I am so angry that I am posting here a book review by Charles Martel, originally published on 6thcolumnagainstjihad.com.
Ralph Peters is a retired Army colonel--and it shows; here is his winning strategy, as presented in the review of his book, "Beyond Terror."
In addition to Martel's review, I am following it with a re-posting his article on "Islam in the Schools," since it plays into my concept of a "permanent solution" to Islam.
BOOK REVIEW: Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World
by Ralph Peters
Stackpole Books, © 2002
Paperback edition published 2004
"...needs to be read by every American...if you buy only one book this year, make it Beyond Terror."
Robert B. Loring in Leatherneck
It's hard to go against a ringing endorsement in Leatherneck, the award-winning magazine of the United States Marine Corps, and true to form, Beyond Terror, by Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters, USA (Retired), does not disappoint. In this collection of essays, written between 1994 and shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Peters brilliantly tackles myriad issues, including the stasis of Islamic civilization, practical versus apocalyptic terrorism, the impact of modern information systems, and the nature of contemporary military operations, while offering strategies to fight terror, to adapt US foreign policy to contemporary conflicts, and to transform the United States militarily to meet the demands of 21st Century warfare. Written by an American patriot for patriotic Americans, Beyond Terror is a penetrating analysis of the dynamics driving modern conflict and the role of the United States and its military in these troubled, yet promising times.
Before beginning, it should be noted that Beyond Terror needs to be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated, so this review intentionally avoids delving too deeply into its content. I agree with Robert B. Loring that every American should read this book, so this review will not attempt to serve as a substitute for adding Beyond Terror to your library.
Beyond Terror consists of an Introduction, Coda and two Parts. Part One, At the Walls of Jericho, is a collection of 11 essays that deals with a wide array of topics. Part Two, And Rumors of War, consists of 6 essays focusing primarily on military matters. Given that 6th Column Against Jihad is dedicated to confronting jihadism, we will limit this overview to the material pertinent to this subject, which is found primarily in the Introduction and the first two essays in Part One.
Introduction: A Small Matter of Honesty
In the Introduction, Colonel Peters provides us with a few of his own personal observations regarding the collection of the essays that make up Beyond Terror. This is, of course, the usual introductory fare, but since this was written shortly following 9/11, the author gives us a glimpse of what's to come in the book. Pointedly rebuking President Clinton and his do-nothing apparatchiks (the sanctimonious Richard Clarke immediately comes to mind) for their complicity in this catastrophe, Peters reveals that
"many of us took terrorism and Osama bin Laden seriously well before the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. The problem was not lack of awareness, but the most cowardly American administration in history, one that cared little for its uniformed dead - except as political liabilities - and wanted only to ignore what it lacked the courage to resolve. History will declare that a significant portion of the blame for the suffering and loss of September 11, 2001, lies with former President Clinton, who, despite his personal revisionism, disgraced himself and failed our nation. As terrorists successively bombed a U.S. barracks in Saudi Arabia, two of our embassies in Africa, and one of our warships, the Clinton Administration barely pretended to retaliate, encouraging gloating murderers to ever more daring attacks. Cowardice is never a good strategy, and one's enemies do not simply disappear. We must stand up to foreign threats wherever they arise, promptly and with ferocious resolve. We have learned that now, and let us hope that knowledge will not fade too swiftly."
Part One: At the Walls of Jericho
After his hard-hitting Introduction, Ralph Peters moves on to arguably the two finest essays in his book: Our Place in History and When Devils Walk the Earth (which is available in PDF format on-line). In Our Place in History, Peters analyzes Islamic civilization and violence in greater detail than all the other essays in Beyond Terror, and his views on the subject are worth exploring in detail here.
Unlike those who have been intimidated by the colossal death and destruction of 9/11 and the taqiyya emanating from the mouths of Tariq Ramadan and other Muslim supremacists, Peters does not view contemporary Islamdom as an ascendant civilization, but rather one that is sliding into further decline, ruin, and irrelevance.
"Bigoted, hopelessly corrupt, close-minded, uneducated, psychologically infantile, self-important, and incapable of dealing not only with the twenty-first century, but even with the demands and developments of the twentieth, Muslim states and societies are rotting while their ancient competitors flourish. Because it cannot progress without fundamental and pervasive changes in virtually every public and private sphere, the Islamic world will continue to be a source of trouble for every other civilization. The stasis of Islamic civilization is the most colossal failure of our time, a situation without precedent even in the early days of European Imperialism."
Peters concludes his analysis noting
"The world of Islam must now decide whether to wallow in a comforting, medieval form of religion that warms the heart with hatred of others and whose greatest strength lies in its ability to shift blame, or to make the far more difficult choice of attempting to build tolerant, more equitable, open and honest societies. Most Islamic states will make the wrong choice, and they will pay for it by continuing to crumble into irrelevance...The followers of Islam must decide for themselves whether to cling to a mythologized past or to embrace a challenging future. If we may be honest, the likeliest future role for the Islamic world is that of an irrelevant annoyance, which intermittently wounds others while building nothing of worth. Enmeshed within a religion frozen in time, and betrayed by their own viciously corrupt leaders and greedy elites, men, women and children throughout most of the Muslim world will continue to slide deeper into poverty and bitterness. And it is not our fault. A civilization that is anti-meritocratic, that oppresses and torments women, that mocks the rule of law, that neglects education and lacks a work ethic simply cannot prosper under modern conditions. Flawlessly intolerant and blithely cruel, the Islamic world does far more harm to its own people than it has done - or will ever be able to do - to the West. Occasionally, we will have to punish unruly bits of Islamic civilization for excesses that affect us; but, between our interventions, Muslims will continue to do far more damage to each other than we are apt or able to inflict."
After painting this bleak picture, Peters goes on to contrast it with the dynamic social and economic progress and success of the American people, and our prospects for an even brighter future. Near the conclusion of the essay Peters offers this advice:
"When men and women seek to improve their societies through legitimate means, we should do all that is reasonable to help them; when they ask for self-determination, we should support them, rather than their dictators; and when they ask for fairness, we should accommodate them, no matter the complaints of our own special interests. But when America is attacked, our retribution cannot be merely "proportionate". It must be stunning even to our allies. The occasional leveling of Carthage is the price not only of empire, but of the international rule of law, and of peace."
The second essay, When Devils Walk the Earth: The Mentality and Roots of Terrorism, and How to Respond, was written for the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities in October 2001, and provides us with one of the most useful analyses of the nature terrorism and the mind of the terrorist. Peters breaks terrorists down into two basic classifications: the practical and the apocalyptic. The lesser of these devils, the practical terrorist, is defined as the idealistic, political terrorist, who is driven by worldly concerns, such as "bellies, wallets, security, land and authority." Myriad Leftist terrorist organizations operating in Europe and Latin America during the Cold War are typical examples of practical terrorist groups. The greater, and far more dangerous, of these devils is the religious, apocalyptic terrorist, who sees himself as a tool of divine retribution sent to inflict punishment on those whose belief is "less pure" - these are the religion-robed jihadis who are at war with the United States and the West today. "Jealous of our success and our power, terrified and threatened by the free, unstructured nature of our societies, and incapable of performing competitively in the twenty-first century, they have convinced themselves that our way of life is satanic and that we are the enemies of their religion and their God."
Peters goes on to add that the
"...health of any religious community can be gauged by the degree to which it rejects these bloody apostles of terror, and the Islamic world's acceptance of apocalyptic terrorists as heroes is perhaps the most profound indicator of its spiritual crisis and decay."
Moving on, we are presented with a variety of fascinating psychological profiles of the apocalyptic terrorist.
"No change in the world order will ever content the apocalyptic terrorist, since his actual discontents are internal to himself and no alteration in the external environment could sate his appetite for retribution against those he needs to believe are evil and guilty of causing his personal sufferings and disappointments - for such men, suicidal acts have a fulfilling logic, since only their own destruction can bring them lasting peace."
Peters also points out several psychological commonalities amongst practical and apocalyptic terrorists, such as
"The terrorist is always an egotist with a (desperate, fragile) sense of unappreciated superiority, aggravated by his inability to establish satisfying social, personal, or vocational relationships"
and the most striking, yet somehow unsurprising fact that they are, by and large, men who have either been unable to develop and maintain healthy relationships with women. Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, was a notorious misogynist.
"A review of historical terror cases makes it startlingly clear: Terrorists rarely have successful dating histories. Sexual fears and humiliation as young adults - and the consequent loneliness and alienation - may be the single greatest unrecognized catalyst in the making of a terrorist..."
Peters adds that
"...the general rule is that the more repressed the society and the more fervent its rejection pf reciprocity in sexual relations, the more terrorists it produces; and the greater the gap in social status between men and women in the society, the more likely it is to produce suicidal male terrorists. Societies that dehumanize women dehumanize everyone except those males in authority positions - and the ability to dehumanize his targets is essential to the psychology of the terrorist. While those who will become terrorists may wed to accommodate social norms or familial insistence, the rarest form of human being may be a happily married terrorist."
Colonel Peters concludes When Devils Walk the Earth with a list of recommendations entitled "Fighting Terror: Dos and Don'ts for a Superpower":
1. Be feared
2. Identify the type of terrorists you face, and know your enemy as well as you can
3. Do not be afraid to be powerful
4. Speak bluntly
5. Concentrate on winning the propaganda war where it is winnable
6. Do not be drawn into a public dialogue with terrorists
7. Avoid planning creep
8. Maintain resolve
9. When in doubt, hit harder than you think is necessary
10. Whenever legal conditions permit, kill terrorists on the spot
11. Never listen to those who warn that ferocity on our part reduces us to the level of the terrorist
12. Spare and protect innocent civilians whenever possible, but do not let the prospect of civilian casualties interfere with the ultimate mission accomplishment
13. Do not allow the terrorists to hide behind religion
14. Do not allow third parties to broker a "peace", a truce, or any pause in operations
15. Don't flinch
16. Do not worry about alienating already hostile populations
17. Whenever possible, humiliate your enemy in the eyes of his own people
18. If the terrorists hide, strike what they hold dear
19. Do not allow the terrorists sanctuary in any country, at any time, under any circumstances
20. Never declare victory
21. Impress upon the minds of terrorists and potential terrorists everywhere, and upon the populations and governments inclined to support them, that American retaliation will be powerful and uncompromising
22. Do everything possible to make terrorists and their active supporters live in terror themselves
23. Never accept the consensus of the Washington intelligentsia, which looks backwards towards past failures, not forward to future successes
24. In dealing with Islamic apocalyptic terrorists, remember that their most cherished symbols are fewer and far more vulnerable than are the West's
25. Do not look for answers in recent history, which is still unclear and subject to personal emotion
The remainder of Beyond Terror deals primarily with military matters and addresses jihadism in concert with American foreign policy and military strategy. The New Strategic Trinity, is a brilliant analysis of the "two salient factors that determine the success or failure of states and peoples in the postmodern age: the quality of the information available to the population and the ability of the population to discern quality information." Peters examines how the flow of accurate information and the ability of people to access, discern and act on accurate information is integral to the the success of individuals, peoples, economies and armies - this is illustrated by a comparison of information dynamics in the United States, Egypt, Russia and Saddam Hussein's Iraq circa Gulf War I.
The next four essays, The Hourglass Wars, Heavy Peace, The American Mission and Killers and Constables are important discussions concerning the nature of modern conflict and the role of the United States and its military. A passage form Killers and Constables is worth mentioning here: "We must prepare psychologically and practically for a century that is violent and irresolute. The disruption of the world in the wake of empire, aggravated by the accelerating pace of technological, social and economic change, will not subside into a new, more peaceful order for generations..." The eighth essay, The Plague of Ideas, is a return to the discussion of the role of Information in the 21st Century.
The ninth essay, Stability, America's Enemy, is another essay that is worthy of note. Peters points out that betraying America's finest values "to keep bad governments in place, dysfunctional borders intact, and oppressed human beings well-behaved...stands against the tides of history, and that is always a losing proposition." Interestingly enough, President Bush recently echoed these sentiments in a major foreign policy address in Riga, Latvia (discussed within the context of the failures of the Yalta agreements negotiated near the end of World War II) outlining changes in US foreign policy goals and initiatives.
The tenth essay, The Black Art of Intelligence, is an insightful look into our nation's intelligence community, and finally, The Rejection of the West, looks into the rejection of Western values and institutions throughout the world. This essay looks into the naive and arrogant expectations - which have been raised by Hugh Fitzgerald and others - that the United States is capable of bringing "freedom and democracy" to regions and cultures that are foreign and/or hostile to such concepts.
Part Two, And Rumors of War, is devoted to matters concerning military theory and strategy. The essays include The Seeker and the Sage, The Casualty Myth, Hard Target, The Human Terrain of Urban Operations, Hucksters in Uniform and The Future of War, and all are important essays that every American should read, contemplate and act upon.
While it is important to understand the role of Islam and jihadism in 21st Century conflict, it is equally necessary to understand how America, and the Free World, must respond to this existential threat to Life and Liberty. This is why Beyond Terror is an important book, and well worth adding to your library.
ISLAM IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Islam has become an increasingly important subject in America’s public schools, therefore it is critical that
parents and citizens ensure that the next generation of Americans be presented with a complete and accurate analysis of Islamic civilization. Unfortunately, an alliance of Muslim and multiculturalist pressure groups have persuaded textbook publishers and school officials to promote a whitewashed and misleading version of Islamic ideology and history that minimizes or eliminates reference to anything that Americans would find immoral, offensive or objectionable. Worse yet, some activists and school officials have turned classrooms into venues where students are subjected to Islamic religious indoctrination and forced to perform Muslim prayers and rituals, which is a clear violation of the separation of Church and State established in the United States Constitution.
Enhancing the Image of Islam in Textbooks
Critical analyses of widely used textbooks such as “Across the Centuries” and “World Cultures: A Global
Mosaic” reveal that students are being presented an incomplete, unbalanced and inaccurate portrayal of Islamic
civilization that prevents the development of a clear and comprehensive understanding of the ideology, politics and
history of Islam. For example, unflattering topics such as the deaths of tens of millions of people during the Islamist wars of expansion between 634-750 A.D. and 1021-1689 A.D., the systematic enslavement and persecution of non-Muslim populations and the incompatibility of the Shari’a (Islamic Law) with international human rights standards are largely ignored, trivialized or dismissed in what has been described as an effort to enhance the image of Islam at the expense of the education of America’s youth.
Islamic Missionary Activity (Da’wa) in Public Schools
Proselytizing in public schools is prohibited by law, yet Muslim missionary groups continue to succeed in
persuading school officials to turn public classrooms into venues where school children are forced to learn the tenets of Islam and perform Muslim religious rituals. The attitude and goals of Islamist missionary groups is articulated at www.DawaNet.com, where public schools are portrayed as “fertile grounds where the seeds of Islam can be sowed into the hearts of non-Muslim students”.
The Consequences of Academic Fraud
For students to understand the complex history, culture and ideology of Islam, the information they receive
in their textbooks and classrooms must be thorough and accurate. Withholding or sanitizing information to appease
cultural supremacists is a betrayal of children and their development into well-informed adults who are capable of
accurately evaluating issues concerning Islam. Furthermore, subjecting children to Islamic missionary activity
(Da’wa), often without the knowledge and consent of parents, is a perversion of the mission of public education and a violation of the United States Constitution. Since school officials are abdicating their responsibility to guard against proselytizing and academic fraud, it is incumbent upon parents to participate more actively in the oversight and education of their children.
1) Be involved. Take the time to review the content of your child’s History and Social Studies textbooks and the
activities in these classes. Your child’s understanding of these subjects will have a profound impact on their view of the world and their place within it. Make sure you play an active and guiding role in this aspect of your child’s
2) Be informed. Take the time to learn about Islam and the history of Islamic civilization. You cannot accurately
judge the content of your child’s textbooks and class activities if you yourself are ignorant of this subject.
3) Be firm with school officials. School officials have a responsibility to provide you with any and all information
that you request concerning the content of your child’s textbooks and classroom activities. Do not accept, under any circumstances, a lack of responsiveness from school officials regarding your inquiries or concerns pertaining to the education of your child. If necessary, seek legal assistance.
The American Textbook Council Overview http://www.historytextbooks.org/islam.htm
Textbook League By William Bennetta http://www.textbookleague.org/sp-nogo.htm
CRITICAL ANALYSES & HISTORIES
“Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide”
Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002
“The Myth of Islamic Tolerance”
Prometheus Books, 2005
“Why I Am Not a Muslim”
Prometheus Books, 1995
www.listislam.cjb.net (complete list of websites offering critical analyses of Islam)
Islamist Plan to Establish an Islamic State
TRANSLATIONS OF ISLAMIC SCRIPTURE
USC Translations of the Qur'an http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/
USC Translations of the Sunnah and Hadith http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/
Updated: 08 August 2005
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