U.S.foreign policy mistakes result from Western ignorance of history


CHARLOTTEFebruary 5, 2014 – Conventional wisdom is that the jihadist movement in the West was born on 9/11/01. Though other terrorist attacks had a long history throughout the world, the magnitude of the collapse of the TwinTowers combined with the loss of life created the impression that Islamic extremism was the new wave of the future.

Nothing is further from the truth. The West’s contemporary ignorance thrives despite centuries of jihadist precedence that is a root cause of our inability to satisfactorily deal with terrorism today.

Islamic jihad has been an international crisis since its inception 14 centuries ago. Contrary to popular belief, it did not begin in 2001.

Recently an unidentified lifelong government employee made a profound statement that summarizes the Obama administration’s woeful foreign policy when he stated, “The trouble with America is not what we know. It’s what we don’t know and think we do.”

After five years under Barack Obama, the United States can no longer afford to be governed by someone who thinks he knows everything, when he is, in truth, dangerously ignorant of global dynamics.

Though lengthy, the words of the following paragraph are poignant in their accuracy:

“In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature. Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.”

Relevant even today, these are the words of the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, who lived between 1767 and 1848. Islamic jihad is not a modern concept.

President Thomas Jefferson confronted Muslim pirates off the Barbary Coast who were attacking American trading ships in the Mediterranean in 1800. It doesn’t take a PhD in mathematics to realize those events took place more than two centuries before 9/11.

Muslim expansion began just ten years after the birth of Islam in 622. Among the vast conquered territory, no less than ten countries we recognize today as part of the Islamic world were defeated during those conquests. Half of them create breaking news on a regular basis; Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Western stupidity resides in our failure to realize how much of Europe has also been victims of Islamic domination. Unbelievable as it may seem, 30 European and Asian countries felt the wrath of Muslim control. How many people realize that so much of what we know as the West today was once overrun by Islamic jihad?

Dramatic as those numbers are, why then is the West condemned for the Crusades? Because Muslims scream about being victimized by Christian intolerance and the West believes it. The history speaks for itself. Another prime example of a topsy-turvy world where facts don’t matter when perception overrides them.

Even O’Henry could not have devised irony as strange as the world in which we now live. Consider that just seven years after 3,000 people died in the fall of the WorldTradeCenter, Americans went to the polls and elected a president with a Muslim name, Islamic upbringing and no bona fide credentials or experience as the person to lead our country.

“Reality” as they say, “is stranger than fiction.”

The anonymous government worker summed it up when he said, “Americans are easy to read. We are like an open book. The world always knows what we are thinking. It is not the same with other countries who have centuries of cultural history, and we still do not understand that.”

American ignorance is not an excuse, but it is a reality.

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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  • Who argues that the jihadist movement started in 2001? I’ve never heard that argument before.