The Bush Legacy – gifting Obama with a Muslim world rejecting jihad


The latest NIC Global Trends 2025 Report is out… and it’s not good news for those determined to insure the Bush legacy is portrayed as one consisting of nothing but of utter failure.

Download the 120 pg, 8.2MB report here

I had summarized for Larry Weisenthal here just a few days ago… as well as blogged about it on my old haunt Sea2Sea back in February 2008… PLUS Wordsmith’s post May 29th here on FA… about what? There’s been more than a few of us becoming aware that one of the side benefits of the Iraq war was the decline of jihad in the eyes of modern Muslims. And this can only be construed as good news.

But still, despite events – and having few reporters willing to go out on the limb to report the unthinkable (a Bush success??) – the MSM and world proclaim that jihad movements and their recruiting are increasing in strength and numbers.

This report dashes hope of that ringing anywhere close to truth. Yet as of this new report’s release? So far, only the Washington Times has picked up on it with their op-ed today, Al Qaeda’s Demise.

Die hard Bush haters and a Democrat party, determined to take credit for events they opposed at every turn, are not going to be pleased with the NIC report.

On page 69 of the report (89 of the downloaded PDF linked above):

Why al-Qa’ida’s “Terrorist Wave” Might Be Breaking Up

As al-Qa’ida celebrates its 20th birthday, most experts assert that the struggle against it will continue indefinitely, the so called “long war.” Other experts who have studied past “waves” of terrorism believe that al-Qa’ida is an “aging” group by terrorist standards and suffers from strategic weaknesses that could cause it to decay into marginality, perhaps shortening the lifespan of the Islamic terrorist wave.


Research indicates that terrorists’ strategic objectives fail on two fronts. Objectives that pose a threat to the existing political order court tough counterterrorism measures, while objectives that are seen as neither achievable nor relevant to solving problems have little appeal to elites or the general populace. The two primary strategic aims of al-Qa’ida—the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate and the removal of US and Western influence so that “apostate” regimes can be toppled—are clearly threats to many existing Muslim governments and are resulting in stronger counterterrorism measures.

There is little indication that the vast majority of Muslims believe that such objectives are realistic or that, if they could come to pass, would solve the practical problems of unemployment, poverty, poor educational systems, and dysfunctional governance. Despite sympathy for some of its ideas and the rise of affiliated groups in places like the Mahgreb, al-Qa’ida has not achieved broad support in the Islamic World. Its harsh pan-Islamist ideology and policies appeal only to a tiny minority of Muslims.

According to one study of public attitudes toward extremist violence, there is little support for al-Qa’ida in any of the countries surveyed—Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The report also found that majorities in all Arab countries oppose jihadi violence, by any group, on their own soil.

Al-Qa’ida is alienating former Muslim supporters by killing Muslims in its attacks. Recent scholarly research indicates that terrorist groups that kill civilians seldom accomplish their strategic goals. Although determining precisely the number of Muslims worldwide who have died in al-Qa’ida attacks is difficult, examination of available evidence suggests that at least 40 percent of the victims have been Muslims.

The roughly 40-year cycle of terrorist waves suggests that the dreams that inspire terrorist group members’ fathers to join particular groups are not attractive to succeeding generations. The prospect that al-Qa’ida will be among the small number of groups able to transcend the generational timeline is not high, given its harsh ideology, unachievable strategic objectives, and inability to become a mass movement.

Let me make this simple for the BDS challenged who prefer to parse words.

Muslim supporters are alienated by jihad movements killing Muslims!

And where has the global Islamic jihad movement gained the majority of their PR by wreaking bloodthirsty welfare on fellow Muslims?

Iraq. Point made.

This single element… changing the hearts and minds of Muslims… come to us not only because of the courage and fortitude of our US and allies’ military personnel, but also because of the very failings of the enemy itself. We can be certain that it was not part of Iraq strategy to have the jihad and rebel movements shed the blood of so many innocent Iraqis merely to allow them to show their true colors. But we can also be certain that had we not made them so desperate as to attempt to tear Iraq in two, it’s likely the Muslim world may have continued to hold them up as honorable religious fighters.

The World Obama Inherits

There is more than just the foul taste in the mouth from jihad that is left to Obama from a “failed” Bush administration. He comes into a world where Saddam is no longer holding Iraq in chains, and the Taliban is battles to regain even a bit of authority they held before the US coalition went in after 911.

Again, the BDS thought parsers are not going to connect the dots here. So again, I will make it simple. The Muslim nations’ changes are driven by economics, and a more modern view of progressive attitudes towards women in the work force. All of this is only possible under a form of Muslim democracy, since Shariah law prohibits such activity.

Still in the same Chapter Five of the Global Trends report, pg 64 (pg 84 in the PDF):

A Two-Tier Muslim World?

Although the Western paradigm separating religious and secular authority may still be less compelling to Muslim publics, a greater emphasis on economics and, most importantly, greater participation of women in the work force may spur new forms of progressive Islam. This does not mean that extremist strands will disappear; in the short term they might benefit from unease over the changing role of women and alternative amily models.

But over time, lower fertility promotes religious and political stability and, if secularization in southern Europe is a guide, modernized versions of Islam could take root by 2025. The channeling of political dissent into Islamic discourse—a variant of the global revival of religious identity in the aftermath of the Cold War—and states’ efforts to manipulate Islamic currents will reinforce the dominance of Islam in Middle Eastern politics and society in 2025.

As a result, pressures for greater political pluralism are likely to produce a bigger role for Islamic political parties and a re-thinking of how Islam and politics should interact and influence each other, with considerable political and social turmoil generated in the process.

All this is long winded for western economic progress in Muslim lands. Sound familiar? You may remember it coming from the lips of our current POTUS as “spreading freedom and democracy”.

Indeed, this report still reinforces the notion that Muslim youth with opportunity and… dare I say it “hope?”… are far less likely to end up strapping on a belt of bombs.

There’s caveats in this report, as much can spin on which nation’s continue to encourage trade and economic growth, what Iran chooses to do, and the positive impacts of achieving some sort of workable truces between Israel and the PA, as well as Syria.

But all in all, the contrast from this issue from the Global Trends 2015 report issued Dec 2000, just prior to Bush’s first Inauguration, is striking. Here, terrorism and their warfare capabilities were on the increase, and their methods more sophisticated. Weak states were at a higher risk of drifting towards cooperation with the jihad movements.

Specific to Iraq:

• Iraq’s ability to obtain WMD will be influenced, in part, by the degree to which the UN Security Council can impede development or procurement over the next 15 years. Under some scenarios, Iraq could test an ICBM capable of delivering nuclear-sized payloads to the United States before 2015; foreign assistance would affect the capabilities of the missile and the time it became available. Iraq could also develop a nuclear weapon during this period.

For the Middle East?

In the Middle East, the confluence of domestic economic pressures and regional rivalries is likely to further the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. By contrast, spending on conventional arms probably will remain stable or decline in most countries. Some governments may maintain large armed forces to absorb otherwise unemployable youths, but such armies will be less well trained and equipped. Rather than conventional war, the region is likely to experience more terrorism, insurgencies, and humanitarian emergencies arising from internal disparities or disputes over ethnic or religious identity.

A decline in support for terrorism doesn’t even exist in their dreams. But oh what a difference under a bold President who follows his advisors and his heart as to what he believes is best for the US, and the world at large, instead of polls can make.

Obama will walk into the Oval Office with tensions high and warfare raging Israel v Hamas battle raging, yes. But then, this is not a new occurrence.

On the other hand, he’ll also walk into that office with jihad falling out of favor, elected governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan an ally in words (if not always deeds), Libya sans their WMD programme, and N. Korea dismantling theirs and *this* time being carefully monitored.

Or, as the Washington Times op-ed I mentioned above says:

In a nutshell, it appears that in the years to come, the Obama administration – and people around the world – will likely reap the benefits of President Bush’s unrelenting campaign against al Qaeda. Our hope is that the next president will be as determined and tough as Mr. Bush in keeping America safe.

All in all, on the world stage, Obama is not inheriting “a mess”. In fact, in retrospect, it is considerably better than what was handed to Dubya eight years ago. And while the Democrats and BDS types out there will stubbornly stick to their blind, political hatred, history will eventually bear out the truth…. documented by reports such as the NIC’s Global Trends.

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Obama rejects the gift.

Reject Obammunism.

Nice post, Mata. I saw the global trends 2025 report before, but can’t remember when and where.

Related, I’ve posted in the past on the Human Security Brief; posted this on my blog last November:

Latest from the Human Security Report Project:

Challenging the expert consensus that the threat of global terrorism is increasing, the Human Security Brief 2007 reveals a sharp net decline in the incidence of terrorist violence around the world.

Fatalities from terrorism have declined by some 40 percent, while the loose-knit terror network associated with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda has suffered a dramatic collapse in popular support throughout the Muslim world.

The Brief also describes and analyses the extraordinary, but largely unnoticed, positive change in sub-Saharan Africa’s security landscape. The number of conflicts being waged in the region more than halved between 1999 and 2006; the combat toll dropped by 98 percent.

Finally, the Brief updates the findings of the 2005 Human Security Report, and demonstrates that the decline in the total number of armed conflicts and combat deaths around the world has continued. The number of military coups has also continued decline, as have the number of campaigns of deadly violence waged against civilians.

I know a lot of us have a dismal view on Islam as a religion, jihad or no-jihad. But I agree with Amy Proctor in wanting to marginalize al-Qaeda and the global Islamic jihad movement from Islamists by being selective in how I criticize the religion itself, and how I criticize the “radical” fundamentalists and “jihadis”. We may still fundamentally have problems with the religion itself, or fundamentalist/wahhabi practices of it; but if they can at least refrain from joining the jihad violence orgy, I can live with that. I can live with leftists, anti-Americans, scientologists, and so many others I differ from ideologically, so long as they aren’t strapping bombs to themselves trying to destroy me through violence and forceful conversion. I cringe when I visit some conservative blogs that basically lump the whole of Islam into one camp of bad and irredeemable, because I think all it does is give legitimacy to the propaganda of al-Qaeda in trying to convince the Muslim world to rise up and band together in a war against the West.

abu Ghraib and how it was propagandized did us enormous harm and did create more Islamic holy warriors. It was a recruitment bonanza. al-Qaeda being al-Qaeda in Iraq, not being able to help but be who they are, exposed themselves for the monsters they are; and that would not have happened, if not for the war in Iraq.

Here’s Bill Roggio’s 2008 roundup of the State of Jihad.

Curt also links to a Reuters report of the 2007 Human Security Brief.

Wish we could put many of these well written/researched topics by our outstanding hosts in a time capsule to be opened in maybe four years, maybe at the 2012 dem convention.

Love the post Mata, thanks for all the links by both you and Wordsmith. suek’s Dr. Sanity link and comments is a nice addition worth a read.

After eight years of anti-Bush spin it’s nice to see the fruits of his labor come to light, the difference in the two Global Trends reports is amazing.

“Dang FA search engine”

Wasn’t Wordsmith going to catalog the entire FA output?

@Mike’s America:

Wasn’t Wordsmith going to catalog the entire FA output?

Shhh…you! You post so goddang much, I got tired of updating your “mike’s america” default category (i.e., “uncategorized”), let alone go through the attic. 😉

Just give me a few more years…these things take time, you know? Like budding democracies.


The Global Trends copyright date is Nov 2008. I have not seen it available online prior to this… but it’s certainlyl possible you may have run across it in the past month. Must have been by accident since… as you can see… no major media is giving it a sniff of interest.

I’ve been hammering my noggin, wondering where I came across this before. I think it was within the last couple of months, and my first guess was Counterterrorism Blog. But now I think I might have come across it on some low-rent blog (like mine). Oh! Waitaminute….

Ah, my buddy Indigo Red: Al-Qaida Turns 20 – Nears End of Life.

Man, that was bugging my brain, bigtime!