Jim Clark: Paris attacks spawn modern-day Reign of Terror?
Special to the Sun
The French Revolution spawned the Reign of Terror (la Terreur), which took place in 1793 and 1794. Nearly 42,000 political prisoners were summarily executed. Parisians must have thought “déjà vu” last week when terrorists again struck taking 130 innocent lives.
Then almost immediately, terrorists struck a hotel in the former French colony of Mali and broadcast plans to strike in New York and Washington, D.C. The FBI then announced that it is monitoring more than 900 suspected Islamic terrorists in the US.
Not surprisingly, pollster Rasmussen finds that 92% of voters view Islamic terrorism as a serious problem. and a Washington Post poll reports that 81% of Americans expect a domestic Islamic terrorist attack. What has caused this modern day Reign of Terror?
The National Security Forum, founded by former Reagan Administration official Ty Cobb, examined that question last week in Reno.
Cobb recruited three experts on the Mid-East who addressed a rapt crowd of about 150 locals with the following analyses: Many of the area’s conflicts can be traced to the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, a compact between Britain and France to divide spheres of influence in the Ottoman Empire. They agreed to carve countries out of the vast area without regard to whether inhabited by Kurds, Arabs or Christians.
The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) was formed from al-Qaida of Iraq after US troops were pulled. One of ISIS’s goals is to negate Sykes-Picot and form an Islamic state (“caliphate”) as prophesied in the Koran, headed by a leader called a caliph, who is chosen by Allah.
Using US military equipment abandoned by the Iraqi Army, ISIS conquered huge areas of Syria and Iraq. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declaring himself to be the caliph, is carrying out a holy war or jihad against the west and is recruiting followers from everywhere in the world.
Why have western democracies dabbled in the Middle-East hornet’s nest? One word: oil. Despite improvements in domestic production in the US and Canada, if the current supply of Mid-East oil were cut off, the economies of every major nation in the world would suffer drastically. That’s why we organized international allies to join us when Saddam Hussein annexed Kuwait in 1990.
The University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, headed by Robert Pape, PhD and funded by the Pentagon and Carnegie Institute, presents another analysis. Pape has served as adviser to Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Ron Paul.
Following the 9-11 attacks, Pape began a study of terrorism, specifically suicide attacks. He found that for 1,200-plus years, there were no Islamist suicide attacks until the US Marines occupied Beirut in 1983 to “stabilize” Lebanon during an Israeli invasion.
Arabs, seeking to compel the US to withdraw its military force from their homeland, found that one suicide terrorist could kill nearly 300 Marines. In fact, shortly thereafter, Pres. Reagan withdrew all US forces.
Pape’s theory is that it is not the Koran’s promise of 72 virgins for martyr warriors that motivates suicide terrorists, but nationalism in defense of Arab homeland. Moreover, one suicide terrorist afforded considerable leverage over a much larger force.
In the first Gulf War, Saudi Arabia invited the US to locate an Air Force base as a hedge against Hussein’s territorial aggression. It was that Air Force base on Arab homeland that motivated Bin Laden to begin his jihad against the US, culminating in the 911 attack, according to Pape.
Pape’s theory is illustrated by hypothesizing that President Obama authorized a Chinese military division to occupy Washoe County. Assume further that the Chinese imposed their values on Nevadans, abrogating free speech, controlling newspapers, and limiting families to one child.
So imagine how Muslims feel about western morality, Americans telling them how to treat women, etc. It’s easy to see the problems but what are the solutions?
We’ll take a look next week.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.