An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume VI, Issue # 64, March 30, 2004
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
Government Committed to & Acting in Accord with Conservative Principles
Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity
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  World War IV: Islamist Terror War Against the U.S.A. & the West

By Alan Caruba

FULL STORY:   I watched as much of the 9-11 Commission hearings as I could. Early on, it occurred to me that it was a fairly useless exercise and one, in an election year, that the mainstream media would degrade into the typical political game of trying to transfer and place blame.

Most of the questions seemed to be of the “could’a, would’a, should’a” variety, as if the participants in the events and years leading up to 9-11 could have known more, would have done things differently, and should have saved the more than 3,000 who died that day.

Only life doesn’t work that way. The President gets briefed every morning by the head of the CIA and FBI. Others from the National Security Council participate. He hears from the Secretary of Defense as well. The news is never good, and the news every day is filled with all manner of potential threats. After a while, a President gets used to it. Yes, the threats are there and they are real, but they are always there.

When a threat has been deterred, Americans are not told about it. Why let the enemy know that you know what he’s up to?

Moreover, it’s not like people in the Clinton administration or those coming into office in the Bush II administration weren’t fully aware of the threats. They were. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “We didn’t arrive in office wrapped in cellophane.” Nor was everyone in place on day one. The vetting and approval process for those serving the new administration took weeks and months.

If anything, those around Bush were among the most cohesive group of “neocons” to ever hold office at the same time. They arrived thinking that the U.S. had to take a far more aggressive position regarding terror-sponsoring nations. By contrast, the Clinton inner circle were far less inclined to take any kind of military action, no matter what the provocation might be.

9-11, however, could not be ignored. It literally changed all the rules of the game, and those rules were going to be written by President Bush and his circle of advisors. The toppling of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon was no longer going to be treated as a crime scene. It was a full-blown cause for war, and that’s what followed in short order.

Pakistan was told to cooperate. Or else. It cooperated. Afghanistan, home to the Taliban, mostly Saudi Arabians who had taken over the nation under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, was attacked in order to either kill him or at least take away his base of operations.

Bin Laden has been on the run ever since. If this action had not been taken, he would still be directing new attacks on America, against which he openly declared war.

You don’t have to listen to the 9-11 Commission hearings. All you have to do is read Breakdown by Bill Gertz. For a mere $15.00, you get the softcover edition published by Plume, a division of The Penguin Group. When first published in 2002, it detailed the failure of American intelligence to defeat the global terror campaign initiated by al-Qa'ida and the many other terrorist groups extant.

Despite the billions poured into the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the other intelligence-gatherimg bureaucracies, they acted like all bureaucracies, i.e., they protected their own turf and did not work well together. Since intelligence was their treasure, they often withheld it from one another or from military commanders and diplomats in the field. The FBI, seeing itself as a law enforcement agency primarily, paid poor attention, if any, to the signals from its offices that some very strange things were occurring. For instance, a lot of Saudis living here in the U.S.A. seemed to be very interested in taking flying lessons.

In retrospect, this is significant NOW. It wasn’t then because bureaucracies are creatures of a political world in which their budgets are subject to the oversight of members of the U.S. Senate and of the U.S. House of Representatives, some of whom routinely voted against any increase to fund such things has hiring more Arabic-speaking translators. By the afternoon following 9-11, those agencies were desperately trying to find anyone in their midst who could understand and read Arabic or Farsi, the language of Iran. You could have counted them on the fingers of both hands.

Other factors were at work. George Tenet, the CIA chief, continues to have the confidence of George W. Bush, but before Clinton appointed him, the CIA had seen five directors in six years! There was no continuity of leadership there and, as a result, no one at the top had the ability to assess what had preceded him and was there so briefly that any decision was pure guesswork. Politicians even meddled with the question of who the CIA could recruit. When you want to learn about terror groups, you don’t ask the local equivalent of Boy Scouts to help you.

In sum, both the Carter and Clinton administrations are best remembered for being utterly feckless, non-responsive, and immune to acuity, alertness and awareness, as regards the need to take decisive action against an Islamic revolution that demonstrated over and over again that it regarded the U.S.A. as weak and indecisive. While Jimmy Carter and later Bill Clinton held the Office of U.S. Presidernt, the Islamists had good reason to believe that America was weak and indecisive.

All that changed when Bush II became President. 9-11 occurred barely eight months into his first term. He told the world, “If you aren’t with us. You’re against us.”

And ever since then, the French, the Germans, the Russians, and all the rest of the world’s hand-wringers and bed-wetters have been telling us that all we’re doing is getting the terrorists mad at us for trying to capture and/or kill them.

However, Libya’s dictator has turned over his entire WMD program and wants to work with the US. Afghanistan and Iraq have begun the first steps toward becoming constitutional democratic governments. Similar changes are occurring throughout the Middle East.

It is particularly telling that the European Union has only now begun to discuss a coordinated effort to deal with terrorism on that continent, fully three years since 9-11! If they couldn’t have figured out years ago that it would also arrive on their doorstep, why should we expect our own people to know just when and how the terrorists would strike us?

The 9-11 Commission is just a typical, governmental exercise whose report will be ignored, like so many other commissions before. Everyone who participates in it has their own agenda, so you might as well just pick a side and draw whatever conclusion you want. You will probably be wrong no matter which side you pick.

Why? Because history is seen in a rear-view mirror, while the future is the dark, foggy road ahead, filled with unknown trouble.

Terrorism & U.S. Homeland Security

Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

War & Peace in the Real World
   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

U.S. National Security Strategy

Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, Communications Director of the American Policy Center, and Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet website of the National Anxiety Center ( A compilation of his past col- umns, entitled Warning Signs, is published by Merril Press. In addition to Warning Signs, Caruba is the author of A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam and The United Nations vs. the United States, both of which are available from the National Anxiety Center, 9 Brookside Road, Maplewood, New Jersey, 07040.

Copyright 2004 Alan Caruba

Published with Permission of Alan Caruba

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Africa: Black Africa * Africa: North Africa * American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * France
Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control

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Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
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