Milk-bottle Bomb: Will it awaken a sleeping U.S.?
By now, it should be clear that the radical Islamists (as opposed to the peaceful Islamists) want to impose the Law of Sharia, not just across the Middle East, but impose Sharia on the entire world. Because Sharia rules every aspect of the lives of those who live under its rule, its totalitarianism exceeds even that of Nazi Germany.
While we well-off westerners might understand the motivation of some dirt-poor Islamists who try to improve their lot by attacking the “haves,” what is, arguably, more difficult to understand is the motivation of Muslim terrorists like those arrested in Britain who were born there, who speak English, who went to British schools, and are well educated enough to practice medicine and other professions requiring quick minds and technical skills.
Among the radical Islamists who were arrested before their plot to blow up ten airliners could eventuate, was a Muslim couple who intended to use their six-month-old baby as a means of hiding explosives in the child’s milk bottle. That raises the question: How do we deal with people so consumed with hatred for us that they would sacrifice their baby in that manner?
In 1940, an American who would soon thereafter lose one brother who was preparing to fight Hitler and, much later, lose another brother to a radical Islamist assassin wrote:
“We must be prepared to recognize democracy’s weaknesses and capitalism’s weaknesses in competition with a totalitarian form of government. We must realize that one system is geared for peace, the other for war. We must recognize that while one may have the greater endurance, it is not immune to swift destruction by the other.
“It means that in preparing for war today, which takes a long time and is so expensive, a democracy may be struck such a knockout blow by a totalitarian form of government which is prepared for war over a long period, that she will not be able to bring in the latent advantages that she possesses. It is only in the long war that the advantages of a greater spirit and determination among the people will be effective.
“And we must realize that a democracy finds it difficult to keep up this sustained effort over a long period of time, for the interests of the individual are not directly concerned with armaments [italics mine]. He must make a great personal sacrifice to build them up, and it is hard to maintain this sacrifice year in and year out. Especially [if] it is complicated by the fact that a democracy’s free press gives the speeches of the totalitarian leaders, who state their case in such a ‘reasonable’ manner, [in ways] that it is hard always to see them as a menace.”
The above is from John F Kennedy’s senior thesis at Harvard which, after being rewritten by New York Times writer, Arthur Krock, became the book: Why England Slept.
In 1940, Kennedy was raising issues relevant to the issues we face in the first decade of the 21st Century. Can we fight successfully an implacable foe such as radical Islam over the course of a long war? Can we win a “war during peace?” Kennedy understood that some individuals “are not directly concerned with armament.” In fact, only one-percent of our 300,000 million people are serving in our military. That leaves a lot of folks “not directly concerned with armament.”
Can we expect our all-volunteer soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who, along with their families, are making great personal sacrifices “to maintain this sacrifice year in and year out?”
And what about our free press? Young Kennedy had yet to experience 24-hour cable and satellite TV news, wireless telephones, e-mail, the world-wide web, blogs and text messaging. If a free press was problematic for JFK in 1940, just imagine what he would think had he lived to these times.
Before it is too late, we need a non-partisan, national debate about these issues.
Syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, William Hamilton, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and a former research fellow at the U.S. Military History Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. Writing as William Penn, he and his wife are the co-authors of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2007. William Hamilton.