7 Phase Plan

Marching toward a time when “the global Islamist Caliphate will be established and they will achieve ‘definitive victory,'” Bill Roggio analyzes al Qaeda’s plan. His post is based on Yassin Musharbash’s article, “What al-Qaida Really Wants”, in Der Spiegel. Musharbash tells us “Hussein, who is based in Amman, Jordan, has succeeded in turning his correspondence with the terrorists into a remarkable book: al-Zarqawi – al-Qaida’s Second Generation. He quotes liberally (and Roggio quotes him liberally) from the “Seven Phase Plan” Hussein outlines; it “is a scenario, proof both of the terrorists’ blindness as well as their brutal single-mindedness.” However, he warns

It is all too easy to fall prey to disinformation — al-Qaida also excels in this area. Even Hussein’s scenario should be judged skeptically.

His book should therefore be read for what it really is: an attempt to second guess how al-Qaida terrorists think, what they really want and how they propose to get there.

The absence of such planning by our administration may be its great failing – that is certainly the argument of many observers. However, its guiding principle seems to be changing the culture of the Mideast sufficiently to make this seven-step plan fail. Clearly it is that and not bin Laden’s head that is our goal.

Posts like this remind us that it isn’t Bush’s war – it was planned before and will continue long after he is president; if he “chose” to go into Iraq, it was choosing a battlefield on a war already in progress. We are not surprised our opponent’s plan sounds grandiose; we’ve been there before. (Nor are we surprised by Musharbash’s point that these “phases” may well have been cobbled together to rewrite the past to define a reasonable trajectory for the future.) We remember other plans; we also realize a world of laws & of such plans, no matter how invasive nor challenging, can be seductive in its ersatz certainty. Resting in its imposed & complete order, we can imagine a Utopia soon – 2020 he says.

Probably the underlying question is, have we lost the grandeur of our vision of individual responsibility? You can’t understand their culture if you don’t understand ours. And ours is a pretty mundane grandeur – a nation conducted with sufficient civility so that laws are few and choices are made in terms of whether we, that is our awakened conscience, can live with it. We protect our world from anarchy in the subtle ways Harris describes. And our lives are pleasant, are indeed ‘free,” because of assumptions that underlie our culture (that violence is wrong, that a spark of divinity lives in everyone no matter what their race or religion or, indeed, culture, that we protect & respect others as we would want to be protected and respected). But sometimes we may fear that that very subtlety will fail us. And our desire for rules that we can rest in is evidenced in the increasing number of rules and dialogues in which what is “real” and what is “said” depart company–ah, the ever present quote marks about the real.

What strikes me about so much criticism of the war is that it doesn’t take the opposing visions into consideration and quite often projects our values on to those who fight us. Freedom, they argue, is what the insurgents, the terrorists, want. Have they never read the fatwas? Have they never thought what their idea of Utopia would be? Freedom is precisely, of course, what they don’t want. We see some Palestinians want to be free from Israel’s occupation; that we understand. But do we understand that to others, freedom from Israel means that Israel does not exist; it is freedom from the concept of Israel. We argue for freedom & believe it is a universal desire; I suspect it is. But so is the desire for order, for clear if draconian rules – ask John Walker Lindh. The freedom not to have to “deal with” complexity. Lindh’s desire to find a comforting rigidity is dismissed as arising from the rigidity of our own culture. Given his family & his school, that seems unlikely. Besides, why would he have sought such rules for life? He could have chosen to be a free spirit; he did not. He was too young and too confused to be someone on whom we want to base much of a theory.

But I would posit that we do understand a desire for order, for simplicity. And this was a boy crying out for just such order. Some seek a simple order by making the war Bush’s or Rumsfeld’s and demonizing them. (They do, of course, make mistakes. I’m not talking about criticism, though much of it seems to be on a pretty uninformed level.) That is much easier than thinking of a war between ideas that some feel uncomfortable discussing nor of future skirmishes likely to stretch out into the future – all against an enemy difficult to understand.

(Thanks to Instapundit for Roggio.)

5 thoughts on “7 Phase Plan”

  1. This from the linked article:

    The First Phase Known as “the awakening” — this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby “awakening” Muslims. “The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaida as very successful,” writes Hussein. “The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target.” The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard “everywhere.”

    Oh Horsecrap! This is spin on a very grand scale and only an idiot would swallow this lie. Are we supposed to believe Al-Qaida PLANNED on losing Afghanistan? Had they HOPED the Taliban would be crushed and replaced by a relatively moderate democracy, the first in their history? Are we supposed to believe they WANTED to have their operatives chased 24/7 all over the Western world, as well as Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, North Africa, etc?

    Sorry, I’ve read my Aesop’s Fables. I know the sound of a wolf when I hear one speak.

    “We wanted it all this way. It’s all part of our Master Plan, you see. We are in complete control of events across the globe. Nothing happens, can happen, that our visionaries haven’t planned for. We control the present, the future, all that ever will be…”

    Uh huh. Just another group of vicious, petty, would-be tyrants who will soon be a small but bloody footnote in the history humankind.

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  3. “[I]t isn’t Bush’s war – it was planned before and will continue long after he is president; if he “chose” to go into Iraq, it was choosing a battlefield on a war already in progress.”

    Its been said before, but I’m not sure its been said as briefly, that well.

  4. One day I visited a good friend who was living on a farm in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, and on the barn wall he had shot about a dozen arrows. Each arrow was in the middle of a white target circle.
    I was so impressed that I just wanted to know how he got so good at archery. He laughed for several minutes and said, “I’m using the old technique of shooting the arrow first and then I drew the targets after.”

  5. Awakening? They are dreaming nightmares, and letting their private monsters loose to ravage and breed. They will not rest until the sunlit world is covered in the shadows they themselves inhabit. There is no argument with dream-logic.

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