CT - Can We Rid The World Of This Cult Of Death And Destruction?
July 22, 2005
Can We Rid The World Of This Cult Of Death And Destruction?
By Frederick J. Chiaventone
If the problem of Islamic-inspired terrorism wasn't painfully obvious before, the London bombings have driven home the point yet again. In the West our contact with murderous acts of terrorism supposedly in the name of Islam has been relatively limited but dramatic nonetheless.
In all of the furor, the constant stream of reports--from London, Madrid, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq--of dead, injured, kidnapped, terrorized and brutalized populations, it is easy to be overcome by the horror, easy to forget that the fight against Islamo-fascism is a necessary, even mandatory struggle.
As pleasant, as liberating, as it might seem to be able to wash our hands of the entire business, withdraw our troops, retire behind our borders and let the world go its own way, it won't happen.
We cannot do it.
We cannot afford to do it.
The world cannot afford the luxury of ignorance. The war against terrorism is a war to the death. For the self-anointed leadership of Islamo-terrorism, there are no neutrals and that, quite frankly, is the essential reason for our complete opposition and tireless resistance.
Whatever claims may be made by Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or their ilk, there is not a single person or idea not encompassed by their very limited and perverted screed who is held harmless or sacred--Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, it matters not--if an individual or a society does not accede to and embrace with fanatic enthusiasm the convoluted and medieval Wahabist interpretation of Islam, he or she is not entitled to life or liberty. It is that simple. And that urgent.
The increased tempo of terrorist operations--heightened as Iraq and Afghanistan draw ever further away from the enervating clutches of the fanatics--is indication of how very desperately the opposition fears democracy and religious freedom and tolerance. The very nature of the targets selected by the terrorists indicate their very real fear that they are losing the war. They have already lost the hearts, minds and sympathies of the vast majority of the civilized world.
But with every new act of terror, al-Zarqawi, bin Laden and their minions demonstrate how truly they have misread human nature. The Spaniards were deterred from their commitment to Iraq by the horrendous bombings in Madrid, but not so the British. Not so the Americans.
Not so the Saudis. Not so the Afghanis or the Iraqis--Sunnis or Shiites. If anything, the terrorists' strategy to deliberately target the innocent in an effort to derail the society at large and thus paralyze the war effort, has not only failed--it has backfired.
Americans have taken the war to the very heart of the enemy's territory. The British have shaken their fists defiantly at the murderers among us and determined, with typical British aplomb, to carry on. Even the Spanish, initially deterred by the horrific violence inflicted on their citizens, have become relentless in their pursuit of the predatory murderers who have infiltrated Spanish society.
Do not be misled or cowed by the remarks of Omar Bakri Mohammed, the England-based sheik who blames the West for provoking the attacks. Do not be dispirited by the inflammatory rhetoric of Anjem Choudary, a lawyer and Islamic activist who claims, from the relative safety of his home in England, that there is more horror to come. Do not be dissuaded by the rantings of the father of suicidal hijacker Mohamed Atta, who vows a 50-year war against the West.
All of these people--the bin Ladens, the Attas, the al-Zarqawis--are failed human beings. Their belief system is corrupt, empty and vindictive in the extreme. What they label as Islam is about as far from true Islamic beliefs and practices as snake-handling is from Christianity. They are an anomaly.
As evidenced by the outpouring of outrage, not only in Great Britain and the United States but in Muslim populations throughout the world, the terrorists have done nothing but prove to the world that they are anathema to civil society. If there were ever any doubts before, there are none now. The Islamo-fascists have done their utmost to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are at war with the world. No pseudo-religious sect with such extreme and inflexible views should ever be allowed to hold sway over the world at large. The actions of Al Qaeda and its Iraqi, Saudi, Syrian and Jordanian associates are purely destructive--assassination, kidnapping and murder of diplomats, policemen, soldiers, journalists, teachers, statesmen, scholars, Imams. The world that they would impose on us is as dark and repressive as any ever dreamed of by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge or Adolf Hitler's Nazis.
In some ways the Islamo-fascists are their own worst enemies for, just as we are beginning to weary of the grind and drain of war, they commit inhuman outrages such as to ensure that we do not forget what this entire war is about. They remind us that this is a war we cannot afford to lose--none of us.
Frederick J. Chiaventone isa retired Army officer who taught counterinsurgency at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College.