Islamic Terrorists Are "Evil Losers" That Suck at War

by N. M. GUARIGLIA May 23, 2017

In the hours following this week's terrorist attack in Manchester, England, President Trump first offered America's condolences to the British people, and then stated: "So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives... murdered by evil losers.  I won't call them ‘monsters,' because they would like that term; they would think that is a great name.  I will call them, from now on, ‘losers.'  Because that's what they are: losers."

The Left immediately decried the new label as juvenile and sophomoric.  But is that so?

Sun Tzu teaches us humility in combat.  His timeless principle of "never underestimating your enemy" is as true today as it ever was.  But one can go too far in that direction.  There is a danger in overestimating your enemy, as well.  The Islamic terrorists are not ten feet tall.  They're not Zack Snyder's "Xerxes."  They're not even particularly good at war stuff.  In fact, they pretty much suck.

I have been lamenting America's lack of a psychological operations strategy for many years.  We all seem to agree that we are in an ideological war; yet we refuse to engage in ideological warfare.  Our "hearts-and-minds" policy is overly focused on what can only be described as "the goodness of us verses the badness of them."  Oh please, Muslim world.  Please like America.  Look at how evil the terrorists arePretty please, don't like them anymore.  Pretty please, don't hate us anymore.

Lame.  Consider me old-fashioned, but isn't the evilness of "evil-doers" a given?  That's why they're the evil-doers, right?  Because they're the ones doing the evil.  It's in the name!

I'm not saying we should ignore our enemy's intentions.  The jihadists are as evil as the Nazis - worse, even.  If they were to eventually obtain a nuclear weapon, the continued existence of American cities would directly be in question.  Preventing that specific circumstance is what this whole thing is all about.

But just because the jihadists can't be laughed away doesn't mean they should never be laughed at.  Our country has - in the form of Donald Trump - the most improbable, comedic, and, potentially, effective psy-ops president we've ever had.  He's a septuagenarian New Yorker with a big mouth, no shortage of insults, and an insatiable Twitter habit.  This is a weapon.  You want Trump to find his groove as a leader?  You want him to focus his social media message?  Here it isLet Gramps loose.

The terrorists should be mocked and ridiculed constantly, in public, at all times.  I can think of just one example where America effectively employed psy-ops since 9/11: releasing footage of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - then the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq - unable to operate his weapon.  His goons then come over to assist and they burn their hands on the barrel.  Total buffoons.

The Zarqawi tape was good but it was vague and insufficient.  Nobody saw it.  It was also more than a decade ago.  What we need now is a sustained campaign to convince the world that the terrorists are losers.  Because you know what losers do?  They lose.  And you know what kills recruitment more than anything?  Losing.

Every time we drop a bomb on a terror target, we should openly opine on their lack of an air defense capability.  I mean, how pathetic is that?  No air defenses!  Here's a nice tweet storm: "Perhaps if the terrorists were smarter, they could do something - anything - to stop us from bombing them.  But they can't.  Because they're not that bright."  Here's another one: "Remember when the Wright brothers invented the airplane over a century ago?  Our enemies still can't build one on their own.  Sad!"  Or another: "How bad do you have to be at war to not even have a single plane in 2017?"

We should stop calling them "masterminds," too.  The terrorists aren't masterminds.  They're clownboats.  Masterminds have fighter jets.  Masterminds have drones.  Masterminds have tanks.  Masterminds have aircraft carriers.  Masterminds have effective supply-chains and cutting-edge communications equipment.  Masterminds don't rely on "lone wolves" for their most prominent operations.

Even their deadliest attacks are poorly planned and inadequately executed (from their perspective, that is).  Upwards of 50,000 people worked in the Twin Towers; al-Qaeda killed 2,606 at the World Trade Center site, about 5% of what could have been their kill-total.  Who was the genius "mastermind" logistician that decided 9/11 should commence before 9:00am?  Who was the brilliant tactician that spent years planning to attack American office buildings before the American work day begins?  Idiots.

And remember the November 2015 Paris attacks?  It was the worst violence in the French capital since World War II.  But still: nine heavily-armed perps killed 130 unarmed, unsuspecting people.  You could have rounded up a fire-team of four half-drunk, semi-interested U.S. Marines, given them a few magazines of ammo, some dip and some Red Bull, and they'd have done twice as much damage in half the time.

Critics will say that this is crude; that it belittles the deaths of those that die at the hands of terror.  Maybe, maybe not.  I don't think it belittles anything other than the terrorists.  I think it's accurate.  I think it's a form of gallows humor and I think gallows humor can go a long way toward defeating a foreign totalitarian ideology.  You know how Reagan beat the "evil empire" in Moscow?  He got the whole world to laugh at them.  Acknowledging evil and then mocking it are not mutually exclusive.

When it comes to the jihadists, we shouldn't stop our derision at their operational incompetence.  There is plenty of fun stuff about the jihadist psyche - their preferences and proclivities - that ought to be exploited and discussed globally.  Here's a good rule of thumb: if it's "taboo" over there, then it's a potential tactic over here.  Trump could have "Veteran Fridays," where he hands over the bully pulpit and lets a combat vet talk openly about what he saw from the enemy.  For instance, bestiality is not uncommon.  Those stories aren't all made up.  There is widespread pedophilia, as well.

The jihadists should be made to know that they're commonly referred to as "pink mist," because that's what young American grunts enjoy turning their stupid, unimpressive, unimposing, underdeveloped bodies into.  The jihadists go to war because of centuries-old, deeply-held religious convictions.  Americans go to war because of the .50 cal scene in Rambo 4.  Crazy is a two-way street, Ahmed.

Critics will say that this is inflammatory; that such a public posture will only intensify hatred of America throughout the Muslim world.  I believe just the opposite is true.  As Osama bin Laden famously said, "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they will naturally want to side with the strong horse."  This is the language Muslim culture speaks.  Strength and weakness.  Honor and shame.  Winning and losing. 

America should stop focusing exclusively on how bad the jihadists are morally - an argument that hasn't changed the geopolitical dynamic in our favor - and start focusing on how bad they are militarily.  "If you have to attack young girls at a concert, you must be pretty impotent on the battlefield.  Low energy!" 

There - that's another tweet.

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Contributing Editor N.M. Guariglia is an essayist who writes on Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitics.


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