Monday, January 15, 2007

Welcome to the Caliphate

George W. Bush remarked that he must not only be Commander-in-Chief, he must also occasionally be Educator-in-Chief. Here, he explains how to create a caliphate.

The terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, are men without conscience -- but they're not madmen. They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil, but not insane. These al Qaeda terrorists and those who share their ideology are violent Sunni extremists. They're driven by a radical and perverted vision of Islam that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women and children in the pursuit of political power. They hope to establish a violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call a "Caliphate" -- where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology. Osama bin Laden has called the 9/11 attacks -- in his words -- "a great step towards the unity of Muslims and establishing the Righteous… [Caliphate]."

"This caliphate would be a totalitarian Islamic empire encompassing all current and former Muslim lands, stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. We know this because al Qaeda has told us. About two months ago, the terrorist Zawahiri -- he's al Qaeda's second in command -- declared that al Qaeda intends to impose its rule in "every land that was a home for Islam, from [Spain] to Iraq. He went on to say, "The whole world is an open field for us."

(Not long ago, I listened to an interview with a military targeteer. According to him, when targeting high-value objectives, the U.S. military has established a level - I believe he said "30" - as the maximum allowable innocents killed as "collateral damage" per bombing operation. Our tactics may indeed not be so very different from those we are fighting.)

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