How the US Can Really Combat Radicalism

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The US government held yet another conference on how best to combat “Islamic radicalism.” It is interesting that radicalism — even without adding the Islamic adjective, as the Obama administration avoids the label — is applied to only one cultural and religious milieu. Radicalism is thus assumed to be a phenomenon of one culture and one religion. When the US government speaks about radicalism, it ignores the radicalism that prevails in the US Congress or in the US churches. It has only one radicalism and one form of violence in mind. Thus the violence of the US government, visited upon people in many Muslim countries, is not seen as the product of radicalism, but of moderation and of lofty ideals. Furthermore, for the US to really demonstrate its willingness to effectively combat radicalism it has to undertake those steps and policies — which it will never do:

1) End its bombing and covert operations in predominantly Muslim countries.

2) Break with the radical, reactionary regimes of the Gulf and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, especially those regimes that are most responsible for arming and funding those radical ideologies.

3) Declare war on the ideology of Wahhabiyyah, which is the ideology of all terrorist Jihadist groups.

4) End its arming and/or funding of radical repressive regimes in the Middle East and North Africa.

5) Declare war on the radical ideology and practices of Zionism, and the various forms of terrorism that it has spawned over the decades.

6) End the use and misuse of Islam as a tool of US foreign policy to be used in the Cold War and in other wars (as in Syria) in order to help topple governments that the US does not like.

7) Admit that there are radical trends in all religions and in all governments, and that the West is not immune.

8) End the clear or camouflaged insistence on the conflation between Islam and radicalism.

9) Abandon the view that the usual suspects (discredited US tools and voices in the Arab world) would be the best preachers of “moderation” in the Arab world, especially since those voices are tied to the region’s most repressive regimes.

10) Admit that the US government has been the biggest source of radicalism — the right-wing kind — all over the world for the last 70 years.

11) Admit that the US is the most unqualified party to combat radicalism.

12) Admit that progressive and leftist radicalism is the best antidote against Jihadi radicalism.

Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil is a Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus, a lecturer and the author of The Angry Arab News Service. He tweets @asadabukhalil

Comments

I enjoy reading this news site, and most of the editorials, but this author seems to have some tunnel vision.

Every single country on earth has radicals on the left and the right along with many more people in the middle. Iran, Lebanon and Syria are no different than the United States in this regard.

Blaming everything on the United States is evidence of your tunnel vision, sir. Can you not admit that the civil wars between Muslim sects is also a factor?

But who is perpetually inciting these civil wars? This is the question that you must answer if you were intellectually honest.

Yeah, Charlie, why always blame USA, while Iran, Lebanon and Syria are supporting the most fanatical wahhabies in the ME, just like USA? And invading another states 10 000 miles from their borders - just like USA? And mass-murdering people with drones 10 000 miles from their borders - just like USA? Right, Charley, you sure have not a "tunnel vision" because you could see all things above and even more done by Iran, Lebanon and Syria, right?
But somehow you cannot see the simple fact of USA doing their best to make the civil wars between Muslim sects in places where they had not been before USA intervention.
By the way, I wonder, do Iran, Lebanon and Syria also support Nazis in Ukraine, just like USA? Do Iran, Lebanon and Syria support Zionist colonizers - the worst radicals in the ME - just like USA?

not surprisingly, I don't agree with ANY of dear As'ad's prescriptions for the US struggle with ISLAM inspired, violent radicalism
I do believe that :
#1 Only Moslems can effectively address the problem of radicalism
There's not much the US can do in this intra-faith effort
#2 Short term, the US can only do what we do best : Send the nastier elements to
Hell. Bombs away!
Expect to see a lot more of # 2 because # 1 will be a very slow process

Why make the process slow? For what reason? It is clear even to the dummies that the process must last as long as Syria and Iraq are fragmented as planned by the Masters.

No wonder that the fan of the most stupid prez in USA history - no mean feat is as smart as this prez
1) USA back (actually made) Saudi royals whose ideology is wahhabism
2) USA made Afghanistan the breeding ground of wahhabist terrorists in 1979 (before USSR intervention, by the way)
3) 9/11 is the direct result of 2)
4) the fan of the most stupid prez in USA history - no mean feat- is happy with the prospect of the new 9/11? Nice. Of course, the fan of the most stupid prez in USA history - no mean feat - could perish before this - for ex, by the homefire in absence of firefighters - they are being fired in USA to free money for USA mass-murder of civilians in the ME
5) of course the fan of the most stupid prez in USA history - no mean feat is also happy with being spied 24/7 by USA rulers - after all, they have told him that it is for defending the fan of the most stupid prez in USA history - no mean feat - against terrorism - and the fan of the most stupid prez in USA history - no mean feat - is as wise as this prez, so believe in it.

Point on. Well done. I am in complete agreement. Taking these steps will save lives, save money, and salvage whatever hope for peace remains in the post-colonial, fragmented and sectarian Middle East. But with tens of members of the US congress and federal agencies holding dual, US - Israeli citizenship, I don't expect anything to change. It is as if the US has ceded leadership of the country and foreign affairs to Tel Aviv.

I am using this article as an example of the dangerously thin air that surrounds ivory tower academics, combined with the genocidal fantasies of the Arab left for my students. It is perfect.
PS- The day the US does any of these is the day this guy gets elected dog catcher in San Francisco.

You do not realize how impenetrably profound you are! What you are saying is silly. And aha tis sillier is that you believe that you are not silly.

Barry the Zionist ie colonizer of Palestine sure knows a lot about "thin air that surrounds ivory tower academics" - in case of As'ad it is not about him living under Zionist occupation of Lebanon, for ex.
Barry the Zionist ie colonizer of Palestine knows so much about "Arab left" that he even have "students" - i.e. other colonizers of Palestine?

Barry the Zionist ie colonizer of Palestine could not even see irony if it bite him on his colonizer's lying tongue. Of course, USA is not going to do all those points because USA is not going to do something against their wahhabist pals. But when USA got 9/11 (in Libya too) it was a direct result of USA politics - politics of politicians who are not fit even to catch dogs, but are ruling USA. After all, what the problem with making wahhabist dangerous?

Funny how a leftist propagandist lectures on how to fight islamism,besides the funny-shocking part is the 12th proposition the "leftist radicalism antidote" the politically correct expression for stalinism,the left failed throughout the world in a catastrophic way ,millions killed,communism , mao ,cambodgia,north korea.But the propagandist want "more left" or the "pure left",how shameful! Ideology of wahabiya as you say equals objectively the ideology of marxism-leninism.Replacing one totalitarianism by another,what a plan!
best regards

Andre Vltchek reminds readers that the US government (and British government) have undermined progressive, reformist, revolutionary, leftist leaders, governments and movements for more than half a century, and that Washington (and London) have sided with, installed, armed, trained, protected brutal right wing regimes and tyrants

Who Should be Blamed for "Muslim" Terrorism?
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/09/who-should-be-blamed-for-muslim-t...

Thank you Dr. Abu Khalil for sharing your opinion. It is very important to be able to debate and share opinions about matters which are important to all of us.

I would like to address some of the assertions you made, in respect of Islamic radicalism (since this is the context of your article), because I disagree with some of them:

1) I am against a lot of the interventions that have taken place in the Middle East by the USA, but I don't think that US-led bombing campaigns and operations in Muslim countries have led to the proliferation of these Islamic terrorists/fundamentalists/ISIS or whatever label we put on them.

Firstly, Al-Qaida in particular made references to American interference in Muslim and Arab affairs as a pretext for their jihad, and therefore claim the right to retaliate in the way that they did/do. But if you read their manifesto statements, other reasons include:
-denoucing the Western "crusade" in Bosnia. This doesn't make sense since it was NATO that stopped the bombardment and killing of Muslim populations;
-alledged American collusion of the killing of Muslims in Chechnya and Kashmir, wars and crimes that were vehemently denounced by the US and "western" nations;
-allowing East Timor to become an independant country (i.e. separating and partitioning Muslim land - Indonesia). East Timor by the way is a majority-Christian country and was occupied by Indonesia for several decades, during which time an untold number of local inhabitants were tortured, killed, maimed, abused, and imprisoned by the Indonesian authorities and state-backed paramilitaries. It was outrageous that the US at the time sided with Indonesia, but thankfully changed their position allowing, eventually, East Timor to become a separate state;
-allowing the creation of Israel, which, no matter how controversial that matter is, still does not allow to declare all CHristians, Jews, Americans, and so on fit for slaughter.

So if you don't want to upset the Islamic terrorists (for point number 1) you had better allow Russia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Serbia to commit genocide, rape, torture, and untold crimes against humanity. And should allow Israel, whether or not it has a "right" to exist, to be obliterated off the map along with all its inhabitants.

2) Could not agree more on this. Our close alliance with families such as the one that rule Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries is enough to make one vomit.

3) This I suppose is somewhat linked to number 2 - if I understood this correctly, I would agree

4) Agree. But bringing together this point and number 2, it should be noted that these repressive and ugly regimes THEMSELVES propagate the worst parts of Islam. By putting it the way you did does sound a bit like absolving them of their resonsibility in this matter.

5) I don't have much to say on this. But it does not sound very realistic.

6) The American assistance of the Taliban and said cohorts in Afghanistan during the 80s could be now viewed as perhaps one of the most misguided policies to ever be implemented by the American since a long time. The knock-on effects this action has had in terms of allowing extremist Islam to take on the flavor it has (through Al Qaida or ISIS after it) are still being felt.

But whether or not Islam is being used as a "tool" to implement global policies of the USA, it still does not absolve the actors of the crimes they have committed. In other words, see point 1.

7) This is true. But I am sorry to report that Islamic ideological terrorism is the one that is causing a lot of devastation across many communities. It is also one of the most blood-thirsty, hateful, nihilistic, inflexible, types of terrorism out there. It shows no mercy and anyone who doesn't agree is fit for slaughter in some of the most hideous ways. Those who live under its influence live in absolute tyranny, and local societies are turned into howling wastelands, especially in terms of culture, society, human fellowship, the bedrock of human civilisation and advancement.

Having said this, some of those Mexican cartels are in the run-up for the number 1 spot.

8) There is actual Quranic legitimization for acts committed by all these Al Qaida Isis people. Religion is the problem to begin with. It provides the reasons and methods of these acts, it legitimizes them, and at the very least its text can be easily misappropriated by those with nefarious agendas. There is no right or wrong Islam in the same way there is no right or wrong Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and so on. They all have inaccuracies, miscrepanices, which explains why there are so many religions, let along competing views of Islam. They all offer the same glimpse of the untruth. Speak to a nice guy from ISIS and he'll find quranic legitimization for everything he does. He can probably quote most of it.

So I'm sorry but Islam and radicalism should be mentioned in the same breath because that is actually what is happening. And it is happening whether the peaceful and nice muslims want it or not.

9) I think I understand what you mean. Egypt, Saudi, or other US allies are not unfortunately voices of moderation. It almost seems that unless you
a) hate america and declare jihad
b) condemn islamic terrorism
c) don't actually support these acts yourself

you (as a Muslim country let's say) are deserving of the title to be called a "moderate".

10) you need more evidence to make that assertion. I honestly don't know what you mean.

11) US may make mistakes. But it is unfortunatly one of the most qualified since it has the most money and military power, and by definition, capability to combat (whether actual war, or even funding certain humanitarian etc programs). Although I would like to see some local governments have some skin in the game and actually pretend that they are part of this struggle for civilisation, since also it is their religion and culture being tarnished by the barbarity of these islamic terrorists.

12) I have nothing to say to this.

Yeah, yeah, USA saved Muslims of Bosnia - by starting the civil war which endangered them in the first place and now turning Bosnia in such good place to live. .

And sure, who could be more "qualified" to be a policemen than a rich gangster with a big band and a long history of mass-murders, robberies, torture, kidnapping and so on.
I wonder, who in his/her right mind could said that Gulf royals are "not unfortunately voices of moderation" - it is the same as said that the torturer is "not unfortunately a voices of humanity". And, by the way, USA has no problem with people who declare jihad and support and finance it - provided they are doing it against USA foes (in Russia, for ex, in Syria and in Afghanistan back then). Actually, USA made the biggest jihadist force in Afghanistan against the pro-Soviet government.
So, you or not know a lot about USA and jihadism, or do not want to know.

Y&ou are totally wrong. They used then to fragment Yugoslavia.

I always thought radicalism is rather a good thing, since "radicalis" in latin refers to the "root of the thing"; so a radical is someone who deals with the roots of problems and things, unlike extremists that is, like the US-congress and Administration, who in their fanaticism cannot but see the surface of things and thereby fight only the symptoms, creating in the process more of the same.

'How the US can really combat radicalism' ---> Two declarations of war, a call to end bombing and an admission that the US is unqualified to combat radicalism. Problem. Solved.

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