I haven't directly commented here on the War Against Terrorism before, but today's events in Israel regarding the Palestinian elections provide a good opportunity.
Seventy percent of Palestinians voted yesterday to elect Hamas -- a radical terrorist group whose written and commonly known goal is the absolute destruction of Israel in particular, Jews in general, and any nation (re: United States) that supports them. Hamas is directly supported by Iran, who immediately made public its praise and support of the new terrorist state, along with other Islamofascist terrorist groups and nations.
I won't go into great detail, but a short primer on modern Islamic terrorism is appropriate here. The "Palestinians" were little more than desert nomads from a number of Arab nations after WWII. Those nations didn't want them, so they wanted them to remain in the region of Palestine -- a protectorate of Great Britain. When the US and Britain (largely at the behest of Evangelical Christians in these nations) supported the creation of a Jewish state, Israel, the Palestinians became a problem.
Israel became a nation in 1948, and was immediately attacked by half a dozen Islamic states. Within a few weeks, Israel almost doubled their size against superior, better armed forces and with no standing army. When the so-called "Palestinians" fled the Jewish state, they were slaughtered -- NOT by the Jews, but by OTHER Arab states....Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt....They didn't want them!
With the rise of Yassir Arafat (actually born an Egyptian), and his "Palestinian Liberation Organization," modern Islamic terrorism was born. First lead by grand mufti Haj Amin Al Husseini of Jerusalem, the fledgling Palestinian movement to destroy Jews began. Husseini, who was also related to Arafat and his mentor, even supported and fought on the side of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi's during WWII, supporting his "final solution."
From the 1950's and 60's onward for about 30 years, the primary target of terrorism was Israel. The dynamics of the Cold War also figured into Middle East politics, with the United States and the "West" supporting Israel, and the Soviet Union and the "Eastern Bloc" of Communist nations supporting the Arabs.
Then, in 1979, the Iranian Revolution destroyed any American or Western influence over the Islamic states of the Middle East. The US supported Shah of Iran was overthrown and the Ayatollah's became both the religious and political despots of a modern day Persia (Iran). The taking of hostages at our embassy by Iranian revolutionaries was merely a portend of things to come. After 444 days -- and it was no accident that it was on the inauguration day of Ronald Reagan -- the hostages were released. Still, the atmosphere had been created for Islamic extremists to grow and thrive. Their violence planted seeds of certainty that they knew would eventually bear fruit against the weak infidels of the West. Their martyrs became the bricks that built the foundation of the future Islamic kingdom that would destroy the infidels and rule the world.
The United States regarded the increasing attacks at the hands of Islamic terrorists as little more than international relations "mosquito bites." Even when the attacks were major, little time or energy was dedicated to response and recompense. Consider some of the attacks that occurred through the 80's and 90's: The Lebanon Marine Barracks bombing - 1983; The Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking - 1985; Downing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland - 1988; First World Trade Center Bombing - 1993; Riyadh Saudi Arabia Military Compound Bombing - 1995; Khobar Towers Bombing - 1996; American Embassy Bombings in Tanzania and Kenya -- 1998; Attack on the USS Cole in Yemen -- 2000; And finally, 9/11/2001....The one that got our attention.
The responses to all of these attacks were, at best, anemic, like the Clinton regime's cruise missile attacks on empty camps in Afghanistan and an aspirin factory in the Sudan. Other times they were harmful, like the Reagan Administrations withdrawal of Marines from Lebanon rather than invading in force and hunting down Islamic Jihad, or the usual response of the Clinton regime -- to do absolutely nothing. In any case, the Islamofascist terrorist organizations and the nations that supported them understood the import of these attacks -- they are at war. They had to destroy the Zionists, kill the Jews, create a kingdom for Allah.
On the other hand, the West didn't -- and to a large extent still doesn't -- understand what that means. "War" is something that happened in the distant past, when our grandparents or great grandparents were young. The world can't go through that kind of desperate struggle again, can it?
A simple answer is, 9/11....
Though the West in general and the United States in particular may not recognize it, we are currently engaged in World War III. The enemy now is Islamofascism, just as virulent as Nazism in World War II, and far more widespread. Wherever Muslims are, there are, in their midst, Islamofacist. They share the same goal as the Nazi's -- the destruction of Jews, and world domination. And they are willing to fight for it -- to give anything to attain it. How much are we willing to sacrifice to stop it?
In a war, you don't win by withdrawing from the battle as some spineless, politically correct liberal elites are demanding. You can't peacefully co-exist with fanatics who will never be satisfied with anything less than your total destruction. You have to fight with all your might -- to fight fire with fire.
Yesterday's election demonstrates that very few Muslims in the Middle East (less that 3 in 10 among the Palestinians) have any interest in peace or co-existence. The vast majority are firmly dedicated to the Islamofascist agenda. And when you consider that Iran is perhaps only months from attaining nuclear weapons, and that intelligence indicates many of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction were secreted out of the country to Syria before the coalition invasion, and Al-Queda continues to attempt to find ways to attack US interests at home and abroad, anyone with an ounce of common sense will conclude that we are, indeed, in World War III. To conclude anything else is utter foolishness and invites absolute destruction not only of our freedoms, but quite possibly our very lives.
It's time to take the gloves off. Democracy among the Palestinians did not produce good results -- but at least it produced honesty. Finally, it is clear that we as a civilization are at war with another civilization -- one that is diametrically opposed to our own worldview both politically and religiously. War is certain, but peace can only be achieved against Islamofascism AFTER victory is won. Then there will be peace -- but what kind of peace will it be? The peace of freedom, or of tyranny?
J. Dale Weaver, M. Div.