Resources and Links
Click the plus signs under topics to view relevant resources and links Click here for these links in a printable PDF file.
Economic Costs of 9/11 Attacks and U.S. Response
A 2002 report of the U.S. Congressional Research Service concluded that the direct impact of 9/11 attacks on the U.S. economy as a whole was minimal and did not contribute to an economic recession.
a comprehensive discussion of human, economic, and societal costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as alternative future strategies and recommendations.
Human Costs of 9/11 Attacks and U.S. Response
U.S. , Allied and contractors' deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq have reached 8,300, with over 500,000 veterans' disabilities reported. ( not including impact on families of veterans.) Afghan and Iraqi civilian casualties are estimated at 137,000. Refugees from both nations are estimated in excess of 3 million.
Comparing Iraq Strategies – Pres. George H.W. Bush(1991 ) vs. Pres. George W. Bush (2003)
Excerpts from State of Denial: Bush at War III by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster 2006)
PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH’S EXPLANATION WHY NOT TO INVADE IRAQ IN THE 1990s:
pp. 11-12: "On February 28, 1999, the former president [George H.W.Bush spoke to] some 200 Gulf War veterans at the Fort Myer [Virginia] Army Base… It burned him up when people said they hadn’t finished the job, he said. "Had we gone into Baghdad—we could have done it. You guys could have done it. You could have been there in 48 hours. And then what? Which sergeant, which private, whose life would be at stake in perhaps a fruitless hunt in an urban guerilla war to find the most secure dictator in the world?... because I, unilaterally, went beyond international law, went beyond the stated mission, and aid we’re going to show our macho?...We’re going to be an occupying power—America in an Arab land—with no allies at our side. It would have been disastrous."
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH’S DECISION IN NOVEMBER 2002 TO INVADE IRAQ:
p. 11- [Explaining his decision-making to the author on August 20, 2002, then-president George W. Bush stated], "referred a dozen times to his ‘instincts’ or ‘instinctive’ reactions as the guide for his decisions. At one point, he said, ’I’m not a textbook player, I’m a gut player.’"
INVESTIGATION: "Why Youth Join Al Qaeda?"
U.S. Army Col. J. Matt Venhaus considered interview with over 2,000 enemy combatants to learn "why youth join Al Qaeda" and other violent extremist organizations.
He concludes that normal youth, faced with economic and other personal problems, see Al Qaeda’s message of violent "jihad" as a dutiful and heroic solution.
He proposes a U.S. strategy to defeat Al Qaeda’s perverse media campaign and to offer real opportunities the disadvantaged Islamic youth. See http://www.usip.org/files/resources/SR236Venhaus.pdf
INVESTIGATION: Where Do Suicide Bombers Come From?
Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It by Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman
Excerpts of this work are available in video, webpage and text forms:
For video, see "Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It" – video of author Robert Pape, explaining research as to 500 suicide bombers between 1980 and 2004, indicating their motivation not to be primarily religious, but primarily opposition of military occupations. (second half of 12 minute video)
For webpage, see "Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It" website with compilation of research data.
For related articles, see also by Robert Pape: A study of the limited effectiveness of "precision air attacks on leadership targets."
Other articles by Pape’s Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism.
International Criminal Court and Nonmilitary Responses
Interview with Juan Mendez, former Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide to United Nations Secretary General, on the use of the International Criminal Court. Webpage also includes many related links.
The United States and the International Criminal Court - The Bush administration reversed the Clinton administration’s approval for the International Criminal Court treaty. The Obama administration now is considering cooperation with the ICC.
Videos and Articles on "Arab Spring"
Young Egyptians' video – The changes have only begun.
A Time magazine survey of "Arab Spring" uprisings in progress in various Middle East countries
Could it work for Palestinian and Israeli peace? – New York Times commentary and Time magazine, A New Palestinian Movement: Young, Networked, Nonviolent,( Mar. 31, 2011)
Articles on Terrorism, Disaster, and Public Health
Planning is important and "one size does not fit all." Local governments may have an important role.
Articles on Muslims in the U.S; also, Islamic Faith generally
"Hidden Assets" discusses Muslim-Americans as overlooked resources- Randa Hudome, Esq.
The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress.
Its goals are to help:
• Prevent and resolve violent international conflicts
• Promote post-conflict stability and development
• Increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide
The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.
USIP's Programs and Activities
In order to achieve the above goals, the Institute undertakes a unique combination of activities, including the following:
• Operating on-the-ground in zones of conflict, most recently in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Colombia, Iraq, Kashmir, Liberia, the Korean Peninsula, Nepal, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Nigeria, Sudan, and Uganda. Specific projects involve:
o Mediating and facilitating dialogue among parties in conflict
o Building conflict management skills and capacity
o Identifying and disseminating best practices in conflict management
o Promoting the rule of law
o Reforming/strengthening education systems
o Strengthening civil society and state-building
o Educating the public through events, films, radio programs, and an array of other outreach activities
International Mediation Programs
There are many international mediation programs. One such newly organized NGO is "Mediators Beyond Borders"- to be discussed by 9/11 Dialogue panelist Rachel Wohl, Esq.
Some others focus on particular nations and conflicts. For example, The Geneva Initiative is a long-standing organization which offers education, public advocacy and "shadow negotiators" who have drafted a model peace treaty for future use by Palestinian and Israeli peace negotiators.
Peace and Justice Programs Connected to Universities and "Think Tanks"
Many colleges and universities have established "peace and justice," mediation and conflict resolution programs. See, for example, the American University's International Peace and Conflict Resolution program
Various universities' programs have greatly differing focuses, ranging from American families' divorces and domestic conflicts to international issues.
Links to More Studies and News Articles on Panel Topics
Costs of War –(website, video, links) – An excellent introduction by Brown University’s Eisenhower Study Group of the Watson Institute for International Studies. Students are encouraged to review both the “costs” pages and “alternatives / recommendations.”
How terrorist groups end – Lessons for Countering Al Qaida -a study by Rand Corporation, a nonpartisan research organization
"Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It" – video of author Robert Pape, explaining research as to 500 suicide bombers between 1980 and 2004, indicating their motivation not to be primarily religious, but primarily opposition of military occupations. (second half of 12 minute video)
"Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It" " website with compilation of research data. See also by Robert Pape: A study of the limited effectiveness of "precision air attacks on leadership targets."
Christian Science Monitor, "Cyberwarriors, your nation calls" (May 9, page 21)
Christian Science Monitor, Cyberwar timeline from Internet founding to Stuxnet attack (March 7, 2011)
Time magazine, A New Palestinian Movement: Young, Networked, Nonviolent,( Mar. 31, 2011)
Trac 5 is an organization whose goals relate specifically to developing mutual respect, understanding and trust between Muslims and Christians.
FINAL REPORT OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION (July 22 , 2004)
Click to view an excerpt from the executive summary discussing the need for long-term, nonmilitary strategies.
"…The first phase of our [U.S.] post-9/11 efforts rightly included military action to topple the Taliban and pursue al Qaeda. This work continues.
"But long-term success demands the use of all elements of national power: diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy, and homeland defense. If we favor one tool while neglecting others, we leave ourselves vulnerable and weaken our national effort. [Emphasis added.]
* * *We call on the American people to remember how we all felt on 9/11, to remember not only the unspeakable horror but how we came together as a nation-one nation. Unity of purpose and unity of effort are the way we will defeat this enemy and make America safer for our children and grandchildren.
"We look forward to a national debate on the merits of what we have recommended, and we will participate vigorously in that debate."
State of Denial: Bush at War III by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster 2006)
Click to view excerpts from this book
PUBLIC PATRIOTISM AND WAR:
p.81-"After 9/11, Bush's approval rating soared from 55 to 90 percent, an unprecedented surge. …Bush made it clear that his presidency was now going to be about 9/11. …In the past, when the public rallied around [a] president in times of crisis, the boost in popularity lasted seven to 10 months, Rove calculated….
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH'S DECISION TO INVADE IRAQ:
p.77 –"Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the al Qaeda terror attacks on America on September 11, 2001… At a [National Security Council] meeting the day after the attacks, [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld asked Bush why shouldn't we go against Iraq, not just al Qaeda? …The president put Rumsfeld off, wanting to focus on Afghanistan, al Qaeda and Osama bin Ladin.
pp.83-85 – "Well into the Afghanistan bombing campaign, [Defense deputy secretary Paul Wolfowitz] called an old friend, Christopher DeMuth, the longtime president of the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative Washington think tank… to tackle the biggest questions….[and] strategize…. On Thursday night, November 29, 2001, Demuth assembled the group [of consultants]…for a weekend of discussion. …He stayed up late Sunday night distilling their thoughts into a seven-page, single spaced document, called "Delta of Terrorism." "Delta" was used in the sense of the mouth of a river from which everything flowed.
"'The general analysis was that Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where most of the hijackers came from, were the key, but the problems there were intractable. Iran was more important…[but] similarly difficult to envision dealing with.'
"But Saddam Hussein was different, weaker, more vulnerable. 'We concluded that a confrontation with Saddam was inevitable… We agreed that Saddam would have to leave the scene before the problem would be addressed.' That was the only way to transform the region."
"Copies of the memo…were hand-delivered to the war cabinet members. …[Vice-President] Cheney was pleased with the mom and it had a strong impact on President Bush… Defense Department analyst Steve Herbits summed up the memo as saying,] 'We're facing a two-generation war. And start with Iraq.'"
p. 89—"In the fall of 2002, [CIA Director George]Tenet and Bush had a 30-second conversation in which Bush made it clear that war with Iraq was necessary and inevitable. …[In November 2002, Tenet told his head of CIA operations for the Middle East that the U.S. definitely would declare war on Iraq, saying], 'It's not a matter of if. It's a matter of when. This president is going to war. Make the plans. We're going.'"
THE CIA AND ITS INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE THAT IRAQ HAD "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION"
p.93-96—"In late September , 49 year-old Army Major General James 'Spider' Marks was preparing for the assignment of a lifetime: top [military] intelligence officer for the U.S.-led forces planning to invade Iraq. …On August 26, Vice President Cheney had given a speech that Marks believed must have been cleared by U.S. Intelligence. 'Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,' Cheney said, '…[and] that he is amassing them against our friend, against our allies, and against us.' [Hyperlink to LEGACY OF ASHES: HISTORY OF THE CIA.]
… U.S. warplanes enforced two no-fly zones in Iraq…[entering Iraqi airspace 150,000 times in the decade. The Iraqis had attacked hundreds of times, but not a single U.S. pilot had been lost, mainly because the U.S. had unsurpassed technical intelligence. Overhead satellite photos, other imagery, and extensive communications intercept operations by the National Security Agency provided an astonishing edge. If Iraqi pilots or air defense used their radios, NSA picked it up. U.S. intelligence graded its performance…and gave itself an A plus." "Marks arranged to meet with the top experts on Iraq and WMD at the Defense Intelligence Agency…[o]n October 4, 2002… What do we really know about Saddam's WMD? He asked them. They presented him with their highly classified WMD database on Iraq…a list of 946 locations where intelligence indicated there were production plants or storage facilities for chemical, biological, or nuclear-related material…. [Marks' next question was] what would the invading U.S. ground forces do with each WMD site? Destroy it? Test it? Guard it? Render it useless? Who physically will be doing that? …Those were operational considerations…to be decided by the military commanders, not by them. 'Are they prioritized?' Was site number 1 more important that site number 946? …No one had an answer. ..They eventually said that 120 of the 946 were 'top priority'…[After the meeting, Marks realized]of the 946 sites on the WMD site list, he couldn't say with confidence that there were weapons of mass destruction or stockpiles as a single site. Not one."
PLANS FOR POST-INVASION IRAQ AND "DE-BAATHEFICATION": SHORTAGES OF PERSONNEL AND FUNDS
p. 107- "On January 15, , two days after Bush informed Powell it would be war, the president met with the NSC…[for] his first major briefing on postwar plans. War might displace two million Iraqis [so] the U.S. was stockpiling food, tents, and water. Money had to be moved quietly to United Nations agencies and other nongovernmental organizations so they would be ready. [Elliot Abrams, NSC director of Middle East Affairs predicted]that the precise number of refugees and displaced persons would be determined by interethnic tensions among the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, the level of violence and reprisals, and weapons of mass destruction—whether they were used or even if people just thought they might be."
p.115-118- Lt. General John Abizaid…was the U.S. military's senior Middle East expert. [A graduate of West Point, Abizaid spoke Arabic and had participated in Grenada and earlier Middle East operations. Abizaid advised that] 'the Iraqi army [should be allowed] to emerge with some honor' for reconstruction, …rebuilding bridges, handling borders, and building security. Keep them busy. …A new government had to be put in place with…'an Iraqi face on it…a multiethnic face.' …But Abizaid expressed unhappiness with the way Washington was thinking… One rumbling…was how much the Pentagon did not like Saddam's Baath Party. …But, if someone in Iraq wanted a decent job, especially in the government, the person almost had to be a member of the Baath Party.
p.199-200- In the Art of War, [ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu ]cautioned that you don't want to go to bed at night with more enemies than you started with in the morning. [But, with its May 16, 2003, "de-Baathification order," the U.S. now had at least 350,000 more enemies than it had the day before—50,000 Baathists, the 300,000 officially unemployed soldiers from the Army, and a handful from the now defunct Iraqi leadership group." p.292- …[T]housands of Iraqi teachers [also] were fired…because in Saddam's Iraq, all teachers had been required to join the Baath party.
p. 104-106- [Retired three-star Army general Jay Garner was recruited in January 2003 by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to take charge of post-war Iraqi reconstruction.] p.118- [In Army planning for post-war security, Col. Carol Stewart, head of the intelligence plans division, was surprised to hear of Garner's assumption that Iraqi police still would be on the job after the invasion. To the contrary, she urged the U.S. should assume there would be no police. 'It's like Panama,' she suggested, recalling in the 1989 U.S. invasion of that country, toppling the army and government, the police force ceased to exist. Based on this and the Army's experiences in Bosnia and Kosovo, her intelligence unit estimated that 450,000 U.S. troops would be required for a peace-keeping mission. If only the 26 or 27 largest cities were occupied, an estimated 180,000 to 200,000 troops would be needed.] p. 472 – [Eventually, the Bush administration supplied its maximum level of 160,000 U.S. troops to supplement Iraqi forces then in training.]
p.310- "In April 2004, Army major general David Petraeus was sent to Iraq…as head of training Iraqi forces. He had to start from scratch more than a year after the invasion."
p.145-146- Garner [met regularly] with [Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld, trying to keep him informed…[and] the issue of money was omnipresent. …One budget document…dated February 27, 2003, showed that [Garner was allowed] just $27 million for his group. The numbers required for the basics of running the country were huge by comparison. [Garner] projected humanitarian assistance at over $1 billion in the next year, reconstruction at $800 million, and running the government at $10 billion—nearly $12 billion , all told. Where would it come from? …Rumsfeld said…'We're not doing that. They're going to spend their money rebuilding their country,' [referring to theunproved theory that all the funds needed for Iraqi reconstruction could be obtained via Iraqi frozen assets or oil revenue.]"
SHORTAGES OF TRANSLATORS FOR COUNTERINSURGENCY AND IRAQI- COMMUNITY CONTACTS
p.271- Just before Thanksgiving , General Abizaid [arranged a meeting with David Kay, head of the U.S. team surveying Iraq in an attempt to find WMD.] 'I need your help,' Abizaid told Kay. He was trying desperately to get better intelligence to help his forces battle the insurgency. '…You've got translators…I have exactly two operational officers who are fluent in Arabic' and had trouble even interviewing Iraqi suspects taken into custody. [Kay said no the the four star general, but several days later received a call from Washington telling him his unit would have more duties than WMD. Kay resigned.]
p. 320- [In August 2004,a defense department official visited Iraq, asking military personnel at all levels what they needed. The universal response was 'translators.' Returning to Washington, he relayed this message to the Army's head of Strategic Plans and Policies who said [We don't need translators,] 'we need interrogators.' Months later, in 2005, 'the problem still had not been solved.'
CHOICES FOR USE OF MILITARY VS. NONMILITARY TACTICS IN IRAQ
p.322- An example of negotiation versus military force: "In August 2004, Moqtada al-Sadr, the young militant Shiite cleric, decided to challenge the U.S. [The] Grand Ayatollah Sistani, the real Shiite [Iraqi leader] was in London for medical treatment… and Moqtada had infiltrated his people…into the holiest of Shiite shrines, the Imam Ali Mosque. …[A]bout 4,000 U.S. Marines and Army troops surrounded the area and were getting closer and closer to the Shrine of Ali. [U.S. snipers, called from all over Iraq, were shooting dozens of Moqtadas men around the area of the mosque.] Arab and Muslim leaders called the White House and sent messages that said, in effect, "Whatever you do, do not attack the Shrine of Ali Mosque" … or the United States would never be able to deliver a unified Iraq. …Acting [Iraqi] Prime Minister Allawi… didn't want to let Sistani back into the country… [e]ven if it meant storming the mosque. [B]ut eventually the U.S. persuaded Allawi to permit Sistani's return]. Sistani then ordered a [Shiite peaceful] march …[and] siege of the Shrine of Ali…. Sistani got Moqtada to come in and talk, and they eventually agreed on a withdrawal from the Shrine of Ali [on the condition that U.S. forces would not attack] Moqtada's forces as they move out….
p.444-445- "General Chiarelli, who had been commander of the Army's 1st Calvary Division [in Iraq] in 2004-2005…had become the biggest uniformed advocate for using the so-called less kinetic or coercive warfare with military hardware or troops…. In a summer 2005 article in Military Review, a scholarly journal for the armed forces, Chiarelli said that for three decades in the Army he trained to maneuver large troop or armor units to find the 'point of penetration' in the enemy lines. In Iraq now, he said, the 'point of penetration' was to have his troops hook up a sewer line, build a school, or oversee a democratic election…. He envisioned a kinder, gentler presence, shooting and arresting fewer Iraqis, and kicking down fewer doors. It sometimes sounded like his soldiers were functioning as Peace Corps workers. "Chiarelli was given his third star and in January 2006 made commander of all U.S. ground forces in Iraq. He argued that …brazen killing and even capture of suspected and real insurgents had alienated Iraqis, who then joined or supported the insurgency [recognizing] 'The people are the prize.'
[Yet, despite such recognition, problems continued unabated in the absence of comprehensive plans and sufficient personnel:] "On the morning of Wednesday, February 22, 2006, bombs leveled the golden dome of the Askariya Mosque in Samarra, about 65 miles north of Baghdad, leaving it it ruins. The attack on one of the holiest Shiite shrines had been carefully planned [according to later intelligence by al Qaida in Iraq leader Zarqawi]. Shiite militias, especially those aligned with Moqtada al Sadr poored into the street and, in retaliation fired grenades and machine guns into at least two dozen Sunni mosques in Baghdad. Three Sunni imams were killed and a fourth was kidnapped. Tens of thousands rioted. … [This mosque had not been on the U.S. list of sites to protect from catastrophic attacks.]
"ASPIRATIONS ARE NOT STRATEGY": RESULTS OF THE IRAQ WAR'S FIRST THREE YEARS
p.241 and 336-[State Department veteran and Harvard professor Robert Blackwill was recruited in August 2003 to establish National Security Council strategies for the Iraq war. Months later as the midterm election approached, he was distressed to find there still was no strategy.] "Aspirations are not strategy."
p. 445-446- [In March 2006, RAND Corporation's veteran diplomat Dobbins was invited by Rumsfeld to assist in assessing U.S. progress in the Iraq war.] Dobbins quoted the president's statement that 30,000 Iraqis had died in the last three years. …based on classified numbers [this represented] about 200 per week. 'Allowing for the fact that Iraq is 15 times smaller than the U.S.,' Dobbins said, 'Iraqis for the first three years suffered the equivalent of a 9/11 attack every week. You can imagine the traumatic effect a 9/11 attack would have on American society. Don't you think it's having a similar effect on Iraqi society?' Rumsfeld dismissed the notion.
p.319-320- [In summer 2004, President Bush asked General Abizaid "How many did we kill?" after a particular battle. The Army began to supply these estimates [despite the warning, many month before, from] Vice Chairman General Peter Pace of the Joint Chiefs [who had declared] 'Guys like me from Vietnam know what happens when you start counting. You completely skew the way people think, the way folks on the ground operate. What we want the people on the ground to understand is that we want to get the job done with the least amount of killing, but with whatever is needed to be done to protect our own guys.'
p. 472- U.S. statistics, not made public prior to the midterm 2006 elections, showed that, during the first three years of the occupation, enemy initiated attacks against coalition and Iraqis had increased almost continuously from under 500 per month in May 2003 to over 3,500 per month in May 2006. [See chart.] Dangers of sectarian violence, decline of oil production, and Iraqi government corruption all continued at historic high levels.
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Weiner (Doubleday 2007)
Click to view excerpts from this book
pp. 494-495-- Judge Lawrence Silberman, whom President Bush appointed on February 6, 2004, to lead an investigation into the ways in which the CIA [mistakenly had assessed Saddam's weaponry, stated:] "The CIA made 'a grave, grave mistake in concluding that there was a ninety percent degree of certainty he had weapons of mass destruction. …The evidence was completely frail, some quite faulty, and their tradecraft was not good. Moreover, there was such an abysmal lack of internal communication within the intelligence community that often the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing.'
"The CIA had reached its conclusions on Iraqi chemical weapons solely on the basis of misinterpreted [aerial] pictures of Iraqi tanker trucks. The CIA had based its conclusions on Iraqi nuclear weapons on one source—[the reportedly unreliable] Curveball. The CIA had based its conclusions on Iraqi nuclear weapons almost entirely on Saddam's importation of aluminum tubes intended for conventional rocketry. 'It's almost shockingly wrong to conclude that those aluminum tubes were appropriate or designed for centrifuges for nuclear weapons,' Judge Silberman said.
"Judge Silberman and his presidential commission received unprecedented permission to read every article on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction from the president's daily brief…. [They concluded that these reports were no different than other CIA work, except] 'if anything, more alarmist and less nuanced. ...[With their] drumbeat of repetition [they created the impression of ] many corroborating reports where in fact there were very few sources. …In ways both subtle and not so subtle, the daily reports seemed to be "selling" intelligence…to keep its First Customer interested.'
pp.496-497-" […T]he CIA's chief weapons inspector, David Kay [stated],'We think intelligence is important to win wars. …Wars are not won by intelligence. They're won by blood, treasure, courage of the young men and women in the field. …What intelligence really does when it is working well is to help avoid wars."
Mark D. Siljander, A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman's Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide (Harper One 2008)
Click to view excerpts from this book
Once an evangelical Christian, Mark Siljander's work as a three-term Congressman [R., Michigan] and alternate U.N. representative brought challenges which caused him to re-think, research and repurpose his faith, leading him to personal ties with Islams, Jews and others in international conflicts.
He points to the troubles caused by one-sided Christian viewpoints of U.S. policy makers: p.170- "On Sunday, September 16, 2001, President [George W.] Bush told reporters, "This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while"…only revising his words days later after in international uproar in response.
…As the war of words heated to a boil in the days after 9/11, …[t]he West viewed Islam as being dedicated to the destruction of the West. The Islamic East saw the 'war on terror' as a war against their religion and way of life. …It was shaping up as an intractable standoff. The Muslim world saw the West as unrepentantly expansionist, a people who would stop at nothing until we forced our own cultural, economic, political and religious way of life on the populations of the planet. To the Muslim East, Christianity was …corrupted and hijacked to serve our imperialist ways. "
P. 45- "In 2003, Lt. Gen.William Boykin, the U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, made headlines by declaring 'Allah is not a real God' and that 'Muslims worship an idol.' …A recent poll of Evangelical Christians asked if the participants believed their God and Allah were one and the same; 6 percent said 'yes,' 2 percent weren't sure—and 92 percent said 'absolutely not.'
Sharing his study of the Qur'an and Jesus ("Isa"") as described therein, Siljander has met with leaders of Islamic nations in Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, and others, supporting the release of prisoners and the commencement of peace-agreements.
pp.20-22: "Serving as an ambassador to the United Nations, …[Siljander obtained U.S. permission] to meet one-on-one with a series of delegates from around the world. …[S]o, for the last few months of 1988, I spoke with 41 'permanent representatives' from 41 nations around the globe, meeting with each one individually over lunch or dinner. In the course of these meetings, I asked them about themselves, their lives, …their region of the world,…what were their biggest challenges; and finally what did they think the United States could do to improve our image in the United Nations and around the world.
…You can imagine my shock at their responses. Every single one of these representatives, down to the last man and woman, ended our lunch or dinner by saying a variation of the same thing: 'You know, Mark, in all the …time we've spent in New York, you are the only diplomat so far to ask me a single questions deeper than the weather or the state of Manhattan traffic.'
"[At first, I assumed they were kidding but] by the 41st time, I was aghast. …When I asked them what transpired in their other conversations, they said, 'We don't have conversations. The United States tells us how they suggest we vote, what they suggest we do… and certainly don't ask for our opinions on how the United States can better its relations around the world.'
"[The U.S. permanent representative to the U.N. explained to Siljander] 'We're not here to make friends, Ambassador Siljander, we're here trying to maintain a modicum of stability in the world. …We don't want to appear weak.'"
pp. 56-67: "When governments, institutions or NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) set out to deal with a conflict, they invariably do so through combinations of four established tracks of engagement: diplomatic, political, economic and military. …But there is a fatal flaw to this approach. …What is the heart of the matter? The people involved, our human nature.
"Even when negotiations appear to work, even when a given party agrees to accept certain terms of compromise with its enemies, their passions remain unchanged. If they hate their enemies before financial reparations, they will still hate them… Force gestures of goodwill don't' change a thing. Whether they are bribed, convinced, coerced, or compelled, it is a contrived resolution, not a genuine one. Mechanical and external – not organic and internal. This is not genuine conflict resolution; it is only conflict containment. And…once the relief of cease-fire…wears off, the underlying conflict again rears its ugly head.
"But there is a path to genuine, sustained peace and conflict resolution…"
pp. 209-211: "In their book The Starfish and the Spder, Stanford researchers Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom compare centralized structures, such as a classic kingdom, conventional army, or twentieth century corporation to a spider: cut of its head and the legs die. But a starfish has no 'head.' Cut off one of its legs and it will simply grow a new one. Not only that, but the leg you just cut off will grow a new starfish.
"The Internet is a good example of a starfish, say Brafman and Beckstrom, and so is Alcoholics Anonymous. So is the open-source software movement. And so is al-Qaeda.
"If there is not centralized authority or hierarchy, then how does a decentralized movement get and stay organized. … Such organic, person-to-person organizations are bound together and driven by a passionately shared belief. [For example,] the ideology that coheres al-Qaeda...is the idea that Western civilization is bent on militarily overrunning the Muslim world, as exemplified by the United States' unbending support for Israel, and that the only way to fight back is through a so-called jihad of holy war and its secret weapon, terrorist martyrdom fueld by a virtually endless stream of recruits.
"We cannot make any genuine, lasting progress in the 'war on terror' without understanding this fundamental truth about the force that is challenging the West. ….No military force on earth can defeat an ideology bound together by passion. And therein lies the answer: if you can effectively find a flaw in its ideology and widely expose that flaw, you crack apart the organization's coherence.