At an industry meeting last week at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO, the first speaker on Monday, May 2, was General Stanley McChrystal. Given the killing of Bin Laden the day before he changed his topic from one of leadership to speak about the special forces and the situation in the middle east.
He touched on two subjects that was probably new information to most of the people in the audience. He explained the perspective that the Iranians have on the US by going back 50 years to our (alleged) overthrow of their democratically elected leader Mossadegh and supplanting him with the Shah who proved very unpopular. We supported Iraq heavily in their long bloody war with Iran. Read about Mossadegh here. (Rebelyid – October, 2007)
He offered an insight about Islamic radicals. Many young devoted Islamists are trained to memorize the Koran in Arabic, a language many of them are not familiar with and are thus dependent on their Imam to ‘tell’ them what it means. Many learn that jihad is war against infidels- the west. Yet other Islamic scholars contend that ‘jihad’ is a personal struggle of redemption. As with any theology there is likely every shade of distinction between them. The general’s point was that education is the key to turning the tide of Islamic radicalism.
Our modern military is educated with far more depth than field tactics. They are deeply aware of the culture and history of the lands they engage.