It’s difficult for me to understand how the Obama administration is characterizing the al-Qaeda resurgency as “unrest.”
This is proof of my previous points that you cannot defeat an insurgent group through aerial attacks or by attacking them militarily. When a group or a person has an ideology and an ideation that catches on throughout the general public, then no amount of power will undermine or delegitimize them, and they’ll keep coming.
If I were the Obama administration, I’d actually try to LISTEN to what the al-Qaeda fighters and leaders are talking about, why they’re fighting, what’s motivating them to pack up and move across the world to go fight and lay down their lives. I would be more interested in the causes of the fight, rather than the movements of the chess pieces on the chess board. Once you understand the motivation behind a person’s action, or a group’s action, you can figure out ways how to satisfy and check those motivations by adjusting your own stance to suit the psychological and physiological needs of the other that you’re interacting with. It’s not going to be 100% effective; you will still have those who will continue on the fight regardless. The trick though, is to get as many people as possible on their side on your side in the argument, such that those who are more familiar with the social, psychological, cultural, economic and geographical situations come to YOUR side and help root out those who are unnecessarily carrying out the conflict. It’s about prioritizing the needs of others over your own freedom to act and, in the process of subverting your own needs at times, gain the love, respect and cooperation of those you’re interacting with, such that you can more legitimately (and safely) act.
Take Mali, for instance.
If the US would pay attention to what the Tuaregs are complaining about, and then ASKED to help, rather than simply butting in to get what the US deems is right done, and then worked according to what the Tuaregs wanted, they might be a) more willing to support the US in our conflicts, b) more willing to help fight against our common foe, chiefly, the foreign al-Qaeda fighters and c) better partners in future endeavors. Through helping another realize their OWN dream with their OWN labor and logic, then we’d gain more real power over them in the form of influence and friendship. We could then ask for reasonable stuff from them and, thus, fulfill our healthier and re-prioritized interests.
Real politik doesn’t take into account the fact that most humans make friends and are pro-social, while it is the dangerous minority who don’t make friends and aren’t pro-social. It also fails to take into account that this pro-social behavior tends to lead to more cooperative and productive situations and circumstances than the harsher, anti-social and competitive behavior that has typically characterized our current logic and behavior in government. There will be anti-social people in power, officially and non-officially, and we will have to deal with them, hopefully, in a compassionate, benevolent and understanding manner. But why should the presence of a few identifiable malevolent people make it so that we don’t behave socially with all other peoples and leaders of the world? Why should we continue a false notion about how the human social world works?
Think about it.
Because it’s too easy to call this just plain “diplomacy over war.” This is about building relationships and then using those relationships to deal with common problems either from the human or the environmental and cosmological worlds. It’s about respect, understanding on their own terms and addressing situations as they are towards ends that works for the people who are living with the consequences of our actions. It’s not about getting what WE want or doing whatever WE want to do. That’s how you lose respect, lose relationships and gain enemies on THIS plane of existence.
And it’s only the conservatives of our societies who don’t get healthy human sociability and the influence that it yields a person, a nation and a people.
Think about it.