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It’s France Again!

In our war on terror the enemy is now positioning to strike America from yet another direction and with a potentially fatal blow, with many thanks to France. The 9/11 Commission pointed out that our biggest failure was “a failure of imagination.” That is, our thinking lagged the evolving reality and our key leaders failed to grasp the possibility of such a daring attack and hence we were caught unprepared. We not only failed to imagine such a scenario but we also underestimated the enemy’s intent and its capabilities even as we also ignored those people who tried to warn us about our exposure.

Americans already anticipate a variety of possible internal terror threats and we hope and assume that our government is on the job. But now another ominous warning comes from Professor Howard Bloom. He is a visiting scholar at the Graduate Psychology Department at New York University, an author of two books and is widely published in major print media. If he is right then there is an urgent need to understand this emerging threat and to respond in time.

After 9/11 President Bush asserted that Islam is a religion of peace and that we need to fight only that small minority of Muslims who are extremists. By now the term “war on terror” is gradually being replaced by terms like Islamism, Islamo-Fascism, Islamic extremism, etc. The actions of Muslims around the world, and even inside America, are raising disturbing questions about the mindset of large numbers of people within the greater Muslim community.

After the bombing of the train in Madrid, Spain, King Abdullah of Jordan made a brief but significant comment. He said that the real conflict was going on within the Muslim world and it was between the moderates and the extremists. He did not say who is winning. This is part of the big picture that the west does not fully understand and hence it is not providing a sufficiently effective response.

Professor Bloom, on his web site addresses Islamic intent and also the rapidly emerging Islamic military capability. This article will summarize both issues from his web site and also include remarks from his lengthy radio interview on the Art Bell show of August 21, 2004.

Professor Bloom reviews Islamic history from the time of Mohammed to the present. On his web site, click on “Islam’s War Against the West” for a sweeping historic overview. Professor Bloom has also studied the lengthy messages issued by Osama bin Laden. The media quotes only a very small part of his statement without reporting that he periodically delivers his long and detailed philosophy of confrontation with the west. Bloom also has contacts from various parts of the Muslim community who provide him with additional insights.

Professor Bloom argues that the extremists are working diligently to radicalize the moderates just as King Abdullah had said. Osama bin Laden is emerging as a heroic leader among vast parts of the Islamic world. Bin Laden teaches that the present life is brief and transitory and of limited value. What is important is to prepare for the eternity of the after-life where true Muslims will find eternal paradise and unbelievers will find eternal hell. Islam is the only true religion and all other belief systems and religions are wrong, even evil. Muslims must all work and sacrifice to make Islam the one religion for all humanity. On this there is no discussion, only acceptance.

Bin Laden also teaches that the west and its institutions are all decadent. Freedom, democracy, women’s rights, man-made laws, popular culture, etc. are all acts by infidels that must be erased. The west exploits its women who appear in public, dressing and acting immodestly. The place for women is to be protected, in the home, having many children to out-populate the west with its low birth rates.

The decadent west is weak and cannot take pain, sacrifice and casualties. The true Muslim will glory in martyrdom for it assures eternal bliss.

We deterred the Soviet Union during the cold war with a policy of mutually assured destruction (MAD). Neither side wanted to die, and this doctrine of massive retaliation did deter both sides from launching a first strike. That concept of deterrence does not apply to the Muslim fundamentalists. According to Osama bin Laden he would even welcome the deaths of countless millions of Muslims in the process of toppling western civilization. These Muslims believe there are actually two billion Muslims in the world (rather than the 1.2 generally accepted) and even the loss of 500 million would still leave 1.5 billion, plus they have a high birth rate and can readily replace their losses.

The radicals also believe that this is their time in history to flex their growing power and to crush a decadent west and also to settle the score for all past grievances, both real and imagined. For them there is nothing to negotiate. The infidels will be given a choice. They can convert to Islam and accept Sharia law or they might be allowed to live as second class non-Muslims if they pay a heavy tax.

For those who refuse the first two choices the Muslims have a religious obligation to kill the infidels. And fellow Muslims who deviate too far from Sharia law must also be punished, possibly with death. And no Moslem, either a convert or by birth, is allowed to forsake Islam for another belief – the punishment is death, even if a father must kill a son or a daughter.

This is a brief summary of Islamic intent according to Professor Bloom, an intent that cannot be deterred by any amount of retaliation. Note that the basic drive of radical Islam does not stem from the Arab-Israeli conflict as some commentators would have us believe. And appeasement also does not work because nothing short of total conversion to Islam is acceptable, with the limited exception of inferior status and a heavy tax.

But intent is only as dangerous as the capability it can mobilize. We have already seen 9/11, plus ongoing suicide attacks throughout the Middle East and in other parts of the world. Now it is time to examine some far more extreme possibilities.

Islamic military capability

On web site click on “Dodging the nuclear 9/11.” Following is a summary but it is advisable to visit the site and also view photos of the stealth submarine. France has developed an advanced diesel powered submarine. It was designed to run super quiet and escape detection by the current sensors placed by the U.S. along the bottoms of the oceans. It carries 16 cruise missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads. It can travel about 12,000 miles from home and remain submerged, and undetected, for up to 60 days.

France sold the first submarine to Pakistan about 4 years ago. But Pakistan does not require this weapon system for an adequate defense against India, its main rival. This stealth submarine is capable of striking coastal cities almost anywhere in the world. Pakistan also induced France to show the Pakistanis how to build a shipyard where they have already built their second submarine. In 18 months Pakistan will have their third stealth submarine.

Professor Bloom reminds us that the Muslims in Pakistan are highly radicalized – not all Muslims, but a very significant percentage. He also reminds us that historically a small number of radicals can seize control of a government away from the majority. It has happened before, in the 1930’s with both Germany and Japan, for example. He explains that Pakistani `moderation’, and that government, today depends very much on the survival of one leader, President Pervez Musharraf.

We recently learned that even under the `moderate’ Musharraf, Pakistan was proliferating nuclear weapons’ technology to other Muslim regimes. Bloom argues that bin Laden might wait until submarine number three is ready to then topple Musharraf, seize power, and acquire Pakistan’s 40+ nuclear warheads for mounting on the submarine’s cruise missiles.

At this point we will have intent plus capability. Osama bin Laden could then direct these submarines to incinerate some of our coastal cities such as Boston, New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. And in case we had any ideas about retaliation we could be advised that they have a lot more nukes ready to launch in case we do not immediately surrender.

The reader might well think that all this is pure nonsense. America is the world’s greatest superpower and while we cannot be 100% safe, it is still largely unthinkable to us (“a lack of imagination”) that those third world extremists could possibly mount a knockout blow of this magnitude.

Prof. Bloom has discussed all this with our intelligence people. Some take it seriously, some are highly skeptical and others say not to worry because our government is monitoring the situation. As Prof. Bloom says on his web site: “9/11 woke us up, a nuclear 9/11 could shut us down.”

Americans need to be asking tough questions of our government right now and demanding straight answers. What in the world is France doing selling these stealth submarines to Pakistan? Why does Pakistan need such a dangerous weapons system when it makes no sense regarding any threat from India? Why is the U.S. government allowing this potential threat to develop?

Now even Iran appears more confident and is becoming bolder as it moves rapidly towards long range nuclear capability. There are new threats by Iran to pre-empt and strike Israel and also American interests in the region and possibly beyond.

The stakes keep getting higher and higher. We cannot afford a nuclear 9/11 but realistically what are the chances that America will act in time? History is not encouraging. Never mind the bumbling and appeasement leading up to WWII and fifty million dead. After the bitter lessons of that horrendous conflict we still failed to completely block the proliferation of nuclear weapons to smaller rogue nations although we tried and we did slow down the process for a time. Twice we failed to stop Saddam Hussein from seeking nuclear weapons. First, in 1981 it was Israel, and not us, that neutralized the Osirak reactor. Second, after the first Gulf War we discovered Saddam Hussein was close to having a nuclear weapon.

We had fought only to evict him from Kuwait and not because we were adequately aware of his nuclear progress. We were very lucky! We bungled in dealing with the north Koreans who now have acquired both nukes and missiles. We failed to stop Pakistan from going nuclear and now we learn that Pakistan was also proliferating nuclear technology to other Arab states and to Iran. Today we observe a defiant Iran rushing to mass-produce nuclear weapons and we continue to dither with no clear firm plan for action as of this writing. And there are reports that Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia have shown some interest in also going nuclear.

And the longer we wait the weaker we look and the bolder become the rogue states in their quest for nuclear weapons. Whatever effort it would now take to stop Iran, Pakistan and North Korea, it will take far more effort next year. But where will America’s fortitude come from? We are politically divided at home with half the country hating President Bush and candidate John Kerry not offering to form a united national front on this issue.

Although western Europe is certainly nervous over Iran they have shown insufficient resolve to act decisively together with America. The U.N. has not shown the needed resolve. And Russia and China are acting to undermine American security in pursuit of their own imperial interests.

If the picture looks ominous it is not because all the good news is being withheld. Some will complain and attack the messenger. But are we better off pretending that this massive danger does not exist? This story is not a secret. There are a lot of people among our leadership who purport to be wise and courageous. Now is their time to come forward and lead this nation.