OUR TICKING BOMB IS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
By Ilana Freedman / Local Columnist
July 29, 2005
July has been a cruel month.
A shocking attack by suicide terrorists
left 56 morning commuters in London dead. Scarcely two weeks later,
three car bombs in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, killed 88 tourists and
locals. And the next day, an early morning bomb under a train in
Dagestan, Russia, left a woman passenger dead.
In one week alone, the city of Baghdad witnessed 22 car bombs,
including 10 in one day that killed nearly 100 people.
It has been a busy and bloody month for terrorists. Their mission
has been to kill as many people as possible. As I have pointed out
before in this column, the victims were not innocent "bystanders." They
were the terrorists' intended targets. Their only crime was happening
to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Did I say "terrorists?" What was I thinking! Britain's
BBC and Canada's CBC have made it policy to avoid using the "T" word,
which they call "judgmental." When referring to the four
men who blew up 56 people in London, they prefer to conjecture that
they "may have been radicalized." These men, who packed
nails into the explosives they carried in order to inflict the greatest
suffering possible, were only "attackers." And the man
whose rented car was found in a densely populated area containing
16, "ready-made" bombs set to deploy, was merely "a
Get real, people! This is not a game. The first rule of war is:
know your enemy. And we'd better start calling it what it is, because
like it or not, we are at war. Our enemy is a global network of
radical Islamist groups who have declared war on America and on
our democratic way of life.
They have made no secret about their plans to turn our own country
into a Muslim society governed by "sharia" law. They have
extended their war to include our allies. And beyond that, they
have targeted their historic enemies (Europeans), whom they call "crusaders." They
also include the lands where they once held the reigns of power
and then lost it (Spain), and those whom they consider "apostates" (other
Muslims whose Islam is not sufficiently radical to please them).
Radical Islam is at the center of nearly every conflict in this
deeply troubled world, from the Sudan to Indonesia, from the Philippines
to Nigeria, from Pakistan to Lebanon, from Israel to the UK, from
the Ivory Coast to the United States.
These terrorists justify their violence against civilians by shifting
the blame onto others -- the Americans, the Jews, the British, and
in fact, all dhimmis (non-Muslims). For example, terrorists frequently
blame their need for brutal attacks against the West on the existence
of Israel. It's a nice story, but it's a lie. In reality, Islam's
hatred of Jews goes back nearly 1,400 years.
In 627, Muhammad ordered the massacre of 900 Jewish men in Medina
and then sent their widows and children into slavery. A millennium
later, Muslims were still murdering Jews in Palestine, long before
the state of Israel was established in 1948. The existence of Israel
may be a convenient excuse for terrorism that many are willing to
accept without examination, but it is a perversion of historical
Osama bin Laden took the lie one step further. When he threw down
the gauntlet with his now famous fatwah, issued in February 1998,
he blamed the United States for the misery of Muslims worldwide.
He accused Americans of "occupying the lands of Islam in the
holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches,
dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its
neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead
through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples." He
therefore called on Muslims everywhere to "kill the Americans
and their allies -- civilians and military."
It is easy for others to blame us for their own shortcomings,
to accuse us of interfering when we come to their aid. But for us
to accept that blame, and by doing so become the victim, is the
depth of folly. When our overriding need for political correctness
prevents us from addressing the danger that faces us, we put ourselves
at great risk.
Our need for absolution for crimes we did not commit makes us
weak in the face of a violent and cruel enemy. We bend over backwards
to avoid giving offense to those who have offended us and flagellate
ourselves for breaches of manners. But people who murder other people
with whom they disagree and then blame it on their victims, do not
have sensitivities that should be catered to.
The truth remains that man is accountable for his actions. He
who murders is responsible for his crime. Our enemies has made it
clear that their goal is to destroy us. They will neither negotiate
nor accept compromise, which they view as weakness. It is therefore
time for us to rethink our posture and the manner in which we deal
with the threat that confronts us.
As long as terrorists confined their activities to the Middle
East, we felt safe. When they struck in Madrid, we were shaken,
but we still felt reasonably secure. The longer nothing happened
in the United States, the safer we felt. Now they have struck in
London, a city not unlike New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.
Are we listening? The threat will not be going away any time soon.
On the contrary, the attacks are coming more frequently and they
are getting closer. Do we remember 9/11? Are we naive enough to
think it can not happen here again?
As long as we refuse to acknowledge that there is danger, we will
not be safe at all. The first step that we must take is to recognize
that we are at war and to stop the insanity of a culture of political
correctness that is putting us all at risk.
Ilana Freedman is a specialist in counter-terrorism and Managing
Partner of Gerard Group International LLC.