Skip to comments.MILNET: Attack on America
Posted on 08/11/2002 8:34:04 PM PDT by Paul Ross
While most people will look at the title and say, "yeah, we've heard that already -- for months now," MILNET has discovered an interesting cross section of people don't know much about how it all started, how it relates to modern day Israel and/or what the real situation in America is today. Post 9/11 Americans are smarter than they were, angry and ready to deal out some Justice. But if you probe you find they aren't that well educated on the finer points of why there is a War on Terror aside from 9/11. This report hopes to fill in the gaps. Some of these things you will know, some may be surprises. We hope it will leave you informed and ready to do more. Because if we continue at the pace of change we are currently keeping, we will not win the war here at the home front.
An ancient foe of Christianity has arisen again. But while this century's Pope is struggling with the impact of pedophile priests in the Catholic religion, and secular forces champion the downfall of the richest church, it is hard to see anyone stepping up to fight a religious war.
Since the Crusades proved that religion has its non pious days, organized religion has been under attack. Now the religious war has spread to secular matters and America is at war after a stunning surprise attack on huge symbols of America's financial wealth and technological prowess.
Never before has an attack been so apparent yet so ignored. Political correctness has underlined the need to be compassionate and sensitive to the rights of others, and has sacrificed security for sensitivity. It has made it nearly impossible to narrow our search for those who would harm us -- preventing us from even observing the homeland, religion and racial origins of this old enemy.
And while the enemy is using religion as their rallying cry, the problem is more than just religion or race. The problem is as old as time itself. The have nots are reaching out to take what they view as their share of what the world has to offer. Unlike freedom fighters who look for their rights to make their own decisions and make their own wealth, the old enemy is looking for pay back that someone has erroneously taught them is their due and using violence that their 7th century interpretations tell them is the only answer.
Being raised in the tribal culture that has existed mostly unchanged since the Crusades, and fostered by a world that could care-a-less about their culture or indifferent to their oppression by leaders who think of themselves as the elite, they are striking back with the only weapon they know and understand, the only weapon that seems to have worked for them over the ages, violence.
This report looks back briefly before, during and after the Crusades, at the cruelty of religion of the time, both in terms of Jewish, Muslim and Christian cultures. It then flashes forward to the 20th century, when Europeans still looking on the Arab countries as dirty heathen not worth even basic human rights, sought to take what they wanted from the Middle East with nothing approaching fair compensation.
In her book, Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact On Today's World, Karen Armstrong speaks of these three religions so intertwined yet so destined for battle amongst each other:
"These three religions are all deeply related, yet at different times they have fought each other in savage holy wars. The seed of much future strife is found in the original revelation to Abraham. Almost the first words spoken by God when he revealed himself to Abraham were: "To your descends I will give this land (Genesis 12:7). To make this promise good, Abraham's descendants had to fight the first of many savage holy wars for this land, which many Jews today still see as essential to the integrity of Judaism...the Holy Land will be a key factor in our story..." 1Armstrong's non-fiction reads like a novel, taking us through years of struggle over those who would call themselves Palestinians, the stewardship of the Holy Land and its relics and the back and forth European interest and desires for the Middle East.
Moving forward again, the report then looks at the period when European and American ignorance threw the Israelis amongst the wolves, and began decades of strive as the Arabs around them chose a cause to break the Jewish and Christians backs upon, the rights of the so called Palestinians.
And in a unique view, the report traces the beginnings of the invasion into America of Arabian culture, setting a base of operations that has not only given refugee to their culture here, but also grown to a point in America where the Muslim community is nearly as woven into our diverse society as any other important minority of the melting pot that is America.
Finally we compare two Arab nations looking to find some hope for that region, followed by the problems at home here in America, and what lies in the future for us.
The report is organized into eight sections:
Ancient history is brought to most of the world through its religions. The three religions that are appropriate to discuss in the context of this report are Judaism, Christianity and the House of Islam. We should also remember that it is Jewish writers that kept the early written records and thus both Christians and Muslims have to rely on that perhaps biased text. However, for the most part, it is Genesis in the Judeo-Christian bible that gives us early history, and this is essentially the story that leads to Abraham, who is recognized by the Islamic faith as the key ancestor in their religion as well. And while we ignore, for the purpose of this report, the Buddhist and Hindu, as well as other important religions, the reader should understand our focus is on the major terrorist threat we face today, which is clearly a result of the interaction between the three faiths and cultures we focus upon.
We also feel compelled to set out a rule for reading through this brief history lesson. You cannot right the wrongs of the past by buying the future. This means that if Arab Muslims are perceived as having done a nasty to European Christians, one does not expect the Arab world to begin a tithe to Europeans, Australians, and Americans. Similarly, crimes committed centuries ago do not mean Arab Muslims can be immune to punishment or free from civilized behavior today when they exact revenge using violence and terror. The world today has set out rules for behavior. You don't correct the past by trying to compensate nor do you break the rules of behavior. You can, however, pledge and hope not to make the same mistakes as in the past, and that is history's greatest lessons. You can also help those needing help going forward, and improve their personal lives. This does not mean give out out a handout, but providing education, real opportunity and encouragement. As part of opportunity, it should be our mission to help the needy just as the Koran and Mohammad, Moses and Jesus asks us to do. One of America's methods to do this is through helping nations recognize and codify the basic human rights and then enforce that regime through government.
However, as we have seen, many Islamic extremists have decided the rules governing society today do not apply to them because of their great cause. They have resorted to 7th century mis-interpretations of the Islamic faith and no longer subscribe to "struggle to create a society worthy of God". Having not "come along" in the civilization of man, most of these extremists believe their ancient solutions are still the best. And finally, anyone who doesn't believe that the Islamic Jihad is not in effect today is dangerously demented and will learn nothing from this report.
Having said all that, it is ironic that those same rules the Islamic extremists ignore are the very ones that prevent them from living in deserts burned and melted to glass. Many Americans, thankfully not all, have come to the point where their frustration, fear and anger have led them to believe the only solution to the Arab problem is a new Nuclear Crusade, a solution from which the Arab world would never recover.
With this in mind, let's summarize the period before the Crusades, not attaching blame, but outlining the cruelty and events that formed the modern basis for three sides of the conflict. We will use Karen Armstrong's and Samuel P. Huntington's works as our guides, however, the reader is welcome to consult the Torah, The Bible or the Koran for the slightly different views of their parts of human history. All three texts, apart from their religious content, spell a similar history of the times. And certainly we admit to Western bias after all it is our culture which is threatened.
The Israelites Before the Crusades
The following is a familiar accounting of how the Israelites came to be in Egypt and then left to return to their promised land. It should be familiar to most Jewish and Christian students of the Torah and Bible. We paraphrase many pages of the text from Armstrong 1 on this subject.
Abraham, born Abram in 1850 had left his home in Ur of Chaldees, journeying to the land of Canaan, which is approximately modern day Israel. God appeared to Abram and promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants, as well as vowed to protect those descendants. Abram changed his name to Abraham to honor his new status as one chosen by God for this great honor. [MILNET: Armstrong points out that both Jews (and therefore to some extent Christians) and Muslims believe they are descended from Abraham].The Israelites, descendants of Abraham, had immigrated due to hard times from Canaan to Egypt in 1700 BCE. Once there, their economic condition was not much improved and they found themselves slaves to harsh task masters. The prophet Moses, due to a revelation from God, was told to take his people back to the promised land. Thus began the first Exodus, the Israelites leaving their unwelcome places in Egypt back to Canaan and the promised land. Of course, the Pharaoh of Egypt was not pleased with losing a huge percentage of his slaves and refused to let them go. In the end, the Bible speaks of the cruel plagues laid upon Egypt's stubborn ruler until finally, a great angel of death descended upon Egypt's first born and killed them, while bypassing those children of the Israelites. This is the passover celebrated in Jewish religious ritual today. Unfortunately, it has also become a symbol used for targeting Jews in modern times.
In any case, Moses was then able to lead his people out of Egypt. Armstrong takes the secular view and ignores the "mythical intervention of God" in the flight of the Jews, but does spell out that the Jews had to fight their way out of Israel being pursued by the Egyptian Army, cementing in the Jewish culture, as will be seen time and again, the requirement to independently take care of their own survival.
In fact, when the Jews arrived in the promised lands, they found someone else had moved in. In Deuteronomy (7:1-6) God instructs Moses on how they will go about not only eliminating the new tenants, but how to prevent their culture from defiling that of the Jews. Thus began the first Jewish Holy War, over two hundred years in the removal of those who dwelt in the Holy Land. Men, women, children, and animals were eliminated, and buildings leveled. Nothing remains except the new names given to the places by the Jews, Hebron, and Bethlehem to name a few. When King David conquered one major city, he named it Jerusalem "City of David". It was not until many many years later that it became a holy city to the Israelites however. David's ancestor Solomon then built the great Temple of which the wailing is all that remains today, an ancient relic in Israel revered by Jews and to some degree Christians.
At that point in time, the Jewish state had become powerful, ruling over the remaining Canaanites, in fact enslaving them to build the infrastructure. Clearly you can see how Canaanites grew to dislike the Jews quite quickly. If modern "Palestinians" could trace their roots to the Canaanites, you might expect to see an ancient hatred and urge for revenge that has extended to modern times. However, there can be no such linkage, because of the fate that befell the region in years to follow.
In any case, internal strife split the Jews into ten northern tribes and the remaining southern tribes. When the Northern Tribes were assimilated by the Assyrians, they essentially disappeared. The southern tribes, returned to more fundamental practice of the religion given to them by Moses in hopes to appease God. But the Babylonians conquered in 589 B.C. utterly destroying much of Jerusalem and subjugating the Israelites and remaining Canaanites who themselves had been assimilated. By 600 B.C. there were no Canaanites, with the Jewish population held in small enclaves allowed to practice their religion by their conquerors. Some lived in Babylon and some lived in a place they called Tel Aviv. The loss of Jerusalem and their place to worship changed the religion permanently, making each person responsible for studying and learning the Torah, and responsible for his own religious practice regardless of whether they had s a temple or not. Again, Muslims will identify with this ideal, their religious practice is similar in its nomadic requirements for practice away from the Mosque.
It's at this point that Armstrong interprets Hebrew meaning of the "people of the land". As the Babylonian Empire fell, a pagan king decided to allow the Israelites to return to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. However, those who had not been deported by Babylon as well as other nomads who had settled in the promised land did not welcome the Israelite. Thus the second Exodus once again saw the Israelites subjugating a new people, these "people of the land". The modern Palestinian might also adopt the "people of the land" as their ancestors except the majority are of an entirely different race.
And then another split in the religion emerged, a split between fundamentalists and those who identified with the politics and society of the Romans. Eventually Rome conquered the region and forever changed the racial and religious backdrop. In this period the desire for delivery by a Messiah by the Jews resulted in the formation of Christianity which eventually became the religion of Rome.
Early Muslim History
The common ancestor between Muslims and Jews is Abraham as we mentioned before. In the Jewish scriptures the split in heritage is described in the bible in Genesis. Abraham's wife appeared to be barren and, as was the practice at the time, his wife, Sarah, recommended the Egyptian slave girl Hagar as his concubine so that he could bear his children. Hagar bore Ishmael. However, Sarah was not barren and had her own son later. Friction caused Sarah to ask Abraham to expel Hagar and Ishmael, and Abraham, who really loved the boy, consulted with God. Genesis 21:12 tells the story of how Abraham is assured by God that he will make a nation based upon Ishmael's offspring as well and eases Abraham's concern. This is the Genesis of the Muslim religion's ancestral tree.
Hagar and Ishmael become desert folk. In 570, one of his descendants was born in Mecca. He grew up finding pity for the poor and downtrodden and this became part of his contribution to life, as he became generous and helpful to the poor even as he became a rich merchant by marriage. In 610, Mohammad ibn Abdullah proclaimed he had begun having revelations from Allah. These revelations characteristically dealt a lot with being pure of heart and helping those less fortunate.
This first revelation and Mohammad's wife's support, according to Armstrong, underline the kind nature and foundations of the religion Mohammad formed. Here was a man kind of nature and generous, who suddenly was told by God he must become his messenger. While he felt he was inadequate to the task, his wife counseled that God would not have given him such a duty without also providing the strength needed when the calling required it.
Mohammad's other revelations led him to feel the need to create "the Recitation" The Koran, a collection of the revelations. And like early Christianity's pious and peaceful context, Mohammad's Koran taught respect for the Jew and Christian because they shared the same one God (Koran 29:46). Three major tenets of the religion are important to note (according to Armstrong's interpretation):
We should note that Islam grew in an environment already steep in tradition and tribal ritual. Thus it is not hard to understand that Mohammad's new religion retained some of these precepts not only to survive but also because many did not conflict with the future he felt God was asking him to build. These non conflicting precepts helped the new devotees to more readily accept the new religion.
In short order Mohammad's religion begins to grow rapidly and its tenets clearly incite its followers to hard work in creating that perfect, godly society. And it preached respect for other's religions as this was one of the reasons Mohammad had to leave Mecca. His revelations were that of a peaceful God. In fact, Mohammad's revelations spell out that God's people only fought in self defense.
However, according to Armstrong, the common Arab tribal practice of razzia, raiding unfriendly tribes, remained a part of the Muslim culture. The practice is described as raiding for property, and attempted quite carefully to avoid killing people. However, in 624, a particular razzia, the Battle of Badr, found Mohammad's followers in a battle against overwhelming odds with an Army from Mecca, and against those odds, his followers won by killing them to the man. Mohammad took this as proof of the righteousness of his teachings and his revelations. He essentially said the success pointed to divine intervention, saying God would help them when needed, even in violence. Again the parallel to Joshua and the Jewish evolution is striking. Armstrong's interpretation of then events and Mohammad's subsequent teachings is that Mohammad preaches war in the practical sense -- it is inevitable, but should be avoided and one shouldn't go seeking it.
As a result of the battle, envoys from Mecca approached Mohammad to negotiate a treaty. Mohammad simply asked for the right of pilgrimage to Mecca to visit the great temple Ka'aba. The Meccans accepted, and the pilgrimages began. However in 628, the Meccans broke the treaty. Mohammad did not respond directly, but when it came time for the haji -- the pilgrimage, he brought a huge force with him and made the Meccans agree that Ka'aba would become the center of Islam and he took the city bloodlessly. This haji was significant because Mohammad made this journey according to the old Abraham-Ishmael religious tenets as well as destroyed the Arab pagan rituals. And as Armstrong points out, Mohammad had proclaimed that all men are equal before Allah.
Then having brought together nearly all the Arab tribes either by agreement or conversion to Islam, Mohammad, as he predicted, promptly died, presumably of natural causes.
Less than a hundred years later, the Caliphs of the Arab world had invaded and conquered all around them creating a huge empire with a vast strength and central religion. They did this through the subversion of the tenets of Mohammad, building a new tenet around the theory of jihad. The Caliphs made sure that every Muslim was taught that it was every Muslim's duty to participate in the Jihad, thus creating a ready army of volunteers ready to expand their borders. Armstrong indicates that this precise rationale centers on the One God and One State. The notion of merging religion and politics then led others to interpret Mohammad's teachings to require only one state rather than the early words of Mohammad which preached tolerance to all who worshiped the one God. This diversion of interpretation occurred quickly as the Caliphs chose to expand their empire and is pivotal in the division of sects in the Muslim faith. The Caliphs believed that at best, the practice of War must never compromise, the most that can be done is sign a truce for ten years as had been part of the traditional tribal custom surrounding razzia. And thus, the first great Jihad spread the Islamic faith by force throughout the region and quickly.
But Armstrong postulates that this wave of Jihad burned out as natural boundaries and internal struggles finally made making war impossible. Like the Jews and Christians, the House of Islam eventually consoled themselves that the domination of the world -- the One State -- would occur at the Last Judgment. A good thing too, for they were, using modern idiom, "on a roll" and may have spread even further than they did. The territorial expansion soon petered out, but not before creating a huge empire that was the last of its kind, stretching across a crescent shape from the Ottoman Empire, down through the Middle East and into Northern Africa., We should also note that most people don't realize, the Muslim faith also spread over much of Southeast Asia..
Unfortunately for the Muslims, the Islamic Jihad that had ravaged the Middle East and Africa had swept through Christian lands, and was seen as a horror as well as a threat to both Christianity and the future of the European World. Thus the seed was set for the Crusades.
As we noted, the Muslim expansion, while slowing in the late 700 BC era, continued to grow creating alarm for the Europeans. Samuel Huntington, in The Clash of Civilizations 2, defined Islam as being composed of four basic subcultures, Arab, Turkie, Persian and Malay. In addition, Huntington's detailed review of Muslim history shows that by early 800 B.C., the Islamic influences had spread throughout the Iberian peninsula, North Africa, Central Asia, the "subcontinent" and Southeast Asia. And as we will see, since the Crusades were not as successful as the Pope hoped, there remains a huge population of Muslims throughout much of those regions today. Most people when thinking of where Islam is centered immediately think of the Muslims in the Middle East. Asia is typically thought of as the home for Buddhists and Hindus. However, Central and Southeast Asia each have a huge population of Muslims, with Indonesia being one of the largest such centers in the World, with Muslims spread as far north in Central Asia into many of Russia's southern provinces.
Most American and Europeans have been taught a rather romantic and noble image of the Crusades. As Armstrong advises us, this is due to an almost fairy tale outlook on the history of that time. King Richard the Lionhearted -- the Great Crusader, his brother King John -- the traitor to the crown both are well known in the Robin Hood story by Chaucer. King John is supposed to have attempted to usurp the throne while his older brother Richard languished uncomfortably in a heathen jail after being captured during his nobel endeavor to free the holy land from the Muslim hordes.
But as Armstrong rightly points out, the Arab view of these events are wholly different, with the Christian infidels wresting away their holy land from the rightful owners. And as the Islamic religion and the Caliphs built their empire, they built not only a strong society, but one prepared to defend its lands with anything humanly possible.
And this is where the story sets down the first conflicts that can be traced to events in 2001 which will remain a turning point in a new relationship with the Arab World.
Pope Urban II, commissioned the soldiers of Christendom to take back the Holy City in 1095. This was the First Crusade. His goal was to remove the heathen Muslims and recapture the holy relics and recover the holy sepulcher where Christ was buried. Armstrong points out that economic and political reasons for the Crusade made the necessity clear as well. The Muslim crescent was increasingly dangerous to Europe and the mercantile ability of the Arab world was a fierce competitor in world trade that was just beginning to blossom. And of course the threat to the Church was of certain angst to the Pope.
Christians from all over Europe sold their property, pulled up stakes and along with servants and drayage beasts, set out to free the holy land. None too gentle, the Christians fought the heathen who could not be respected as human, and the Muslims fought the infidel, also contemptible inhuman. The result was fierce, brutal and unforgiving battles with "to the last man" endings. And since many of the crusaders brought with them their wives and children, it is not hard to imagine what happened on both sides. In the end, the brutal first wave of the Crusades created just as brutal desires for vengeance.
The first five armies passed over land, creating havoc and problems for every nation they crossed, and then met stiff resistance with worn out troops. They were essentially annihilated. This gave confidence to many leaders in the Muslim regions, and thus their preparations for the second wave were inadequate.
From that point forward, the Crusaders sailed to Constantinople and after recovering from the long sea journey began their marches toward Jerusalem, receiving provisions and promises of aid from the Eastern Christians of the Byzantine Empire. While the East and West ideology and practices were quite different in their opinions about war and religion, for practical and political reasons, the two managed to work together. In 1097, the second wave of Christians consisting of Western European Christians and Eastern Byzantine Christians attacked Nicea.
This second wave was much more successful, however at great costs. Amongst the Crusaders were the so called "nobles", their families and a number of "lesser" folk acting as servants, cooks, valets, arms men, and even drudges. While the nobles rode fine horses and dressed in finery, the lesser folks road donkeys or walked. One group of Crusaders managed to take Nicea, and from there expanded their base, actually producing an Eastern fiefdom for the nobles, while another group marched on to attack the balustrades of Antioch, a huge and well fortified citadel far out of Byzantine controlled land.
This unlucky group broke themselves against this castle laying siege. But unlike the glorious tales we have heard, the reality is that those laying siege were, for the most part, worse off than those under siege. Food was scarce outside Antioch, and there was a vast force supporting the Christian combatants. Thus what food and resources there were outside the fortress, was soon gone. Armstrong cites problems such as having to send hunting parties up to 50 miles away, an incredibly difficult distance on horseback. Eventually the horses were either starved or eaten, and the nobles once proudly riding prancing noble steeds were reduced to the few remaining donkeys as well as goats and dogs. Hungry and concerned, the nobles became indistinguishable from the lesser folk. It is Armstrong's contention that this was a leveling experience for all, as the so called lesser folk saw that their lords and ladies were no more human than themselves and in fact dealt with the harshness of their existence with less humility than those already used to it. Defectors took flight and the once huge force eventually dwindled down to some 50,000 including all their dwindling retinue.
Never-the-less, a person from the inside finally helped turn the tables and eventually the Crusades gained the Fortress. Only to be attacked by a fresh Muslim force only a few days later.
The Muslims and Christians traded victories throughout the Crusades, with many a European noble reduced to rags and jailed in Muslim prisons until the ritual treaty could be agreed upon.
One of the effects was a major widening of the distrust between Eastern and Western Christian segments. The Byzantine did not come to the rescue of the Crusaders as promised and much of the Crusader forces encamped in their new eastern fiefdoms were far too comfortable to venture afield as well.
The eventual capture, loss and recapture of Jerusalem did nothing to soften feelings between the Muslims and the Crusaders, and of course the slaughter dictated by leaders of both sides meant burning hatreds and unrelenting drive for vengeance.
Rather than go through each battle of the Crusades, it is sufficient to point out that Islamic Law required tolerance for the Christians. This meant that once the rituals of treaty were acknowledged, survivors were left pretty much alone as long as they submitted to the rule of the Muslims. Many uprisings occurred amongst the survivors however and the Muslims dealt with them harshly. This too fostered ill will on both sides.
Eventually the Europeans went home declaring victory, temporarily holding the Holy City, although in reality it was the Greek Orthodox Byzantine Christians who became the caretakers. However, while not exactly the kind of Christian the Pope approved of, they were deemed much more acceptable than the heathen Muslims.
Note that up to this point, you can back to many different points in ancient history and choose who you would call the Palestinians. Was it only one group or a combination of many or even the more realistic view, a mixture of races, cultures and religions which over time has become ubiquitous. The Jewish faith permitted little breeding with outsiders, as did the Islamic, yet it is not clear how well the strictures kept the normal mix of races in closed societies to occur.
And were the original Palestinians actually Jewish, Muslim, or Christian? If all were descended from Abraham, then it would seem their family trees are the same. And certainly all three have tenets that "grandfather" in believers who aren't direct ancestors. The claim today that Arab lands should not have been partitioned and given to the Jews because they have no claim on the land is just as ludicrous as saying the Christians or Muslims have no claim. In fact, history tells us that all three cultures have pretty much equal claims and that if the three cultures are as civilized as they claim, they should be able to find a way to live together. Unfortunately the correct formula has not yet been found.
Jerusalem can be looked at in a similar matter. The Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, but Muslim Omar raised a Temple near the remains of the Israelites Temple. As is often the case in history, cities from one culture are built right on top of the predecessor's city. If one could identify a Babylonian today, would they not also have a claim on Jerusalem. And what about the "people of the land"? Had they not "acquired" Jerusalem when the Israelites moved to Egypt to avoid starvation?
All these questions point out the irrational singular claims to the land and cities built on it from ancient times.
In addition, who were the aggressors and oppressors? Isn't it the case that Pope Urban II had a valid claim on Jerusalem since the Romans conquered the region? But then again, did the Israelites oppress the Canaanites? And what about the Muslims who allowed Israelites to live amongst as long as there was no dissent? Was this not oppressive to the Israelites.
Again, the questions point out that all of the cultures can point to events and claim to have been oppressed and that justice demands redress. No one culture has a unique claim historically. And this is how the impact on the 20th century nations was created. Each nation and culture, irrationally, believes their claims are unique and requires redress from the other. This is how the ancient hatreds began and festered over the centuries. And of course as we'll see, the 19th and 20th centuries added more fuel to the fire in even more dramatic ways.
The 20th Century Occupation of the Middle East
We now jump forward centuries to another key point in Middle Eastern history. The intervening centuries of the Crusades and modern history saw first a growth in Muslim culture and a long period of enlightenment, much like the Greek explosion of Arts and Sciences, but after the 1400s, the technological and discovery based European cultures created a growth path much different than the Muslims. While personal power and tribal rituals surrounded the more personal culture of Islam, the Europeans expanded over the world and soon began a new period of exploration of arts and sciences and through their own wars began to understand not only the need for alliances but the need for tolerance as well.
The discovery and colonization of the Americas, resulted in a split in Christian nations again, as the Spanish and Portuguese influences of Catholicism took in Japan and Southeast Asia as well as South America. The Puritans fled to North American and their Protestant Christian beliefs and yearning for freedoms not possible in Britain ensured America would be forever a cousin but independent of England. The War of Independence created the United States, and the American Civil War established at least in concept the role of equal rights as it abolished slavery. While human rights modified the Christian ethos, the Muslim separation between the elite and everyone else grew in strength and forced acceptance. The tolerance proscribed for others "of the one God" appears to have been lost in many Muslim sects, thus rather than growing more tolerant, the Arab nations became less tolerant. Power became the means to unite, not ideals.
As centuries unfolded, the western technological advances led to the industrial revolution. The technology of war changed dramatically, until when near the end of the 19th century, the expanding British Trade empire had colonized much of the Middle East, and Central Asia. Indeed, the British rule had even included parts of China including the small island we know as Hong Kong today. British Trading ports at the opening of the 20th century had extended through out Southeast Asia and protectorates included the entire Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia.
In contrast, modernization of Muslim cultures did not take place at any great pace. Like the Japanese, for many centuries the Western world introduced occasional changes, but the local culture made adjustments to Western ideas, making them uniquely non-Western. As Hungtington cites, the Muslims "Islamicized the West". And like Japan has built their own versions of western ways, avoiding Huntington's "Western Virus and Cultural Schizophrenia." 2
Suffice to say, at the opening of the 20th century, Britain had a loose grip on most of the Muslim world, and despite their perceived arrogance and attitude of superiority, tended to rule effectively if not savagely when it was necessary. Armstrong comments on this clearly, citing that even after years freedom from British rule, the attitudes of those protected colonies still reflects a special hatred of the British and it remains an open sore. Indeed the American experience shows that our friendly association with the British during and after the World Wars has meant some of the hatred of the British colors Arab feelings about us. The Israelis enjoy their own brand of anger with the British. And of course both British and American support for the Israelis translates into an even more intense hatred of these two western nations, confirming the old adage "my enemy's friends are my enemies as well".
It is during the 20th century's early years that we find Britain and America beginning to exploit the resources of the Middle East. Oil being a key element in the industrial growth of the late 19th and early 20th century, the oil rich Middle East quickly becomes a pearl in the otherwise barren desert region.
The Diaspora of the Jews into Europe hoping to find new homes also included flight north into Russia. In hindsight, it was clearly a huge mistake. In the end, even before World War II, the Jews had again realized they needed to return to their promised land and try once more to make their way as an independent nation. In fact the sentiment exited well before. Armstrong writes of the late 1800s and the zionist movement where thousands of Jews, impatient to begin anew, flooded back into the region from Europe. But as the 20th century opened, there still remained huge numbers of Jews in both Western and Eastern Europe as well as in Russia.
And while Europe brought railroads, electricity, new medicines, and new military weapons into the Middle East, the Muslims practiced the same tribal warfare and trade that they had been practicing since the 7th century, while integrating things they found of value in the western culture -- the very technology that made Europeans and Americans feel superior. Consolidation of tribes by the Muslims, proved horrible in many cases, for instance the brutal acts of the Saud family between 1902 and 1927, were not always pleasant to watch, however the British protectors turned a blind eye in many cases.
But by the 1930s, while Britain's hand was becoming weak, the strongest Muslim national leaders were emerging. The rising shadow of Nazi Germany was soon to force Britain's attention away from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. World War II allied Britain and America as they had never been since the days of the early American colonies. The "cousins" fought a war of survival against a recognizable evil in Hitler and the calculating Imperialism of Japan. Taking in Russia as an ally is thought by many as being a mistake, some believing it would have been best to leave the Soviets to themselves. Looking at the former Soviet Union states today, however, clearly indicates that the same triple cultural difficulties that we associate with the Middle East are found in a smaller effect in the Baltics and between Russia and Chechnya. Clearly, the Muslim oriented nations were extremely quick to divorce themselves both from the Russians and the Europeans after the fall of the Soviet Union. If this would have occurred during the tail end years of World War II, it could have meant a wholly different disaster and many more years of war. Not to mention that it could have threatened the stability of an already shaky post war Europe.
In any case, during the World War II, Muslims tended to ignore the factions, being British protectorates, the House of Islam tended to simply profit from trade with both sides where possible and smile at the British rulers when necessary. Many believe they played one against the other or traded in information for profit, caring little which oppressor won.
The Genesis of the Terror War
At the end of World War II, events coalesced into key elements that would become the Genesis of the Terror War. The Soviet Union, weakened by the onslaught of German attacks and frightened by the use of the Atomic Bomb, withdrew into a shell that eventually closed itself to outside influence as they worked on their own version and hoping a parity in power. An impenetrable shield seemed to have been dropped and the term Iron Curtain was coined by Winston Churchill. Thus the cold war had begun quite soon after the end of World War II.
Britain, also severely weakened both economically and in sprit, while celebrating the victory, realized that their empire had been overlooked during the war and they did not have the resources to do anything about it. Slowly, countries who appeared to have the means to take care of themselves were prepared for independence. Some of course were unwilling to wait for the British judgment and others really were not ready. In any case the next decade the majority of British "held" colonies became independent nations.
The Middle East, with its economic promise was viewed as a resource that should be let go slowly and through agreements that would yield economic advantage to Britain. Unfortunately this was not to happen. One particular case was a land grant for the Jews who had suffered greatly at the hand of Hitler's extermination camps. Under United Nations pressure as well as yet another Jewish Exodus to the promised land, Britain finally agreed to carve out a small chunk of land surrounding Jerusalem between what is now Lebanon and Egypt. The United Nations declared that on May 15, 1947, the British mandate for protecting the area ended, and the nation of Israel was born. The United States and the Soviet Union, the dominant powers in the United Nations, recognized Israel as a nation, however, the Arab nations surrounding the new country suddenly after decades of protection and rule of the British, decided that the British could not cede the land to the United Nations and that Israel could not and would not be recognized. Further they refuted the Jewish claim on any of the land, and especially refuted the claim to Jerusalem which was to be administered to the benefit of all by the United Nations. At midnight the day Israel was born, they invaded.
Naturally, if the Arab nations had won the battles that followed, we probably would not have a terrorist problem to the degree apparent today. However, Israel with help from weapons and intelligence from the U.S. and the British, managed to stave off the Arab attacks and in fact pushed the borders back. For the next two decades numerous attempts by the Arabs were repelled until in the mid 1960s, Israel has either recaptured or conquered new lands that would provide buffer zones against further Arab assaults.
In typical Islamic style, the Arab nations could only see infidels among them and no treaty was agreed upon, just cessation of conflict for a time. Having failed to win by conventional violent means, the Arab nations now adopted an ancient method for dealing with their enemies, a method already in use by many others in Ireland and the Baltics. And in typical Arab tradition, they went at this with an intensity and dedication reminiscent of the fervor during the ages of the Crusades.
Modern Islamic Terrorism
Islamic Terror became a critical problem in the 1960s. Wherever Israelis traveled or stayed they were targets. Either at home or abroad in Europe, including embassies, consulates, and airliners they were assaulted by Terrorists. And when these terrorists were captured, hijackers would take over an aircraft and demand their release. And soon the terrorism hit the world stage when in 1972 so called Palestinians, members of the terrorist group Black September, a faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), stormed the quarters of the Israeli athletes at the International Olympic Village in Munich, Germany. Before the operation was over, a number of Israeli athletes and the terrorists were dead. This assault against innocents was especially brutal and forever changed the Olympics despite their charter for peaceful and fair competition among all the world's athletes.
By the early 1970s, Israel had become experts in anti terror, and any Jew, no matter the national origin, would only consider flying the Israeli airline El Al. With armored holds, baggage inspection and x-ray machines as well as an over abundance of air marshals, the airline became bomb proof and hijack proof. Today it remains the safest airline to travel from the anti terror viewpoint.
While the airline became immune, the terminals did not. Terrorists stormed airport terminals taking hostage and killing them and guards.
In response, Israel mounted their secret assassination squads, aiming to kill the leadership of the groups that they faced. However, by the close of the 1970s, there were dozens of new groups and thousands of obsessed anti-Semitic terrorists happy to give their lives in this new Jihad. This Jihad continues against Israel today and no end is in sight. And unfortunately any friend of Israel has also become the target of the Jihad as well.
The Arab Infiltration Into America
The Civil Rights movement in America had its genesis in the late 1950s when American black leaders began to organize. By the early 1960s while Israel struggled with the new Arab weapon of terrorism, U.S. blacks were using the peaceful non-violence method to foster change in America. A liberal administration, recognizing the basic rights to human freedom and heartened by the first few successes of the non-violent approach, backed the blacks with increasing federal help in the form of federalizing national guard troops and the like. U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the President's brother, fought a courageous legal battle with southern state governments.
At the time, while the efforts at desegregation were creating nationwide news, an interesting and puzzling set of circumstances emerged. A federal justice system, wary of outside influences due to cold war paranoia, began to notice associations between prominent black extremists and Muslim clerics. In very short order, a virtual exodus of blacks to the Muslim faith occurred. As Christian followers adopting the non-violent methods were murdered, and White Supremacist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, for the moment were not being prosecuted, many Blacks looking for a more radical response to the oppression of segregation, turned to the teachings of Mohammad as interpreted by sects practicing in Africa.
The murder of the important and charismatic passive resistance leader, the Reverend Martin Luther King sent waves of fear and hatred through black communities all over the nation, and as well, sent thousands to the ranks of the new House of Islam for Black Americans.
And while the more radical leaders such as Malcolm X used the new black religion as a stone to pound out hatred of the whites to all who would listen, the Christian blacks continued to make progress. Eventually Malcolm X's rhetoric and life style grew to separate him from the more pious of the Black Muslim community resulting in a split between his followers and the less radical Black Muslims. Eventually Malcolm X was murdered, and this ended much of the power of his branch of the Black Muslims. However, it still exists today under the leadership of Louis Farakhin.
The less violent and ideologically more reverent Black Muslims continued to grow. Combined with increasingly higher immigration counts from the Middle East, and converts from all races, the Muslim faith in America has become quite large and to the benefit of the diversity of the country. However, as the Jihad against the Jews in the Middle East continued, more sinister events began to appear in relation to the American Muslim community. We will cover this in the section below titled The Jihad in America.
The Duplicity That Remains
We turn now to the modern Arab world. Putting aside religion for a moment, we look at the Arab culture -- a culture characterized in modern times as much by ancient tribal customs as the Islamic tenets. We will look at two examples, the nations of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The two make quite a comparison, one going down the path reaching back to the days of the Caliphs, the other westernizing into a nation well accepted into the western definition of a civilized nation.
Saudi Arabia (Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah) is a monarchy, some say still set in the 7th century using modern arms and technology to keep control over its people and of course to defend its borders. Like the merchants of old, the Saudis wield an economic hammer at will, being the leading contributor and power holder in the OPEC the Middle Eastern oil consortium. In typical Arab fashion, the Saudis are respected by the leaders of other Arab nations for their power and brutality.
During the Gulf War and Afghan campaigns, the Saudis permitted safe conduct for over flights of Coalition combat aircraft throughout their skies. The Saudis also contributed the services of the Prince Sultan combined Air Control facility to combat aircraft in both campaigns, noting that U.S. built AWACs and radar systems make up those services and there may be supply obligations that require that aid.
There is no suffrage in Saudi Arabia, women are treated as chattels and required to wear the Burqa, however a few areas only require the wearing of the Muslim head scarf for woman. Dissension is not allowed and is punished by death. The legal system is based almost entirely on the extremist Wahhabi interpretation of Islamic Law with a few secular laws added for purposes of trade with the Western world. Saudi Arabia has not recognized Israel and provides support to the Palestinians in Israel, Lebanon and Syria and is suspected of funneling resources to a number of Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas and the PFLP. Saudi Arabia is listed as one of the World's worst nations in terms of Human Rights by the United Nations.
Saudi Arabia has an oil based economy and accounts for 26% of the worlds known oil reserves. The Saudis are slowly privatizing other elements of their economy in hopes to provide employment for its growing population and reducing its peoples dependence on oil revenues.
The Saud' family of Saudi Arabia owes its ancestry all the way back to the Caliphs who ruled after Mohammad's death. The key ancestor in the Saud family are the followers of Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi who adopted the more violent interpretations of the principles of razzia that extended the Jihad into One God, One State.
Throughout the history following Mohammad's death, the Saud family has followed the teachings of the Wahhabi sect, inspiring and condoning the murder of millions of Arabs who would not follow the sects teachings. This is confirmed by both Armstrong and Huntington, and is best illustrated by this passage from an article written by Stephen Schwartz, taken from the first two sources of five we used for this section: 3,4,5,6,7
"Sauds armed supporters, in a frenzy of iconoclasm, first leveled Jannat al-Baqi, the "heavenly orchard" in Medina, where one of the original associates of Mohammad was buried under the prophets supervision. Other relatives and thousands of early companions of the prophet were also interred at the site, as were the imams Hassan and Hussein, venerated by Sunni and Shia Muslims. All these graves were wrecked by Sauds minions, who then looted the treasure at the prophets shrine." 3In here excellent summary, The New Wahhabi movement , Sue Lackey exposed the origins of the modern terrorist, an expose supported by Armstrong and Huntington both.
"Between the ages of 7 and 15, they are taught the fundamentals of strict Islam and religious obligations. Between the ages of 15 and 25, these young men are trained to fight and prepared for the jihad, or holy war in this case conquest of [MILNET: 'of the world by'] Wahhabi Islam. The students are charged with fulfilling missions related to the jihad." 4The sects that teach the more violent interpretation go by many names according to Lackey, "...Ikhwan, Wahhabi, Salifiyya, Mowahabin and now, famously, Taliban."
The Wahhabi movement begin in 1794 according to Lackey, and it is interesting to note, that this is very close to the same time as America's independence from British rule. While American government went the way of personal rights and eventually basic human rights, the Wahhabi sect preached a return to 7th century violent enforcement of their interpretation of Islam and the oppressive power of the Caliphs assumed in the modern Kings in Arab Nations today.
Saudi Arabia, in 1902 set about unifying all the tribes within its borders using typical violent interpretation of One God, One State. By the 1930s they had pretty much completed their consolidation, ruling with a firm had under British protectorate status. After World War II, the country continued as a cohesive self government through extremely oppressive policies. Britain's release of Saudi Arabia was viewed as a certain relief.
So why is Saudi Arabia of concern here? The chief reason is that this country is supposed to be one of our friends in the Middle East. Yet this oppressive regime continues to support the royal family in excessive luxury while its people struggle. The poor of America has a living standard 20 times that of the average Saudi citizen. Yes they are used to their lot in life, but simple changes in the Saudi management of their citizenry could change those conditions. But the wealth is all at the top to a degree that would send Americans into the streets in violent protest -- is it any wonder we see violence being used in the Middle East.
Yet the duplicity occurs as Saudi Arabia professes to be our friends and then funds the Wahhabi sects throughout the world teaching the culture that creates the terrorists and also funds directly the terrorist element. Then they come on American TV to condemn those that condemn them for their own internal practices as if they are innocents themselves. According to Frank Gaffney, CEO of the Center For Security Policy in Congressional testimony before the committee on the Middle East and Terrorism, on May 23, 2002, the Saudi government directly owns the mortgages for 85% of all Wahhabi based Mosques in the United States. Saudis have publicly contributed funds to the survivors of suicide bombers with no way of distinguishing whether the bomber's family knew or approved of their attacks. Similarly, the Saudi Government participated in the recent Telethon for Palestinians which also provided funds to the families of suicide bombers. And finally, the Saudi government, which has absolute control of the press in their country, regularly and consistently squashes any pro American stories and continues to allow anti-American sentiment in the media as well as continues to fund the Wahhabi sect ideological training that vilifies Israel, the United States and Britain, calling for the Jihad, and preparing young men to kill or be killed in this Jihad. 8
Egypt on the other hand has made dramatic strides since the attacks on Israel in 1946. Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachim Begin of Israel signed a historic peace agreement on March 26, 1979. This treaty in the Egyptian Muslim view, created a treaty of the razzia style that permitted a peace between the two nations.
Egypt has a democratically elected government, featuring a republic of 26 governorates and a constitution signed on 11 September 1971. It's legal system is a combination of that based on English common law, Islamic law, and Napoleonic codes; judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State.
In contrast to Saudi Arabia, its government is not based upon inherited elite, but the people's choice. Egypt has been fighting Islamic terrorists since its Constitutional government began in 1971, due to extremists who wish the government to follow the 7th century Caliph model of a full clerical Islamic nation. In fact, one of Al Qaida's associated groups and one headed by Osama Bin Laden is Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya also known as the Islamic Group (IG).
During the Gulf War, the Egyptians permitted safe conduct for over flights of Coalition combat aircraft throughout their skies and expressed willingness if needed during the Afghan campaign. During both conflicts Egypt permitted passage through the Suez Canal for Coalition naval combatants.
Egypt has a powerful economy equaling that of the Saudis but clearly faces new challenges due to population growth.
But as promising as the Egyptian government appears, we again see the Arab duplicity. One of Egypt's ministers publicly stated in April of 2002 that Egypt was prepared to take on Israel for a bounty of $100 Billion that it would have to expend in the campaign. Egyptian has allowed tunnels to be built from Egypt into Gaza for use in importing terrorists, weapons, and explosives, and continues to refute their existence despite considerable proof disclosed by the Israelis. And most alarming, Egypt has recently purchased No Dong missiles from North Korea, which sadly increases the range of their attack to the only adversary in the region, Israel and no further. All of these facts are part of the prepared statement by Frank Gaffney.
Like Saudi Arabia, Egypt continues to deflect public dissatisfaction with their internal problems by allowing well controlled press to vilify Israel, the United States and Britain, as well as continues to allow Wahhabi sect Mosques to continue anti western hatred and the ideology of the Jihad against those same three nations.
The Common Arab Nation
In fact, the two nations of Egypt and Saudi Arabia continue to demonstrate the common characteristics of modern Arab nations that pose a clear and present danger to U.S. national security.
All this is taken in parallel with public positions seldom if ever repeated in Arabic, that both Saudi Arabia and Egypt are our friends. Yet in private they see American and European open societies as weak and to be disdained. This perception of weakness then makes the Western cultures prime targets for the 7th century warrior mentality who are happy to use 20th century weapons to forward their Jihad.
The Jihad Against America
Let's be extremely blunt. In case you haven't read a newspaper or watched a cable news television show since 9/11. There is an organized effort to a) infiltrate Islamic extremists into target countries around the world (America and Europe for instance), b) teach new generations of young and willing extremists, and c) recruit these new extremists to kill innocents in the name of the Islamic Extremist cause, the Jihad -- the battle to eliminate all infidels These terrorists are funded by a unique money transfer system which in the past was used for humanitarian purposes but has been subverted to move funds to terrorists, either directly or through intermediary organizations.
In the early months following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., much has been printed about the extremist teachings. And a few have even tracked down where these teachings can be heard. One example of where the extremist Islamic ideology is being taught is by the followers of Wahhabism. These followers flourish in places like Lebanon where nearly 4000, according to Sue Lackey 4, are estimated to fill the ranks of potential Islamic zealots ready to take up arms in the Jihad. Indeed, many believe this is a ready source for the next wave of suicide bombers. Another large concentration of Mosques (and the teaching centers associated called Madrasses) can be found in Saudi Arabia. In fact, Saudi Arabia is where the majority of such Mosques exist. Another high concentration is in Pakistan and prior to the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan and the routing of the Taliban, Afghanistan..
But the Middle East is not the only breeding ground and is not the only places where we find these teachings. It can be found in Mosques (not all Mosques fortunately) all over the world. For instance throughout Southeast Asia where the Muslim population is huge. And most frightening, right here, right now, in the United States.
Steven Emerson, a former CNN correspondent stumbled upon a story that compelled him to dig deeper. Prior to the events of September 11, Emerson found himself following lead after lead until he began to see the edges of a fairly open, but darkly evil conspiracy in our open society. From the Midwest to either coastline, he discovered the same virulent preaching of the Wahhabi sect being taught not only in Mosques, but in conference rooms and fairly open meeting places. The huge base of Muslim immigrants was swollen by immigrants from Central and Southeast Asia includes second and third generations dating from the end of World War II. And within this huge Muslim base he found terror.
In his book, American Jihad 7, Emerson spells out the breadth of the frightening educational system being embraced by a small but growing percentage of Muslims in America. And like the similar organizations in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Lebanon, these activities help to mask and support terrorist cells in the U.S., cells we now know are intent upon bringing death to this country. And as is typical, they are using the very open society we live in to garner that support through increasingly liberalized immigration enforcement and indifference to illegal aliens.
In an interesting note to his work, Emerson criticizes the FBI for lacking the vision to investigate these groups because "they have committed no crime." MILNET believes it is a sad state of affairs when the lead federal criminal investigative agency in the U.S. thinks they cannot investigate because no crime is committed. This liberalization of investigative process is based upon the incorrect interpretation of harassment form the 1960s. You can investigate anyone when you have due cause. Even religious speakers cannot be immune from investigation when they speak of committing crimes, let alone the overthrow of American government. Inciting murder is a felony, and inciting the violent overthrow of government or policy is sedition and is a capital felony. Clearly, the Justice Department needs to spend a little more time refining their interpretation of the U.S. federal criminal statutes to some of their agents.
With the large Muslim community in the U.S. providing unwitting shelter to imported terrorists, it is impossible to root out those who will commit the next wave of mass murders of innocents. Thus the Arab Infiltration begun in the 1960s has not only been successful, but has reaped the benefit one would expect. No one can pinpoint an intent for this state of affairs, but clearly the success of this particular invasion is irrefutable. When the FBI was tasked to question the Muslim community in hopes in getting leads to the terrorists who might be in country, the Liberal howl was heard coast to coast, including some police departments refusing to participate on the premise that the questioning was somehow illegal. Again liberal wishes not codified by law were acted upon as if they were. And clearly this has weakened our ability to fight the terrorists in our own country.
Another telling characteristic of the "Muslim Invasion" is the incredible number of funding organizations feeding Extremist Schools. Typically Mosques have attached to them the Madrassa, a place of education. However, they are in some cases independent of the Mosque's leadership. A uniquely Arab money laundering operation are used by innocent and terrorist alike to move funds around the globe ostensibly to help the needy as part of the Muslim requirement to help the needy, a sort of tithe. These organizations, similar in concept to western money order organizations, allows the follower of Islam to donate funds to a number of Muslim charities that are supposed to distribute funds to the needy.
Unfortunately, recent disclosures of some of the recipients include the Wahhabi sect Mosques and their membership or the Madrassas teaching the virulent anti western (as well as anti-Shia Muslim) ideology. Even more telling are direct deposits from the "charities" to individuals who are known terrorists directly or through the Madrasses. Following the trail of cash to Bin Laden's Al Qaida for instance, disclosed a vast some of money being sent through both the "charities" as well as through the Madrasses. The cash used to support the 9/11 mass murders was also funneled through the Madrasses as was refunds of unused cash just prior to their suicide attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
We should note that not all Madrasses teach the Extremist viewpoint, in fact most are much more pious and peace loving. Today, the Wahhabism and in some cases some Shia Muslim Madrasses and a few of the Mosque leadership associated with these few exceptions are where the highest percentage of Extremist teachings are taking place. We should also remind the reader, however, that these teachings are not limited to any part of the world -- this is a worldwide campaign to incite Muslims to hatred and provide recruits for terrorist organizations.
What Lies Ahead
One of the chief difficulties law enforcement and anti-terrorist organziations have to contend with is minority status of Muslims in the U.S. While a large group, they remain a minority and therefore over-sensitive managers in the INS, FBI and indeed state investigative agencies will not stand up and lead their investigators to look at seditious groups that are being guarded by naturally liberal minority communities. Throwing in the spectre of separation between Church and State further clouds the investigative perogative and gutless beaurcrats run for cover. However, in order to combat this source of terrorism right here at home, we must be able to look, if not touch. And with the issue of criminal profiling turned into a liberal cause celeb named racial profiling, there are few supervisors in the country able to stomach the wails if a Mosque suspected of preaching sedition is put under surviellance. This dismal state of affairs threatens not only our national security and national infrastrucure but the executive branch of our government.
Americans with intellect should be frightened when their federal law enforcement agents are not allowed or motivated to do their job, especially when their job is to stop terrorists in this country. But if we haven't frightened you enough to be concerned over facts, then turn to fiction. Tom Clancey's Executive Orders portrays a Deputy Director of Central Intelligence who is the last remaining officer of the government in the chain of succession after a disgruntled pilot flys a 747 into the Capitol Building during the State of the Union address. And if you think this is fiction and has no bearing on reality, ask yourself why, during the last State of the Union address, Vice President Dick Cheney was NOT present, along with several key members in the chain of succession in both Houses of Congress.
For over a decade MILNET and others studying the growth of terrorism have been predicting accurately the events that led to the emergence of terrorism in the U.S. The first attempt at bombing the World Trade Center marked the public acceptance that International Terrorism had arrived.
Since then, MILNET and others have predicted the use of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Thus anthrax in the U.S. postal system was in no way a surprise. The recent discovery of experimental goods for producing a radioactive waste dispersal weapon (RWDW) or "dirty bomb" in Afghanistan where Al Qaida operatives were in hiding, has added further concern. MILNET has reviewed unclassified Congressional testimony that outlines some of the risks made public since 9/11 -- things like:
How does one defend against such events? Liberal would have us believe that we can't. Just give up. The truth is that the sentiment is reasonable only if you are unwilling to take steps that might make some Americans and many visitors to America uncomfortable. MILNET has been increasingly alarmed by lack of movement in directions that could help prevent these types of events from occuring. For instance, airport random searches hide the fact that few bags are being xrayed before being put on planes despite federal laws mandating just that. An airline industry which has been under pressure for years to improve their traveller safety has ignored again this latest requirement to change.
Terrorist Richard Reid clearly pointed out that our personal body inspection techniques are worthless. Monthly terminal evacuations since 9/11 due to lax or frankly stupid security mistakes point out that while the security workforce at terminals have been federalized, 95% of the same people are still on the job -- with the same level of incomptence that existed before. This despite the fact that the hijacking of airliners hijacked could not have been prevented by even the so called vigorous inspection regime we undergo today. An airliner could have been hijacked with a realistic looking plastic toy gun on 9/11, and thisn plastic gun would never have been detected if carred in a pocket MILNET has proven plastic toy gun can be passed through the current inspection regime via recent experimentation in airline travel. Today, of course, even a realistic plastic toy pistol would probably not be effective in aiding a terrorist to hijack an airliner -- we now know what is at stake. Indeed Richard Reid's capture is indicative of how passengers and crew are now ready to take on hijackers on a personal basis to prevent hijacking.
So what are we left with. Vigilante Justice? Hardly acceptable. However, if we simply enforce the laws that exists today we will go a long way toward improving our chances of prevention. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that Islamic extremists preaching the violent Jihad are breeding domestic sourced terrorists in our near future. We need to put an end to that. The Muslim community in America who are, in the majority, pious and good hearted, need to expose those in their communities who are a danger to them and America. The liberalization of immigration policies has gone far across the line of rationale. And new policies unsupported by law modifying investigative procedures must be changed. And new laws or local law that prohibts law enforcement and investigaters from doing their job need to be reviewed. The test for reasonableness should be something along the lines of "if a law enforcement official cannot investigate those who would incite violence or reduce the number of suspects in a crime or prevent a crime about to be committed by observation, then the law has gone too far in protecting the individual's right and should be repealed.".
With the ability to observe, comes the ability to detect those conducting conspiracy. More intrusive means of surveillance can then be used to prevent the crime. This is how law enforcement can prevent crime. This is how law enforcement used to prevent crime. Today, the law allows that a federal wiretap review by a Federal judge must occur before a wiretap can be put in place. Observation of probable cause allows the law enforcement agency to make the request. The hunt for terrorists should proceed in similar fashion. An emigree' who fits the profile we associate with a Middle Eastern Islamic terrorist should be able to be observed. If probable cause is uncovered, then further surveillance should be permitted. However, the reality today is that some law enforcement agencies, without benefit of legal restraint, have defined policies that recognize political comfort over constituent safety. This has to end as well.
Take for example the memo written to FBI Director Mueller by Coleen Rowley, a FBI legal officer in the Minnesota office that uncovered Terrorist Massoui and essentially had the pieces of the puzzle to catch the 9/11 terrorists before their attack. She strongly accuses the FBI of having HQ personel more afraid for their careers than protecting U.S. citizens. She even reminds the Director of what the term "carreerism" means. Risking career and friendships, Ms. Rowley tells it like it is.
But beyond the investigation of suspects, we need to ensure we have a list of suspects to begin with. Anyone travelling to and in the U.S. on any type of Visa should be reviewed as a possible threat. 95% will be eliminated quickly. The other 5% should be subject to further investigation. Anyone who has not left the U.S. when their visa has expired, should be considered a potential terrorist and placed in custody immediately until investigation proves otherwise. The only way to make this happen is to institute a tracking mechanism as well as a limiting travel without proper identification. Visa holders should not be able to use long distance travel without biometric ID.
Travelers in U.S. airports, train depots and bus depots who wish to avoid oppresive and close personal body searches should submit to being identified with a biometric traveler's ID. Those who protest the requirement for the card will instead submit to close scrutiny and searches.
North, the border of Canada is almost comical, if it wasn't so serious. Newsweek author Stephen Brill has wrtten a "all guns firing" review10 of INS and focuses on the Northern border as an example of how ludicrious our border security is. Reading this will make you want to cry.
The border with Mexico is not comical, it is a disgrace. Clearly, the managers responsible for managing that border have failed in their duties. They should be fired one section at a time, replaced, trained, and then move on to the next section. This should be done over a period of six months. Punishment for illegal entry into the U.S. should be severe hard labor for six months and confinement when they return home. If the Mexican government does not agree, then we close the border with Mexico and suspend trade and travel. And the problem isn't at the legal border crossing, which the INS proudly points to as a landmark of cooperation between INS and U.S. Customs, but at the illegal places like the, believe it or not, tunnels11 and off road paths that have regular traffic locals watch at night wondering where the Border Patrol is and what they are up -- one resisdent says, "...they sure as hell ain't here, bubba.".
As for future events, we can look for the following to occur or continue in the next decade:
And while these recommendation sound oppressive, they are no different than that being conducted in nations all over the world. It is only in the U.S. that we have become so lax as to allow outsiders to roam freely about our country illegally.
What's the Big Deal, Anyway?
Okay, here we go. We are going to use the scare tactic again. In this case, however, not only will we refer to an authoritative source but use a rather graphic piece of non fiction. The authority is the U.S. Congress. For the last decade, anti terrorist experts have been testifying before Congress pleading for action to be taken. However, it seems our security has been seconded to any number of more important programs. Yet, in that decade, year after year, experts have been predicting not only terrorist attacks on the U.S., but that a nuclear weapon would wind up in the hands of terrorists. Panel after panel, Congressional committee after committee has agreed. In fact, Congress took the unprecedented step to PAY the Russians and former Soviet Union states to destroy nuclear weapons rather than leave them around where a terrorist might be able to acquire them directly or through a chain of thefts.
So in order to make sure the reader is clear what we are talking about when we express the danger....
In The Ultimate Terrorists, 9 Jessica Stern explores the previously unthinkable, the use of weapons of mass destruction by a terrorist. Stern not only propels the reader into that nightmare, but carefully and clinically describes the uses of these weapons as well as defines who are the people we should be fearing. In the first pages, she describes one such event:
"What if a terrorist exploded a homemade nuclear bomb at the Empire State building in New York City? A one kiloton device -- tiny by superpower standards -- would ignite a fireball 300 feet in diameter that would demolish the Empire State Building and the 20,000 people who work there, leaving in their place a crater 120 foot wide. Much of the building and the people in it would be vaporized by the intense heat. A shock wave would spread out from the blast site, exposing everything in its path to pressure as high as thousands of pounds per square inch. Components of the Empire State Building that had not vaporized would create a storm of concrete, glass and steel missiles, which would be propelled thousands of feet by strong horizontal winds.And as Stern goes on to point out, the political, economic, and even legal ramifications to a nuclear detonation in the U.S. would forever "alter America's cherished balance between civil liberties and public safety." 9
Buildings within 600 feet would collapse, as would the underground infrastructure of subways, wiring and pipes. Gas mains would rupture, causing widespread fires. A bright light, manner times brighter than the sun in the desert at noon, would be visible from neighboring states. People up to a quarter a mile away would be killed or maimed as their clothing burst into flames from the heat. Those wearing dark suits, as New Yorkers are wont to do, would be particularly susceptible, since dark colors (and synthetics) absorb radiation. Radiation would quickly kill those within half a mile from the blast.
An updraft would suck up dirt and debris, including the crushed remains of the Empire State Building, into a radioactive mushroom cloud 10,000 feet high, and the color of blood, tinted by red and brown nitrous acids and oxides of nitrogen. As it cooled the cloud would turn the white of ordinary cumulus. This grim marker would be visible for miles around.
In the first twenty-four hours, radioactive particles ranging in size from fine powder to marbles -- and even larger close to the burst point -- would descend from the sky. A lethal dose would be delivered to anyone within an area of a quarter mile wide and nine miles long -- as far North as the George Washington bridge, or, depending on the wind, out into New Jersey and Brooklyn. Victims of the "early" fallout would die within two weeks. People as far as eighteen miles away would suffer radiation sickness. Even hundreds of miles downwind , cancer rates would rise, and long-lived isotopes would contaminate the area for years. Small radioactive particles would eventually be deposited over much of the earth. Because the bomb would be exploded close to the ground, the fallout would be worse than that of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
How many people would die? It's hard to say, but the fallout alone might kill up to 100,000 -- in addition to those killed by blast, heat or initial radiation close to the explosion. The death toll might easily reach twice that." 9
We should note that the infamous "suitcase nuke" is more than capable of making the above scenario happen, and one could be as small as a large backpack or a full size suitcase with handle and wheels like you see at the airport on every baggage turnstile.
All this gives rise to the question, why should America be so foolish to wait for a nuclear blast to give us our second wake up call? Why should we wait to make the changes necessary to protect the people in this country? Minor changes to our civil liberties have taken place since our wake up call on 9/11, but few of those changes and even fewer changes in the government agencies protecting the U.S. have prepared us to adequately attempt to prevent the long list of horrible terrorist events we can look forward to in the next decade. Yes we are a strong people, and yes we can stand up and fight. But our government must move faster and must expend the necessary resources to get there quicker.
The INS is not even one iota better since 9/11. It almost appears to be getting worse! Newseek's Stephen Brill reports a new airport agency which not only might be really trying to help but coudl be very effective, the Transport Security Agency, TSA 10. But will a critical mass of these folks appear out in the field soon enough to really make a difference? They are in one airport today. That is pretty slow work even for the U.S. government.
One of the reasons that stays the hands of legislators from taking more action in the area of civil liberties is the fear of forever eroding our civil rights. Indeed, turning to Science Fiction helps understand the concern. Even recent films like Lucas' Star Wars: Attack of the Clones can be used as a harbinger of the problems caused by over-reaction to threat. In the movie, we all know the real bad guy is the leader of the Republic's Senate. His goal, which is accomplished in this film, is to create a real threat of war, so that the Senate grants him incredible powers which he promises to give up "as soon as the current emergency is over" or words to that effect. History of course also provides the same lessons, so we really don't need to turn to Science Fiction. The point is that once you give up your civil rights, it may be extremely difficult to get them back...governments tend to reverse such things slowly.
However, there are numerous examples in the decades of the fight against terrorism where nations have fulfilled that promise. One of the most severe changes in civil rights were brought about when Britain finally had enough of "the troubles", revoking numerous civil liberties in order to fight the IRA and other supporting and opposing terrorist groups centered in Ireland but whose murderous activities included most of Europe and occasionally outside. Suspension of civil liberties was slowly given back as the killings began to wane. Similarly, France, Germany and Italy also had their periods of suspended rights for their citizens in the heavy terrorist years in Europe several decades ago.
And again, there is the liberal point of view that shrilly screams if anything has even the appearance of prejudice .
In part two of our report, we discuss our current political environment, the policies enforced by unwritten law, the local laws that have illegally attempted to thwart federal law, the local laws that are morally irresponsible, and the immigration rules and enforcement policies that are a root cause of America's ineffectiveness in countering past and future terrorist attacks.
© Copyright 2002, MILNET
MILLNETISLAM: Attack on America
"I am kind of leaning towards the 'Nuclear Crusade' counter. At least so far as Mecca is concerned. "
*Mecca would be a good start. It will take the extermination of the subhuman life forms called muslims to stop their stupid world wide fanaticism.
I continue to advocate the nuking of mecca and the immediate execution of any whom would protest.