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Thank you very much. Our topic today is Global Terrorism. We'll try to get a handle on how to define it, what it is, how it's changed and perhaps take a crack at trying to find a few strategies for combating it. We have a very distinguished and diverse panel today. Starting on the far right, Professor Husain Haqqani, who is a professor at Boston University and a long time, a very distinguished diplomat in Pakistani service, served with several heads of state in Pakistan, and prime ministers and also served as a journalist. So he has reached several worlds. To his left, Reza Aslan, who is a commentator for NPR and for CBS News which I should add is competition, but its okay, and is one of the emerging, very interesting voices on terrorism today. And to his left, Dalia Mogahed, who works for the Gallup Organization; and she has been involved in a very interesting survey of Muslims worldwide in more than 39 countries. And I think we'll find that to be very interesting. So I'd like to begin, just sort of framing the issues a little bit and I think everybody has a general understanding of what some of the problems are that we're facing today. Just in the last few days, of course we've had attacks in the UK which we're still getting some definition. I think it's a little bit too early to say what that is. Perhaps some of our panelists will have some thoughts, but it's really just emerging as the arrests are being made and people are being rounded up. Fortunately it seems that tradecraft in this case was a little short. But in any case, it's a reminder once again that people are out there that are motivated to kill Westerners and will do go to extreme lengths to do so. The National Counterterrorism Center in Washington estimated that in 2006, last calendar year, there were more than 14,000 terrorist attacks resulting in more than 20,000 deaths. This is an extraordinary number. It's more than a 25 percent increase over 2005 in number of attacks, and more than 40 percent increase in number of deaths. Now many of those, almost 7000, took place in Afghanistan and Iraq. But I think the clear message is that terrorism is very much alive and that in many cases Al-Qaeda is the guiding spirit although the direction varies from place to place and that's one of the things that we want to talk about today. I think that one thing that can also be said is that in the 5 years more than 5 years since 9/11, and since the US led attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan - I'm sorry, Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been - Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have reemerged and has reconstituted, and I think established themselves as being representing a real global Islamist threat, a global terrorist threat of which I think Al-Qaeda remains the dominant leader, even though many of their leadership, more than 50 percent of their leadership has been either killed or arrested. The two top leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri remain alive. We hear from them from time to time. We hear from Zawahiri a lot, we hear from Bin Laden less so, but he appears to still be alive. They have active affiliates in more than 40 countries worldwide that are affiliated either ideologically or more directly or operationally with Al-Qaeda. They have made exploited the Internet in ways that are evolving everyday. It's estimated that there are more than 4,000 jihadist websites out there that in one form or another are spreading the word. This creates a almost a community of Islamist propaganda and ideology, in which they show videos and speeches, and martyrdom operations as they call them, and provides everything down to very technical information. So the Internet has provided an enormous vehicle for these movements to link up internationally. So I think that today what I'd like to try to do in organizing this panel is take the first part and try to diagnose a little bit of the problem with our speakers here, and then address some of the treatments or some of the ways in which the strategies in which we should combat this. So I think the first step is just to try to define what the nature of this global threat is, if in fact it is global. Is it an organization, is it a movement, is it a network, is it an affiliation of networks, what's the operational relationship between the high command, if you will, and of Bin Laden and Zawahiri and the various affiliates or franchises, what are the seams in the global environment that these folks exploit or manage to take advantage of? What degree is the threat dependent on the sympathy and support of the populations that they move in and operate in, how much support do those populations provide, do they provide that support because they're intimidated to do so or threatened to do so, or is it because they actually have some affinity for these operators? And then we'll, as I said, try to take a crack at some counterterrorist strategies and what the West and the United States particularly is doing wrong and how they might be able to do it right, how they might be able to do it better. So I'd like to begin with Husain Haqqani, who has had long experience with the extremists in his country Pakistan of course, going back to the origins of Al-Qaeda. And I think maybe you could give us a little bit of your perspective on how you see the movement having changed or how Bin Laden's leadership has changed, and also how they've managed after having been expelled from Afghanistan in October of 2001 by the US led invasion and how they have managed to reconstitute in the particularly in the Pakistani tribal areas along the border there and at this point seems to have managed to put back many of their camps and command and control operations. Thank you, Chris. Let me begin by saying that sometimes we become prisoners of our clichÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©s. So one of the clichÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©s is that the world changed on 9/11, and that's not true. What happened on 9/11 essentially was that Americans became more aware of a phenomenon in the world that had been going on for a while. The British had encountered terrorism in the form of the IRA. The Sri Lankans had encountered terrorism in the form of the Tamil Tigers; the Israelis had encountered terrorism on a day-to-day basis for a long time, and 9/11 woke America up to the whole notion of terrorism. So then we declared war against terror. And there is a presumption that somehow the process of terrorism and its organization and its threat should be understood in the context of what happened on 9/11 and after, not before. Let's go back a little. Al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda was born out of the jihad against the Soviets, which the United States fully supported. I was there reporting on it and in fact one of my notebooks says, and I don't have any recollection of that, that amongst the people I met during the jihad covering the story was a man called Osama Bin Mohammed Bin Laden. So I presumably shook his hand, don't know if that's .Very tall man. But his teacher was the important guy at that time, Abdullah Azzam. And when you were saying his terrorism and network, his Al-Qaeda network I would use a totally different word, it's an idea. Terrorism as a tactic and a strategy has been around for a long time, but it has usually been used for a specific purpose of the IRA wanting the British out of Northern Ireland. The Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers wanting a state for The Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers wanting a state for themselves. Going back into history, the anarchists had the idea of changing the structure of Europe and how the world was governed, and they used terrorism. Al-Qaeda is an idea that the Muslims of the world can use terror to change the global order of things and overcome the humiliation and weakness that they say is the characteristic of the Muslim world today. And one must remember the Muslim's sense of history. Reza will probably enlighten you more on that. But the fact of the matter is that unlike the United States, where if you want to be dismissive about someone we say, "Chris, he is history," in the Muslim world, the approach to history is different. History is something of value, and therefore everybody wants to redeem history the fact redeem themselves before history. We were important ones, we were powerful ones, we are weak, we are humiliated now, the fact of the Muslim world right now; 57 countries with a GDP less than that of France. The Arab world with about 300 million people, per 15 capita consumption of books less than the per capita consumption of books in Greece which has a population of 15 million. Only 500 universities in the entire Muslim world for 1.4 billion people, compare that with 8000 in India. So how is this community going to compete and I am part of it, and I also think those questions. I come up with different answers than Osama Bin Laden does, thank God for that. But their idea so what happened was that after beating the Soviet Union with the help of the international community, the hardcore Islamist jihadists inspired by Abdullah Azzam, Osama Bin Laden's teacher. And Azzam wrote a very important book, "In Defense of Muslim Lands," in which he came up with the idea that actually what we can do is, we can start this on a global basis. So it's like it's like somebody who comes up with the idea and I don't know who it was, who came up with the idea that, you know, the corporation and the company in one country can make profit only up to a point, let's go global. This is the idea of the globalization of the idea of terrorism. That's what Al-Qaeda is, that's different from everybody else, point number 1. Point number 2, what has happened? They got battle hardened in Afghanistan and that was one generation. They got pushed out of Afghanistan after 9/11, but immediately realized one thing, that if there are more theaters of war for us to get more battle hardened people, then we can replicate the experiment in more places. So the war against terror inadvertently provided them with more theaters of operation, where they're training. Now I don't know if you saw a piece and one shouldn't always talk about what one has written, but I did a piece a year or two ago in The New Republic about the so called suicide bombers or martyrs in Iraq. And what was happening was they had these biographies very adulatory, and what they were trying to do was they were trying to inspire other people into saying, "You know what, the previous generation fought the Soviets and got battle hardened and we've sustained the jihad for 20-30 years since then. Now Iraq is the theater where a new generation can go and get trained and then go back, and then replicate. So these can become battle hardened trained people who have fought the Americans and therefore will have learned new tactics and new methods, and new ways of making improvised explosive devices and replicate them in many, many, many theaters of the world; which is why the number of acts of terrorism around the world is increasing, not decreasing. And the third thing is that they have realized that instead of having a hierarchical organization, it's better for them to have a virtual organization. So Osama Bin Laden is a figurehead, he is a symbol. But we don't really know if he actually controls the operations of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or Al-Qaeda affiliate in Pakistan, or Al-Qaeda affiliate in Indonesia. There is a great degree of autonomy, not centralization. And with that great degree of autonomy, the most important thing becomes again, back to the word "idea." It's the idea of terrorism and therefore how many people can you appeal to and make them feel, "You know, what, all this business of overcoming humiliation, the best way of doing it is blowing myself up." How many people can you persuade to do that? And there the battle of hearts and minds becomes very important, which the United States is losing miserably, as I am sure Dalia's statistics will tell. Last point, polling data in the Muslim world indicates that an overwhelming majority of Muslims do not agree with the tactics and methods of Al-Qaeda, a lot of them saying that they don't consider that Islamic. So that's the positive. The negative is, a majority of them say, that they find the critique of the global order that Al-Qaeda presents as valid. So out of this maybe are born new ideas and new methods of tackling the same problem. And an overwhelming majority of Muslims, even in American allied countries, seem to believe that Islam is in danger. There is a serious threat to Islam and there is a serious threat to Muslims, which I will come to later because I want other participants to come in at this point. So that in my thinking is are the contours of the problem. It's an idea, a violent idea, not a hierarchical organization, multiplying quite fast, because of decentralization. The U.S. is a little behind. For example, when we say half of their leadership has been decapitated, it's half of the leadership we know. It's the half of the leadership that came to fore as a result of Al-Qaeda. Now, basically there are baby Al-Qaedas being born, baby Al-Qaedas being organized that have no organic connection to the original Osama Bin Laden Al-Qaeda. These are franchisees who are using the franchise, or the trade mark without official sanction. They're just copycats, pirates, so to speak, you know, to use an intellectual property concept, they're just replicating the CD-ROMs and they're doing just as well as a result in multiplying the problem. Well, that's good, that certainly gets us off to a good start and certainly your point is 9well taken on the as Rumsfeld had called them, "The unknown unknowns." What you don't know you don't know - Yeah. Reza Aslan, let's pick up on what where Husain left off. And maybe you could try to give us a sense of how you see this movement and not just Al-Qaeda but really a global jihadist movement, and what are the connections, what are the links between these movements, what is the link between the movements in Algeria, the North Africa to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, to Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia. What are the affiliations and how strong are those? That's a great question. And I think it's important for us to actually move beyond Al-Qaeda for a moment because well, Al-Qaeda does represent a very serious threat. They essentially are just one manifestation of a larger movement called jihadism, which is not, you know, an enemy by any means, it is not an organization it's an idea. And an idea that is only a couple of decades old, but which has I think, in many ways risen to the surface and has become very dominant in the discussions taking place in the Arab and Muslim world about local issues and global issues. But I think it's important for a moment to stop and define exactly what it is that we're talking about when we say "jihadism" or "jihadist." This term which by the way is widely recognized in the Arab world, "jihadiya" is how it's as it's referred to, refers very specifically to a global transnational movement of violent Islamic Puritanism, Sunni Islamic Puritanism. It is a movement that wants to rid the world of the nation state, its anti-nationalist, which is why referring to it as "fascist" as it's so often referred to, is so absurd. And fascism is essentially a worship of the state. To the jihadists, the state is about as anti Islamic as an idea as one can get. It is a movement that made a very strategic decision at a certain period in its formation, in which they decided that although so many of these Islamic terrorist organizations or non-state entities throughout that region that are fighting nationalist or local conflicts against what in jihadist terminology is referred to as "The near enemy" in other words, the individuals, institutions, political and religious organizations of their own nation states, in their own neighborhoods the fights should be against them with the ultimate goal of transforming the nation state into an Islamic state. What jihadism proposed in a very brilliant innovation to this was that war is unwinnable in a sense, because we don't have either the manpower or the influence, or the ability to turn Egypt into an Islamic state, to turn Palestine into an Islamic state, to turn you know, Algeria into an Islamic state. So rather than focusing on the near enemy, what we ought to do from now on is to focus on the far enemy, to focus to bring this war to the United States, to the West with a notion of, "Certainly we're not going to win a war. There is nothing that we can do to defeat the United States. We will never ever recreate the caliphate. And so it's an absurd notion, it's absolutely impossible. It is impossible for us to rid the world of Israel, it will never ever happen. But that's not the point. The point is, in attacking the far enemy; you drag them into this internal conflict as a mobilizing force, as a polarizing force to essentially win the internal battle. By bringing the West into this fight, you have now a very easy target that can create an idea of "us" versus "them", that all Muslims regardless of their political affiliation or their piety can wrap their minds around in some sense. So in other words, it is a means of creating a collective identity. And that term is one that I think is very important when talking about jihadism, because as a trans-nationalist movement, as a movement that goes beyond any kind of cultural or national or ethnic borders, it has as one of its primary focuses, the attempt to create a new kind of identity, an identity that goes even beyond traditional religious affiliations. So whether you're a Hanbali Sunni or a Hanafi Sunni, whether you're an Egyptian Muslim or you're an Algerian Muslim, I think is that is that the Homeland security, is somebody just cutting me off? Can you still hear me? Okay, good. That rather than doing that, you create a new identity that links you not with your own state, not with your own community, not with your own sect, but with this new virtual community and I used that term deliberately, because it is a community that exists primarily online than anything else and a new identity can be fashioned through this by connecting grievances and again, to really get into this issue of grievances, I'll come back to it when we talk about how to address the problem. Right now, just to figure out what the problem is. But by connecting these very legitimate grievances that people have across national nationalities, across ethnicities, by connecting say, the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza to the lack of economic development in Algeria to the lack of political participation say in Egypt, you connect these seemingly disparate grievances into one larger grievance that says essentially all of these things are connected by the fact that you are under attack by this westernizing, crusading colonialist force and that the only way to address your individual grievances is to connect all of these grievances into one movement, into one identity and then hopefully that identity will eventually foster collective action. Now what's really truly by the way what's truly fascinating about this is particularly when it comes to, you know, the ideologues even Bin Laden and Zawahiri is how brilliant they are in using these legitimate grievances. So yes, of course, they'll bring up the exploding resources of the Muslim world or, you know, the Palestinian Intifada issues etc. But then they'll also bring up things like global warming. "America is responsible for global warming. And therefore you know, you need to reach out against it." Now, what in the world has Al-Qaeda ever done for global warming? Absolutely nothing. But that's not the point. They're trying to expand the grievances of the developing world in order to connect them all into this larger master narrative which is that we're not terrorists, we're anti-imperialists. We're fighting for not just the rights of Muslims to have an identity, but in short we're fighting for the rights of all subject peoples. There is a reason why if you go to Nicaragua you'll see people with Bin Laden T-shirts like he is Che Guevara, because to them he is Che Guevara. They have no conception of his ideology and certainly as Professor Haqqani said, they do not share his tactics, they don't condone his tactics. But they recognize the movement as a legitimate one, as one that addresses legitimate grievances though in an illegitimate way. Now that movement again, as was said, is one the fight against that movement. The fight against Al-Qaeda one can make an argument that's going fairly well. The fight against the movement is not. It's going very, very poorly and again, you know, just looks at Dalia's statistics to understand that. Well, it's a good that's an excellent setup for Dalia. And I think one of the things that we need to try to get out here is the degree to which this message that you've described is playing, and how it's playing. There are more than a billion Muslims worldwide, and as Mao famously said, the guerilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea. So the question to you Dalia is, how friendly is that sea for Al-Qaeda and its affiliate jihadists? Thank you, Chris. And I think it's very interestingly said about Nicaragua. It actually reminds me of a poll, not by us, but by Zogby that found that the top four most respected or most admired political leaders outside of the respondents' country were number one, Ahmadinejad, number two, Jacques Chirac, number three, Hassan Nasrallah and number four, Hugo Chavez. The only thing those four have in common of course is that they're of course standing up to the United States, or were. What I would like to do is really test some of the conventional wisdom on that sympathy. A; how much there is of it and then that group that does lend a sympathetic ear to the tactics of Al-Qaeda, what do they look like, what do they have in common with the majority and what is different about them, and in so doing really build a theory from the ground up using empirical data. And what I'm will base it on very quickly is nationwide representative survey research in over 39 predominantly Muslim countries. So when we asked the question what percentage of people support the attacks of 9/11 just simple question; we found that that percentage worldwide over, if you take a weighted average across the Muslim world is 7 percent. Now is that high or low? I can't answer that. What we do know is when we ask questions that don't pertain to a specific attack like 9/11; we just look at support for attacks on civilians. We find that Muslims are on average less likely than the American public to support attacks on civilians, believe it or not. So the concept of attacking civilians, in general as a generic concept is not something that Muslims sign up for. It's explicitly prohibited in the Islamic discourse. In fact, it is funny to note that even Bin Laden when asked in 2001 how can you justify 9/11, your satisfaction at the attacks of 9/11, in light of Islamic teachings, his response actually was to cite Hadith, a prophetic tradition that said that the Prophet forbid targeting women and children in war, but that no longer applies because the world is a different place. So if you're looking for revisionism of this jihad, look no further, Bin Laden is very willing to redefine and reinterpret the text. So that 7 percent we'll call them the high conflict group. What is special about them and what isn't? So let's look at what they first have in common with the general population. Do they hate freedom? The answer is no. They are in fact slightly more likely to say that democracy will help Muslims progress. So one thing that came out of our data in general is that Muslims when asked what you admire most about the West, the number one most frequent response is technology, the number two most frequent response is around government accountability, transparency, the kinds of things we would call democratic principles. And the high conflict group is no different, in fact slightly more likely to express such sentiment. Are they jobless? The answer again is no. There is absolutely no difference in the percentage of employment between the high conflict group and the rest. Are they hopeless for the future? Do they have simply a lack of hope? Again, the answer is no. They're slightly more likely to have optimism, in fact, for the future of their own countries. Now, are they less likely to be concerned about better relations with the West? Again, no, they're as likely as the general population to say that better relations with the West is of a personal concern, but they're more likely to think the West has no concern for better relations, which will feed into what actually I think is driving some of the sentiment. A sense of humiliation, as has already been discussed, actually cuts across the Muslim world. It's not specifically among the high conflict group that humiliation really drives their sympathy. Humiliation is something felt very strongly among Muslims as a whole. So for example, a respondent in Pakistan said, "A whole lobby of the West is working against the Muslims and damaging our image. They should stop and respect Islamic values." Very quickly, a respondent in Morocco, "The West has to change and moderate their attitude towards Muslims. They have to stop looking down on our people." And finally, I'm going to read you a respondent from Lebanon, because I think this is very telling. "They should consider us as humans and should end the war against Muslims and Islam." I guess that pretty much sums it up. And finally religiosity, the big red herring. They're no more likely to be religious actually than the general population. The high conflict group are no more likely to go to the mosque or no more likely to say that religion is an important part of their life. Now, religion does have a role to play; but I'll explain what I think the role of religion actually is. Now, what is different those were the things they have actually in common, what is different about them? They have a much higher sense of threat than the general population. So they are more likely to feel that the United States of America is an eminent threat to their nation and their way of life. So when asked, "What is the greatest fear that you have in your life?" The general population would talk about things like inflation or crime or maybe even civil war, whereas the high conflict group, the most frequent response is about US domination and US occupation even in countries where there is essentially no real threat of that. But that is the most at the top of my most greatest fear that they have. They also have a much greater sense of being dominated and controlled by the West. So they're much more likely to say that the United States will not allow people in their region to fashion their own political future, that the U.S. is not serious about democratizing the Muslim world. They also have a lack of faith, a huge skepticism as to the goodwill of the West. They say the United States or the West in general, does not care about better relations with the Muslim world, and they also feel that a time will never come when better relations will happen. So if you combine this combustible foundation of feeling humiliated and that cuts across like I said but then you add to that a sense of threat; acute threat, and a sense of hopelessness in not their own future, but in the prospect of change through peaceful or political or diplomatic means, and that cocktail turns into a justification of violent a violent response to what they feel is a very real threat. Some interesting demographic realities of this high-conflict group and it might not surprise some of you who've been actually following some of the people who are arrested for attempting terrorism. They are actually more likely to be educated and affluent than the general population. So the people that were captured in Britain were all medical doctors, and it fits exactly with the data we're finding across the board. Interestingly, they're more likely to be supervisors at work than the general population. And that in fact feeds into this problem a sense of humiliation combined with a bigger ego. A bigger sense of if you will, self-actualization and a perception that they should be free to fashion their own political, social and cultural future. And so when you combine these factors, what you find is what drives the sense of sympathy for a violent response to grievances that most people actually recognize or perceive to be true, is that it's a perceived injustice that this group does not think is something you have to take. It's a very violent reaction to a perception of one's dignity, pride and ego being trampled on, and because of their higher education, their higher economic status, those kinds of emotions are more readily, sort of, available to them than the general population who has much more personal concerns around just, you know, job creation or local issues instead of this transnational perception of being attacked or threatened as a whole, as an omen. Well, that's very interesting. I think one of the clear themes that has emerged that all three of you touched on is a sense in the Muslim world or at least in a significant part of the Muslim world and let's keep in mind, even though that 7 percent is a minority, it is still by my number 70 million people. So 70 million people who are really not happy. And I think certainly, when you expand that out, I'm sure you'll find that the numbers go way up once you start, once you start looking at just the dissatisfaction overall with the United States in particular and with the West in general. I guess what I'd like to drill down a bit on here, beginning with Husain is, to what degree do you think this sense is rational? And is it is there something that we in the West take on board here, because I must say, you know, one talks to Americans and American policy makers, and many of them will say, "You know, we don't really understand this, because actually a lot of things we've done have been pro-Muslim. I mean we helped win the jihad against the Soviets; we got the Soviets out of Afghanistan. We helped belatedly, but we helped in Bosnia, we helped in Kosovo, in Muslim countries; we were on the right side of those issues." In Iraq, they could argue that we liberated Iraq which was under the thumb of a brutal dictator who had killed millions of their own of his own people and people in neighboring countries who were also Muslims. We liberated that country from a brutal dictator, and paved the way for a democratic, albeit Shiite government to come into power. I mean, the argument the counterargument to this is that, you know, the sense in the Muslim world, while real is somewhat unfair. Husain. Chris, let me begin by saying that most broad consensus about something are never all rationally thought out. Let's just look at these ideas Aspen Ideas Festival. There are only two sessions in which Islam is going to be discussed. 1.4 billion people, 57 countries, one of the most important regions, the Middle East, South Asia. Islam is the biggest religion in South Asia, India emerging. Everybody knows India, China is going to, you know, but how many sessions and what are the sessions? One is terrorism, where the three of us are discussing Islam in a circuitous manner. The other one is the usual, you know, is Islam compatible with liberal democracy, which about 100 years ago No, no, 100 years ago, you know, there was no Catholic majority country that was a democracy and people were debating and some people could have turned around, is Catholicism compatible with democracy instead of understanding so let me just say - Christopher Isham:You'll have to take that You'll have to take that up with the- No, no, I am not taking it up with - I am not taking it up with anyone, I am just pointing out that this is like these broad all broad generalizations about people; are emotional or broad aggregations, they're not always rational. So let me just say that at the outset. America's view of how the Muslim world is as irrational as the Muslim world's attitude is about America. That is the point I was trying to make. Second, as far as the specific thing is concerned, you see, the Muslim sense of humiliation is not since I came to the U.S., one of my biggest problems is whenever I give out a lecture, somebody would raise their hand and I now, I call it the predictable question, it is, "So what can we do about it?" Because America has always looked upon the world as a problem to solve, not as a situation and circumstance to understand. That's the American way, you know, tell me how to fix it. And you can't do that with people. It's like 1.4 billion people needing therapy, will there isn't going to one psychotherapist that's going to do that. This is about we understand it when it comes to individuals. You know, we want to understand their personal history, so how were you treated as a child, how was your relations with your mom? Well, when we are talking about a community we don't want to do that, we don't want to understand. The President of the United States didn't know anything about Shias and Sunnis before he went into Iraq, you know. Why, because history doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what the collective experience of a community is. Now, yes, the US as a government, etc has quite often been on the right side of the issues with the Muslims than it has been on the wrong side. But there are the wrong sides that have the greater impact bringing the Shah back through the CIA coup of 1953. Americans don't want to remember that. Waiting too long in the case of Bosnia when there was a genocide taking place, and then too only responding because Bosnia was one place where the Muslims and the Jewish communities worked together and both were being massacred, you know. So the way these guys see it, well, anybody who had the clout in Washington to make people think about it, then they move them. The creation of Pakistan in 1947, the US wasn't particularly Time Magazine actually said, you know, something with, you know at that time was very dismissive about the creation of Pakistan. So the Pakistanis had to prove themselves by getting making nuclear weapons, which is not a good idea in my opinion, but that's how it happens. Then there is this whole general feeling of being looked down upon, which is very real, let's be honest. And it has reasons. My answer, when I am talking to a Muslim audience I talk differently. I say, "You're looked down upon because you bring it upon yourself." These are your statistics. You have 47 percent illiteracy, you have this, that, that; that's what I tell the Muslims. But that's the problem of the interlocutor. I have to tell them that they suck. But at the same time but then I have to tell you all that you make them feel that they suck much worse, and so this is like this is like a global issue. For example, dismissiveness, there is an overall dismissiveness about the Muslims. And people talk about, instead of looking at for example, religious reform everybody says there should be a reformation in the Muslim world. But everybody forgets Christian reformation was a religious process. Jewish reformation was a religious process. It was a Rabbi who started saying when it comes to Islam who do we want to do the reformation? People who start their books by saying, "I'm so annoyed with Islam, I've become an atheist." Are they going to lead e reformation in Islam? They're not. And so all these things then create a cumulative effect, which is psychological. It's not logical, it's psychological. Specific policies, yeah, maybe making fewer wars in the Muslim world may be a good idea, because that does going back to the Afghan war, hey, were the Afghans desirous of that war? Did the Afghans support it? The groups that the US backed were the nastiest groups. I mean I don't know if you covered that war; I did. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who, now the Americans want to destroy, was the biggest recipient of American aid. He is the guy who used to slit the Russians' throats. And the code of conduct amongst the journalists was, you're not going to report about the slitting of the throats, because that's too gory, but we're going to present it on evening news hours, this great jihad against this great effort. The word Mujahideen go back to the newspapers of the 1980s. The word Mujahideen was used as a great positive in American newspapers including including the conservative press. The Wall Street Journal editorial page used to be adulatory about the Mujahideen, the same people who actually they've just transferred the technology of slitting throats from Russians to Americans, unfortunately. In principle, we shouldn't have appreciated and agreed with the slitting of the throats per se. And Muslims like myself who used to get queasy about it, we have that little bone to pick with Americans too that when you do get it. The problem with the United States is problem is that the Muslims are high maintenance in terms of engagement. And they want engagement, and the United States wants to be involved in the world without being engaged with the world. The U.S. gets along very well with not having to learn too many fact just as I keep in my class anybody who pronounces mispronounces Iraq and says "I-raq" I always say to them, "Guys, if a country is worth fighting for, it's worth learning how to pronounce its name." So this lack of engagement makes the Muslim's sense of humiliation and being rundown and look down and look down greater than it would be if the Americans were a little smarter about engaging with it. Also, I think you put your finger on something too, which is Americans generally have very short attention spans, and -. Absolutely, we want to know what happened, you know, we don't want to use our imagination, we want to know the end of The Sopranos and it has to end in five years. The Muslim saga has been going on for 14 centuries, and will probably go on for another 100 years. On a lighter note, the Reverend Franklin Graham said, in eight years we can try and bring Iraq unto Christ. And my response was, "Good luck, Reverend" not in person, but you know, in an article I said, "Good luck, they got the message of Christ 14 centuries before you did, because in America it's very easy to think that Christianity started here, but you know, they had it a few years before you." Hasn't worked in that period, you can't - don't set these deadlines. I mean, I by the way don't want a deadline for the end of the Iraq war, but I don't want a deadline for "So Husain, please tell us when is the Muslim world going to be okay and we're going to be friends, you know, 6 months, 6 years?" No 600 years, start thinking big. Right. Reza, what do you what do you have to - what's your perspective on this question of the humiliation and the degree to which it's rational? And I'd also like you to talk a little bit about the role of the media, particularly the Arab media which I think is going through a revolution over the last 10 years, with the advent particularly of satellite channels such as Al Jazeera, which broadcasts to more than 50 million people and routinely reinforce, I think at least in my view, and we're interested in your view reinforce many of these kinds of stereotypes and declines of engrained ways of observing the relationship between the West and the Muslim world. Tell me what that sort of - Yeah, let me start off saying that I think we have to recognize that terrorism is an eminently rational decision. These aren't crazy people who are acting out of, you know, complete abandon or from some sort of irrational place. This is a very rational decision, and the reason why so many groups choose terrorism is because unfortunately, terrorism works. That's the problem with terrorism, and that's why it has been used for millennia to level the battlefield between the very strong and the very weak. But at the same time I don't want you to think Well, I think you - sorry to interrupt, but I think you need to explain how you think it works. I think that's a very important point. That's exactly what I was going to say. But when I say terrorism works, what I mean to say is it doesn't work insofar as achieving some kind of specific political or social agenda; rarely; rarely is the purpose of terrorism to do any such thing. The purpose of terrorism is to provide the illusion of power. The purpose of terrorism is to create an image of the terrorist as somebody whose ideas, whose opinions, whose agendas as lunatic as they may be, as absurd and absolutely inconceivable as they maybe, are nevertheless possible. They are possible because anyone who could take part in such dramatic public displays of violence, exaggerated, even theatrical displays of violence whose purpose is to terrorize the audience, not the actual victims of terrorism themselves that anyone who could achieve such a grand scale act of violence is obviously a powerful force, a force capable of doing great damage. And so we - our political leaders often speak about Al- Qaeda as this almost supernatural force with the capability, as the President has said repeatedly, "To bring down human civilization as we know it." What? I mean that is absurd, but that's why terrorism works. But sometimes - but sometimes the terrorism has more limited goals. I mean, if you're going back to - I was in Lebanon in 1983 in the advent of really the modern suicide bomb when they bombed the U.S. Embassy in April of '83, and the Marine compound in October of '83, and those combined events of course led to the United States redeploying our forces from Lebanon, way off the coast; in other words withdrawing. And that of course was used by Bin Laden in numerous speeches afterwards, in interviews that he did afterwards including the interview he had with us in explaining a lot of their M.O, which is they - they saw the weakness of the United States, they saw the soft spot of the United States. His argument is the United States - the American people have no stomach for casualties. They can't absorb casualties, so that if we can hit them and hit them hard enough they will leave, and we can accomplish our objectives. It was very specific, almost tactical objectives. Right, but I want to make a very distinct difference as I said, in the first comments that I made between jihadism as this global movement and these deeply nationalistic organizations like Hezbollah or Hamas who are not jihadists, who have absolutely nothing in common with jihadism whatsoever, who cannot be referred to as jihadist ideologues in any sense of the term. And that - and whose only comparison - the only thing that they have in common with jihadism is that they just happen to use the same tactic; terrorism, and they happen to use Islam as the Christopher Isham: So do you agree that -? Reza Aslan: - as the sort of the motivation for their terrorist tactics. I think, this needs to be passed around a little and I don't think we have the time to do that. But there is - there are jihadi influences that are now taking over nationalistic movements and we should be Insofar - and that's what I was saying before. Insofar as those groups who had been solely focused on the near enemy and on these nationalistic - and losing very deeply, deeply losing movements for national liberation or to create Islamic states or Islamic societies, have begun to adopt jihadist ideologies and jihadist strategies even, in order to actually gain some kind of, you know, global recognition. And so you have groups - But there are no resources going from Al-Qaeda to Hezbollah. There are no resources going from Al-Qaeda to Hamas at all. Look, it's not from Al-Qaeda the organization, but the idea of Al-Qaeda was global. You could actually fight in Afghanistan but raise funds all over the world. You could bring volunteers from all over the world. And that is happening, the whole notion of - of getting a global fundraising, global organization. So they are learning from one another. But without going into that, let me go back to your original question. And how does terrorism work? I think that it's - again, we just read one text and we take that and we become prisoners of our clichÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©s. The lesson of Lebanon was that the Americans don't have a stomach for casualties, but the lesson of Iraq is that the Americans don't have a stomach for long engagement. So the Al-Qaeda Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had a famous saying when he was operations leader of Al-Qaeda. He was - they lost an operation, and there was this internal discussion, and you know how Al-Qaeda has these really doctrinaire internal discussions. I mean, right now at Hudson we have this 400,000 pages downloaded of material of every kind of intellectual discussion and discourse. Not every intellectual, but it's Well, some of them. I mean, there are those who are not operational; they are thinking, which is fine for them. So one of the things was he had a maxim. They lost on an operation, and he said, "When we lose, we learn." Nice little clichÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©. When we lose, we learn. So they also learn. So let's not be stuck with their lesson that they learned from Lebanon. Yes, what they learned was America doesn't have a stomach for casualties, which was fine for about 15 years-20 years. Now America has shown, no, we have the spine; we can go and fight. The new lesson is, no, if we can just keep them in there for long enough - because Americans have short attention spans, they want immediate success, they cannot contemplate. And Mullah Omer said it all recently in his famous statement, "The Americans have the best watches; we have the time." And let me just add, bin Laden has made this very, very, very clear. His goal is not to defeat America; that's impossible. His goal is to bankrupt America, and he's said that repeatedly over and over again. And some of them are arguing that we've already started the bankruptcy process, not in terms of money et cetera, but their morals and their intellectual discourse et cetera is already becoming bankrupt because their founding ideas, they are compromising them. They're getting crazy, they're going crazy, about civil liberties et cetera, and that's our victory because we're making Americans non-American by getting them engaged with us. So we're actually diminishing their value as a nation, as a society. And that's why I keep saying this is all about the idea. And unfortunately, in the last five years in this country my frustration is that every time, especially people in government or dealing with government and think tanks and all that, what they want is an operational strategy to defeat Al-Qaeda. They don't want to engage with the idea of Jihadism at the same level. Reza, myself who deal with the world of ideas in the Muslim world. People don't have time enough for that. I think that actually the main goal of terrorism is to - I don't actually think that they're trying to make ludicrous ideas seem plausible or that they are trying to look powerful so that their ludicrous ideas can seem more plausible. I actually think that they exploit broadly felt legitimate grievances. And what they're trying to do is essentially - I mean, it's a battle between them and those who want to make the same changes through peaceful means. I mean I think it's simply an equation. And so what - for example, this might seem strange, but Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote this very important book about the problems, the inherent flaws, of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt. And his essential problem with them is that they're trying to make change through political means by being inside a corrupt system. You have to completely divorce yourself of the system and fight outside of it. So we have to be very clear of the fact that they, like the polling has shown, aren't fighting for things that people can't recognize or can't - don't resonate with people. I mean, if you - when we do ask Muslims, do you want the United States to get their bases out of the Holy Land? Of course, overwhelming majority want bases out of Saudi Arabia; overwhelming majority wants United States out of Iraq and so forth. So what they are trying to do is give people hope in a non-diplomatic, non-political way to change things. The only way that I think that you can combat that is to empower people who are trying to make the same changes in non-violent means and to show the world that this is possible. Yes. But we haven't even talked about the near enemy and how much people actually hate the near enemy. In many cases the regimes that the United States are most closely identified with are the most hated regimes in the Muslim world. I think that we really need to open this up.