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Reader comment on item: Which Has More Islamist Terrorism, Europe or America?
in response to reader comment: Only when it is too late

Submitted by Linda Korrow (United States), May 9, 2009 at 21:54

Zebadu, " Not many could be bothered with issues that do not affect them now."

Very true. May I suggest giving Stealth Jihad by Robert Spencer as gifts to everyone you know? Newt Gingrich touched on your point in his speech at AIPAC's annual conference.

Transcript of AIPAC Speech: An honest conversation about the threats we face

The fact is that the threats around the world are real, they're eminent, and they require us as a nation to have a serious adult conversation about reality.

When the polish people began rebelling against communism after the historic visit of Pope John Paul II for 9 days in June of 1979

Part of their effort was a slogan. They said two plus two equals four. I know that may seem a little strange but it came in part from George Orwell's "1984" in which the torturer on behalf of the state says if we tell you two plus two equals five, it equals five and if we tell you that two plus two equals three, it equals three. And who are you to dispute us. And the polish people said no, if you tell us two plus two equals five, you're lying. And if you tell us two plus two equals three, you're lying.

And so as a contrast between the authoritarian effort to impose falsehood and the right of the free people to tell the truth and have an honest opinion.

We are actually engaged in the same contest today in which many of our elites around the world are utterly incapable of telling the truth and utterly incapable of standing up to the truth and utterly incapable of having the courage to confront evil no matter how obvious it is.

Just a little over a week ago the Holocaust was remembered. And we heard words. But we need to understand the difference between words and policies, between sentiments and action.

Because we are at a very dangerous time. I would carry you back as a former history teacher to three other years that ended in 9.

A hundred years ago in 1909, virtually no one in Edwardian England would have believed that the British empire was about to be shattered that a generation of young men were about to be slaughtered, that the wealth they had accumulated over a century was about to spent, that within a very few years the Romanov empire, the Habsburg empire, the Wilhelmi empire would all disappear and that their world would never fully recover from the shattering cost of the first world war.

Just seventy years ago, in May of 1939, decent people were trying desperately to avoid the reality of Adolf Hitler. Painful to look back and to realize that those who could see understood and in fact whether it was Winston Churchill or a group of younger Tories, most of whom had served in World War I and knew the horrors of war and therefore were determined to stop Hitler before he became too successful and before he became too powerful.

The agony of 1939 of what Churchill once said was the unnecessary war. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once asked him, "What should we call this war"? He said we should call this the unnecessary war. Because no war was easier to avoid if at any point in the 1930s the democracies had the courage to act in unison, but they didn't. And in fact Stanley Baldwin lied to the British people, reassured them when he should have frightened then, told them they were fine when they were not safe at all. And tragically ended up very popular for the moment and so guilty that on his 90th birthday in 1945, Churchill would not send him greetings on the grounds that millions had died because his leadership had been such a failure.

Now go back 30 years to 1979 when the world was teetering. It's hard for us to remember now. But in 1979 the Soviet Empire was on the march- it was inevitable, it was powerful, all of our elites knew that we had to find détente, a fancy French word meaning understanding. And everybody, conservatives wanted to have détente where we yelled at the Russians while we lost, liberals wanted to have détente where we hugged the Russians while we lost. But all of our elites knew that the Soviet Empire was on the march, that our future was grim. A French intellectual wrote a book called "The End of Democracy". Along came one person. Callista and I just released a movie about him, called "Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny".

A reporter asked Reagan, "What's your vision of the end of the Cold War?" He said, "We win. They lose."

The elites were terrified. The entire New York Times editorial board contemplated moving to New Zealand.

Reagan understood something very profound. He understood first of all that the American people tend to identify with sports and that they would understand the word we. And they would think that we should win.

It was bold, it was radical.

CBS News never did quite get it.

And he understood that they would understand they and think that we win, they lose made sense.

What was astonishing about Reagan was that in consort with Pope John Paul II and with Prime Minister Thatcher, he actually designed a grand strategy to bring to bare economic, intellectual, political, and other pressures in such a way that within 11 years the Soviet Empire disappeared.

I site these two examples because I think in the next few years we will make decisions that our grandchildren that will have meant that we were once again either in 1939 or once again in 1979.

If we lack the courage to confront honestly how grave the threats are, if we lack the courage to describe evil as evil, and if we lack the courage to implement the policies that those threats and that evil requires then in fact we are in 1939. But if on the other hand, we are prepared to tell the truth and we are prepared to develop a world wide coalition in favor of that truth then we will be even more surprised by the speed with which those opponents collapse and the degree to which those evil regimes disappear.

I think virtually…

I think in virtually every case if we are prepared to show great strategic leadership, it could happen without firing a shot. Remember, from Estonia to Latvia to Lithuania to Ukraine to Bielorussia to Romania to Hungary to the Czech Republic to the Slovak Republic to Poland to East Germany to Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan…all leave the Soviet Empire without firing a shot.


The first key to the Reagan strategy and to the fascists strategy and to the strategy that Pope John Paul II illustrated when he visited Poland as we will do at the end of this month. We're making a movie called Nine Days That Changed the World which we think has direct relevance to the world that we currently live in.

In each case those great leaders believe confronting evil head on, describing it accurately, and bringing to bare the moral authority of a free people was the most powerful single step you could take. Now what would that mean? That would mean absolute condemnation and de-funding of Durbin II and any future effort to organize hatred.

would mean a systematic world wide campaign to bring forth every illustration of the abuse, destruction, enslavement, and brutality toward women which are at the heart of the extremist wing of Islam and are the key to the Taliban.

That would mean moving to suspend Iran's right to vote in the United Nations so long as its leader wanted genocide of Isreal.

That would mean enforcing the disruption of gasoline supplies until the Iranian economy broke, the Ayatollahs were ousted and a new regime was in place without firing a shot.

The would mean recognizing honestly the enormous challenge of growing in Gaza a force for peace and prosperity and freedom that was capable of taking on Hamas and capable of defeating Hamas because as long as Hamas dominates Gaza, there is no partner for peace. There is only an effort for genocide and annihilation.

The great tragedy of the last administration was that it combined two enormous weaknesses that were not characteristic of President Reagan or Prime Minister Thatcher or Pope John Paul II.

One you almost certainly will agree with, the other may shock you. The first was it was inarticulate. That's an enormous, enormous disadvantage because a free society has to be able to win the moral case that what it is doing is necessary, unavoidable, and morally legitimate. The current administration will not be inarticulate. There's a deeper challenge- a challenge that the last administration had, and a challenge that I very much fear this administration has. The threats we are faced with are far more catastrophic than any of our leaders are willing to talk about. And the challenges of unlocking those catastrophes are much harder than any of our leaders are prepared to talk about.

The challenge of the Bush administration wasn't that it tried too much. It was that it underestimated dramatically how hard this is going to be. Fixing Pakistan, which in some ways is the most dangerous country in the world today because they already have probably over a hundred nuclear weapons. Fixing Pakistan is an enormous problem. Defeating the Taliban and Al Quada in the northwest and in Afghanistan is an enormous problem. Stopping a determined Iranian theocracy with its secret police and its republican guards so that they do not get nuclear weapons, they do not fund Hamas, they do not fun Hezbollah, and they are not the leading exporters of terrorists in the world is an enormous problem.

Recognizing that the leading funder of Suni extremism on the planet is Saudi Arabia and that rather than bow to the King we need a national energy policy to liberate the United States.

And make no mistake, an American energy policy developing American sources of oil, American sources of natural gas, American sources of coal, American sources of hydrogen, American sources of biofuels, American sources of solar, of nuclear, and of wind. An all point system to maximize American freedom from the Middle East would be the most powerful national security policy.

It was the deliberate driving down of the price of oil which bankrupted Gorbachev and the Soviet Union and if we made the same strategy of deliberately driving down the price of oil the Iranians would presently not have the money to subsidize terrorism around the world.

Let me take just a minute to talk about the scale of the catastrophes and I want to do this, you know, I actively got involved when I was very young. My Dad was a career soldier, an infantryman in the US Army in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. I grew up traveling around the world. I was born in Harrisburg, PA. And we were stationed in Orleans, France when I was a freshman in high school. We were living in a country that had been badly damaged in World War I, bombed in World War II, was losing the war in Algeria, lost the war in South Vietnam, or Indochina as it was then called.

They had a hundred percent inflation. Literally the Summer we were there the French paratroopers came to Paris, killed the fourth Republic and brought back General de Gaul who created the fifth Republic of which President Sarkozy is now the latest example of the most stable French government since the monarchy.

And as young kid from Pennsylvania this was all wild. And then my Dad took us that Spring to Verdun, the largest battlefield of World War I. This was a huge valley in which 600,000 French soldiers lost their lives in a 9 month campaign. And we spent every day touring this huge battlefield. And we stayed every night with a friend of my Father's who had been drafted in 1941, sent to the Philippines, served in the Baton Death March, and spend 3.5 years in a Japanese prison camp.

And so, I looked at this extraordinary weekend- the great battlefields at day, the cost of defeat at night. I was going to be either a zoo director or a vertebrate paleontologist. I love the natural world and we were transferred that summer to Stuttgart and I literally spent the whole summer thinking and praying about what I had experienced that weekend.

And in August of 1958 I decided to do what I've done ever since. So what I'm about to say to you is from my heart. And from everything I've learning in almost 51 years. We are on the edge of catastrophic problems. If you get a chance, read my good friend Bill Forstchen's novel, "One Second After", which describes the fate of a small town after an electromagnetic pulse attack. This book was inspired by a report that Congressman Roscoe Bartlett got seven nuclear physicists of enormous experience in our nuclear weapons industry to jointly produce.

It is based on fact, it is accurate and it's horrifying. And we have zero national strategy to respond to it today. Actually, three small nuclear weapons at the right altitude would eliminate all electricity production in the United States, which is why I have said publicly I favor taking out Iranian and North Korean missiles on their sites.

We need to break the lawyer's sophistry that all nations are equal and we need to draw a sharp line that says if you have an evil regime and you engage in evil things we are not going to let you fire off weapons which could have catastrophic results. Period.

The decent, the honorable, and the law abiding cannot survive by trying to apply the same standards to the evil, the aggressive, the criminal, and the vicious.

The second great threat is one or more nuclear weapons going off either in an American city or an Israeli city or a European city or a Japanese city. Wherever they went off, they would have horrifying consequences.

And I strongly recommend Alex Berenson, a New York Times reporter recently wrote a novel called The Silent Man which is about an effort to set off a Hiroshima size weapon in the Washington, D.C. area at the time of a State of the Union. And recognize, a Hiroshima size weapon has a radius of one mile. There are over a hundred thousand people in that zone. The idea that you could stop them from driving it in in a truck is a fantasy.

This is an enormous threat to our very survival. You've watched the reaction to Swine Flu. An engineered biological attack, whether it was an engineered virus or it was an anthrax attack would have horrifying implications and would be staggering. Now I'm not telling you these things to frighten you. I'm telling you these for the same reasons you tell your children to put on their seatbelts. We as a country need to develop some national security seatbelts. And then we need to recognize that there are some regimes that you will never be able to cut a deal with because they are in fact evil.

I just want to make two last points.

I don't know quite what that is but I'm going to take the risk of saying it anyway.

The first is, that talking in good faith with Adolf Hitler and seeking reconciliation with Adolf Hitler would have been a complete dead loser because he was in fact the personification of evil and as long as he was in charge all humanity was at risk.

Ahmadinejad, if he gets the weapons will be every bit as evil as Hitler, he tells us this all the time. And only our unwillingness to admit that two plus two equals four blocks us from seeing what he is doing.

[applause and such removed]

And finally, I want you to feel very comfortable going back home, telling all of your neighbors and your friends, you're involved in AIPAC because you're involved in the largest single organization dedicated to the survival of their children, and their grandchildren by confronting danger head on and ensuring American safety fully as much as Israeli safety because the two are permanently intertwined.

There is civilization and there is anti-civilization.

AIPAC personifies being committed to our children and our grandchildren living in civilization. And if your friends ask you why you're involved, I hope you'll turn to them and say- Gosh, why aren't you involved when it is your future for your children and your grandchildren.


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