- - Sunday, August 24, 2014

Prepare now for an imminent plunge in stock markets — one designed to destroy America and the debt-laden, global financial system in one blink of your eye.

What happened on Sept. 11, 2001, could return this year on the unlucky 13th anniversary of the last terrorist attack. Evildoers who twist Islamic thinking into acts of terror already have announced intent to do America in.

Alternatively, or perhaps in addition, rising enemies may seek to time America’s coup de grace to the 35th anniversary of the day Iranian thugs took U.S. hostages in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, or to the 35th anniversary of the siege in Mecca that started Nov. 20 that same year.

The difficult road ahead

The next stage in the coming war is not simply a contest for territory or natural resources. Instead, it is the worst kind of conflict, one that America and Western civilization can only win by forcing an ideological purge and “reformation” of Islam.

However, America’s financial resources are much more constrained in 2014 than in 2001. Moreover, we have a president whose foreign policies since Jan. 20, 2009, have antagonized friends such as France, the United Kingdom and Israel; emboldened rivals like China and Russia; and coddled enemies, particularly Iran.

Should disaster strike again soon, can America and the Western world count on President Obama to make the tough decisions and inspired choices necessary to trounce our enemies while reigniting sputtering economies and restoring calm in skittish financial markets?

Now, in addition to steadfast al-Qaeda opponents, a hate-filled impostor is trying to seize control of Islam. This demagogue gains simpleminded followers each hour — together, they commit unspeakable offenses against humanity, coarsely defiling the very God they profess to worship.

The false prophet of Islam has a name: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom America may have held in captivity until 2009.

We may debate how powerful al-Baghdadi and his illegitimate Islamic State have become, however, when he and his ilk strike us inside our homelands — possibly within days — we must act as, eventually, we shall.

For centuries, fighters like al-Baghdadi have twisted sacred words to give supposedly devout Muslims the right to kill others who exercise free will and elect to follow another religion or none at all.

A God powerful enough to create the universe, and secure enough to allow humans to make their own choices, cannot possibly countenance, let alone encourage, jihadism.

No modern nation anywhere can afford to harbor life-loathing jihadists much longer — none who choose that occupation are welcome in the civilized world. And those remaining on territory where they believe they are safe will soon experience their own end.

We, on the other hand, will first rejoice at their obliteration, then dedicate ourselves to ensuring that jihadism joins the ranks of other death cults, such as the one that animated followers of Adolf Hitler and another that inspired subjects of Emperor Hirohito.

The high cost of victory

It may take a city lying in ruins to galvanize necessary support for the final battle and vanquishing of radical Islam — that city could be Chicago, Mr. Obama’s adopted home; New York, financial capital of the Western world; or perhaps Rome, where Swiss Guards defend the Vatican.

Yet, in the end, America and our true allies will prevail.

So Riyadh, capital of a nation with just 27 million inhabitants and the keeper of Islam’s holy cities of Mecca and Medina, know this: Financing fighters of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda (directly or indirectly) is an offense against humanity.

Tehran, seat of implacable mischief-makers who rule 81 million citizens, understand: We will never submit to dominion under those who embrace hate and reject free inquiry.

We will stamp out al-Baghdadi, al-Qaeda, and help excise militant jihadism from Islam.

Once we succeed, certainly order will return, moral and material prosperity will spread, and markets will attain heights that are difficult to imagine now, as we justifiably fear for the worst.

Charles Ortel serves as managing director of Newport Value Partners (NewportValue.com), which provides economic research to executives and to investment firms.

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