“The [upcoming] trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be historic. It will address not just a group of thugs but the enduring human phenomenon of evil. Mutable and persistent, evil has not been discouraged by the progress of reason or the taming of nature. Evil reinvents itself in every age and is reinvigorated by mankind's inevitable immaturity. Like the fascist ideology that the democratic world fought in the 1940s, the dogma of al Qaeda (and of the extremist Shiite dictators of Iran) is despotic, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and nihilist. Like the Nazis, they cannot be appeased.” [My emphasis]
I fully agree with Mr. Shawcross. What is missing from his column is the understanding that we are not fighting a war on terror or against Al Qaeda. Rather we are fighting a protracted war against Shariah Islam. Or it may be more correct to say Shariah Islam is fighting a global war against the United States and we are simply reacting to it.
Mr. Shawcross points out, “After taking office in 2009, Mr. Obama swiftly expanded the use of drone attacks on suspected Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then in Somalia and Yemen. Drone strikes in Pakistan grew from 33 in 2008, Mr. Bush's last year in office, to 53 in 2009. Altogether, there have been more than 240 drone attacks in Pakistan since the beginning of 2009, with a death toll of more than 1,300.”
“The remarkable thing about the president's reliance on drones is how little protest, until recently, it has aroused. Waterboarding may be deemed an abuse of a terrorism suspect's rights, but an attack by a Predator drone results (in the Vietnam-era phrase) in ‘termination with extreme prejudice’," states Shawcross.
President Obama has gone all in with the use of drones to assassinate individual targets such Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Islamic preacher and an American citizen born in New Mexico.
What is missing from this strategy is, well, a well-defined global strategy against the Shariah Islamists. Assassinating individuals is a tactic, not a global strategy to fight Shariah Islamism. In the Middle East we are seeing nation states with 20 million, 60 million and 80 million people coming under the rule of Shariah Islamic governments. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Turkey have all gone more despotic, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and nihilist.
Drones do not address this immutable evil wave, labeled by the media as the “Arab Spring”.
Killing individuals does not stop the movement or the spread of the Shariah Islamist ideology. If anything it creates martyrs for the Islamic cause. Bin Laden is a hero, as is al-Awlaki.
Unless and until our government leaders clearly define the enemy there will be no progress. Our enemies understand this clearly. As Al Qaeda has said, “You have the clock, we have the time.”
Dion Boucicault, an Irish actor and playwright, once said, "Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them." I fear that the United States is just killing time in the Middle East, while the Shariah Islamists are quietly working to kill us all.
Finally, Mr. Shawcross explains, “Since the beginning of the 20th century, America's commitment and sacrifices have been essential to the world's ability to resist the forces of nihilistic aggression. That was certainly true in the war against fascism, and it is still true today. Like Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama has had to learn the hard way that, as the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr warned, ‘We take and must continue to take morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization’."
This article was orifinally published on the Dr. Rich Show. Mr. Shawcross's new book, "Justice and the Enemy: Nuremberg, 9/11 and the Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," will be published next week by Public Affairs. His previous books include "Deliver Us From Evil: Peacekeepers, Warlords and a World of Endless Conflict" and "Murdoch: The Making of a Media Empire."