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Tempting Jihad: Emboldening A Celebratory Enemy

Jihadis Share In Celebration of The American Election

By Steve Schippert | November 10, 2006

United we stand. That is the cry heard throughout the world, emanating from Islamist jihadis at war with a West that continues to deny the scale of the fight.

It is no small irony that from the world of the jihadis, where blood feuds and strife have been and remain a part of the very fabric of their society, there is unity in purpose against a hated infidel enemy. Yet, in a diverse country that has seen different races, religions and creeds live in relative harmony since its founding, Americans cannot stop attacking each other long enough to effectively engage an enemy that calls for our murder and destruction daily and in unison.

They both rail against US action in Iraq, condemn intelligence efforts such as the foreign electronic surveillance program, interrogations and even the existence of the Guantanamo Bay prison, where terrorists captured on the battlefield are imprisoned rather than summarily executed on the field of battle. Both sides engage in this rhetoric, though each for their own different selfish strategic visions.

It is disconcerting that a sizable segment of the American public celebrates and condemns the very same events as the brutal enemy that would just as soon see us all dead, regardless of how we vote. The daily chanting from Tehran and elsewhere is “Death to America,” not distinguishing between Republican or Democrat.

There is no better illustration than when the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran today delivered a Friday sermon claiming the Democrats’ victory as his own, in the name, of course, of the Iranian people.

Ayatollah Khamenei said, "This issue (the elections) is not a purely domestic issue for America, but it is the defeat of Bush's hawkish policies in the world. Since Washington's hostile and hawkish policies have always been against the Iranian nation, this defeat is actually an obvious victory for the Iranian nation."

He may be correct in his latter claim that the American election results mean “an obvious victory for the Iranian nation” lead by the oppressive mullah regime. It remains up to the new leadership of the United States Congress and the American President together to determine the reality of this claim.

But where is Iran suffering defeat today that would require such an “obvious victory”? American, British and Iraqi men and women have been dying in Iraq at the hands of an Iranian regime that continues to supply insurgents and terrorists with cash, arms and supplies, even as advanced as milled copper high-explosive IEDs with infrared triggering. Muqtada al-Sadr’s Shi’a death squads and so-called ‘Mahdi Army’ band of terrorist thugs would be reduced to scavengers but not for the complete bankrolling and arming provided directly by Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Central Bankers of Terrorism.

Yet we divert our eyes, lest we lock horns with the true epicenter of state sponsored terrorism.

So, what “obvious victory” is needed by Khamenei’s Iran? Perhaps in their to-date unobstructed quest for nuclear weapons? Yet even here, America and the West remain deadlocked haggling over what sanctions are not going to be put in place. Iran is pleased to see the newly nominated Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, enter the Pentagon and take charge of America’s military fist. For it appears initially that, at least as he had written before the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Gates favors direct talks with Tehran, just as the Europeans have fruitlessly (for the West) engaged in for over three productive Iranian years.

And still, the central reason we are trying to prevent Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons – their leadership and sponsorship of international terrorism – remains unaddressed and nearly devoid of productive discussion, let alone responding in kind with violence – and let’s be bluntly clear here - while under Iranian attack in Iraq and elsewhere.

And, while Iran continues to harbor top al-Qaeda planners and leaders under ‘house arrest’ in a quaint coastal village on the Caspian Sea since they fled American warriors in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda in Iraq’s new commander is also sharing in the American political celebration.

Abu Ayyub al-Masri (nom de guerre: Abu Hamza al-Muhajir) pleaded with the American President in the wake of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation to “not rush to escape as did your defense minister.” Unlike his fellow al-Qaeda brothers now comfortably in Iran, he urged George W. Bush to “stay on the battle ground.”

And again without regard to whether the occupant would be Democrat or Republican, al-Masri declared, "We swear we will not rest from our jihad... before blowing up the filthiest house, dubbed the White House." For those in favor of a complete withdrawal of troops under the guise of ‘redeployment’ to Okinawa, Camp Pendleton or even Afghanistan, al-Masri knows full well what ‘redeployment’ means. "The enemy is now teetering under the blows of the mujahedeen... and preparing to pack up and flee," he offered.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s leader seemed to fall in line with many Americans by calling the president “the most stupid and worst president” America has ever had. "The American people have taken the first step on the right path in order to get out” of Iraq by “voting for a measure of reason in the latest elections.” Is this not unlike what was heard during Tuesday night’s television news coverage and commentary of the elections once results started to become clear?

This celebration and immediate emboldening transcends beyond the Iranian mullah regime and al-Qaeda. It is shared by the entire jihadi movement, of which they are the leaders. They all once again share in celebration and condemnation of the same events as many short sighted citizens of the “Great Satan.”

Those American citizens may not be wildly chanting “Death to America” in the streets, but surely they must realize how they further the cause of those who so emphatically do. The jihadist enemy does not care whether your jersey is red or blue or emblazoned with an elephant or a donkey beyond its immediate usefulness. Imagining you leaping from the 98th floor of a collapsing American skyscraper brings him pleasure no matter what you wear or how you vote.

They attacked us before there was a President Bush to rally against. They came to slaughter us before there was an Iraq war to see eye to eye on. They will come again and your politics won’t matter. Again.

Divided we fall. That is the message heard throughout the world, emanating from the American public only partially engaged in a war with an Islamist jihadi ideology that consistently embraces the scale of the fight.

United States of America


"The world's basic political units are still nation-states" (John Negroponte). Note that Khameini's quoted remarks were to the effect that it had been "Bush's hawkish policies" that "had been defeated" [not the American nation]. And that, indeed, Washington's policies "ha[d] always been against the Iranian nation" [not against the Shia faith]. That al-Quaida figures are under house arrest in Iran, however mild, is most significant: Arab jihadis are not Iran's instruments. A claim by the Iranian leaders that the U.S. has suffered a policy defeat gives them an opening to enter into negotiations with America: the mullahs could not enter into such with an obvious weak hand. Nations still rule the world, not trans-national terrorists, not religious fanatics, nor Marxist ideologues.

Yes, Arab (al-Qaeda) jihadis are not Iran’s instruments in the strict sense. But, while they surely seek to one day settle their own scores against one another, they most certainly cooperate to the degree that it remains mutually beneficial to engage their common enemies until such time arrives.

However, on a more localized level, it is difficult to argue that Hamas - in its reliance on Iranian support after their election into Palestinian parliament leadership - is not fast becoming Iran's instruments in engaging Israel from the south.

Perhaps Iran is indeed assuming an outward position of (perceived) strength from which to enter into negotiations. There is little to indicate that anything will be tangibly gained from it. It is not in their interest to cease and desist in Iraq.

And if Ayatollah Mezbah-Yazdi succeeds in his bid in the coming elections for enough contol of the Assembly of Experts to wrangle his own selection to succeed Khameini as Supreme Leader, any ideas of negotiations should be round filed.

At present, Iran fears no sanctions through the blessings of their Russian and Chinese protectorate. And after using their proxies to attack us without any consequence whatever in Iraq, there appears no cause for fear of American direct action.

So, while the current lot of ruling mullahs may quietly value their treasure as much as any secularist, we would enter into talks from a position of perceived weakness while Iran remains the unchallenged Central Banker of International Terrorism.

Negotiations are a struggle of will, and right now we do not appear to possess that trait in the needed amounts.

Geez, what a dismal picture you guys present!

Just because the US will be shortly involved in a pending pull-back from Iraq; the Israelis provided Hizballah with a perceived victory and are now being re-supplied to an even greater extent than before the Lebanonese battle; Hamas, in Gaza, is arming and attempting to become a "Hizballah South"; the Middle East Arab coalition is now going to end their financial blockade (officially) of the Palestinian Administration; Iran is on the verge of nuclear capability; and the world is forcing Israel to talk to Hamas even before they accept the three criteria; and the Democrats are now in "control" of both houses of congress. Did I mention North Korea?

Wait a minute----things are dismal!!!

It is one thing to rail against the west's lack of focus on the true menace of the jihad movement but another to suggest that it is OK to torture, disappear and bug anyone ignoring basic rights which give the west a shred of nobility--habeas corpus, the right to face a real judge, to have a lawyer, to be tried fairly. If we dismember the essence of what we are in order to save ourselves we won't have saved much at all. Will giving up our civil liberties make us safe? I do not think so. Maybe it is in fact better to just kill someone in the heat of battle than to torture them to death.

Michael - perhaps you misunderstood or we've misunderstood you. As we've written in the past, we are primarily advocates of governance in the defense of life and liberty. As such, Steve would never suggest that the US suspend the rights of individuals or advocate torture.

While you allude to the tribunals (which suspend no rights for the enemy combatant) and refer to the beheadings in the next sentence you appear to be finding some moral equivalence between our (the US's) means of fighting and the means of the enemy.

There are none.

To Michael Greenwald:

"Will giving up our civil liberties make us safe?"

Failing to take a pragmatic and flexible approach to defeating our enemies will make you dead.

That's the greater point of in all of this - and it's even to the point of living a paradox.