HOW TO START WINNING THE WAR ON TERROR
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Patricia L. Mosure and Stephen G. Patten
We would like to make a point at the outset of this article:
We do not have a lot of time until the terrorists get their hands on some very nasty weapons and the ability to use them 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. That is a sacred pledge.
We have co-authored a book, “Foreign Correspondent,” about a CBS News journalist, Steve, 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 reporting for our company, Lee & Grant International, on the War on Terror.
This book is intended to inform our readers, our viewers, our listeners, of efforts to bring lost Americans home and the role of a journalist involved 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 four missions we must accomplish. First, solve the North Korea problem. Second, confront and defeat ISIS. Third, stabilize Afghanistan. Fourth, refocus on Iraq.
First Mission: Solve the North Korea Problem
Successive U.S. administrations have made clear America will not tolerate a nuclear armed North Korea. The result? The terrorist state of North Korea is now armed with nuclear weapons. The failure of U.S. policy to prevent the communist government in Pyongyang led by Kim Jong-un from developing these weapons obviously means we must rethink U.S. policy that has not worked out so well.
The communist North maintains it is only defending itself from an aggressive America that seeks to dominate and control the Korean peninsula. It cites the presence of the some 30,000 U.S. troops in the South and what it calls the provocative joint military exercises the U.S. and South Korea periodically conduct. It says the two Koreas could reunite peacefully if only the U.S. would get out of the way and abandon its occupation of the South.
Okay. Let’s get out of the way. Withdraw our troops, conditioned upon a binding and verifiable agreement that North Korea will dismantle its nuclear arsenal as the U.S. is pulling out its troops. Once North Korea has destroyed the last of its nukes, the U.S. will withdraw the last of our troops, except for a security force manning the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North from South Korea. If the North is serious about a peaceful reunification with the South and the two countries do reunite, we will withdraw our security force from a DMZ that will no longer exist in a reunified Korea.
Fine. What does this accomplish? It removes the excuse the North uses for building its nuclear arsenal. Even more importantly it sends a clear signal to China, North Korea’s principal benefactor, it has no reason any further to prop up the North Korean regime. A neutralized and neutral Korean peninsula would pose no threat to China which shares a 850 mile land border with North Korea and would gain international acclaim for the Chinese for no longer supporting up the brutal North Korean dictatorship that is the world’s pariah.
But, one would ask, doesn’t withdrawal of U.S. troops invite an invasion of South Korea by the North? Not really. The American forces we have in South Korea are there not to stop a North Korean invasion by the number of troops we have in the South. They would be quickly overrun by the massive North Korean army should it decide to invade.
The Americans are in the South as a deterrent because any attack on U.S. troops would bring an overwhelming response from the United States. That same purpose would be achieved by keeping the U.S. security force on the DMZ. We would still be justified in going back into South Korea if our troops in the DMZ were threatened.
The South Korean military – known as ROK troops, for Republic of Korea – would stand and fight if the North invaded. ROK forces are highly trained, very capable, and organized to repel a violation of their territory. And they are tough.
When Steve served in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War the headquarters for his Marine Corps battalion – 1st battalion, 1st Marines – was stationed in the South Vietnamese city of Hoi An, about half way between Da Nang and Chu Lai in the northern region of South Vietnam.
A South Korean battalion was headquartered right next to Steve’s battalion headquarters. These South Korean troops, after a hard day’s work of finding and killing the enemy, would come back to their battalion headquarters and, to kick back and relax in the evening, would beat each other up using their Tae Kwan Do martial arts.
On patrol one evening Steve and about 10 or 11 other Marines walked into a South Vietnamese village. It was the middle of the night and the village was deserted. Steve walked into one of the huts and an old woman was squatting on the dirt floor of the hut holding a baby and shaking in fright. Steve tried to calm her fears and motioned it was all right, the Marines were not going to harm her or her village. Steve asked her, “VC a dao, VC a dao.” “Where are the VC? Where are the VC?,” the Viet Cong communist guerrillas. She continued to shiver and wouldn’t answer him.
Steve walked out of the hut and he and the other Marines left. A minute or two out of the village they started taking small arms fire from this village. The VC had crawled out of their holes in the ground or wherever else they were hiding, and were firing at them. The Marines returned fire and continued on their way. There was no point in going back into the village, for the men would just disappear again.
If that had been a South Korean unit, fired upon after leaving the village, it would have gone back in the village, killed any men they could find, killed all the women, the children, dogs, chickens, anything living, burned the village and destroyed all their crops. Then,the Koreans would leave, in their wake a village that no longer existed. Interestingly,
South Korea’s TAOR - tactical area of responsibility - was more peaceful the Marines’ TAOR.
The South Korean military is not to be trifled with. North Korea knows that and would be unlikely to test the South backed up as it will be by American military might.
Once peaceful reunification between North and South is a reality and we remove the troops from the DMZ, we follow that up with a clear commitment to Korea’s reunification that, if violated, would prompt U.S. forces to go back in in force.
Will it work? Maybe. We can’t say for sure. But it is worth the effort, for it is a far better scenario than a nuclear armed North Korea bearing down on the South and threatening the United States and the rest of the world. Which is what we have now.
Second Mission: Destroy ISIS
Now to the Middle East and ISIS, also called ISIL or the Islamic State, or Daesh, an acronym for its name in Arabic. We have had success against ISIS, knocking it out ofnorthern Iraq and northern Syria. But we have yet to deliver the knockout blow. We must put a standing army in the field supported by air power, find ISIS’ army, and destroy it. And we must kill and/or incarcerate all of its combatants. The wanton cruelty these people have amply demonstrated shows they are 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 be Chinese, Japanese, or come from Venus or Mars. We don’t care. Or, as journalist Bill O’Reilly, formerly 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 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 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 needto support ISIS. We destroy ISIS militarily, we knock it out politically, we defeat ISIS. Now, it will have to be monitored for years to come, but it will no longer pose the dire threat to America and the world that it does today.
Third Mission: Stabilize Afghanistan
We must maintain a residual military force in Afghanistan, whatever our generals and admirals feel we need. The U.S. has had some 8,000-9,000 troops there and we applaud our Government for doing so. After President Trump took office he authorized Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to send in more troops and today we have around 15,000.
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 – stupidly - pulled all our troops out of Iraq at the end of 2011.
Second, our troops are training 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 and help out as well.
All this is in the hope that one day Afghanistan can become, in the words of prominent American-Afghan 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.
Fourth Mission: Refocus on Iraq
A renewed concentration on Iraq serves two purposes, both linked to the crucial geographic location of the country:
1. It puts Iran, bordering Iraq to the east, on notice that America is not going to allow Iran to dominate Iraq nor to continue its spreading of terrorism throughout the region. We can’t change the theocratic regime currently ruling in Iran. That will have to come from the inside, from Iranians themselves. But we can serve as a check on Iranian sponsorship of terror by a strong diplomatic, economic, and military presence in its western neighbor, Iraq.
2. It addresses the threat of fanaticism emanating from Iraq’s immediate southern and western neighbor, Saudi Arabia.
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 aforementioned immediate southern and western 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. Al-Wahhab was the spiritual head of this alliance, 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 who allied with al-Wahhab emerged victorious for control of the Arabian Peninsula.
Do you recall the late 1960s movie, “Lawrence of Arabia,” starring and introducing in the title role a 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, acting for his father, Sheriff Hussein, the ruler of Mecca.
The British and the French saw an opportunity in Hussein and Feisal and approached them with a proposition. Help us, they told them, 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 Hussein 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 Hussein, although he worked principally with Feisal.
But the British and the French, even before the end of the war, betrayed Hussein and 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. Hussein, 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 Saudis.
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 their western border with Iran. But Iran is Shia and most Afghans are Sunni. The Shia, Islam’s principal minority sect, and the Sunnis, Islam’s majority sect, have been bitter enemies for centuries.
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 clothing, 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 came from? Of course, they were Saudis, having grown up in the same hate-filled 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 most people would do if they were trapped in a burning building, they panic and run for the exits. There is a stampede. Kids are being trampled. Some of the girls 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 theexit doors and are scratching to get out. The Wahhabist police block the exits so that these girls cannot escape the death that is enveloping them.
Why? Why would these so-called 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 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, 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, Manchester, England, 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 lilah 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, along with Iran, 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.
What You Can Do to Help in This Fight
Talk with your families, friends, colleagues, associates, co-workers, employers, employees, acquaintances, anyone you think needs to know about what is facing our country. These are vital issues of national concern that affect us all. Spread the word. Reproduce this article for hard copy recipients and send a link to this article to your electronic favorites and ask them to send it on to their favorites.
Contact your two U.S. senators and your congressperson in their Washington, D.C. offices. Ask to speak with the AA, the administrative aide, or the LA, the legislative aide. If either is unavailable, ask to speak with the communications director. If also unavailable, ask to speak with the press secretary, the media contact, for you have a message from two journalists, the authors of this article.
Contact the State Department in Washington, D.C. and the Defense Department in Arlington, Virginia. Ask to speak with the Assistant Secretary of Middle East Affairs and the Assistant Secretary of South Asian Affairs (Afghanistan is considered South Asian) in each department. Also ask to speak with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for each of the above.
Contact corporations doing business in the Middle East and South Asia. Ask to speak with their public affairs department. Contact the media, broadcast companies – television and radio - newspapers, and weekly news magazines. Ask to speak with their foreign desks that cover stories overseas.
Fax or scan and e-mail this article to the offices of all these officials. And ask for a reply to your fax and/or your messages you leave on the telephone. Advise them you are concerned about the issues raised in this article and you wish to learn their comments on these issues.
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