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We are living in a dream world, caught up in a fantasy that is turning into a nightmare. No matter what the reality, we shield ourselves from it by ignoring any facts that might jolt us into living in the real world.
We are engaged in a war, in a struggle where the enemy can be counted in the tens of millions, located in every corner of the globe. We fight the battles in this war as if they were separate and distinct events, having no connection with the wider conflict of which they are a part. It's a case of treating the symptoms while ignoring the disease that causes them.
Newt Gingrich has described the conflict as World War III, recognizing that incidents such as the current conflict in Lebanon as battles in that war. He's right, and we had better pay heed to what he says because even though we don't comprehend the reality of this world war, our enemies know exactly what it's all about.
As I have previously written, Hillaire Belloc saw it coming in 1938 when he said "It has always seemed to me ... probable that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent."
Today, no matter where there is a clash of arms, whether it be in Iraq or Lebanon or in the Gaza strip or the rugged wastelands of Afghanistan the conflict is a mere episode in this wider war.
It helps to know a little history when you're talking about these various conflicts because history can provide the reality of this ongoing world war.
It begins in Iran, with the destruction of the regime of the Shah and the return to Tehran of the Ayatollah Khomeini from exile. When Khomeini came to power he set out to do two things - create an Islamic Republic and launch a campaign to export his revolution to the entire world.
In his extraordinary 2005 book "Tehran Rising" that should be required reading for every American. Ilan Berman recalled that in the preamble to the new Iranian constitution in 1979 it was clearly stated that the nation's armed forces "will be responsible not only safeguarding our borders, but also for accomplishing an ideological mission, that is Jehad for the sake of God, as well as for struggling to open the war for the sovereignty of the Word of God throughout the world."
If you are looking for the declaration of war against the non-Moslem world, this 1979 proclamation is it. And Khomeini backed his bellicose words with immediate action, setting up the Pasdaran, The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. According to Berman, it was originally given the job of rooting out any domestic opposition to the regime, but was quickly transformed into a counterpart to Iran's standing army, and the principal arm of the Jihad.
Wrote Berman, "just six months after his ascension to power, Khomeini told the 'governments of the world' that they should know 'that Islam cannot be defeated. Islam will be victorious in all the countries of the world, and Islam and the teachings of the Koran will prevail over the world.'"
Tehran reached out to fellow Islamic radicals around the globe and thousands flocked to Iran where, Berman w rites, "they found military training, political assistance and massive financial support from an Iranian government eager to internationalize its radical religious revolution."
Tehran first set its sights on its neighbor Lebanon. They sent 1000 revolutionary guards into Lebanon to train the Lebanese resistance to Israel. In the process Berman reports that they "created an umbrella organization that unified elements of Lebanon's Shi'ite AMAL militia, local radical clerics and even Islamist politicians under one roof, known as Hezbollah, the Party Of God."
In a 1985 declaration Hezbollah proclaimed "We view the Iranian regime as the vanguard and a new nucleus of the leading Islamic State in the world. We abide by orders of one single and wise and just leadership, represented by 'Wali Faqih' and personified by Khomeini."
Hezbollah launched a reign of terror, including the 1983 truck bombi ng of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, the October 1983 truck bombing of the U.S Marine barracks there killing 241 Marines, kidnapping and then killing CIA station chief William Buckley in 1984, and another truck bombing of a U.S. Embassy annex also 1984, killing 24 people."
In 1993, Berman recalls, a summit of radical groups met in Tehran, organized by Iran's Intelligence Ministry, the Pasdaran and the country's Supreme National Security Council. It generated a game plan for global "Islamic revolutionary action." As part of this process, the Iranian regime&n bsp; earmarked half a billion dollars for insurgency operations worldwide. Do you really wonder who's financing the insurgency in Iraq?
According to the 9/11 Commission, Iran and al Qaeda forged an informal accord in late 1991 or 1992 under which al-Qaeda mujahideen traveled first to Iran and then to Lebanon's Beka'a Valley to receive explosives training. Cooperation between Iran and al Qaeda has continued unabated. They are simply two arms of Iran's world Jihad.
Iran has been active in Croatia, training the Bosnian army. In Latin America, Hezbollah is heavily involved in the drug trade in the Tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and has formed cells in Columbia and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. Chavez has been a frequent visitor to Tehran. There is not a part of the world where Hezbollah's tentacles haven't spread, including the U.S.
The point of all of this is that Iran has not only declared a Jihad - a world war against the West - but has been the principal player behind the scenes in every battle in the war, from Iraq to Lebanon and Gaza.
We make a serious mistake when we fail to recognize that the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and Lebanon are merely part of a worldwide war. We cannot prevail in any of these conflicts as long as we insist on treating them as isolated incidents. We are engaged in combat with a well financed, determined enemy with forces in every corner of the globe that will not cease their attacks until we drive them off the face of the earth.
As Pat Buchanan has written: "Islamists are taking over in Somalia. They are in power in Sudan. The Muslim Brotherhood won 60 percent of the races it contested in Egypt. Hezbollah swept the board in southern Lebanon. Hamas seized power from Fatah on the West Bank and Gaza. The Shia parties who hearken to Ayatollah Sistani brushed aside our favorites, Chalabi and Iyad Allawi, in the Iraqi elections. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the most admired Iranian leader since Khomeini. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is staging a comeback."
In Iraq, a senior member of Muqtada al-Sadr's Iraqi Shi'ite militia, the so-called Mahdi Army, gave the game away when he said the group is forming a squadron of up to 1,500 elite fighters to go to Lebanon and join forces with Hezbollah. The fact is that al-Sadr's Iraqi Shi'ite militia is supported by Iran and is actively fomenting a civil war between the Shia and the Sunnis that could wreck U.S. hopes for a free and peaceful Iraq.
The war in Lebanon is a conflict between Israel and Iran - Hezbollah is nothing less than Iran's across-the-border armed force. With the West ignoring the nature of the Lebanon struggle with Iran's proxy, Hezbollah acting in Tehran's behalf and under Tehran's orders, is it any wonder that Israel and the rest of the Western world were shocked at the sophistication of Hezbollah's armament paid for and supplied by Tehran. This is no rag-tag bunch of thugs - this is a superbly equipped and well-trained army, and they are everywhere.
Israel's attempt to defend itself by attacking the infrastructure of Lebanon and killing Lebanese civilians in the process has been used by Iran's propaganda machine to infuriate much of the Moslem world, adding millions of Moslems to those already seeking the triumph of Islam and enlisting in the war against the West.
Should Israel cease to exist, and were the U.S. to pull out of Iraq in the face of a civil war, the world war would not end. It will go on until either the West defeats it or it defeats the West
If we begin to recognize that we are in a real war and fighting for our very lives, and that this war will last for most of our lifetimes, we will begin to understand that we are either in this struggle for the long haul, or are prepared to surrender and submit our children to the law of Sharia.
Picture your daughter in a burka.
Philip V. Brennan is a veteran journalist who is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com). He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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