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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 468, May 18, 2008

"Terrorism is the price a nation
pays for having an empire"

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Radical Islam is Not at War with America
by Doug Newman
dougnewman@juno.com

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

"Radical Islam" is not at war with America. It can't be.

Radical Islam has no command center. As a religion it has no pope or Vatican. Politically, it has no Berlin, Tokyo or Moscow from which to dispatch terrorists on missions of death.

Can you name the last time a Muslim country conquered a non-Muslim country? If not, don't feel bad. I can't either. It has been centuries.

Terrorism is a means of venting political grievances. It is not a philosophy of government. Terrorists don't even control the government of Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries on earth. So this idea that they are going to come to America, take over, and force us all to speak Arabic, submit to shari'a law and pray to Mecca five times a day is indescribably absurd.

The Islamic world is militarily irrelevant. Consider Iraq. It had no navy or air force. American pilots flew thousands of missions over Iraq between 1991 and 2003, and not once was an American plane shot down. In 2003, Iraq had a military budget of $1.3 billion—enough to build two stadiums here in America.

Terrorists do not "hate us for our freedom and democracy." While America is not as free as most people think, we still have a measure of freedom. Many other countries have a similar measure of freedom, as well as democratically elected governments. And they have no terror problem.

When you have a military presence in 130 countries and you insist on throwing your weight around to the extent that America does, you will inevitably have a few folks hating on you. The Bible teaches that you reap what you sow and that if you live by the sword you die by the sword.

It is a lie that "if we don't fight them over there, we will fight them over here." I don't worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan, but I will give him this: after 240 Marines were killed in a suicide bombing in Lebanon in 1983, he pulled the Marines out of Lebanon. Lebanese terrorists didn't "follow us here." Britain once had a terror problem in Kenya. And when they granted independence to Kenya, the problem of Kenyan terrorism went away. France, likewise, once had a problem with terrorism in Algeria. And then, when they granted independence to Algeria—budda bing budda boom—the Algerian terror problem went away. As Pat Buchanan has said, terrorism is the price a nation pays for having an empire.

Terrorists know they cannot defeat you militarily. So they will make your life miserable as long as they have a grievance against you.

9/11—even if you believe the official story, which I don't—was an attack, not an invasion. This is not just a matter of semantics. There was no invading Army. There was no naval battle group in New York Harbor or Chesapeake Bay. There were no aerial bombing raids by the terrorist Luftwaffe.

Moreover—again, even if you believe the official 9/11 story, which I don't—the 19 hijackers are DEAD!!! You cannot take over a country and establish an Islamofascist dictatorship and do all kinds of horrible things WHEN YOU ARE DEAD!!!

It is interesting that, in the name of preserving freedom against threat of Islamofascism, so many Americans are willing to relinquish their freedoms.

There is a Constitutional provision for dealing with things like terrorism. Article I, Section 8 authorizes Congress to "grant Letters of Marque & Reprisal." Wikipedia defines this as "an official warrant or commission from a government authorizing the designated agent to search, seize, or destroy specified assets or personnel belonging to a foreign party which has committed some offense under the laws of nations against the assets or citizens of the issuing nation".

The response is to be in proportion to the offense. Even if you believe the official story, 9/11 was not an act of war by a foreign nation, but an act of gang violence against American people and property. Let Congress send a few Marines or Rangers or SEALS to take care of business, but don't launch an endless, ruinously expensive, unwinnable war against a tactic.

Shortly after 9/11, the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 was introduced by—surprise!—Congressman Ron Paul.

H.L. Mencken once stated that "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and thus clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

The left wants us to freak out and to give up all our freedom in the name of fighting global warming. The right wants us to freak out and to give up all our freedom in the name of fighting terrorism. To quote Pat Buchanan one more time, the left wing and the right wing are actually two wings of the same bird of prey.


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