Jewish World Review Sept. 10, 2004/ 24 Elul, 5764
The Islamic War against Civilization
Three years since 9/11. Three years since Islamic radicals attacked our shores killing three thousand innocent Americans. Three years. Just three years ago. For most Americans the war started only three years ago when the World Trade Towers fell, the Pentagon was hit and a fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. But as far as the Islamic radicals are concerned, their war on America was declared long before that. There was the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Later that same year, the Islamists attempted to assassinate former President Bush (Clinton retaliated by lobbing a few cruise missiles into Baghdad where they fell harmlessly onto empty buildings).
In the years following that, many Islamic terrorist assaults were unleashed throughout the Middle East in which Americans were murdered or kidnapped. In March 1995 a van belonging to the U.S. consulate in Pakistan was shot at and two American diplomats were killed. In November of that same year five Americans were killed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia after a car bomb exploded near a building which housed a U.S. advisory group. Nineteen American airmen were killed and 240 other Americans were wounded when a truck bomb rammed into the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in June of 1996.
The U.S. embassy in Beirut was attacked by grenades in June 1998. In August of the same year car bombs exploded at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killing more than 200 people including 12 Americans. Then of course there was the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000 in which 17 American sailors were killed and another 39 wounded.
Radical Islam has been at war with America for years, we just didn't know it until 9/11. And in the words of Rudy Giuliani, thank G-d George W. Bush was president on 9/11. President Bush acted swiftly and hit back hard. We are now fighting the enemy on their home turf, not ours. We have established our military force on two fronts - Afghanistan and Iraq - and in my book that's a hell of a lot better than New York and Washington. There will be additional fronts in the years ahead but, G-d willing, they will be in the Middle East not in the Midwest.
The Islamic holy war is, of course, not just against America, it is against all of civilization. Remember the train bombing in Spain that intimidated a nation; the beheading of civilians who came to Iraq not to fight, but to build; the bombing of a nightclub in Bali; and of course, the ongoing slaughter of Israeli citizens in shopping centers, on buses, and in pizza parlors.
This Islamic Jihad is against the Jewish people. It is against the Christian People. It is against the Atheists, the Moonies, and even the Vegans. In short, it is against everyone and anyone who doesn't follow the militants' warped version of Islam - a version that honors the killing of innocent people, even helpless children as we've seen in the horror that transpired at a school in Besian, Russia this past week.
At this writing, the official death toll at the school in Besian is 350 with an additional 150 bodies unidentifiable. One hundred fifty-six were children. Many children were tortured before they were blown up; many if not most were refused food and water for the three days that they were held; several little girls were raped. The murderers were Muslim Chechens, aided by Arabs believed to be allied with al Qaeda. As the terrorists stormed the school, they were shouting "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "G-d is great!") - the same chant that the terrorists used just before sawing off the head of American Nick Berg last spring. That's their rallying call.
What to call a religion that teaches that G-d commands his followers to kill the young and innocent? What to call its followers? To call them murderers isn't good enough somehow. The label of terrorist doesn't do it either. Monster. Evil. Lowlife. Wicked. Our words aren't strong enough. Their deeds are too depraved. These creatures are aberrations of human beings, a substandard abnormality of the species Homo sapiens. They are a cancer to humanity, and just as cancer eats away the good cells, these monsters will eat away the good in mankind if they are not eradicated.
Russia has now had its very own version of 9/11. And don't forget the two Russian passenger planes that were sabotaged just before the tragic assault at the school. We need to stand with the Russians against this common enemy and they have to stand with us. The only way to combat the Islamic jihad against the civilized world is if the civilized world stands strong together. We cannot wait to be attacked again before we act. We must continue to prosecute this war offensively, and that means preemptive strikes. Those who claim that Iraq was not part of the larger Islamo-fascist war on civilization are either lying or uninformed. Iraq, located dead center in the middle of the Middle East, was always a major player with the intension of doing whatever it could do to harm us.
As the noted author and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Norman Podhoretz has so accurately put it, this is World War IV. Indeed.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a
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