“If I were a Muslim, I’d probably be a jihadist. The thing that drives these guys — a sense of adventure, wanting to be part of the moment, wanting to be in the big movement of history that’s happening now — that’s the same thing that drives me, you know?” — David Kilcullen, senior counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, senior commander in Iraq
The “impressive” and “brilliant” (first in his class in military school in Australia) Lt. Col. David Kilcullen should be asked a number of questions about his all-purpose, one-size-more-or-less- fits-all (after a little softening of the boots-on-the-ground leather) “rules of counterinsurgency.” He should be questioned about how and why he thinks the insurrection in Malaya, or that in Greece, are like that in Iraq. He might tell us who in those “insurgencies” played the role of the Sunnis, or rather of the two main Sunni groups, which yesterday collaborated with each other and yet today are apparently at daggers drawn, and which tomorrow might yet collaborate against the Shi’a, and which in any case are, all of them, against the Infidel Americans (though the “Anbar tribes” of which we hear so much are happy to pocket American aid).
And he might tell us who in those “insurgencies” played the role of the Shi’a, or rather of the different groups of Shi’a — of Moqtada al-Sadr, and of Hakim of SCIRI, and Maliki of the Da’wa Party. And he then might tell us who, in Greece or Malaya or Aden or Kenya or East Timor or wherever it is that provides him with the “data” for his “counterinsurgency” ideas, played the role of the Kurds, who though Muslim are more grateful and reliable for American purposes than any of the Arab groups.
And then one might ask Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, he of the impressive strine accent (any accent but an American one can woo and win the easily-impressed likes of Condoleeza Rice), if he sees anything that might distinguish Iraq otherwise from his “counterinsurgency” “laws” and “rules” and “lessons.” For example, what is the significance of the existence of Shi’a Iran on one side of Iraq, along its longest border, and of states (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the U.A.E., Egypt, even Syria — which is 70% Sunni though the Alawites are not, and Sunni Muslims as well as most Shi’a do not regard them even as real Muslims, given their cult of Mary) dominated by or largely peopled by Sunni Arabs on the other side? Does the ability of both sides to aid their co-religionists, and their keen awareness of the need to do so, not give pause to Lt. Col. David Kilcullen and to those who are impressed with him?
Do they not see beyond Iraq to a larger war, a war not simply with what Lt. Col. David Kilcullen has described as “a kook in a room” whom we must prevent from having mass appeal? Jihad already has, and always will have, “mass appeal” to Muslims. And Bin Laden is not a “kook”; Khomeini was not a “kook”; Nasrallah is not a “kook”; the leaders of the Ikhwan, wherever the Ikhwan has its many cells, are not “kooks” — they are perfectly traditional Muslims, who choose to act on the central duty of Jihad by direct participation, rather than offering other kinds of support, such as promoting Da’wa in the Western world, or buying up Western hirelings, or merely contributing their mite to demographic conquest and a slow undoing of Infidel legal and political institutions. The enemy is Jihad, or more bluntly, the supremacist Belief-System that Lt. Col. David Kilcullen self-assuredly think she knows quite enough of, when he knows dangerously little. And that little, that ignorance of Islam, and of the ethnic and sectarian fissures in Iraq, explains the fiasco to date.
Final question: who, in all those other “insurgencies” from which the Kilcullens of this world and those who are impressed by them draw their “laws,” played the role of the Chaldeans, and the Assyrians, the people who are, like the Mandeans and Yazidis, the ones who have fled, or are fleeing, or are being killed, because Islam, you see…is Islam? The Kilcullens of this world and those who are impressed by them do not see the complete picture, of which Iraq is only a part. Nor do they see the need in Iraq to end with a result that justifies the colossal investment, that is, a result that will guarantee further divisions and demoralizations within the camp of Islamic supremacism.