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Winnable or accepting the inevitable?

Reader comment on item: Must Counterinsurgency Wars Fail?

Submitted by Rebecca Moulds (United States), Sep 14, 2008 at 12:05

Counterinsurgency wars seem to pop up like mushrooms in countries and regions with unstable governments. However, sometimes these wars spawn terrorism, such as the IRA bombs in London throughout their history (I heard the one in London in early 1992), and other terrorist activities, the Luxor massacre on November 17th, 1997, believed to be carried out by Al-gama'a al-Islamiyya. I was living in Cairo at that time and this horrific crime caused not only fear amongst the foriegn residents of Egypt, but cause economic chaos resulting in a severe drop in tourism for many months afterwards. There are conspiracy theories that erroneously link Mossad with this (see judicial-inc.biz/luxor_attack.htm-21k).

The Muslim Brotherhood, formed in Egypt in 1928, has also been behind many terrorist actions including the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981. If all these terrorist attacks can be defined as part of counterinsurgency, then we are not winning, but simply stomping on these poisonous mushrooms as they appear. These movements have always been a part of societies where there is a strong belief that certain freedoms are being squashed at every level. As long as there are countries following a pattern of repression, there will be counterinsurgencies; but in countries where there is true democracy such counterinsurgency wars seldom exist. Changing the mindset of repressive governments would be the key to winning these wars, but something that big and seemingly impossible would require the strength of Samson and the acknowledgment that true freedom has no enemies.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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