I have sent several E-mails in the past few weeks regarding the terrorist attack. Frankly, I was becoming somewhat disheartened by the fact that I had not even received acknowledgement of those efforts, until I received a call from a congressman's office thanking me for my input and informing me that they had just been briefed on what I had sent a full week earlier. Copies of those emails can be found at
Those ideas; however, are not the subject of this letter and, in the interest of helping the United States be as effective as possible in achieving success, I would ask that you please read this in it's entirety. If you agree with what I say, I would ask that you please forward this to anyone that may be able to exert influence. If you do not, I would be very curious to know your reasons why and invite response.
Mr president, members of congress, leaders of America,
I think we are all in agreement with the thought that a key to the success of our quest to eradicate terrorism is in gaining the active support and assistance of as many people throughout the world as possible. If achieved, all but the most fanatic core will face opposition on every front; reducing their ability to create headlines that are believed by any, recruit new members, and to hide. If achieved, it is reasonable to expect there will even be groups that are captured by their own community, which would be the greatest statement possible.
Gaining the support of the various religious and ethnic groups is, and will be, dependent upon every public statement made and how it is interpreted by the media that is our pipeline for information to the world.
My purpose in stating what may seem to be the obvious is that I believe there is a need for an important change in the process of determining strategy and it's subsequent implementation.
As each group of terrorists is targeted, the first priority needs to be in learning the beliefs, positions, and feelings of the people that support and harbor them. Strategy should include public information campaigns designed to counter the extremists arguments, to expose them as the fanatics they are, and to enlist the aid of the local populations. Imagine the power of this thought if campaigns are also delivered, in part, and supported by leaders respected by the group.
Corollary, too, is the importance of including what is learned in every facet of implementation. Speeches should be screened for offensive language, public figures need briefing on what to do, or not to do.
So far, I have spoken in general terms; thoughts that I believe will be needed for the successful attack of each terrorist group as they are targeted.
The reason that I started this letter; though, are some specifics I think would help in dealing with Osama bin Laden and the nation of Islam.
Unlike Christianity and western religions, there is a very strong emphasis on the inclusion of secular law in the Muslim faith. Individuals that break the law have also broken their faith with Allah. This, in part, is why the Taliban has repeatedly stressed the need for evidence and we would go far in defeating them to produce it. Bin Laden, himself, admitted his involvement in the embassy bombings during an interview with ABC in early 1999, veiled only by the excuse of Jihad.
The subject of Jihad itself and it's validity in bin Laden's declarations needs a massive attack.
Jihad means striving and, in most instances, does not include military or violent actions. In no case can it include the killing of women, children, the infirm, or innocents. Further, the Koran demands that all good Muslims must declare a Jihad against any rebellious followers of Allah that have engaged in a false Jihad.
Yes, I have oversimplified and there is the complication of interpretation by the various sects; but, in essence, what I have said is true and it is potentially a public relations nuclear bomb if it is handled correctly. No, we probably won't get the fanatics to change sides or have a horde of Muslims bring us bin Laden's head on a platter; but we would bring a lot of people to our side of the cause and get several countries off of the fence.
And the best implementation would be presentation by followers of Islam. Get Muslim religious leaders throughout America, Asia, and the middle east to decry the Jihad's and Fatwa's used by murderers to excuse their actions. Rather than having the leaders of Muslim countries speak in support of the U.S. on CNN, have them proclaim the actions of the terrorists as abominations and against the teachings of Allah. Ask the press to find influential Muslim leaders and interview them.
Publicly, and broadcast live, deliver a truckload of evidence to Islamabad.
The short statement of my suggestion is that we use the same tools used by the terrorists to recruit and promote their cause to defeat them, but that can only be done by first understanding what their propaganda is and why it succeeds.
An article in the Charlotte Observer yesterday said that Osama bin Laden receives as much as two million dollars per month from what we would call the collection plates of several churches! It seems to me that if we can stop that, we have gone a long ways towards winning the war.
Davis M McCarn
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