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Staying on Offense By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Rudy Giuliani had it exactly right when he said the following this past week on "The Sean Hannity Show" about the defeatists who are running for President and leading the Congress today:  "They do not seem to get the fact that there are people, terrorists in this world, really dangerous people that want to come here and kill us…"

The Islamic fanatics, who want to come here again to kill us, validate their worth through their own death and the death of as many others as they can take with them.  They characterize their culture of death as sacred martyrdom which transcends the rules of this world.  They reject the life-affirming values of the Judeo-Christian faith on which this country was founded.  They believe that they will defeat us because their embrace of death is stronger than our embrace of life.  Their pathology is chillingly illustrated by the statement at trial of the Islamic fanatic who murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in the streets of Amsterdam in 2004: “I did what I did purely out my beliefs. What moved me to do what I did was purely my faith. I was motivated by the law that commands me to cut off the head of anyone who insults Allah and his prophet.  If I ever get free, I would do it again.”

Freedom in its fullest sense – spiritual, economic and political – is our lodestar.  We believe in the democratic rule of law and freedom of conscience.   In order to live the righteous life according to our Judeo-Christian tradition, the best way is to strive to treat all our fellow human beings with love, dignity and respect since we are all created in the image of God.

Murder, religious persecution, and the dictatorial rule of megalomaniac misogynists are the lodestars of the Islamic extremists, who unfortunately are not seriously challenged in their interpretation of the Muslim faith by any alternative Muslim voices.  They believe that they can commit unspeakable crimes so long as they do so in the name of their perverted version of their religion which they consider superior to all others.   In Iran, for instance, their Supreme Court recently overturned the murder convictions of six state militia members who had killed five people whom they considered to be “morally corrupt.”  The exonerated killers were members of a volunteer vigilante group favored by Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The justification for killing a young couple engaged to be married was the claim that their walking together in public constituted moral corruption.  Vigilante killings of adulterous wives or of blasphemers of the Prophet Mohammad are also justifiable.[1] 

The sad reality is that the global enemy we are fighting observes no civilized restraints. This enemy does not distinguish between military and civilian targets.  Any American – whether supportive or opposed to the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq or too young to know anything about them – is fair game. 

Some believe that settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on terms acceptable to the Muslim populace and the complete removal of our troops from the Middle East will end the violence perpetrated by Islamic terrorists everywhere.  But that is sheer nonsense.  Meaningful negotiation is impossible with such an enemy, whose stated unalterable goal is to destroy us no matter how long it takes.  A Saudi-trained Muslim religious leader in the United Kingdom is typical in his anti-Western jihadist tirade, when he called for British Muslims to "dismantle" British democracy and to "live like a state within a state" until they are "strong enough to take over."  Another said that “[W]e want the laws of Islam to be practised, we want to do away with the man-made laws.”  Young British Muslim students are taught in DVDs and sermons appearing on websites that "Allah has created the woman deficient, her intellect is incomplete" and, as far as little girls are concerned: "By the age of 10 if she doesn’t wear hijab, we hit her."

In Australia, a pro-terror hate film, which urges children to martyr themselves in Islam's war on the West, shockingly was rated only PG by Australia’s censors.  These same extremists who spread hatred for the West and incite against Western culture cleverly play upon the guilt of Westerners imbued in multi-culturalism and political correctness in order to insist on the right to say whatever they want and stay in the societies they seek to destroy.

The terrorist apologists have also ignored the tragic killings that have inevitably followed from such exhortations, perpetrated by Islamic fanatics against Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and atheists in places far away from Israel and the Middle East tinderbox.   Islam was virtually born in violence.  Its fanatical adherents today will not rest until they are able to impose their rigid Islamic law in the West as well as in all of the countries that already have Muslim majorities, including those countries have tried to choose a more modern path such as Turkey and Morocco.   

   The defeatists believe that offensive military action to keep the terrorists pinned down in their part of the world, rather than allowing them free rein to come back to ours, is not the right answer to the problem.   They say that the Iraqi war is a futile exercise that has nothing to do with the fight against terrorism, ignoring such indisputable examples to the contrary as our troops’ elimination of the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was operating a terror cell freely in Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s rule, as well as the recent capture of al Qaeda bigwig Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, who was nabbed while trying to return to his native Iraq.  This homegrown Iraqi terrorist led efforts to attack U.S. forces in Afghanistan with terrorist forces based in Pakistan between 2002 and 2004.   Zarqawi’s elimination by American forces in Iraq and al-Iraqi’s capture are big blows to the al Qaeda operation.  These are high visibility examples of our successes, but every day we are whittling down the strength of the Islamic terrorists who have no choice but to focus on defending their own turf and have declared Iraq to be their frontline against us.

  Yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared that the Iraqi war “is lost”, an unconscionable slap at our troops on the ground who are fighting the terrorists there to keep them on the defensive.   Reid and his fellow defeatists in Congress rammed through a wartime spending bill with strings attached that would require U.S. troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq starting this October 1st  no matter what.  They offer no cohesive alternative to cut-and-run by a date certain, such as the setting of realistic benchmarks that the Iraqis must fulfill in order to receive continued U.S. support at current levels or redeployment of some combat forces to concentrate on sealing the border with Iran.  If the defeatists are willing to accept the inevitable upsurge in sectarian violence that would follow in the wake of our quick departure, they should be honest enough to say so.  They may even believe, as once suggested by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, that something positive could result from just sitting back and letting the extremists from both sides purge each other in a civil war through violent means that we could not countenance committing ourselves.  It may indeed be the storm that is necessary to play itself out before a stabilizing calm can finally emerge.  If so, the defeatists ought to have the courage to say this publicly and accept the consequences.  Instead, their only message is to abandon ship.  If they could, Al Qaeda would no doubt be motivated to contribute the maximum to the campaigns of each of the Defeatocratic Presidential hopefuls to make sure they get their Neville Chamberlain impersonator in the White House to finish the unconditional surrender.

These same defeatists are also obsessed with the purported rights of terrorist suspects and their collaborators, whom they say should be treated like any garden variety criminal defendant.  Indeed, their obsession overrides any concern on their part about the rights of the American people to live in security and freedom.  Thus, for example, the defeatists oppose the Bush Administration’s program of warrantless electronic surveillance of international calls and e-mails between points in the United States and abroad.  They want the courts involved in approving what is really a tactical wartime decision that belongs to the commander-in-chief.  Yet they have no problem with law-abiding American citizens being forced to submit to intrusive security searches of our persons and property without the approval of a judge every time we want to fly.

The defeatists have also consistently opposed aggressive interrogation of suspected terrorists, not being willing or able to distinguish between physical torture and sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, or other means of psychological pressure used to break a prisoner’s defiance and provide us with information that might be key in preventing further attacks.  Taking away from the detainee any control over his own fate – including having to face the prospect of indeterminate confinement with very limited recourse – is a key part of that pressure.  Confinement of these suspects exists as much for what they or their colleagues still roaming free may do if not stopped in time as for what has already been done.  Without some latitude and the ability to conduct their interrogations outside of the public eye, our interrogators will get little information of value in saving more lives.

The defeatists demand that the Bush Administration close down Guantanamo where Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi and fourteen other high-level al Qaeda operatives are being held along with scores of other suspected terrorists of lower rank.  The New York Times has referred to Guantanamo as an “immoral detention camp.”  But they have little to say about the moral code of the detainees being held there and they have no clue where to send the detainees next.   If released, a prisoner could return to combat or engage in more terrorist attacks against civilians in this country and elsewhere.  The defeatists would be willing to risk this calamity rather than hold the terrorist suspects indefinitely or simply deport them to their country of origin where they will be subjected to the laws and punishments of their own countries.  They ignore Abraham Lincoln’s sage advice about our Constitution in explaining his decision to suspend habeas corpus: “certain proceedings are constitutional when, in cases of rebellion or Invasion, the public Safety requires them, which would not be constitutional when, in absence of rebellion or invasion, the public Safety does not require them -- in other words, that the constitution is not in it's application in all respects the same, in cases of Rebellion or invasion, involving the public Safety, as it is in times of profound peace and public security.  The constitution itself makes the distinction…” [2]

The attack on our homeland on 9/11 was an invasion.  The continuing threat of more such invasions requires extraordinary measures to protect the public safety.  Islamic extremists constitute a broad global network of terrorists who are not going to go away if we limit ourselves to business-as-usual tactics.  In some sense, the Islamic fanatics are even more insidious a threat to our freedoms than Fascists and Communists were in the last century because the Islamists are patiently burrowing themselves into our system and using our protections of individual liberties as part of their long-term strategy to undermine the foundation of those liberties.  Their culture of death allows them to kill indiscriminately, sowing fear and insecurity, while their propaganda machine then exploits Western guilt about over-reaction.  They have utter contempt for who we are as a people.  They think we are gullible weaklings who care only about materialistic decadence.  To illustrate how they operate, an Islamist website instructs mujahideen in how to take advantage of our vulnerabilities by infiltrating popular American forums and spreading disinformation:

"There is no doubt, my brothers, that raiding American forums is among the most important means of obtaining victory in the fierce media war... and of influencing the views of the weak-minded American who pays his taxes so they will go to the infidel American army. This American is an idiot and does not [even] know where Iraq is... [It is therefore] mandatory for every electronic mujahid [to engage in this raiding]." [3]

Before it is too late, let us heed the words of America’s mayor who presided over New York during the 9/11 attack:  “I truly believe that if we go back on defense for a period of time, we're going to ultimately have more losses and it's going to go on much longer."

We must stay on the offense against the Islamic terrorists wherever we can find them and use common sense before we decide to afford any Constitutional rights to an enemy determined to destroy those rights for all of us.


[1] Iran Exonerates Six Who Killed in Islam’s Name by Nazila Fathi, The New York Times (April 18, 2007)

[2] Abraham Lincoln to Erastus Corning and Others, (June1863) (Lincoln’s reply to resolutions concerning military arrests and suspension of habeas corpus) from the website of Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=612  

[3] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch-Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project March 20, 2007, No. 1508.

 

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