Saturday, May 03, 2008

Know Your Enemy

I just finished reading a book I received from the Media Research center called "In The Words of Our Enemies" by Jed Babbin. It is basically (among other things) a compilation of the many warnings we were given before 9-11 from radical Islamists like Osama bin Laden to the maniacal rantings of cleric leaders in Iran. Many of the "speeches" had never been translated into English before. One thing that struck me beyond what we all know, which is their wish to kill us, is that there is no hope of unity. There is no hope of living in this world, side by side, leaving each other alone. They thrive on our weaknesses. And they see that the fact that we value our own lives as weak.

I often hear from my lefty friends that radical Islam is but a small fraction of rebels and is not associated with Islam in general. This book puts that myth to bed. Radical Islam has woven itself into the religion of Islam. If we can't face that fact, then we can't defeat it.

What reminded me to write about this was listening to Andy McCarthy talk about his book, Willful Blindness in a similar vein to Rush. I found part of the transcript over at NRO: (emphasis mine)

Rush: What's it going to take to wake people up again to the existence of this threat, and just because we've thwarted one on our soil for seven years; however we've done it, doesn't mean the threat's gone away or is any less intense. What's it going to take?

MCCARTHY: Well, I hope it doesn't take another attack, but it's probably going to take at least a sense that we could be attacked that certainly isn't present for us now — and in terms of what you're talking about now, you know, I haven't been the biggest McCain fan to the planet, but let me give him this much of his due. He wants to get the job done in Iraq at least insofar as it means defeating Al-Qaeda there. I can't stress to people how important that is. Even if you don't agree with why we went to Iraq in the first place — and, you know, say we should never have been there —the fact is that the worst thing we ever did was pull out of Lebanon in 1983 when the Marine barracks got hit. The next worst thing we probably ever did was pull out of Somalia when that got ugly. These people — and when I talk about "these people," I mean people like Bin Laden and the Blind Sheik — if used to a fair thee well as a recruiting tool this notion that they're the strong horse, we're the weak horse; and if they make it ugly enough and bloody enough for us, that we will pull out. It's like when a very strong team plays a very weak team in sports. The strong team can never give the weak team a sniff, because the minute you do and they start to think they can win, and they start to believe in themselves, they become much more efficient. It becomes much more easy for them to recruit, to raise money, to do all the things they have to do to take on a superpower. What they have going for them that we don't, is they have basically eradicated our threshold idea of what is civilized behavior. They are willing to do anything to win, and they're absolutely sure that history is on their side. Unless we become more sure than we are now that we're right, and that we have a need to show them that however long it takes, we're going to do what has to be done to win; you know, we can't rely on the fact that we're a super power and that it's inevitable that we'll win this thing.

If you didn't read my post, "A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The 'Quagmire' in Iraq...:, please check it out now because it addresses how important it is for us to not just leave Iraq right now or in the near future.

The one thing that was absolutely clear in "In The Words of Our Enemies" was that Osama bin Laden delighted in our weakness. He said over and over many times that America cannot stand to lose their soldiers, that we are a paper tiger. He pointed to the very places that Andy pointed out, Lebanon and Somalia. Osama is like the predator that smells weakness and then goes in for the attack. In an interview published in a London newspaper five years before 9-11, Osama talked about how disgraceful Somalia was for us. He said we moved in tens of thousands of soldiers and then he said this:

"However when...(many) of your soldiers were killed in minor battles and one American pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadish, you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat, and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge, but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of you impotence and weaknessses became very clear"

It's clear that these madmen see our weakness as Allah's will. It explains our weakness. But when we win, when we fight back, then that explanation evaporates.

I could go on and on about the Hitler like insanity that permeates the interviews with Osama and other radical clerics. From Osama's delight in the blood and guts of "infidels" that he sees on TV, to his determination to obtain the weapons that would destroy us for good.

Do you see how important it is that we elect the person who best understands this fight? If we retreat now, we invite the belief that we are weak and the enemy builds on that to prepare for the next act of destruction and death.