This Really Be A War Against Terrorism?
President Bush is
to be commended for his handling of
our crisis and for mobilizing the whole
world for a war against terrorism.
The question now is whether this will
be a comprehensive campaign or one
that simply eliminates Osama bin Laden.
Everyone is falling
all over themselves to be politically
correct and say that Muslims are not
all bad, that most are veritable princes
of peace. Let’s look at reality for a
moment. After the founding of Islam,
Muslim armies moved out of Arabia and
proceeded to create one of the greatest
empires the world has ever known, one
that lasted roughly 1300 years. When
bin Laden and others whine about Western
imperialism it is not because they dislike
imperialism, it is because the West wiped
out their own vast empire that they would
like to restore. Remember the terrorists
themselves say they are mounting a jihad,
a holy war.
Let’s be clear about
the threat we face. The problem is not
just one guy in a cave in Afghanistan.
Many Muslims share the views of bin Laden.
These views may be a perversion of Islam,
but they are not unique. Every week for
more than 20 years, thousands of Iranians
have chanted, “Death to Israel, Death
to America.” Much was made of the fact
that last week they didn’t use the whole
chant, only the part about Israel, but
the fact remains that Iran is a major
sponsor of terrorism and many of its
clerics are as fanatic as the Taliban.
Many other Islamic groups
espouse terrorism, such as Islamic Jihad
and Hamas. News reports indicate our
Arab “allies” have bluntly told the Administration
that they will not support any campaign
against “freedom fighters” against Israel.
If the U.S. goes along, much of the terrorist
network will remain intact.
And it is not just Muslim
fanaticism that drives terrorism. Many
terrorists still have ideological agendas.
Most people aren’t aware that the hijacking
of multiple airliners in one day was
not an unprecedented act. In 1970, Palestinian
terrorists hijacked three airliners.
When they tried to take over a fourth,
an El Al plane, security guards on board
foiled the plan. A few days later, though,
the PFLP did hijack a fourth plane. All
the planes were blown up after the passengers
were taken off the planes. A number of
Americans were held hostage and, ultimately,
the Western nations that owned three
of the four planes (Switzerland, Germany
and Britain) capitulated and released
all the terrorists who they’d captured.
The PFLP is still operating and the terrorist
who tried to take the El Al plane lives
This raises the issue
of the difficulty of finding the terrorists.
Yes, bin Laden may be hard to find in
the Afghan wilderness, but we know precisely
where many of the others are. Ma’ariv
ran a story that detailed precisely who
ran which Palestinian terror group and
where they lived in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. We know that many terror
groups are hosted by Damascus. Others
are in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
Obviously it is wrong
to stereotype or harass Arab-Americans
and other Muslims, but the fact that
most Americans are law-abiding does not
mean that all are. In fact, we know now
that there are Muslim terrorists in our
midst. We know that there are organizations
that fund terrorist groups abroad. And
some of the Arab-American leaders posing
as victims have long histories of supporting
the PLO and other Palestinian terrorist
The State Department
wants to prevent the war from going beyond
Afghanistan. The Taliban regime is an
easy hit, only three countries recognize
it, and their most important ally, Pakistan,
is now on our side. No one will oppose
a war on them. It’s also likely we’ll
hit Iraq, even if Saddam Hussein had
nothing to do with the latest attack.
We have plenty of other reasons for going
after him and few nations will object
if we take him out.
A serious war must go
after the principal sponsors of terror
— Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.
If these nations are ignored, then it’s
all bluster. Taking action against these
regimes, however, will not be popular.
The Muslim world that the Administration
is fawning over will issue sufficiently
dire threats – albeit idle ones — to
intimidate the State Department. (As
an aside, the President’s speech to the
nation was great, but when he talked
about bin Laden wanting to overthrow
other Arab governments, he made countries
like Saudi Arabia sound like citadels
of democracy instead of the authoritarian
theocracies that they are.)
If the attack against
us was really akin to Pearl Harbor we
would declare war on all of these nations.
Despite the reduction in the size of
our military, I still bet the nation
that whipped Germany and Japan could
take Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
I have no illusion that this is going
If it were up to me,
I’d take the Corleone approach at the
end of the Godfather: Send in our special
forces and take out all the leaders of
terrorist organizations throughout the
region all at once.
That’s the way it would
be handled in the world of make believe.
Let’s just hope the real world war against
terrorism is equally unflinching.