12 May 2012
Senior officers at a top US war college have been instructed to prepare for “total war” against Muslims, including “taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary … the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki being applicable,” according to leaked documents from course curriculum.
The material was taught to officers at the Defense Department’s Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, by Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley. That anti-Muslim curriculum was being taught at the school first came to light in March. Until this week, when the documents were obtained by reporters for the blog Danger Room, the extremely violent character of the curriculum was not known.
In late April, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey ordered the class, “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” suspended. He did not suspend Dooley, who continues to work at the college. The “perspectives” course has been taught since 2004; Dooley has been at the school since 2010.
The college at first defended the course, stating that it was popular with the officers enrolled. Responses have been “mostly positive, usually around the 90 percent range,” Steven Williams, a spokesman for the college, told Danger Room. And he further stated, “Students generally appreciate thought-provoking discussion and the freedom to consider critical perspectives.”
The comments on Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki come from Dooley’s presentation entitled “A Counter-Jihad Op Design Model.” The lecture makes specific mention of targeting the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia, for “total war.”
In World War II Dresden and Tokyo were fire bombed by the British and US air forces. The attacks intentionally targeted civilian populations, killing hundreds of thousands. Hundreds of thousands more were killed as a result of the US atomic bomb attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Dooley’s reference to “total war” also harkens to WWII. It is a concept chiefly associated with Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and German plans for creating lebensraum in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union through the wholesale destruction of the local populations.
In a July 2011 lecture Dooley declared, “We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam.’ It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”
Elsewhere, Dooley discusses “actions offered for consideration here [that] will not be seen as ‘politically correct,’” before listing “Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation, Mecca and Medina destroyed, Islam reduced to cult status.” The Danger Room article lists several anti-Muslim guest lecturers who came to the college in the past year.
That fascistic figures like Dooley train top level officers is a telling indictment of the US military and an exposure of the claims that it is defending “freedom” in the wars in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.
The crimes committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan—the homicidal rampages, the desecrations of corpses, the burning of Korans—are not the random acts of “bad apples,” as the Obama administration and the media claim. They flow inexorably from the imperialist aims drawn up in Washington and justified in messianic terms by military and counter-terrorism strategists like Dooley. His course was taught to senior officers including “captains, commanders, lieutenant colonels and colonels from across all four armed services,” according to Danger Room. It is these officers who command rank-and-file soldiers in counter-insurgency campaigns.
Dooley has himself been deployed repeatedly in Muslim areas. A 1994 West Point graduate, he has been stationed in Bosnia and Kuwait, and was part of the brutal US military occupation of Iraq. According to the Associated Press, Dooley has won “numerous awards including a Bronze Star Medal, the fourth-highest military award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service.”
Last year a similar scandal came to light when it emerged that FBI training material was rife with anti-Muslim sentiment. An internal review of FBI curriculum found 876 “offensive or inaccurate pages” that had been used in 392 separate presentations, “including a PowerPoint slide that said the bureau can sometimes bend or suspend the law in counterterror investigations,” according to the Associated Press.
The focus of the Danger Room report is on the anti-Muslim character of Dooley’s teaching. Yet it is at least as revealing for its naked assertion that the so-called war on terror renders the Geneva Convention of 1949 “no longer relevant,” which in turn “leave[s] open the possibility of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary.” It is in relationship to this claim of immunity from war crimes that Dooley then lists the “historical precedents” of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
The lecture also “reiterates” the removal of Geneva Convention protections for “those who are caught fighting/operating out of uniform.” The category of those “operating outside of uniform” includes virtually the earth’s entire human population.
This assertion, that the US military can target anyone it chooses for killing, is in fact entirely within the fold of official American policy. This spring, Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, formalized with pseudo-legal arguments the “right” of the president to order the assassination of anyone, anywhere—including US citizens—solely based on the bald assertion of the military-intelligence apparatus that that person is a terrorist.
Indeed, Dooley’s ravings are not those of an isolated individual. They are a particularly noxious expression of the thinking of the dominant layers among US politicians, diplomats, the military brass, spies, and the media, all of whom reject any restraints on the use of imperialist violence.