August Column from Kandahar
“The Global Jihad and its Ramifications for America”
August has been incredibly busy; hard to believe it truly flew past. This month we have been conducting a series of Afghan staff seminars on various organizational and operational planning topics.
We received a new Afghan Army Regional Corps Commander and Chief of Staff; therefore it is important to re-emphasize some of the key points that enhance staff effectiveness. This comes at a critical time when we are about two weeks from entering the Muslim period of Ramadan (Ramazon in Afghanistan). As this global period is about to begin, I considered what this means to our enemy, as it is the prime time for a mujahideen to claim shaheed, or most revered, status.
So what does this “global jihad” really mean for America, as we are its main target?
This past week at a Veterans of Foreign Wars conference Pres Bush drew parallels between Vietnam and Iraq. I would like to add another point, which is Vietnam was a regional conflict but its long term meaning still resonates with our adversaries. It displayed a weakness our current enemy seeks to exploit. Vietnam also evidenced a willingness by our country to abandon allies when confronted by a lesser but determined enemy-—not to mention the effect of the media in our country.
Vietnam affected our credibility as a nation, and our actions in Lebanon and Somalia reinforced the perception of only being a “paper tiger” to those who wage the global jihad. Vietnam resulted in a regional loss, but this time we face a far more dangerous enemy and a loss has far greater implications.
This global jihad exploits our open borders and it does not take a genius to realize that this is a terrible gamble. It has become too simple to infiltrate the US from our porous borders, and as the Ft Dix incident showed us, we are walking a fine line. The enemy now certainly feels a strong domestic event will bring America to its knees, and he will not be deterred if we don’t take action. Once that occurs, we will find ourselves isolated from allies who will then be taken piecemeal until there is submission.
This global jihad is heavily linked to one drug source, heroin, here in Afghanistan, while it is making incursions to develop better associations with others in South America and the narco-state of Mexico. It is plainly obvious that drug proliferation is a large funding source for terrorist groups, as well as a detriment to America.
The global jihad has penetrated our American cultural, educational, financial, and political systems in an attempt to desensitize us under the mantra of “multiculturalism”. Our own constitutional rights are being used against us to foment hate and dissent right under our noses. Consistently we see subtle challenges to our rule of law seeking to create a gap of exploitation by which Sharia could be further promulgated.
Our Middle Eastern studies programs in universities all across America are infested with those who openly speak against our republic. This was not the original intention of these educational programs. Even the attempt to open an American taxpayer funded Islamic school has to give one concern.
The financial and political impact in America of Saudi money is far-reaching. The energy bill recently passed by Congress did nothing to strengthen America’s energy independence. We must cut the ties to the Middle East. As long as the petrodollars roll in, Wahabbism/Salafism will be exported out, and to our shores.
I could speak for days about the number of state sponsors of terrorism, about Iran and their alliances so close to our sovereign nation. Again, this global jihad makes its intentions very clear. It is up to us to make a stand and turn it back, such as Charles Martel did in 748 AD at Tours and at Vienna in 1683.
Lastly, let us not forget the enemy who lurks in waiting—China-—for that opportunity of weakness. China learned a very important lesson from the collapse of the Soviet Union: beat America economically first. Our own greed for cheap labor and cheap goods has created a “free trade” nightmare resulting in a 20-25% GDP spending of China on its military, primarily its navy.
Couple that with their owning the operations of the Panama Canal, global ventures into Africa, and desire to drill oil off the coast of Florida, and you have a recipe for hegemonic dominance. This global jihad is enabling them to make their move possibly without challenge-—strange bedfellows indeed.
* Secure our borders and enforce the laws of the land on illegal immigration.
* Make the hard calls on repairing our economy-— cut taxes and curtail spending.
* Reevaluate foreign aid spending and bring the American taxpayer funds back to the people.
* Return social security to what it was intended to be: non-taxable, part of an independent trust fund, and give options to future generations.
* Seek out our true energy independence; we have to wave goodbye to the Middle East and not be held hostage to a resource we possess in abundance.
* Strike back hard at Islamic terrorist organizations in their sanctuaries-— enemy-oriented, not terrain-oriented (as we are doing now), disrupting, interdicting, and isolating them and their support.
* We must end the revisionist education theory and develop pride and skills in our young people. This is about our future.
Friends, there is much to be done, but that is why we are Americans!
In Your Service, LTC Allen B West (US Army, Ret)