Last week, this column commended President George W. Bush for calling our jihadist foes what they are: Islamic fascists. We then asked, “Will the real Islam please stand up?”. Once again, it has.
On Tuesday, 29-year-old Omeed Aziz Popal, recently returned to the U.S. from Afghanistan, went on a rampage in his SUV in a heavily Jewish area of San Francisco, killing one man and sending 14 other victims to the hospital, seven in critical condition. According to one eyewitness, “The SUV struck two people in front of the Jewish Community Center … on California Street, a few blocks from where the rampage ended. Blood covered the sidewalk in front of the center’s gift store entranceÉ.”
Last month in Seattle, you may recall, Naveed Afzal Haq shot six Jews, killing one, at a Jewish Federation office.
On 3 March, at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a 22-year-old Iranian, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, went on a killing spree in his SUV to “punish the government of the United States” and “avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.” When making his initial statement in court, Taheri-azar expressed gratitude “for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah.”
Now, contrary to what the apologists on the cut-and-run Left would have us believe, the common thread in these three murderous onslaughts is not Jews, it’s not SUVs, and it’s not the difficulties of Muslims coping with life in America. The common thread is Islamic fascism, an ideology that is dead set on our destruction.
One of the foremost of these Islamic fascists, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad, recently claimed that the Holocaust was a hoax dreamed up by the Allies and their Zionist cohorts. In addition, he blames the state of Israel for all that’s wrong in the Arab world: “The peoples of the Middle East have also borne the brunt of the Holocaust. By raising the necessity of settling the survivors of the Holocaust in the land of Palestine, they have created a permanent threat in the Middle East in order to rob the people of the region of the opportunities to achieve progress. … The collective conscience of the world is indignant over the daily atrocities by the Zionist occupiers, destruction of homes and farms, killing of children, assassinations and bombardments.”
Thus, as far as the Islamists are concerned, Zionists and the West are in the same boat. “God willing, with the force of God behind it,” Ahmadi-Nejad has said, “we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism.”
Now, as Thursday’s United Nations-imposed deadline for Iran to halt its nuclear fuel production has come and gone, the rogue state remains defiant. “[The West] should know the Iranian nation will not yield to pressure and not accept any violation of its rights,” said Ahmadi-Nejad. “Arrogant powers are against Iran’s peaceful nuclear progress.”
Anticipating Iran’s response, the Bush administration has come out swinging and – we are pleased to say – building on the President’s Islamic fascist theme.
Speaking at the annual convention of the American Legion, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recounted the history of World War II and the Cold War, warning against those who counsel appeasement and retreat today: “I recount that history because, once again, we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism, but some seem not to have learned history’s lessons,” the Secretary said. Indeed, just as Adolf Hitler would not be appeased as he pressed his grand plan for war, so also today’s fascists will find only encouragement in the West’s accommodations.
“With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons,” Rumsfeld went on to ask, “can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?”
In a policy address of his own at Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base this week, Vice President Dick Cheney voiced the same theme. “This is not an enemy that can be ignored, or negotiated with, or appeased,” he said, “and every retreat by civilized nations is an invitation to further violence against us. Men who despise freedom will attack freedom in any part of the world, and so responsible nations have a duty to stay on the offensive, together, to remove this threat.” Today, as the world marks the 67th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, we cannot again be lulled into the false comfort of complacency and appeasement against a new fascist foe.
What, specifically, is the threat posed by these Islamic fascists? Is the threat limited to the occasional believer mowing down a few American Jews with an SUV?
Of course not. Nor is the threat limited to the sort of mass murder we witnessed five years ago this month in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
Rather, as this column has stated time and again, the real threat posed by Islamic fascism comes in the form of a nuclear device in the hands of a terrorist surrogate. In the present case, the Cold War’s deterrent doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) does not apply. A nuclear strike against the United States won’t come in the form of a missile launch from silos on the other side of the world, or a submarine lurking off our shores. Rather, as a recent RAND study speculates, a nuclear terrorist attack against the U.S. will come from a cargo container aboard a freighter arrived in a U.S. port, or, alternately, transported across the porous southern border with the same mechanisms used to smuggle tens of thousands of illegal aliens every year.
Hamid Mir, the famed Pakistani journalist who obtained the only post-9/11 interviews with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, believes a nuclear attack against the United States is on the horizon, to be coordinated by the cleric-fascist state of Iran and its terrorist surrogate, al-Qa'ida. “Al-Qa'ida and Iran have a long, secret relationship,” Mir says, and they’ve named their plans for a nuclear attack on the U.S. – using nuclear devices that Mir believes they already possess – “American Hiroshima.”
The association between Iran and al-Qa'ida, Mir says, dates to June 1996, when bin Laden joined other jihadist leaders in Tehran to discuss their goals. Others in attendance included Muhammad Ali Ahmad of al-Qa'ida, Imad al-Alami and Mustafa al-Liddawi of Hamas, Ahmad Jibril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Egyptian Islamic Jihad’s Ahmad Salah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Ramadan Shallah, Hizballah’s Imad Mugniyah and Abdallah Ocalan of the Kurdish People Party. The meeting, says Mir, produced the “Committee of Three,” consisting of bin Laden, Salah and Mugniyah, who would be responsible for the “coordination, planning and execution of attacks” on the U.S. and Israel. Shortly thereafter, on 23 August 1996, bin Laden issued his fatwa, “Declaration of War on Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Holy Places.”
In one interview with Mir, bin Laden boasts, “It is not difficult [to obtain tactical nuclear devices], not if you have contacts in Russia with other militant groups. They are available for $10 million and $20 million.” At the time, bin Laden claimed already to be in possession of such devices, and Mir believes that they may already be forward-deployed within the United States. While this information is, of course, not confirmable, and may be no more than enemy misinformation, it is plausible.
For these reasons – the nature of our enemy’s threat and his determination to see our destruction – the only applicable defense is the doctrine of pre-emption. Thursday, the same day Iran rejected the deadline for ending its enrichment of uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported finding traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian nuclear plant. Uranium of this variety is used only for the production of nuclear weapons. Our only strategic option and our best hope of averting a nuclear attack, though it’s certainly no guarantee, is pre-emptive warfare against our enemies. As the five-year anniversary of 9/11 approaches, let us be mindful of Islamic fascism’s deadly determination. Let us match it with a deadly determination of our own.