The evil monster Osama Bin Laden has been killed (shot in the head) by American military heroes. Good. But centuries from now, if civilization survives or is reborn, historians will write of this event as follows:
Even in announcing America’s killing of the leader of the particular terrorist organization that had committed the September 11 massacre, America’s President Obama reiterated and emphasized two notions that would lead to countless more American deaths. The first notion was “that the United States is not—and never will be—at war with Islam. (I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.)” The second notion, derivative of the first—but one that even the ineffectual apologist for Islam, President G. W. Bush did not hold—was that the fundamental enemy of America was al Qaeda.
The non-conceptual, concrete-bound mentality that believes that America’s fundamental military enemy is al Qaeda is the same kind of mentality that on September 10, 2001 thought that everything was hunky-dory. Al Qaeda is just one of numerous terrorist organizations supported by Islamic governments—above all, Iran—and other Islamists. And terrorism is just one thrust of these Islamists in their fight to conquer the world for Islam.
In 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini declared a fatwa—a holy war—calling for the execution of Salmon Rushdie (author of The Satanic Verses) and, by implication, his publishers and booksellers. As a result, American bookstores and an American newspaper were bombed, and American publishers needed expensive private security in response to death threats. Recognizing this attack on Americans’ freedom of speech as an act of war, Leonard Peikoff (long-time associate of Ayn Rand) placed an advertisement in the New York Times calling for strong military action against Iran. I am proud to have been one of the signers of the ad, publicly endorsing Dr. Peikoff’s statement.
Al Qaeda was founded just around the time of the fatwa against Rushdie, and was undoubtedly emboldened by America’s non-response to the fatwa. Had America heeded Peikoff’s advice, and had America destroyed Islamist governments including Iran and Saudi Arabia, there never would have been a 9/11 attack. Nor would there exist the Islamist threats we face today.
Though America has killed Osama Bin Laden, we are much worse off against the Islamists than we were on September 12, 2001. Ten more years of wealth from oil assets robbed from the West have given Iran, Syria, Saudia Arabia, and its allies more power to kill Americans and our allies. Our enemies have grown and spread terror networks and insurgencies. Iran’s nuclear weapons program is much farther along and much more widespread. Islamist ideas—in the form of Sharia law—have infiltrated into Western governments. Our enemies have advanced in the Middle East, in Europe, and probably even within America’s borders.
As in domestic policy, and his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, President Obama in foreign policy is essentially the same as his predecessor Bush, only worse. (See my youtube presentation from 2008.) Regarding the threat from Islamists, this article of mine, written in 2003 shortly before America invaded Iraq, is still timely today. I predicted the outcome in Iraq, and the only thing I got wrong is the name of the boiler-plate Democrat who succeeded George W. Bush as President. Some of my predictions still lie in the future, unless we change course. Most importantly, my analysis of—and solution for—the ongoing problem remains unchanged:
America’s problem with Islamic fundamentalists began when Americans, failing to defend their rational self-interest, put the fruits of rationality in the hands of the irrational by letting Islamic savages nationalize Western oil properties in the Middle East. For centuries, Middle East Muslims had been killing each other, but were not a threat to anyone outside their region until the West enriched, emboldened, and empowered them by letting them rob this wealth and spend it on wider-range killing. America could have ended the problem any time before its fall if it simply had the moral self-confidence to use its military might, including its nuclear arsenal, to crush the evil governments, seize the oil properties that the savages were using to finance their military and terrorist operations, and make the territories of the Islamic Middle East into American colonies, thereby enabling American adventurers to exploit and civilize this new frontier just as American adventurers had exploited and civilized the American West in the 1800s.
(See also this article, which I read while finishing my own.)