By ESAM AL-AMIN
13-15 May 2011
Despite the dozens of meetings in the review process, it’s remarkable that the whole premise of the U.S. escalation in Afghanistan and Pakistan was not challenged or probed. The U.S. has committed tens of thousands of soldiers, hundreds of billions of dollars, and uncalculated risks of alienating peoples, countries, and regions based on a faulty premise.
Since the early days regional experts warned against the broad brush approach of the Bush administration which led to the catastrophic Iraq war, the loss of civil rights of many in the country, the deterioration of the economy, and the high tension that exists between the West and the Muslim world.
Georgetown University Professor John Esposito and Gallup conducted numerous polls across the Muslim World, which revealed that Muslims across the globe unequivocally reject Al-Qaeda’s ideology and means, though they sympathize with the legitimate struggles of many Muslims battling injustice and dictators.
Perhaps a major part of the problem was the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. government to distinguish between Al-Qaeda networks and others who have legitimate grievances but do not employ its indiscriminate killings, illegal means, or twisted rhetoric. But the recent death of Osama Bin Laden might present a real opportunity for a paradigm shift and course change.
Phi Beta Iota: The US Government is making decisions on the basis of ideology, corruption, and less than 2% of the relevant real-world multi-cultural “true cost” information that integrity would make possible.