We have never learned the real lessons of 9/11.
We never struck back at the real enemy.
Everyone must bear this burden – Democrats and Republicans alike – that when the ‘world changed’ for so many unaware of the threat of global Islamofascism, key players refused to change to address that threat’s source. Those players are our leaders, chief among them the Bush administration.
We were attacked. Unlike ever before. And by an enemy that, while not a rival state, had clear allegiances, supporters and centers of power. That enemy, al-Qaeda, spanned the globe, but all of its major resources are and were in one place: Saudi Arabia.
15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda’s funding is based in Saudi Arabia. Its extremist sects of faith – the Wahhabist (Salafist) sects of Islam – dominate in the Saudi government and the high levels of society.
This is not ‘guilt by association’. More of al-Qaeda’s top membership is from Egypt than anywhere else. It is that the foremost funder of Sunni extremist groups like al-Qaeda is the Saudi oligarchy. Not necessarily the monarch himself – though his intelligence services do supply al-Qaeda connected groups with funding and direction – but certainly the nobles around him without whose support he cannot rule.
And now, as Iraq enters a critical phase, we find the administration still unable to combat the enemy. Our belligerence is direct towards Iran, even though the vast majority of American deaths in Iraq have been at the hands of Sunni extremists (500 in Shia areas, 2841 in Sunni as of 4.11.07). Almost daily we hear of Iran funding and training fighters of Iraq’s Mahdi Army, but we seldom hear of Saudi Arabia’s training of the Sunnis who are killing us and provoking the Shia far, far more often.
The true threat to any semblance of progressive global stability is Sunni extremism. They are the ones that literally want to blast the entire world back into the dark ages. This is not Mahmoud Ahmedinajad playing to his base by threatening Israel. This is a cadre of real, active, proven martyrs-to-be who intend the devastation of the modern world. And they are led from one place above all – the kingdom of Saud.
There are many hotbeds of Sunni extremism. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya among them. Even the Philippines still has significant al-Qaeda presence. But the crucible in which this inferno of Islamofascism is generated is Saudi Arabia – it is funded, trained and directed from there. Yet though we’ve sent troops and intelligence operatives around the globe, we have never demanded authority over operations in Saudi Arabia. To the contrary, Bush reduced the assets in Saudi Arabia.
I do not argue for war. I do not argue for sanctions. I do, however, argue for all means necessary to destroying our true enemy to be employed.
We have too long attacked the friend of our enemy, while letting our enemy think us their friend. Now, with CIA funding going to al-Qaeda connected groups in order to check Iran’s intelligence operations, we are truly losing sight of our goal.
We must have the courage and conviction to challenge our friends, lest we prove ourselves to all to be lacking in strategic integrity.