The latest NIC Global Trends 2025 Report is out… and it’s not good news for those determined to insure the Bush legacy is portrayed as one consisting of nothing but of utter failure.
I had summarized for Larry Weisenthal here just a few days ago… as well as blogged about it on my old haunt Sea2Sea back in February 2008… PLUS Wordsmith’s post May 29th here on FA… about what? There’s been more than a few of us becoming aware that one of the side benefits of the Iraq war was the decline of jihad in the eyes of modern Muslims. And this can only be construed as good news.
But still, despite events – and having few reporters willing to go out on the limb to report the unthinkable (a Bush success??) – the MSM and world proclaim that jihad movements and their recruiting are increasing in strength and numbers.
This report dashes hope of that ringing anywhere close to truth. Yet as of this new report’s release? So far, only the Washington Times has picked up on it with their op-ed today, Al Qaeda’s Demise.
Die hard Bush haters and a Democrat party, determined to take credit for events they opposed at every turn, are not going to be pleased with the NIC report.
On page 69 of the report (89 of the downloaded PDF linked above):
Why al-Qa’ida’s “Terrorist Wave” Might Be Breaking Up
As al-Qa’ida celebrates its 20th birthday, most experts assert that the struggle against it will continue indefinitely, the so called “long war.” Other experts who have studied past “waves” of terrorism believe that al-Qa’ida is an “aging” group by terrorist standards and suffers from strategic weaknesses that could cause it to decay into marginality, perhaps shortening the lifespan of the Islamic terrorist wave.~~~
Research indicates that terrorists’ strategic objectives fail on two fronts. Objectives that pose a threat to the existing political order court tough counterterrorism measures, while objectives that are seen as neither achievable nor relevant to solving problems have little appeal to elites or the general populace. The two primary strategic aims of al-Qa’ida—the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate and the removal of US and Western influence so that “apostate” regimes can be toppled—are clearly threats to many existing Muslim governments and are resulting in stronger counterterrorism measures.
There is little indication that the vast majority of Muslims believe that such objectives are realistic or that, if they could come to pass, would solve the practical problems of unemployment, poverty, poor educational systems, and dysfunctional governance. Despite sympathy for some of its ideas and the rise of affiliated groups in places like the Mahgreb, al-Qa’ida has not achieved broad support in the Islamic World. Its harsh pan-Islamist ideology and policies appeal only to a tiny minority of Muslims.
According to one study of public attitudes toward extremist violence, there is little support for al-Qa’ida in any of the countries surveyed—Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The report also found that majorities in all Arab countries oppose jihadi violence, by any group, on their own soil.
Al-Qa’ida is alienating former Muslim supporters by killing Muslims in its attacks. Recent scholarly research indicates that terrorist groups that kill civilians seldom accomplish their strategic goals. Although determining precisely the number of Muslims worldwide who have died in al-Qa’ida attacks is difficult, examination of available evidence suggests that at least 40 percent of the victims have been Muslims.
The roughly 40-year cycle of terrorist waves suggests that the dreams that inspire terrorist group members’ fathers to join particular groups are not attractive to succeeding generations. The prospect that al-Qa’ida will be among the small number of groups able to transcend the generational timeline is not high, given its harsh ideology, unachievable strategic objectives, and inability to become a mass movement.
Let me make this simple for the BDS challenged who prefer to parse words.
And where has the global Islamic jihad movement gained the majority of their PR by wreaking bloodthirsty welfare on fellow Muslims?
Iraq. Point made.
This single element… changing the hearts and minds of Muslims… come to us not only because of the courage and fortitude of our US and allies’ military personnel, but also because of the very failings of the enemy itself. We can be certain that it was not part of Iraq strategy to have the jihad and rebel movements shed the blood of so many innocent Iraqis merely to allow them to show their true colors. But we can also be certain that had we not made them so desperate as to attempt to tear Iraq in two, it’s likely the Muslim world may have continued to hold them up as honorable religious fighters.
There is more than just the foul taste in the mouth from jihad that is left to Obama from a “failed” Bush administration. He comes into a world where Saddam is no longer holding Iraq in chains, and the Taliban is battles to regain even a bit of authority they held before the US coalition went in after 911.
Again, the BDS thought parsers are not going to connect the dots here. So again, I will make it simple. The Muslim nations’ changes are driven by economics, and a more modern view of progressive attitudes towards women in the work force. All of this is only possible under a form of Muslim democracy, since Shariah law prohibits such activity.
Still in the same Chapter Five of the Global Trends report, pg 64 (pg 84 in the PDF):
A Two-Tier Muslim World?
Although the Western paradigm separating religious and secular authority may still be less compelling to Muslim publics, a greater emphasis on economics and, most importantly, greater participation of women in the work force may spur new forms of progressive Islam. This does not mean that extremist strands will disappear; in the short term they might benefit from unease over the changing role of women and alternative amily models.
But over time, lower fertility promotes religious and political stability and, if secularization in southern Europe is a guide, modernized versions of Islam could take root by 2025. The channeling of political dissent into Islamic discourse—a variant of the global revival of religious identity in the aftermath of the Cold War—and states’ efforts to manipulate Islamic currents will reinforce the dominance of Islam in Middle Eastern politics and society in 2025.
As a result, pressures for greater political pluralism are likely to produce a bigger role for Islamic political parties and a re-thinking of how Islam and politics should interact and influence each other, with considerable political and social turmoil generated in the process.
All this is long winded for western economic progress in Muslim lands. Sound familiar? You may remember it coming from the lips of our current POTUS as “spreading freedom and democracy”.
Indeed, this report still reinforces the notion that Muslim youth with opportunity and… dare I say it “hope?”… are far less likely to end up strapping on a belt of bombs.
There’s caveats in this report, as much can spin on which nation’s continue to encourage trade and economic growth, what Iran chooses to do, and the positive impacts of achieving some sort of workable truces between Israel and the PA, as well as Syria.
But all in all, the contrast from this issue from the Global Trends 2015 report issued Dec 2000, just prior to Bush’s first Inauguration, is striking. Here, terrorism and their warfare capabilities were on the increase, and their methods more sophisticated. Weak states were at a higher risk of drifting towards cooperation with the jihad movements.
Specific to Iraq:
• Iraq’s ability to obtain WMD will be influenced, in part, by the degree to which the UN Security Council can impede development or procurement over the next 15 years. Under some scenarios, Iraq could test an ICBM capable of delivering nuclear-sized payloads to the United States before 2015; foreign assistance would affect the capabilities of the missile and the time it became available. Iraq could also develop a nuclear weapon during this period.
For the Middle East?
In the Middle East, the confluence of domestic economic pressures and regional rivalries is likely to further the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. By contrast, spending on conventional arms probably will remain stable or decline in most countries. Some governments may maintain large armed forces to absorb otherwise unemployable youths, but such armies will be less well trained and equipped. Rather than conventional war, the region is likely to experience more terrorism, insurgencies, and humanitarian emergencies arising from internal disparities or disputes over ethnic or religious identity.
A decline in support for terrorism doesn’t even exist in their dreams. But oh what a difference under a bold President who follows his advisors and his heart as to what he believes is best for the US, and the world at large, instead of polls can make.
Obama will walk into the Oval Office with tensions high and warfare raging Israel v Hamas battle raging, yes. But then, this is not a new occurrence.
On the other hand, he’ll also walk into that office with jihad falling out of favor, elected governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan an ally in words (if not always deeds), Libya sans their WMD programme, and N. Korea dismantling theirs and *this* time being carefully monitored.
Or, as the Washington Times op-ed I mentioned above says:
In a nutshell, it appears that in the years to come, the Obama administration – and people around the world – will likely reap the benefits of President Bush’s unrelenting campaign against al Qaeda. Our hope is that the next president will be as determined and tough as Mr. Bush in keeping America safe.
All in all, on the world stage, Obama is not inheriting “a mess”. In fact, in retrospect, it is considerably better than what was handed to Dubya eight years ago. And while the Democrats and BDS types out there will stubbornly stick to their blind, political hatred, history will eventually bear out the truth…. documented by reports such as the NIC’s Global Trends.
Vietnam era Navy wife, indy/conservative, and an official California escapee now residing as a red speck in the sea of Oregon blue.