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Excerpt: "A course for US military officers has been teaching that America's enemy is Islam in general and suggesting that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following second world war precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima."

General Martin Dempsey announced the cancellation of a course that taught that Muslims are the enemy. (photo: AP)
General Martin Dempsey announced the cancellation of a course that taught that Muslims are the enemy. (photo: AP)

US Military Course Taught Officers 'Islam Is the Enemy'

By Associated Press

11 May 12


course for US military officers has been teaching that America's enemy is Islam in general and suggesting that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following second world war precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.

The Pentagon suspended the course in late April when a student objected to the material. The FBI also changed some agent training last year after discovering that it, too, was critical of Islam.

The teaching in the military course was counter to repeated assertions by US officials over the past decade that America is at war against Islamic extremists, not the religion itself.

"They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit," the instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The college, for professional military members, teaches mid-level officers and government civilians on subjects related to planning and executing war.

Dooley also presumed, for the purposes of his theoretical war plan, that the Geneva conventions that set standards of armed conflict, are "no longer relevant".

He adds: "This would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable to the Mecca and Medina destruction decision point)."

His war plan suggests possible outcomes such as "Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation ... Islam reduced to cult status".

A copy of the presentation was obtained and posted online by's Danger Room blog. The college did not respond to the Associated Press' requests for copies of the documents, but a Pentagon spokesman authenticated the documents. Dooley still works for the college, but is no longer teaching, said the joint chiefs of staff chairman, General Martin Dempsey. Dooley has refused to comment.

A military service record summary provided by army human resources at Fort Knox, Kentucky, shows that Dooley was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation from the US military academy at West Point, New York, in May 1994. He has served tours in Germany, Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq. He has numerous awards including a Bronze Star medal, the fourth-highest US combat award.

In what he termed a model for a campaign to force a transformation of Islam, Dooley called for "a direct ideological and philosophical confrontation with Islam", with the presumption that Islam is an ideology rather than just a religion.

He further asserted that Islam has already declared war on the west, and the US specifically.

"It is therefore illogical" to continue with the current US strategy, which Dooley said presumes there is a way of finding common ground with Islamic religious leaders, without "waging near total war".

The course on Islam had been taught since 2004, but was not part of the required core curriculum. It was offered five times a year, with about 20 students each time.

Though Dooley has been teaching at the college since August 2010, it was unclear when he took on that particular class, called Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.

The joint staff suspended the course after it had received a student complaint, and within days Dempsey ordered all service branches to review their training to ensure other courses do not use anti-Islamic material.

On Thursday, Dempsey said the material in the Norfolk course was counter to American "appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness".

"It was just totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn't academically sound," Dempsey said. "This wasn't about ... pushing back on liberal thought; this was objectionable, academically irresponsible."

In his July 2011 presentation on "counterjihad", Dooley asserted that the rise of what he called a "military Islam/Islamist resurgence" compels the US to consider extreme measures, "unconstrained by fears of political incorrectness".

He described his purpose as generating "dynamic discussion and thought", while noting that his ideas and proposals are not official US government policy and cannot be found in any current official defence department documents.

A Pentagon inquiry is seeking to determine whether someone above the professor's level is supposed to approve course materials and whether that approval process was followed in this case, said Colonel Dave Lapan, a spokesman for Dempsey.

The problem of negative portrayals of Islam in federal government is not new. A six-month review the FBI launched into agent training material uncovered 876 offensive or inaccurate pages that had been used in 392 presentations, including a PowerPoint slide that said the bureau can sometimes bend or suspend the law in counterterror investigations. your social media marketing partner


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+29 # Peacedragon 2012-05-11 19:25
This is just plain stupid and against what America stands for.
+13 # cadan 2012-05-11 23:06
I think Peacedragon is exactly right on both points.

It is against what we claim we stand for.

But no matter what we actually stand for, it is very very stupid because it fills our officers with ideas that are at odds with reality.

Whether you are an imperialist or an isolationist or anything else, you should want your officers to be connected with reality.

(If you reread the top two paragraphs of the article, you encounter this sentence: "The FBI also changed some agent training last year after discovering that it, too, was critical of Islam." That is propagandizing by the AP. The problem with the material is not that it is "critical of Islam" it is that it is grossly non-factual, and of course against our values. By calling it "critical of Islam" the AP is minimizing the harmfulness, as well as falsely suggesting that there's something about political correctness going on here.)
+8 # robbeygay 2012-05-12 01:33
Sure is but the Romney Christians might see this as:- Moses & Jesus avenged after 4,000+ years of ineffective Passive Resistance?
+10 # goodsensecynic 2012-05-12 03:53
Stupid, yes. Against what America stands for? Only America at its best ... and that is being eroded.
+19 # John Gill 2012-05-12 04:06
well, maybe it isn't what America stands for in the minds of some people, but it certainly IS what America stands for in the minds of a rapidly growing cross-section of the world's population. Intolerance, hatred, unbridled greed, brutal force, and so on. When we actually examine our history, not the version they spoon-fed us, but the real nuts and bolts of it...what must we stand for, if not our actions? I can no longer believe that this country actually stands for vague ideals like freedom or justice, that wealthy men in power, from the very beginning, paid lip service to, and still do today of course, in order to justify force against those who had what they wanted, or wanted what they had.
+15 # John Locke 2012-05-12 04:42
Agreed, however this is what you get when fanatics have taken over the military and the FBI...The fundamental christian right: they are fundamentally emotionally challenged!
+13 # goodsensecynic 2012-05-12 07:23
It's "stupid," yes.

And it's "what America stands for" ... at its best.

These are not, however, the best of times and America is betraying its own heritage.
+33 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-11 20:48
"obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths"

Ah, yes -- a final solution. Time to round up the Muslims in this country too, I guess, and send them off to camps for showers.
It'll be difficult, with almost two billion Muslims in the world, but use of modern technology, and dedicated Christians, we can surely kill them them all.

It's happening again....
+10 # John Locke 2012-05-12 04:44
bluepilgrim: Yes history will continue to repeat itself until we are smart enough to learn! But humans aren't that evolved yet!
+11 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-05-12 07:36
Now I'm worried.
Some people seem to take "onward Christian soldier" a little too literally.
As a former boss of mine told me once, referring to the huge US military arsenal: "the problem with people who are good music players is they want to se lots of concerts".
+10 # Thomas Martin 2012-05-11 22:25
For anyone truly loving what the US could and should stand for, this hurts!!! And it makes one wonder if we can turn things around and become a net positive influence in world affairs! Also, one wonders what influence our religious organizitions (primarily Christian) might exert to try to bring about a good result! It's time for good people to stand up and do what's right!
+12 # Pancho 2012-05-12 00:06
Three years ago then-Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Harley Lappin, was on a panel on terrorists in Nashville. He referred exclusively to Muslims being held in U.S. federal prisons. When I asked him if the biggest "Security Threat Groups," in his prisons were not in fact neo-Nazis, rather than Muslims, he said couldn't answer the question as he had to leave. He quickly ran out of the room. I followed him to pursue the question. He said he had to catch a plane. I said I'd be happy to ride along with him to get an answer, and would take a cab back from the airport. He refused.
A year ago he got a DUI and was caught doing 20 over the speed limit in quick succession. He resigned not long afterward and it soon was announced that he would become the #2 man at Corrections Corporation of American, for whom he had been signing contracts for over ten thousand beds during his term as Director. He would be replacing his seat warmer, his former BOP Deputy Director Rick Seiter, who announced his retirement when it was time for Harley to get his quid pro quo.
+14 # X Dane 2012-05-12 02:06
With this disgusting material out on the internet, we can count of thousands of new enemies, eager to kill as many OF US as possible. Dooley is a danger to our security, and in my opinion he should be kicked out of the military and prosecuted,
+5 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-12 02:52
Nasty materuial.

U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam
By Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman
May 11, 2012

Notice the nasty cartoon with the ostrich is not only anti-Islam, but also anti-liberal.

This is from

(This original includes comments from Wired readers)
+10 # seeuingoa 2012-05-12 03:18
Some things are so crazy that you
don´t want to comment, hoping it
just disappears by itself because
of its crazyness.
On the other hand, you know that
there are so many crazy people out
there, that if you don´t comment it
could accellerate.
+8 # goodsensecynic 2012-05-12 03:44
When I talk to American friends - whether putative "conservatives" or "liberals" - I get a similar story: "Islam is a violent religion, dedicated in theory and practice to the extermination of all ideas and peoples who decline to submit to Allah and embrace abominable ideas about human rights." If the person is female, she will often add, "particularly toward women."

So, any action - military or otherwise - is justified as "defensive" in light of Islam's alleged aggressiveness.

No distinction is made among various Islamic traditions (Sunni, Shi'ite, etc.) No account is taken for Islam in various cultures (Arab, Indonesian, etc.). Such subtleties are shrugged off as mere variations on a common theme.

Nowhere do they recognize that the ideas espoused in the cited "courses" are equal to or worse than the aims and tactics of al-Qaeda, etc.

Some measure of social justice for the Palestinians (which needn't involve "driving Israel into the sea") and the withdrawl of US and other external forces from Arabia would pretty much end the current impasse.

Back in 1919, Felix Frankfurter and Prince Feisal correspondended (see: Feisal identifies Western imperialism as the common threat to Arabs and Jews who are "cousins in race." It was a start that needs to be restarted.
-20 # MidwestTom 2012-05-12 06:33
The TSA and all of the cameras and road blocks in this country exist because of Islam.
+8 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-12 11:56
That's like saying the ghettos and the oven in Nazi Germany existed because of Judaism or Custer's cavalry existed because of Native American Indians: it's blaming the targets of imperialism aggression. Islam existed long before any of this, without problems; the surveillance state problems started when the people being attacked and exploited by the empire resisted and when the oligarchy started their campaigns of instituting the police states with 'Islamic terrorism' as an excuse, with fear-mongering, demonizing propaganda and dysinformation.

U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
by Julie Lévesque
Global Research, May 11, 2012

The U.S. court judgment issued in December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran) which blames the Iran government for the 9/11 attacks is part of the propaganda ploy, which consists in demonizing the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is part and parcel of America's ongoing war against Iran since the overthrow of its U.S.-backed monarchy in 1979.

Iran had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks -- well established fact.
+1 # robbeygay 2012-05-12 19:39
Really was that court decission for real? If so that's a very good start for prosecuting GWB as a War Criminsal for a) Wrongly attacking Afghanistan, b) for wrongly slaughtering UBL, c) for wrongly attacking Iraq d) for murdering Sadam, e) for wrongly drone killing Pakistan innocent people when wanting UBL answers and F) for attacks in Pakistan. The list goes on if they now say Iran did it all, what excuse for the rest?????
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-13 09:28
They will say everybody did it.
They will blame a half dozen African countries if they want to invade them. THey will blame Indonesia -- anywhere Muslims can be found (about everywhere) if it suits the imperialist agenda. There is no logic or fact behind any of this -- just propaganda.
+7 # Bob P 2012-05-12 07:18
The military mission is getting harder and harder. To take young people out of our culture and to train them to be controlled hating killing machines seems to be geting harder and harder. They have to be trained to hate a dehumanized enemy enough to kill without over-killing or their human instincts rebelling causing mental problems. As our society becomes less hating, fielding a military of professional killers is going to become harder and harder. Who is left to dehumanize and hate?
+7 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-05-12 08:32
"They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,..”. What’s the difference? Only that this is not a minor islamic sect leader but a certified educator & representative of the US military. Same shit, different assholes.
+13 # davidhp 2012-05-12 09:27
As a retired career military intelligence analyst, this really disgusts me. What is really sad about this story is that only one officer complained about this course. There should be an outside investigation into who developed this course, who approved it and who taught it and they should be held accountable with more than a slap on the wrist. Additionally every officer who attended this course needs to be provided additional training in the role of the U.S. military and that the executive branch with the advise and consent of the Congress sets foreign policy not the military. People wonder why America is not trusted around the world courses like this and the School of Americas are prime examples of our military being out of control.
+3 # dcholley 2012-05-12 09:45
Hey, Koot Coyote, You've got it exactly right,fed govmnt,military ,religion,educa tion?,SAME POOP< DIfferent BUNGHOLES!
+6 # Pancho 2012-05-12 09:54
Our very own "Final Solution" and all this merits is two reader comments?

+2 # rblee 2012-05-12 11:52
Hmm...leveling Mecca, Jerusalem and the Vatican might just have more appeal.
+4 # genierae 2012-05-12 13:57
There is no more beautiful religion than Islam, the Koran is pure poetry. The Muslims who are the most religious are the Sufis, they are the mystics that express the Koran's spiritual meaning. Every important religion has its fanatics, what about the Christian Crusades? And their books of truth are corrupted by greedy men who lust for power. The white man has used religion for centuries to make war on those who are different, especially if there are rich resources to be exploited.

Here is a Sufi poem about God:

I hold you in my heart.
I rock and sing you to sleep.
You are everywhere in everyone.
the holy baby in all of us,
that plays there.

The beautiful one,
born when we love,
the glowing child.

You are the meaning that blooms in the heart.

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
+2 # John Gill 2012-05-12 17:09
Thanks for the nice poem.

"There is no (more)? beautiful religion than Islam,"

I disagree with the "more" part, unless you mean that all religions are equal at heart. :)

I agree with the rest of what you say except for the "white man" part, because I don't think there is a place where a truly clear understanding of an issue, (outside of one which only concerns the color of human skin) can coexist with racial stereotypes.

I think that at the heart of religions is a profound wish to express gratitude for a "mystically" experienced beauty of existence. I think there is very little point in comparing the good or evil of one with another.

Clearly, the "mystical" experience of religion is known to the mystics, but eventually expressed in garbled translations of their teachings as concrete "dogma".

The concrete "dogma" of religion is always taken out of context by those, (well meaning or otherwise,) who wish to wield the "word", whether of Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, Mahavira, or Christ, as a tool in order to achieve one end or another, and history shows us that those who go that route are of all colors and ethnicities.

This is plainly a sad truth. Some say do away with religion, but the mystics will always be with us as one of the many expressions of the human experience. Some say depoliticize religion, but the politicians will always be with us in the same way.
+4 # carolsj 2012-05-12 19:50
The problem isn't religion per se, but the way some groups of people use it and twist it to justify their own violence, prejudice and greed.
+1 # genierae 2012-05-13 05:36
Mr. Gill, all true religions are based on truth, which is beautiful in its simplicity. I was not implying that Islam is more beautiful than other religions, just that it is equally divine and shouldn't be judged by those who don't understand it. As for the "white man part", I was not using a racial stereotype, I was stating the fact that the white man has used religion to oppress and slaughter untold numbers of people. So his condemnation of Islam is rather hypocritical. I am not a religious person, I am a spiritual person, I think that at the heart of the religious is the spiritual, and the Sufis are the spiritual core of Islam. We are in transition from the religious to the spiritual, and mankind needs to stop hating each other and wake up to the love in our hearts.
0 # John Gill 2012-05-13 16:49
Hi, and thanks for the reply. I kinda figured that was what you meant by the "more" thing, and I agree with what you say wholeheartedly. I did take issue with the "white man" thing, because I felt that in a discussion of the way religion is misused by people, it is "people" we are talking about. ALL people. This country's wealthy and powerful leader, under whom these Islamophobic classes were taught is an African-America n. I don't know the skin color of the idiot who was teaching that class, and it is immaterial.

When you say, as you did in your response to me, that "the white man has used religion to oppress and slaughter...etc ." you are racially stereotyping. When you say, "white men" have done this, or Asian men have done that, you are not relating specific examples, and you are excluding the rest of the human race, as if it is the "white" man, or the "black" man, or the "green" man, who alone engages in this kind of thing, as if this is just the way "they" are. If you are talking about specific instances of injustice from which our "brown" brothers and sisters have suffered lately, I would have to mention John Yoo, and Colin Powell in the long list of perpetrators, along with all the white guys. You were saying something quite beautiful about Islam, and I found the bringing of skin color into it a little out of place, alongside "you are everywhere, in everyone, the holy baby in all of us,". That's all I'm saying.
0 # genierae 2012-05-14 05:30
Mr. Gill, we will have to agree to disagree on the white man stereotyping, we see it quite differently, and I think we could debate this point forever without either of us conceding. Thanks for your feedback.
+2 # RMDC 2012-05-13 05:27
Genierae -- yes, you are right. it is just a shame that people over here in the US know so little about the culture, philosophy, and political writings of Muslims. The Qur'an is a far more beautiful religious text than the Bible or New Testament. I totally agree. I'm an athiest, but I have read them all many times. I'd go with the Qur'an if I had to start believing for some reason.
-1 # Noni77 2012-05-12 19:50
There is a huge difference in what the average Muslim thinks his religion says, since he reads the Koran as rarely as the moderate Christian, and what the upper echelon Imams know and practice. Anyone here ever read the Koran? Or are you going on gossip and what a friend of a friend told you someone told him? Try reading the Koran and actual history. I did. You express ignorance and Pollyanna fantasies here.
+3 # John Gill 2012-05-12 22:27
I always planned on reading the Koran someday, but never did. I wouldn't mind now, but I haven't got the time at the moment. Since you have, and clearly take some pride in this achievement, why not share some of your insights with those of us less well read than you on this subject. Apart from some minor reading on Sufi mystics back in the 70s,I am very ignorant on the subject of Islam, and perhaps your knowledge and experience would afford some of us a different perspective!
+2 # RMDC 2012-05-13 06:09
John Gill -- I'll give you an example that is much discussed and much misunderstood these days -- "sharia." Arabic is a very metaphoric language. Much is the Qur'an is told metaphorically or allegorically.

"Sharia" is a whole vision of moral life built into a single word or image. Literally it means the "path to the well or water source." The well for desert communities is a very important place and some place that you must always keep in mind. You organize your life with reference to the well. And one always knows the shortest and most efficient path to the well. This is the essence of sharia as a moral code. There are many shortest paths, since everyone will be coming from a different direction. Everyone will eventually have to find his or her own path. The well of course is Allah or heaven as a source of life. There's a lot in Islam about paths and journeys.

Islam does not have absolute doctrines as developed in catholicism and much of christianity. It is a very personal religion and its morality comes from a personal spirituality. Judaism is historical and political. It is about empire. Christianity and Judaism are filled with hypocrites, those who appear religious on the outside but are deeply anti-religious. Islam has less of this hypocrisy.

Of course, there are fanatics in every religion, but they don't define the religion. Islam suffers from the corrupt politics of the regions where it is mostly practiced -- esp. Saudi Arabia.
0 # genierae 2012-05-13 13:40
Thank you for that eloquent explanation of Sharia, it has been so demonized by right-wingers. They just passed a law in Kansas to ban Sharia from their legal system, as if it would ever become American law!

Also, I wanted to add that Jesus was not the sterile saint that they have made him into. He was a mystic, a mighty prophet, who was recognized by Mohammed. His persona was hijacked in later centuries by those who wanted to use him to gain power over the masses. He was a simple man, and his friends were those who were society's outcasts, poor "sinners" who were not acceptable to the Jewish church. Jesus had no material wealth, he was homeless, and depended on the kindness of strangers to give him a "place to lay his head". He was a self-realized human being, love personified, and he would not be welcome in most churches today.
+2 # RMDC 2012-05-13 05:42
Yes, i have read the Qur'an several times. I have also read pretty extensively in Islamic philosophy and theology. They are really quite amazing, when compared to the sister religions of Christianity and Judaism. There's a spiritual calmness and peace that you just don't find in Christianity or Judaism. Allah is always merciful and reasonable.

In America there is a whole industry devoted to distorting Islam. Edward Said named these people "Orientalists" -- people who are accredited in Europe or the US as the official interpreters of "eastern" culture but who in reality don't know anything of what they are talking about. They write about Islam and Arab/Persian culture purely out of their own fantasies, with a few quotations thrown in for the sake of appearing authentic. Bernard Lewis is our current Orientalist in chief. The job of the Orientalists is to prove the racial superiority of the west. They are part of the apparatus of racism and colonialism.

Don't read any of these Orientalists. Read only primary texts -- the Qur'an (Oxford Classics is a good translation; Penguin is horrible). Read Sayyd Qutb. Rumi. Al Ghazzali.Ibn Battuta. Ibn Khaldoun. The list is very long.

It always makes me laugh to see how demonized Qutb is in the US. Clearly, no one has read his work. His writings are very beautiful and modern.
+1 # cadan 2012-05-13 10:48
Thanks genierae and RMDC (for the poetry and advice about source material).
+2 # Gevurah 2012-05-12 23:09
People, you should know about an organization called Military Religious Freedom Foundation . The founder, an Air Force former JG, has been in the forefront of combatting the crazed religious fanatics who are abusing our military personnel. These evangelical christian nutcases pressure military personnel into attending the events which (against US law!!) are held at the service academies. The Air Force is by far the worst, but it is not alone.

Mikey Weinstein, the founder of MRFF, has fought doggedly for years to expose these unConstitutiona l acts. He has taken strong action to denounce these radical teachings, which are only unConstitutiona l, but undermine morale and military readiness.

Go to and read some of the disturbing letters sent by military personnel who are literally persected by these radical "Christian" (NOT!) fundamentalists , but dare not speak out for fear of retaliation.

These ignorant, misguided anti-all-Muslim teachings result in more American military personnel deaths at the hands of radical Muslims seeking to retaliate against all Americans because of the misdeeds of these US commanders.

Jews, traditional Christians, and personnel or other -- or no -- religion
look to MRFF to fight for their freedom from persecution by their commanders.

Support MRFF!
+1 # cadan 2012-05-13 10:45
Thanks Gevurah for posting this (also thanks Fiona below).

This really is scary, because regardless of what we think about the military, it should be professional, and it should reflect the very best of society. I realize there is some contradiction between these goals and the missions we send the military on, but a professional military is so much better than a politicized or sectarianized one. It is also harder to send a professional military into an action not consistent with our stated beliefs (e.g., the war against Viet Nam).
+2 # Fiona Mackenzie 2012-05-13 00:38
There is a reason for this milieu of hatred and vengeance against an entire people, for undefined reasons. It is an attitude promoted in the military, and particularly in the military academies, where students who are other than evangelical Xns have no chance of graduating with the better assignments--if at all. Read "C Street" by Jeff Sharlet on the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs.
+1 # RMDC 2012-05-13 05:24
I don't see the fuss. This asshole was just teaching 100% American doctrine. Most US political and military leaders just lie. This guy told the truth, so he gets fired and thrown under the bus. As far as Islam goes, the USG and Pentagon take their orders from the Zionists who are racists and genocidiers. The Zionists are abetted by the Christian Zionists who really do want an armageddon style war against Islam.

The hatred that Christians hold for Muslims goes back to the crusades and it has never left Christian and Euro-American culture. Most US soldiers are taught that this is a crusade.

It is better that the truth is now out in the open. I would hope that Obama would now come out of the closet and confess to being a crusader. We all know the Pentagon is filled with crusaders.
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-05-13 19:29
Al Jazeerra report with new material

link to video

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