A recent case sheds light on the organization, but most Republicans ignore it.
I’m a big fan of the 1 percent. No, not the dastardly 1 percent of Occupy Wall Street myth; I’m partial, instead, to the 1 percent of Congress that takes seriously the threat of Islamic-supremacist influence operations against our government.
The people have 435 representatives serving in the House and another hundred in the Senate. Of these 535, a total of 288 are Republicans — 241 and 47 in the lower and upper chambers, respectively. Of these, only five House conservatives — five — have had the fortitude to raise concerns about the Islamist connections of government officials entrusted with positions enabling them to shape U.S. policy.
Think about that. Republicans purport to be the national-security party. For decades this claim was well founded, starting with Ronald Reagan’s clarity in seeing the Soviets as enemies to be defeated, not accommodated. President Reagan’s plan for the Cold War was, “We win, they lose,” and he pulled it off because he was not under any illusions about who “they” were.
But something happened to the GOP in the Bush years. For all the welcome understanding that Bill Clinton was wrong — that the jihad could not be indicted into submission — the Bush administration never learned a fundamental truth that Reagan knew only too well: You cannot defeat your enemies unless you understand them, and you cannot even begin to understand them if you are too craven to name them.
As they gather in Tampa for their quadrennial showcase, Republicans, but for the 1 percent, remain timorous on the subject of America’s enemies. Oh, they’ll tell you that we must confront “terrorism” and crack down on the “terrorists.” But that’s not much different from claiming to be against “burglary” and “burglars.” Terrorism is a vicious crime, but it becomes a national-security threat only when it is an instrument of an ideology that aims to destroy our country. What made the terrorist organizations armed and trained by the Soviets in the Sixties and Seventies a threat was the Soviets, not the terrorism.
America’s enemies are Islamic supremacists: Muslims adherent to a totalitarian interpretation of Islam who, like Soviet Communists, seek to impose their ideology throughout the world, very much including the United States. Terrorism is an offensive strategy they use, but it is only one arrow in the quiver. Its chief utility, moreover, is not that it will coerce surrender on its own; it is the atmosphere of intimidation it creates. That dramatically increases the effectiveness of the enemy’s several other offensive strategies — legal demands for concessions, media campaigns, infiltration of society’s major institutions, and influence operations against government.
The most disheartening thing about the modern Republican party’s dereliction — about its accommodation and empowerment of our enemies under the delusional guise of “Muslim outreach” — is that it flies in the face of the Bush Justice Department’s signal counterterrorism achievement.
That was the 2007–08 Holy Land Foundation case. For once, political correctness and the fear of being smeared as “Islamophobic” were shelved. In the course of convicting several Hamas operatives, prosecutors proved that the Muslim Brotherhood is engaged in a far-flung enterprise aimed, in the Brothers’ own words, at “eliminating and destroying” our way of life “from within” by means of “sabotage.” The Bush Justice Department not only showed that what the Brotherhood calls its “grand jihad” (or “civilization jihad”) is real; Justice shed light on the ideology that fuels this enterprise, and expressly identified many of the global Brotherhood’s accomplices.
Alas, this achievement is one today’s Republicans prefer to ignore. The party of Ronald Reagan would have worn it like a badge of honor. Today’s GOP would rather engage our enemies and call them our friends — not understand them, call them what they are, and defeat them. Today’s Beltway Republicans save their wrath for the occasional conservative — the messengers who embarrass them by illustrating how small the big time has made them.