Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Transcript - Michael Scheuer from non-intervention.com. Would you say to the listeners, if I ask the question, Mr. Scheuer, can you paint a picture of why, get us behind the why of this expansion into those mineral- and oil-rich parts in Africa is happening. Is this al-Qaeda and the Mujahidin? Is this their method to get back at Western nations for invading their homelands, attacking and killing their people? Or is this something more strategic? Check out Mr. Scheuer's answer in today's transcript...
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and say hello to our friend and proprietor of non-intervention.com, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer. Mr. Scheuer, always a pleasure to speak with you, my friend. How are you today?
Michael Scheuer: I’m very well, sir. It’s always my pleasure to be with you.
Mike: I read, with great interest and enthusiasm, your post on your site last Thursday or so about how the United States is losing the larger war against al-Qaeda in the region known as the Near East and Middle East, about how what actually happened in Libya was as a result of wrongheaded policies. I told my producer we need to get Mr. Scheuer back on so he can elaborate on this a little bit. I’d love to hear your take on the original sin of why the Libya mission actually happened.
Scheuer: I’m not a genius, Mr. Church, but this administration in particular has been willfully blind to the world in terms of what’s happening. I’ve often thought that Mr. Romney has made an enormous mistake in simply not buying some television time and showing the American people on two very simple maps where the Islamists are powerful today and where they were powerful in 2001. In 2001, you would have colored in the map to show a little bit of Pakistan and all of Afghanistan.
If you colored it in today, you would show still part of Afghanistan, a much larger slice of Pakistan, Yemen, the east coast of Africa, the west coast of Africa, North Africa, part of Palestine, a great resurgence in Iraq, basically a three-continent presence that didn’t exist in 2001. Yet this administration refuses to identify the people who are attacked us as Islamists. They call the massacre by Major Hassan in Texas workplace violence. As they merrily go along in their cloud of political correctness, America is much more threatened. For example, the Mujahidin had never sat on what we traditionally call sea lanes. Now they’re sitting on our sea lanes at the Suez Canal, at the Gulf of Aden, in the Indian Ocean on the east side of Africa and on the very important oil routes on the west side of Africa. This has become a much greater strategic problem than it was in 2001.
Mike: When you say they’re sitting on the sea lanes, they actually have naval resources?
Scheuer: You know how much piracy has gone on on the east coast of Africa. The discussion within their own journals of a maritime jihad, as they call it, has been very full. The one thing that we’re very sure of is, after 16 years of following these folks, they don’t talk idly. There’s a tremendous correlation between what they say and what they do. I suppose the essence of national defense is not waiting until you’re invaded or you have an oil interdiction somewhere but to be prepared for that. The real concern, I think, for all Americans should be, especially those opposed to intervention, is that the Islamist forces in West Africa are now approaching on land, a very life and death national interests to the United States. Strategic minerals, uranium supplies, and, of course, we get somewhere over 20 percent of our crude out of the Niger Delta. That’s a place where we would have to go to war to protect legitimate national interests, not the kind of fairy tale we went to war to protect in Iraq.
Mike: You brought this up a couple months ago when you were on, back in June or so. I would surmise then, from what you just said, that that situation has deteriorated and gotten worse.
Scheuer: It has. Part of Mali has been taken over by these people, by Islamists, a group called Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Also they forged alliances with the drug cartels that are working in West Africa, the South American drug cartels, in exchange for helping them convoy their narcotics up the west coast of Africa and then into Spain and Italy and the rest of Europe. They’re reaping an enormous monetary advantage, which allows them, of course, to further consolidate their hold in that area. It’s not only an American concern, sir. I can’t say if it’s absolutely true but it sounds right, that 80 percent of France’s electricity, for example, comes from nuclear power. Almost 100 percent of their uranium comes from that region of West Africa from Niger and other countries we were just speaking about. This is not an American-only problem. It certainly fits the description of what national interests should be, which are life and death things, not feminization and democracy, but actually material interests that you can’t live without.
Mike: Michael Scheuer from non-intervention.com. Would you say to the listeners, if I ask the question, Mr. Scheuer, can you paint a picture of why, get us behind the why of this expansion into those mineral- and oil-rich parts in Africa is happening. Is this al-Qaeda and the Mujahidin? Is this their method to get back at Western nations for invading their homelands, attacking and killing their people? Or is this something more strategic?
Scheuer: Well, I think the first one is strategic, sir. This has been a strategic war from the start. It hasn’t been a tactical war. It hasn’t been a war about the nonsense of women in the workplace or primary elections in Iowa or hating liberty. This has always been an effort to destroy or at least substantially damage the American economy and the economy of the West. The Mujahidin’s position has been, for a long time, that they can’t possibly beat us militarily, but they can bleed us to death in terms of economy, manpower, in the prestige that is lost because we don’t win wars anymore. This is part of their strategic plan. In North Africa, it’s a heavily Islamic area and very rare for al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb does pay much attention to proselytizing people who are not Muslim. It’s very much a strategic move.
We have an enormous problem as a people integrating information. It’s counterintuitive almost in the sense that we are the most educated nation that we have ever been, yet we look at Afghanistan, look at Iraq, look at Somalia as if they were hermetically sealed and not interrelated. It’s all related. Until we come to grips with the fact that we’re facing a multi-continent insurgency, a low-level one to be sure but one that has grown enormously in the past decade, I’m not quite sure how you frame a defense policy for the United States.
Mike: Michael Scheuer from non-intervention.com, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit is with us on the Dude Maker Hotline. Your post today is “Benghazi is bad, but Obama’s Afghan surrender is much worse.” Can you elaborate on Benghazi being bad, as we know that it is, but what happened with the Mujahidin in Afghanistan?
Scheuer: Certainly since we made it clear that we weren’t going to win that war militarily, we had four- and five-star generals appearing before Congress and pretending they couldn’t figure out what victory would be in Afghanistan. Since we decided and gave a date certain that we were going to leave, 2014, we have in essence declared victory. The American people are far more willing to be fooled than most Muslims are, and certainly most Afghans are. When they heard we were going to leave in 2014, what they heard was we’ve got weapons on our side from the Korean War and we beat these guys and they’re going to leave. Every American marine and soldier who’s died, since the president declared that, his life has been wasted. Every man and woman in uniform whose life has been lost in Afghanistan has been wasted. I would argue, sir, frankly, that when you look at Afghanistan, you’re looking at an event, our surrender there, that will galvanize the next generation of young Muslims around the world, young Muslim males especially, in just the way that the defeat of the Soviet Union in 1989 in Afghanistan galvanized bin Laden in his generation.
One other point I would make is, when the generals and the president got together and decided that the answer was to train the Afghans to do this for themselves, they repeated a process that the Soviets tried from 1987 to 1989. The Soviets had the same experience that we’re having. The insurgents send people in to join the military and then they kill their trainers. They say this is an unexpected consequence. The lesson we haven’t learned is that unexpected consequences are perfectly predictable. All of the British intelligence people, Canadian intelligence and military, and American intelligence and military people who have been killed by the people they have been training and killing was a perfectly predictable thing. I wrote it on my blog four or five years ago. If a dummy like me can know it simply by reading some history books, the President of the United States certainly should have had some advisors tell him that.
Mike: So the withdrawal, if there is no commitment, whatever you would term or figure out what a military victory would be, if that is not the goal, this waiting until this fictitious date of 2014 is basically sentencing someone’s son, someone’s nephew, someone’s brother, someone’s husband, to death?
Scheuer: Yes, or daughter or niece or sister the way our military is structured today, sir. I would say from 2010 on, the only reason the American military is in Afghanistan is because Obama didn’t feel politically capable of pulling them out before this election. We had serious business to do in Afghanistan. I would say every American who’s died there died because the president didn’t want to screw up his chances in this election.
Mike: What would you say to the prospective replacement candidate? Wouldn’t you say that if he’s advocating that I agree with the president on the 2014 policy, that he wants to continue the suicide mission? Wouldn’t you counsel him then, “Mr. Romney, sir, it is time on January the 21st to either put forth a cogent plan to” -- I don’t even know what you would hope to accomplish in Afghanistan – “or to make ready the arrangements that have to be made to get the troops out of there”?
Scheuer: Immediately, sir. If you don’t intend to win a war, you should never deploy your troops. I frankly am shocked that by the time 2002 and 2003 came around in Afghanistan that we had no intention of winning. There was an old Confederate cavalryman who used to say “War means fighting and fighting means killing and that’s all it means.” We decided that we were going to build a democracy and have marine combat troops digging wells and doing social work, not defeating the enemy. I have been arguing for the past four or five years that it is a criminal activity to deploy and army and a marine corps and an air force and navy to risk their lives if you don’t intend to win. If I was going to counsel Mr. Romney, which I’m not, of course, I would say get out. It is criminal. It is uncaring. It is a detriment to the future in terms of parents wanting their children to join the military, then watching some of them die because Mr. Obama doesn’t want to screw up his reelection chances.
Mike: A sad state of affairs.
End Mike Church Show Transcript