Skip to comments.A Short History of World War IIIA Lesson of the Future.
Posted on 03/13/2003 3:00:44 PM PST by LSUfan
With the perspective of time, History will reveal the probable invasion, liberation, occupation and military administration of Iraq was but one, and by no means the most important, of many battles, fought in a very long and far reaching World War that began in 1979, well before the Iraqi campaign.
On November 4, 1979 an Iranian Islamic cleric, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared war on America when his militant Islamic followers invaded the United States by attacking the sovereign territory of the US embassy in Tehran, kidnapping 52 US diplomats and holding them hostage for 444 days. The weak and ineffectual response of President Jimmy Carter to this invasion of the United States provided the radical Islamic world with all the evidence it needed to convince itself the West was a culture in decline, and it's leading country, America, could be humiliated and defeated easily, and with impunity. America's failure to respond to the Iranian Invasion of America with a severe and decisive military action was to World War Three what Europe's reaction to Germany's annexation of Czechoslovakia was to World War Two - a timid response of appeasement that encouraged imperialistic dreams of world conquest in a sociopathic mentality.
The Marshaling of Troops
Exhilarated and invigorated by Iran's successful Invasion of 1979, the radical Islamic world began a determined and concerted campaign of fund raising, recruitment, training, armament and mobilization that resulted in the formation of an alliance of Anti Western Islamic nations which included Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Afghanistan. While on the surface the titular heads of many of these national governments maintained a posture of "friendly" relations with the West, the true leaders of these nations, the ruling tribal and theocratic oligarchs, quietly kept their ambitious war plans and preparations proceeding apace, many with the express knowledge, funding and consent of the nominal heads of the national governments.
It was among these nations that the recruitment, funding, and training for additional attacks against the West were planned and carried out: Egypt provided the philosophic and ideological underpinnings of the War through the offices of the Islamic Brotherhood, Pakistan afforded the recruitment and indoctrination of militant Islam's jihadist warriors through the management of thousands of radical madrasas, Saudi Arabia contributed much needed financing for the War through outright grants to terrorist groups and the establishment of Islamic "charities" designed to provide an ongoing flow of revenues to support Anti West operations, Iran acted as radical Islam's Ministry of Propaganda and Information through the virulent radical Islamic proclamations issued by a succession of extremist Ayatollahs and clerics, Libya furnished an elite corps of special operation shock troops who carried out early terror missions deep in the West's territory, while Yemen, Sudan and Afghanistan supplied the logistics and safe havens for the military training camps where the young Islamic recruits were trained in jihadist warfare after graduating from their indoctrination in the Anti West curriculum of the Islamic madrasas.
In the two decades that followed the Invasion of America, the Islamic world, inspired by the Iranian example, carried out an expansionist campaign of radicalization, mobilization, and infiltration that placed terrorist operatives throughout the Western world. Like the two previous World Wars the Third World War soon spread across many theatres of conflict and involved many participants. Fierce and bloody battles, designed to destroy legitimate secular governments and replace them with Islamic states, soon erupted in Russia, India, China, the Balkans, the Philippines, Indonesia, Africa, and Southeast Asia; while simultaneously, Islamic militia groups fought to exterminate non Muslim and Christian groups in Lebanon, Algeria and other countries throughout the Middle East. Each of these fronts in the War was supported in varying degrees by the efforts of the Anti West Islamic Alliance.
The Western Campaign
After the Invasion of US territory by Iran in 1979, the Western campaign of the Islamic Wars proceeded cautiously, gradually growing in boldness with each new attack. America and the West mistakenly ignored these attacks, or treated them as minor skirmishes of no great significance. Even a cursory review of only some of the more notable events in the escalating war against the West, and it's interests, demonstrates the ever increasing boldness, sophistication, scale and coordination of the radical Islamic forces. While a complete and comprehensive list of all the attacks made by the Islamic forces in World War Three is well beyond the scope of this article, a partial listing of only some of the attacks that were most noticeable to the West is nevertheless instructive.
Successive Western governments and administrations, especially America, stood by and watched impotently as:
* The sovereign territory of the US embassy in Beirut was bombed on April 18, 1983 by the Muslim group Islamic Jihad killing 17 Americans,
* A suicidal Islamic terrorist drove a truckload of explosives into the US Marine Corps Headquarters at the Beirut airport on October 23, 1983 killing 239 US servicemen,
* An Islamic jihadist warrior drove a truckload of explosives into the sovereign territory of the US embassy in Kuwait on December 12, 1983 killing six and injuring many more,
* A Muslim suicide bomber from Islamic Jihad drove a truckload of explosives into the sovereign territory of the US embassy in East Beirut Lebanon on September 20, 1984 killing 14,
* Four Arabic Islamic militants hijacked a Kuwaiti Airbus en route to Pakistan on December 4, 1984 and, after forcing the plane to land in Iran, shot and killed two US government officials,
* Two Muslim members of Islamic Jihad hijacked a TWA flight en route to Rome on June 14, 1985 and, after forcing the plane to land in Beirut, brutally beat, then shot US Navy Diver Robert Stethem,
* Four Islamic militants hijacked the Italian Cruise ship Achille Lauro on October 7, 1985 and, while the ship was off the coast of Syria, the Muslim gunmen shot, killed and dumped into the sea the 69 year old wheelchair bound American Leon Klinghoffer,
* Anti West Islamic terrorists hijacked an Egyptian Boeing 737 flight en route to Cairo on November 23, 1985 and forced it to land in Malta where 57 of the 98 passengers and crew were killed in a gun battle with Egyptian troops,
* Seven Islamic terrorists conducted simultaneous attacks on the ticket counters at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport and Vienna's Schwechat Airport on December 27, 1985 killing 18 and seriously wounding 110 Western tourists,
* Islamic militants planted and exploded a bomb on board a TWA flight en route to Athens on April 2, 1986 killing four Western tourists, including a infant, who were swept out of the gaping hole in the damaged fuselage,
* Libyan funded Islamic terrorists exploded a bomb at the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin on April 5, 1986 killing 1 US serviceman and seriously wounding about 50 US military personnel,
* Four Arabic speaking Islamic gunmen stormed their way on board a Pan Am 747 flight en route to New York during a stopover at Karachi on September 5, 1986 killing 21 passengers,
* Two Arabic speaking Islamic gunmen entered a synagogue in Istanbul on September 6, 1986 and opened fire with submachine guns and hand grenades killing 21 of the congregation,
* A navy vessel of the Islamic State of Iran with 26 Islamic militants aboard was captured by US forces on September 21, 1987 after it was discovered laying mines in the Persian Gulf, in international waters used by US ships as an anchorage,
* The Islamic State of Iran launched numerous unprovoked speedboat attacks against international and US shipping interests from oil platforms in the Persian Gulf before the US Navy destroyed the platform bases from which the attacks were launched on October 19, 1987,
* Eight Arabic speaking Islamic militants hijacked a Kuwaiti 747 flight en route to Kuwait on April 5, 1988 killing two passengers before the Algerian government gave the hijackers free passage out of the country,
* The Islamic State of Iran launched a naval attack against US ships in the Persian Gulf on April 18, 1988 destroying one US Cobra gunship before losing one missile patrol boat, three large armed speedboats and two frigates in the United States' ongoing battle to prevent Iran from laying mines in International waters to harass international Persian Gulf shipping,
* The Islamic State of Iran launched yet another naval attack against US ships in the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988 during which the USS Ship Vincennes, battling Iranian gunships in International waters, spotted an unidentified aircraft approaching from a known military airfield and shot the aircraft down, mistaking a commercial Iranian Airbus for an attacking Iranian F-14,
* Muslim terrorists, sponsored by the Islamic State of Libya, bombed a Pan Am 747 flight over Lockerbie Scotland on December 21, 1988 killing all 259 Western passengers on board and 11 others on the ground,
* The Islamic State of Libya scrambled two MiG 23s armed with missiles to attack two US F-14s on patrol over international waters on January 4, 1989; the MiGs were shot down by the US planes after the Libyan pilots pursued them with clear, hostile intent,
* Muslim Cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic State of Iran, declared a fatwa on February 14,1989 calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie for writing a work of fiction entitled "The Satanic Verses",
* A chemical plant, located in the town of Rabta in the Islamic Nation of Libya, known to produce chemical weapons, was "burned down" on March 14, 1990 in an elaborate hoax, designed to divert attention from Libya's resumed production of poison gas,
* On April 10, 1990 British Customs officials seized precision steel tubes designed for a large gun capable of firing nuclear and chemical weapons which were bound for the Arab nation of Iraq,
* Muslim militants, sponsored by the Islamic State of Libya, captured and held 47 hostages (including the country's prime minister) in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago on July 27, 1990 in a failed coup attempt to establish an Islamic state on the Caribbean island,
* The Arab nation of Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and soon announced Kuwait had been annexed to Iraq and no longer existed, then refused to allow 10,000 Westerners to leave either Iraq or Kuwait,
* Following a United Nations resolution passed on November 29, 1990, requiring the Arab nation of Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991, the United States led a United Nations coalition on January 17, 1991 attacking Iraq,
* The United States declared the battle with the Arab nation of Iraq to be over on February 27, 1991 after freeing Kuwait, but without deposing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein or capturing the capital Baghdad,
* The United Nations passed the first of many resolutions on April 3, 1991 requiring the Arab nation of Iraq to destroy it's weapons of mass destruction in order to comply with the permanent cease fire agreement; then was required to pass a resolution to impose the Northern and Southern No Fly Zones when Saddam Hussein attacked the Kurds in the North and the Shiites in the south,
* United Nations inspectors reported to the UN Security Council on July 30, 1991 they had discovered four times the amount of chemical and biological weapons the Arab nation of Iraq had previously acknowledged having as part of the UN cease fire agreement,
* United Nations inspectors were held against their will in a parking lot by Arab Iraqi soldiers after discovering documents on September 24, 1991 that provided details of the Arab nation of Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program in violation of the cease fire agreement,
* The Islamic Sudanese government, with the support and encouragement of the Islamic State of Iran, drove 400,000 Christians and non Muslims from it's capital Khartoum on February 21, 1992 into the surrounding desert without food, water, or shelter to a virtual death sentence; while the local Sudanese Muslims agreed to offer assistance, only if the refugees first converted to Islam,
* Islamic fundamentalists, hoping to kill at least 250,000 Americans, bombed the World Trade Center in New York on February 26, 1993 killing 6 and seriously injuring more than a thousand,
* Islamic militants on October 4, 1993 attacked and killed 12 US Marines and seriously wounded another 74 US marines who were implementing an United Nations mandated humanitarian relief mission to prevent starvation in Mogadishu Somalia,
* Four Muslim militants from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group kidnapped a French Airbus flight en route to Paris on December 24, 1994 killing three and injuring many others,
* Islamic militants exploded a bomb on a commuter train in Paris on July 25, 1995 killing 4 and injuring more than 80 Westerners,
* Islamic militants exploded a bomb in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 13, 1996 killing five Americans and injuring 60 others,
* Islamic militants ambushed, shot and killed 18 Western tourists outside their hotel in Cairo on April 4, 1996,
* Saudi Muslim militants with the support of the Islamic State of Iran exploded a massive truck bomb on June 25, 1996 in Saudi Arabia killing 19 US servicemen and seriously injuring several hundred others on the perimeter of the Khobar Towers military complex near the city of Az-Zahran,
* Islamic militants in Afghanistan, with the support and funding of the Islamic States of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, seized control of Kabul on September 27, 1996 and established an Islamic State under the rule of a repressive regime known as the Taliban,
* An Islamic militant opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York on February 23, 1997 killing 1 tourist and seriously wounding six other Western tourists,
* Islamic militants launched a bomb attack on a tourist bus in Cairo on September 18, 1997 killing 10 Western tourists,
* Muslim militants from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group massacred 85 people on September 23, 1997 on the outskirts of Algiers following an almost identical massacre the previous month,
* Six Islamic militants opened fire on non Muslim Western tourists in Luxor Egypt on November 17, 1997 killing 60 of the Western tourists and 10 Egyptians,
* Muslim militants from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group launched a series of massacres in Algeria aimed at the non Muslim European population in which over 250 people were killed in successive attacks on December 23rd, 24th, 25th, 27th and 31st, 1997,
* The Islamic Nation of Iran test fired a medium range missile purchased from North Korea on July 23, 1998,
* Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein announced the Arab nation of Iraq was ceasing all cooperation with UN weapons inspectors,
* Islamic militants under the direction of Osama bin Laden simultaneously exploded two bombs on August 7, 1998 destroying the sovereign territories of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killing 270 embassy employees and staff members,
* The United States Navy fired Tomahawk missiles from warships in the Persian Gulf to destroy a chemical factory in Sudan, suspected of manufacturing nerve gas, and an Islamic military training camp run by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan,
* Islamic militants kidnapped 16 non Muslim Western tourists in Yemen on December 28, 1998 killing 4 British and Australian citizens,
* A suspected suicidal Muslim pilot was believed to have purposely crashed an Egypt Air Flight into the sea shortly after takeoff from New York on October 31, 1999 killing all 217 on board,
* An Islamic militant, Ahmed Ressam, driving an automobile loaded with explosives and carrying a detailed map of Los Angeles airport, to be used in a terror attack known as the Millennium Plot, was stopped on December 14, 1999 at the US border with Canada by Customs; Ressam was captured after he attempted to flee on foot,
* Egyptian Muslims killed 24 Coptic Christians on January 2, 2000 in the village of Al-Kosheh south of Cairo,
* Islamic militants attacked non Muslims and Christians in the Nigerian city of Kaduna, on February 21, 2000 as part of the Muslim population's imposition of sharia law; Kaduna was to become the site of more Islamic violence in 2002 when militant Islamists killed over 100 non Muslims and seriously wounded hundreds more in protests sparked by a newspaper report of a beauty pageant,
* Arab supported Muslim militants from the Islamic group Abu Sayyaf took 21 non Muslim Western tourists as hostages on April 23, 2000 in the Southern Philippines,
* Arab inspired Islamic militants began the second intifada after Israeli politician Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on September 28, 2000 resulting in the deaths of over one thousand Israelis and Palestinians,
* Islamic militants in Yemen exploded a small boat alongside the USS Cole on October 12, 2000 killing 17 US Navy crewmen and crippling the navy destroyer,
* Muslim militants from the Arab supported Islamic Abu Sayyaf group exploded five bombs in Manila on December 31, 2000 killing 14,
* Muslim militants from the Algerian Armed Islamic Group slaughtered 27 people, mostly women and children, on February 10, 2001 in Algeria,
* Islamic militants shot and killed one of the first Kuwaiti woman journalists and the editor and owner of the magazine Al Majales in her car on March 20, 2001,
* The Muslim leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, the Taliban, issued a Nazi like decree on May 22, 2001 requiring all non Muslims to wear an identifying badge,
* Eight Islamic militants with ties to Osama bin Laden were arrested in Yemen on June 19, 2001 when their plot to bomb the sovereign territory of the US embassy in Sana was discovered,
* Nineteen Islamic militants, 15 of whom were Saudis, hijacked 4 American commercial airliners on September 11, 2001 and crashed two of them into the World Trade Center Towers in New York, one into the Pentagon in Washington DC and one, planned to be crashed into either the White House or Congress, into an empty field in Pennsylvania. Over 3100 Americans were killed,
* The first of 5 deaths and 18 infections from a well coordinated Anthrax attack on the United States, initiated through the US mails using letters containing anti American Islamic messages, occurred on October 5, 2001,
* An Islamic suicide bomber attempted to explode a shoe bomb aboard an American Airlines flight en route to Miami on December 22, 2001.
Simultaneous with these attacks, which received greater notice in the Western media, radical Islamic groups coordinated and initiated even bloodier battles in Russia, India, the Balkans, and the Philippines.
The Counter Attack
In the 21st year of World War Three America finally arose from it's torpor and initiated a serious response to two decades of radical Islamic warfare. After suffering the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001, on October 7, 2001 America launched a meaningful counter attack against the radical Islamic forces and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Like the Allied landing in Sicily in World War Two, the battle of Afghanistan provided America with it's first landing on enemy territory in World War Three.
America is now in the 23nd year of World War Three and Iraq is but one more battle in this War. Like Russia during World War II, first an ally of Germany with the signing of the Non Aggression Pact, then an enemy of Germany when Hitler opened the second front attacking Russia, Iraq, in reverse, started first as an enemy of the forces of radical Islam, and now, changing course, has become a protected and valued ally of the Alliance of Anti Western Islamic nations.
There is nothing unusual or unprecedented in this opportunistic changing of sides for political convenience, particularly when Iraq has chemical and biological weapons and nuclear scientific knowledge that the Anti West Islamic Alliance would dearly love to access. As Afghanistan was to World War Three what Sicily was to World War Two, so now Iraq is to World War Three what Normandy was to World War Two - the beginning of a second major offensive designed to exterminate the forces of Totalitarianism. This is why the Alliance of Anti Western Islamic Nations, who harbor and support the radical Islamic jihadist groups, are now so opposed to America establishing a beachhead in the region with an Iraqi Invasion.
Underestimating the Enemy
History will look back and determine that the West failed to recognize the danger posed by radical Islam by repeatedly ignoring and underestimating the size and scope of the forces aligned against it. Well orchestrated and ever increasing sophisticated attacks were not only repeatedly countered by being mildly deplored, but virtually ignored; and when a particularly horrible attack occurred which forced the West into a position in which some action could not be avoided, only the weakest of responses was offered.
The West's underestimation of the threat posed by the Alliance of Anti Western Islamic Nations resulted from a facile conviction that 97.5 percent of the World's 1.5 Billion Muslims were peaceful moderate individuals and only a small and insignificant 2.5 percent were radical Fundamentalists who sought the destruction of the West. This assumption was generally regarded as being correct as it conforms with what we know about the scientific nature of large populations and Normal Distributions or Bell Curves; but 2.5 percent of a population of 1.5 billion Muslims yields 37.5 million radicals pledged to the destruction of America and the West, a population that is 14 million larger than the entire population of Saudi Arabia, 5.1 million larger than the entire population of Canada, and roughly equivalent to the entire population of Argentina.
Based on the simple laws of Statistics this radical 2.5 percent, (who interpret Islam as requiring the destruction of the infidel, the establishment of a worldwide Ummah and the imposition of sharia law) would exist statistically even if American foreign policy was viewed by the remaining 97.5 percent of Muslims as a beneficent force in the Islamic world; or even if the Israelis and Palestinians reached a mutually satisfactory and permanent resolution to their conflict.
After two decades of radical indoctrination in madrasas in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan and in military training camps in Yemen, Sudan and Afghanistan a convincing case can be made that the Normal Distribution of Islam's total population has been skewed to increase the radical percentage by much more than the expected 2.5 percent found in a Normal Distribution - an increase to 4 or 5 percent would not be unreasonable to expect. This would increase the radical Islamic population from 37.5 million under a Normal Distribution to a skewed radical population of 75 million.
Only by skewing the curve in the opposite direction, by making membership in the radical 2.5 percent so onerous, dangerous and deadly and by making membership in the non radical 97.5% rewarding can America and the West hope to safeguard itself from a continuation of attacks. And this can only occur by forcibly changing the political, economic, social and religious culture of the Middle East. Wishing a Reformation in Islam will not make it so.
The Uncertain Outcome
History will show it was only in the 23nd year of World War Three that the West began to face, reluctantly and grudgingly, the magnitude of the threat confronting it. It was only then, led by Britain and America, the West began to mount a true offensive to counter the radical Islamic attack. Whether this offensive will be too little, too late is still to be determined. The outcome is by no means certain.
Like the European Thirty Years War, which pitted all of Europe's Catholics against its Protestants, this War pits two opposing worldviews, which are not only irreconcilable, but also mutually exclusive. That one of these worldviews, radical Islam, is informed by an irrational religiosity bent upon extinguishing Western Civilization, makes it an absolute necessity for the West to treat this World War much more seriously and much more urgently.
This Third World War may very well become a 50 year, a 75 year, even a 100 year War, but it would be a grave mistake to believe the War just began on September 11, 2001, or is only now about to begin, or end, with Iraq.
About the Author:
Sal Rosken is a private investor living in New York. He survived the 1993 bombing of the WTC.