed.

4 Responses to “Michael Scheurer Is Right, And It’s High Time That We All Listened Carefully”

  1. JMD September 10, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I was just reading an article on Egypt;


    • The Blissful Ignoramus September 10, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      Hmmm. A rather apropos link/story, I would say.

      • JMD September 10, 2011 at 11:29 am #

        Yes. I suspect as in Afganistan, we are not getting the full picture of events in the Middle East. Egypt shares a 1000km border with Libya which is in a state of anarchy. Must be destabilizing.

  2. Twodogs September 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Would this be the same Michael Scheuer that suggested Al Qaeda focus their energies on Israel and other US allies in the middle east rather than the US? http://adamholland.blogspot.com/2010/01/michael-scheuer-terrorists-should-focus.html

    Interesting no doubt coming from ex-CIA, but it’s still just another opinion, TBI. Yes, the CIA has been very bad, but look at the company it keeps. The last time i looked the KGB, Al Qaeda et al were not exactly paragons of virtue. That said, it’s not so much the politics of Al Qaeda et al but the methods which are unpalatable. Scheuer comes across as an apologist, as though barbarism in the middle east was only invented upon the arrival of the US meddling in their affairs.

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