As the following anecdote demonstrates, when infidels do not overly concern themselves with “winning the hearts and minds” of jihadis, success quickly follows. “Counter-Insurgency, Chad-Style,” by David Axe for Danger Room, July 21:
“An alleged [up]rising led by an Islamic preacher in the oil-rich southern region of Chad was repressed with great loss of life by government forces in the first days of July,” Andrew McGregor reported in Terrorism Focus last week. “The incident in the town of Kouno came in response to calls for an international jihad from Ahmat Ismail Bichara, a fiery 28-year-old religious leader, and the destruction of most of the town by his followers.”
Funny — I was in southern Chad at the time, and I didn’t hear a peep about this until after the fact. N’Djamena’s violent quashing of an embryonic terror and insurgent group, in a total media blackout, demonstrates an ugly brute-force alternative to the West’s counter-insurgency strategy, which aims to understand the “human terrain,” win hearts and minds, and enlist the support of local tribes before rolling in with tanks and artillery.
Right. Makes you think which of these two methods is more effective when dealing with an implacable foe””swift decisive action or trying to “win hearts and minds.”
The crisis began on June 3 when Bichara issued a manifesto declaring jihad against “Christians and atheists.”
What, no Jews?
“After Bichara’s followers went on a rampage in Kouno, destroying four churches, 158 homes, a medical clinic and a police station, government forces decided to respond in force,” McGregor writes:
The government assault apparently began as Bichara’s followers were listening to what was described as an inflammatory sermon. … Chad’s security minister described Bichara’s followers as “intoxicated by indescribable extremism … almost mad” as they “threw themselves” against the fire of security forces in the belief they were immune to bullets.
This of course is a natural enough phenomenon in many Muslim nations: after listening to the local imam’s fiery harangues, filled as they generally are with anti-infidel rhetoric, Muslims often go on rampages. Or did you think it was just coincidence that many of the most devastating Muslim riots against non-Muslims occur on Friday — mosque-sermon day?
As many as 75 people died, most of them extremists. Four Chadian soldiers died. Bichara was captured.