September 11, 2001 Remembered
From The Slaves Shall Serve: Meditations on Liberty
by James Wasserman
©James Wasserman 2004
The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our Guide. Death for the Glory of Allah is our greatest ambition.
— Slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood
The judgment to kill and fight Americans and their allies, whether civilian or military, is an obligation for every Muslim who is able to do so in any country.
— Fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden in 1998
The companion volume to this book, The Templars and the Assassins: The Militia of Heaven, came off press on May 15, 2001. During that summer, I began work on its projected sequel, The Divine Warrior, an elaboration of the themes studied earlier over a wider range of cultures. The horrific events of September 11, 2001 particularly shocked me because the methods and organizational structure employed by the Sunni Muslim terrorists against America were reminiscent of those used by the Shiite Muslim Assassins.1 People sought my opinion on the modern activities of the Islamic terror network. I was forced to confront my rather clear admiration of Hasan-i-Sabah, founder of the group.
Hasan was the first leader to maximize the technique of selective political murder for the advancement and defense of the interests of his community. During his reign in northern Persia from 1090 until 1124, Hasan is known to have arranged for the deaths of 50 strategically chosen individuals. The word “Assassin,” common to many European languages, is derived from this sect.
Almost all of the political activities of the medieval Assassins were directed against the policy makers with whom they disagreed, and who actively threatened their survival. Initiates of all spiritual traditions share a basic respect for human life. I would propose that Hasan-i-Sabah and his successors were living examples of that respect. In fact, I praised them in my earlier book for pursuing a more humane approach to the vicissitudes of politics through their policy of targeting opposing leaders. Traditional warfare involves untold numbers of soldiers and civilians killed in support of their leaders’ policies. This opinion may seem naive in view of the fundamentalist nature of Hasan-i-Sabah’s beliefs, however, it is, at least, not contradicted by the facts of the historical record.
Osama bin Laden, and the Islamic fundamentalist terror network he represents, have an altogether different approach. Despite what I am certain is bin Laden’s sense of Hasan as a forerunner, the modern Islamic terrorist has no respect for human life, and little concern for the spiritual consequences of random murder of innocent people including fellow Muslims. Like the medieval Assassins, they seek maximum intimidation of their enemies. However, unlike the Assassins, they kill wantonly. Certainly there is a legitimate comparison to be made between the genius and organizational models of the two men. Bin Laden’s technological tool kit was far greater than that available to Hasan-i-Sabah. With satellite phones, Apple computers, fax machines, and air travel, bin Laden was able to build a multi-national organization which Hasan might admire.
The modern media world of images also presents an effective forum for the type of campaign waged by al-Qaeda and allied groups. No one can state with certainty whether Hasan-i-Sabah, were he alive today, might not adopt these methods too. However, again turning to the historical record, the Mongols and many others mentioned in The Templars and the Assassins, demonstrated a ruthless and indiscriminate murderous ferocity in their campaigns. Hasan, like Archimedes, seemed to have understood the physics of carefully applied force achieving maximum results. He also seems to have been acutely aware of the spiritual consequences of taking life.
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In order to be able to view the modern Middle East struggle in a context wider than this morning’s headline, a reading of the Old Testament and the Koran will yield enormous perspective. The tribal conflicts over which the modern world grieves with such energy have been going on for at least 5000 years.
Militant Islam is equal parts revolutionary political movement and fundamentalist religious revivalism. It is a movement that transcends the boundaries of the state. Language barriers and national identities recede before the declared unity of religious belief and sense of the destined mission of Islam. For centuries after the coming of the Prophet, Islam was a unified cultural/religious/political entity that knew no national boundaries, besides those of various clans or tribes who reigned over specific regions. For some thirteen centuries Islam was ruled by the Caliphate. The division of the people of the Middle East into modern nation states is a development less than a century old, dating to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. Nor was it an organic cultural/political evolution. On the contrary, it was a construction imposed by European imperialists, primarily French and British, who drew maps and insisted their drawings were reality.
The modern Islamic terrorist movement burst into world attention on September 5, 1972 with the Black September murders of Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics. However, this action, taken under the Marxist PLO banner, was secular and atheistic at its core, a nationalist political protest against the Israeli state, decorated with the bangles of religion to draw in the weak-minded.
The establishment of the Iranian revolution in 1979, on the other hand, heralded the emergence of the fundamentalist Muslim state and the proclamation of religious Jihad (Holy War) against the unbeliever and infidel. Ayatollah Khomenii, the Shiite leader of Iran (Persia), must be seen in some measure as a true successor to Hasan-i-Sabah. He was able to organize a band of powerless, stateless, religious rebels into a group capable of overtaking one of the most powerful and well-oiled military machines of the Middle East.
Khomenii also accomplished something that Hasan did not. That was the union of fundamentalist Shiites with fundamentalist Sunnis. From this singular accomplishment was born the modern Islamic terrorist network, in large part directed or coordinated from Tehran. A thousand year old dream was realized. The primacy of, and alliances between, Hizballah, the Iranian controlled Shiite terror master network, and the Wahhabi controlled Sunni Hamas is evidence of Khomenii’s achievement.
The most common rationale for Islamic violence is generally expressed as U.S. support for Israel. However, the roots of the fundamentalist Sunni movement extend considerably further back in time. The Salafiyya, or community of True Believers (a broad term for Islamic fundamentalists), look back to the first three generations of Muslims (the salaf or “forerunners,” the pious ancestors who followed Muhammad) for their inspiration.
Islamic orthodoxy, as a theme among the Sunnis, may be traced at least to Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855). He was the leader of the most strict of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence. He compiled the Traditions of the Prophet. He was persecuted by the Abassid caliph after he refused to accede to a secular, rationalist interpretation of the Koran that declared reason the equivalent of revelation. His courageous martyrdom at the hands of his persecutors has earned him the undying respect of religious Muslims for over a millennium.
The medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyah (1263–1328) is another inspiration to both orthodox Muslims and the Islamo-fascists who appear to be holding Islam hostage. Taymiyah was a member of the Pietist school founded by Hanbal. He endured imprisonment and persecution by secular-minded Muslim leaders because he too refused to bend his traditionalist, orthodox view of the Koran as the inspired word of Allah. Under attack, he increased his preaching efforts, and died in prison. He has been quoted as an authority in bin Laden’s propaganda efforts.
The Templars and the Assassins described in great detail the extreme convolutions in the development of Islam, and the characteristic tension between religion and politics that is the result of its theocratic nature. It is important to understand that the orthodoxy for which ibn Hanbal and ibn Taymiyah were martyred is a common element in the religious heritage of the larger Muslim community. They are respected as teachers and philosophers, spiritual guides, and examples of religious purity to the faithful.
In contrast, the beginning of what we know today as Islamo-fascism, or the Islamist movement, has its roots in the eighteenth century — when religion and politics were joined as a hammer to be wielded by an armed state against its population.
It began with Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahab (1703–1792) who preached a return to the ways of the Prophet. He gazed back to Ibn Taymiyah for inspiration. Wahab first began to preach against the Sufis and their broad-based tolerance and spiritual creativity. His message was a humorless, puritanical search for an orthodox glory that would reclaim the elevated past of Islam. He condemned the use of tobacco, the worship of saints, and the decoration of mosques. Al-Wahab’s message of fundamentalist reform was embraced by the House of Saud in 1744, in the person of tribal leader Muhammad ibn Saud. Wahhabi Saudis ransacked the Shiite holy city of Karbala in 1801. Saud first conquered Mecca in 1806. His descendants finally succeeded in establishing — and continue to rule — modern Saudi Arabia. Wahhabiism is the official state religion. Its massive outreach and conversion efforts are funded by the seemingly inexhaustible wealth of the oil-rich Saudi kingdom.
During the 19th century, a series of anti-colonialist protests flourished throughout much of the Arab world. Most decried the increased secularization taking place through the renewed contact with Europeans, and lamented the overall sense of failure of Islamic culture in the modern world. They preached that the technological weakness of the Muslim culture was a consequence of the abandonment of the tenets of Islam. Meanwhile the House of Saud continued to strive toward control of the entire Arabian peninsula. Arabia was largely exempt from the colonial efforts of Europe, because oil had not yet become an issue.
In the 20th century, the religious fundamentalist/political movement raised the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimun) in Egypt in 1931. The Brotherhood was founded by Hassan al-Banna (1906–1949) who may have been the first modern Muslim to introduce “a corrosive hatred of the Jews, which he seemed to have adopted from Nazism.”2
The most illustrious spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood was Sayyid Qutb (1906–66). He had committed the Koran to memory at age 10, yet received a modern college education in Cairo. His embrace of fundamentalist activism was stimulated, in part, by a trip to the U.S. in 1948. He participated in a study mission organized by his employer, the Egyptian Ministry of Education. He was revolted by the materialism and sexual promiscuity he observed, as well as by American support for the state of Israel, founded a year earlier. He returned to Egypt in 1951 and became involved with the coup which elevated Gamal Abdel Nasser to the rulership of Egypt. He was disappointed by the Marxist direction of Nasser’s Pan Arabic movement, envisioning instead a society based on the Koran. As editor of the journal of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qutb became the primary philosophic voice of the Islamist movement in the Arab world. When Nasser achieved power, he betrayed his Islamist allies and Qutb was imprisoned. Qutb survived torture and a decade of abhorrent prison conditions. He smuggled his writings out of prison, including his massive commentary on the Koran, citing its passages from memory. His proselytizing activities finally led to his execution by Egyptian authorities. The brilliance and eloquence of his writing attracted many followers, as did the example of his martyrdom to his ideals.
Hasan al-Turabi, the leader of Sudan’s National Islamic Front, is an important disciple of Sayyid Qutb, and a crucial intellectual/spiritual influence on Osama bin Laden. A graduate of the Sorbonne, al-Turabi sought to create the ideal Islamic state in Sudan. He seized power through a military coup in 1989 and imposed a Sunni fundamentalist regime with his ally President Omar Bashir. He organized the Islamic Peoples Congresses, held semi-annually from 1991 to 1996, during which bin Laden was able to expand his network by meeting with the illustrious assembled militant leaders from terrorist groups throughout the Muslim world.3
Abdullah Azzam (b. 1941) was another major influence on bin Laden, whom he met in 1978. As a young man, Azzam’s studies took him to Cairo where he formed close connections to the family of Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood. He worked tirelessly to build an international Islamic network, and to provide a conduit for funds, supplies, and personnel from Saudi Arabia to the Afghan mujahideen or “holy warriors,” who fought the 1979 Soviet takeover of their country. Azzam declared that support for the efforts of the mujahideen was the obligation of every Muslim. He was a charismatic and persuasive orator, who recruited and inspired thousands of jihadists.
Sayyid Qutb was also a major intellectual influence in the life of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the brilliant Egyptian physician and radical co-leader of al-Qaeda, who has been another major influence on bin Laden. He founded the highly secret Jihad group in Egypt in 1973 as the radical arm of the semi-public Islamic Group, founded a decade earlier. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (the blind cleric, imprisoned at the time of this writing for his role in the first World Trade Center bombing) was the spiritual leader of both groups. In 1981, they accomplished the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt. Al-Zawahiri was imprisoned for three years. He later traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to help the mujahideen against the Soviets. Descended from a wealthy family, he is well-educated with an excellent command of English. Despite his status as a known terrorist, he made two trips to America in the mid 1990s for fundraising efforts among American Muslims.
Osama bin Laden joined the Muslim Brotherhood as a university student in the late 1970s. His first contact with Afghanistan came at the age of 23. He was sent to Peshawar, Pakistan, near the Afghan border, as an envoy of Prince Turki bin Faisal, the chief of Saudi intelligence during most of the Afghan war. Their friendship was built on a shared concern for the decline and decadence of modern Islamic regimes. The Afghan war against the Soviet empire was bin Laden’s introduction to the armed conflict of militant Islam with the infidel. When the mujahideen won after a decade of struggle (in large part because of help from the U.S.), and the Soviet empire fell soon after, they felt empowered and unstoppable.4
Bin Laden’s radicalization continued through the eighties. He formed al-Qaeda (“the Base”) in 1988, in order to expand the militant Islamic movement beyond Afghanistan. A decisive chapter in his evolution came after Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Saudi government begged America for help, and allowed American and European military forces to establish bases on Saudi soil. This enraged bin Laden because the sacred lands of Arabia, particularly the areas around and between Mecca and Medina, are forbidden to any non-Muslim by long tradition dating back to the Prophet. The real climax came after Saddam’s army was forced out of Kuwait in 1991. The Western bases and their godless forces were allowed to remain on Muslim holy soil. Bin Laden turned into an implacable foe of the Saudi royal family, and was expelled from the kingdom in 1994.5
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Despite the Crusades, and the nineteenth and twentieth century colonialist meddling and betrayals by Europeans and Americans, Muslim culture itself bears the primary responsibility for its current predicament. When one looks deeper into the rage of the so-called “Arab Street,” it becomes increasingly clear that we are dealing with the politics of frustration and envy. According to World Bank estimates, the total exports of the entire Arab world — excluding oil — amount to less than those of Finland.6 While uncounted trillions of dollars have flown into the coffers of the oil producing lands, the majority of people live in squalor. Extremists scream colonial oppression. However, what Jihadists call “rape of resources” might be termed “commerce” by another culture.
The corrupt Arab oligarchies, who control both the vast oil revenues of the region, and the protection money paid as foreign aid by the West, are to blame for the poverty and unemployment that fuel the rage of Arab people. The greed and corruption of many modern Islamic rulers follows on the lack of good judgement, and poor organizational skills of their immediate predecessors. Muslim countries that became independent of Western colonial rulership after World War II often embraced the failed political and economic system of socialism in their attempt to modernize. This is understandable because of the dictatorial models of their historic governments. Traditionally, Muslim rulers commanded by unchallenged fiat, bolstered by both religion and wealth. However, in the modern world, the net effect of attempting to upgrade Arab economies by central planning and bloated bureaucracies was to maintain these countries as poverty stricken, third-world hovels. When countries like Egypt and Syria became client states of the Soviet empire — the embodiment of godless materialism — fundamentalists were further alienated.
The disparity between the oil revenues of the ruling class, and the economic hardship of the masses, motivated cynical regimes, like the Saudis, to encourage the rise and spread of Wahhabi extremism. The purpose of their support is twofold. One is as a form of hush money to mitigate against the rhetoric of the Islamists. The second is a practical program to export their domestic troublemakers elsewhere. Muslim governments are hard-pressed to crack down appropriately on jihadist violence, as they are justifiably afraid of being perceived as the very enemies of Islam the Jihadists paint them to be.
The pool of resources that feeds Islamo-fascism begins in the Wahhabi supported madrassa schools. The religious school system began in the Middle Ages as a series of Koranic academies to regularize the Sunni faith and combat heresy. However, under Wahhabi control, a large percentage of modern madrassas function as pressure cookers for a kind of jingoistic madness composed of hatred and irrationalism. As one example, some students are taught to accept that the world is flat — because it was so pronounced by Sheikh Abdel Aziz al Baz, rector of the University of Medina, as recently as the 1960s. Madrassa graduates may be able to recite portions of the Koran by rote, but they are likely to be functionally illiterate, and unsuited for any employment besides jihad. Robin Wright discusses the difficulties faced by some Muslim parents in fighting the teachings to which their children are exposed. Unlike Arab Nationalism or Socialism, with which one might argue at the family dinner table, criticizing the distorted teaching of a mullah may be considered anti-Islamic apostasy.7 As discussed elsewhere in this book, the possibilities of indoctrination offered by a widely-based school system create enormous opportunities for social manipulation.
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The overall goal of the Islamist movement is the establishment of a Caliphate, a pan-Islamic government spanning all countries in which Muslims reside. At this moment, the first goal is control of the Mideast countries. Next, are plans to expand as far east as the Philippines. The long range goal is world domination. Like the Internationalist vision of global government superceding national sovereignty, the Jihadist movement seeks dissolution of national boundaries and the erection of a Muslim super state — a world in which all nations and all peoples live under Sharia, the Muslim rules of religious, social, and political governance.
The massive Muslim immigration into Europe and the United States may well help to provide a foothold for that dream. Eighty percent of American mosques are controlled by Wahhabi Imams, according to Hisham-al-Kabbani, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of America.8 Most Muslims living in the West are undoubtedly not interested in following these pernicious teachings. However, the mosque system allows financial sponsors to pick their own clergy. And the Saudi Wahhabis have a lot of money to spend. Therefore, despite whatever disagreement a Muslim may have with the political goals of the Jihadists, they are the ones controlling the flow of religious information to the community. Furthermore, like all successful conspirators, Islamo-fascists are patient.
They recognize that ambitious Muslims — those who brave relocation to America in search of better living conditions, and who are willing to work hard to advance themselves in their new homeland — will be the least responsive to fundamentalist distractions. But there are the children. The very parents who are striving to better their children’s fates are subject to manipulation by propagandists for the cultural hegemony of their Islamic roots. Add to this the left wing domestic magpie chorus hymning its litany of “diversity,” and the result is that Muslim immigrant parents are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. They are scarcely encouraged to adopt the values of their new country, when both their own religious leaders, and a divisive cultural gestalt scream for separatism.
The “average” Muslim is also in as great a danger as the more vocally identified enemies of the Jihadists. Moderate Muslims throughout the world are perceived as embracing the hated cultural products of the West — television, music, computers, the Internet, automobiles, and a relaxation of fundamentalist morality. They are frequently the victims of Islamo-fascist fury — in defiance of the Koran — as demonstrated by the substantial number of Muslim casualties in terrorist attacks worldwide. The Islamo-fascists realize that decent, rational, courageous Muslims are their greatest enemies — as well as mainstream Islam’s greatest hope of defeating the appropriation of the faith.
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I would suggest that America needs to face several realities. First is that the enemy here is not only serious, but determined and bloodthirsty. His sense of justification for his grievances reaches 1300 years into the past. Gazing back to the time of the Prophet, the extremist Muslim has not advanced much further than the Islamic world view of the twelfth century. To maintain that kind of hostility through the centuries is pathological. There will be no negotiation with this enemy.9 The continuous stream of hatred of the West, expressed by the Islamists, includes constant references to the Crusades. Bin Laden’s umbrella organization, founded in 1998, is called the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders.
Bin Laden is neither a modern day Robin Hood, nor an Islamic David pursued by a Judaeo-Christian Goliath, nor some latter day James Dean rebel with a cause hunted by the most powerful nation on earth. One might more accurately characterize him as a combination between Cotton Mather and Jerry Falwell. His Maid Marions would be covered from head to foot in burquas (restrictive apparel in no wise sanctioned by the Prophet). Bin Laden expressed his admiration for the Taliban state as one approaching his ideal of the proper Muslim political structure. Afghanistan, under the Taliban, was an Orwellian Religious Police State, whose bureaucracy included a Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Machine-gun wielding fanatics zooming around in Japanese pickup trucks — like a caricature of Charlie Manson’s fevered hallucinations of the Dune Buggy Attack Brigade — beating, torturing and killing those who violated their insanely restrictive puritanical codes — hardly a latter day band of Merry Men. Note well: All the compassion and understanding in the world will merely result in allowing this enemy to approach close enough to slit your throat.
Let us also keep in mind that, like all our other Wars on Nouns (Drugs, Poverty, Illiteracy, Hunger, ad nauseum), the War on Terror is bound to fail unless we pursue it as a serious matter of survival — neither a video game nor a think-tank discussion. The worried faces we see on TV need to be ignored. Bin Laden’s greatest mistake may have been in assuming that President Bush’s reaction to September 11 could be extrapolated from an observation of his predecessor, who spent much of his administration ignoring the mounting threat of militant Islam, and the balance pursuing ineffectual responses.10
I hope al-Qaeda and allied Islamo-fascists will have years to regret that assumption. More importantly, I hope that both President Bush and his successors in office will be able to distinguish between America’s citizens and America’s enemies. If American society self-destructs by erecting a totalitarian, surveillance-based police state, the Islamist opponent will be one step closer to his goal. The tyrant lives in greatest fear of the individual. His entire apparatus is designed to destroy that single unit. It is much easier to change the doctrine of a society than it is to change the culture. America is still struggling to maintain its culture of individualism. If we succumb as a culture to the herd mentality, it will merely take a more powerful manipulator to redefine the specifics of the herd’s “thinking.”
On a more positive note, al-Qaeda’s attack on America has caused a renewal of something long lost in the post-Vietnam cultural depression that has so sorely afflicted American society during most of my lifetime. Courage, militarism, patriotism, and honor are virtues that have been scorned for nearly forty years. Many Americans are again openly acknowledging that a strong military, decisive national self-interest, and a spirit of appreciation for our unique American freedoms are long overdue. The concept of the self-reliant citizen-soldier, upon which this country was founded, is another idea worth revisiting. The government couldn’t protect us on September 11, 2001, nor will it be able to always protect us. While bureaucratic vigilance is necessary in a sane society, personal vigilance is the key. When firearms training joins driver education in America’s high schools, we will be a freer and safer society.
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Those who come to our shores must again be encouraged to become un-hyphenated Americans. Theodore Roosevelt eloquently discussed this issue during the great wave of European immigration in the early years of the twentieth century.11
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all…. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.
The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic.
Respecting cultural roots allows people to contribute a rich fiber that may be woven into the tapestry of American society. But people in this country, and those who come to live in this country, must share a common ideology in order for America to remain a nation.12 America’s unique national doctrine is based on the acceptance of the premise that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights — and these rights include individual liberty, the rule of law, private property, and the consent of the governed.
The modern world is being offered a false choice between two equally obnoxious futures: the first is the secular, statist tyranny of the Internationalist camp; the second is the theocratic, statist tyranny of the Islamo-fascist network. I firmly believe that our uniquely American concepts of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” offer a political alternative that can triumph in the world of ideas — if we are brave enough to live by them.
1 After the Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632, a council of elders appointed his father-in-law, Abu Bakr, as the first Caliph or defender of the faith. The caliph is the political and religious leader of the Muslim theocratic state. He is not viewed as a new Prophet, rather he is the protector of orthodoxy. A minority group supported Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, as the natural leader of Islam, because of his ties of blood to the Prophet, especially through his marriage with Fatima, Muhammad’s sole surviving offspring. Those who accepted the caliphate of Abu Bakr are known as Sunnis. The dissenters who supported Ali are the Shiites.
2 Steven Schwartz, The Two Faces of Islam, Doubleday, New York, 2002, p 129.
3 According to Sudan’s ambassador to the UN, Sudan made an offer to the U.S. in 1996 to arrest bin Laden and turn him over to U.S. custody. This offer was made, in part, because of a power struggle between al-Bashir and al-Turabi. Al-Bashir was desperate to end Sudan’s isolation, and the economic sanctions imposed on the country because of its overt support for terrorism, encouraged by al-Turabi’s policies. For further details on this, and much else of note, please see Losing Bin Laden, Richard Miniter, Regnery Publishing, Inc., Washington D.C., 2003.
4 America’s support of the mujahideen as a proxy army in the battle with Soviet communism, after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, made a great deal of sense. Our abandonment of these allies at the moment of their victory, has been the source of much hatred. It was a consummate act of diplomatic stupidity to allow the lawless, poverty-ridden, economically-destroyed, infrastructure-empty, heavily-armed society to fall to the control of criminal gangs. These were actually brought under control by the rise to power of the Taliban government, which restored a measure of order to the country. The Taliban embraced bin Laden (in part) because of his financial generosity.
5 The end of the first Gulf War was the occasion of an even more bizarre betrayal of Islam by the U.S. than our abandonment of the mujahideen. After the war, George Bush the Elder, called upon the Iraqi Shiites and Kurds to rise up against Saddam Hussein. When they bravely answered his call, Bush totally abandoned them. Tens of thousands of Iraqis were ruthlessly slaughtered and a great deal more hatred was directed against America.
6 What Went Wrong, Bernard Lewis, Oxford University Press, NY, 2002, p. 47.
7 Robin Wright, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2001, p. 130.
8 The Two Faces of Islam, Steven Schwartz, p. 240.
9 In further support of this assertion, please see The Letter to the Terrorists that follows this essay. (Note to web viewers: You’ll have to buy the book for The Letter to the Terrorists.)
10 See Losing Bin Laden, by Richard Miniter, and Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, by Yossef Bodansky, Random House, NY, 1999, 2001. The Clinton administration refused to see the first World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993 as a matter of national security, viewing it instead as a law enforcement problem and humanitarian disaster. Clinton never even bothered to visit the site of over 1000 casualties including seven deaths, and millions of dollars in damage. The ill-handled investigation did not reveal the connection between the operation’s director Ramzi Yousef (nephew of al-Qaeda commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) and Osama bin Laden until 1995. (In my opinion, Clinton was more concerned with domestic “anti-government extremists.” The ATF raid against the Branch Davidians occurred just two days after the first World Trade Center attack.)
11 Theodore Roosevelt 1915 quoted in Philip Davis (ed.), Immigration and Americanization (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1920), available at http://www.rpatrick. com/USA/americanism/
12 I fully understand that the immigration floodgates have been opened by those American leaders who hate our nation’s ideology, and equally despise the very concept of nationhood.