US army motto: See no (Islamist) evil
- By ARTHUR HERMAN
‘Know your enemy” is an old military adage. Now our Army wants to dump that invaluable advice when it comes to Islamic radicalism.
That’s the only possible conclusion from the Army’s treatment of one of the most respected and popular professors at the Joint Forces Staff College — after Muslim groups, including two with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, complained about his course on Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicals.
We didn’t have the German-American Bund approving how we taught our soldiers about Nazism during World War II. But Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta are in effect giving that power to the Committee on American Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and other pressure groups when it comes to what and how our warfighters learn about Islamist terrorism.
The pressure groups’ target since this spring has been Lt. Col. Matt Dooley, a West Point-trained, 20-year Army veteran who did six operational and combat tours in the Middle East (including Iraq) before coming to teach at the Joint Forces Staff College, where he was a graduate himself.
Hiring Dooley for the JFSC shows the Army at its best: letting those with experience in the field teach those without. And by every report, his course on Islamic radicalism became one of the most popular in the college — as well as being, by JFSC’s own standards, both academically rigorous and intellectually stimulating. Officer Evaluation Reports called him “clearly the best of our new instructors” with “unsurpassed potential for future promotion and service.”
Unsurpassed, that is, until CAIR & Co., abetted by Wired magazine, weighed in — and Dempsey and Panetta fell for their deliberate distortion of what Dooley was teaching.
Wired’s Spencer Ackerman quoted a guest lecturer, a former FBI agent, suggesting that as Islam increases in strength, so will the violence. The article also cited a slide from a Dooley lecture as supposedly advocating “total war” against Islam, with the atomic attack on Hiroshima as historical precedent.
What Ackerman failed to mention was that the slide arguing for nuclear strikes was part of a fictional scenario, in which terrorists had grabbed Pakistan’s nukes and were using them against American cities — and that Dooley had made it clear that none of his lectures, or those of guest speakers, reflected official US policy.
Exploring “what if” scenarios is a standard part of military training; so should be examining the full range of informed opinions on a vital issue like the War on Terror. But evidently not for a Pentagon whose new role model is Dr. Phil, and an administration that won’t use the word “terrorist” and dubbed the Fort Hood massacre “workplace violence” — and whose first instinct was to blame the murders in Libya on a US-made YouTube video rather than on al Qaeda.
So even though JFSC administrators had vetted Dooley’s course and found nothing objectionable, Dempsey and Panetta told a press conference this May that it was “academically irresponsible” and ordered it suspended.
A month later, Dempsey ordered Dooley fired “for cause” (knowing that as an officer in uniform he couldn’t publicly defend himself), and in August made sure his Officer Evaluation Report turned negative — a career-ender.
But that still isn’t enough. Now the critics want Dooley’s former students’ minds scrubbed of any lingering damage the course and its “encouragement of killing civilians” might have done to their view of Muslims.
Two guesses what form that “retraining” would look like, and what the underlying message would be: Middle East radicalism has nothing to do with Islam, and everything to do with Israel and Americans like Dooley.
Will Dempsey and the Army give in? Sadly, it’s hard to say. In one lecture, Dooley had complained, “Political correctness is killing us.” It’s certainly killed his career.
The worst is, the PC police may be about to kill our military’s ability to see its foes whole and clear, and to defend our country without worrying about giving offense to those who want to destroy it.
Arthur Herman’s latest book is “Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II.”