Sunday, October 12, 2014

Additional Observations on the War on Terrorism

           In my last post, I observe how the terrorists are losing the War on Terrorism, despite recent gains.  The purpose of this post is to make other general observations about the war.

           The civil war in Syria has pitted terrorist against terrorist, as al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” fight the Iranian-backed terrorist-sponsoring Baathist regime of Bashar Assad and its ally, Hezbollah, the terrorist organization that had more American blood on its hands than al-Qaeda before the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks.  Because it is in the interest of the United States and its allies in the War on Terrorism that neither side wins they must be careful not to advantage one side or the other.  It is not surprising that there is also a split within the Sunni Islamist camp, with the “Islamic State,” formerly “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” which had been in Iraq since before the overthrow of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003, as Islamists vie for supremacy in order to make themselves caliphs.  The U.S. and its allies may take advantage of these splits, but cannot rely upon them.

            A series of recent comments by world leaders were worth posting.  I note Egyptian President Abdel el Sisi’s observation of the global threat to peace and security by Islamists who intend to establish a worldwide caliphate under strict Islamic law.  I also note Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s observation that Islamist terrorists target their victims not because of their government’s policies, but because of who the victims are, that is, those whom they regard as infidels who refuse to submit.  Finally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations drew a parallel between Iran and the terrorist organizations it supports, like Hamas and Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State.”  Although Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are Shi’ites while al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” are Sunnis, they are all Islamists, that is, militant Muslims who believe in spreading Islam by any means necessary, including violence, and imposing strict Islamic law.  An analogy is the difference between Marxist-Leninists and Maoists, both of whom are intent on conquering the world by any means necessary to impose Communism.  Indeed, despite their differences with Sunni Muslims, the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran has been the model throughout the Islamic World for Islamic law and the Mother of Terrorism.  In fact, Iran even supports Sunni terrorists like Hamas and Islamic Jihad when it is expedient.  The strategy of Al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” of trying to spark sectarian war between Sunnis and Shi’ites to weaken the Iraqi government has been ineffective, as Sunnis and Shi’ites live peacefully together in the same towns, worship at the same mosques and even intermarry and have not been fooled by the terrorists’ strategy.  In short, despite the religious differences between Shi’ite and Sunni Islamists, Netanyahu is right that they are two sides of the same coin. 

           U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the American military to augment the civilian American government effort against the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.  This strategy is prudent for safety reasons, as modern travel and commerce increase the threat of contagion, but also to prevent political instability from which Islamists might take advantage in these weak states, some of which are recovering from years of bloody civil wars.  Obama’s anti-Ebola strategy is thus similar, in terms of the War on Terrorism, to former President George W. Bush’s efforts in Africa versus Malaria and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, in addition to the good will it fostered.

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