Fight Club & why we're losing across the world...

Apparently, we've imported an Australian, Lieut. David Kilcullen, to help us fight terrorism.

George Packer's Knowing the Enemy piece in the New Yorker explains what many have suspected for years: that our leaders are too daft to understand who the enemy actually is.

Jim Emerson notes that:


As David Kilcullen, an Australian lieutenant colonel and political anthropologist currently "on loan" to the State Depatment, explains: "After 9/11, when a lot of people were saying, 'The problem is Islam,' I was thinking, It’s something deeper than that. It’s about human social networks and the way that they operate.... [I]t's not about theology. There are elements in human psychological and social makeup that drive what’s happening. The Islamic bit is secondary. This is human behavior in an Islamic setting. This is not 'Islamic behavior.'"
In his class Kilcullen shows Fight Club in order for students to actually see, in essence, what white radicals look like, in order to remove the traps that weak minds fall into.

As in: brown man with beard do bad. Therefore, brown men with beard are bad.

Emerson continues:
That, I submit, is revelatory. I wonder if those who can't see what's going on in "Fight Club" -- the feelings of impotence and alienation and personal violation that fuel the rage and the desire to belong to a force larger than the individual, even if it's just a form of nihilistic fascism that lacks the religious, racial or nationalistic aspirations of Naziism, Soviet Communism or "Bin Laden-ism" (for lack of a better term) -- can even begin to comprehend contemporary jihadism and what we now call "the insurgency" (as if there were just one).
Meanwhile as Kicullen points out in Packer's article, the US is essentially losing the global war because we can't understand that this is an information war, not one to be decided by brute force.

More.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close