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|Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 3:33 pm Post subject: The war against terror can be won only if we have the will
The war against terror can be won only if we have the will
By Michael Ledeen
Long before the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I wrote that the coalition had better be ready for a relentless terrorist assault, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, once Saddam had been toppled.
We had waited an unconscionably long time between the liberation of Afghanistan and the move against Saddam, thereby giving the terror masters in Baghdad, Teheran, Damascus and Riyadh abundant opportunity to plan their response. They decided to repeat what they saw as their winning strategy in Lebanon in the 1980s (driving out America and France) and 1990s (compelling an Israeli withdrawal from the south).
Iranian and Syrian leaders made no secret of their intent, and Bashar Assad even gave an interview in which he brazenly informed us - and potential recruits to the jihad - that the terror masters would use religiously inspired insurrection, assassination and terrorism first to bloody and then to humiliate the West, and anyone who joined us.
Just a few days ago, Paul Bremer - the de facto governor of Iraq - complained at the large number of foreign terrorists flowing into the country, and he specifically labelled Iran as a prime mover.
He announced that intelligence officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were actively organising terrorist operations. Yesterday's Financial Times carried a front-page story warning that thousands of Saudis were headed to Iraq to attack American and British targets.
Now perhaps more people will understand that the jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan is not limited to the citizens of one or two countries, but is waged against anyone who tries to make Iraq a free and successful country. The terror masters know that they would not survive successful democratic revolution on their doorsteps, because their own people would demand their own freedom.
The facts have been available for a long time, and no one should be surprised at the truck bomb attack on the UN's offices in Baghdad yesterday, which claimed the life of the UN Special Representative to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
But, as human nature contains an unlimited quantum of hope despite millennia of intensely unpleasant experience, many will resist drawing the obvious conclusions and, even more, be reluctant to take appropriate action.
The jihad in Iraq is simply a continuation of the terror war against the West that saw its most recent apogee on September 11, 2001. That war has been on for more than a quarter-century, and the terror masters will continue to wage it until they have either won or lost.
This terror war is currently centred in the Middle East (although battles are also waged in South Asia), where we are engaged in a regional conflict with Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Until the regimes of those countries surrender or are removed, we will be attacked, both in the Middle East and in our own countries.
And we cannot buy our way out of this war by changing our policies on such questions as Palestine and Israel, or on the presence of armed forces on Saudi soil, or by going easy on the weapons of mass destruction programmes of Syria and Iran.
Indeed, those who see peace between Israel and Palestine as the most urgent issue in the region should be the most vigorous in supporting democratic revolution in Syria and Iran, since it is clear that a good deal of Palestinian terrorism has been organised by the mullahcracy in Teheran, and the terrorists have trained in Syrian-occupied Lebanon.
Other lingering misconceptions about the nature of the terror network have got in the way of clear understanding and hence of effective policy. The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and his British counterpart, Jack Straw, often speak as if they believe we could actually enlist Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran in the war against terror, which is rather like Roosevelt convincing himself that he could enlist Hitler and Mussolini in a war against Japan following Pearl Harbor.
That such serious and distinguished people have embraced a delusion of such magnitude testifies both to the cunning of the terror masters and the painful obligations that the truth imposes on the free societies of the world.
It would be nice to settle things at the negotiating table, and we are inclined to talk and talk, and walk last mile after last mile, to avoid the unpleasant reality that we are indeed at war.
Perhaps the bombing of the UN offices will clarify things, and spur the feckless critics of the war against terrorism to join us. The terror masters do not think that will happen. They expect that the flow of body bags will stimulate world public opinion to demand an end to the "occupation" of Iraq - which would transform Iraq and Afghanistan from humiliating defeats for the Islamists into glorious triumphs over the West.
The terror masters would then have demonstrated one of their central theses: that the crusaders and infidels of the West have no stomach for real fighting, and lack the tenacity and determination to prevail in this war.
That would be a catastrophe, especially because our victories against the Taliban and Saddam have threatened the terror regimes as never before. Particularly in Iran - the most powerful engine of the terror network - the overwhelming majority of the people desperately wish to be free, and passionately want to join the ranks of civilised countries.
Modest support of the Iranian people would probably bring the downfall of the mullahs, thereby removing the linchpin of the terrorist edifice. Without Iran, the Syrians would be unable to sustain the murderous activities of groups such as Hizbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and both the Ba'athist regime in Damascus and the terrorists it has been supporting would be easy prey for their enemies.
The terror masters are wounded and frightened, but they are still on the battlefield and they are determined to prevail. They understand, correctly in my opinion, that it is all a matter of will. We have more than enough power to prevail, but we have yet to demonstrate the resolve to impose victory on our enemies.
# Michael Ledeen is the author of The War Against the Terror Masters (St Martin's Press)
Joined: 17 Jul 2003
|Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 5:21 pm Post subject:
|I agree 100% with this great journalist Michael Ledeen.
He is very intelligent and serious.
I had the opportunity to talk to him by e-mail.he speaks italian very very well.he knows italy very well and he also write in an italian weekly.
Yes, war on terror can be won only if one wants to do so.
From what i see,i think that the US and Israel are some of the few countries which are seriously committed into the war against terror.
The main reason is surely that they are the main targets of the terrorism.
Europe should wake up before it is too late.
Europe might be the next target.
Yesterday's attack in Baghdad shows that the terrorists dont look at the nationality of the people, nor at those who actively support the USA and Israel,such as Italy,Spain,Portugal,Poland,Hungary,Bulgaria and all the countries of the New Europe.
they shown that they can kill a brazilian,a german, a french.
this means all those who obstable their road.
And theirs is a path towards establishing a world caliphate under an only religion: Islam.
so, a world ruled by the Sharia.
so,there cannot be christians, jewish,buddhists,hindus,zoroastrians,atheists or agnostics left in this earth.
this is the reality.
It's not to believe the terrorists when they say they are fighting for their brethen in Palestine,Chechenya,Bosnia,Somalia,Pakistan,Afghanistan,etc..
their goal is what i wrote above.
In my opinion, there are some things to do to fight terror:
1)Standing by the people of Iran and help them to overthrow that terrorist regime, which is the main responsible for the international terrorism.Without this regime,terrorists would be in difficoulty more than now without Saddam
2)Supporting Israel without ifs and buts,specially in respect of its right to self-defense and the building of the so-called 'fence', which was not called by Sharon, but from the late Rabin.
In this way,the murderers will not be able to enter Israel.
it's not a good thing building a fence on another people.but it's to note that there is a great difference between a wall which was built from a dictator on its own people to deny it the right to travel freely( The Berlin Wall) and this Fence which is ultimately to be built as the lesser of the evils for the survival of a democratic nation( the only one in the Middle East)which every day sees its children die in a slow Holocaust.
Reading the history from an independent point of view,one can note which the now islamic-countries were populated with a lot of Jewish and Christians ( and Zoroastrians like in Persia).
As for Israel,it's known to everyone which Jerusalem and Palestine was always been populated by the Jewish.
In 1948,Israel rightly returned to its land,but it did not take away all the Palestine,but only a part of that land.
Above all, it did so peacefully.
Since its peaceful creation,Israel has been declared war by all the arab neighbours.
And Israel rightly reacted.
So,when the critics of Israel say that it has been occupying Palestinian territories since many years,they avoid to recognize the truth:
Israel would had never occupied Palestine if the arabs did not declare war on it.
They can all live in peace and prosperity.
But arabs,just as their own nature,favored war and hatred,so impoverishing and oppressing its own peoples.
Arabs pay for their leaders' mistakes,not for Israel's fault.
Despite war and terror on it,Israel kept its democratic and peaceful nature,while the neighboring countries were ( and are still now ) dictatorships.
Israel advanced on many fields, like technology,science,economic development,etc..
Yet,arabs live under ignorance and illeteracy.
While blaming Israel for teir suffering,they should start looking at the disaster they provided to themselves.
Without beginning the war on Israel in 1948,arabs today lived in prosperity and peace.( not sure if in democracy)
3)Help to liberate Lebanon from the syrian occupation(this is the real occupation)
Lebanon was,just like Iran,a peace-loving nation,with a lot of intellectuals(Khalil Jibran),educated people and half of its population is Christian.
Sirya illegally occupied Lebanon and turned it into a safe heaven for terrorists and hate.loving people.Lebanon,despite its 'president' is a 'christian' is ruled from unelected puppets of Sirya.
The majority of the Lebanese people wants peace,friendship with Israel and the Usa and,specially wants to get rid of the siryan occupation to return to its beautiful past.
It's known to everyone which Lebanon is a camp for the training of terrorists.
Freeing Lebanon from Siryan occupation will not only free the lebanese people,but also take away one of the terrorists' houses.
4)Another mission is supporting the peace process in Chechenya ( there is a petition whicj you can sign by going on my site italiangirl.splinder.it ).
It's noteworthy remember that the 98% of the Chechen people hate the radical islamists whom goal is the establishment of a taliban-style islamic
Dont forget that Chechens were always persecuted by the soviets,stalin placed them into the gulags.
This has nothing to do with the terrorists, which are very far from being into the chechen people's hearts.
Chechen people has suffered so much under Russian occupation and its brutalities and doesnt want to futher suffering under an islamic state.
For this,it backs the efforts of Ashlan Maskadov in resolving the issue through a peace process.
The world must back this peace process who will give the chechen people dignity who never had under the russians.
By doing this, another of the terrorists's houses will be brought down.
(namely the daghestan mountains)
5)Assuring a better future to Bosnian and kosovar people.
UN failed its mission to make that area more peaceful.
Recently, a report said that some areas of Bosnia and Kosovo are becoming a camp for the training of Al Qaeda terrorists,plus Hamas,Islamic Jihad,Hezbollah,and some Bosnians.
Here also,the majority of the Bosnian and Kosovo peoples have a peace-loving and secular culture.
Securing that area, not only give a better future to that troubled peoples, but also prevent that area from becoming another training camp for terrorists.
Terrorists have lost some of their supporters and bases: Afghanistan and Iraq.
It will take time for everything to be ok, but this is what the coalition troops ( the italian soldiers are at the front in Afghanistan and Iraq,doing a great job,appreciated by the local populations)are doing.
It's so necessary acting on those fronts also,because terrorists chosen other bases after loosing iraq and afghanistan.
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