Never forget September 11, 2001

Sixteen years.  That’s how long it’s been since the worst terrorist attack in American history.  A total of 2,996 people dead or never accounted for.  Symbols of American power struck without warning: both World Trade center towers and the Pentagon.  The actions of informed passengers on a fourth plane likely averted a strike on the White House or Congress.

An entire generation had horrifying visions of previously unimaginable events happening in their own nation, with memories firmly etched into their minds.

They say time heals all wounds. And for the families of those lost that day I hope there is some measure of truth in it. But there is a flip side: such events fade in the public consciousness, such that they no longer inform or shape how the nation acts. To quote the opening of the movie “The Fellowship of the Ring,”

“…some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend, legend became myth…” (click “continue reading” below to continue)

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Back to Bagram?

It seems the President has been swayed by his military advisors (both in and out of uniform) that it’s time to “surge” in Afghanistan again:

…shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia. My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts.

But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you’re president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy.

I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America’s core interests in Afghanistan. First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.

Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists.

A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and Al Qaeda, would instantly fill just as happened before Sept. 11. And as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq. As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorist enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS. The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit and launch attacks. We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq.

Third, and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense. Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world.

For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict….

Surging troops (particularly only 4,000 more) is not a strategy.  Killing individual terrorists is not a strategy.  These are but tactics.   What is the desired end state?  It’s proven to be extremely difficult to build a competent, effective Afghan government and army.  Only when those exist is there any chance of us offloading this burden without creating the vacuum Trump references.  So why isn’t there more emphasis on that?  I’m not just talking about training troops (who have a tendency to run away — even when training in the U.S.!).  I’m talking about identifying real leaders, people Afghans are willing to rally around, that provide another pole of power besides the Taliban.  We may not like the leaders we find; they’re hardly likely to be Jeffersonian types.  But if they are committed to fighting the return of the Taliban and ensure Afghanistan doesn’t return to being a terror sanctuary, that should count most.

I really wish our leaders would pick up a book series I’ve recently been reading.  It’s written by a disaffected former U.S. Army Lt. Colonel who pulls no punches about the flawed premises under which we’ve operated since 9/11.  It’s not easy to read — using a science fiction story as allegory he frequently and graphically lays bare the moral quandaries of this type of war.  But as distasteful as some of his recommended approaches might be, one has to wonder if letting this festering sore drag on for 16 years is far worse.  Respect for U.S. power has waned, even as our forces have worn down from years of constant use.  Maybe it’s time we simply left, and made clear that any nation from which a future attack is launched against will find us, in Kratman’s title quote, making “A Desert Called Peace.”  There are easy ways to do so without “boots on the ground.”  And in the meantime, we should be hardening our borders and entry processes into America immediately.  It’s already long overdue.

Half-measures haven’t gotten us anywhere.  We’re too forceful to be loved, but not forceful enough to be feared.  Sooner or later we’re going to have to choose one or the other.

Pattern recognition

And now we can add #PrayForBarcelona, #PrayForTurku and #PrayForWuppertal-Elberfeld, just in the last two days:

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What do these have in common?  The insane open borders policy of Europe and the United States.  Under cover of one of the world’s largest mass movement of “refugees” in history, our countries have been infiltrated thoroughly by Islamist terrorists.  Pray, yes: that our leaders develop the backbone to close the door and to root out and send home those who’ve already invaded.

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Being the weak horse

It turns out yet again that at least one of the attackers in Saturday’s killing spree on London Bridge was known to be a radical and associate of a radical imam.  What’s more, in this particular case the attacker was even featured in a British TV documentary called “The Jihadist Next Door!”  ((words — even profane ones – fail me here! — Jemison))

The British authorities confirm he was “under investigation.”  I’m sure that will be a comfort to the grieving families of the deceased and the scores of people who will now live with the terror of that night.

Mao Tse-Tung was something of an authority on insurgency warfare (he conquered China by using it).  One of his maxims was “The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.”  Importing large numbers of Muslims to the West has provided that “sea” in which the jihadi “fish” flourish.  I’m not saying all Muslims are guilty of these accelerating atrocities, only that the presence of large numbers of them, complete with cultural infrastructure, gives our enemies considerable support.  Separating the “sheep” from the “goats” is the rub in fighting an insurgency (see: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan), and it’s never an easy task.  It’s even harder when you continue to import part of the problem (note well that at least one of Saturday’s attackers came to Britain as a young boy when his family filed for asylum).

Right now, jihadism looks like Osama bin Laden’s proverbial “strong horse and Western security agencies look like they’re ready for the glue factory.  In the same way inner city kids look up to drug dealing gangsters because they have no other model of success, the hundreds of thousands of young Pakastani, Somali, Yemeni, Syrian, Afghani and other nationalities flooding the West can be prone to see jihad as “manly defiance” of a Western Civilization they’ve already failed to adopt.

Mao outlined three phases to insurgency warfare: organize and recruit, undermine the legitimacy of government, attack all out when strong enough.  In my view, we’re well into phase two of this insurgency, and our governments look weaker and more ineffective by the day.  So what do we do?  If we’re to succeed, we have to steel ourselves to some distasteful but necessary steps:

Most Muslims are peaceful people who disapprove of terrorism, but many are not. Opinion polls show a large and consistent minority  of 20% to 40% approves of at least some form of terrorism. Support for ISIS generally is low, but much higher for Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups. By any reasonable count there are a few hundred million Muslims who in some way approve of terror, although very few of them would take part in terror attacks. But they are the sea in which the sharks can swim unobserved. They may not build bombs, but they will turn a blind eye to terrorists in their midst, especially if those terrorists are relations. They also fear retaliation from the terrorists if they inform.

The way to win the war is to frighten the larger community of Muslims who passively support terror by action or inaction–frighten them so badly that they will inform on family members. Frightening the larger Muslim population in the West does not require a great deal of effort: a few thousand deportations would do. Western intelligence services do not even have to deport the right people; the wrong people know who they are, and so do many of their neighbors. The ensuing conversation is an easy one to have. “I understand that your nephew is due for deportation, Hussein, and I believe you when you tell me that he has done nothing wrong. I might be able to help you. But you have to help me. Give me something I can use–and don’t waste my time by making things up, or I swear that I’ll deport you, too. If you don’t have any information, then find out who does.”

In the end, this is simple: show resolve, close the border and start deporting thousands now, or end up fighting tens of thousands later.  As the organizer of “Sherman’s March” noted in the 1860s, “War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”  So, are we in a “War on Terror” or not?  On this day in 1944, thousands of young men stormed ashore at Normandy.  Do we even possess this kind of grim determination anymore?

Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp’ in D.C. Mordor, and the jury is still out on whether he’ll have any success.  Just as necessary is draining the “sea” in which these known human time bombs are ticking.  Given that the UK alone has been hit three times in less than two weeks, one would think this would be the top priority.

That it isn’t tells us all we need to know about “leaders” in the West.

Same pablum, different day

This article is worth your attention, as it encapsulates the feelings of an already large and growing number of people (myself included):

The sad truth, and getting sadder with every attack, is that the political class has little interest in doing what would really be necessary to combat Islamist terrorism, let alone talk about it. They don’t want to talk about how Britain’s (the West’s) lax immigration policies over decades led to hundreds of thousands of immigrants entering the country with varying degrees of willingness to assimilate and adopt Western values. They don’t want to openly criticize the blatant problems with the multiculturalism the UK (West) has pursued for years and the obvious impact it has had on the immigrant population.

Oh no. This would cost them too much. It would shatter the façade of political correctness that’s been constructed over our “civilized” western world, and destroy the illusion, so vital to the political class, that Western values are universal.

The politicians are only willing to give speeches about how united we are and how terrorists cannot tear us apart. But the truth—so clear and obvious—is that with every attack the West becomes more and more divided. We are not united, not by a long shot…

There’s little to no tolerance in polite society for the kind of honesty for which many in the West are hungry…

Our political leaders are basically telling us that this kind of terrorism, random and deadly, is the price we have to pay for their policies of multiculturalism and political correctness. They know that their weak platitudes can’t stop terrorism, and so do the people. They might as well come out and say what they mean: get used to the new normal.  ((slight editing and emphasis by yours truly))

Close the borders.  Send the illegals home.  And stop importing more of the medium — hundreds of thousands of Muslims from broken and radicalized countries — in which this ideology flourishes.

What absolutely needs to be said

This excerpt is not enough.  Take a moment to read the entire thing.

After the terror, the platitudes. And the hashtags. And the candlelit vigils. And they always have the same message: ‘Be unified. Feel love. Don’t give in to hate.’ The banalities roll off the national tongue. Vapidity abounds…

In response to the deaths of more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande gig, in response to the massacre of children enjoying pop music, people effectively say: ‘All you need is love.’ The disparity between these horrors and our response to them, between what happened and what we say, is vast. This has to change…

We need unity, they say. Unity’s their buzzword. But this is substanceless, too. Unity around what? Unity against what? What are our values? Who is the enemy of those values? Don’t ask. Don’t think.

Where’s the rage? If the massacre of children and their parents on a fun night out doesn’t make you feel rage, nothing will. The terrorist has defeated you. You are dead already.  (emphasis added)

Since our leaders are determined to keep us hypnotized by humming “kumbaya” and singing “give peace a chance,” let me jog the reader’s memory:

Nice, France, July 14, 2016.  At least 84 killed and 202 others injured after a truck driven by a Tunisian-born Frenchman named Mohamed Bouhlel plowed through a Bastille Day celebration.

Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016.  49 shot and killed and 53 injured by gunman Omar Mateen at a gay nightclub before he was killed by police after a three-hour standoff.

Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2016. ISIS set off bombs and gunfire at a Brussels’s city airport and a subway station, killing 30 people and injuring at least 230 people.

San Bernardino, California, December 14, 2015. Two radical Islamists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, shot and murdered 14 people and injured 22 others at an office holiday party.

Paris, France, November 13, 2015. ISIS launched a massive, coordinated terror attack in the city of Paris that resulted in at least 129 dead and 352 people injured.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines and a sailor at a military base in Chattanooga.

Copenhagen, Denmark, February 23, 2015. A gunman who swore loyalty to the leader of ISIS opened fire at a free speech forum and at people outside a synagogue, killing two.

Paris, France, January 9, 2015. A gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS held people in a kosher supermarket hostage and killed four of them.

Paris, France, January 7, 2015. Two Islamic terrorists murdered 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French magazine that had published cartoons mocking Mohammed.

Nine events, 327 deaths.  And that’s just 2015 and 2016!  Analysis of this year’s activity indicates a terror attack has been attempted or successful in Europe about every nine days.  Even all this leaves out significant past events like 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing or U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan’s murder of 14 fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas, in 2009 (just to name a few).

As the author of the linked piece above stated, if you aren’t enraged by now, you are already dead.  Scripture tells us that for everything there is a season: “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Western Civilization had better figure out what time it is and act accordingly.

Failure to assimilate

Turkey’s recent election, which further enhanced the Islamist totalitarian powers of Recep Erdogan, shows how far that nation has come from the secular society Kemal Ataturk intended.

The votes by Turks living abroad are even more telling, and should be noted:

About 1.4 million expatriate Turks voted in Turkey’s referendum to grant President Erdogan near-dictatorial powers, with three quarters of them residing in Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. These Turkish voters, living in some of Europe’s most liberal countries, overwhelming cast their ballots for Erdogan’s illiberal reforms of Turkish society…

Life in liberal Europe is not having the impact people hoped—Turks in Europe are not any less nationalistic, less authoritarian or less Islamist than their compatriots at home—rather they are more of all these things..

If assimilation is failing with long established Turks in affluent, full employment Germany, what can we expect with other communities in less prosperous European countries?

The measure squeaked by at home, with just over 51% saying “yes.”  For the Turks living abroad, “Yes” had anywhere from 15 to 25% more support!  That would tend to confirm the thesis that the massive wave of ‘refugees’ in the past couple of years represents an ideological vanguard of Islamism that intends to make Europe submit to it, not the other way around.

The author of the quoted piece seems puzzled that good economic conditions in Germany haven’t produced assimilation.  That’s because assimilation is a primarily a cultural issue, not an economic one.  In the past, Western European nations and the Anglosphere (U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc) fully expected newcomers to adopt their language, follow their laws, and to give their undivided loyalty to their new nation.

Immigrants today don’t have to cut the cord with the “old country” the way past generations did.  With global communication, the ability to travel and the tendency to settle into specific ethnic enclaves in their new land, immigrants today have far less motivation to assimilate.  Let’s face it: for Mexicans in the U.S., “home” is next door, you live in barrios with people like yourself, you can watch Spanish-language TV such as Univision, and even wave the Mexican flag while watching the U.S. play that country in soccer.  These are not Mexican-Americans.  They are Mexicans living in America.  The same is true of the Turks in Europe.  Even at the height of the Cold War, with Turkey a key partner in NATO, Europeans were strongly divided over whether or not to consider Turkey “European.”  Its current regression to pining for the days of the Ottoman Empire should answer that question.

The West has basically allowed a substantial fifth column to develop in their midst — a development our traitorous leadership class has encouraged.  While the resulting attacks rarely amount to more than a single actor at a time right now, I suspect that won’t remain the case much longer.  Even the “lone wolves” usually have ideological and communication ties with the Islamist movement.  At this stage of the game, Turks should be carefully watched, not welcomed in with no restrictions.  It’s time to shut the doors for a while and deal with what we’ve already admitted, rather than keep the welcome mat out for anyone with a pulse.