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CUCULLU Showdown
by Gordon Cucullu 9/6/06 

More and more people are asking if the Israeli-Hezbollah war was really a proxy war between the U.S., representing the West, and an Iran-Syria axis representing a devil’s handshake between two factions of Islamofascism. The short answer is yes, but there is much more involved in the fight than that toxic bilateral alliance, though it is key. In a London Times piece Amir Taheri declares that “this is a war between the West and what one might describe as ‘The Rest’, this time represented by radical Islamism.” But the umbrella shading our enemies extends wider than even this definition. Given that the primary enemy can be defined as Islamofascist terror groups and their sponsoring states, who exactly are The Rest?

Gordon Cucullu

Former Green Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist, author and a popular speaker. Born into a military family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work, Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is based in large part on his extensive experience in Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman. [website] [go to Cucullu index]

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Among other scholars Newt Gingrich has properly called this fight World War III. One can nitpick the numbers. If you consider the Cold War number three, then this is number four. No sweat. The issue is not the suffix but the context: we are in a global conflict, one that without exaggeration exceeds its predecessors in vitriol, intensity, and potential for destruction. While we waited for the Soviets to attack with devastating nuclear weapons, political leaders on both sides accepted the doomsday strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction as a reasonable deterrent. For the years of the Cold War it was fought primarily with surrogates in backwater places like Laos, Vietnam, Congo, Angola, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. An occasional flare-up like Korea brought the superpowers perilously close to direct conflict, a situation that both sides pretended was not happening rather than admit and be forced to confront.

But in the war against Islamofascists and their allies and supporters the equation has changed drastically, and not in our favor. This war is as Taheri notes not over territory but rather “an ideological battleground between two rival camps with global ambitions.” The U.S.-led camp looks to free market democracy and open societies as a solution to the world’s issues. The other sees itself under the flag of a resurgent, conquering Islam, sweeping the globe in a new order that aims to impose a new Caliphate upon heretics. Not only is the MAD strategy not applicable, but in the instance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad such global destruction would be welcome, even desirable, as a door-opener for the 12th Imam to reawaken and lead the hosts of Islam against the infidel foe. Laugh at such visions only at your peril.

Meanwhile petty dictators, devoid of scruples, driven by boundless ambition, plot to bring about the demise of America. Thugs like Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Kim Jong Il gleefully assist the Islamofascists who ironically have marked them too for ultimate, later destruction. But they survive and prosper, unthreatened for the moment, ignorant of their dhimmitude, as long as they add value to the Islamofascist movement. And they are doing exactly that.

In his recent stopover in Teheran, after leaving Moscow where he placed whopping weapons orders, Chavez seemed to stop just short of accepting Islam as The Only True Religion. All smiles and hugs, Ahmadinejad presented him with the Islamic Republic Medal, Iran’s highest award, as a reward for his “support for Iran’s stance on the international scene.” That, of course, included not only Iran’s sponsorship of Hezbollah which is attacking America’s ally Israel, but more to the point in appreciation for Chavez’ vocal “opposition to a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Translated: Ahmadinejad was thanking Chavez publicly for objecting to UN pressure on Iran over nuclear weapons development. Later Chavez embraced Iranian “supreme guide” Ali Khamenei, pledging eternal friendship with the Islamic Republic while boasting that together they must “save the human race by finishing the U.S. empire.” He later echoed the same sentiments in Damascus where he snuggled up to Bashar Assad, vowing that “together we will overthrow the American imperialists.”

Chavez has lots of company in his hatred for the U.S. Fellow dictator Kim Jong Il of North Korea also is tight with the Islamofascists. Desperate for oil and money, Kim has dispatched scientists and engineers to both Teheran and Caracas in order to forge an alliance and trade misused talent for assistance. His early July missile tests were bought and intended primarily for Iranian military use but can only have impressed Chavez. Possession of these missiles would allow him to dominate the Southern Hemisphere and threaten his sworn Yankee enemy to the North.

Kim and Chavez delude themselves that they are using the Islamofascists for their own gain. On the other side, the Islamofascist groups and states are only too happy to watch America tweaked in the Western Hemisphere and in Northeast Asia by these infidel dictators. Meanwhile, Iran and Venezuela distribute oil and money to North Korea in return for missile and nuclear technology and they all gain in strength. In the long term the non-Islamic players are teeing themselves up for eventual annihilation. But such a fight would come only after we in the West were conquered, so the thought of an “I told you so” from the grave affords meager solace for a lost civilization.

There is more bad news. Somalia is morphing into an al Qaeda base state on the tried and true model that Afghanistan was under the Taliban. The chief of the Supreme Islamic Council, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, a fundamentalist and al Qaeda supporter, applauded the fact that non-Islamist members of the Somali cabinet were resigning under pressure. “This is a great step forward,” he said as rival armies squared off waiting for a flashpoint to ignite another round of the endless bloodshed that mars that poor country. Meanwhile, al Qaeda organizers from Yemen, Saudi, and Sudan are “welcome,” according to Sheik Aweys, “to join the Islamists to participate [in] rebuilding peace in Somalia.”

On the west side of the continent Nigeria, though only 47% Islamic, is rapidly converting itself into a Sharia state. In a manner similar to other ideologically teetering states Nigeria is being flooded with Islamofascist activists who hope to establish a second African beachhead. Freedom House fellow Paul Marshall notes in understated language that “as with other countries where extreme Islam is growing, the Saudis are active in Nigeria.” The country is burning with Sharia fever as radicals appear to be successfully pulling off a religious coup. Marshall correctly fears a return of bloody civil war. An Islamofascist regime with a welcome mat placed out for al Qaeda would make that bad situation even worse. Al Qaeda is desperate for a new base. Terrorists without a firm base in a supporting state are relatively helpless, reduced to amorphous cells operating clandestinely and communicating at their peril. By replacing Afghanistan with Somalia and maybe adding Nigeria, al Qaeda would receive a huge boost of credibility and strength. Neither can be permitted to happen unchallenged.

So the conflict that Amir Taheri properly sees as between the West and The Rest is growing – and not in favor of the West. As more oil states join the anti-American coalition and cynics like Russia and China stand aside expecting to pick up the pieces, the showdown between Islamofascist forces and their supporters and the West grows nearer. Iran threatens openly to trigger this Armageddon, some fear by detonation of a nuclear device. Ahmadinejad tells us that Muslims can expect to hear “very good news” about the jihad directed against America. Does that comment portend a radiological strike against the U.S.? Quite possibly.

We are at the showdown. It is necessary now to fight on many fronts and we may soon be required to fight on several others. It is well to recall that when faced with global catastrophe in the past we fought in every corner of the world. We are sliding into that kind of conflict. Yet even in the face of dire threats Americans remain blind to them, preoccupied with political power struggles at leadership levels or self-absorbed in materialistic narcissism in the general population. Pearl Harbor and even 911 gave America time to react. Will this next strike? More importantly, are we going to be foolish enough to wait for it? CRO


copyright 2006 Gordon Cucullu




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