The Islamic state of Iraq has arrived at the gates of Baghdad
By MICHAEL D. EVANS
Islamist terrorists rampaged through the streets of the Iraqi city of Mosul earlier this month, robbing banks of the equivalent of $429 million, opening the gates of prisons, executing their opponents in public squares, and even crucifying some victims.
The Islamic state of Iraq has arrived and its creators are knocking on the doors of the capital city of Baghdad. Tribal militias and the Baathist party of Saddam Hussein have joined ISIS, the terrorists responsible for the newly forged Islamic state. And now, the US is reaching out to Iran for assistance in Iraq.
Is Iran not the turn of a screwdriver away from going nuclear? Weren’t most American troops wounded in Iraq the targets of Iranian improvised explosive devices (IEDs)?
Did US troops not fight the Shi’ite terrorist army in Iraq led by Muqada al-Sadr—a 60,000-member Iranian funded Mahdi army?
In August 2013 President Barack Obama, the US commander-in-chief, declared he would bomb Syria for defying his call to not use chemical weapons. Two months later he instead signed an interim nuclear deal with Iran, whose Revolutionary Guards were behind much of the killing in Syria. His response was that the US was doing all it could reasonably do.
When in April 2014 the Palestinian Authority and Hamas joined forces, the US decided to continue doing business as usual with President Mahmoud Abbas. The US sends $500 million per year—a half billion taxpayer dollars—to the Palestinian Authority, a sum now available to the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.
What is Hamas? It is one of the worst terrorist organizations the world has seen. Founded in 1987 and dedicated by its charter to the destruction of Israel, the murder of Jews, and the imposition of Islam in “every inch of Palestine,” Hamas launched wave after wave of suicide bombings in the 1990s, blowing up Israeli buses (including school buses) and restaurants, murdering hundreds of civilians, and building schools that train children to become killers. Hamas turned suicidal terrorism into an industry and a multigenerational tradition.
That’s why Hamas has long been classified as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department — as well as the European Union and a host of countries around the world.
Hamas is also, it is important to note, a vital component of Iran’s ongoing war against the United States and the West. Although it started as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas quickly came under Tehran’s wing and became the Palestinian version of Lebanon’s Hezbollah: The two groups were the first of the major jihadist terrorist outfits, funded and trained by the Iranians to intimidate the West by butchering its children.
On September 23, 1980, Reuven Hecht, senior adviser to then prime minister, Menachem Begin and I had dinner at the home of Isser Harel, then head of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence organization. During the meal I asked the question: Will terrorism ever come to America?
Harel replied that America had the power but not the will; terrorists had the will but not the power. “All that can change with time,” he said. “Arab oil buys more than tents. You kill a fly and rejoice; we kill one, and 100 come to the funeral. Yes, I fear it will come. I believe the first terrorist attack will be New York City’s tallest building.”
On a lighter note, I asked, “Who do you think will be the next US president?” (Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were opponents vying for the presidency.) He answered, “The word on the street is that the Iranians will have something to say about that. When Ronald Reagan places his hand on the Bible, the hostages will be released.”
To my amazement, as Ronald Reagan was sworn in as 40th President of the United States, a news flash came across the screen: The hostages in Iran had been released! What Harel knew that I didn’t was that the Iranians were holding up the hostage release in order to humiliate Jimmy Carter. They believed Reagan would be better for their cause than was Carter.
It was 4:31 a.m. on the morning of the inauguration that Jimmy Carter wire transferred $7.9 billion dollars through the Federal Reserve to the Bank of England. The funds to buy the hostages back were from money that had been controlled by the Shah of Iran. At the same time, Carter signed the Algerian Accord, committing the US to respect Iran’s territorial integrity and not to attack.
The great destabilizer at the time was communism. Harel confirmed that the US really did not want to fight wars in the Middle East, and chose Israel as its proxy. This was later confirmed to me by Begin.
Harel’s words and the death of Israeli commando Yoni Netanyahu in freeing the Entebbe hostages in 1976 inspired me in 1981 to write Israel: America’s Key to Survival, which Begin endorsed. On the front cover of the book were US and Israeli flags sliced in half by an Islamic sword. The premise of the book was that Israel is the only democracy and firewall between radical Islam and the West. On the back cover was a quote from Binyamin Netanyahu:
“Their goal is to destroy America … destroy it … reduce it to nothing, and they feel they can effectively do it through terrorism.”
Etched on the wall in the lobby of the CIA building in Langley, Virginia, is the agency motto, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free, (John 8:32.) It characterizes the intelligence mission of a free society.
The US is withdrawing from the Middle East and leaving behind a much more dangerous neighborhood. Tiny Israel will have the responsibility of confronting and containing terrorism in order to protect US national security interests with the blood of Israeli citizens.
Dr. Michael Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His latest fiction book, Born Again: 1967 is available at www.TimeWorthyBooks.com.