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About the Author ix
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent.” That somber statement by Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri in March 1946 came to represent what became known as the Cold War. That was the first public use of the expression “iron curtain” but Churchill had actually used it before, as early as 4 June 1945 when because of Russian recalcitrance he was urging President Harry Truman not to pull back US troops in the areas which were to become part of the Russian occupation zone in Germany. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics under Joseph Stalin had always been a difficult “ally” but they soon became impossible.
With the defeat of the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek by the Red Army and Mao Tse-tung in 1949, Communists ruled over some 800 million people. We were soon at war with the Communists when the North Koreans invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950 with either Soviet encouragement or at least acquiescence. US troops became directly involved fighting Chinese Communists and indirectly in aerial combat with Russian pilots flying MiGs out of the sanctuary in Manchuria.
The long war between the end of World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union threatened the world with nuclear devastation for nearly half a century. It was a very dangerous time that does not seem to be real to those who did not live through it. That ignorance of history or naïve acceptance of revision of history once again highlights the importance of studying and understanding history. The Cuban Missile Crisis brought us to the brink of nuclear war. For those of us who lived through it, the Cold War with Khrushchev pounding his shoe at the UN and screaming “we will bury you,” was terribly real and threatening. The Cold War, including Viet-Nam and wars of national liberation, was extremely expensive, dangerous, and worldwide; therefore it should properly be called World War III.
As Eduard Shevardnadze said: “We are living through such a frightening peace because the Cold War has not yet rid us of its legacy. The war is over. Beware the peace.” There were only a few years of quasi-peace after the demise of the Soviet Union while the world tried to figure out what the new world order would be in a unipolar world with only one super power. President Clinton threw a few cruise missiles at insurgents but we were slow to realize that we were in World War IV. It took the devastating attacks of 11 September 2001 before we finally got the picture that there are people out there who would like to destroy the United States and our way of life.
Samuel P. Huntington wrote in his The Clash of Civilizations, “Decreasingly able to mobilize support and form coalitions on the basis of ideology, governments and groups will increasingly attempt to mobilize support by appealing to common religion and civilization identity.”
So what are the threats to the United States in this World War IV? What is this Islamofascism and what is the Third Jihad? Why do some Muslims hate us so much? Does this come from the Qu’ran and is this also a civil war within Islam? After 9/11, we smashed the Taliban in Afghanistan but then we grabbed a tar baby in Iraq. What was the role of the neoconservatives? What about Israel and its powerful lobby in Washington, and where does oil fit in this equation? Of course, there are the weapons of mass destruction and the “Axis of Evil.” Iran and North Korea are on our plates. But there are other problems. There have been terrorist attacks in Europe and the prediction that Europe will go Muslim in coming decades. Al Qaeda is searching for a new base in Africa. Top that off with the problems of illegal immigration in the US and the leftist surge in Latin America and there are many threats to the US as we charge into the 21st Century. Lurking always on the horizon is the specter of capitalistic Communist China.
In 1994, I wrote a book called WORLD WAR IV China’s Quest for Power in the 21st Century. That book will have to be retitled World War V because it has been overtaken by events.
In this book, we will try to address the issues raised above. World War II was expensive but neither the Germans nor the Japanese really had the capability to destroy the US. In World War III, the Soviets had the capability to destroy us but fortunately they had the sanity to understand deterrence. In World War IV, we are facing a lunatic adversary who delights in death and if they can obtain the capability to destroy us, it is quite apparent they would not hesitate to use it. Therefore, World War IV is the most dangerous threat to our national survival in our history and we are truly in a global conflict for the very existence of Western civilization.
Every man ... should periodically be compelled to listen to opinions which are infuriating to him. To hear nothing but what is pleasing to one is to make a pillow of the mind.
-- St. John Ervine
Richard Hobbs graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1954 and entered the Infantry. As a paratrooper, Ranger, and Pathfinder, he had various troop assignments, including attending the British jungle School in Malaya during the Emergency and in charge of Tropical Training for a Division in Hawaii. He was selected as one of the original Olmsted Scholars and attended the University of Lyon in France receiving the degree of Docteur de l’Université in international law and international relations.
Two tours were spent in Viet-Nam (one year each) advising Vietnamese paratroopers, serving as Executive to the Deputy Commander in Viet-Nam, managing a large fire base, and commanding a US infantry battalion. Instead of attending the Army War College, he was an Army Research Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He had the pleasure of working with Admiral Arleigh Burke, the Founder of CSIS, and Dr. Alvin Cottrell. During that time he worked on a conference about the Western Mediterranean and reworked his thesis from Lyon which was later published by Westview Press as THE MYTH OF VICTORY What Is Victory In War? with a Foreword by Admiral Burke.
After serving in the Pentagon, his last assignment was as Politico-Military Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in the Department of State in Washington. He was responsible for politico-military activities in international relations and military assistance to the Middle East during the period after the 1973 War. He retired from the Army as a colonel after 27 years.
Entering the business world, he joined Teledyne serving in various positions for over 10 years including Vice President – International where he worked with the Departments of State, Commerce, and Defense and the embassies on international policy questions and export licenses. During those years, he continued to work with the Middle East, travelling in the area, particularly Egypt, every few months and extensively through Africa.
He established his own consulting firm, Service International Ltd., for international business development which he moved to Reno in 1991. There he ran an export-import company for a while, built a slot machine, and taught courses in international politics and international conflict for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to the large amount of teaching in the military, he had served as Assistant Professor of International Relations on the faculty of the Department of Social Sciences at West Point.
He wrote several more books including YOU AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER How You Can Influence the Alarming and Growing International and Domestic Problems and wrote a number of articles for Pharaohs magazine in Cairo. He hosted a call-in radio Program, World In Conflict, for three years in Reno.
With an ongoing interest in national and international affairs, he wrote this book as a clarion call to save our republic in an effort to emphasize that citizens need to be fully informed and they can play a role in the momentous decisions of our times. His desire is to encourage people to take part in the political process and make their voices heard so that the active few cannot impose their views due to the apathy of the many.
We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire or rest until the war on terror is won.
-- - President George W. Bush
It is the duty of every Muslim to kill Americans and their allies.
-- - Osama bin Laden
The Cold War, or World War III, was one of the longest wars in recent history and ended successfully almost two decades ago with the demise of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, since nuclear war never came and even though we endured bloody wars in both Korea and Viet-Nam, the passage of time and a degree of revisionism have led many to understate the seriousness of World War III. The US was on a war footing for decades with bombers in the air all the time with nuclear weapons on board and with pre-selected targets already programmed. It was an extremely tense and dangerous period of history. A mistake or a crazy person, in the Dr. Strangelove mode, could have sparked a nuclear holocaust. Many know about the tense nuclear confrontation over the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, but few know that a heroic Russian officer averted nuclear war on 26 September 1983.
The lull after the Soviet collapse was marked by a unipolar world of only the US as a super power while the other powers struggled to find their niches in the New World Order. Would Europe coalesce into a major force; would China emerge as the new giant? I thought that China would be the key player and I still do, but that has been postponed to World War V, China’s Quest for Power in the 21st Century. In the meantime, there were several key events.
We tend to think that World War IV started with the bombing of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 but that is wrong. This “holy war” did not start then and it will not end with some sort of peaceful result in Iraq. Iraq will probably be only a footnote in the larger context of this war, even though perhaps an important one. The turning point in history occurred before World War III was even over with the fall of the Shah of Iran and the coming to power of radical mullahs led by the fanatical Ayatollah Khomeini.
The Shah was moving to “westernize” Iran and he was opposed by the Communist Party, the former National Front, wealthy landowners, and religious leaders. The religious leaders opposed the Shah’s reforms for women and his land reforms, so he earned their total enmity and they stirred opposition to the Shah. He also established close ties with the US and quietly accepted the existence of Israel. All of this made him a target for the radical religious elements such as Khomeini who had been in exile in Iraq and then Paris. The Iranians may have cheered his return but they soon regretted the fanatical regime with its murder and rape.
The threat erupted with the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran in November 1979, 22 years before 9/11. Soon Americans were being kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East and the government could do little to protect its citizens abroad. After holding our personnel hostage for some 444 days, there were numerous other major attacks in the ensuing two decades but America failed to wake up.
(There were numerous other attacks of hijackings, murders, and kidnappings. It is interesting to note that there were reportedly 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide between 1981 and 2001). The US has been at war for almost 30 years but most refuse to admit it!
One key element of the closing years of World War III was that the Soviets became mired in Afghanistan and brought forth a new player on the world military stage, the mujahedin. These were the guerrillas who, with our help, forced the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan. That help was justified on the basis of weakening the Soviet Union. Aid went in through Pakistan and became particularly significant after we provided MANPADS (man portable air defense missiles), particularly the STINGER, which were quite effective against Soviet aircraft including the HIND gunship helicopters which wreaked havoc with the Afghans. The policy was successful but it resulted in a new boogey man, the mujahedin, and the formation of a terrible government under the Taliban.
The difference was that the mujahedin were not all native Afghans. The call had gone out for Muslims to join the fray as a jihad against the Soviets. Volunteers came from almost every Muslim country with large contingents from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and Pakistan. After their victory, these fighters returned to their countries inspired by their success and with a desire to change things at home. This had brought an obscure rich boy, Osama bin Laden, from Saudi Arabia (his family was originally from Yemen) and many like him to Afghanistan.
Most of these people were extremely conservative, or fundamentalist, in their religious beliefs; that is they wanted a return to the fundamentals of the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad or those who had directly known him, referred to as the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad. This movement known as Salafis, believes that the pure message of Islam has been corrupted. They are extremely dogmatic and little effort is made to cooperate with other Islamist sects or groups. More on the Salafis in Chapter 3.
This puritanical theme of radical intolerance is best expressed in Wahhabism. Mohammed Ibn abd al-Wahhabi (1703-1792) was born in the Nejd (center of the Arabian Peninsula) the son of a religious judge. He was shocked by the deviation from Quranic teachings that he observed in Mecca and started preaching a puritanical form of Islam aimed at returning to the strict teachings of the Qur’an. For this he was expelled from his town. Emir Mohammed Ibn Saud (founder of the Saud dynasty) liked Wahhabi’s argument that Muslims guilty of unorthodoxy could be killed since he wanted ideological approval to wage war against the Ottomans as foreign occupiers. Therefore, Ibn Saud took al-Wahhabi in and embraced his doctrines, thus was formed the linkage between the House of Saud and Wahhabism. The dynasty had its ups and downs until 1891 when Abd ar-Rahman fled to exile in Kuwait with his 10-year old son, Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud, destined to be the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. Abd al-Aziz captured Riyadh in a daring attack in 1902. He brought his father back from Kuwait who abdicated but remained as the imam or religious leader of the Wahhabis. Abd al-Aziz used Wahhabi missionaries to settle the Bedouins and he consolidated his power by marrying daughters of tribal chiefs and by judicious application of the carrot and the stick. The ultrapuritanic Wahhabi movement became know as the Ikhwan (brethren) movement and pushed its influence to the point where it threatened the King’s rule so he took direct control of the Ikhwan in 1916. You might recall this period of World War I when the British were active in that area and made an agreement with Hussein in the Hejaz (northwest part of Saudi Arabia) and the exploits of T. E. Lawrence, famous as Lawrence of Arabia.
According to James Woolsey, “The elephant in the Middle East living room is Wahhabism. Over the long run, this movement is in many ways the most dangerous of the ideological enemies we face.” These are Salafists who believe in theocratic totalitarianism ruled by a unified mosque and state. Their “objective is to unify first the Arab world under theocratic rule, then the Muslim world, then those regions that were once Muslim (e.g. Spain), then the rest of the world.”
Abd al-Aziz continued his consolidation of power and by 1926 was crowned King of the Hejaz in Mecca and in 1927 King of the Hejaz and Nejd and Its Dependencies in Riyadh. In 1929 he defeated the rebels of the Ikhwan and was King of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Oil was found in 1933. The rest is modern history and the alliance of Wahhabism theocracy and the Saudi royal family has continued much to our regret.
The Cold War (World War III) ended leaving the United States with no obvious enemy, but we had already been in the opening skirmishes of what would become the first great war of the 21st Century, World War IV. Sun Tsu taught over two thousand years ago: assess yourself and your enemy, determine the circumstances that precipitated this war, and understand the enemy. Is this really a war against terrorism?
Terrorism is not an enemy; it is criminal activity with no political legitimacy. Insurgency is armed political activity that may receive legitimacy if it gains authority within society. The Mau Mau “terrorists” became Kenya. The Jewish “terrorists” (including Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon) became Israel, the FLN became Algeria. Knowledgeable people recognize that the Palestinian “terrorists” are fighting for their own state; even President George W. Bush has called for it. Osama bin Laden’s “terrorism” is an insurgency against what he considers the corrupt regimes of the Umma, the Muslim World. The terrorists have attacked the US but their immediate objective is religious and political domination in the Middle East.
The US has been involved with the Middle East since the birth of our country. After declaring our independence from England, our merchant ships lost the protection of the Royal Navy. The Turkish Ottoman Empire had lost control of North Africa and Barbary pirates seized our ships, enslaved the crews, and demanded tribute.
Our representatives in Europe at the time were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. The Barbary Pirates were a serious concern and Adams and Jefferson met with the ambassador from the Bey of Algiers. Ambassador Abdul al-Rahman told them that Allah directed in the Qur’an that all unbelievers were sinners and, if they did not convert, they should be made slaves. Ever the scholar, Jefferson obtained a Qur’an to better understand the foe.
The navy we had established during the War for Independence had been disbanded so we had no force to take on the pirates. We were paying large sums in tribute, eventually exceeding 10 percent of the country’s budget and increasing. At that time we were developing our constitution since the Articles of Confederation had proven inadequate. One of the arguments for a strong federal government was that we needed a federal navy. The US Navy was formed in 1794.
When Thomas Jefferson became president, one of his early acts was to send the navy to deal with the Barbary Pirates. Similar to modern day politics, he did not inform Congress until the fleet was too far away to be recalled. The USS Philadelphia ran aground and was captured in Tripoli. Stephen Decatur raided Tripoli, blew up the Philadelphia, and wreaked havoc in the port.
The American consul in Tunis, William Eaton, led a group of Marines and a motley crew of irregulars across the desert from Egypt and attacked Tripoli from the land. Thus, the Marine Hymn goes “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.” This was also the time of the Battle of Trafalgar and Lord Nelson. A young man by the name of Francis Scott Key wrote a song commemorating the battle. It was a flop, but in 1812 he rewrote the words, and with the same music it became famous as the Star Spangled Banner.
We had further problems with the Barbary Pirates in 1815, dealt with the Ottoman Empire in mid-19th Century, and again in the 20th Century until its demise after World War II. Islamic enmity was dormant until the 1979-1980 hostage seizure in Iran, which we now see, in hindsight, was the start of World War IV. Clashes with Muslim groups have appeared regularly since.
This is not a new form of war because it is a terrorist war; terror has been used for centuries by the weak against the strong as well as by many brutal conquerors. It is less a clash between civilizations but more a major struggle within Islamic civilization and we have been forced to take sides: first because they attacked us, and second because everything they stand for is anathema to our values and our definition of civilization.
We must understand our enemy. The US wants to fight a war against terrorism but they are fighting a war of religion and politics, which are inseparable in Islam. These extremist Muslims are at war with the unbelievers (the West), those who have fallen away, and the half-believers (the countless Muslims the fundamentalists believe they can win over). There is no coexistence, only opposing views of life and civilization. Al Qaeda represents total rejection of our modern values. Some 11,000 men received training and inspiration in its Afghan camps. It is now a network of independent terrorist cells united in a struggle against the modern aspects of Arab governments and Western values, and is the diabolical opposite of the capitalist global economy, a global murder factory. Their Bible is the 11 volume, 6,000 page Encyclopedia of Jihad (even on CD-ROM!), with its instructions on all types of subversion including chemical, biological, and nuclear or radiation attacks.
Very quickly after the end of World War III, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990 resulting in a Saudi-US coalition to expel him (remember the Joint Force Commander was HRH General Khaled bin Sultan in “parallel command” with General Norman Schwarzkopf). This brought many foreign troops, Arab such as Syrians and Egyptians but also infidels (non-believers such as French, British, and Americans), to Saudi Arabia. To Osama bin Laden and his followers, this was sort of the last straw. He had three main complaints. He felt that the Royal Family was corrupt and supported infidel governments, particularly the US, which supported Israel against their fellow Arabs, the Palestinians. He viewed Israel as the Western vanguard suppressing the Arab Palestinians. Finally the Kuwait venture brought all these infidels on to the holy land of Mecca and Medina. So Osama brought his wrath first to the Saudis and then later turned his hatred against the Americans.
The victorious mujahedin fighters who drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan had returned home fired up by their new found power. Now they wanted reforms in their countries but usually hit a stone wall, so they turned their jihad against their governments. Those efforts were met by brutal suppression in Egypt, Algeria, and even the Sudan. Finally the mujahedin who could not find enough fights at home ventured off to the wars in Bosnia, Chechnya, Western China, Dagestan, Kosovo, Macedonia, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, and then back to Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden had offered to defend Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein after the invasion of Kuwait, but his offer was refused and he was stripped of his citizenship and exiled from Saudi Arabia and ended up in the Sudan (which offered him to President Clinton who refused to take him ). The Sudanese Government later expelled him and he returned to Afghanistan where he set up training camps under the auspices of the fanatical Taliban. It was there that he set up “al Qaeda” (the Base) to train operatives from around the world. Bin Laden and his followers directed their hatred at the regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, and Jordan which were considered corrupt successor colonialists; at Israel, backed by the US, and its theft of Palestinian land; and at, worst of all, Saudi Arabia, the keeper of the holy cities, which was “occupied” by non-believers, American soldiers.
During the transition from the Clinton Administration to the George W. Bush Administration, Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national security adviser, held a series of briefings and, in one, told Condoleezza Rice, “I believe that the Bush Administration will spend more time on terrorism generally, and on al-Qaeda specifically, than any other subject.” The message was not fully appreciated.
Shortly after the first air strikes in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden spoke of 80 years of Arab humiliation – that would be 1921. He was probably referring to the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres imposed on Turkey after World War I which detached the Arab provinces and ended the Ottoman Empire. Is this a conflict between the past and the future?
Under 600 years of Ottoman rule, there was a degree of political harmony under the Sultanate and religious unity under the Caliphate. To bin Laden, the 1920 treaty evidently was the original sin, a political order in the Middle East controlled by Europeans, followed by the creation of Israel, and more Western interference.
Osama bin Laden was a self-appointed leader who bought his influence in the mujahedin war (which the US supported) in Afghanistan against the Soviets. He had long been at odds with the Saudi government even though his father made his fortune from it.
Where does this support come from? The popular version is that “terrorists” are poor starving souls from the worst slums. But bin Laden is the wealthy son of a very rich family who could easily have lived the playboy life in London or Paris. Instead he chose the life of the revolutionary, the heroic monk warrior in his camouflaged jacket with his AK-47 and living in a cave (even though there is no evidence that he has ever been a warrior). Although he is not necessarily cultured, he does represent two of the values of his culture: material wealth and religious fanaticism. Another son of affluence is Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the doctor from a prominent Egyptian family, who led Al Jihad in Egypt which he merged in 1998 with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization.
Zawahiri was the ideologue now and he was the principal advisor to bin Laden. His failure against the Egyptian government (he had been sentenced to death in absentia) led him to refocus on America which he hated for supporting President Mubarak, the Saudi royal family, and Israel. Bin Laden’s original objectives had been the overthrow of the Saudi and Egyptian governments. He only shifted his focus against the US after the Gulf War. He announced the World Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders and in his 1998 fatwa against America, he said it was the “duty of every Muslim” to kill Americans and their allies. He said there would be no peace “until all infidel armies depart from the land of Mohammed.” (That is the US out of Saudi Arabia – all American military forces were withdrawn.) Zawahiri has consistently influenced bin Laden’s thinking, so now they had a worldwide jihad.
What are bin Laden’s objectives? He wants to purge the Islamic World, especially Saudi Arabia, of Western influence, overturn established Arab governments, restore the clerical rule of the ancient caliphate, and purify Islam by returning to the idealized time of the prophet.
In February 2003, he identified Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen as “the most qualified regions for liberation.” (Note the absence of Iraq!) But he stated no political platform, no plan for those states if the present governments were overthrown. For the rest of the world, his aim seems to be revenge (another key component of fanatical Muslim culture).
Only days after 9/11, bin Laden and Zawahiri appeared on Al Jazeera TV stating "We will not accept that the tragedy of Al Andalus will be repeated in Palestine," comparing the expulsion of the Moors from Spain and the war against the Palestinians. Al Andalus is the Arabic name for most of the Iberian Peninsula captured by Islam in 711 and held for nearly 800 years until the Inquisition and Ferdinand and Isabella forced the Jews and Muslims to convert or leave in 1492.
In January 2004, bin Laden broadcast a "Message to the Muslim People" on Al Jazeera lamenting the decline of the Islamic World: "It is enough to know that the economy of all Arab countries is weaker than the economy of one country that had once been part of our world when we used to truly adhere to Islam. That country is the lost Al Andalus." To some scholars, “in modern Arabic literature, Al Andalus is seen as the lost paradise.”
When bin Laden claimed that thousands of children had died in Iraq due to US sanctions and stressed the mistreatment of the Palestinians by Israel, he received sympathetic support. Bin Laden would like to draw the Americans into a war between Islam and Christianity. But as British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, “This is not a war with Islam.” These criminals should not be called “Islamic terrorists” but “terrorists pure and simple.” The attacks on America were to draw retaliation which will overextend the US forces; and, if Muslim governments support the US, they can be portrayed as traitors to Islam, thus enhancing the insurgents’ authority. In his message of 29 October 2004 to the American people, he estimated that it cost al Qaeda only $500,000 to carry out the 9/11 attacks which cost the US an estimated $500 billion. He noted that it was easy to “provoke and bait” the US, “So we are continuing this policy of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.” He repeated this theme of economic warfare in subsequent messages indicating he believed he could win a war of attrition because the US does not have the stomach or attention span for a long fight.
Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA Bin Laden desk and author of Imperial Hubris, said, “Bin Laden has become, for better or worse, the dominant Islamic leader in the world, the only, really, heroic figure in the Islamic world at the moment. Right now, his potential for bin Ladenism, his potential for growth, is virtually unlimited because he’s focused on American policies and on Western policies, to some extent, that Muslims believe are an attack on their faith and on their God.”
After Osama bin Laden was driven from Afghanistan and the Taliban defeated, he moved across the border into Waziristan, part of the uncontrolled frontier provinces in Pakistan. The area became “one big terrorist-recruitment camp,” with the new moniker Talibanistan. Not all the tribal leaders were happy with their “guests.” “This is a jihad dictated by outsiders. It is not a holy war. They just want power and money.” Bin Laden continued to call for attacks on Muslim leaders and, in 2008, vowed to fight Israel for the liberation of Palestine.
Al Qaeda is not a hierarchical organization and never was; it is more a social movement. Al Qaeda should be seen as an organization of organizations, a collective oversight of some 60 different terrorist groups – independent contractors - scattered over 100 nations under bin Laden’s aegis as the Islamic International Front under a unified central command and ideology. A comparison is that he is the chairman of the board (his Majlis Shura) of a multi-national corporation.
- Mark Steyn
Polarization is encouraged in this religious war and terror is sacramental to emphasize the apocalyptic aspect of this relentless march of radical Islam against the modern, secular world. There are similarities with the war against Communism. Again we face an ideological mindset, this time religious, with a new version of wars of national liberation, preserve what it has (what’s mine is mine; what’s yours is negotiable), recoup lost lands, and which marches toward a Utopia where all the infidels are converted or killed. As Sun Tsu said, know your enemy.
Expressions such as “clash of civilizations” (Professor Sam Huntington’s term), holy war, crusades, etc. have derived from the religious tenor of this war. Money has flowed from Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, but even from groups here in the US, and support for religious materials, print, radio, TV, and even the internet. One large spawning ground is the madrassas, or religious schools, mainly in Pakistan, where youngsters study nothing but the Qur’an and are taught the mujahedin hatred. If the Qur’an is all that a young person knows, he surely will not be ready for the modern world!
We had the attacks in Beirut, the embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, and the first World Trade Towers attack. A few cruise missiles were lobbed into Afghanistan and the Sudan with little results. We did not appreciate that we were in World War IV until the two World Trade Towers were turned into rubble and the Pentagon was hit on 11 September 2001. Unfortunately, it was mislabeled the War on Terror and later the Pentagon changed that to the Global War on Terror. The Pentagon has now taken to calling it the Long War, which is at least more appropriate. Even though President George W. Bush continues to call it the war on terror, he has recognized that “Some call this evil Islamic radicalism. Others militant jihadism. Still others, Islamo-fascism.”
It is not a War on Terror; terror is a method, a means, a tactic, not an enemy. The Crimean War, with its charge of the Light Brigade, is not called the cavalry war; World War II is not called the blitzkrieg war, we do not have wars against aircraft; we fight against some enemy. One of the main Principles of War is to know your enemy. We have had guerrilla wars and the Communist-inspired insurgencies, but for the most part, wars of the past few centuries have been between nation states. We now face no Hitler or Stalin leading a powerful army. Osama bin Laden, if he leads at all, gives guidance to an amorphous group of fanatical religious fundamentalists who want to drive the infidels out of Arab lands, and presumably then out of Muslim lands. They do not talk much about what government should look like but one presumes it would be mullah theocracies with religious intolerance.
So this enemy is not Arabs, or Muslims, or Islam, but a radical religious fringe group (we also have Christian and Jewish fundamentalists) of criminals claiming to operate under the aegis of Islam. They might be called Islamofascists. The 19 kamikazes who attacked America were more at home in the cities of Europe than the desert. Many of the most diehard followers of bin Laden and Zawahiri were not born and raised in Arab countries but in Muslim communities in Europe, where they travel with ease and many are “Takfiris.”
Takfir wal Hijra (Anathema and Exile) is an extremist Islamic ideology which provides a religious justification for slaughtering infidels, not only unbelievers, but even those who consider themselves Muslims, sort of Islamic fascism. Takfiris attempt to blend into host communities to avoid suspicion. To do so, they drink, carouse, and ignore Ramadan. They are the core of the hardcore and are assigned the most difficult missions. It is like a sect with brainwashing and extreme discipline. Many of the 19 perpetrators of 9/11 were Takfiris.
We are repeatedly warned of an impending al Qaeda attack. The FBI has warned that al Qaeda is trying to recruit non-Arabs who obviously would attract less notice from security personnel. (The seven black Americans arrested in Miami in June 2006 are an example but it is not clear that they really were connected to al Qaeda. ) There is also the threat of sleeper cells dormant here in the US, but none have been found. Two characteristics that show up regularly in the backgrounds of such suspected militants are high levels of education and an interest in technology. We have already seen this in their interest in flight schools, taking over tankers at sea, and weapons of mass destruction. We already have reports of suspects staking out airports and other sites and running dry runs for terrorist attacks by trying to draw out air marshals.
We are clearly in a world war because there are no boundaries in this conflict and it does not emanate directly from any particular nation state. Calling it a War on Terror does not help. We must focus on the motives and objectives of these criminal fanatics. It is simplistic to say that they hate us solely because we are Americans, that we are too open and licentious, or as Bush said that they hate freedom. Listen to what they say. Most of the Arab and Muslim governments are corrupt to some extent and need reform. One of the good things of this war is that many of those governments, particularly Saudi Arabia, have taken this seriously and are attempting to implement reforms. An excellent blueprint for urgent reform was the Alexandria Plan developed in Egypt under the direction of a leading Egyptian businessman, M. Shafik Gabr.
Also, there is the constant complain about US foreign policy, not just supporting the “corrupt” Arab governments, but mainly our blind support of Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestine and Bush’s total support for Ariel Sharon (and Ehud Olmert), his Apartheid wall, and not supporting the International Court of Justice ruling that the wall is illegal. We do look hypocritical to the rest of the world when we preach democracy and the right of self-determination and then ignore the Palestinians.
The US is hated in the Arab world, other developing countries, and some of the major states for various reasons including the supposed arrogance of its power. Examples are our unilateral attack on Iraq and our rejection of international agreements such as the International Criminal Court and the Kyoto Protocol. The main grudge was US Middle East policy and support for Israel to attack Palestinians and steal their land.
As Senator Fritz Hollings said on the Senate floor on 20 May 2004, the reason we invaded Iraq was because of a domino school of thought, led by Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Charles Krauthammer, that the way to guarantee Israel’s security is to spread democracy in the area. Referring to the other 99 senators, he stated everybody knows we are in Iraq because we want to secure our friend, Israel. Unfortunately, the attack on Iraq led to an increase in terrorism and left us weaker to deal with the other two members of Bush’s Axis of Evil, Iran and North Korea, which are potentially greater threats than was Iraq. Many leaders, such as the king of Jordan, the prime minister of Kuwait, the president of France, have advised us you have to settle the Israel-Palestine situation. The President of Pakistan, Musharraf, told Senator Hollings and his colleagues, if you can settle the Israel-Palestine question, terrorism will disappear around the world. He may have overstated it a bit, but it is certainly a key element. More on this later.
Again, history is critical to understanding World War IV, what the Islamofascists or Jihadists or Islamic fanatics call the Third Great Jihad. They dream of the successes of the First Jihad from the time of Muhammad in the seventh century and the rapid growth of Islam after his death in 632 AD. But context is critical: Europe was in the Dark Ages, the Roman Empire was faltering, and the Eastern Empire in Constantinople was struggling. Christianity had resulted in rising state taxes in addition to the forced tithes from the church.
So when Muslim warriors arrived and offered an end to your taxes and your tithe or you were dead, the choice was not too difficult. Besides, initially Islam was not too hard to take since both Christians and Jews were both recognized as “people of the book” – the Qur’an which replaced the Old and New Testaments. With this “convert or die” approach and firm conviction in their faith that Islam must rule the world, Islam raced out in all directions from the desert of Arabia, into Persia and Byzantium and swept across North Africa and up the Iberian Peninsula and even into France until finally stopped at Tours by Charles Martel in 732. In the meantime, they marched across Asia Minor, into South Asia, and finally into Southeast Asia to Indonesia.
Those jihadis were simple fighting men who had come from a culture of living by pillage and exploiting settled populations. Loot and jizya (the tax imposed on those unbelievers permitted to live) were the only means they knew for making a living. Muhammad assured the jihadi warriors that Allah guaranteed them paradise if martyred (dying in battle) or the reward or booty they had earned. Thus to be a Muslim was profitable in this life and rewarding in the hereafter. Unbelievers were killed or sold as slaves by the thousands.
The invasions were usually extremely harsh. The invasion of India, then one of the world’s great civilizations, was particularly appalling because the Hindus and Buddhists were considered pagans and not even worth the “protection” of dhimmi status. Enormous numbers were slain: 50,000 Hindus were killed at Sonmath. Then there was the mass slaughter of Buddhists in 1193. By the end of the 12th Century, most of the Buddhists had been driven out of India – mostly to Nepal and Tibet. After the destruction of the temples in a host of cities, Will Durant, in his The Story of Civilization,
“The massacres perpetrated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger in sheer numbers than the Holocaust, or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks.”
The early caliphs ruled from Mecca, but the Umayyad caliphate (661-749) ruled from Damascus. The Abbasids (named after Muhammad’s uncle Abbas) moved the capital to Baghdad and ruled for over 500 years (750-1258) where they came under Persian influence. After some good years in Baghdad and Spain, Islam began a history of decline. The violent creed from the desert ran out of gas. Except for the brief Turkish interlude, the Islamic view of the world offered little. As with all totalitarian ideologies, Islam inevitably led to a closing of the mind.
The Crusades, starting in 1095, were an effort by the Christians of Europe to reclaim some of their lost lands, two thirds of the old Christian world had been captured, and to regain access to the Holy Land. Christianity had to defend itself as a culture and a faith to prevent being conquered by Islam. After holding Spain for over seven hundred years, the Muslims were finally driven out in 1492 and you still hear wistful mention of Andalusia (Al Andalus).
Baghdad fell to the Tatars and it appeared it might be the end of Islam; however the day was saved by sturdy converted barbarians, the Ottomans, and their institution of slavery. Osman I [Osmanli (Ottoman) is derived from his name] announced the independence of his small area on the edge of the Byzantine Empire early in the 13th Century. Within a century, the Osman Dynasty extended from Mesopotamia to the Balkans. Mehmet II conquered Constantinople on 29 May 1453 and after three days of murder, rape, and pillaging, the survivors were enslaved and the Ottoman Empire replaced the Byzantine Empire. It later replaced the Arab Caliphate after conquering Egypt in 1517.
The Arabs were good at slavery but the Turkish devshirme was new even to the Arabs. It consisted of an annual “blood levy” or periodic taking of one fifth of all Christian boys in conquered lands. (Grand Admiral of the Fleet Mehmed Pasha Sokollu was an example. He was taken as a boy of 9 from his village in Bosnia.) The “janissasries” were Christian boys captured and trained for the military. The “blood levy” was hated and left deep scars in Balkan Christians, particularly Serbs and Bulgarians who still hate all things Turkish (part of the brutal aspects of the Balkans wars of the 1990s).
The Ottoman Empire was the most successful of Islamic expansions even though the religion was splitting into rivalries. It reached its zenith in the 16th Century and slid downhill thereafter due to corruption and degeneracy of the sultans. After a number of defeats at Belgrade, Rome, Malta, and in the Ukraine, the Turkish incursion into Europe was finally stopped at Vienna by the heroic charge by thirty thousand Polish hussars led by King Jan Sobieski on 11 September 1683 (ironic date!). That was the high point of Muslim expansion into Europe. No Islamic army has threatened the West since.
On 14 November 1914, Sheikh ul-Ismail, the religious leader of the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople, declared an Islamic holy war calling for all Muslims to take up arms against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia, and Montenegro in World War I. He specifically mentioned jihad, martyrdom, and going to paradise. The Turks chose the wrong side and the Ottoman Empire disappeared after World War I, thus ending the Second Jihad.
The fall of the Shah in Iran provided a base for the Third Jihad along with oil wealth to support their plans for the Great Caliphate. Their goal is a world dominated by Islam and Islamic law or Sharia. Initially they would like to replace all secular leadership in all countries with a Muslim majority.
The Third Jihad, in addition to its basic goal of world domination, seems to have three strategic goals. It wants the US out of the Middle East, control of Muslim oil (which might be 75% of world reserves), and access to weapons of mass destruction. That makes Pakistan a special target because it already has nuclear weapons.
The followers of Osama bin Laden consider him as the new caliph. Let us now take a closer look at the relationship between Islam and the Qur’an.