- The Washington Times - Monday, September 30, 2002

Wake up America, you are already in World War IV. That is the staccato rat-tat-rat message coursing through television talk shows by those who see themselves as latter-day Winston Churchills.
The theoretician in chief is R. James Woolsey, a former CIA director during the Clinton administration, whose lucubrations bear serious examination. The U.S. and its allies fought three world wars two "hot" and one "cold" in the 20th century. The first world war of the 21st century is not a war against terrorism per se. After all, Spain's ETA and Ireland's IRA terrorists are not enemies of America. So the world war now under way, Mr. Woolsey argues, is being waged on three different but related fronts.
The first major engagement waged against the U.S. in World War IV was in Iran in 1978-79 when the Shi'ite clergy seized power and executed more people in three months than the deposed shah had done in 30 years. For the antediluvian ayatollahs, it was a twofer: U.S. strategy for protecting the Gulf and its oil resources, anchored in pro-Western Iran's overwhelming might, sank like a stone. The seizure of U.S. hostages Nov. 4, 1979 54 of them held for 444 days and President Carter's ill-fated rescue mission, completed America's humiliation. Next to the wicked cruelty of the ayatollahs, the shah was an enlightened liberal.
The Iran-funded, Syria-backed and Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist movement has been skirmishing with the U.S. and Israel for a quarter of a century. The "fascist" Mr. Woolsey's tag Ba'ath parties of Syria and Iraq are also part of the anti-U.S. coalition. The secular Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein took on Islamist camouflage to close ranks with the gathering jihad, or holy war, against America. Saddam used his own handwriting for the Allah Akbar God is great signature on the Iraqi national flag, much the way Josef Stalin used religion to rally his country when Adolf Hitler's legions were at the gates of Moscow.
Still Mr. Woolsey talking, Saddam, for the past decade, flaunting the cease-fire agreements of 1991, ordered his anti-aircraft batteries to fire at U.S. planes. He also gave the order for the plot to kill Bush 41 on a visit to Kuwait in 1993. Saddam's links to al Qaeda are also beyond dispute. In fact, Saddam was behind al Qaeda as it executed the terrorist attacks of September 11. World War IV warriors argue Osama bin Laden and his acolytes do not have the sophistication to have choreographed something as complex as the simultaneous hijacking of four large aircraft and their instant transformation into suicide bombers.
Sunni Muslim terrorists abandoned their targets close to home, such as Egypt's Islamic Jihad, to cast their lot with Osama bin Laden and his global terror network against the "crusaders and the Jews" the U.S. and Israel. This is what finally got Washington's attention, like Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939 that triggered World War II.
Mr. Woolsey, in his now almost daily public appearances, says that the fourth world war has been almost entirely financed by Saudi Arabian wealth through the conduit of that country's fossilized Wahhabi clergy. The former intelligence chief, who knew a thing or two when he ran the CIA, compares Wahhabi religious rule to the Spanish Inquisition. They have their hatred of Jews in common. But instead of the Inquisition's rack, the Wahhabis prefer amputating the hands of thieves and stoning adulteresses (but not adulterers) to death. And this is what's sitting on 25 percent of the world's oil reserves, Mr. Woolsey says with mock disbelief.
The U.S. should be clear-eyed about the dangers lurking at home. The Wahhabis receive huge resources from the Saudi government. Their missionaries in the U.S. teach a hostile brand of Islam, Mr. Woolsey asserts with the knowledge of an insider, "but we cannot allow this to become a war on Islam."
There are belligerent "sleeper" cells in the U.S., "and they are not a tiny number." To cope with this phenomenon, Woolsey recommends we take a closer look at MI5, the British domestic counterintelligence service whose main job was to keep tabs on Soviet spies during the Cold War and on the Irish Republican Army's underground network of terrorists.
Islamist extremists protected by radical British passport-holding imams and their mosques are now on MI5's list of subversive priorities. "The Brits have managed to protect civil liberties while securing the home front," he adds, "and we must jealously safeguard our freedoms."
Why did the U.S. somnambulate through the early phases of World War IV with a sign on our backs that said, "Kick Me"? It was, he answers, because of the mistaken belief that Saudi Arabia was our friendly neighborhood gas station. But Americans are resented, if not hated, throughout the Middle East because "of what we've done right equality for women, freedom of religion and expression, freedom of the press, freedom to chose our leaders in free and fair elections."
There are only two countries in the Middle East, Woolsey says, where Americans are popular among the masses Iran and Iraq. They are both ripe for liberation. Once America has freed Iraq from its fascist dictator's totalitarian grip, the moss-grown mythological clerics next door should self-destruct, according to Mr. Woolsey. "A liberated Iraq will act as a powerful magnet, but there would be nothing more stupid than to use force against Iran," he says. "Sixty percent of the population is under 25. The ruling mullahs have lost the support of women. They are now like Soviet rulers in the Kremlin as communism crumbled throughout the empire, or the French royal family at Versailles listening to the anger of the populace."

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.


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