Friday, December 4, 2015

Obama's Ideological Belief In Social Movement Theory Prevents The US from Effectively Responding To Extremist Violence And Threats

From The Council on Global Security, WHITE PAPER, "The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy" by Katharine C Gorka:
Executive Summary
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President Barack Obama and a number of his top counter-terrorism advisors see Islamic extremism through the lens of Social Movement Theory, according to which extremists are viewed as “activists” with legitimate grievances, whether against colonialism, modernism, poverty and unemployment, or simply "the West."

As a result, Obama’s CT strategy has focused primarily on targeting individual perpetrators and addressing "upstream causes," rather than on countering an ideology that is at war with the United States.

Moreover, if you see economic or political grievances at the root of all terrorism, you must then set yourself a course of solving all of those grievances.
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Social Movement Theory and the Presidency of Barack Obama
Social movement theory seeks to understand the origins and consequences of collective mobilization. It had its origins in the socialist labor movements of the 1800s, and interest in social movement theory was revived and reborn with the social protest movements of the 1960s. Given its grounding in these periods of Marxist or socialist-inspired uprisings, it is not surprising that implicit in social movement theory is a perspective that sees the world divided between the owners of production and the workers, exploiters and exploited, slaves and masters.
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This perspective is reflected in the Obama administration’s view of Islam:
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Social Movement Theory and Islamic Activism
While it was President Obama who elevated to national policy the notion of legitimate Muslim grievances as the explanation for terrorism, the idea had been incubating for nearly twenty years. Recasting Islamist extremism as "Islamic activism" began around 1984 with academics who were concerned with what they saw as the relationship between "cultural imperialism" and "Islamic movements". [Footnotes omitted.]
Social Movement Theory sees perpetrators of violence and terrorism as victims who are justifiably responding to unjust and unfair political, institutional, cultural, sociological, and economic causes. The movement focuses are responding to the hypothetical causes to prevent future terrorism instead of denouncing the legitimacy of and focusing on the actual violence perpetrated and using punishment and deterrence to prevent future extremist violent acts.

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