Calling a spade a spade |

Calling a spade a spade

Butch Mazzuca

Were the recent terror attacks in London a direct result of Tony Blair’s support of American involvement in Iraq? That argument has been made, but such a position fails to grasp the true nature of the Islami-fascist threat. The issue of which countries are al Qaeda terror targets was determined a decade ago when Osama bin Laden published the manifesto of the Islamic International Front. In it, he decreed that Islam was sworn to fight to the death all Jews, Crusaders and those who have defiled Islam. By that definition, Great Britain has been and remains a target due to its complicity in the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, a treaty that defiled Islam by orchestrating the post-Ottoman carve-up of Arab and Muslim lands.In addition, two other distinct sects of militant Islam have been at war with the West for an even longer period and have engaged in scores of terror attacks around the world including the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, attacks on the Marine barracks and the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, the bombing of two East African embassies, the USS Cole, the World Trade Center (the first one), and finally 9/11 – note that all of these attacks preceded the Iraq War.Further to the point, recall how the Madrid bombings influenced the Spanish elections in March 2004. What was not readily made known by the media, however, was the fact that subsequent to those terror bombings and after Spain brought its troops home from Iraq, al Qaeda made several assassination attempts on members of Spain’s high court, which debunks the theory that by bringing troops home a nation can spare itself from terror.Also of significance to those interested in cause and effect relationships, should be the al Qaeda threat issued immediately after the July 7 attack in London, to wit: “Denmark and Italy will receive the same if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq AND Afghanistan.” (The Islami-fascists made no distinction between Iraq and Afghanistan, yet the misinformed point only to Iraq as the cause.)Our USA-centric media doesn’t give complete coverage to events occurring elsewhere on the planet. This it noteworthy because many Americans erroneously conclude that the “war on terror” (a gross misnomer) is only about Iraq, when the true scope of this conflict encompasses the dozens upon dozens of al Qaeda atrocities – the murders, beheadings, and kidnappings in places such as Dafur, Gaza, Turkey, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Tunisia and India.Apologists speak about Arab grievances, but people throughout recorded history have had grievances and these assassins will always posit “legitimate reasons” for murder. If it’s not the United States’ support of Israel, it will be Hindu intolerance in Kashmir or the occupation of the West Bank or the “Zionist crusader government” of Great Britain, the “theft” of Arab petroleum or the reconquest of Spain in the 15th century or the always sure-to-incite historical event, the Crusades.Whether invading Iraq was the correct strategy in the war against militant Islam is subject to legitimate debate. But to take as fact that the invasion was the proximate cause of the current spate of terrorism is naive at best and in many cases, patently disingenuous. As a sidebar, many ill-informed continue to focus on Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay as central issues in this war even as the offenders are subject to courts martial and prison when found guilty. But the truly insidious aspects of their false debate are the incessant references to American transgressions, which obfuscate the real issue: The hate-filled belief system of Islamic fascists is not a religion, it is a perverted screed directed at Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and any other religion or society that does not embrace the medieval Wahabist interpretation of Islam.So let’s be clear, neither Abu Ghraib nor GITMO caused the terror attacks. While those actions were eminently regrettable, the pundits who persist in referring to them should at least label them correctly as instances of inappropriate conduct and serious misjudgments on the part of a few, nothing more. But what is certain in this war? To begin with, this war will be measured in decades. Pulling out of Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else will not end it. Secondly, because our enemy’s goals are foggy at best, there can be no truce. Third, our mission in Iraq is to set the stage for a democratic Middle East, which is a critical step in eliminating terrorism world-wide. Finally, we will never be as safe as we thought we were before 9/11, making it necessary to strike a balance between personal freedoms and security.As has been the case with every armed conflict throughout history, we must be prepared for failures, casualties and mistakes. Victory will be elusive and never complete as long as some fanatic wants to commit murder by blowing himself up in a subway station or in a supermarket. While gaining an ideological and historical measure of our adversaries is essential to winning this war, in the end it is the Muslims themselves who must confront this cancer and address the underlying issue of how Islamic civilization can reconcile itself with the world of the 21st century. Butch Mazzuca of Singletree, a Realtor, writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at This column, as in the case of all personal columns, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Vail Daily.Vail, Colorado

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