Marching Toward Hell

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Marching Toward Hell

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Written By: Michael Scheuer       
Narrated By: Michael Scheuer
Date: 11 February 2008
Duration: 06:32:00

| Genres

NonFiction Politics

| Summary

When Michael Scheuer first questioned the goals of the Iraq War in his 2004 bestseller Imperial Hubris, policymakers and ordinary citizens alike stood up and took notice. Now, Scheuer offers a scathing and frightening look at how the Iraq War has been a huge setback to America's War on Terror, making our enemy stronger and altering the geopolitical landscape in ways that are profoundly harmful to U.S. interests and security concerns.

Marching Toward Hell is not just another attack on the Bush administration. Rather, it sounds a critical alarm that must be heard in order to preserve the nation's security. Scheuer outlines the ways that America's foreign policy since the end of the Cold War has undermined the very goals for which we are fighting and played right into bin Laden's hands. The ongoing instability in Iraq, for example, has provided al Qaeda and its allies with the one thing they want most: a safe haven from which to launch operations across borders into countries that were previously difficult for them to reach. With U.S. forces and resources spread thinner every day, the war has depleted our strength and brought al Qaeda a kind of success that it could not have achieved on its own.

A twenty-plus-year CIA veteran, Scheuer headed the agency's Osama bin Laden unit, managed its covert-action operations, and authored its rendition program. Scheuer spent his career developing strategies to keep America safe, by any means deemed necessary by the presidents he served. It was his job to take available intelligence and devise plans to protect Americans, without considering bias, position, or even existing alliances. In Marching Toward Hell, Scheuer takes on the questions of What went wrong? and How can we fix this? and proposes a plan to cauterize the damage that has already been done and get American strategy back on track. He lists a number of painful recommendations for how we must shift our ideological, military, and political views in order to survive, even if that means disagreeing with Israeli policy or launching more brutal campaigns against terrorists.

America holds its destiny in its hands, Scheuer says, yet not nearly enough has been done to defend America and destroy its Islamist enemies. This is an eye- opening, alarming, contentious, and ultimately fascinating examination of how far off track the War on Terror has gone, and a critical read in understanding what we must do to save it.

| Author

Michael Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer (born 1952) is a former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, foreign policy critic, and political analyst. He is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies. One of his assignments during his 22-year career was serving as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (aka "Alec Station") (the Osama bin Laden tracking unit at the Counterterrorist Center) from 1996 to 1999. He also served as Special Advisor to the Chief of Alec Station from September 2001 to November 2004.

Scheuer became a public figure after being outed as the anonymous author of the 2004 book Imperial Hubris, in which he criticized many of the United States' assumptions about Islamist insurgencies and particularly Osama bin Laden. Later in 2004, shortly after the 'outing' of Scheuer's harsh criticism of America's close alliance with Israel, Scheuer resigned from his position at the CIA. In his book Scheuer depicted bin Laden as a rational actor who was fighting to weaken the United States by weakening its economy, rather than merely combating and killing Americans.

Scheuer challenges the common assumption that terrorism is the threat that the United States is facing in the modern era, arguing rather that Islamist insurgency (and not "terrorism") is the core of the conflict between the U.S. and Islamist forces, who in places such as Kashmir, Xinjiang, and Chechnya are "struggling not just for independence but against institutionalized barbarism." Osama bin Laden acknowledged the book in a 2007 statement, suggesting that it revealed "the reasons for your losing the war against us".

In February 2009, Scheuer reported that, as a consequence of his statements about US foreign policy towards Israel, he had been fired from his position as a senior fellow of The Jamestown Foundation by Jamestown's president. In December 2013 and January 2014, Scheuer was criticized for seeming to advise American citizens to seriously consider assassinating US President Barack Obama. In September 2014, in addition to earlier "praise" received from Al Qaeda, the Islamic State issued a press release quoting Scheuer's in order to appeal to an American audience.