and finds the coming war with Islam could necessitate some really hard tactics. Maybe starve Saudi Arabia, or nuke Mecca and Medinah.
He does say this is NOT official policy and does not represent the views of the US army yadda yadda yadda. So the Wired.com headline is rather misleading. But his own views are very clear and he is up for a good old-fashioned general whipping of the freedom-haters.
Some quick points (and I know I am begging to be misunderstood here, but I have to run, so this will have to do):
1. The Wired headline is misleading. The “US army” did not (yet) adopt this policy or teach it as dogma. A colonel did teach it in class and probably represents the views of others in the US army (and in other powerful positions) but these views cannot yet be regarded as the official views of the US army or the US government..and for various reasons they are unlikely to become the official view anytime soon.
2. The colonel truly believes he is fighting for truth, justice and the American way and thats what the US has always fought for. In this respect, he is at least as simple-minded as Tariq Ali and ALMOST as simple-minded as Lt General AI Akram, who wrote this book.
3. But of course, neither the fans of Tariq Ali nor General Akram have much influence over the most powerful army in the history of mankind. This colonel must therefore be regarded as more dangerous.
4. This episode will lead to a clearer suppression of such views in public pronouncements of the US army. It will also lead to some more officers and thinktankers starting to believe that the colonel is right. Both are expected responses. Neither response will lead to much change in actual US policy in the world because policy is much more complex and is driven by many more immediate concerns. Even the propaganda value for liberal or even leftist voices within the Western world will be transient and will not really change much of substance. Propaganda value in the Islamic world will be greater but will it change the opinion and actions of powerful people to any significant degree? Probably not by much, but among episodes in the propaganda war this may eventually rank close to Abu-Gharib levels in impact in the Muslim world.
Not so much in the Western world.
I just wrote the following on another site and thought it clarifies my post a little, so I am adding it here as well:
1. There is a propaganda war within the Western world between liberals, leftists, rightists and so on that is clustered around the center and whose participants actually live within the existing arrangements of Western capitalism and democracy. In THIS war, the usefulness of this particular item will be on the lines of the Wired.com article (use by left-of-center liberals opposed to XYZ right wing actions and rhetoric). This use has actually maxed out in the wired piece. The same tendentious reporting is likely to be repeated for a few days, then increasingly countered by complaints that the wired piece goes too far and conflates one colonel’s views (or “model”) with existing policy and mainstream American military thinking (as it clearly does). This particular episode will then fade.
2. There is a propaganda war conducted mostly in academia and on the left-wing fringe by postmodernists, postcolonialists and left-wing hacks like Tariq Ali that is very loud within its own echo-chamber but has limited or no “real-world” relevance. In that echo-chamber, soundbites from this wired piece (“destroy Islam”, “Hiroshima”, “no more Geneva convention Bullcrap”) will echo forever but will be noticed little by the rest of the world.
3. There is a propaganda war conducted by Islamists (militants of the AQ type, as well as “moderates” of the Muslim brotherhood type) against what they regard as Western domination of the Islamic world. In THAT war, these same soundbites will take a few days to get fully noticed (they are not always the sharpest knives in the drawer) but once it gets circulated (and I predict an article in http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com/ within 48 hours, unless they read this post ) it will be amplified with every passing day. Thousands of emails and blog posts will follow. All those labelled as apostates and lackeys of Western imperialism will be on the backfoot for months, if not years. In that world, the propaganda value will be huge.
We shall soon see if my prognostication skills are worth anything