In AD 732, exactly one hundred years after Muhammadâ€™s death, Charlemagneâ€™sÂ Grandfather, the Frankish warlord, Charles Martel, stopped the northwestern advance of Islam in the French countryside at a battle fought near the small city of Poitiers. In so doing, historians believe that he saved Western Christendom. Had Martel lost at Poitiers, Edward Gibbon observed, in his day, eighteenth-century England, â€śthe boys of Eaton would still have been learning their lessons in Arabic.â€ť
Martel and his German confederates, not only won at Poitiers but went on to liberate other cities taken by the Muslims in Southern France. His son, Pepin, in 759, finished the job of driving the Muslim invaders out of the lands that would become todayâ€™s France, pushing them over the Pyrenees and back into Andalucia, Islamic Iberia. There the Muslims would remain the overlords and occupiers for another 700 years. The war to free Spain from the scourge of Islam was called the Reconquista. It would last 400 years.
Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal writes, that until last week, he could not discern what if anything was guiding Obamaâ€™s foreign policy. But when our president gave long rambling commencement speeches at the National Defense University and the Naval Academy, he saw â€śa method, a purpose, a governing ideaâ€¦called theÂ Retreat Doctrine.â€ť
The general consensus by American punditry was that Obama has now proclaimed the war on terror is over and, by inference, he (not we) has won. He said, â€śWe must define the nature and the scope of this struggle or else it will define us.â€ť Nice rhetorical flourish, Mr. President. But as usual, your words change little on the front lines of this war. They only make our situation more precarious.
Al Qaeda on the Move
Recent reports by the Rand Institute and the American Enterprise Institute show that while al Qaeda lost its safe haven in Afghanistan it is operating openly and or has safe havens in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chechnya and even Iraq. Tragically, for those Americans and allies who lost their lives there, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) killed more Iraqi civilians in 2012 than they did in 2011. After Americaâ€™s complete withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, most of the jailed AQI militants were released from jail and went about violent reprisals against those of their fellow countrymen who had sided with the West.
In Iraq, Obama and company have managed to lose everything the West had fought to gain. Meanwhile, one of the groups fighting to depose Assad in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra (Front for the Victory) is indistinguishable from AQI. If Syria falls to al Qaeda militants it will be the realization of the bin Ladenâ€™s long-held dream to reestablish the Caliphate in the Levant, on the doorstep to the West.
Appeasement Always Works for Oneâ€™s Enemies
Obama wasnâ€™t finished emboldening our enemies. At the Naval Academy he proclaimed, â€śWhat history advises is that this war, like all wars must end.â€ť If this statement were not made by Americaâ€™s Commander in Chief, the man who is in charge of the preservation of western civilization, it would be laughably absurd. What if Ronald Reagan proclaimed the cold war over in 1981 because we had been waging it for over 30 years, and because it threatened to â€śdefineâ€ť us? What if the Catholic Spaniards, after 400 years of war were worried about the Reconquista â€śdefiningâ€ť them? Answers: Today the Soviet Union would be siding with Iran and Syria and the West would contain an Islamic Spain.
In my book,Â Lessons from Fallen Civilizations, I outline ten laws which govern the fall of great civilizations. One of the most common causes of civilizational failure is myÂ Immutable Law #3Â which reads;
â€śAppeasement of an outside power always invites aggression.
Treaties made with ruthless despots are always fruitless and dangerous.â€ť
In his commencement addresses, our president made it clear to our Islamist enemies that we in the West do not have the stomach for long wars and that all they have to do to win is wait us out. I fear itâ€™s a dangerous message that will get people killed.
Al Qaeda in Iran
Among its many unanswered acts of war committed against the US, Iran has produced the IEDs which led to the deaths of hundreds of our best and bravest soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. And in case this president needed another reason to go to war with the regime, the murderous theocrats running Iran not only supplied logistics and training for the men who carried out 9/11, but are still providing safe haven for al Qaeda. Among the large body of Critical Threat reports compiled by the American Enterprise Institute is one entitled, Al Qaedaâ€™s Safe Haven in Iran. It begins:
The Treasury Department yesterday identified six al Qaeda members as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. These six terrorist operatives form a network that funnels money and personnel from the Gulf to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan via Iran. The head of the network, Syrian-born Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, operates from inside Iran with the full knowledge of the Iranian regime.
Al Qaedaâ€™s presence in Iran and its operativesâ€™ links to the Iranian government and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were known to exist prior to this designation. In the 1990s, al Qaeda associates negotiated an agreement between Osama bin Laden and the Iranian government that allowed the transit of al Qaeda operatives through Iran into Afghanistan. According to Treasury, Khalil, who represents al Qaeda in Iran, has run the current network since 2005 â€śunder an agreement between al-Qaida and the Iranian government.â€ť The network is â€śthe core pipelineâ€ť for moving money and personnel from the Middle East into South Asia.
And so weâ€™re to believe our president when he tells us the war on terror is over?
With his unique historical perspective and laser-targeted focus on militant Islam and the dangers of western complacency, Larry Kelley ignites insightful and thought-provoking conversations for US citizens who are concerned about Americaâ€™s future.
Throughout his career as a political commentary writer, Larry Kelleyâ€™s work has been featured on the cover of Townhall Magazine and has also been published in the Piedmont Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Human Events.
Larry Kelley regularly presents his political perspectives on various talk show radio programs, publishes his own political column titled, News From the Front and authored the book, Lessons from Fallen Civilizations.