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by John Brian Shannon | November 15, 2015
Prior to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, there was no identifiable thing as ‘Islamic Terrorism’ – the terminology was unknown
If ‘Islamic Terrorism’ existed anywhere in the world, it had until 1990 been confined to the Soviet/Afghan War which officially ran from December 1979 to February 1989, with the West as willing participants promoting the unconventional warfare that dealt many hard blows to the Soviet Army in Afghanistan.
Of course, we didn’t call it terrorism. And we especially didn’t call it ‘Islamic Terrorism’
The brave ‘Mujahadeen’ of Afghanistan (translated to English means ‘Freedom Fighters’) were the West’s high-value allies in the struggle against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan — itself a footnote in the monumental Cold War clash between the West and the Soviet Union.
Therefore, we did not refer to our allies the Mujahadeen in anything other than glowing terms and we always couched their actions (no matter how horrific) within the context of the great moral battle against the tyranny of Soviet thought.
The United States CIA, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the Saudi government cooperated daily with the Mujahadeen of Afghanistan. The CIA brought to the table a dazzling array of options, ISI provided deep links to operators within the region, while the Saudis bankrolled the entire operation.
Billions of dollars of guns and ammunition, shoulder-fired missiles, grenades, IED’s and know-how were delivered to the Mujahadeen to fight the Soviet Army in Afghanistan. And because they were ‘our terrorists’ they weren’t known as ‘terrorists’ or ‘Islamic Terrorists’ — but by the handle ‘Mujahadeen’.
‘Our Brave Mujahadeen, the West’s Freedom Fighters!’ (spoken with a patriotic sigh)
Those were the halcyon years of ‘putting it to the Soviets’ and the Mujahadeen were spoken-of in reverent tones throughout America, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Every Western Cold Warrior loved the Mujahadeen freedom fighters.
Yet at the end of the Soviet/Afghan War, we suddenly left Afghanistan and Our Brave Mujahadeen, ending the food drops that were necessary to sustain life in the country.
Some 500,000 Afghan Mujahadeen and their families died of starvation because we abandoned them
Eventually, over 1,000,000 Afghani men, women and children perished on account of the slight chance that we would upset the Soviets (by our continuing to drop food and medicine to Afghans) and the Soviets could conceivably renege on their agreement to vacate Afghanistan.
I forgot to mention that one of three people considered by the CIA, the ISI, and the Saudis as one of the most effective Mujahadeen operators, was Osama Bin Laden.
The cessation of the food and medicine drops so enraged Osama Bin Laden that he swore revenge on the West that had abandoned the Afghan families and their warrior Mujahadeen.
We created our own monster
Beginning in 1990, Osama spent billions of dollars creating the so-called Madrasa schools all over Africa, Asia, India, the Middle East, South America and in the former Soviet republics. These schools for the most part guaranteed food and water to the students (but not their families) as well as an anti-Western education. Each student of a Madrasa must be able to (orally and without the help of props) recite the entire Koran from cover to cover before they can graduate from the school. And each student is given a high level of weapons and physical combat training.
Now the monster numbers in the millions
These schools are still pumping out students and while many have moderated their views in recent years, many have become even more hardcore. Each year, millions more students graduate from Madrasas all over the world.
More Madrasa schools are being built as we speak
Soon, over 1 billion kids will have attended Madrasas somewhere in the world. Let me say that plainly, the day is coming that one in seven people alive in the world, will have been educated K-12 in a Madrasa school.
Calling the decision to stop food aid and medical aid to the Mujahadeen and their families a foreign policy disaster, doesn’t come close to describing the incompetence of that fateful decision. The decision virtually created Islamic Terrorism on its own. Or re-created it, depending upon your worldview.
Scholars will tell you that there was some amount of terrorism by Muslims in the 19th century, mostly in the Philippines or other frontier Southeast Asian states. However, two points must emerge when this is being discussed:
- Those Muslims who performed terrorist acts were defending their home territory from invaders — they were not blowing innocent people up in faraway countries.
- There was a definite end to terrorism by Muslims in the 19th century, and there had been few instances of what could be termed, ‘Islamic Terrorism’ since then.
The failure to care for Our Brave Mujahadeen in Afghanistan has changed the world in ways that are not yet apparent. We should tread carefully.
The worst thing that we could do now, is to go stomping into (name any country) and start blowing up innocent people (and the occasional terrorist) just to express our rage at the senseless attacks in Paris
That’s the kind of thinking that got us here in the first place.
Closing the foreign policy lapses which allowed these mind-numbing examples of incompetence to occur, is like closing the barn door years after the horses have bolted from the stables
It’s too late for closing the door. Thanks to our foreign policy incompetence, we’re now in a kind of ‘salvage-what-we-can’ mode where almost any response to Islamic Terrorism will be the ‘wrong response’. And irrationally as usual, that’s where we’re heading.
Using the pretext of the Paris attacks to invade yet another oil-rich Middle Eastern country is not the answer to our problems. That will only result in a million anti-Western Madrasas being built, each school having anywhere from 10 students up to 2000 students.
The answer to Islamic Terrorism, is to build security into our nations without going overboard
- Above all, stop invading or bombing other countries that haven’t declared war on us. (That would be all countries, as no country has declared war on us)
- Everyday citizens in Western countries must be trained to spot unusual activity and feel that they are instantly and thereby empowered to report suspicious activity to police, or agencies such as Homeland Security.
- Once an individual or terrorist group has performed a terrorist attack they must be quickly taken through the legal system with a high degree of transparency and media exposure. If we are trying to portray our nations as great moral and justice leaders, then we should start acting the part. Give these people their day in court, let the media air the terrorist’s ridiculous reasoning for killing innocent people, and let that message be heard around the world. Even the most virulent terrorists don’t want to be seen as ridiculous or uneducated, or having any kind of association with ‘those outed terrorists’ — especially when it is broadcast globally on TV and on the internet.
- Once an individual or terror group has performed a terrorist attack and been killed by police or onlookers, it’s time to move along instead of dragging it out and milking it for all it’s worth — in order to justify invading yet another oil-rich nation. Once the terrorist individuals are dead, they’re dead. Get it? There is no waking them up from death to kill them again and again in a vain attempt to cool our anger. The terrorists killed some innocent people, now the terrorists are dead.
- No more invading other countries to soothe our hurts. The same goes for bombing campaigns. Once those particular terrorists are dead, that’s the end of it.
- Each person on the planet is in contact with or is related to, an average of 250 people. Therefore, using military means to contain this problem won’t work. All we’re doing when we kill one Madrasa-schooled person is to enrage another 250 anti-Western Madrasa-schooled people. When we kill 10,000 Madrasa-schooled people, we enrage another 2.5 million anti-Western Madrasa-schooled people.
- In the future, if we kill 100,000 Madrasa-schooled people, we will enrage 25 million anti-Western Madrasa-schooled people. Care to go for a billion? You getting this?
- Remember, all of them have advanced combat and survival training, on par with any recently enlisted soldier.
- How many enraged and highly-trained anti-Western people do we want visiting or living in our Western cities?
The people of the West need to wake up and realize Western policies created this imbroglio in the first place, and that this situation is already out of control
There’s no way to re-educate the millions of people that have been taught by anti-Western Madrasa schools all over the world since about 1990. Nor is there a way to prevent the millions of kids presently enrolled in those schools from completing their (anti-Western) education.
At this late date, all we can do is try to contain the carnage and use the strengths inherent in democratic nation-states (strong societies, high quality policing and security, the rule of law, human psychology, and the media) to mitigate the terrors that we ourselves have created
And we aren’t even at the beginning, of the beginning, of that path…
That path means proving to the world, and by extension any potential terrorists, that our system of government and our culture works better in practice than the system and culture they’ve been indoctrinated to believe.
If we can’t prove their Madrasa instructors were wrong, they’ll conclude that their Madrasa instructors were right…