Tag Archives: Terrorism

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The Solution to Islamist Extremism Leads to Riyadh

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 23, 2013, No Comments

The Boston bombings only underscore a reality that has been quite apparent to the Obama administration: the scourge of extremism is constantly seeping into the Internet through the so-called Saudi-trained or Wahhabi-influenced "imams" who have nothing better to do but to propagate anger and hatred toward everything Western, including democracy, Islamic moderation, the Shias, the Ahmadiyas, and even Harry Potter movies!  The international dissemination centers for Islamic extremism are located in Riyadh as well as in other major cities of Saudi Arabia.  So, a global solution for stemming the tide of extremism must initiate from Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration has to prompt an acute campaign toward that end. (more…)
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Whither “Savior” Musharraf Pervez?

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 18, 2013, No Comments

My surprise was second to none when I saw that the former dictator of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, had arrived in his native land with the audacious self-depiction of himself as a "savior."  My estimation was that it was too soon for him to return to Pakistan; there were too many angry politicians and persons in the legal community and institutions chomping at the bit to get even with him.  One angry lawyer even hurled his shoe at him.  The ultimate "Bush welcome" in Baghdad of December 2008 has become a permanent symbol of popular contempt for unpopular politicians in Muslim countries.  Besides, the people of Pakistan had shown no affinity for the idea of his return.  The professional commando decided to go on a "suicide mission" on his own.  (more…)
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The Culprit in Afghanistan is Occupation

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 29, 2012, No Comments

The ongoing Quran burning controversy in Afghanistan is wrongly described as "inadvertent."  That was not an inadvertent incident.  At the same time, the purpose behind that incident was not to insult Islam, but, like all things related to the military, the issue of security got the upper hand.  The US soldiers suspected the Afghan prisoners of passing some sort of secret messages to each other through the copies of the Quran that they were using for their daily recitation in the prison library.  Those copies were confiscated by the US military authorities.  What do you do with any material that is regarded as a breach of security?  You destroy it.  So, please don't insult the intelligence of average Afghans (or anyone else) by telling them it was an inadvertent incident. (more…)
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Afghanistan: The Enduring Battlefield of the ‘Weak’ and the ‘Strong’

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 9, 2011, 1 Comment

India and Pakistan are two strange countries in a number of ways.  I will mention only one such trait here, to get the discussion going.  Despite India's denial to the contrary, Pakistan is its chief obsession.  Pakistan feels similarly toward India, but it has many reasons to feel that way.  First, on the scale of economic development, these two countries are really a world apart.  Despite India's intricacy as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, it is relatively trouble free, while Pakistan is a simmering cauldron of sectarian and ethnic hatred.  The Takfiri extremism – which was prevalent in Egypt, post-Saddam Iraq, and Saudi Arabia – has found a home in Pakistan throughout the first decade of the 21st Century.  India is envisaged worldwide as a secular democracy and an up-and-coming cradle of modern education and technological development, while Pakistan is a place where Islamist-driven obscurantism is running rampant.  In view of these contrasting featur
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The Aging Revolutionaries Must Make Room for the New Ones

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 11, 2011, 1 Comment

Every revolution brings to the global limelight new ideas, and a new corps of leaders, who, by becoming successful in carrying out that revolution, prove to the world that the ideas and the regimes that they replaced were anachronistic and irrelevant.  The Arab awakening is one such revolutionary movement.  It is focused on ousting the aging (and not so aging) dictators and establishing democracy.  In the process, it is proving, among other things, that Hezbollah of Lebanon – a revolutionary movement of the 1980s – has become anachronistic. (more…)
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The Only Realistic Solution to Afghanistan Is Fixing it

by Ehsan Ahrari on July 5, 2011, 1 Comment

Former Secretary of State Collin Powell famously told President George W. Bush before he invaded Iraq, if you send troops to that country "you are going to own it."  That is otherwise known as the "the Pottery Barn rule," "You break it, you own it."  Now, the United States "owns" Iraq as well as Afghanistan.  Even though President Barack Obama publicized the fact that he read Gordon M. Goldstein's book, Lessons in Disaster, in order to learn how to avoid them before implementing the troop surge of his own in Afghanistan, no one told him that each major conflict has obdurate realities that forces the sitting U.S. President to commit idiosyncratic faux pas of his own.  The problem is not knowing how each major U.S. military deployment is going to be different from the previous ones.  Somehow, President Obama thinks that, if he were to announce a rational timetable to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, the conflict would remain highly manageable. (more…)
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Negotiating with the Taliban to Switch Sides

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 20, 2011, No Comments

After the death of Usama Bin Laden the Afghan conflict seems to have entered the "final phase," at least in the minds of those Americans who during moments of candor never gave much credence  to the proposition that the United States can come out as a "winner" from that  conflict.  Bin Laden's death has provided them the best opportunity to define victory on their own terms and make an argument for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. (more…)
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Presidential Prerogative: Defining “Victory” in Afghanistan Anyway He Wants!

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 12, 2011, No Comments

The day before Leon Panetta's confirmation hearing as Defense Secretary Robert Gates' successor, President Barack Obama said during a television interview that his administration has won a "big chunk of strategic objectives" in Afghanistan.  He then proceeded to say, "By us killing Osama Bin Laden, getting al Qaeda back on its heels, stabilizing much of the country in Afghanistan so that the Taliban can't take it over...it's now time for us to recognize that we've accomplished a big chunk of our mission and that it's time for Afghans to take more responsibility."  When you are president, you have the national visibility to define success the way you want. Whether people would believe you or not is an entirely different story. (more…)
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Pakistan’s Misplaced Strategic Priorities

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 5, 2011, No Comments

A recent academic study documented what the specialists on counterterrorism have known all along: poverty is not breeding extremism in that country. But tell that to the U.S. policymakers, who are convinced that it does. Pakistan's problem is that it might be the only country where extremism has systematically introduced from the top since the 1970s: from the government in the name of Islam. In that indoctrination, Islamist parties and their religious schools have played a crucial role. (more…)
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The Arab Awakening: An Antidote Against the Relevance of Al-Qaida

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 23, 2011, No Comments

 When al-Qaida was ranting against the corrupt and inept Arab and Muslim dictators as "slaves" of America, it had captured the sympathy of quite a few people in the Arab world, who agreed with that organization's criticism of their rulers, but not with its brutal ways.  The Arab awakening is bringing about the kind of change that al-Qaida dreamed about, but with at least one major difference.  The falling dictators are likely to be replaced by democratic and transparent governments, which will also learn to govern well. It is aiming to create pluralistic governments in such countries as Egypt and Bahrain, where more than one religion and Islamic sect prevail.  It also aims to make discrimination against women a thing of the past.  If hopes related to these aspirations are dashed, then al-Qaida will have another opportunity to be back with a vengeance.  At least for now, it is watching history fly right by it.  That is just one of the most significant reasons to celebrate the Ara