The reign of imagination
....FOLLOWING THE September 11 attacks, the US Congress formed the bipartisan 9/11 Commission and charged it with determining the causes of the assault and recommending a course of action for the government to follow to prevent such attacks from happening again. It took the commission members nearly three years to finish their report. In the end, they claimed that the chief failure enabling the attacks was "one of imagination."
Unfortunately for the US, the commissioners had things backwards. It wasn't that imagination failed America before September 11. It was that imagination reigned in America. And it still does.
It's just that the land of make-believe occupied by the US foreign policy elite has shifted.
Until September 11, 2001, the US foreign policy elite was of the opinion that the chief threat to US national security was the fact that the US was a "hyperpower."
That is, the chief threat to the US was the US itself.
After September 11, the US decided that the main threat to the US was "terror," against which the US declared war. The perpetrators of terrorism were rarely mentioned, and when they were they were belittled as "marginal forces."
Those forces, of course are anything but marginal. The Islamic ideology of jihad is the predominant ideology in the Muslim world today.
The rallying cry of al-Qaida - the shehada - is the cry of Muslim faith. Jihadist Islam is the predominant form of Islam worshiped in mosques throughout the world. And the ideology of jihad is an ideology of war against the non-Islamic world led by the US.
Then-president George W. Bush and his administration imagined a world where the actual enemies of the US were marginal forces in Islam. They then determined - based on nothing - that the masses of the Muslim world from Gaza to Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond were simply Jeffersonian democrats living under the jackboot. If freed from tyranny, they would become liberal democrats nearly indistinguishable from regular Americans.
With President Barack Obama's inauguration, the imaginary world inhabited by the American foreign policy elite shifted again. Obama and his advisers agree that jihadist Islam is the predominant force in the Muslim world. But in their imaginary world, jihadist Islam is a good thing for America.
Hence, Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan is Obama's closest confidante in the Middle East despite his transformation of Turkey from a pro-Western secular republic into a pro-Iranian Islamic republic in which secularists are jailed without trial for years on end.
Hence Israel - the first target of jihadist Islam's bid for global supremacy - is a strategic burden rather than an ally to the US.
Hence the US abandoned its most stalwart ally in the Arab world, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the most strategically vital state in the Arab world.
Hence it supported a Libyan rebel force penetrated by al-Qaida.
Hence it is setting the stage for the reinstitution of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru