Lee Harris, whose Civilization and its Enemies I highly recommend, presents an interesting view of terrorists as engaged in a “blood feud” rather than a war.
At Tech Central Station Harris writes War in Pieces: The Blood Feud.
A blood feud against Western Civilization?
An interesting thought, with some logic to recommend it. But counter to Harris’ thesis, bin-Laden did want to provoke massive retaliation. 9/11 was too massive an attack to satisfy Harris’ definition of the level of violence appropriate to a blood feud.
OBL wanted massive US retaliation – not so much against Al-Qaeda as against any geo-political area that would cause Muslims to rise up. The long term objective? First to recapture Arab-Islamic governments from decadence and evenually to restablish a world-wide caliphate.
Harris’ article is interesting, and the terrorist swine probably have many different motivations, but one of those motivations looks far to the future and 9/11 clearly overstepped the bounds of “blood feud.”
These facts severly undermine the linch pins of Harris’ argument.
Interesting read, but unconvincing.
2 thoughts on “Tribal Terror?”
Is it your contention that OBL simply underestimated the Muslim reaction, or are we just not “there” yet?
I think OBL overestimated the potential for an Islamic uprising, and I’d say – if the US stays the course we’ve set – that it is unlikely in the future.