No Republican presidential candidate debate would be complete without a lecture on radical Islam. The narrative is that if you are a liberal, an Obama or Hillary lover, you will not utter the phrase “radical Islam.” It implies that America should be at war with radical Islam.
I am a proud Republican, but after forty years in the Middle East, I am convinced that playing the “radical Islam war card” only benefits the jihadists. “Radical” to the Muslim world means “Salafi.” “Salafi” (Arabic for ancestor) and “Islam” (submission) provide the entire basis for the Islamic religion and for Sharia Law.
Saudi Arabia is the fertile ground in which radical Islam and ISIS grows. The kingdom relies on its alliance with radical Islamic clergy which produces, legitimizes and defends Salafism. The West shakes the hand of one while waging war with the other. Ninety-nine percent of all suicide bombers are Salafist Muslims. Salafism is the purest form of radical religion. Radical means fundamental and goes to the root of Salafism.
To declare war on radical Islam is to declare war on all Islam, since sixty percent of all Muslims are fundamentalist, radical Salafists—no less than 750 million Muslims. It’s exactly what jihadists want. It is much wiser to define all jihadists as “Islamic infidels” and control the terms of the terror ideological war. Jihadists would be ISI—Islamic State Infidels.
If we are going to war against radical Islam, we need to go to war against Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and a dozen other countries. That is simply not possible. If we really believed that, then why did we go to war to save Kuwait, a radical Islamic Salafist state? Or sacrifice American lives for years in another radical Islamic state, Iraq.
The U.S. knows how to defeat ISIS, but it will require the same surge strategy that was utilized to defeat AQI (al Qaeda) in Iraq. The problem now is that we will not have the support of Sunni tribesmen. The corrupt Iraqi Shiite, pro-Iran government was the virus from which ISIS sprang and grew.
After the war in Iraq, there is no desire to go back into Iraq and sacrifice more American lives. The total number of U.S. troops killed in combat in Iraq was 4,487, with 32,223 wounded, and ISIS knows it. How, then, does the U.S. defeat ISIS? America must fight an ideological war. Ideological warfare is ground zero in defeating ISIS. In order for ISIS to grow they need a war with the “Great Satan,” America and the “Small Satan,” Israel.
ISIS is not al Qaeda. The United States built a trillion dollar infrastructure of intelligence and military operations to successfully defeat al Qaeda. Similar tactics will not work against ISIS. The group is in urban areas and is integrated into the civilian population. Armed with military tanks, artillery and armored Humvees, it would be like the U.S. going to war against the Taliban in Pakistan. Abu Bakr al-Bagdhdadi was a low-key al Qaeda lieutenant. Essentially, al Qaeda dropped out of the terror business and the corrupt pro-Iranian Shiite government ignited the disintegration of the country and the birth of ISIS.
Many of Baghdadi’s top generals served in the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein. Unlike al Qaeda ISIS does not require outside funding. It has rebranded itself from AQI, which was nearly wiped out as Sunni tribes partnered with the Americans. When President George W. Bush sent 20,000 troops to Iraq to nurture the Sunni Awakening (aka, The Surge), forty Sunni tribes switched sides and fought with the U.S. against AQI.
Many from those same tribes have joined ISIS because the pro-Shiite Iraqi government has lost legitimacy with the Sunnis. The US knows how to defeat ISIS but after the war in Iraq there is no desire to go back to Iraq and sacrifice American lives. The Kurds are the only present credible force to defeat ISIS on the ground. Turkey and Bagdad refuse to allow the Kurds to be sufficiently armed. With Iran and Russia siding with Assad in Turkey and against Saudi Arabia, it’s checkmate. Saudi Arabia is the fuel that helps grow ISIS. The kingdom relies on alliances with radical clerics who legitimize and defend Wahhabism in the hope of restoring a global caliphate.
Traditional warfare is like killing flies: We kill one and rejoice; they kill one, and 100 come to the funeral. The traditional wars of the twentieth century are obsolete. Twenty-first century wars are ideological, economic, media-driven, proxy wars. Unless or until America wins the ideological war the cancer will continue to mutate.
I asked the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to tell me how many Arab Christians blew themselves up attempting to kill Jews. His response was, “None; why?”
I made that point because not all Arabs want to blow themselves up; the vast majority of Muslims are not jihadists. Yes, they may be radical, but they don’t want to blow themselves up. In the Muslim world, calling someone honorable is the highest compliment and humiliation is worse than death. Do we really want to declare war on radical Islam and 750 million Muslims? Do we really think we can humiliate them into submission?
Demons are not required to clear customs! It will not be possible to defeat radical Islam as long as we are at war with radical Islamists, and if we paint the target with such a broad brush. Jihadist organizations pay nothing for advertisements.
Why must a terrorist’s name be declared? Why not simply place an “X” or label them “she” or “he” instead of using a name? Why must a terrorist even be acknowledged as a radical Islamic jihadist? Would it motivate them if the last words used to describe them were, “Islamic Infidels?” If the jihadists are at war with the infidels, do you think they want to be labeled as one, as well?
“If it bleeds, it leads,” is the motto of big business media worldwide. A jihadist should not be lionized; he must be demonized. Refusing to acknowledge who they are, but only calling the individual an “Islamic infidel” accomplishes that objective.
Since 9/11, America has focused on who kills us, but not on why they kill. The answer is always the same: They believe we are infidels. We must play the Islamic infidel card on them, and we must persuade the Muslim world to join us, especially since the majority of those whom jihadists kill are Muslim. He who defines the terms controls the debate. How about taking a few million of the dollars we use on bombs and blanket the internet with an “Islamic infidel” campaign?
Secondly, we must employ Israel as a strategic proxy. Israel helped America win the cold war in the Middle East without the U.S. sacrificing lives. Israel can assist the U.S. in defeating ISIS, and we need Israel to do just that. Israel cannot be of assistance if she is weakened. America needs to move its embassy to Jerusalem and stop negotiating with Palestinian terrorists.
Jurgen Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, spent time with ISIS fighters behind enemy lines. He related to the Jewish News that “The only country ISIS fears is Israel. They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them…they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists….They are not scared of the British and the Americans, they are scared of the Israelis…the Israeli army is the real danger.…These people [the IDF] can fight a guerrilla war.”
Thirdly, the U.S. must fight a special ops war. You cannot bomb ISIS into hell, especially since it is able to use the bombing videos of civilians being killed to recruit ten times more jihadists than are killed. In an Islamic Netflix business, America is perceived as a Goliath to their David. We must not allow that perception to take root.
Fourthly, Islamic infidels must be bankrupted. When the Islamic state of Iran receives $150 billion compliments of the U.S., this nation is not serious about defeating Islamic infidels. ISIS will not go away any time soon. It can be defeated, but not without an ideological war that demonizes ISIS and all jihadists as Islamic infidels.