By Lt. Col. James G. Zumwalt
Interestingly, during the last several weeks of President Barack Obama’s term in office, two stories made news that subtly suggest the true nature of the war we are fighting and how long we will be fighting it – suggestions about which Obama still remains in denial.
The first involves an announcement by the military’s premier counterterrorist strike force – the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, JSOC is launching a new nerve center in the Middle East at an undisclosed location.
The purpose of the center is to fight ISIS, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups in the region in a coordinated effort with our allies and their intelligence agencies for what is recognized as a “multi-generational, international fight” against terrorism.
Although the word “perpetual” is not used by JSOC, “multi-generational” suggests we are gearing up for the long haul to fight a war against terrorism that may well be a never-ending story..
Obviously, the nerve center is being expanded in a region of the world where terrorism has prevailed for centuries. Terrorism – violent intimidation used as a tool for effecting political goals – historically is relatively short-lived in various regions of the world. Terrorist groups come and go. But never in the history of man has a single ideology continuously wrought terrorism and violence for more than a millennium directed against both its own adherents and opponents as well. Political Islam has done just that.
Islam calls for world domination, i.e., submission by persuasion where possible, by force where not. Those doubting Islam’s inherent confrontational ideology with non-believers need only reflect on how, almost 1,200 years before America’s birth, we were destined to fight our first two wars – the early 19th century Barbary wars – against Muslims.
Thomas Jefferson forewarned us then that the Quran nurtured a Muslim mindset justifying unprovoked attacks against and enslavement of non-Muslims. It should not be surprising, therefore, we have now fought our last two wars against Muslims as well. Nothing about Islam has changed in the interim.
While Islam’s apologists suggest all religions have embraced violence at one time or another, they disingenuously ignore that violence for other religions has been historic. But, for Islam, it is perpetual – the Quran mandates it against all surviving non-believers.
A second news story recently appearing that is further telling about a terrorist mindset linked to Islamic ideology also should give us pause to realize Islam’s war against the West is perpetual.
Earlier this month, an 8-year-old girl walked into a police station in Damascus, Syria, claiming to be lost. The real purpose of her visit quickly became apparent as a suicide belt hidden under her clothing detonated. The girl was instantly killed, a policeman slightly wounded. A terrorist outside the building – possibly the child’s father – remotely detonated the belt.
A film clip released by the terrorist group Jabhat Fatah al-Shams shows a fighter with his two young daughters preparing for a suicide mission. The girls are believed to be the 8-year-old Damascus bomber and her 7-year-old sister. Jabhat Fatah is but one of several terrorist groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The girls’ mother is asked in the video, “Why are you sending your daughters. … They’re young for jihad.” The mother’s unemotional response was, “No one is too young for jihad because jihad is a duty for every Muslim.”
The girls are then asked, “You want to surrender so that you’re raped and killed by the infidels? You want to kill them, no? We’re a glorious religion, not a religion of humiliation, isn’t that so, darling? You won’t be scared because you’re going to God, isn’t that right?”
The terrorist’s nurturing of a Muslim child’s mindset is not unique to Syrian rebels alone. Palestinians breed new generations of terrorists by exposing their children to animated music videos, encouraging them to commit terrorism by glorifying attacks on Israelis.
Lost in the news about the Berlin Muslim terrorist who rammed into a crowd of Christmas shoppers in a stolen tractor-trailer truck Dec. 19 was a story about what, perhaps, was Germany’s youngest terrorist suspect. Days earlier, a 12-year-old Iraqi boy was arrested for planning to detonate a nail bomb among shoppers. Not known yet is whether his parents were complicit in the plan.
Terror experts agree the terrorist profile is shifting – from attackers between the ages of 17-23 to minors. The recruitment and radicalization of children, just like so-called “moderate” Muslim attitudes about sexual intercourse with them, targets those yet to reach the age of reason.
Apps are now even available on cellphones for children to learn Arabic while encouraging them to attack famous landmarks in the West – the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty among them. The vocabulary taught focuses on violence and extremism – words such as “tanks” and “grenades” prevailing over “peace” and “love.”
A popular Palestinian song for children – lyrics of which are published in a children’s magazine – teaches them not to fear a martyr’s death. This has long been routine for the Palestinian Authority. To underscore this theme, Palestinian schools are named after terrorists as an inspiration for students.
We need to understand the terrorism and violence that is Islam’s has so far been inbred into 70 generations of children and will continue for generations to come.
In 1957, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir lamented peace will only come when Arabs love their children more than they hate Israelis. Twelve years later, she added, should peace come, Israelis perhaps will be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill theirs.
It is against the laws of nature – even within the animal kingdom – for mothers intentionally to sacrifice their offspring. That such is done in the name of Islam is most telling, not only concerning the religion’s lack of value about the life of innocent children, but also about our recognizing we are fighting a perpetual war.
Lt. Col. James G. Zumwalt is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of three books on the Vietnam war, North Korea and Iran as well as hundreds of op-eds.