This was the headline in today's Washington Post.
My only comment on this: "Well, duh."
Okay, now I'll really rant. Keep in mind that I'm just a lowly scholar of religion and society who specializes in Mormon sociology and whose sub-area is Islam in the West. I have a master's degree in Religion and Society from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and minored in Religious Studies at George Mason University. Neither are schools of great note like the Harvards and Yales and Oxfords of so many esteemed intellects and career politicians and diplomats. Still, it wasn't a shoddy education.
Having laid out my less than austere credentials, I will proudly proclaim this, though: when the U.S. launched its war against Iraq, I said to a number of people at that time and have continued to declare, "If George Bush thought Osama bin Laden was a problem, he's seen nothing. With this action against Iraq, he's just created 1,000 bin Ladens."
I know I'm not the only person who has said this over the last three years. I'm sure others more learned and lettered than I am have said it. But here's the rub: how is it that all the analysts and diplomats and politicians who have made their careers out of being analysts and diplomats and politicians couldn't figure that one out years ago?
I call it Waco Syndrome. You have all these supposedly educated folk at the FBI who failed because they refused to believe that religious cults would act differently from your run-of-the-mill Montana militia man (apologies in advance to Beauty and the Beltway for the Montana reference.) David Koresh and his motley crew would likely still be alive today, if the FBI and its negotiaters had consulted a sociologist of religion or two.
Likewise, you have supposedly educated folk at the CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA, DOD, DOJ, pick your alphabet soup agency, who failed and/or downright refused to believe that their actions would incite radical Muslims and create more terrorists.
Well, I may just be a lowly sociologist, but I'm here to tell you, that one, Mr. President, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Powell, Mr. Negraponte, Mr. Blair, whoever, was a no-brainer.