Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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21 January 2008

Stephen Coughlin and Jihad Terror Doctrine in the real world

Stephen Coughlin is a lawyer, a Reserve Military Intellgence officer, an Arabic speaker, and a scholar of Islamic law. He is also soon to be a former advisor to the Pentagon, who was fired after ruffling the feathers of "Hasham Islam, an aide to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England," by "being too critical of Islamic law." [1, 2]

While looking through Stephen Coughlin's master's thesis I was impressed less by Coughlin's own writing, which was stodgy and academic as is only to be expected from the fact that it is found in an academic thesis, than by his command of the material. Appendix G, on real world Jihad doctrine, is a real eye-opener. The following is quoted from the Quranic Concept of War by Brigadier S. K. Malik of the Pakistani Army. This book is state sanctioned military doctrine for Pakistan.
Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means; it is an end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent’s heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose upon him. Psychological and physical dislocation is, at best, a mean, though, by no means, conclusive for striking terror into the hearts of the enemies. Its effects are related to the physical and spiritual stamina of the opponent but are seldom of a permanent and lasting nature. An army that practices the Quranic philosophy of war in its totality is immune to psychological pressures. When Liddell Hart talks of imposing a direct decision upon the enemy through psychological dislocation alone, he is taking too much for granted.

The role of terror in Jihad warfare is bad enough. What is truly alarming is that the Quranic Concept of War sees terror as the proper strategy for the use of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
Terror cannot be struck into the hearts of an army by merely cutting its lines of communications or depriving it of its routes or withdrawal. It is basically related only if the opponent’s Faith is destroyed. Psychological dislocation is temporary; spiritual dislocation is permanent. Psychological dislocation can be produced by a physical act but this does not hold good of the spiritual dislocation. To instill terror into the hearts of the enemy, it is essential, in the ultimate analysis, to dislocate his Faith. An invincible Faith is immune to terror. A weak Faith offers inroads to terror. The Faith conferred upon us by the Holy Qur’an has an inherent strength to ward off terror from us and enable us to strike terror into the enemy. Whatever the form or type of strategy directed against the enemy, it must, in order to be effective, be capable of striking terror into the hearts of the enemy. A strategy that fails to attain this condition suffers from inherent drawbacks and weaknesses; and should be reviewed and modified. This rule is fully applicable to nuclear as well as conventional wars. It is equally true of the strategy of nuclear deterrence in fashion today. To be credible and effective, the strategy of deterrence must be capable of striking terror into the hearts of the enemy.

Coughlin's contract is set to be terminated in March so it is possible that the decision could be reversed. Let us pray and hope that it is. Stupid about the Jihad and how nuclear weapons would be used in it is no way to go through life, especially not for the US Military.



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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16