Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

'The Rest' Test for the West

By Aussiegirl

Another must-read article by Gordon Cucullu.

TCS Daily - 'The Rest' Test for the West

'The Rest' Test for the West
By Gordon Cucullu

More and more people are asking if the Israeli-Hezbollah war is really a proxy war between the U.S., representing the West, and an Iran-Syria axis representing a devil's handshake between two factions of Islamofascism. The short answer is yes, but there is much more involved in the fight than that toxic bilateral alliance.

In a recent London Times piece Amir Taheri declares that "this is a war between the West and what one might describe as 'The Rest', this time represented by radical Islamism." But the umbrella shading our enemies extends wider than even this definition. Given that the primary enemy can be defined as Islamofascist terror groups and their sponsoring states, who exactly are The Rest?

Among other scholars, Newt Gingrich has properly called this fight World War III. One can nitpick the numbers. If you consider the Cold War number three, then this is number four. No sweat. The issue is not the suffix but the context: we are in a global conflict, one that without exaggeration exceeds its predecessors in vitriol, intensity, and potential for destruction. While we ducked under our school desks waiting for the Soviets to attack with devastating nuclear weapons, political leaders on both sides accepted the doomsday strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) as a reasonable deterrent. For the years of the Cold War it was fought primarily with surrogates in backwater places like Laos, Vietnam, Congo, Angola, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. An occasional flare-up like Korea brought the superpowers perilously close to direct conflict -- a situation that both sides pretended wasn't happening, rather than admit and be forced to confront.

But in the war against Islamofascists and their allies and supporters the equation has changed drastically -- and not in our favor. This war is, as Taheri notes, not over territory but rather "an ideological battleground between two rival camps with global ambitions." The U.S.-led camp looks to free market democracy and open societies as a solution to the world's issues. The other sees itself under the flag of a resurgent, conquering Islam, sweeping the globe in a new order that aims to impose a new Caliphate upon heretics. Not only is the MAD strategy not applicable, but in the instance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad such global destruction would be welcome, even desirable, as a door-opener for the 12th Imam to reawaken and lead the hosts of Islam against the infidel foe.

Meanwhile Leftists, appeasers, anti-Semites, and blame-America-firsters in Europe and the U.S. think that they can do business or "dialogue" with the Islamofascists, or at best hold them at bay. They are so blinded by their own ideology that they refuse to see the undermining effect their policies have on the very countries that provide them a platform for their rhetoric. Despite assassinations of filmmakers like Theo Van Gogh, vilification and death threats against intellectuals like Oriana Fallachi, and open declarations vowing death to the West, they continue to operate as if they are going to be exempt from the stonings and beheadings that will accompany Islamofascist victory.

Petty dictators, devoid of scruples, driven by boundless ambition, plot to bring about the demise of America. Thugs like Hugo Chavez gleefully assist the Islamofascists who ironically have marked them too for ultimate, later destruction. But they survive and prosper, unthreatened for the moment, ignorant of their dhimmitude, as long as they add value to the Islamofascist movement. And they are doing exactly that.

Chavez has lots of company in his hatred for the U.S. Fellow dictator Kim Jong Il of North Korea also is tight with the Islamofascists. Desperate for oil and money, Kim has dispatched scientists and engineers to both Teheran and Caracas in order to forge an alliance and trade misused talent for assistance. His early July missile tests were bought and intended primarily for Iranian military use but can only have impressed Chavez. Possession of these missiles would allow him to dominate the Southern Hemisphere and threaten his sworn Yankee enemy to the North.

There is more bad news. Somalia is morphing into an al Qaeda base state on the tried and true model that Afghanistan was under the Taliban. The chief of the Supreme Islamic Council, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, a fundamentalist and al Qaeda supporter, applauded the fact that non-Islamist members of the Somali cabinet were resigning under pressure. "This is a great step forward," he said as rival armies squared off waiting for a flashpoint to ignite another round of the endless bloodshed that mars that poor country. Meanwhile, al Qaeda organizers from Yemen, Saudi, and Sudan are "welcome," according to Sheik Aweys, "to join the Islamists to participate [in] rebuilding peace in Somalia."

On the west side of the continent, Nigeria, though only 47 percent Islamic, is rapidly converting itself into a Sharia state. In a manner similar to other ideologically teetering states Nigeria is being flooded with Islamofascist activists who hope to establish a second African beachhead. Freedom House fellow Paul Marshall notes in understated language that "as with other countries where extreme Islam is growing, the Saudis are active in Nigeria." The country is burning with Sharia fever as radicals appear to be successfully pulling off a religious coup. Marshall correctly fears a return of bloody civil war. An Islamofascist regime with a welcome mat placed out for al Qaeda would make that bad situation even worse. Al Qaeda is desperate for a new base. Terrorists without a firm base in a supporting state are relatively helpless, reduced to amorphous cells operating clandestinely and communicating at their peril. By replacing Afghanistan with Somalia and maybe adding Nigeria, al Qaeda would receive a huge boost of credibility and strength. Neither can be permitted to happen unchallenged.

So the conflict that Amir Taheri properly sees as between the West and The Rest is growing. We are at the showdown. It is necessary now to fight on many fronts and we may soon be required to fight on several others. It is well to recall that when faced with global catastrophe in the past we fought in every corner of the world. We are sliding into that kind of conflict.

Gordon Cucullu is a former Green Beret lieutenant colonel and author of Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin.


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