Tuesday, June 15, 2004

War on Terror: Are We Fighting for Our Lives?

I just hope that people figure this out, sooner rather then later. If you listen to the liberals/socialists/communists and the so called mainstrem news media, they will tell you we can talk to these people. To them I say "BULLSHIT"! These people want us dead! - Sailor

War on Terror: Are We Fighting for Our Lives?
Posted June 15, 2004
By Alan Caruba

I think a lot of Americans, certainly those favoring withdrawal from Iraq and efforts to negotiate with al-Qaeda and the nations supporting its holy war, have not yet figured out that the Islamic fundamentalists who beheaded Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg, who attacked this nation on 9/11, and who represent the insurgents in Iraq, want us dead. Unless, of course, we convert to Islam.

Another thing most Americans don't know is that we are in the midst of the Third Great Jihad. The first was the early spread of Islam after Mohammed delivered its message, the second was the rise of the Ottoman Turks, and this third jihad began with the toppling of the Shah of Iran in the late 1970s. We are in Iraq -- though the president fails to tell us this -- because the only way you kill a snake is to cut off its head. The Third Great Jihad intends to replace all the secular heads of government in the Middle East so that Islam will not only enjoy the fruits of reformation but will return to the values of the seventh century. [For a related story, read the BBC News article about a top Muslim official who has denounced the backwardness of the Islamic world.]

We are not only in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure our national security. We also are there because elements in the Middle East are laboring to distance themselves from a world in which most nations, their economies, their security, their future and ours, are dependent on our being connected to one another. The United States of America is the only nation that can end the domination of some 2 billion people worldwide by the petty despots who prosper by isolation in the backwardness of ancient miseries. That is the overarching reason we are fighting -- and winning -- in Iraq.

Having said this, it would be useful if the Feb. 23, 1998, "World Islamic Front" statement issued by Osama bin Laden, along with Ayman al-Zawahiri, emir of the Jihad Group in Egypt, and three others, were to be read today by every American. Indeed, it should be read by everyone who enjoys the benefits of a connected modern world of export, import, prosperity and freedom. Bin Laden spelled out in that statement precisely why his movement is the greatest threat faced by the modern world and why it must be defeated.

It issues a "fatwa," a ruling or proclamation that is supposed to be based in Islamic faith and teachings. This fatwa declares: "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque [Jerusalem] and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah 'and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.'"

There is no more clear and specific explanation of why we are involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, having been forced into a bloody war to protect our lives. Bin Laden made it abundantly clear that he believes it is "Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever, and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema [the worldwide community], leaders, youths and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson."

To dismiss such a statement as the insane babbling of a self-deluded religious fanatic is to ignore, at our peril, the fact that it is widely credited among a large portion of the Arab population in the Middle East. At the same time, dismissing this very grave threat as an unrealistic proposition ignores the enormous wealth that bin Laden and al-Qaeda assembled for this holy war.

There is a struggle going on for the soul of Islam between the fanatics and the moderates of a faith that is estimated to include some 1.2 billion people stretched across the map of the world. They represent 20 percent of the world's population. Not all, of course, support the declared holy war, but surely enough do so to require that we put at risk our treasure and the lives of our military to ensure our victory. Few have wanted publicly to cast this war as one between religions, but the most radical elements of Islam have declared a war of terror on all other religions -- Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and every other. These extremists of Islam say openly that they divide the world between that of Islam and that of war.

In an excellent essay on the subject, "Islam and Violence," posted on the Website Answering-Islam.org.uk, one can find a brief history of the role of violence in both the rise of Islam and in its philosophical/theological outlook as found in the Koran and its other holy books. "The point that we'd like to make is quite simple. Muslims who commit acts of violence and terror in the name of God, can find ample justification for their actions, based on the teachings of the Quran and the sayings and examples from prophet Muhammad himself!"

Unlike Christianity, which teaches that one should love his enemy, the extremists of Islam offer no quarter for any unbeliever unless they convert. They cite many verses of the Koran that invoke Muslims to fight against their enemies, the nonbelievers. The essay cites just 20 out of 149 of these easily found in reading the Koran. [For another view, read "By the Book: Koran Calls for Concern for Human Life," an article written by Stephen Goode, an Insight senior writer, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.]

Despite the constant repetition of the view that all of fundamentalist Islam is a religion of peace, only the most naïve and foolish could possibly look at events around the world and conclude there is any truth to this. Time and again, the extreme biographers of Mohammed emphasize that he employed murder and war repeatedly to advance Islam and that he was particularly obsessed with killing Jews.

As to the terrible instances of beheadings, such as those of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg, both Jews, the extremists are quick to claim that this practice has its roots in Islamic history. They insist that Mohammed clashed with many tribes in Arabia, among which was a Jewish tribe from the city of Medina. When they were conquered, say the extremists, he ordered the execution of all of the adult males. The radical Muslim sources put the number at 600, and say all were beheaded.

According to the extremists, the prophet left a trail of assassinations and other bloody acts behind him until his own death, all of which they insist are recorded by Muslim historians. This is cited as a tradition among Muslims in the early centuries of Islamic development. As the Internet essay notes, these are not just isolated incidents or aberrations. "Such violence in fact goes to the very roots of Islam as found in the Quran and the actions and teachers of the prophet of Islam himself." And that is the view of the extremists who have declared a war of terror on all those who do not see the world as they do.

The holy war that has been declared against us leaves us no choice but to fight for our lives.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly commentary, "Warning Signs," posted at www.anxietycenter.com, the Website of the National Anxiety Center.

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