Read: Attacking the al-Qaeda Narrative

Read Jim Guirard’s post Attacking the al Qaeda “Narrative” and “semantic infiltration” at the Small Wars Journal blog.

In his June 2007 State Department E-Journal article, New Paradigms For 21st Century Conflicts, Dr. Dave Kilcullen of General David Petraeus’ senior staff in Baghdad called for, among other things, a “New Lexicon” for better defining and more effectively defeating enemies which subscribe to the faith-based mantra of “Death to America, the Great Satan”.

In other public statements and in several Small Wars Journal postings, Kilcullen entered very slowly, very prudently into the virtually verboten realm of attacking al Qaeda-style Terrorism in Islamic religious context, rather than in Western secular terms only — referring to the AQ terrorists as “munafiquun” (hypocrites to authentic, Qur’anic Islam) and pointing out that “they call themselves mujahideen” but are doing barbaric things which are anything but holy.

To which this word warrior says: Spot on! Two small steps for a good man, two giant steps for truth-in-language and truth-in-Islam in the War on al Qaeda-style Terrorism — a.k.a., Irhabi Murderdom and the AQ Apostasy, as this essay recommends as its most appropriate new names.

But even these two measured Kilcullen attacks on the terrorists’ religious legitimacy were in conflict with the State Department’s basic rule in such matters. As stated on page 25 of the US National Strategy For Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication, the official advisory is, in part, as follows: Use caution when dealing with faith issues. Government officials should be extremely cautious and, if possible, avoid using religious language, because it can mean different things and can be easily misunderstood…

…[Lieutenant General Jim Mattis, Commanding General of US Marines Forces Central Command and I Marine Expeditionary Force charged ] in a recent North County Times interview, the al Qaeda narrative in this respect is nothing but tyranny in false religious garb. Although he does not list the specific Islamic terms which constitute that pseudo-religious scam, the most likely ingredients of this patently false but highly seductive, self-sanctifying narrative would be bin Ladenism’s six-word mantra of so-called

(1) Jihad (holy war) by supposed
(2) mujahideen (holy warriors) and UBL-anointed
(3) shuhada (martyrs) destined for a promised 72-virgins
(4) Jennah (Paradise) as reward for killing us alleged
(5) kuffr (infidels) and, in time, the alleged
(6) Shaitan al-Kabir (the Great Satan, America), as well

Notice, please, that the widespread parroting of this AQ-supportive narrative is much akin to the “useful idiocy” of those in the Cold War who parroted (and who demonized those few who would not join them in parroting) the Soviets’ and Fascist Fidel Castro’s deceitful narrative of so-called

(1) Wars of National Liberation by alleged
(2) Progressive Movements and supposed
(3) Patriotic Fronts on their way to heaven-on-earth
(4) People’s Democracy as a reward for killing all of us
(5) Fascists and for defeating the evils of
(6) American Imperialism

You can beat a dead horse only so many times, so briefly… note where the argument for a “new lexicon” is published. In a State Department e-journal, that’s great. Note who wrote it. Someone from the defense community (Kilcullen was working with State before he was poached, but he is mil, period… and Mattis is mil). Note how his seemingly fundamental argument of not adopting the enemy’s vocabulary and grammar is in violation of State’s, and Karen Hughes’ (surprise), policy. Do you hear about such awareness coming from the civilian sector, say State or even our Chief Information Officer Karen Hughes?

Read Jim’s post, I’m working on something else and the horse is dead already.

One thought on “Read: Attacking the al-Qaeda Narrative

  1. We fumble about in perception management once again… Any substantial change in the lexicon of war will be viewed as exactly what it is: an IO attempt. DEEDS not words!

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