Is The War Against Islamic Terrorism Over? Essays in Commemoration of 9/11
edited by Jerry Gordon (September 11, 2012)
Today is the 11th anniversary of 9/11; the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century.” On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists, well educated young men – Saudi, Egyptian, and Yemeni nationals - hijacked four airliners (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Flight 175 from Boston’s Logan airport, American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles airport and United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark Airport). With captive passengers aboard, they flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Brave actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 led to the first counter-attack within thirty minutes of the sky-jacking. The Flight 93 heroes overcame the Islamic terrorists and diverted the aircraft from its ultimate target the Capital building in Washington, crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania instead. All told 19 Jihadi hijackers and more than 2,977 innocent victims including the 246 air passengers on the four planes seized were killed as a result of the murderous jihad airborne attacks in lower Manhattan, northern Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania.
Nearly 3000 innocent victims perished in a Jihadic holocaust masterminded by the late Osama Bin Laden. Bin laden, who founded Al Qaeda, was killed by US Navy Seal team six on May 2, 2011 in a raid on a compound in Abbattobad, Pakistan, virtually within sight of the Pakistani Military Academy. The special operations, known as Operation Neptune Spear, is chronicled in a new book, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, published today, by one of the Seal team commanders, who adopted the nom de plume Mark Owens. As the author said on a CBS 60 Minutes interview, “we were just doing our job” in an operation long in the planning stages and fraught with daunting difficulties, including the crash of one the stealth Black Hawk helicopters. According to the author’s account, the operations yielded a treasure trove of intelligence in the long war against Islamic Jihadism. This despite Pentagon accusations that No Easy Day may have violated Pentagon security reviews, although the author insists that no real secrets were revealed.
Within days of arrival of Seal team Six back in the US, a tableau was organized by President Obama at Fort Campbell Kentucky, home of the famed Screaming Eagles, the 101st Airborne to celebrate this victory in the counterterrorism war against Al Qaeda, the murder of Bin Laden, the creator of an Islamic terror enterprise that has morphed into a global jihadist network. The Seal Team Six team involved was flown to Fort Campbell in an old C-130 aircraft that survived the failed attempt during the Carter Administration to rescue the 44 hostages taken by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards at the US Embassy in 1980. President Obama congratulated the Seal Team Six raiders at the Fort Campbell event and, according to No Easy Day author Owens, asked who pulled the trigger that killed Bin Laden. As Owens said during the 60 Minutes interview, no one stepped forward, because they viewed these successful special operations as a team effort.
President Obama has promoted the view that the death of Bin Laden marked the end of the war against Al Qaeda after years of intelligence gathering and a lucky break that identified the Al Qaeda courier that lead to the Seal Team Six raid on the Abbattobad compound. He has always maintained that the US counterterrorism effort following 9/11 was not a war on Islam. Both he and former President Bush propounded the catechism that the US was engaged in a war against Al Qaeda and not against Islam, “a religion of peace.” The Obama Administration in cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in America undertook a thorough purging of Islamic jihad doctrine underpinning of the credo of Al Qaeda as exemplified by the radical Sunni ideologue Sayyid Qutb in his book Milestones. Qutb helped foster an unrelenting violent Jihad war against unbelievers so as to impose a world Islamic Caliphate governed under Sharia law.
The Obama counterterrorism doctrine led to a selective drone war involving targeted assassinations of Al Qaeda leaders of affiliates across the Muslim Ummah in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The Administration finds itself in a quandary, while trying to foster a peace deal with former Afghan enemy the Taliban, the State Department ponders designation of the Haqqani network in neighboring Pakistan as a foreign terrorist group. Haqqani is allegedly supported by Jihadist cadres of the nefarious Inter-Service Intelligence agency.
The Pentagon has unfortunately denied the realities of homegrown Muslim terrorists within the US Military. We have Maj. Nidal Hasan, whose court martial trial is about to begin at Fort Hood Texas on charges of committing a murderous Jihad massacre of soldiers and civilians at a deployment processing center in November 2009. Then there was AWOL 101st Airborne Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo who was tried and convicted at a federal court in Killeen, Texas on charges of planning another attack at Fort Hood to avenge US military combat against his Muslim brothers in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the 9/11 Iran Links trial in the Federal District Court in Manhattan, we learned that the Islamic Republic of Iran was deeply involved in facilitating training and transportation of the 9/11 perpetrators. The Islamic Republic now threatens a super version of 9/11 via a possible nuclear holocaust or Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack against the US and its ally, the Jewish State of Israel with nuclear weapons and other forms of WMD. An Islamic Republic whose Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guard earnestly believe that such apocalyptic acts will make the Imam Mahdi re-appear to lead an Islamic Army to conquer the world.
In commemoration of 11th anniversary of 9/11, we solicited essays in response to a question: “Is the War Against Islamic Terrorism Over? And if not, what remains to be done?”
What follows are selected essays submitted by a diverse group of scholars and experts. From these respondents we selected essays by Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, noted theologian, former university president and author of Jihad and Genocide, Professor Paul Eidelberg is President of the Israel – American Renaissance Institute, Daniel Mandel, is a Fellow in History of the University of Melbourne, Director of the Zionists of America Center for Middle East Policy, Shoshana Bryan, Director of the Washington, DC based Jewish Policy Center, and Reza Kahlili former CIA-agent who did undercover work inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. We appreciate all of the submissions made.
Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein – On Terrorism
Richard L. Rubenstein is President Emeritus of the University of Bridgeport and Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion Emeritus at Florida State University and author of many works including most recently, Jihad and Genocide.
It is very likely that there will always be some Muslims somewhere willing to blow themselves up or otherwise inflict harm on the non-Muslim world. According to a 2009 report of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the total world Muslim population at the time was 1.57 billion and growing (“Mapping the Muslim Population”). We ought to keep in mind Bernard Lewis’ comment that the struggle between Islam and Christendom has consisted in “a long series of attacks and counterattacks, jihads and crusades, conquests and reconquests” that have lasted over fourteen hundred years. (“The Roots of Muslim Rage,” The Atlantic, September 1990) There is no reason to believe that the cycle of attack and counterattack has stopped in our time. There is no such thing as an end to Islamic terrorism.
Terrorism is not a combatant in a conflict. It is a strategy used by combatants. As long as there are Muslims who believe that violent aggression is a legitimate strategy to be employed against unbelievers, the world will be afflicted with Islamic terrorism to one degree or another. When the West is strong and undeceived, there will be fewer terrorists; when the West lets down its guard, terrorism will increase.
Unfortunately, America’s hands have been tied by the Obama administration’s refusal realistically to identify the Muslim motivation of terroristic acts. By no means did all Muslims approved of 9/11 nor do they all approve of terrorism. Nevertheless, this writer believes that President George W. Bush did the country a disservice when, ten days after 9/11, he declared to a joint session of the U.S. Congress that the 19 terrorists were “traitors to their own faith, trying in effect to hijack Islam itself.” Professor Mary Habeck of Johns Hopkins University was closer to the mark when she observed concerning Sayyid Qutb and Hassan al-Banna, the thinkers who inspired Al-Qaeda that “None of these theorists could have had any impact in the Muslim world if their arguments had not found some sort of resonance in the religion of Islam.” (Knowing the Enemy, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 41).
When Islamists find a realistic opportunity for jihad, there is simply no inducement non-Muslims can offer that will move them abandon their efforts. As the Islamic Affairs Department of the Royal Saudi Embassy in Washington posted on its website, the purpose of jihad is “to make the word of Allah supreme in the world.” The 9/11 terrorists were willing to sacrifice themselves in order to kill thousands and damage both the nation’s financial and political centers. They saw their sacrifice and the death they inflicted on unbelievers as their supreme service of Allah. They were not afraid of death; they welcomed it.
Nevertheless, while there is nothing the West can do to bring terrorism to an end, there are things it can do to minimize the threat. In addition to airport security, immigration control is in need of attention. We must cease to regard all or almost all human beings as equally eligible to become citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Human beings are not numerical abstractions. Some men and women come to our shores passionately committed to transforming our society into one in which Shari’a law governs all Americans either directly or indirectly, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Something must be done about our immigration policies. Unfortunately, nothing will be done as long as craven politicians regard such newcomers as potential members of their political base. While we cannot control the opinions or commitments of American citizens, we certainly have the right to determine realistically which immigrants are likely to accept our fundamental values and reject those who are likely to seek to overturn our system. We did it during the Cold War. There is no reason why we cannot defend ourselves now.
Unfortunately, as long as our educational and cultural institutions are committed to multiculturalism, we will have neither a moral nor a cultural compass. There is something weird about the current liberal-left alliance with Islam. Should it continue, the day will come when the liberals, who prize their freedom above all else, will find that they no longer have any freedom because the system has been rigged and the “word of Allah” has truly been made supreme in their world.
Finally, a word should be said about the problem of infiltration into our government and prison system. If, for example, persons with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood continue to serve as senior advisors to our government, we are asking for trouble. Admittedly, the situation is worse in Europe but, unfortunately, under Obama we are becoming more, not les,s like Europe.
Paul Eidelberg: The Tragedy of 9/11 and American Exceptionalism
Professor Eidelberg is President of the Israel–America Renaissance Institute and expert in Constitutional Law.
What may we learn from 9/11, the Islamic attack on the United States on September11, 2001? Osama bin Laden had already declared war against the U.S. on August 23, 1996. Al Qaeda forces had already attacked two American embassies in Africa on August 7, 1998 and a U.S. naval vessel on October 12, 2000. So what is so significant about 9/11 when hijacked commercial airliners struck the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon?
Of course, we cannot forget that almost 3,000 innocent human beings were murdered on that day by Muslims terrorists. They were cheered as martyrs throughout the Arab-Islamic world. Let us try to elicit the significance of this tragedy and its relation to American Exceptionalism.
Consider the targets struck on 9/11: the World Trade Center, the pinnacle of commercial wealth, and the Pentagon, the seat of unequaled military power. Juxtaposing these two targets we behold monuments of a secular democratic State whose scientific technology stands in stark contrast to pre-modern, feudal Islam—now on the path to acquiring that technology. Evident here is a theological conflict, which America, steeped in materialism, does not want to face.
America has become the avant guard of pop culture. This pop culture is spreading throughout the world as a result of America’s commercial and military hegemony—indicative of America’s own ambitious albeit benign imperialism.
This benign imperialism has been vulgarizing humanity. It has magnified hedonism. It has undermined spiritual values. It has stultified the mind by removing reverence from the human soul.
Pop culture constitutes the greatest threat to all tradition-based societies whose core is religious. This is one reason why Muslims deem America the “Great Satan”—the great tempter. Let us face the truth: America’s political and intellectual leaders have abandoned America’s Biblical heritage abbreviated in her Declaration of Independence.
That document affirms the Creator of heaven and earth. It proclaims that "all men are created equal." The same document refers to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God," the basis of man’s unalienable rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." The same document appeals to the "Supreme Judge" of the world. This is not only a political document. No, it is also theological document that acknowledges Divine Providence.
Clearly, the Declaration of Independence is based on ideas drawn from the Bible of Israel and should be understood as a Judeo-Christian document. This, dear reader, is the only solid foundation of American Exceptionalism. It is the heart and soul of America which has been abandoned by its political and intellectual leaders.
Let us open our eyes and understand the metapolitical significance of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—the monoliths of a secular democratic state that has lost its purpose as a nation under God.
America has become a norm less democracy, where freedom and equality have no rational and ethical constraints, where wealth is the measure of human worth, where the here and now is the preoccupation of men and women, where change, change, change devalues all values, shatters personal identity, erodes a sense of community and national purpose.
9/11 should have been a wake-up call, but not merely to an external "Axis of Evil." That evil was superficially and misleadingly identified as "international terrorism," when in truth that evil was the most aggressive manifestation of Islamic Imperialism, the successor to Atheistic Communist Imperialism. Yes, this resurgence of evil has to be countered by unrelenting force. Unlike the Soviet Union, however, the threats issuing from Islam are perceived by liberals as a manifestation of a peace-loving religion.
Those threats come from everywhere yet cannot be attributed to anyone. Not that this Hydra-headed evil is invincible; but to vanquish it we need to overcome our own homegrown evil: the erosion of America's ancient faith. This faith we can find in ourselves; it only needs to be awakened to inaugurate a new chapter of American Exceptionalism.
I mentioned the Declaration, its reference to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God." These laws were understood in colonial America as the Noahide laws of universal morality. These laws enable diverse men and nations to cooperate, to live in peace while cultivating their own personal and national customs. These metapolitical laws, the true foundation of the American Constitution, united the American people. They underlie the tremendous power and accomplishments of American Exceptionalism. They made the American Constitution a viable model for mankind, a model that can reconcile permanence and change by means of the rule of law sustained by a set of institutions designed to maximize reason and deliberation, as well as moderation in public affairs.
No longer does America offer this model for mankind. America’s ruling class has lost sight of the theological and moral foundations of America’s Declaration of Independence, the soul of the American Constitution. What has happened in America? I will tell you in a direct way:
What you most boast of, freedom and equality, are corrupting you. Your unrestrained freedom spawns licentiousness and undermines the family. Your indiscriminate equality undermines excellence and levels all moral distinctions. Your ever-expanding government and entitlements eviscerate personal responsibility and self-government. Your value-free capitalism fosters avarice and envy. Your university-bred doctrine of multicultural relativism erodes national loyalty and fosters atheism and cynicism.
This is the result of turning away from the Noahide laws which the Declaration of Independence abbreviated as the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God." This is what bonds Israel and America in the crisis of our times signified by 9/11. We need to redeem that terrible tragedy. We need to engage in serious soul-searching. We must not only redeem ourselves, but we must also make the victims of 9/11 meaningful so that their lives will not have perished in vain.
Let us therefore cease worshiping, without neglecting, wealth and power, which we shall sorely need in the crisis of our times. But let us also cease worshiping the false god of norm less or live-as-you-like democracy and restore the normative and dignified democracy of our Founding Fathers. Let us revive the vision to which American Exceptionalism aspired. Let us build a nation where freedom dwells with virtue, equality with excellence, wealth with beauty, the here and now with love of the Eternal.
Daniel Mandel – The Long War against Islamic terrorism
Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in history at Melbourne University, Director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (London: Routledge, 2004).
"Is the War Against Islamic Terrorism Over?" The answer is no. A war cannot be said to be over when the aggressor, al-Qaeda, remains a going concern of any size and reach; when its original Afghan base and supportive Pakistani hinterland remain receptive hosts; when Iran, bankroller and controller of several Islamist terror groups, has edged ever closer towards a nuclear weapons capability and the benefits and immunities this would encompass; when the jihadist cause has been taken up in several countries; and when those of its ideological compatriots sophisticated enough to abstain from its trademark terrorism in preference for the careful, patient work of foreign subversion continue to make progress, often undetected at the time. This goes doubly when those ideological compatriots, the Muslim Brotherhood and associated franchises, to give them their name, have risen to power in the most powerful and populous Arab state, Egypt. Still more so, when the formerly most staunchly secular of Muslim states, Turkey, has come since 9/11 ever more firmly under the sway of patient Islamists.
According, what remains to be done is, first, to absorb the fact that our victories (Iran, Afghanistan) have been but partial and may prove temporary; second, to understand that the patient, non-violent jihadists remain by far our deepest long-term threat and accordingly require a great deal more of our efforts; third, that the war will be lost, whatever other successes we might enjoy, if we fail in our paramount objective of preventing Iran from going nuclear; and fourth, ensuring that we head off the looming danger of a depleted U.S. military which, shorn of innovations and numbers as it currently stands to be, would drastically overextend its mission and invite avoidable disasters.
Shoshana Bryen – The Symbiotic Relationship between Terrorists and Sponsors
Shoshana Bryen is the Director of the Washington, DC-based Jewish Policy Center.
"War" against any pathology is doomed. The Wars on Drugs, Poverty and Terrorism have no matrix for success, so you wouldn't know when you'd won; you could never stop fighting. President Bush's formulation, "The war against terrorists and the states that harbor and support them," got to the heart of the symbiotic relationship between terrorists and their sponsors - terrorists need money, territory, arms, passports, etc. that can only be supplied by states; states need the ability to commit mayhem with plausible deniability (i.e., Saudi support for al Qaeda). The war would be won when the territory across the region is governed by sovereigns who decline support for transnational terrorist organizations. Without such support, you would still have isolated incidents - a man in a marketplace with a grenade - but the large-scale, country-changing, spectacular terrorism of 9-11 or Bali or London would be almost impossible. This does not mean those governments would be our friends, be democratic, like Israel, be secular, and/or not have wars. It simply means that support for al Qaeda and other such would dry up. To the question of whether we're winning - no. Particularly in the past two years, the Obama administration has withdrawn from Iraq (which was fragile), overthrew the Libyan government (which was anti-al Qaeda and now supports al Qaeda across North Africa and in Mali), and welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood while doing nothing to constrain Iran or Saudi Arabia (who support opposite sides, but both of whose sides hate us). The incentive for governments to withhold support for anti-Western or anti-Israel terrorism has been reduced, not increased by the Obama Administration.
Dexter Van Zile - Islamist Totalitarianism
Dexter Van Zile is the Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). His opinions are his own.
Islamist totalitarianism remains the single most important threat to world peace and human rights in the world today.
Reza Kahlili – Iran’s Terrorist Threat Exceeds that of Bin Laden
Reza Kahlili is the pseudonymous author of A Time to Betray, an award winning chronicle of his undercover work as a CIA-agent inside Iran’s Revolutionary guard. The following is an adaptation of an opinion article originally published by Fox News in the immediate wake of the death of Bin Laden in may 2011.
The demise of Bin Laden should be the beginning of our search as to how we got into such vulnerable position in the first place. We must make sure that no enemy can ever again be allowed to bring harm upon us because of our own failings.
Bin Laden, who founded Al Qaeda in the late eighties, began terrorizing the world shortly thereafter with bombing attacks in Yemen, Egypt, and the U.S. Embassy in East Africa where over 300 souls lost their lives. The U.S. did not take notice until October, 2000 when the suicide attack on the USS Cole took 17 servicemen’s lives.
Bin Laden was emboldened with each subsequent act of terror because the lack of action by U.S. was seen as a weakness and further verification that he was invincible. Clearly, it appeared to him, Allah was on his side.
He then began his most aggressive act and took it directly from the Koran (8:12): "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
His commitment was total and led to the most heinous crime ever executed on America soil 11 years ago. It instigated our fight on terror and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Billions of dollars have been spent, draining our economy to the point of bankruptcy, and costing the lives of thousands of our heroes. Yet it is our failure to know and understand the enemy and the ideology that drives him that allowed one hateful individual to grow so powerful as to bring us to such profound harm.
There is an eerie similarity here with the radicals ruling Iran. They proudly bombed the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 killing over 240 of our best and then boasted about it. Mohsen Rafiqdoost, then the Minister of the Revolutionary Guards, publicly stated that: “Both the TNT and the ideology, which in one blast sent to hell 400 officers, NCOs, and soldiers at the Marine’s headquarters, were provided by Iran.” In response, we removed our forces from Lebanon.
The Iranians formed Hezbollah, helped Islamic Jihad, armed and trained terrorists across the region and took hostages with fatal results. For their efforts, we rewarded them with arms in exchange for the freedom of a few (Iran Contra). Our actions, or lack thereof, again signaled our weakness and affirmed their belief that Allah is the one and only God and that they have his protection.
The Iranian leaders, encouraged with their continuing success, became ever more aggressive carrying out terrorist attacks through their proxies such as the Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia and the Jewish community center bombing in Argentina. And the West meekly offered negotiations as the only solution to their atrocious acts. The Iranians have for years armed and trained Shiite militias in Iraq with a strategy to bring down our forces, harm them, and drain the U.S. economically. Given the evidence in the 9/11 Links case in New York, we know that Iran was directly complicit in facilitating the training and transportation of the Munich Cell of the 9/11 perpetrators from Al Qaeda Bases in Afghanistan to Iran to Saudi Arabia and eventually on to Europe and America.
Today the jihadists in Tehran, strengthened by their actions and reassured by their beliefs, know that they are Allah’s chosen ones to bring about the demise of America and the destruction of Israel. They are encouraged to aggressively continue on with their terrorist activities around the world, and their ongoing support of terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and others in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and Africa. All the while, they expand their missile delivery system and achievement of their nuclear bomb project nearly within reach.
The Revolutionary Guards currently hold more than a 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv, Riyadh, U.S. bases in Iraq, the Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain and capitals in Western Europe. At the same time, they are working with the North Koreans and the Chinese on intercontinental ballistic missiles and the nuclear weaponization of their warheads. Iran has tested launch of Scud Missiles from commercial vessels in the Caspian Sea demonstrating the capability of conducting a possible Electronic Magnetic Pulse attack against the Great Satan, America, and its ally, Israel, the little Satan.
Many of the Iranian leaders are known terrorists and on the Interpol’s most wanted list. This includes the current Iranian defense minister and former Quds Force commander and the chief intelligence officer of the Guards, Ahmad Vahidi, who is wanted for the 1994 Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 and injured hundreds. As the defense minister, Mr. Vahidi is directly responsible for the Iranian nuclear bomb and missile programs, and is also in charge of the proliferation of arms to terrorists in the Middle East and the world.
We cannot allow history to repeat itself. Today we are facing an evil much worse than Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
Appeasement and vacillation do not work. World peace, global stability and millions of lives are on the line. Our first priority should be to stop these radicals in their tracks and to help Iranians free themselves from this evil. A new regime in Iran could transform the world for the better securing global stability and an end to much of terrorism throughout the world.
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