January 14, 2009
Editor's Column: 5 Minutes to Midnight - Dangerous Times
Guest Column: Israeli Self-Defense - Affirms International Order
These are dangerous times. The volume and ferocity of anti-American chatter across the Internet have reached a level we have not seen since the days leading up to 9/11. The radical Islamists, who would use violence against those who do not accept their view of life, have become arrogant enough to bring their savage methods to new depths of depravity. To understand this bolder enemy, we must recognize what they are capable of.
Mumbai Last November, a handful of terrorists came into Mumbai by stealth, and within hours brought a city of 18 million to its knees. They attacked ten symbolic sites favored by tourists, murdered some 200 people, and left a wake of indescribable destruction, shattering thousands of lives in their wake.
They singled out American, British, and Jewish targets, and ordered the terrorists to "kill to their last breath." Many of their victims were savagely tortured before being murdered. So brutal was the torture that experienced doctors who later examined the bodies were in shock and could not find the words to even speak about it.
Gaza In Gaza, Hamas brought a different kind of terror into the news. Hamas fights her enemies with cowardice and unspeakable cruelty. While terrorists have been given free reign to shell civilians living in southern Israeli towns, they hide behind the women and children of Gaza, drawing Israeli fire to its rocket launchers which are placed deep in densely populated areas, putting their own people at mortal risk.
During the last two years, nearly 6,000 rockets were fired from Gaza, aimed at schools and homes, mostly in the little town of Sderot, which has taken the brunt of the ceaseless barrage. Israel finally responded with a mighty attack to silence the rockets that had plagued its citizens for the last eight years, and while the number of rockets has been reduced, they did not stop, continuing to terrorize the people of southern Israel.
The True Face of Hamas There is now a mountain of documentation demonstrating that over recent months, Hamas has acquired massive caches of weapons and explosives which they stored in mosques, schools, and throughout residential neighborhoods.
They have humiliated, brutalized, and murdered their Christian and Fatah 'enemies' in cold blood. And after Israel dropped leaflets in Gazan neighborhoods, urging civilians find shelter away from the aerial attack, Hamas forced them back into their homes, preventing them from finding safety from the bombs. No wonder the number of civilian casualties is so high.
On December 24, in a final blow to any semblance of civilized governance, Hamas passed a new penal code firmly rooted in Shari'a law. Among the punishments that this new code enables are forty lashes for drinking wine, cutting off hands for theft, and crucifixion for 'treason'.
Their reversion to a seventh century penal code underscores their intention to achieve ultimate power that will drive the lives of their people back into the dark ages. The current plight of the people of Gaza can be laid squarely at the feet of Hamas.
What This Means for the West Hamas supporters have used the current conflict as another excuse to stir the boiling cauldron of Islamist hatred against the West. Their mantra of "Death to Israel, Death to America" feeds their frenzy and has spawned demonstrations throughout the United States, demonstrations that are growing increasingly hysterical and out of control.
Last week in New York City, seven police officers were hurt—two with head wounds—when a pro-Hamas demonstration became violent.
In San Francisco, pro-Hamas demonstrators shouted, "I want you to watch as I kill your children, cover your children in their own blood! I want you to watch me blow your children's brains out."
In Florida, a demonstrator screamed, "Go back to the oven," referring to the murder of Jews in the Holocaust, "You need a big oven, that's what you need."
Here in America, we watch these events unfold as if we were viewing a new kind of reality show. But this is not theater and we, who watch passively, as we sit comfortably in front of the television, need to be alarmed.
It is difficult for Westerners to comprehend the depth of hatred that radical Islamists feel against those who are unwilling to adopt their faith. For them, multi-culturalism is not an acceptable way of life, it is evil
Their view of life demands that we either convert to their version of Islam, or die. They have made it plain that their goal is to globalize jihad, and turn the world into a global Islamist state ruled under shari'ah law. For them, negotiation is not an option, there is only one way, and there is nothing to negotiate.
A few years ago, Abdurahman Alamoudi presented himself as a so-called 'moderate' Muslim, and that he had a large following. He was an open supporter of Hamas and Hezballah, yet so highly esteemed that he had access to the White House (before he went to federal prison for his role in an assassination plot against the Saudi Crown Prince).
Not surprisingly, few took note when he told a Muslim conference in Chicago, "Muslims sooner or later will be the moral leadership of America … either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country." It was one of many warnings that we ignored.
Yousef al-Khattab, a NYC taxi driver, enjoys the benefits of life in America, even as he runs a website called RevolutionMuslim.com. On his website, he wrote, "We pray that we may witness the dismantlement of western, secular dominance across the world as we hold it to be pagan and idolatrous in the majority of its presumptions.
We seek a resurrection of the just example set forth by centuries of Islamic rule throughout the ages and we hold it to be self evident for the objective soul and mind that Allah is One and that Muhammad ibn Abdullah is His Prophet and that the religion offers the solution to all of the world's ills and afflictions." Is anybody listening?
Radical Islam has taken a firm hold in our society. Hamas is only one of an undetermined number of radical Islamic groups that aim to do us harm. They have used the freedoms that they profess to hate to achieve access to our universities, our industries, our government, and our collective conscience.
They use our sense of fair play against us to impose their moral superiority, and demand our sensitivity to their rights, while simultaneously demanding that we forfeit our own.
So now, while Christian children can no longer pray in school, the same schools have adopted programs that teach our children what it is like to be Muslim, how they eat, and how they pray.
There are now terrorist cells in virtually every state in the union. Their aim is to globalize jihad, and replace our Constitution with the Koran, our penal code with shari'a law.
They range from the well known names such as al Qaeda, Hizballah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood (which masquerades under many other names), and includes lesser known groups like Jamaat al-Fuqra, Darul Uloom, and Islamic Jihad. Associated with these groups are not-for-profit front organizations through which these groups launder money to support terroist activities.
For example, Jamaat al-Fuqra compounds have sprung up all over the country to provide Muslim warriors with rural campuses for combat training. Security is high and outsiders are not welcome.
Darul Uloom, the school of Islam embraced by the Taliban, have active centers in Florida, Maryland, Texas, Connecticut and New York.
And CAIR, which claims to be nothing more than "a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group", was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the recent Holyland Foundation terrorist funding trial, Never-the-less, it provides sensitivity training to the FBI.
Today, in unassuming Muslim centers in Brooklyn, NY; Jersey City, NJ; Boston, MA; Fairfax, Virginia; and Dearborn, Michigan, jihad is being plotted, while we bend over backwards to ensure that they are not disturbed.
Today, we in America stand on the threshold of madness as we allow our nation to be undermined by those who would destroy all that generations of Americans have fought and died for.
The time is 1939 and we are Europe denying the growing threat of the Third Reich. Here in America, it is five minutes to midnight and it is time to wake up.
Ilana Freedman is the Editor of IntelAnalysis and is CEO of Gerard Group International, Inc.
Under unrelenting pressure from the international community to relinquish land—and strategic depth—in vain pursuit of an elusive 'Peace Process', Israel has been following a 'Road Map' that has led it along a narrow path to the military action that it began last weekend in the Gaza Strip. Israel's end-of-the-year attacks on Hamas military headquarters, training camps, and weapons arsenals in the Gaza Strip are not the end of the path, but may have marked a turning point for Israel to change its goal from international approval to national survival.
Israeli warplanes also bombed a complex of weapons smuggling tunnels under the border between Hamas-controlled Gaza and Egypt. Howls of protest erupted as if on cue across the Arab and Muslim world. In London, police were rushed to the Israeli Embassy to deal with hundreds of demonstrators who doubtless took encouragement from the craven response of UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who urged an 'immediate halt to all violence' in Gaza. The UK government did not comment on violence emanating from Gaza.
In some ways, Israel is a country like no other: it is the modern resurrection of an ethnic, national, and religious entity that traces its unique identity back some 5,000 years. Its 20th century establishment as a sovereign state in its ancestral homeland owes to an act of international will—but few in that community have shown much will to defend their decision since. Israel is literally a creation of the United Nations which has spent the years since avoiding every opportunity to defend—even verbally—its own invention.
In other ways, though, Israel is very much a state like any other small state surrounded by much bigger enemies bent on its destruction. Stubborn self-delusion about the ultimate reasonableness of those enemies, for Israel, is tantamount to suicidal conduct. The improbable, even miraculous, success of the Jewish people who founded and defended the fledgling State of Israel to this point must not be mistaken for invulnerability or even destiny. That way lies defeat and extinction.
Having been the victims for centuries of dhimmitude, pogroms, and genocide, the Jewish people understandably shrink from making victims of others. Israel's 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, at great national cost, was intended to offer Palestinians a chance to demonstrate readiness for nationhood of their own. As the world looked on with apparent disinterest, however, Palestinian thugs quickly and methodically trashed all the valuable infrastructure Israelis had left behind and Hamas then staged a bloody coup d'etat against its ostensible Palestinian Authority partners. Hardly content with destruction of its own society, in the three years since 2005, Hamas and its Jihadist partners also have launched more than 6,300 rockets and mortars into Israel from Gaza, killing 10 civilians and injuring more than 780. Each and every one of those launches was an act of war.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) counter-strike against the Hamas war-making machine in Gaza is justified national self-defense under international law. It is also an act that makes sense in the context of the perpetual state of war that has existed between Israel and its Jihadist enemies since the very day of its foundation. For the national leadership of Israel, there is an obligation to wage war against those who would obliterate the country and its Jewish inhabitants. The Genocide Convention of 1951 outlaws not only the act of national, ethical, racial, or religious extinction but also the threat and use of violence (albeit incremental) to do so. By signaling its intent to defend itself, Israel gives notice that it is not, in fact, suicidal nor so fearful of death and dismemberment that it is willing to accede to...death and dismemberment.
Israel, which is a Western-style democracy based on concepts derived from Athens and Rome as well as Jerusalem, must resist the inclination to believe that actions it perceives as rational, reasonable, and conciliatory are universally so perceived. Clearly, the civic and philosophical foundations of such thinking are not shared by Hamas, its state sponsor Iran, or any of Israel's other Jihadist enemies. In the final analysis, it's irrelevant what Israel (or its shrinking ranks of friends and allies) believe reasonable: it's what its enemies perceive as the strength of Israeli national resolve to exist that matters.
If those enemies perceive Israeli unwillingness to cause victims in the exercise of self-defense as cowardice or weakness instead of moral restraint, then the primary responsibility of Israel's leaders—to ensure national survival and security—is abrogated.
For all these reasons, then, the Israeli attacks in Gaza are not aggression. Failure to respond to the unceasing barrage of deadly missiles raining down on Israeli homes and schools would in fact be irresponsibly dangerous for both Israeli citizens and the very concept of national sovereignty. Selective, targeted use of military force against enemy attacks on civilian populations is an obligatory affirmation of the international order. In the face of condemnation from around the world for its actions against Gaza jihadis, Israel finds itself in the incongruous position of actually defending the right of sovereign states everywhere to stand up to aggression and the Islamist Jihad's ideology of religious supremacy. The use of military power to defeat the forces of barbarism affirms the right of all to live in civilized peace.
Clare Lopez Ms. Lopez is the Vice President of the Intelligence Summit and a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies. Clare is also a former CIA Station Chief.
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