The “Falluja Think Tank” recently published the “Special Strategic Study of the Global Battle and the Jihadi Movement’s Place in It.” Like Thomas, I had high expectations, but was disappointed in the end because the study amounted to little more than general summaries of U.S. and jihadi history. However, the author did state that divine providence allowed 9/11 to happen, which caused the U.S. to abandon its principles of democracy and human rights.
The author started by establishing that the battle between the United States and the jihadis is religious in nature rather than geopolitical or for acquiring resources. He commented that today’s “crusaders” are not only supported by their governments, but also by the “dogmatists” like the Knights Templar and the Knights of Malta, who, he claimed, “resemble the mujahedeen because they fight for faith.”
He went on to chart America’s “path” to global dominance and then gave a history of the jihadi movement from colonialism until now. He broke the “Jihadi Path” into four distinct phases. The first was the “Popular Jihad” against colonialism that was marked by Moroccan ‘Abd-al-Karim al-Khattabi allegedly killing 25,000 “crusader” troops and capturing 20,000 others, including 95 generals and five marshals. I am not very familiar with Moroccan history, but the numbers sound highly exaggerated.
The second phase was the “Local Jihad” (الجهاد القطري) against the ruling regimes allied with the West, i.e. the near enemy. He made a point to exclude Hamas and the Moro Islamic Front because they deviated from the proper jihadi ideology.
The third phase was the “Regional Jihad,” which was the result of oppression at home that sent the jihadis elsewhere. He stated that Afghanistan was the ideal model for this because jihadis could go there, receive training, and go on to other battle fronts. He mentioned that jihadis still aid Kashmir, Somalia, the Philippines, Kosovo, Burma, and other places as well.
Finally, the fourth phase is the “Global Jihad,” which sprang from the “crusader invasion of the Arabian Peninsula” in 1990.
The meeting point of the American and jihadi paths, according to the author, was al-Qaeda drawing the U.S. into an asymmetrical conflict where al-Qaeda’s “stupid technology” (تكنلوجيا الجهل), i.e. suicide bombers, could check American technological superiority. September 11th marked the beginning of this conflict.
The author then identified two paths to victory for the jihadi movement. The first is the continuance and completion of the historical path already laid out through the previously stated four phases, while the second path is converting the West to Islam. I believe it is unlikely that either path will come to fruition. However, I have concluded that if the entire West were to convert to Islam, it should convert to Shi’a Islam in order to study the jihadi reaction.
In conclusion, the author stated that it was God’s will for 9/11 to happen because if the jihadis had conducted a nuclear attack, the whole world would be against them. However, the knee-jerk U.S. response to 9/11 and the human rights issues it raised allowed the U.S. to destroy itself without al-Qaeda taking the blame. He stated:
“If we substituted the 9/11 plan for the plan of targeting American nuclear reactors that al-Qaeda planners had previously abolished, its massive destructive damage could have reached a degree of existential disaster. If we were to have done that, America would be completely forgotten. However, the entire world would hate us for what we did to the exemplary system for human life and we would become enemies of the freedom and justice that America represents in the eyes of the people. It was God’s wisdom that struck America on its skull causing it to agitate, provoke, and anger without a care, exchanging the principle of peaceful coexistence in the shadow of the United Nations for the principle of either you are with us or against us. It caused America to substitute the principle of respecting sovereignty and referring to the Security Council for a principle of occupying two countries without physical evidence, and to exchange spreading democracy around the world to rejecting the votes of Palestinians who elected Hamas. His wisdom caused America to exchange the system of trade globalization for a system of occupying sources of raw materials, and to replace the principle of defending general freedoms and respecting human rights for the principles of Abu-Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret prisons.”
While the “Special Strategic Study” was somewhat disappointing, the author does underline the importance, for the jihadis, of defeating America’s image abroad as a symbol of freedom. He also points out that the best way to defeat this symbol is to provoke America into destroying its own reputation. However, the author inadvertently highlights a jihadi weakness in that the jihadi ideology is too weak to destroy and replace American ideals. Only America can do that.