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Deconstructing Myths of America: Pepe Escobar pt4 Reaping what our Predators are sowing

Pepe Escobar’s latest article for Asia Times Online, The American Taliban are coming, deconstructs the "official" myth-making regarding the failed Times Square bombing, looks into the worldview of neo-jihadis like Faisal Shahzad, Dhiren Barot, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and sees blowback on America’s horizon.

Shahzad fits the profile: young, globalized and addicted to a fantasy – the virtual ummah (Muslim community). He apparently did make the conceptual leap from idealizing the ummah on the Internet to actually feeling the irresistible urge to act on the ground.

What are the traits of a neo-jihadi in Escobar’s profile?

A) "Young, globalized and addicted to fantasy."
B) "Deterritorialization:" living away from real or adopted homelands
C) "Individualistic… no orchestration would be needed by a terrorist network."
D) Narcissistic personality

As scholar Oliver Roy has put it, talking about al-Qaeda-influenced neo-jihadis, Shahzad in his own way has also become a lonely avenger, some sort of self-styled hero "who can redeem a life he is not happy with by achieving fame while escaping a world where he finds no room".

In the wake of the (failed) Times Square bombing, none of this was taken into account. It didn’t even matter that US Central Command chief General David Petraeus – always positioning himself to 2012 – allowed that Shahzad had acted as a "lone wolf". Hysteria ruled ….

And in that hysteria, shock doctrinaires such as Sen. Joe Lieberman (Party of Joe-CT), were quick to exploit even a failed attack as an occasion for further reduction of the citizenry into a target-rich environment.

Chillingly, Escobar concludes that "the new policy [of keeping assassination lists that include citizens] may well be a first step towards assassinating US citizens at home as well."

Will we soon be reaping what our drones are sowing?


In this April 3, 2008 video from The Real News Network, Paul Jay and Pepe Escobar discuss McCain’s failed attempt, to rebrand the war on terror in his own terms. The echoes of parallels with the myth-making regarding Shahzad’s own failure come through loud and clear.

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