FOR AMERICA’S ENEMIES in the War on Terror, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting, for prayer—and for mass murder.
So in professed piety, Islamist terrorists launched their simultaneous attacks on Jews in Kenya last week, seemingly unaware that moderate Muslims in the U.S. and around the world spent the better part of last fall begging the Bush Administration to suspend the War on Terror during this sacred time. In a statement claiming responsibility for the attacks, a group identifying itself as al Qaeda sent a shout-out to Muslims across the world, boasting that "During these last 10 days in Ramadan, we send you—our brothers in Palestine and in Islamic nations—our greetings … with the two Mombasa operations targeting Israeli interests, so the greetings would have meaning."
Apparently the terrorists who destroyed a tourist resort and attempted to blast an airliner out of the sky were absent the day the no-slaughtering-the-infidel-during-Ramadan rule was taught in madrassah.
No doubt, officials at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America, and 13 other American Muslim groups—all of whom signed a statement last fall calling for an end to the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan—will soon issue their condemnations of the latest Islamist attack. Surely they will denounce this blaspheming of their holiest season, and chastise Muslims who would kill innocents during Ramadan at least as vigorously as they condemned the U.S. government last year for fighting back during the fasting month.
And certainly they will be joined by some leaders of some of America’s less-enthusiastic allies in the War on Terror, many of whom spoke out last year against continuing the war during Ramadan. Then, Osama Baz, a top aide to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, declared that continuing the bombing through Ramadan would be an "affront" to Muslims world over. Indonesian Foreign Minister Hasan Wirayuda cautioned that a Ramadan bombing campaign would "be emotionally more sensitive in the Islamic world." Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Musharraf ominously predicted that a sustained assault would result precipitate "negative fallout."
But a week has passed since the Kenya attacks, and there have been no denunciations of Ramadan terror to parallel last year’s hand-wringing over Ramadan anti-terrorism. Where are the protectors of the Islamic faithful now that Islamist terrorists have tried to turn their murderous campaign into some sort of bloody Happy Ramadan card?
Of course, the no-bombing-during-Ramadan campaign was a farce from the very beginning, as demonstrated by a long history of Muslim fighting during the holy month. The protest was merely a desperate—and, thanks to the persistence of the Bush Administration, futile—attempt by some Muslim leaders and "peace" activists to derail the war effort in any way they could.
Their claims were dutifully repeated throughout America’s establishment media, which steadfastly hold that the "Arab Street" must be the ultimate arbiter of all U.S. national security. If a particular policy is likely to engender protest in Karachi or on the West Bank, the theory goes, then the policy is a no-go, lest future generations of terrorists multiply because of our provocation.
The events of the last year have exposed not only the hypocrisy of those championing the "Arab Street" theory, but also the fundamental defect in their reasoning. The warnings that continuing the war during Ramadan would energize the whole of the Muslim world against the U.S. proved spectacularly wrong, as did the earlier prediction that an invasion of Afghanistan—a long, and protracted "quagmire"—would similarly compromise America’s position.
Willfully oblivious to the proven inaccuracy of their forecasts, the "Arab Street" crowd now offers the same grim assessment of the next phase in the War on Terror, an invasion of Iraq. Ousting Saddam Hussein, the appeasers say, will only exacerbate and inflame Islamic resentment against the US.
They were wrong then, and they are wrong again now.
Even as Hussein carries on his dog-and-pony show with UN weapons inspectors, Muslim nations are quietly lining up to support the American war effort. The New York Times reports that Kuwait, Turkey, Bahrain, and Qatar—even Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, Iran—have come around to the position that if an invasion takes place, they won’t get in its way; they might even support the American effort.
It’s not that the leaders of these nations are all good, decent, friends of freedom—far from it—but they do care deeply about their own survival and prosperity. They’ll protest the war for as long as it’s convenient, that is, if they think their protests might actually accomplish something. But if the U.S. remains firm in its resolve, Hussein’s neighboring dictators will have little interest in sticking their necks out on his behalf.
If there’s one quality that’s understood and appreciated among America’s enemies and fickle allies alike, it’s strength. It was Osama bin Laden himself who once cryptically asserted that "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse." On the "Arab Street," a strong show of American force will make bin Laden and his allies look like the tired, old asses they are.
It’s American waffling or bowing to absurd, politically correct pressures that sends Middle Eastern Muslims scurrying into the al Qaeda terror camps, and it’s American power and steadfastness that sends them scurrying back out. A year after most every one of the international and domestic appeasers’ hysterical warnings have proven false, that much should now be abundantly clear.