- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2006

In courtrooms and movie theaters this spring, Americans are being exposed in an unvarnished way to the true character and evil purposes of our enemies in this War for the Free World. Yet governments around the world — including, on most days, ours — seem still unwilling, or unable, to come to grips with these realities.

Zacarias Moussaoui used his trial on charges of assisting in the September 11, 2001, conspiracy to put a vivid, and frightening, human face on today’s totalitarian ideology bent our destruction: Islamofascism. Some may discount as bravado or delusion his oft-repeated desire to kill Americans. His lack of remorse is no act though. It is the hallmark of a true believer, and a staple of his creed.

Such sentiments are also much in evidence in the new movie “United 93.” Its reconstruction of the horror-filled September 11 flight of the fourth hijacked plane leaves audiences shaken as much by the coldblooded lust for death exhibited by our foes as by their intended purposes, prevented in that instance only by the extraordinary courage of ordinary Americans.

So why do ostensibly friendly governments not recognize the threat posed by Islamofascism for what it is: a viral ideology that threatens non-Islamist Muslims as much as the rest of us, one that cannot be appeased and must be rooted out and destroyed?

• The easiest case to address is that of the Saudi government. The Washington Post reported on Sunday, “Saudi Arabia has mobilized some of its most militant clerics, including one Osama bin Laden sought to recruit as his spiritual guide, in a campaign to combat the continuing appeal of al Qaeda’s ideology in the Kingdom about the latest Saudi effort to counter al Qaeda.”

The article recounts how the Saudis use teams of three clerics and a psychiatrist or psychologist to “re-educate” young men by exposing them to hours of clerical discourse. “Some detainees attend five-week courses in the fine points of Wahhabism, the fundamentalist sect of Islam that dominates Saudi society and lends crucial support to the ruling family.”

In other words, the Saudis — the world’s most aggressive and generous champions of Islamofascism — are trying to ensure their young men adhere to the Wahhabi strain of this ideology, rather than bin Laden’s. The only perceptible difference between the two is that the former holds that it is Allah’s will to kill non-Islamist Muslims and non-Muslims outside the Kingdom; the latter includes among his target list Saudi royals who have adopted Western ways and mores. Thanks for the help, King Abdullah.

• A riveting new book by Melanie Phillips, “Londonistan,” makes clear that for years Great Britain has been scarcely less complicit than the Saudis in affording safe haven to Islamofascist recruiters and operatives. She recounts how the U.K.’s principal domestic security service, MI5, “was guilty of a combination of flawed analysis and cynicism. [As a result,] it never understood the power of the Islamic nation — or ummah — over its scattered members and for a variety of reasons believed it was not in Britain’s interest to act against Islamist radicals. The security service was content instead to watch as Londonistan [a term the author has coined to describe Islamofascism’s rising power in Britain’s capital] took shape, apparently either oblivious or indifferent to the carnage that its proponents might be inflicting overseas.”

Ms. Phillips (who will present her book at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday) adds, “Shocking as this may be, the intelligence debacle is only the tip of the iceberg. Among Britain’s governing class — its intelligentsia, its media, its politicians, its judiciary, its church and even its police — a broader and deeper cultural pathology has allowed and even encouraged Londonistan to develop, one which persists to this day.”

• A similarly self-destructive pathology is clearly at work in another allied nation, Israel. Later this month, the newly elected prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, will come to the United States seeking President Bush’s endorsement of his “convergence” plan — the euphemism adopted to describe his intention to withdraw over the next few years between 50,000 and 100,000 Israeli civilians and Israel’s security forces from up to 95 percent of the West Bank. Mr. Olmert will also reportedly seek $10 billion in U.S. aid to underwrite this retreat.

In a superb analysis and withering critique of the convergence plan (https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/Olmerts_Convergence_Plan.pdf), my colleague, Caroline Glick, makes clear that Israel’s earlier abandonment of the Gaza Strip has turned it into an area not only governed by the terrorist organization, Hamas, but a training and operational base for allied Islamofascist entities like al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence. The threat posed by such activities is already real, not only for Israel but the United States and the rest of the Free World. It will become infinitely greater if the West Bank also is allowed to become a safe haven for such forces. Call it Palestan.

The Bush administration has, of late, become a bit clearer about the ideological character of Islamofascism. It has yet to adopt, however, the war footing required to counter it, let alone hold our allies — real and imagined — accountable for appeasing its practitioners. The United States can no longer indulge in such a dereliction of duty, or tolerate, to say nothing of encourage, it in others.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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