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For many, September 11 (9/11) marks a dreadful event that changed America and the West forever. In less than 2 ½ hours, 2,977 people died, over 25,000 were injured, all mostly civilians, in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The horrific and targeted attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the intended U.S. Capitol Building were all chosen by the Muslim fundamentalist killers for what they represented for: the capitalist system, the military establishment that defends freedom, and a prototypical representation of republican governance. The recent giveaway of Afghanistan to the very regime that sheltered the material authors of this heinous crime, suggests that America and the West have not learned much from 9/11.
The first and most profound flaw was believing (or publicly expressing) that this act of savagery carried out by nineteen Saudi Al-Qaeda members, was a singular phenomenon executed by a specific group. When the Bush II administration labeled the belligerent response to this attack the “War on Terror”, to not “offend” followers of Islam, America and the West was on the wrong path. 9/11 was different, but not in the way politicians and the mainstream media claimed.
Political and fundamentalist Islam has been carrying out a dirty war against the Judeo-Christian world since the 1960s. Targeting civilians has been the preferred form of attack. The alliance between Marxist-Leninist regimes and Islamic movements was officially sealed in Communist Cuba’s Tricontinental Conference in 1966. This modern version of a communist “International” brought together over 500 delegates from 82 countries to Havana between January 3 and the 16. One of the conference’s offspring was the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL), a logistical launching pad, financed by the Soviet Union for worldwide revolutionary terrorism.
Palestinian terrorist groups such as Al Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, following Israel’s victory against Arab aggression in the1967 Six-Day War, began to utilize abominable warfare strategies. Bombings, hijackings, shootings, and kidnappings were among the selected modes of operation. The death of eleven Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympic games, carried out by Black September, another terrorist Palestinian militant organization founded in 1970, typified the subversive methodology.
Muslim radical movements, while they all practice terrorism, differ in their outlook towards Mohammedanism. The above-mentioned Palestinian groups, for example, fall under the general category of what is known as “Political Islam”. The application of the Koran and Sharia Law are not strictly adhered to, in these cases. The other modern-day categorization for Muslim civilization-based terrorism, are referred to as “fundamentalists”. These groups seek to impose “Sharia Law” and “purer” and more literal interpretations of the Koran and other Muslim texts.
The fundamentalists can trace their modern founding to Wahhabism. This Arabian form of Salafism is an old, extremist understanding of Sunni Islam that rejects modernization and only accepts as valid, strict Sharia moral and legal codes. The Salafists are Islamic intellectuals that have historically rationalized the barbarianism that groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban strive to impose, by advocating for a “revival” of 8th century traditions. It has been Saudi Arabia, however, who most successfully inflicted this totalitarian war machine upon Western civilization.
The House of Saud (Saudi monarchy), to solidify the rampant and competing tribalism in Saudi Arabia, appealed to the Wahhabi Islamic scholars. While these Arabian practitioners of Salafism have been around since the 18th century, it was in during the 1950s that they gained prominence with the Saudi crown, to unite the country. The Wahhabi’s were given domain of the education and legal system. Hence, the development of the Islamic schools known as “madrassas”. Saudi wealth has been greatly invested in the construction of these, effectual, Muslim extremism training centers worldwide. Saudi-financed madrassas in Pakistan “educated” many of the Taliban in the radical teachings of Wahhabism.
The toppling of another formidable U.S. ally, Iran’s Mohammad Reza Shah, also prompted radicalism to political power in the Muslim world. Here too, American callousness and betrayal, this time by another Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, paved the way for an Islamic state. Ayatollah Khomeini added another alternative to the Saudi Wahhabism, with its Shiite version of Muslim fundamentalism. The Iranian-backed and Syrian-supported Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist group, have been carrying out jihadist operations since the 1980’s. The1983 bombing that killed 241 U.S. marines in Beirut, as well as a logistics facilitator for other radical Muslim terror groups, all counted on Hezbollah’s presence. The 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 is another example of their involvement. The practice of using suicide bombers was popularized by Hezbollah.
Radical Islam, whether it be Political Islam or Muslim fundamentalism, has been actively at war with the Western world since the sixties. The tragedy of 9/11 alerted America about the magnitude of the problem. The fact that there has been no other large-scale terrorist attack on American soil attributed to Islam-connected radicalism, is no accident. It has been the result of keen military and intelligence operations, and of having fought the war against the Muslim extremists in the Middle East and Central Asia. The surrender of a key center of deterrence such as Afghanistan, to the very terrorist elements which embody the worldview that attacked America twenty years ago, is a disgraceful way of remembering the victims and heroes of that unforgettable day. Is this what Biden-Harris had in mind for the commemoration?
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.