CHARLOTTE, NC, September 15, 2016 – The fifteenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 came and went without a terrorist incident. It did not pass, however, without drama. Hillary Clinton’s mysterious illness and several NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem on opening day of the season added plenty to talk about.
And then there were the ceremonies; those solemn remembrances to honor the memory of those who perished in the worst terror attack ever on American soil. They were necessary and appropriate. It was an anniversary to be marked by the thoughts and prayers of the survivors and the families of the dead.
It was part of the healing process. But while the healing is slow, the scars are indelible. And yet, it is process that must be endured to somehow make sense of it all.
Americans are good at memorials. Candlelight vigils. Flowers. Prayers and hymns. We are good at remembering our loved ones; people whose lives were shortened without warning and for no reason.
What we are not good at however, at least at the moment, is resolving the cause of those heartaches and blemishes on our souls. Fifteen years have passed yet we still have not learned how to stop the enemy that created our individual agonies.
Somehow that seems wrong. It seems a more productive means to honor our losses would be to eliminate the cause. But many of us continue to believe that Islam is a “religion of peace” despite the pain and sorrow we have suffered.
In large part, much of that comes from a president in denial. A man who will not accept the death knells of a religion that still lives in the 7th century. A president who fails to realize that Islam and terrorism are siblings.
In the past decade and a half Americans have learned that Sunnis hate Shias and vice-versa. We hear the term “Sharia” and know it has something to do with Islamic law. But by and large, we still know very little about the cancer of terrorism that plagues the world thanks to an abhorrent ideology known as Islam.
We have not educated ourselves. Instead we light a candle. We have not accepted the reality of terror, so we buy a wreath. We have watched time and again cities in our own nation and others ravaged by smaller but equally devastating attacks as those on 9/11. Instead of fighting back, we parade through the streets arm-in-arm to show our solidarity, all while terrorists build bigger bombs.
Shortly after 9/11, al-Qaeda, who was the biggest terror threat at that time, issued a 7-point 20-year strategy for bringing the West to its knees. Today, though ISIS is the primary threat, we are 75% into that 20-year plan. If you read it, it will scare the hell out of you because the Islamists are right one schedule.
Remember when killing Osama bin Laden was supposed to change everything? Are we safer today because he is gone? The Medusa-like head of Islam has an infinite supply of snakes that are constantly morphing while we sing “Amazing Grace” and deny the existence of such a horrible mindset.
Following is the basic outline of the al-Qaeda 20-year plan:
Phase 1: “The Awakening Stage” (2000 to 2003) – The goal was to force the United States to react against Islam with the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. It ended in 2003 with the occupation of Iraq.
Phase 2: “The Eye-Opening Stage” (2003 to 2006) This phase was to engage the enemy in combat while developing “electronic jihad” capabilities in preparation for Phase 3.
Phase 3: “The Syrian Stage” (2007 to 2010) First there would be terror attacks on Turkey and Israel in the hopes of gaining credibility with other Arab governments in the region. Ultimately that would lead to civil war in Syria.
Phase 4: “Recovery” (2010 to 2013) With the crisis in Syria underway, this stage focused upon the Arab Spring uprisings in which al-Qaeda would attempt to defeat regimes by participating directly in insurgencies against them.
Phase 5: “Rise of the Islamic State” (2013 to 2016) ISIS would declare the caliphate and begin the operation of dismantling Western alliances. It was intended to establish alliances with new global powers while diminishing Western strength.
Phase 6: “Total War” (2016 to 2020) As 2016 comes to an end, the idea is to establish a world war initiated by the Islamic super state. This year, 2016, marks the beginning of the “confrontation between faith and disbelief.”
Phase 7: “Final Victory” (Sometime around 2020) According to the plan, ISIS will be stronger than ever before and Muslims will number more than 1.5 billion.
As we sit here in 2016 and read the final two steps in the al-Qaeda plan, it may seem far fetched. On the other hand, the first five stages are complete and virtually intact.
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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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