“Lying to Congress, lying to our committees and lying to the American people – it’s wrong, it’s immoral.” So said self-appointed arbiter of truth and morality Sen. Mark Dayton at this week’s confirmation hearings for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (This would be the same Minnesota Democrat better known as “Chicken of 10,000 Lakes” for his cowardly pre-holiday Beltway skedaddle from a terrorist alert that none of his 99 senatorial colleagues bothered to heed. Dayton is up for re-election in 2006.)
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, apparently eyeing a 2008 presidential run, inveighed, “The list of errors is lengthy and profound, and unfortunately many could have been avoided, had [the Bush administration] only listened to [my] counsel.” (Speaking of errors, this is the same Evan Bayh who, on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, declared, “I don’t understand those who want to wait until the threat [from Iraq] is imminent. The consequences of error could be catastrophic.”)
Of course, where prevaricators gather, like sharks sensing blood in the water, one always finds the portly and pickled Ted Kennedy, who provided this insight on the eve of Iraq’s first democratic election: “We must learn from our mistakes. We must recognize what a large and growing number of Iraqis now believe – the war in Iraq has become a war against the American occupation. … Our military presence has become part of the problem, not the solution.” Heck, who needs Baghdad Bob or Peter Arnett when Kennedy’s on the case?
Other Demos joined this tired anti-American Leftist refrain, doing what they do best – fomenting division in order to undermine support for anything Republican, regardless of the consequences. What consequences? Not only are these Demos spreading lies and dividing American support for critical national-security operations, but their words aid, abet, and encourage our enemy to continue killing U.S. service personnel and innocent Iraqis – and on the eve of the first democratic elections in Iraq’s history. (In fairness to Kennedy, et al., though, America will hold democratic mid-term elections in 2006.)
So, just what is the truth about our military operations in and around Iraq?
To counter all the Leftist obfuscation about U.S. national security interests in the Middle East and to explain the necessity of our military presence in the region, what follows is a much-needed primer – not only on why our Armed Forces are in Iraq (and border states), but also why they should remain in the region for the foreseeable future.
Western democracies, particularly those beacons of liberty (the U.S. and our Allies), are at war with Jihadistan, a borderless nation of Islamic fascists comprising al-Qa'ida and other Islamist terrorist groups and their malcontent sects. A borderless nation? The “Islamic World” of the Quran recognizes no political borders. Though orthodox Muslims (those who subscribe to the teachings of the “pre-Medina” Quran) do not support acts of terrorism or mass murder, very large sects within the Islamic world subscribe to the “post-Mecca” Quran and Hadiths (Mohammed’s teachings). It is this latter group of death-worshipping sects that calls for jihad, or “holy war,” against all “the enemies of God.” They thus constitute an enemy without borders – a nation of “holy” warriors called Jihadistan.
While the Bush administration is careful not to paint Islam with a broad brush, the correct way to understand this enemy, in order to engage and destroy it, is to cast off the historic symmetric-warfare model; this enemy is simply not a political entity. As President George Bush correctly noted in October of 2001, “Our war on terror begins with al-Qa'ida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. … This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion.”
Jihadi terrorism (type asymmetric warfare) had its origins with the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) almost 40 years ago. There, Islamists inflicted terror first against Israel, and then, working westward, against democratic targets in Europe. Yet despite subsequent attacks on U.S. personnel in that region – the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, for example – it was not until 1993 that our homeland became a frontline in the war with Jihadistan.
On 26 February, 1993, Pakistani native Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and his terrorist brethren (who had entered the United States on Iraqi passports under the control of Iraqi intelligence) bombed the north tower of the World Trade Center in an effort to topple that tower into the south tower and inflict mass civilian casualties. Fortunately, due to Ramzi’s lack of engineering knowledge, his crude truck-bomb didn’t topple the building, though it created a six-story crater in the parking garage.
Although Ramzi escaped, several other terrorists were captured and tried. Ramzi himself was finally arrested in 1995, while formulating plans to bomb a number of U.S. international flights simultaneously. After 1995, al-Qa'ida Jihadis focused on American targets abroad – the Khobar Towers in 1996, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the U.S.S. Cole in 2000 – all without reprisal from the Clinton administration.
In 2001, Ramzi’s uncle, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (the number-three thug in the al-Qa'ida organization), and Ramzi’s mentor, Jihadi sheik Osama bin Laden himself, revised Ramzi’s plan to use civilian aircraft for terrorist ends – using them as bombs rather than bombing them. On 11 September of that year, one of al-Qa'ida’s U.S. terrorist cells finished the business that Ramzi started almost a decade earlier, with devastating consequences.
On that Tuesday morning, the American people were awakened to an imminent threat to our homeland, and before noon that day, our common sense of invincibility had all but vanished. Indeed, given the nature, planning and sophistication of the attack, a larger question loomed in the minds of all rational people: What moral obstacles would prevent surrogate terrorists from using WMD provided by rogue nation states under tyrants like Saddam Hussein? What would prevent al-Qa'ida from detonating a fissionable weapon in a U.S. urban center?
That question would have to be answered by President George W. Bush, whose administration had been operational for only eight months prior to the 9/11 attack – a period preceded by eight long years of Clinton administration inaction and appeasement of terrorists, as repeatedly noted in this column during those years.
President Bush determined, correctly, that the war being waged on the U.S. and its Allies could not be resolved diplomatically, nor could it be won defensively. Al-Qa'ida and other elements of Jihadistan, he surmised, could be defeated only by way of pre-emptive strikes, in keeping with the dictum of military strategist Carl von Clausewitz: “The best form of defense is attack.”
In 2001, The Patriot’s military and intelligence analysts were out front in our characterization of the war with Jihadistan and our support for the Bush strategic doctrine of preemption – taking the battle to the enemy.
To that end Sen. Edward Kennedy, never one to miss an opportunity to use the deaths of American military personnel as political fodder, unwittingly endorsed the Bush Doctrine this week: “The war has made Iraq a breeding ground for terrorism….”
The principal objective of President Bush’s doctrine of pre-emption – Operation Enduring Freedom (or “Operation Let’s Roll,” as it’s known around our shop) – is to keep the front lines of our war with Jihadistan on their turf, rather than our own. Our Armed Forces are the most capable, best-trained and best-equipped in history, and they’ve issued a standing invitation to Jihadis worldwide to engage them in Iraq, where tens of thousands of these vermin have met their fate.
Why Iraq? In 1991, Saddam Hussein signed a binding agreement of surrender as a precondition to the cessation of Gulf War hostilities – the subsequent violation of which was, in effect, grounds to resume the military campaign against Iraq. After a jaw-slackening 17th UN resolution to disarm was flouted by Saddam, the Bush administration determined that Iraq would be a suitable, logical and defensible front line with Jihadistan.
Let’s be clear: American forces are NOT, first and foremost, “fighting for Iraq’s freedom.” They are fighting for U.S. national-security interests and those of the free world, which was, and to a lesser degree (thanks to our considerable military achievements), remains, in great peril. Ultimately, these two objectives are inextricably bound. Our ultimate objective in Iraq is to establish a forward deployed presence in the Middle East – military personnel, but primarily equipment – now that the Saudis have pulled our lease. Our analysts estimate that once the new Iraqi government is seated, the U.S. will be invited to establish permanent military installations in southern Iraq. This presence is critical, given that it would place us in the heart of Jihadistan, with the ability to protect our national interests in the region quickly without having to respond via sea and airlift. Our sources indicate that this new forward presence will be offset by part of our Cold War tactical and strategic assets in Germany.
Regarding all the clatter about Saddam’s “nonexistent” WMD programs and stores, what we don’t know only constitutes what is yet to be known: and ignorance, when it comes to WMD, is not bliss.
As The Patriot noted in October 2002, our well-placed sources in the region and intelligence sources with the NSA and NRO estimated that the UN Security Council’s foot-dragging provided an ample window for Saddam to export some or all of his deadliest WMD materials and components. At that time, we reported that Allied Forces would be unlikely to discover Iraq’s WMD stores, noting, “Our sources estimate that Iraq has shipped some or all of its biological stockpiles and nuclear WMD components through Syria to southern Lebanon’s heavily fortified Bekaa Valley.” In December of 2002, our senior-level intelligence sources re-confirmed estimates that some of Iraq’s biological and nuclear WMD material and components had, in fact, been moved into Syria and Iran. That movement continued until President Bush finally pulled the plug on the UN’s ruse.
According to publicly released findings, Saddam was not successful in his attempts to reconstitute his nuclear-arms program in 2000 and 2001 – leaving Iraq’s research programs short of the progress made by other terrorist states such as Iran and Libya (as recently discovered). In other words, Saddam’s formal nuclear WMD research programs were in disarray, but we do not know how much material and technological capability Iraq imported to support this program prior to 2002. (Our intelligence sources suggest it is very possible that Saddam had the capability to construct as many as three crude portable nuclear devices prior to 2002.)
To that end, our military sources assure us that Special Forces/CIA units continue search-and-destroy missions in the region – outside Iraq. (Don’t expect to read about these missions in The New York Times or The Washington Post.)
As for the elections in Iraq, clearly the establishment of a democracy in the Jewel of Islam is antithetical to the tyrannical rule desired by Jihadi sheiks. In December, Osama bin Laden proclaimed, “Anyone who participates in these elections has committed apostasy against Allah.” And last week, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qa'ida’s “prince of terror” in Iraq, declared: “We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology. Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion, [and that] is against the rule of God.”
The pro-liberty pressures will undoubtedly (even if unsuccessful in the short term) counteract the advance of Jihadistan across the globe. The difficulty will be evaluating what constitutes success – and our objectives must of necessity be limited.
Regarding international support for Operation Iraqi Freedom, President Bush’s responsibility is to the people of the United States, not to cheese-eating surrender monkeys such as French President Jacques Chirac, nor any of his like-minded pantywaist Euro-snivelers.
No primer on our war with Jihadistan would be complete without this final note of caution: According to our analysts, the FBI estimates that as many as six Jihadi terrorist cells – cells materially supported by domestic Islamic groups – remain intact in U.S. urban centers, mostly on the East Coast. In addition, there are more than 1,200 terrorist-related investigations ongoing in the U.S., most involving individuals suspected of raising funds or recruiting for al-Qa'ida.
How do you differentiate between “peaceful Muslims” and Islamists? Omar Ahmad, Chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, stated clearly, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran…should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” Does that clear things up?
Make no mistake – while the warfront with Jihadistan is in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jihadis terrorists are still on our soil – ready and willing.
Publisher’s Note: Early Wednesday, a CH-53E crashed, killing 30 Marines and a sailor. Initial reports indicate the pilot was unable to navigate in a sandstorm. We mourn the loss of these Patriots – and this tragic event serves to remind all that military operations are dangerous, whether in a war zone or stateside. As always, we extend our heartfelt prayers to the families of all military personnel who have been killed or wounded in such operations.
Quote of the week…
“Because our own freedom is enhanced by the expansion of freedom in other nations, I set out the long-term goal of ending tyranny in our world. This will require the commitment of generations, but we’re seeing much progress in our time. In late 2004, the people of Afghanistan defied the threats of terrorists and went to the polls to choose their leaders. The Palestinian people have elected a President who has renounced violence. And just four days from now, the people of Iraq will vote in free national elections.” –President George W. Bush
We might add to this list the recent elections in the crucial Muslim states of Indonesia and Malaysia, where Islamic parties suffered serious defeat – we hope a sign of things to come in the Middle East.
“[I]t is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Since terrorists are pouring into Iraq in response to calls from international terrorist networks, the number of those who are killed is especially important, for these are people who will no longer be around to launch more attacks on American soil. Iraq has become a magnet for enemies of the United States, a place where they can be killed wholesale, thousands of miles away.” –Thomas Sowell
“In a world that has gone global, we no longer have a choice. If we don’t export freedom, we risk importing the viruses which have corrupted other nations. … Some critics complained that President Bush was arrogant when he suggested America can and should export freedom to other countries. This implies the people of unfree countries may not wish to be free. Which is the greater arrogance?” –Cal Thomas