The first law of combat is: Know your enemy. President Obama has refused to identify the international terrorists as a branch of Islam. This in spite of the fact that he uses the term, “ISIL” which stands for “ISLAMIC State of Iraq and the Levant”. This peculiar usage has been accepted by the Democrat party including by the entire Obama administration as well as their leading candidate to replace the president, Hillary Clinton. Clearly, this usage reflects their openly stated opinion that the terrorist threat does not affect America in any fundamental way. Rather it is a nuisance which must be dealt with, much like street crime and drug trafficking.
The Democrat position raises two separate questions: Who are these guys? And how much of a threat are they to the United States?
The history of Islam includes an almost continuous series of wars to spread Islam to the whole world, to bring all people under the faith and law of The Prophet. Mohammad himself began this expansion in his lifetime and subsequent Islamic leaders continued the mission, expanding their reign through conquest from Spain and Portugal and North Africa to Southeast Asia. The first war of the newly organized United States of America was fought in the 1790’s against the “Barbary pirates” of Islamic Tunisia, who raided American ships for booty and hostages.
The successful conquering and subsequent colonization of the Muslim world by the European powers began in the 18th century and ended in the post-WWII era of decolonization. This domination by the West, in both political and cultural arenas has cast most of the contemporary Muslim countries of Islam as inferior and powerless, poverty-stricken and primitive, compared to Western countries. Even with the accident of oil reserves discovered on Islamic lands, most of the 50 Muslim countries rank among the most backward people on earth.
It is this well of history, remembered prominence, revenge and jealousy which forms the backdrop of today’s Islamic terrorists. The final element of their profile is the fact that their 1,300 years of wars have been waged with a savagery and ruthlessness which remain a vivid part of the Islamic heritage, even though recent Western ethos has turned against such acts as barbaric and unethical even in war.
Into this world comes Barack Hussein Obama, abandoned son of a charismatic Muslim, whom he admired from afar, even as he grew up mostly in an American environment. He was deeply influenced by a brilliant mother who tended to live outside social conventions, such as religion and politics.
His view of American society was explained on June 28, 2006 (prepared remarks): “Given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” (Source: Ask Factcheck, quoting 2008 Obama campaign website)
To put this in context, he has also said, “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” And, “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”
It seems clear that Mr. Obama holds a view of Islam that ignores the history of Islam. Yet, in his defense, there are millions of Muslims who hold a similar vision of their religion, since they do not feel compelled by their beliefs to make constant attacks on Christians and other infidels.
Christians were also given the command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18). This charge was interpreted by many of our ancestors to include military conquests, frequently accompanied by savagery. Today’s Christians, however, look past those days to their founder as the Prince of Peace, and the idea of a Christian Crusader army today would never even occur to them. Presumably, this is similar to the approach of many Muslims.
Whatever the view of Islam held by Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats, however, the branch of Islam called “radical Islamic extremists” practices a fully authenticated version of Islam. They are resurrecting the barbaric wars which have characterized Islam for the entire 1300 years of its existence.
Unless the authentic tradition of Islam being practiced by the Jihadists is recognized as such, neither their goals, nor the authority with which they speak to their followers and recruits can be understood and evaluated. That tradition demands victory for the Islamic state through whatever means are at hand. Their spectacular cruelty is part of that heritage, a sadism justified as a tool for terrifying their enemies into submission. Death is looked upon as heroic, holy and welcome. They will never surrender, and they will never stop. Their only vision of victory is the world domination by their brand of Islam. (This is why the release of the Guantanamo prisoners is so absurd.)
Modern Jihadists have discovered a new way to heap revenge on the “infidels”, which includes Muslims who do not agree with their view of Islam along with the hated Westerners, not only by founding modern caliphates, such as Iran and Islamic State, but also by engaging the fealty of impressionable individuals remotely, by use of modern technology.
These individuals are mostly young, second generation Muslims from the Islamic “diaspora”, whose parents have immigrated to Western countries, and who feel alienated by their lack of assimilation into the host country. Americans had assumed that this was a far more prevalent problem for European countries until we discovered the Somali community in Minnesota and the assassins in Boston and San Bernardino. It is clear that the USA has its own problems in this regard.
Ideologically, the only way to prove to the world that Islamic terrorists hold a losing vision of the world is to bury that vision under the corpses of the zealots. Talk is not enough; only actions will be convincing. The would-be Muslim terrorists must witness again the defeat of those who have resurrected the brand of Islam which led to the final defeat of Islamic militants the last time, and has resulted in the deprived conditions in which so many Muslims live today, whether in Muslim countries or in the Muslim diaspora.
But this time the victors should be other Muslims, those who have accepted a civilized version of the ancient religion. It would be a gross error if the victors are again Western countries, embodying Western civilization. This would lead only to more resentment and hatred towards us. Any military victory will cool the enthusiasm of would-be terrorists, but unless the legitimation of the Prophet is stripped from their movement, even their annihilation will only drive underground Mohamed’s vision of an Islam which must conquer the world.
The past millennium has shown us that his vision has never really died. The only way to achieve a period of peace seems to lie in destroying today’s monster. Far easier contemplated for the Sunni Muslim ISIL than for the Shia Muslim Iran, especially after the West has now empowered Iran to sit at the table of nations while the United States is now funding Iran’s drive to fulfill the vision of the Prophet.
For the United States, however, this victory includes stopping local, self-radicalized zealots as well as foreign soldiers. That conquest will require a strategy which combines the elements of anti-social anger, funding, training, communications, and community vigilance into programs we have not yet developed. But that mandate has become an essential part of our victory
It is this reality which seems to have eluded our President and the Democrats. That blindness prevents them from developing and implementing a realistic strategy to defeat this rapidly spreading threat to our homeland and puts us all in greater danger. Their myopia has already put America in the missile sites of an aggressive Iran, and the ISIL vision has spread to America in a devilishly effective way.
The first requirement for victory, Mr. President, is “Know your enemy”.