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Jewish World Review
Oct. 5, 2006
/ 13 Tishrei, 5767
How long will it be before we all awaken to the inherent danger facing us?
Most newspapers have published leaked conclusions from a classified National
Intelligence Estimate that said the war in Iraq is fueling a rise in global Islamic
terrorism. But only one, at least in New York City, has balanced these conclusions
against the contents of a letter "found in the headquarters of Al-Qaeda's leader in
Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, after he was killed on June 7. The letter was sent to
Zarqawi by a senior Al Qaeda leader who signs his name simply 'Atiyah.' He
complains that Al Qaeda is weak both in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and
in Iraq." In the letter, 'Atiyan' writes, "Know that we, like all the Mujahadin,
are still weak. We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have
not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander
any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter." The paper
carrying the article was The New York Sun.
The reason I supported President Bush's reelection two years ago was that I
believed the Democratic leadership's approach on the war in Iraq was simply wrong.
I said I did not think they had the resolve necessary to carry on this battle
against an enemy that is willing to wage a war against us for decades to come.
While the NIE conclusions are serious and alarming, e.g., "Although we cannot
measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source
reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a
small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic
dispersion," more important in evaluating success or failure in the war should be
the admissions against their interest of the enemy, especially as stated in their
In addition, in determining whether or not to remain in Iraq and pursue the enemy
there, The New York Sun points out, "...the key judgment of the declassified
elements of the [NIE] document also says that winning the war in Iraq would likely
reverse the recruitment effect. 'The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre'
for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of the U.S. involvement in the Muslim
world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement,' it says.
Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have
failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.'"
It makes no difference in determining our current position whether we were right or
wrong to go into Iraq in 2003; we are now there. To those who say, if we were
wrong initially, we can never justify staying, I say, ridiculous. The enemy is
worldwide Islamic terrorism, and its center today is Iraq. If we were to leave
Iraq, would al-Qaeda and other groups allied with it stop their attacks on
Americans? Certainly not. We were not in Iraq, nor was George W. Bush our
President, when in 1993 Islamic terrorists bombed the World Trade Center killing
six and injuring one thousand people; when Islamic terrorists blew up the U.S.S.
Cole, killing 13 and injuring 33; when they blew up U.S. Army barracks in Saudi
Arabia, killing 19 and injuring 515; when they blew up two American embassies in
Africa, causing 257 deaths and 5,000 injuries. We were not in Iraq, and Bush was
the President, when Islamic terrorists hijacked and drove passenger planes into the
World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, killing some 3,000 people.
The Islamic terrorists have declared their ultimate goals to include the
destruction of the U.S. and the takeover of such moderate Arab states as Egypt,
Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries. Why do we continue to refuse
to believe their stated aims? They couldn't be more clear than Musab al-Zarqawi,
the number one al-Qaeda operative in Iraq before he was killed by a U.S. airstrike,
who stated before his death, "Killing the infidels is our religion, slaughtering
them is our religion, until they convert to Islam or pay us tribute."
If we withdraw from Iraq, we would only embolden al-Qaeda and its allies. Sadly,
some of our European allies have already caved to the jihadists. After Islamic
terrorists blew up the Madrid commuter trains, killing 191 and injuring 1,500,
Spain's government withdrew its soldiers from Iraq. England, a part of the
U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, had its subways and a bus bombed with 52 dead and 700
injured. Because Tony Blair is still Prime Minister, England has not yet succumbed
to the terrorists' demands to withdraw from Iraq. However, many Laborites have
demanded Blair's head and he has agreed to resign within a year. I believe that
the future leaders of the Labor Party have decided they will withdraw from Iraq in
order to appease the Islamic terrorists. The Conservative party, no longer led by
Margaret Thatcher, a great friend of the U.S., appears headed down the same
appeasement path as the New Labor Party. I hope I am in error in that conclusion.
France has already flinched in the face of threats by the Iranian government, led
by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and has abandoned efforts to prevent Iran
from acquiring the nuclear bomb. Iran has publicly stated its intentions when
it has the bomb. Ahmadinejad has said, Israel must be "wiped off the map," and
"...G-d willing, with the force of G-d behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism," according to a quote published by Iran's
state news outlet.
So, to sum up, using an old boxing expression, "You can run, but you can't hide."
I believe it makes no sense to run from the terrorists and wait for them to find us
in Fortress America, and then seek to repel them. The battle must be taken to them
in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, wherever they threaten the free world. This is
without a doubt a war to defend the free world and Western civilization, just as
important to our survival as World War II. Unlike the latter, which for us lasted
four years, this war will go on for decades.
The war has already taken an enormous toll on the battlefields of Iraq and
Afghanistan, as well as all the innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilian lives that have
been lost. We cannot let the sacrifices of the fallen and the living be in vain.
How long will it be before we all awaken to the inherent danger facing us?
Appeasement never works. It only encourages new and escalating demands.
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