Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Navy SEAL officer on terrorism....

From pages 53 and 54 of WARRIOR SOUL: THE MEMOIR OF A NAVY SEAL, published by Ballentine Books in 2004, authored by Chuck Pfarrer. Mr. Pfarrer, veteran of much combat, spent eight years as an Officer in the Navy SEALs. What he learned about terrorism is well worth reading:

"Terrorism, we were taught, was a tactic, a facet of a greater purpose, not a strategy or an end in itself. Terrorism is warfare waged by the powerless against the innocent. It is in the nature of asymetrical conflict that terrorist acts are provocations, whether the deed is a hand grenade in a market square or the destruction of the World Trade Center. The acts are outrageous, bloody, and violent because they are meant to shock. Terrorists' acts are to be seen as armed propaganda, pinpricks intended to resonate far beyond their military significance. Every act of terror is intended to have poilitical consequences. In every case, calculated atrocities extract a disproportionate response from the oppressor. The enemy has different names: Yankee Imperialist, Neocolonialist, Capitalist Exploiter, Infidel, or Great Satan. We were reminded that the Perennial Foe was us. Terrorism, the instructors drilled into us, must always be examined in the context of politics; Trotsky said it best: "Terrorism is political theater."

Again, we studied the masters. We absorbed selected passages by Marx, Lenin, and Mao on the dyamics and political utility of terrorism. Middle Eastern terrorist organizations were investigated, including Black September and the Palestine Liberation Organization in all its aliases and guises. We examined several European terrorist organizations, all of them then thriving: Bader Meinhof, the Red Army Faction, The Basque ETZ, and the Italian Red Brigades. Each, we were told, was either under the operational control of the Soviet KGB or had links for logistical support. Why would the KGB back such nihilistic and obviously criminal gangs? Orthodox Marxism taught that violence was the only legitimate mechanism of political change. And this dictum had permeated the world's struggles of liberation. In geographical areas of strategic interest, wars of liberation were proxy struggles between East and West, one puppet fighting another, and it was all about power. This was the Great Game. If we understood that, we would understand the process.

Having been made familiar with the causes and types of revolution, we were introduced to the triad of their remedy: tactical action, psychological warfare, and civil affairs. These ongoing and overlapping spheres translated roughly to : kick their asses; convince the world you're doing wonderful things, and quietly right the political and economic wrongs that sent the guerrillas into the hills in the first place. These processes would later coalesce into a term and methodology called "nation building."

Nation building, BushCo swore, was something he wasn't about to get into, didn't believe in. And sure enough, he and his cronies have not. Consider Afghanistan and Iraq...we're talking about the plan for what came after the invasion here...that part of the Generals' plan that caused Rumsfeld to warn...the next person that mentioned it to him would be fired. At this time, 16 of the Nation's Intelligence Agencies have produced National Intelligence Estimates that declare what BushCo has done with the attack on Iraq is simply to increase many times over the number of terrorists operating and made this nation LESS SAFE. Too bad he wasn't sent to class to study with the Navy SEAL officers. He might have learned something.


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