What war on terror?
By Ted Belman
As a result of the Muslim atrocity of 9/11, Pres Bush declared war on terror.
On Sept 20th he spoke to the combined houses and declared “On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country.” Although he did call it an act of war, he limited the perpetrators to “enemies of freedom” even though all 19 hijackers were Muslims motivated by the Koran. And 15 of these were Saudis.
He went on to name the perpetrators as members of al Qaeda.
The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics — a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children.
Aside from the fact that within 24 hours of the attack, his administration enabled all Saudis to leave the USA by plane when no other planes were allowed to fly, he also was at pains to dissemble. It was not enough for him to say that they practice “Islamic extremism” but he goes on to limit it to “a fringe form”. Plus he characterizes such act as a perversion of the peaceful teachings of Islam. In reality the acts of these terrorists are according to the teachings of Islam which supersede, not pervert, the peaceful teachings. Finally the directive he refers to comes not from the terrorists but from the Koran.
He continued to take pains to whitewash Islam then made another fatal error
Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber — a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
This is flat out wrong. They want to drive Israel and the US out of the ME and all lands which they characterize as Muslim (Dar al’islam) and then to infiltrate our own countries (Dar al’harb) and subjugate us.
He then asks rhetorically, how will we fight and win this war?
We will direct every resource at our command — every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war — to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.
[..] We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Afghanistan was invaded in November and Bush delivered his State of the Union Address in Jan 2002 in which he identified the “axis of evil”.
In it he reiterated his resolve and expanded his targets to the producers of WMD namely N. Korea, Iran and Iraq. In contrasting his well intentioned resolve and the meager results, one cannot but be disappointed.
It only took a year for Angelo M Codevilla to pen his brilliant essay Postmortem on a Phony War, which was published by Middle East Quarterly
“For them, war would consist of fighting as little as possible.”—Charles de Gaulle, on Franco-British policy between September 1939 and June 1940.
By spring 2002, the Bush administration’s pretense that it was making war had worn thin. The Bush team had declared that September 11 had “changed everything,” that “those who are not with us are against us,” and that its “war on terrorism” would dispense with latter-day American reticence about foreign engagements and warfare. Nevertheless, the Bush team fought a classic phony war, because its chief priority was to change as little as possible the visions, objectives, assumptions, and modus operandi of late-twentieth-century American elites. This calls for something of a postmortem on the “war” that never was.
The Bush team’s chief objective, “stability,” was the least possible of things. The vision of an orderly, multicultural, “international community” was as powerful in Bush’s Washington as it had been in Woodrow Wilson’s—and as far removed from reality. The right of Third World regimes to sovereign existence under housebroken tyrants, America’s right and capacity to make peace in places it does not rule, America’s unworthiness to stigmatize foreign cultures (much less to kill foreign regimes), the U.S. government’s need to heed “the allies,” especially “the Europeans,” and to restrain the “unsophisticated,” “unilateralist” American public—these and a host of other unserious assumptions continued to reign. Moreover, the Bush team employed the same kind of people and modus operandi as its predecessors. They spoke loudly and wasted America’s stick on the least significant enemies.
After Arabs had terrorized America on behalf of Arab causes, the Bush team refused to fight or even to indict any Arab entity at all. It did this to shore up “friendly” Arab governments that (it chose not to notice) were in thrall to the terror states of Iraq, Syria, and the Palestinian Authority (PA). By mid 2002, the Bush team’s war on terrorism consisted chiefly of impotent, counterproductive, and silly security measures at home and, in the Middle East, of restraining Israel.
Who can argue with this assessment?
I can, in one respect. He leaves out Iran as a terror state and he is wrong to suggest Saudi Arabia is “enthralled” to the terror states. Iran as we know is largely responsible for the terror in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza but the US has given them a pass. It hasn’t even financed democratic movements in Iran to bring about regime change. Saudi Arabia continues to spread the Wahabbi doctrine of active Jihad throughout madrassas and mosques all over the world including in the US with nary a word from the US. Surely this puts the lie to the war on terror.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are the engines of terror through out the world.
Codevilla goes on,
The Bush team decided to make war on “terrorism” (an abstract noun), rather than on real people. Rather than destroy regimes whose demise might make the American people safe from terrorist attacks, the Bush team pursued only the “shadowy” al-Qa‘ida, as if a private organization could organize worldwide mayhem from Arab police states without being one of their tools. Why this James Bond-ish fiction? Because the Bush team did not deem the events of September 11 sufficient warrant for going against the predominant views of American elites (which it shares) about real people.
Through most of the twentieth century, American elites have willed to believe that all peoples are created equal and that, if all were ruled by their own kind, a stable, decent, peaceful world would result. Hence in the 1950s in the Middle East as elsewhere, the U.S. State Department and especially Central Intelligence (CIA) fostered nationalism, socialist parties, and the replacement of European colonial rule by native regimes. [..] As early as 1958, however, the political ancestors of Saddam Husayn had taken over Iraq and Syria as well as Egypt. Yemen became a Soviet ally. Much of the region (like the rest of the Third World) would be neither peaceful nor decent—much less, pro-American.
Although this is a failed idea, it has not been abandoned. The elites continue to believe in either a peaceful Palestine, once created, or the destruction of Israel as a colonial outpost. To this end the US continues to protect the “Palestinians” and their institutions. No amount of terror or violations of agreements will deter them from their goal of shrinking Israel. The CIA has been training the Palestinian “security forces” for years and is now about to spend another $56 million to support them in total disregard of the Mecca Accords.
They also believe that an independent Kosovo for Muslims even though ruled by the KLA, a terrorist entity, will further such goals. But aren’t we supposed to be at war with the terrorists. Oh I’m sorry, only “global terror networks” so I guess this doesn’t count.
So why isn’t Saudi Arabia the enemy?
Who to kill is the decision that defines any war. In response to the attacks of September 11 by Arabs from “friendly” Arab countries—on behalf of causes embodied by Iraq, Syria, and the PA—the Bush team decided to do nothing against any Arab entity but rather to kill people in Afghanistan. No one argued that this would make America safe from the rising enmity of the Arab world or avenge the attacks. When pressed, the Bush team did not deny that Arab governments were abetting this enmity. But it deferred the whole matter to an undefined next phase because securing the support of friendly Arab governments was the sine qua non of everything else.
Saudi Arabia conditioned its support of the war, however, on Americans not killing any Arabs at all. Later, it conditioned its support even further. Competent people know that to ask dubious allies to support action that one has shown a willingness to defer and redefine amounts to asking for further pressure to defer, redefine, and derail. Thus, from the outset, this was a war defined in terms of what must not be done and aimed at validating a view of the world according to which the war should never have started —that is, a phony war.
Subsequent to this article being written, Saudi Arabia and the US made another deal. They agreed that the US could kill Arabs in Iraq by invading it providing the US would endorse the Roadmap and continue to dismember Israel. And so within one week of attacking Iraq the Roadmap was announced. I covered this thoroughly in my articles A Unifying Theory and Perfecting the Unifying Theory.
I wonder if the US elites think Iraq has worked out as anticipated. No matter, they made a lot of money from government contracts, higher oil prices and increased demands for military munitions and hardware. Judging from Baker’s report it’s clear they want to engage Syria and Iran with a view to stabilizing the ME. So what if this requires the sacrificing of Israel? What is clear is that Saudi Arabia is backing Al Qaeda and the Sunnis in killing Americans and Shia. Not to be out done, Iran is backing the Shia and the Sunnis in killing each other and Americans.
So why is America staying there? Are they there for the reasons stated or are they really there because Saudi Arabia wants them to stay.
Will the sky fall if they leave. Certainly a new power structure will evolve that may absorb Lebanon and Jordan and the Palestinians. Certainly not good for Israel but how about America?
A new study has concluded that Iraq’s oil reserves are double what was originally thought placing it second behind Saudi Arabia and ahead of Iran. Surely the elites want a piece of the development work and the oil revenue. Then there is the $650 billion in development work that Saudi Arabia intends. Reason enough to retain Saudi goodwill.
What American interest is served by stabilizing Jordan, Lebanon or Iraq. What do they do for America? If the US withdraws from the ME it will be less hated by the Arab street and will still be able to buy oil and do deals. True, it will still have to worry about Saudi Arabia and Egypt being taken over but so what? Any new regime will do business with the US. Look at Viet Nam.
But the real debate is whether the US can afford to yield its hegemony in the ME to the Iranians. If the Americans depart, there is nothing to stop Iran from dominating Iraq and Lebanon. It will then destabilize Saudi Arabia and perhaps ferment revolt among the Shiites in Iraq who are in the majority in the area containing the largest oil fields. Thus barring any aggressive action against Iran by the US, Iran will control most of the ME oil and will have Russian and Chinese backing and nuclear weapons.
Another problem for America, I think, is Jihad, whether advanced by terror or by infiltration. I tend to believe that the Islamification of Europe and ultimately America is a bigger danger to our way of life than terror.
The elites seem to accept Islamification as evidenced by them not acting to prevent it. This amounts to giving the Islamists a licence to infiltrate and transform our society. Bat Ye’or has written about the deals done by the Europeans with the Arabs in the seventies to create Eurabia. Apparently the US has accepted the same deals. I guess we will call it “Amerabia”. Do they also accept Iranian hegemony?
If the America people are willing to fight to prevent such an outcome, what are they to do? Where do they draw the line?
One of the rationals of invading Afghanistan or not leaving Iraq was to prevent safe havens for terrorists to exist or to come into being. If America decides to leave Iraq, NATO will certainly leave Afghanistan. Thus al Qaeda and other terrorists groups will flourish uninhibited and in fact abetted. And they aren’t going away. They will continue to come after the US.
Just look at the havoc they are producing in Bagdad. What’s to stop them from doing the same in Paris or any other city in which there is a sizable Muslim population. They have already trained thousands of martyrs and send them throughout the world.
All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.
This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahidin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.
So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah.
He also wants to destroy the regimes that are friendly to the US including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Dick Cheney continually argues against giving up the fight and says the “terrorists will follow us home” if we do. He also said, fear of the detonation of a nuclear weapon inside an American city is “a very real threat…. It’s something that we have to worry about and defeat every single day.”
This view is not shared by much of America. That doesn’t make it any the less real. Americans must decide how significant this threat is and what to do about it. That is what is at stake in the debate which is currently focussed on whether or when to bring the boys home.
Like the war, it is a phony debate.