The Forever War
Eighteen years and counting.
Four years after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Japanese empire and its Nazi partner had been relegated to the dustbin of history, and America was rebuilding from the ravages of warfare. Eighteen years after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the United States was in the middle of a long period of peace and prosperity, and was looking confidently into a future that promised to be even better. The contrast with today, the eighteenth anniversary of the jihad bombings of New York and Washington, couldn’t be more stark.
Bernie Sanders and other Democrat presidential candidates have decried America’s “forever wars” and vowed to end them. But they want to end them not because they have been won, but because they believe that there is no significant jihad threat, and that therefore our continued presence in Afghanistan in particular, but in Syria and Iraq also, is pointless and self-defeating. They want to end the “forever” wars so that more American resources can be devoted to the chimera of climate change, the vastly overestimated “white supremacist” threat, and the deception of “Islamophobia.”
Yet oddly enough for liberal Democrats, they do have a point, or at least a partial one. The war in Afghanistan has become a “forever war” because it has no clear goal or end point and no definition of victory. What’s more, even if the Taliban were completely eradicated, the jihad threat against the United States would not be ended, because that threat doesn’t originate solely in Afghanistan, and in many ways has not even been addressed in the years since September 11, 2001.
The jihad threat can emanate from anywhere the Qur’an and Sunnah are preached and believed. But saying that in America eighteen years after 9/11 won’t result in any public consternation or calls for the monitoring of mosques; it will only get you defamed as a “racist” and an “Islamophobe,” to be dismissed and shunned by all decent people. Meanwhile, one imam in Georgia recently stated: “There has not been another 9/11-such attack in America because Islam is winning.”
Empty braggadocio? Maybe. But this imam was no outlier. In August at the notorious the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Fairfax County, Virginia, the imam Shaker Elsayed prayed that Allah would “grant victory to his servants, the mujahideen, wherever they are.” A few days later in Philadelphia, a convert to Islam named Maurice Hill shot and wounded six police officers in a shootout; according to the Clarion Project, he attended a “radical mosque,” the Masjid Ahlil Hadith Wal Athar, which “is known for preaching the Islamist ideology promoted by Saudi Arabia referred to as ‘Wahhabism.’”
Imagine what would have happened if in 1959, a German leader said that there had been no Nazi terror attacks in the United States because Nazism was winning, while another German leader publicly hoped for the victory of the Nazis, and a man who shot six policemen was found to be a member of a German society that preached Nazism. Imagine if those who called attention to the ongoing Nazi threat were derided as “anti-German bigots,” and not taken seriously by anyone. Imagine if a network of activist judges systematically struck down efforts by an anti-Nazi President to rectify this situation.
All that would have been inconceivable in 1959, but it is our reality today. The September 11 jihad attacks were a great victory for the forces of the global jihad, because since then the principal target of those attacks, the United States government, has been so concerned with not appearing to be “anti-Muslim” and not “going to war with Islam” that it quickly became, and remains, afraid to enunciate, much less to confront, the motivating ideology behind those attacks.
And so on this eighteenth anniversary of the murder of nearly three thousand Americans by the warriors of Allah, supporters of those warriors are all over this land, and many are in positions of power and influence. But no matter. The attention of the world has moved on. The jihad threat is a concern of the past, not of the present. All is well, and all will continue to be well, as long as we tackle global warming, the Russian threat to our elections, and the rise of white supremacism. Won’t it?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.