Editor’s Note: This commentary was written prior to the third presidential debate.
Moments in history are markers from which we are expected to draw some lessons. Thus, October 23, 1983, twenty-nine years ago, was the date of the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. It had been preceded by the bombing of our embassy there on April 18. A year later, our CIA station chief, William F. Buckley was kidnapped, dying after 15 months of torture by Islamic “militants.”
You can Google the lists of attacks on Americans, our embassies, hijackings of commercial air flights, housing abroad of U.S. military, and embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The USS Cole was bombed in the port of Aden, Yemen in 2000, killing 17 U.S. Navy sailors. Other lists are of Americans killed by various Muslim jihadists here in America.
A key date worth remembering is November 4, 1979 when Iranian Islamists seized our embassy in Tehran, taking 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. Then-President Jimmy Carter offered such a weak response to an offense against our nation and international laws that he was voted out of office and replaced with Ronald Reagan. Until Barack Obama came along, he was known as the worst president the nation ever had.
Americans tend to think of attacks in terms of September 11, 2001 when commercial aircraft were flown into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon. A fourth was brought down by passengers in a Pennsylvania pasture. Nearly 3,000 Americans died.
The truth—the fact–is that America has been under attack for 33 years at this point, at home and abroad, and we still can’t bring ourselves to speak the name of the enemy, Islam.
President Obama whose first and middle names are of Arab origin is testimony to a lethal capacity to forget just how many times America has been attacked by its Islamic enemies and his term in office has seen the Middle East become a bastion of even greater Muslim militancy, culminating with the murder of our ambassador to Libya and three of his staff.
Americans are understandably weary of war having been drawn into conflict in Afghanistan after 9/11. We are still there to no effective purpose. Twice America waged war on Iraq, first to lead a coalition to force it out of Kuwait and then to depose Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein. It took over a decade to finally withdraw our troops from Iraq and, in neither nation, can we point to anything resembling a successful outcome. Both the Taliban and al Qaeda have returned despite the occasional drone strike.
The problem, however, is that Islam in general and the Middle East, along with other Muslim nations in Africa and elsewhere, continues to pose a threat to America and the West. In the past Islam was stopped at the gates of Europe and Crusades were fought against the Muslims in the Holy Land.
A cult built around Mohammed has a “holy book” that requires them to make war without end until everyone is under their domination and all the advances of civilization are reversed. There are more than a billion Muslims in the world and it is not likely they are going to convert to some other religion any time soon.
As for terrorism, much of it is directed out of Iran these days and Iran is perilously close to making its own nuclear weapons. Iran must literally be stopped before that happens and, so far, the only nation intent on actually doing that is Israel.
The Saudis continue to fund all manner of Islamic activity worldwide to the detriment of America and the West.
Having rid themselves of dictators, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt do not appear to be likely allies in the future. The conflict in Syria threatens to escalate and intrudes into Lebanon. The so-called Palestinians remain a festering problem, kept going by nations in the region and the United Nations. Africa remains ripe for increased Islamic conflict.
In his book, “The Audacity of Hope”, President Obama said, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
America is closing in on an election that poses a choice between the most pro-Islamic President to ever hold office and a challenger who is on record as saying he will support Israel in its effort to avoid nuclear annihilation.
There is no real “choice” here except between four more years of a presidency that actually encourages Islamic militancy, sinking further into an abyss of national poverty, the loss of our position in the world as a power for freedom and democracy, and a life of misery for the present and future generations of Americans.