Friday, July 23, 2004

Farming the Fertile Crescent

Sometimes truth can make you shiver.

From a Chronicle article on luck, serrendipity, and 9/11. Al Qaeda learns, from mistakes, from success. Highlighting our shortcomings by the way they point them out, I find it troubling and surprising that we are surprised by the organization's ability to adapt and change. Each example of organizational flexibility is related with a sense of breathless awe, like that scene in The Secret of NIHM when it's revealed what the NIHM injections have done . . . "We could read." These aren't mice. They aren't lower life forms. Dark skinned and Allah-worshipping as they might be, they are humans. All creatures adapt. Humans can do it with reason. That's one of the ways we won the evolutionary jackpot, remember? We can learn.

From the article:

"Al Qaeda is an organization, but it is also a social movement linked together by an idea," he said. "We're doing well in fighting against a few people, but not against the movement. It's almost trivial to take out the people because there's already a next generation ready to take their places. . . ."

"We're going backwards," he said. "We have had some tactical successes, but the war in Iraq is a strategic failure. That has become the new terrorist training ground."

What have we sown in the fertile crescent now?

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