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Lessons from London By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 08, 2005


“[They] might have nuclear bombs but we have the children bomb, and these human bombs must continue until liberation.”Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi.

When British immigrant Sheikh Qaradawi uttered these words, he had Israel, not his adopted base-of-operations, in mind; however, yesterday’s events underscored their prescience. How they contrast with the bluster of London’s pro-Islamist mayor, “Red” Ken Livingstone, who boldly told terrorists, “whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.” The fact that Livingstone recently “hosted” and embraced Sheikh Qaradawi, defending him from charges of extremism while calling George W. Bush “the greatest threat to life on this planet,” further illustrates the self-destructive indulgence of the Left’s Unholy Alliance with radical Islam. The fact that al-Qaeda killed nearly 40 people yesterday morning in a series of Israeli-style bus bombings in order to drive Europeans out of Iraq illuminates the critical facts facing the nations of the democratic West.

 

Fact #1: The war on Iraq is not a distraction from the War on Terror; it is the War on Terror – and al-Qaeda will stop at nothing to end it.

 

Yesterday’s bombings prove al-Qaeda agrees with President Bush’s classification of Iraq as the terror war’s “central front.” The terrorist cell that claimed responsibility for London’s 7/7 attack – “The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe” – declared:

 

We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all crusader governments that they will receive the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan

 

Notice the strategic priority conveyed by their press release: “Iraq and Afghanistan.” Although Osama bin Laden is likely surrounded by Green Berets in the mountainous no man’s land straddling the Afghan-Pakistani border, his minions demand Allied withdrawal from Iraq, because that is the terrorists’ bleeding wound. Iraq has become the terror war’s valley of Armageddon, the decisive battleground between good and evil – and as in eschatology, evil is losing.

 

Al-Qaeda’s first strike in the West in 16 months killed 40 people; Last month, Coalition forces killed more than that many “insurgents” in one day. They also arrested more than 900 terrorists, including Zarqawi’s “most trusted aide” and many other top al-Qaeda operatives, killed more, and even freed one of our own hostages during the two-week-long “Operation Lightning.” (Last week’s “Operation Sword” netted more terrorists yet.)

 

Moreover, the liberation of Iraq has the potential to change the dynamics of the entire Middle East. Coalition sacrifices brought democracy to Iraq and saw paralyzing fear drown in a sea of ink-stained fingers. A democratic, pluralistic, majority-Muslim nation in the heart of the Islamic world could demonstrate the superiority of Western values and inspire a chain-reaction throughout the region, drying up jihadist recruitment. Put simply, Iraq is what Noam Chomsky calls “the threat of a good example.”

 

The terrorists understand, as Osama bin Laden does, that “This Third World War…is raging” in Iraq; “The whole world is watching this war”; and it will end in his “victory and glory or misery and humiliation.” That they have taken such desperate measures to get us out confirms beyond all doubt the importance of this battle, and which way it is going.

 

Fact #2: Appeasing terrorists cannot buy peace.

 

Amidst yesterday’s tragedy, a moment approaching farce came when Spain’s socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pledged his “immediate and unconditional help…to pursue the criminals that have carried out such a repulsive attack.” Zapatero has helped enough. There is a one-to-one correlation between Madrid’s surrender to al-Qaeda last March and the slaughter in London’s “tube.” Zapatero was swept into office three days after the March 11, 2004, Madrid train bombings (which killed 191), essentially at al-Qaeda’s request. Immediately upon election, he rewarded the terrorists by withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq. His “help” taught al-Qaeda that First World governments are weak and easily blackmailed by terrorism. During the campaign, Zapatero declaimed, “Fighting terrorism with bombs, with Tomahawk missiles, isn't the way to beat terrorism, but the way to generate more radicalism.” The London subway bombings show that “fighting” terrorism with capitulation is a quicker route.

 

Yesterday, other Euro-socialists followed closely on his heels. French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin pronounced, “More than ever, democracies must rally together and show unity in the face of the terrorist threat.” Jacques Chirac went further yet, saying, “This scorn for human life is something we must fight with ever greater firmness.” Tony Blair knows not to count They have reneged on their proffered anti-terrorist aid before. In a private dinner on January 19, 2003, de Villepin assured Colin Powell France would take an active part in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The wild-haired French diplomat then killed the U.S.-backed second authorization of force resolution in the UN Security Council. The French could pursue “ever greater firmness” for eternity and never rise above the level of collaboration.

 

The Euro-Left apparently wants to fight terrorists everywhere except where they are: in Iraq. 

 

Fact #3: The enemy isn’t just “Bin Laden.”

 

Appeasement does not just come from surrender; it also comes from setting the standard of “victory” too low. To the Left, “winning the War on Terror” means capturing Osama bin Laden and trying him before the International Criminal Court (where he’ll receive life in prison after a multi-year trial). Since Bush has not “gotten bin Laden,” he has not won the War on Terror. However, genuine victory must assure that all terrorist cells that would threaten our safety and all those governments that aid and abet them are liquidated – regardless of whether they happen to feature Osama bin Laden as their titular head. Remember, Osama and al-Zarqawi were presumably not connected…until a tape-recorded bin Laden endorsed the Jordanian viva voce, and al-Zarqawi changed the name of his terrorist group. Now we understand a defeat for one is a setback for the other.

 

…Which brings us to the London bombings. Before yesterday, no one knew of the existence of “The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe,” and as of this writing, it is unclear whether it is a formal part of al-Qaeda or merely appropriated the name. Some have speculated the “secret organization” got its foot soldiers from Ansar al-Islam “feeder cells” throughout Europe. Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaeda affiliate, has an estimated 100-times the number of fighters needed to carry out the London strike. This al-Qaeda affiliate also maintained a training base in northern Iraq during Saddam’s reign and has returned post-Saddam.

 

Still, the entire chorus of left-wing Democrats chided the president for linking Iraq with the War on Terror last week. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, accused President Bush of trying to “exploit the sacred ground of 9/11.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, said Bush’s speech “did not provide a way forward in Iraq. [It] only served to remind the American people that our most dangerous enemy, namely Osama bin Laden, is still on the loose.”

 

It does not matter if Osama is “on the loose” if he is incapacitated, and it does not matter if he is in police custody if his followers continue to assault Western, liberal democracy.

 

Tony Blair said this was “not an attack on one nation but on all nations and on civilized people everywhere.” And it was not merely perpetrated by “bin Laden” but by the forces of worldwide Islamic terrorism. President Bush understands one must wage a multi-front war to make the United States safe. This is why the Left's ruse of splitting the war in Iraq from the War on Terror is ridiculous, losing sight of the forest amidst the trees. The war may at times focus on bin Laden – but it will surely rage on after his capture, perhaps more violently for a time.

 

And as my friend Alan Nathan pointed out on his radio program “Battleline,” at some point this war will have to focus on the terrorists en route to Iraq, before they cross its porous borders. This is why the War on Terror is all of-a-piece, a seemless front against Islamic jihad, wherever the terrorists happen to strike at the moment. It is foolish to reduce the war to any one man. Osama is but the most visible (and best-funded) representative of an Islamofascist movement popular throughout the Muslim world. Including London itself.

 

Fact #4: Unbridled immigration and tolerance of radical Islam is hazardous.

 

Great Britain finds itself the victim of terror in part because of its lax homeland security, open borders, and liberal social welfare policies. Shortly after 9/11 during a raid in Afghanistan, British intelligence discovered al-Qaeda had trained nearly 1,200 Muslim British nationals. This is a tiny percentage of the UK’s 1.8 million Muslims, nearly all recent immigrants fed on the King’s pence. England also has no Patriot Act, so terrorists have a freer hand in plotting their crimes – even in public. Groups like Al-Muhajiroun – which celebrated 9/11 as “A Towering Day in History,” has called for the assassination of world leaders, and whose leader has ties to Osama bin Laden – operated freely post-9/11.

 

London played home to the infamous Finsbury Park Mosque, led by Abu Hamza al-Masri. Finsbury provided spiritual support for “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, al-Qaeda trainee Feroz Abassi, the man who allegedly plotted to blow up the U.S. Embassy in France. When the bobbies made their belated raid, they found chemical weapons gear, as though the mosque were planning to live through a chemical attack. Imam Masri openly told his followers to “terrorize even policy makers,” screaming his Friday sermons on the sidewalk. Any society tolerating public cries for its violent overthrow will likely live to see that come to pass.

 

Fact #5: The modern Left has become so consumed with hatred of the West that it embraces its would-be destroyers.

 

The fact that fundamentalist Muslims murdered British civilians as G-8 leaders met to bestow massive aid on underdeveloped and increasingly Muslim Africa could not make the contrast between the capitalist West and our murderous enemies any sharper. As President Bush said, “On the one hand, we have people here who are working to alleviate poverty, to help rid the world of the pandemic of AIDS, working on ways to have a clean environment. And on the other hand, you've got people killing innocent people.” The subway bombers claimed with glee, “now Britain is burning with fear and terror, from north to south, east to west.” They long for the day a despotic madman – whether Saddam, (Iranian president), or Kim Jong-il – will provide them a nuclear weapon they can detonate in the highest concentration of innocent Western civilians they can find.

 

Meanwhile, the Left, at home and abroad, continues to demonize George W. Bush and the soldiers carrying out the War on Terror. London’s “Red” Ken Livingstone provides the most lamentable example. As noted above, he played host to Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi after the sheikh called for the death of Jews and “infidels” and told al-Jazeera, “There is no dialogue between us except by the sword and the rifle.” This February, Livingstone maintained, Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi’s ideology is utterly remote from extremism.” President Bush’s plan to kill terrorists, he assured us, was the real Weapon of Mass Destruction. Far-Left British MP George Galloway – whom Congress has said laundered Oil-for-Food bribes from Saddam Hussein through his wife’s charity, allegedly benefiting an Iraqi child with leukemia – also lashed out at President Bush during his appearance on Capitol Hill.

 

If only the venom were limited to foreigners. Leftist Congresswoman Jane Harman, D-CA, responded to Thursday’s bombing by stating, “the notion that we are fighting terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them in our cities is clearly false.” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, in a speech given the day before the London bombings, said, “terrorism was the result of the war, not a reason for waging it and so we are in greater danger.” Boxer then demanded a “time frame for the subsequent withdrawal of our troops.

 

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, has compared the well-fed detainees of Gitmo to the emaciated inmates of Bergen-Belsen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, has called Abu Ghraib “George Bush’s gulag” and insisted the president cooked up the Iraq war before 9/11. Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-NY, helpfully added last week that Bush didn’t launch this theory on his own (how could he, the dummy?) – several prominent Jews assisted him. Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and scores of leftist organizations repeat the jiahdists’ talking points as though they were the words of Allah, perpetuating al-Qaeda’s propaganda war gratis. Apparently, even the occasional mass murder will not dissuade them from clasping bloodstained hands in a united assault against the United States.

 

Until a radical Muslim can lay hands on a nuclear weapon, the Left will remain al-Qaeda’s most potent weapon. However they harass the Coalition, even on its own soil, they cannot defeat us militarily. Their only hope lies in causing us to defeat ourselves – a role the “antiwar” Left perfected in Vietnam and continues to relish.

 

The bombings – carried out, as “Red” Ken noted, against “working class” Londoners, in an attempt to disrupt the philanthropic designs of the G-8 Summit – should make clear the character of those the leftists are rallying behind, and the unflappable British showed the face of those they are rallying against. The United States and our allies in the Coalition have a charge to keep. Yesterday’s bombings show us the stakes if we fail.


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).


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