Saturday, January 21, 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017
HOW TO START WINNING THE WAR ON TERROR
Patricia L. Mosure and Stephen G. Patten
We would like to make a point at the outset of this article and will repeat it at the end and that is:
We do not have a lot of time until the terrorists get their hands on some very nasty weapons that are going to change this world in a way we are not going to like. What we will talk about in this article is not theory. It is now.
When the United States sends its young men and women overseas to war, those Americans must know that if they are captured, if they falter, if they fall behind, America will come back to get them and bring them home. The United States of America does not leave its troops behind.
We have co-authored a book, “Foreign Correspondent,” about a CBS News journalist, Steve, co-author of this article, striving to maintain that pledge. It runs over 40 years from before Steve was a journalist and served with the United States Marine Corps in South Vietnam to his years reporting for CBS News in wars around the world, in the Far East, the Middle East, and Central America. It also includes our current reporting for our company, Lee & Grant International, on the War on Terror.
This book is intended to inform our readers, our viewers, our listeners, on efforts to bring lost Americans home and the role of a journalist in those efforts who became a target himself when CBS News accused Steve of being a CIA agent using journalism as a cover. Most of all, this book is intended to keep faith with our heroes and our heroines.
One of the major topics we address in “Foreign Correspondent” is the War on Terror. It is actually the concluding chapter of the book.
If we are going to start winning this war – and we are not now - there are three missions we must accomplish immediately. First, the obvious one, confront and defeat ISIS. Second, stabilize Afghanistan. Third, refocus on Iraq.
The First Mission: Destroy ISIS
Let’s start with ISIS, also called ISIL or the Islamic State, or Daesh, an acronym for its name in Arabic. We must put a standing army in the field, for ISIS is an army that has used a good deal of skill and expertise in achieving the victories it has in Syria and Iraq over the last several years. So, we must put an army in the field supported by air power, find ISIS’ army, and destroy it. And we must kill all of its combatants. The wanton cruelty these people have amply demonstrated shows they have far beyond redemption.
And let this be a warning to young people who have a somehow skewed romantic notion of adventure – and their parents – that if we catch them with ISIS we will kill them too.
This army we put in the field can be American, Middle Eastern, Arab, South Asian, European with our NATO allies. It could come from China, Japan, Venus or Mars. We don’t care. Or, as journalist Bill O’Reilly of Fox News suggests, it could be a mercenary army. There are plenty of mercenaries in this world – Steve has run across a few of them in his day – who would be more than willing to fight anytime, anywhere, for any side, as long as the money is right.
But, in addition to defeating ISIS militarily, we must knock it out politically. That means separating from it the Sunni support it now enjoys. Sunni, the major sect of Islam, accounts for 80% or so of the more than a billion and a half Muslims around the world. So, while we are wiping out ISIS combatants we must send a day contingent down to Damascus, the capital of Syria, and escort that murderous despot, Bashar al-Assad, and all of his family out of town. You can’t leave any family there, for they will engender loyalty.
Or, if you prefer, exile his family somewhere in the world and take Bashar al-Assad himself and hang him from the nearest lamppost. But get rid of him!! Only the most obtuse who follow the Middle East can fail to see this man should have been gone a long time ago.
The al-Assads are Alawites, an offshoot of the Shia, the principal minority sect of Islam and the sworn enemies of the Sunnis. Prior to the massive emigration from Syria during its civil war the Alawites likely accounted for no more than 15% of Syria’s population that was 23-24 million, while Sunnis were probably 75%. We put a Sunni leader or group of Sunni leaders in al-Assad’s place.
We do the same thing in Iraq, except here the situation is reversed, for Iraq is a majority Shia country, about two thirds Shia and a third Sunni in a population similar to Syria. We go to Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, and ask our ally, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shia, to bring more Sunnis into government. He is doing this somewhat, but he has to do it a lot more.
The idea of all of this is that if the Sunnis can see they are fairly represented in the halls of power in Damascus and Baghdad and they feel protected, they will no longer feel the need to support ISIS. We destroy ISIS militarily, we knock it out politically, we defeat ISIS. Now, we will have to monitor it for years to come, but it will no longer pose the dire threat to America and the world that it does today.
Second Mission: Stabilize Afghanistan
We must maintain a residual military force in Afghanistan, whatever our generals and admirals feel we need. The U.S. has some 8,000-9,000 troops there now and we applaud our Government for doing so.
The purpose of these troops is threefold. First, they are there to shore up the Afghan military so that it doesn’t collapse in the face of enemy pressure as the Iraqi military did after we stupidly pulled all our troops out of Iraq at the end of 2011.
Second, our troops are there to train the Afghan military as best as they can. And, third, importantly, our forces are in Afghanistan to ensure the supplies we ship into Afghanistan get where they are intended to go, for graft and corruption, of course, in Afghanistan are rampant.
We should encourage other countries such as our NATO allies who have been helping in Afghanistan to continue their support. And we should encourage more countries who have not been in Afghanistan to come in and help out as well.
All this is in the hope that one day Afghanistan can become, in the words of prominent Afghan-American author Tamim Ansary, the Switzerland of Asia.
But we should warn the current and any future Afghan government that we reserve the right to come back temporarily into Afghanistan in military force and wipe out any nest of terrorists plotting to kill Americans and seeking safe haven in Afghanistan, as the Taliban afforded Osama bin Laden in the 1990s and early 2000s.
As Dr. Michael Scheuer, the former head of the Osama bin Laden unit of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1996 to 1999 said in his book, “Marching Toward Hell,” the terrorists can say and think what they want about America. But they must realize the cost to them of actually killing Americans will be horrendous.
Third Mission: Refocus on Iraq
The U. S. invasion of Iraq in March, 2003 ordered by former President George W. Bush was a response to 9/11. The message was we were not going to sit back and wait to be attacked again. If we see danger lurking on the horizon, we will act first to knock it out before it has a chance to hit us. That, in essence, became known as the Bush Doctrine.
This flatten-Sadaam-Hussein attention-getter was aimed generally at the Middle East and in particular at Iraq’s immediate southern neighbor, Saudi Arabia. Why Saudi Arabia? One word: Wahhabism.
Wahhabism is the brutal brand of so-called (we will explain in a bit the use of the term, “so-called”) Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed ibn abd al-Wahhab was a fanatical 18th century religious zealot on the Arabian Peninsula who believed in the severest form of society: cutting off the hands of thieves, subjugation of women, and the like. He would be long forgotten in this world – which he richly deserved - had he not allied with a family fighting for control of the Arabian Peninsula, the as-Sauds. In this alliance al-Wahhab was the spiritual head, the as-Sauds were the muscle.
Some 140 years after al-Wahhab’s death – that is, early 20th century – the descendants of the as-Saud family that had allied with al-Wahhab won their battle for control of the Arabian Peninsula.
Do you recall the late 1960’s movie, “Lawrence of Arabia,” starring and introducing in the title role a fine, young British actor named Peter O’Toole? There was another character in that movie, Prince Feisal, portrayed by the great British actor, Sir Alec Guinness.
Feisal was a real life character. At the time of what became known as World War I with the British and the French and later the Americans fighting the Germans and their allies of the Central Powers on the European mainland Feisal was fighting to unite Arabs under his leadership on the Arabian Peninsula.
The British and the French saw an opportunity in Feisal and approached him with a proposition. Help us, they told Feisal, fight the Germans and specifically their Turkish allies of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East and we will in turn at the victorious conclusion of the war support your efforts to unite Arabs under your flag on the Arabian Peninsula. That’s a deal, said Feisal enthusiastically.
This is how a young British military officer named T.E. Lawrence got to the Middle East. The British sent him as a military adviser to Feisal.
But the British and the French, even before the end of the war, betrayed Feisal. In a secret accord named for a diplomat from each of their countries, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, they agreed to divide up the Middle East, the remnants of the Ottoman Empire, into what they called their “Mandates,” which in reality were just colonies.
And indeed that is what they did when the war ended. Feisal, seeing that he had been betrayed, went out to fight on his own after the war for control of the Arabian Peninsula and got whupped by the as-Sauds.
So, in 1932 the Saudis declared their kingdom of Saudi Arabia, attaching their family name to that of the Peninsula. And they made clear their brand of what they considered to be Islam was Wahhabism.
Not content to foster it only with their own borders, since 1932 to this very day the Saudis have spread, proselytized, promoted, promulgated Wahhabism around the world. You may have only slightly heard of Wahhabism before reading this or maybe you never had heard of Wahhabism. But let us give you three achievements of Wahhabism and we bet you are intimately familiar with all three.
First, the world’s most infamous, notorious, nefarious terrorist of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Osama bin Laden. How did this nutcase ever happen?
Listen to Professor Walid Phares in his book, “Future Jihad.” Writes Dr. Phares: “Osama bin Laden did not create al Qaeda. It created him.” He is referring to the Wahhabist culture in which little Osama bin Laden grew up in Wahhabist Saudi Arabia.
Second achievement of the Wahhabists, the Taliban, those folks we have been fighting in Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded the country in October 2001. The word, “Taliban,” comes from an Arabic word, “talib,” which means “student.” Taliban is simply the plural. They call themselves the “Students.” Isn’t that quaint?
Why? It goes back to the Afghan civil wars of the 1990s. Brutal. Afghan warlords showing how tough they were, would surround population centers and bomb them to smithereens, killing thousands of men, women, and children. The Afghan populace fled en masse, many going to the western border with Iran. But Iran is Shia and most Afghans are Sunni.
So, many more Afghans fled to the eastern border with Sunni Pakistan. Along the latter border, the eastern Afghan border with Pakistan, there were at any one time millions of Afghans sitting in squalid, fetid refugee camps. Into these camps came the Wahhabists from Saudi Arabia and their surrogates.
They set up “madrasas,” which are schools, and invited young Afghan males only, of course, to come to school. Well, here is a young Afghan man, 18 or 19 years old, sitting in rags, little to eat, and, worst of all, cooped up, bored to tears, with nothing to do. You picture an 18 or 19-year-old you know cooped up with nothing to do and you know that spells trouble.
Hearing the siren call of going to school, these young Afghan men shrugged and said, Heck, why not? So, by the tens and then the hundreds and then the thousands they went to these Wahhabist madrasas, where they got a clean set of clothes, three square meals a day, and where they got inculcated, they got indoctrinated with the hatred and the violence of Wahhabism.
Out from these madrasas marched the students. Out from these camps marched the Taliban.
Third crowning achievement of the Wahhabists, those charming gentlemen who stole four planes and killed 3,000 people on 9/11. Of the 19 hijackers, two came from United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt, and another from Lebanon. Do you want to take a wild guess where the other 15 hijackers came from? Of course, they were Saudis, having grown up in the same Wahhabist culture as little Osama bin Laden in Wahhabist Saudi Arabia.
And how does ISIS characterize itself? Naturally, it calls itself Wahhabist.
Still not convinced of the evil of Wahhabism? Then come with us to Mecca, the religious capital of the Islamic world located within Saudi Arabia. There in Mecca stands the Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the world, that encloses the Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred shrine that Muslims believe Ibrahim, whom they call Abraham, built centuries ago.
In the city of Mecca little girls – 13, 14, 15 years old - are going to school. They are dressed in their hijabs, their head coverings, and their abayas or burkhas, their body coverings. Once they get into the school building they take off their hijabs, they take off their abayas or their burkhas, which is tradition, as they are wearing their school uniforms underneath. And they go to class.
The date is March 11th, 2002. A fire breaks out in the school building. Just like you and we would do if we were trapped in a burning building, they panic and run for the exits. Chaos ensues. There is a stampede. Some of the girls are being trampled. Some make it through the exit doors and out into the safety of the open air.
At that very moment the Wahhabist religious police arrive. Yes, there is such a thing as the Wahhabist religious police.
They grab the young girls who have escaped to the outside and throw them back into the burning building!! Other young girls are still inside the building but have made it to the exit doors and are scratching to get out. The Wahhabist police block the exits so that these girls cannot escape.
Why? Why would these police do this? Because in their panic the girls forgot to put back on their hijabs, their head coverings. They forgot to put back on their abayas or burkhas, their body coverings. In the eyes of the Wahhabist religious police these girls would have gone out into the world naked, a mortal sin.
Fifteen of these beautiful little children with their wondrous lives all ahead of them die. Over 50 are injured.
We would suggest to you this is not Islam. This is madness, pure, unadulterated madness.
Solving Saudi Arabia
We were both born in America. We are both Christians. Neither one of us has a drop of Arab blood in us. Every night after Steve reads the Bible he reads the Quran, the holy book of Islam. He reads it in English and he reads it in Arabic.
And there is nothing he has ever read in the Quran, in either language, nor seen in the Sunna, a collective term for the ways, traditions, customs of the Prophet Mohammed, Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him, and his companions of the 7th century that serves as a role model for Muslims of the 21st century that justifies the barbarity and the savagery of Osama bin Laden, of the Taliban, of the 9/11 hijackers. Nor of those two losers as their uncle called them on television who perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings. Nor of those murderous freaks who massacred people in Paris, France, Brussels, Belgium, San Bernardino, California, Orlando, Florida, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nice, France, and in many other places around the world.
What is Islam, for example, that we would suggest to you is the Suratul Fatihah. That is the first surah, meaning chapter, of the Quran, and a Muslim prayer similar to the Christians’ Lord’s Prayer in that every Muslim knows it and can recite it.
Let us share just part of it, about the first half, with you:
Bismillahi arhammani arrahiim,
Almamdu lillah rabbi alamiin,
Maliki yowma diin.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds,
The Compassionate, the Merciful,
Master of Judgment Day.
Compassion. Mercy. Judgment Day. These are Judeo-Christian concepts as well, are they not?
The message to Saudi Arabia is: Stop spreading your vicious, violent, virulent, vulgar version of Islam around the world! Stop in your role as the prime sponsor, facilitator, and financier of terrorism on this planet!
To Win the War on Terror
There is a saying regarding the battlefields in which America has found itself for most of the 21st century that has been quoted many times before but bears repeating:
"Change Afghanistan and you change Afghanistan. Change Iraq and you change the Middle East."
Changing the Middle East was one of the prime rationales for the much maligned U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 ordered by former President George W. Bush.
We would suggest to you that we must change the Middle East if we are to win this War on Terror.
As promised, allow us to say once again:
We do not have a lot of time until the terrorists get their hands on some very nasty weapons that are going to change this world in a way we are not going to like.
What we have written about here is not theory. It is now.
Pattie Mosure is the president and Steve Patten the editor of Lee & Grant International, an educational and informational company that reports on national security issues and the War on Terror. They are co-authors of "Foreign Correspondent" - www.facebook.com/the bookforeigncorrespondent - a book on Steve's career as a journalist for CBS News, as mentioned above, who reported on wars around the world, in the Far East, Middle East, and Central America.
Pattie is the wife of a 20-year U.S. Army veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War. Steve served with the U.S. Marine Corps in South Vietnam.
Pattie is the wife of a 20-year U.S. Army veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War. Steve served with the U.S. Marine Corps in South Vietnam.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Thank you to Senior Writer and Arts Editor Marc Leepson and Reviewer Mark Miller of Vietnam Veterans of America for their review of our book, Foreign Correspondent. Click on the following to read the review: