|Michael, David, Orion,|
I agree that David's question indicates an underestimation of the extent of the problem when he asks, "How many real terrorists are there? Maybe 2000 worldwide? What is the real extent of the danger?"
But I also think Michael's emphasis, "It seems to me there can be no doubt that bin Laden will use nuclear weapons against American cities if he has the chance. If he detonates nuclear weapons -- even crude, low-yield ones - in, say, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and the middle of the Panama canal, how many people will die? 5 million? 10 million?" misses the real danger, as well.
According to Adherents.com, there are 1,780,000,000 Muslims in the world, up nearly four million since the 2002 estimate of 1.3 billion. It is the fastest growing ideology in the world. That is the real danger and it is much more significant than the danger of terrorism which Michael, I believe, correctly describes.
Every single Muslim is a potential terrorist. There are undoubtedly many more than 2000 Palestinian terrorists alone. Those Muslims who are not active terrorists (yet) will be, as soon as their Imam or Mullah gives them the word. The penalty for leaving or defying the Muslim religion is death. How many Muslim terrorists are there in the world? About a billion.
Short of attempting the logistically impossible killing of a billion people (ideological genocide?), how is terrorism to stopped? The fact is, it cannot be stopped. Israel does not have to contend with a billion terrorists, only the 8 million that live in Palestine. If terrorism could be stopped, Israel would have done it long ago.
But terrorism is not the ultimate danger. The ultimate danger is the goal and purpose of Islam to control the whole world. Unlike most Christians, who are content to wait for their God to return and conquer the world for them, the Muslims believe their God requires them to conquer the world for Allah themselves. They almost did it once. They intend to do it again. This time, they must might.
How? By terrorism? No; terrorism does nothing more than keep the civilized off-balance and intimidated. Their method is completely unstoppable; they intend to overwhelm the world with their sweaty uncivilized presence.
I know no one who describes the method and intention of the Muslims more eloquently than Oriana Fallaci. I posted that thread on Solo about her new book, The Force of Reason (La Forza della Ragione) (only in Italian) and her older book, The Rage and The Pride, and provided links to some articles about her.
Here are some extracts from her October 22, 2002, address at the American Enterprise Institute, "A Sermon for the West".
... since September 11, we are at war ... the front line of that war is here, in America. ...when I was a war correspondent, I liked to be on the front line. And this time, in this war, I do not feel as a war correspondent. I feel as a soldier. The duty of a soldier is to fight. And to fight this war, I deploy a personal weapon. It is not a gun. It’s a small book, The Rage and The Pride.
My soldier weapon is the weapon of truth ...
"From Afghanistan to Sudan, from Palestine to Pakistan, from Malaysia to Iran, from Egypt to Iraq, from Algeria to Senegal, from Syria to Kenya, from Libya to Chad, from Lebanon to Morocco, from Indonesia to Yemen, from Saudi Arabia to Somalia, the hate for the West swells like a fire fed by the wind. And the followers of Islamic fundamentalism multiply like a protozoa of a cell which splits to become two cells then four then eight then sixteen then thirty-two to infinity. Those who are not aware of it only have to look at the images that the TV brings us every day. The multitudes that impregnate the streets of Islamabad, the squares of Nairobi, the mosques of Tehran. The ferocious faces, the threatening fists. The fires that burn the American flag and the photos of Bush.
The clash between us and them is not a military clash. Oh, no. It is a cultural one, a religious one. And our military victories do not solve the offensive of Islamic terrorism. On the contrary, they encourage it. They exacerbate it, they multiply it. The worst is still to come.
President Bush has said, 'We refuse to live in fear.'
Beautiful sentence, very beautiful. I loved it! But inexact, Mr. President, because the West does live in fear. People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.
I call my book a sermon—addressed to the Italians, to the Europeans, the Westerners. And along with the rage, this sermon unchains the pride for their culture, my culture. That culture that in spite of its mistakes, its faults, even monstrosities, has given so much to the world. It has moved us from the tents of the deserts and the huts of the woods to the dignity of civilization. It has given us the concept of beauty, of morals, of freedom, of equality. It has made the unique conquest in the social field, in the realm of science. It has wiped out diseases. It has invented all the tools that make life easier and more intelligent, those tools that our enemy can also use, for instance, to kill us. It has brought us to the moon and to Mars, and this cannot be said of the other culture. A culture, which has produced and produces only religion, which in every sense imprisons women inside the burkah or the chador, which is never accompanied by a drop of freedom, a drop of democracy, which subjugates its people under theocratical, oppressive regimes.
Socrates and Aristotle and Heraclitus were not mullahs. Jesus Christ, neither. Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo, and Galileo, and Copernicus, and Newton and Pasteur and Einstein, the same.
My book is also a j’accuse. To accuse us of cowardice, hypocrisy, demagogy, laziness, moral misery, and of all that comes with that. The stupidity of the unbearable fad of political correctness, for instance. The paucity of our schools, our universities, our young people, people who often don’t even know the story of their country, the names Jefferson, Franklin, Robespierre, Napoleon, Garibaldi. And no understanding that freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline.
I accuse ourselves also of another crime: the loss of passion. Haven’t you understood what drives our enemies? What permits them to fight this war against us? The passion! They have passion! They have so much passion that they can die for it!
Their leaders, too, of course. I met Khomeini. I discussed with him for more than six hours in calm, and I tell you that that man was a man of passion. I never met bin Laden. But I have well observed his eyes. I have well listened to his voice. And I tell you that that man is a man of passion. We have lost passion.
Well, I have not. I boil with passion. I, too, am ready to die for passion. But around me, I see no passion. Even those who hate me and attack me and insult me do this without passion. They are mollusks, not men and women. And a civilization, a culture, cannot survive without passion, cannot be saved without passion. If the West does not wake up, if we do not refind passion, we are lost.
To quote from my book:
“The problem is that the solution does not depend upon the death of Osama bin Laden. Because the Osama bin Ladens are too many, by now: as cloned as the sheep of our research laboratories…. In fact, the best trained and the more intelligent do not stay in the Muslim countries... They stay in our own countries, in our cities, our universities, our business companies. They have excellent bonds with our churches, our banks, our televisions, our radios, our newspapers, our publishers, our academic organizations, our unions, our political parties…. Worse, they live in the heart of a society that hosts them without questioning their differences, without checking their bad intentions, without penalizing their sullen fanaticism.
[“I]f we continue to stay inert, they will become always more and more. They will demand always more and more, they will vex and boss us always more and more. ’Til the point of subduing us. Therefore, dealing with them is impossible. Attempting a dialogue, unthinkable. Showing indulgence, suicidal. And he or she who believes the contrary is a fool.”
Oriana Fallaci was a freedom fighter against the fascists at fourteen in her native Italy. She is an atheist and passionate fighter for truth, culture, and individual liberty. Want some passion? Read The Rage and The Pride.