Friday, March 23, 2007

Winds of War: 10 Common Myths On The War on Terror

Recently, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington. In his remarks, he listed the most common myths about the war on terror. Unfortunately, they don’t go far enough in identifying the crux of the problem facing us in our struggle against Islamo-fascism.

Vice President Cheney names and refutes 4 myths. But there are several other myths that exist and by not identifying them and countering them we run the real risk of losing the struggle between a 13th century culture of the Islamists and the 21st century civilization of today.

First, Cheney’s myths.

Myth #1: Iraq has nothing to do with the global war on terror.

Opponents of our military action there have called Iraq a diversion from the real conflict, a distraction from the business of fighting and defeating (Osama) bin Laden and the Al Qaida network. We hear this over and over again, not as an argument but as an assertion meant to close off argument.

Yet the critics conveniently disregard the words of bin Laden himself. The most serious issue today for the whole world, he has said, is this Third World War that is raging in Iraq. He called it a war of destiny between infidelity and Islam. He said the whole world is watching this war and that it will end in victory and glory or misery and humiliation. And in words directed at the American people, bin Laden declares, quote, “The war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever.”

Cheney is correct. The enemy defines what and where a struggle will take place, not you. And Al Qaida has made that very clear a many occasions in their public proclamations.

Myth #2: We can support the troops without giving them the tools and reinforcements needed to carry out their mission.

When members of Congress pursue an antiwar strategy that’s been called “Slow-Bleed,” they’re not supporting the troops; they are undermining them. And when members of Congress speak not of victory but of time limits…deadlines or other arbitrary measures, they’re telling the enemy simply to watch the clock and wait us out.

Cheney is half right here. You can only win a war when it’s fought in the entire theater of Operation. We couldn’t win the Vietnam War because of political reasons, and we’re not going to win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan for the very same reason.

A theater of war can not be contained within artificial boundaries on a map. The enemy needs to be pursued and defeated with in the entire theater of war. In Vietnam we could not invade North Vietnam which was supporting the war effort in the south without having China enter war.

This defeatist strategy also was employed in the Korean War. When General MacArthur asked to bomb the bridges between China and North Korea to prevent China from sending troops into the peninsula to support the defeated North Koreans, he was told he could only bomb the Korean side of the bridge. The befuddled MacArthur replied, “In all my time as a combat officer, I’ve never knew how to bomb only half a bridge!”

Ii the first Gulf War, the military were given free reign to fight within the theater or war. To eject the Iraqis from Kuwait, the military invaded parts of Iraq - and succeeded in meeting the military objective.

When the military’s hands are tied and the enemy has a safe haven to plan the strategists and deploy their forces, that’s a recipe for defeat. And that’s what we are facing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Islamist jihadists operate from safe haven in Pakistan and Iran and as long as they are not pursued into those parts of the theater of war, the outlook for success in Iraq and Afghanistan is bleak. The Islamists know that our inability to pursue them will lead to the wearing down of the multinational forces that will eventually lead to withdrawal and defeat.

You want to win a war? Keep the politics out of it and realize that there is nothing “correct” about war. The point is to win as fast as possible to end the misery of all concerned. Worry about winning the “hearts and minds” of those who have a heart and a mind AFTER you defeat those who have neither.

Myth #3: Leaving Iraq before the job is done will actually strengthen America’s hand in the fight against terrorists.

This myth is dangerous because it represents a full validation of the Al Qaida strategy. The terrorists don’t expect to beat us in a stand-up fight. They never have. They’re not likely to try. The only way they can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon our mission, and the terrorists do believe that they can force that outcome. Time after time, they have predicted that the American people do not have the stomach for a long-term fight. They cite the cases of Beirut in the 1980s and Somalia in the ‘90s. These examples, they believe, show that we are weak and decadent, and that if we’re hit hard enough, we’ll pack it in and retreat.

The result would even greater danger to the United States, because if the terrorists conclude that attacks will change the behavior of a nation, they will attack that nation again and again.

Cheney is right on here.

Myth #4: The false hope that we can abandon the effort in Iraq without serious consequences to the broader Middle East.

It’s not hard to imagine what could occur if our coalition withdrew before Iraqis could defend themselves. Moderates would be crushed. Shi’ite extremists, backed by Iran, could be in an all-out war with Sunni extremists, led by Al Qaida and remnants of the old Saddam (Hussein) regime. As this battle unfolded, Sunni governments might feel compelled to back Sunni extremists in order to counter growing Iranian influence, widening the conflict into a regional war. If Sunni extremists prevailed, Al Qaida and its allies would recreate the safe haven they lost in Afghanistan, except now with the oil wealth to pursue weapons of mass destruction and underwrite their terrorist designs, including their pledge to destroy Israel. If Iran’s allies prevailed, the regime in Tehran’s own designs for the Middle East would be advanced and the threat to our friends in the region would only be magnified.

I agree 100%.

But Cheney is amiss in his myths and thus the reason why both proponents and opponents of the ‘war on terror’ believe the struggle will go on almost in definitely or is unwinnable in its present state. These myths, if not confronted, will lead to our defeat against the Islamists and their global agenda.

Here they are.

Myth #5: The War is a Criminal Matter.

This is the myth held by the Left. The terrorist are a band of international criminals and should be brought to justice. And that they have rights. The military operations should be used sparingly or not at all or America’s reputation ye world will continue to plummet at the same time making potential allies withdraw their assistance. An article in Newsweek makes this position very clear.

The next American president will be well advised to replace the “war on terror” with the kind of coordinated effort that the fight always should have entailed. In other words, the hunt for the culprits of 9/11 was never simply a war or a criminal manhunt. It was always both, a hybrid covert-war-and-criminal roundup—one in which clear legal rules should have been set to brand terrorists like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as outlaws in the international system. The Geneva Conventions should have been applied; suspects should have had lawyers; cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment should have been expressly prohibited.

But without knowing it, the article states what really has to be done.

Only if the next president sets the rules more clearly and does a better job of discriminating who the enemy is can we have any hope of winning.

Ah, yes, identifying the actual enemy. But it won’t be the Left who does it.

But now, by letting Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others remain in legal limbo and gradually expanding his definition of the war on terror to include all Islamic “extremists”—among them Hezbollah and Hamas—President Bush may have condemned us to a permanent war. A war in which we are, again, waging an uncomfortably lonely fight, since almost no other country agrees on such a broadly defined enemy.

The article is right about that. Our ‘allies’ are very reluctant to identify these extremist organizations or even the nation states that support them. Appeasement is the rule of the day and nothing short of full scale military attacks on their territory will brings our allies into the real war – the war against Islamism.

Myth #6: The Poverty Myth

There is no robust evidence that there is a link between poverty and terrorism. Jihad Watch writes:

Over the years we have posted many studies that show that jihadists are generally better educated and wealthier than their peers. I expect that at least some of them have come to the attention of officials in Washington, but the assumption among law enforcement and government officials that money will solve the problem of terrorism remains deeply entrenched. Anyway, here is more evidence. "The poverty/terror myth: There may be an economic dimension to terrorism -- but it's not what you think, says Fortune's Cait Murphy," by Cait Murphy in Fortune:

Of the 50 poorest countries in the world only Afghanistan (and perhaps Bangladesh and Yemen) has much experience in terrorism, global or domestic. …..Aren't the people who commit terrorist acts poor, even if they are from countries that are not? No. Remember, most of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were middle-class sons of Saudi Arabia and many were well-educated. And Osama bin Laden himself is from one of the richest families in the Middle East.

But it goes deeper than that. In a 2003 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Alan Krueger and Jitka Maleckova reported the results of a post-9/11 survey of Palestinians. Asked whether there were "any circumstances under which you would justify the use of terrorism to achieve political goals," the higher-status respondents (merchant, farmer or professional) were more likely to agree (43.3 percent) than those lower down the ladder (laborer, craftsman or employee) (34.6 percent). The higher-status respondents were also more likely to support armed attacks against Israeli targets (86.7 percent to 80.8 percent). The same dynamic existed when education was taken into account.

A comprehensive study of 1,776 terrorist incidents (240 international, the rest domestic) by Harvard professor Albert Abadie, who was sympathetic to the poverty-terrorism idea at first, found no such thing. "When you look at the data," he told the Harvard Gazette, "it's not there."

What drives the militant jihadist is politics – not economics.

Myth #7: You Can’t Fight Billion Muslims

You don’t have to. But what you must do is help non-jihadist Muslims (and that includes the non-violent forms of Jihad) defend themselves against the Islamists and their attempts at imposing their ideology on one time moderate Islamic nations.

Surely the success of Indonesia and Malaysia where Muslims enjoy a high standard of living would temper any attempts at Islamist infiltration? Wrong again.

As Reuters reported on back in October, just 10 percent of Indonesian Muslims said they backed jihad and supported bomb attacks on the island of Bali aimed at foreign tourists. But Indonesia is home to more than 200 million Muslims, so while 10 percent may sound like a small number percentage-wise, it is actually quite large in absolute terms. It means there are some 20 million Muslims in Indonesia alone who are willing to say out loud that they support the use of violence and terror against innocent human beings.

So what do the numbers tell us? That terrorism is the only jihad that the Islamists use to advance their agenda of Islamatizing the world?

The figures above, taken from a variety of nations, continents and contexts, all point in one very ominous direction. They demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the global jihadist movement enjoys a wide and broad base of support that extends far beyond just a minuscule number of supporters. And that far beyond includes the many different types of jihads used by the Islamists – media, litigation, financial, economic, demographic and cultural jihads.

If we are to defeat the Islamist ideology then we need to see that up to now moderate Muslims can be turned and we need to help those who oppose the radical elements in their midst.

Myth #8: If Israel Makes Peace, the Terrorists Will Have No Issue to Rally Around

Those who believe this myth (mostly appeasers and apologists for Islamism) are the most delusional of all. Al Qaeda has make it very clear that though they want to see Israel destroyed, they’ve made it clear that they want America destroyed too.

Eliminating Israel, imposing a peace on Israel that strips her of its defenses will only embolden the terrorist and prove that their tactics will bring them victory.

Myth #8: The Terrorists are Frustrated with the Free World

This is another cherished belief of the appeasers and apologists for Islamism. They say we have ‘understand’ the terrorists and that we are responsible for their anger towards us. There is something wrong with us – not them.

In the words of one of the great appeasers – George Clooney- "They are, in a way, the most sympathetic, but I think that's important. Because if you are going to fight a war on terror, which is not a state that you can go and bomb, then you need to understand what it is that creates the people that would do such horrible things, rather then just saying- labeling them as evildoers."

They are frustrated with the policies and plans of the West, but in reality, we are frustrating theirs – and they don’t like it.

Myth #9: The War on Terror is Threatening Our Civil Freedoms

According to the misguided apologists and appeasers, it’s not the terrorists who want to rob us of our freedoms but the US government itself.

We are told that we are fighting a war against terrorists who "hate our freedom" and seek to "undermine our very way of life." If America succumbs to full-blown tyranny it will not be because of crazed, diabolical "Islamo-Fascists." It will be because the American people willingly relinquished their freedom in the name of security.

To those that believe such tripe I say, “I have a camel to sell you – cheap.”

Then there’s the political side. Former Vice President Al Gore accuses the Bush administration on many an ocassion of using the war on terrorism "to consolidate its power and escape any accountability for its use."

Perhaps this myth is just a ruse to regain political power after all.

Myth #10: It’s a War on Terror

Finally, the most delusional myth of all – we are fighting a war on terror. Even president Bush, in his most lucid moments admits, “We actually misnamed the war on terror, it ought to be the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world.”

And how should this ideology, this ‘ism’, this ideology of Islamism be fought? Walid Phares has the answer.

A sound Homeland Security must begin by educating the public as to the nature of the enemy, its ideology, its strategies and tactics. This is how you should prepare the nation to face future Jihadism, not by avoiding a national debate on the real issue under the pretext that Jihadism is some sort of theological matter. Precisely, the enemy wants you to believe that Jihadism (the enemy's profound nature) is just a matter of academic and theological debate. It would be the equivalent of having the propagandists of the IIIrd Reich convincing the Allies, that Nazism is a cultural issue. The West cannot avoid future Jihad unless it rises to a level of an advanced understanding of the enemy's ideology and tactics. And unless that new well-prepared international society equips itself with all the necessary tools, including education and outreach to fellow resisters in the East, the clash with future Jihadists is unavoidable and will last longer.

And those tactics, or multiple coordinated jihads, I have written about time and time before.

  • Cultural jihad
  • Economic jihad
  • Demographic jihad
  • Litigation jihad
  • Institutional jihad
  • Financial jihad
  • Media jihad.
  • Thugery jihad
  • Criminal jihad

All of which has the objective of imposing, one way or another, Shariah law on a society.

If we are to win this war against Islamism wherever an whenever it’s found, we need to confront and dispel these myths or we will find ourselves under the heel of the boot of the Islamists.

Sign up for my free WEEKLY STORM REPORT and receive a synopsis of the most important weekly news revealing the intimidation, infiltration and disinformation tactics used to soften-up the non-Muslim world for domination.


  • These points tell me that our system of government isn't ready to accept these truths - sadly, it is the left who aren't ready.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 AM  


    It's good business for the MIC.
    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    Politicians make no difference.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

    For more details see:

    By Blogger RoseCovered Glasses, at 4:52 PM  

  • Re: The 10 Common Myths - This is letter perfect, you've nailed it - We're adding a link to The Gathering Storm.

    By Blogger John Pangia, at 1:32 PM  



    An Islamic Reformation

    Moderate Muslims are engaged with the Islamic fundamentalists in a life and death struggle for the heart and soul of Islam. We need to form an alliance with moderate Muslims in their historical struggle to dramatically reduce recruits for terrorism. Such an alliance will lead to a Reformation of Islam. The Equality of Women and the Renunciation of Religious Violence are essential cornerstones in the Reformation of Islam.


    Islamic Fundamentalists have taken Islam and turned its teachings into a murderous medieval ideology – that the killing of infidels in the name of Allah will be rewarded in heaven - allowing the Islamists to sexually molest for all eternality 72 virgins, in 72 mansions, and 72 beds – that the murder of millions of non - believers is a religious duty, women are inferior to men - their virtual slaves to be denied education, beaten, killed for adultery or other sexual transgressions (real or imaged), covered from head to toe, people can be mutilated and tortured, barbers giving hair cuts can be killed, music and movies banned, women practicing folk dancing murdered, schools teaching young girls blown up, anyone who believes in a different interpretation of Islam to be killed and on and on. Muslims have paid a terrible price at the hands of these Fundamentalists. Children mutilated. Grand parents brains blown all over the street. Women, children, old and young. Over one hundred and fifty thousand Muslims have been slaughtered in the most horrid, unimaginable ways since 9/11.

    The Pope in his recent speech on God and Reason has shown the way forward. A very important event occurred recently when 36 Islamic Scholars sent the Pope a communication in which they agreed – that in Islam, Allah is – "A GOD OF REASON." This important declaration - perhaps one of the most important by a group of such eminent Islamic scholars must be seized upon. The Pope should call for a world religious conference on the scale of Vatican 2 bringing together all the top religious leaders and scholars from EVERY world religion to draft a Universal Declaration of Religious Principles. This Declaration will form the basis of an historic alliance between Christianity and Islam to turn the murderous fundamentalist tide before it is too late. Before a nuclear weapon is exploded in the Name of Allah in a Western City killing millions.

    Following would be the format of this Universal Religious Declaration.


    There is only one God
    God is God
    God is a God of Reason.
    God is not an irrational being. If God is irrational then God is not God.

    Ordinary people on the street understand the words – "reason" and 'irrational". Any such declaration must be kept simple - not an intellectual rambling on of the Philosophy of Reason. (For a very important article on the Philosophy of Reason and Pope Benedicts controversial speech I draw your attention to article – "Socrates or Muhammad? Joseph Ratzinger on the destiny of reason" by Lee Harris.)

    God Being a God of Reason Therefore:

    All violence in the Name of God/Allah is the GREATEST evil anyone can commit. Suicide is an evil act in every religion. Suicide bombers killing themselves and others in the Name of God/Allah – this is the Supreme evil act. The second most evil act is killing, maiming, and torturing others to the Greater Glory of God/Allah. The concept of Jihad as religious holy war must be condemned. All references to violence in any holy book/text is not the word of God/Allah but the word of man. No God Allah who is God /Allah would ever instruct anyone to commit acts of violence against any other human being. Violence in religion must be totally and completely renounced – WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION. There is no heaven for these murderers. No mansions. No virgins. Just the black hole of eternal damnation. You cannot climb to heaven on the corpses of the murdered. If God /Allah believes in violence then God/Allah is irrational and therefore God/Allah is not God/Allah.

    God Being A God of Reason Therefore:

    Women and men are equal in the eyes of God/Allah. Women are the equal of men. Women are not valued by God/Allah as worth 50% of men. God/Allah did not create women to be the chattel or slaves of men. Females have full rights in society before the law, under the rule of law, can dress any way they freely desire without fear of death, walk the streets without a male relative escort, do any occupation, receive all educational rights, drive planes, trains, automobiles, fly to the stars, choose their own husbands etc. These equal rights of women in society are very important. Their exercise without fear of violence - without the fear of being victims of Honor Killings must be declared WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION in any such declaration. If God/Allah is a sexist then God/Allah is irrational and therefore God/Allah is not God/Allah.

    God Being A God of Reason Therefore:

    There are many ways to God/Allah. Each individual has the total and complete right to find his/her own way to God/Allah or not. Religious freedom is the right of all mankind. The right to build churches, mosques etc. To practice ones religious beliefs non – violently is a corner stone of all civilized societies. The right to change ones religion without fear of death. Only an irrational God/Allah would order people put to death for not believing in religion or deciding to change ones beliefs from one religion to another religion. It is an unimpeachable right.

    God Being A God Of Reason Therefore:

    All human beings are created equal. All races are created equal. God/Allah does not wish that any human being be a slave. No one person is the lesser of the other. To use religion to spread hate against other races, religions in places of worship, employing television or any other medium, teaching hatred to the young in schools – this is evil incarnate. If God/Allah is a racist then God/Allah is irrational and therefore God/Allah is not God/Allah.

    God Being A God Of Reason Therefore

    God/Allah blessed man with an intelligence to reason, to explore, to seek the truth of any question – total freedom of thought. To think and reason without fear of jail/death. It is against the will of God/Allah to threaten anyone with death, torture or prison for freely exercising his God/Allah given brain. The human brain is the greatest gift God/Allah has ever bestowed on man. It was given to mankind to purse - the arts, literature, sciences, intellectual pursuits. Its free exercise is the will of God/Allah. Declared WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION. If God/Allah is anti intellectual then God/Allah is irrational and therefore God/Allah is not God/Allah.

    God Being A God Of Reason Therefore

    All mankind has the right to freedom and democracy, equality before the law, freedom of action, freedom of thought, right to elect their leaders. God /Allah does not want dictators and tyrants to rule over other men. NO EQUIVOCATION. If God/Allah does not believe in the right of mankind to Freedom and Democracy then God/Allah is irrational and therefore God/Allah is not God/Allah.

    Pope Benedict has opened the way to a great reconciliation of the world religions. A Grand Conference issuing this Universal Declaration of Religious Rights and Freedoms to be read in every Church, Synagogue, Mosque would be the start of an alliance between faiths against ALL religious extremists. A turning point in the struggle for the minds of young people especially young Muslims who are being constantly bombarded by a religious evil ideology.

    Written By,

    Larry Houle


    By Blogger Larry, at 1:07 AM  

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