1. Osama bin Laden and many leaders of militant Islam have stated that their goal is to create a global caliphate. However, many in the American and Western world ignore this. Why do you think that people still don't recognize these plans?
People in the West have been trained by the media and political leaders to ignore the religious motives of Islamic terrorists and focus merely on the threat posed to security. Many Muslims do not want to believe the worst about their own religion, and those in positions of influence are happy to abet in the cover-up – either because they genuinely believe that innocent Muslims will be victimized if the truth about Islam is known, or because they recognize an opportunity to associate terrorism with the cost of disregarding policies that are remarkably consistent with their own anti-Western (or anti-Israel) agenda.
The belief that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism may be silly, but, for many, it is certainly preferable to the idea that millions of their fellow citizens harbor an ideology that makes them potential terrorists. It is more comfortable to think of Islam as just another religion, the rough edges of which can simply be smoothed out over time by the liberal values of tolerance and generosity.
2. Which terrorist organization do you believe has the most potential to damage US interests?
I guess it depends on how “interests” is defined. I believe that al-Qaeda represents the greatest immediate threat to our economy, since that is the ambition to which they are devoting their substantial resources. For example, they are now developing a technique in which explosives are literally hidden within a bomber’s body, which could make it impossible to stop suicide attacks on certain public venues.
The greatest threat to Western civilization, however, doesn’t come from the terrorists, but rather from the tens of millions of Muslim immigrants (and successive generations) who are using our laws and tolerance against us to achieve social change that slowly erodes our children’s future with each concession.
This is not to say that every Muslim is evil or even aware of this demographic battle, of course, but if we want to preserve our liberty and values, then we should not be importing a religion that is so blatantly opposed to what we hold dear.
3. Which nation (except Israel) do you foresee becoming a major leader against terrorism?
I’ve never been accused of being an optimist, so you’ll understand that I don’t hold out much hope for any particular Muslim nation to exhibit great leadership in the struggle against global terrorism. As the example of (formerly Christian) Lebanon in our lifetime so plainly illustrates, tolerance for Islamic terror is proportionate to Muslim influence.
Non-Muslim countries that are battling violent Islamist insurgencies are India, Russia, Thailand and the Philippines. China would be facing a problem as well if not for the fact that it is so effectively suppressing the discontent of its Muslim minority by completely disregarding human rights. For its part, Europe seems to have decided to go out with a whimper.
4. Could you foresee Russia allying itself with Islamist forces? (despite Chechyna, of course)
Russia has been playing a dangerous game with Islam, particularly in regard to its cozy relationship with Iran. There has also been a great deal of pandering to the leaders and people of other Muslim countries, as well as to Muslims within its own borders – which make up a rapidly expanding minority.
Since our former foe is acting in its own economic and political interests with no regard for long-term consequences, it’s difficult to say where or when the line may be drawn.
5. How likely is it that Iran will acquire a nuclear warhead?
Just as Pakistan developed nuclear weapons capability, so will Iran. I don’t think Israel alone can prevent this from happening, and there simply isn’t enough willpower on the part of others, including the Obama administration. In fact, the “negotiations” that are getting underway between the U.S. and Iran should provide the mullahs with just enough time to complete their project.
6. Which nations in the Islamic world appear at least somewhat likely to suffer an Islamist takeover?
Well, I think we can pretty much stick a fork in Somalia. And it is only the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan that keeps the Taliban from regaining power there as well. For its part, Pakistan may not be run by clerics, technically speaking, but the concessions made to Islamists over the past several years by the military and government are barely distinguishable from outright capitulation.
Other than that, the Islamists are held in check largely by the ruthlessness of Muslim governments. The world turns a blind eye to human rights violations in countries like Egypt, for example, because it is known that the consequences of imposing such standards – as was done with the Shah of Iran – are much worse. In the case of Iran, the mullahs quickly installed a far more brutal regime that began with executing the very human rights activists who catapulted them to power in the first place.
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