APL Colloquium

January 20, 2005

Colloquium Topic: They Still Don’t Get It: The Danger of Ignoring Reality in the War on Terrorism

More than three years after 9/11, America has barely begun its fight against the worldwide Sunni militant movement that is symbolized and personified by Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaida. America's political leaders, both Republican and Democratic, have asserted their belief that the Sunni militants are attacking the United States because they hate our freedoms and liberties, but they have provided citizens barely an inkling of the long and bloody war that lies ahead. Likewise, the obsession of U.S. leaders with trying to build a perfect defense system for the continental United States, their stress on the law enforcement technique of "beating al-Qaeda one arrest at a time," and their fearful refusal to account for the motivational power of Islam on our enemies, all leave the worst of this war to come. The real question is not, How do we win this war?, but rather, How long will it take to understand the enemy so we can begin defeating him? Until our leaders can say that we are being attacked for what we do, not what we think or believe, we, as a fellow named Jones once said, ". have not yet begun to fight."

Colloquium Speaker: Michael Scheuer

Michael Scheuer, former chief of the Counterterrorist Center's Bin Laden unit, resigned from the CIA in November 2004 after 22 years of federal service devoted to national security issues related to South Asia and Islamic extremism. Because of the CIA's pre-publication requirements, he anonymously wrote the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror and Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America. He has been featured on many national and international news programs and interviews for broadcast media and documentaries, as well as in print media worldwide.