Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Notes on Counterjihad

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count“Counterjihadist.” If you had told me a couple of decades ago that this would be one of the many labels that would someday be attached to my name with some regularity, I would hardly have known what to say. Counter what? What jihadist?

But then these are strange times. On the evening of September 11, 2001, you might’ve expected responsible-minded, in-the-know public servants, journalists, and academic Islam experts throughout the Western world to start giving their respective publics a crash course (as it were) in Islamic jihad, so as to ensure that absolutely everybody understood exactly why those men wanted to take down those buildings. Instead, the President of the United States, the Karen Armstrongs and John Espositos, and virtually the entire Western media were quick to begin issuing fervent assurances that the terrorists were a fanatical minority who’d hijacked not only airplanes but Islam itself. Similar assurances followed hard upon every major terrorist act in the succeeding years. Those of us who knew better – who recognized that the terrorists were doing exactly what the Koran ordered them to do, and who believed that it was vitally important for everyone in the West to understand this – began to see our names yanked to a term that identified us not as people who were seeking to educate and inform but as antagonists of something to which every one of us, after all, should be opposed.

Think of it. If there was going to be such a term, every freedom-loving person in the Western world should’ve been eager to see the word “counterjihadist”  appended to his or her name after 9/11. The attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, after all, were jihadist acts. Ditto the later assaults on London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai, and so on. How can you not be against all that, and proud of it? But no: the Western cultural elite managed to turn “counterjihadist” into a dirty word. One of the weirdest things of all, perhaps, is that when what is now known as the “counterjihad movement” is mentioned by those who despise it, the topic of jihad itself is usually nowhere in sight. It’s invisible. It’s irrelevant. It’s as if we critics of jihad were opposed to an entirely imaginary enemy – like mermaids or leprechauns.

2.

Back in the day, anti-Communists had a similar problem. I’m old enough to recall the obloquy heaped upon them by bien pensant types – professors and high-toned journalists who considered active, vocal opposition to Communism the most lowbrow of pastimes. Yes, whereas today’s counter-counterjihadists act as if jihad is a figment of counterjihadists’ fevered imaginations, the anti-anti-Communists (a label they wore with pride) at least acknowledged – albeit in a bland, bored way – that Communism existed. Sometimes they even admitted that it wasn’t all that terrific. But by focusing their animus on anti-Communism, and remaining all but silent about the evils of Communism itself – indeed, by insisting that the very application of words like “evil” to Communism (à la Ronald Reagan) was infantile and hyberbolic – they drove home the idea that overt anti-Communism was worse – by which they meant less intelligent, less sophisticated, less worldly – than Communism itself. Indeed, even as self-identified Communists in America and throughout the West held positions of trust in the academy, government, the arts, and elsewhere, anti-Communists came to be viewed as fanatical, paranoid conspiracy theorists who, in the phrase of the day, saw “a Communist under every bed.” Even now, the Hollywood Ten, a group of directors and screenwriters who in 1947 were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about their Communist Party affiliations, are considered heroes of American freedom, even though it is a matter of public record that all ten of them turned out, in fact, to be Stalinists, dedicated to destroying American freedom; meanwhile, director Elia Kazan – a former member of the Party who named names” because he recognized Stalinism as a genuine menace to American freedom – is still remembered as a fink.

So it is today with Islam. The “counterjihadists”  are the villains – the hysterics, the fools, who see a Muslim under every bed, with a bomb in his turban. Meanwhile the good guys are the counter-counterjihadists – the journalists, activists, and others who make a career of slamming Islam’s critics, whom they frequently represent (especially over here in Scandinavia) as “conspiracy theorists.” For just as the anti-Communists of yesteryear were viewed not as sober, well-informed students of life behind the Iron Curtain but as obsessive, ignorant haters, we counterjihadists are viewed not as people who’ve read the Koran and studied Islamic societies and subcultures but as semi-literate morons and bigots – and, according to one particularly noxious meme that has spread far and wide in the last couple of years, mindless disciples of what our enemies caricature as the mad ramblings of Bat Ye’or. (Never do any of these mud-slingers ever try to explain why so many writers and scholars around the world – people with a variety of professional and personal backgrounds, and with long records of thinking for themselves and of observing the world with their own eyes – all chose, apparently more or less at once, to become, supposedly, disciples of the same person.) It should be a matter of national shame for Britain that when its government banned Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from its shores, it was doing the bidding of the counter-counterjihadists of Hope Not Hate – who, despite their manifestly Stalinist methods and sympathies, are treated by U.K. authorities as reliable ideological gatekeepers, even as the truth-telling Spencers and Gellers are tagged as anathema.

3.

It was Susan Sontag, the doyenne of the New York leftist intelligentsia, who finally made anti-Communism acceptable among the American cultural elite. In a high-profile address at Town Hall in New York, at the very late date of 1982 – forty-five years, mind you, after Stalin’s show trials, and forty-three years after the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact – Sontag made the solemn, and much-heralded, announcement that she’d finally decided Communism wasn’t a good thing. Why did she convert? As Hilton Kramer brilliantly explained a couple of years later, it was, quite simply, a matter of style: as a result of “the collapse of the intellectual Left in France,” he wrote, anti-Communism, which had long been out of fashion among “those American intellectuals who habitually take their political cues from Paris,” was now, suddenly, chic. Still, it was crucial for the likes of Sontag to communicate to their confrères that their anti-Communism was “somehow different, more cosmopolitan perhaps, maybe even sexier, and certainly more refined,” than that of the crude mouth-breathers who’d been anti-Communists for decades and whom Sontag & co. would come to deride as (no kidding) “premature anti-Communists.”

Communism in Europe eventually fell –  no thanks to Sontag and her ilk. As for the diehard anti-anti-Communists, did they show contrition? Au contraire: they got busy denying Reagan’s role in this revolution, making an icon, instead, out of Mikhail Gorbachev – even though he’d only wanted to “reform” Communism. In elite Western circles, Communism remained respectable – and anti-Communists continued, by and large, to be viewed as vulgarians.

Given this history, which tells us so much that is so depressing about the nature of modern Western man, what is the best that we counterjihadists can hope for? Could it be this: that the winds of intellectual fashion will shift someday (sooner, one hopes, rather than later) in such a way as to make it attractive for today’s opportunistic left-wing counterparts of Susan Sontag to snatch the banner from our hands and take counterjihadism mainstream – acting all the while, naturally, as if they’d invented it themselves, or rescued it from the philistines? Might such a development, moreover, actually help turn the tide in the struggle against jihadist Islam? If it did, to be sure, those of us who were here first would, unquestionably, be smeared even in the moment of victory (should it ever come) as “premature counterjihadists” – oafs and barbarians who’d held down the fort until the real heroes came along. But c’est la vie: if that’s what it would take to reverse the Islamization of the West, it would be a small price to pay.

Not that I’m holding my breath, of course.

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Islamic Terror and the American Story

Islamic terrorism has been part of the American story, since the first (1801-1805) and the second (1815) U.S. wars against Libya, Tunisia and Algeria-based Muslim pirates. Anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism has been fueled by Islam’s imperialistic vision, inflamed by core American values — irrespective of American national security policy — systematically and deliberately targeting innocent Americans in the U.S. and abroad.

Premeditated Islamic terrorism, accompanied by chants of “We are all bin Laden,” marked the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11 in Libya and Egypt. It erupted irrespective of the crucial role played by the U.S. in the toppling of Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the rough U.S. pressure on Israel and the financial and political U.S. support of the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and his three staff members were murdered and rocket-propelled grenades destroyed the consulate in Benghazi. The U.S. Embassies in Cairo and Sanaa were stormed, and U.S. flags were burned in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, the Gaza Strip, etc. Libyan, Egyptian and Yemenite security forces were alerted, but did not prevent the assault.

So much for the delusions of the “Arab Spring,” “the New Middle East,” “the March of Democracy,” and “painful Israeli concessions for peace …”

Islamic terrorism has targeted the U.S. despite President Jimmy Carter’s support of Ruhollah Khomeini’s rise to power; despite President Ronald Reagan’s critical military and financial support of the mujahedeen, which terminated the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan; notwithstanding President Bill Clinton’s bombing of Serbia, which led to the establishment of Muslim-dominated Bosnia and Kosovo; and regardless of President Barack Obama’s policy of engaging — rather than confronting — rogue Muslim entities.

Islamic terrorism has focused on the U.S. in defiance of Obama’s instruction to delete any reference to Islam from training literature employed by the FBI, CIA, military and other counterterrorism agencies.

Islamic terrorism has focused on the U.S. although the Obama administration denies the existence of global Islamic jihadist terrorism, referring to terrorism as “man-caused disasters,” “workplace violence,” and “isolated extremism.”

Terrorists bite the hands that feed them.

For example, the murder of nearly 3,000 people on 9/11 was planned while Clinton extended his hand to the Muslim world in general and to the Palestinians in particular. The Oct. 12, 2000 murder of 17 USS Cole sailors occurred when Clinton brokered unprecedented Israeli concessions to the Palestinian. The Aug. 27, 1998 murder of 257 persons at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania took place while Clinton brutally pressured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The murder of 19 U.S. soldiers in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia was carried out while Clinton courted Yasser Arafat. The Dec. 21,1988 murder of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland took place a few months following the groundbreaking recognition of the PLO by Reagan. The 1983 murders of 368 people at the U.S. Embassy and U.S. and French military barracks in Beirut occurred while Reagan interfered with Israel’s hot pursuit of the PLO, blasting Israel for its war on PLO terrorism.

The last two years of the stormy “Arab Winter” have highlighted the 1,400-year-old inherent intra-Muslim violence, hatred, treachery and terrorism, which have also afflicted non-Muslims in general and the U.S. in particular. It has been 1,400 years of no intra-Muslim comprehensive peace and no intra-Muslim compliance with most intra-Muslim agreements.

Rogue Muslim regimes consider the exceptional U.S. military, economic and diplomatic capabilities their chief adversary.

The U.S. and its core values have been targeted by Quran- and Shariah-driven dictatorial Muslim regimes and elites. They consider U.S. values to be the most lethal, clear and present danger. They dread U.S. civil liberties, such as freedom of religion, association, expression, movement, economy, equality for women, and the Internet.

The root cause of Islamic terrorism has been the nature of Islam. In contrast to Western democracy, Islam is supremacist, aiming to bring “believers” and “infidels” to total spiritual and physical submission. Henceforth, the centrality of hate-education (toward “the other”) is forging the national state of mind; hence, the intolerant, violent, anti-doubt, anti-choice, anti-criticism and anti-individualistic nature of Islam. Therefore, Islam’s call for jihad (holy war), execution of apostates, “honor killing” of women by their own relatives, genital mutilation of young women, shuhada (suicide bombing), etc.

Anti-Western Islamic authoritarian-imperialism represents the predominant worldview of Muslim societies, which have been indoctrinated by their religious, political, ideological, educational and military elites since the 7th century. According to the tenets of mainstream Islam, any criticism of Islam in general and, especially its prophet, Muhammad, warrants severe retribution, including death.

Oversimplification and wishful thinking in the battle against global Islamic terrorism, and in the pursuit of peace, have been crashed against the rocks of reality. The delusion of the Arab Spring has been brutally exposed by the tectonic and stormy Arab Winter that is gaining momentum. Ideological and operational ambiguity (“man-caused disasters”) must yield to ideological and operational clarity, identifying the clear and present danger to peace and to the survival of Western democracies — global Islamic terrorism.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

How I would check Iran’s nuclear ambition.. By Mitt Romney

We will see there Mittens… We could very well be deep in it by November.. This will be Obama’s new war,one that just may secure his next term..

Beginning Nov. 4, 1979 , dozens of U.S. diplomats were held hostage by Iranian Islamic revolutionaries for 444 days while America’s feckless president, Jimmy Carter, fretted in the White House. Running for the presidency against Carter the next year, Ronald Reagan made it crystal clear that the Iranians would pay a very stiff price for continuing their criminal behavior. On Jan. 20, 1981, in the hour that Reagan was sworn into office, Iran released the hostages. The Iranians well understood that Reagan was serious about turning words into action in a way that Jimmy Carter never was.

America and the world face a strikingly similar situation today; only even more is at stake. The same Islamic fanatics who took our diplomats hostage are racing to build a nuclear bomb. Barack Obama, America’s most feckless president since Carter, has declared such an outcome unacceptable, but his rhetoric has not been matched by an effective policy. While Obama frets in the White House, the Iranians are making rapid progress toward obtaining the most destructive weapons in the history of the world.

The gravity of this development cannot be overstated. For three decades now, the ayatollahs running Iran have sponsored terrorism around the world. If we’ve learned anything from Sept. 11, 2001, it is that terrorism in the nuclear age holds nightmarish possibilities for horror on a mass scale.

What’s more, Iran’s leaders openly call for the annihilation of the state of Israel. Should they acquire the means to carry out this inhuman objective, the Middle East will become a nuclear tinderbox overnight. The perils for Israel, for our other allies and for our own forces in the region will become unthinkable.

The United States cannot afford to let Iran acquire nuclear weapons. Yet under Barack Obama, that is the course we are on.

As president, I would move America in a different direction.

The overall rubric of my foreign policy will be the same as Ronald Reagan’s: namely, “peace through strength.” Like Reagan, I have put forward a comprehensive plan to rebuild American might and equip our soldiers with the weapons they need to prevail in any conflict. By increasing our annual naval shipbuilding rate from nine to 15, I intend to restore our position so that our Navy is an unchallengeable power on the high seas. Just as Reagan sought to defend the United States from Soviet weapons with his Strategic Defense Initiative, I will press forward with ballistic missile defense systems to ensure that Iranian and North Korean missiles cannot threaten us or our allies.

As for Iran in particular, I will take every measure necessary to check the evil regime of the ayatollahs. Until Iran ceases its nuclear-bomb program, I will press for ever-tightening sanctions, acting with other countries if we can but alone if we must. I will speak out on behalf of the cause of democracy in Iran and support Iranian dissidents who are fighting for their freedom. I will make clear that America’s commitment to Israel’s security and survival is absolute. I will demonstrate our commitment to the world by making Jerusalem the destination of my first foreign trip.

Most important, I will buttress my diplomacy with a military option that will persuade the ayatollahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions. Only when they understand that at the end of that road lies not nuclear weapons but ruin will there be a real chance for a peaceful resolution.

My plan includes restoring the regular presence of aircraft carrier groups in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously. It also includes increasing military assistance to Israel and improved coordination with all of our allies in the area.

We can’t afford to wait much longer, and we certainly can’t afford to wait through four more years of an Obama administration. By then it will be far too late. If the Iranians are permitted to get the bomb, the consequences will be as uncontrollable as they are horrendous. My foreign policy plan to avert this catastrophe is plain: Either the ayatollahs will get the message, or they will learn some very painful lessons about the meaning of American resolve.