Shedding Light On Terrorism
if you can, to get past the sentence, “the twin towers stand proud,”
with the almost unbearable use of the present tense early in the
first chapter, without breaking down in tears as I did, unable
to continue reading for nearly an hour.
Try , because this is something that has to be read, no matter
how chilling or disturbing or frightening it is. For what Simon
Reeve, an investigative reporter and freelance British journalist,
has done is present in a compelling and lucid narrative exactly
how pervasive the fundamentist Islamist threat is–and exactly
why the free Western world is likely to be engaged in the struggle
to remain so for the rest of our lifetimes.
What we’re up against is indeed unlike any threat that has been
faced before. As Reeve writes, “The new breed of terrorists just
want to kill and punish for what they believe is Western imperialism.
The global oppression of Muslim men like Yousef and bin Laden
are not interested in the language of conciliation.” In fact,
contends Reeve, Yousef “is the first of a new breed of terrorist,
one with no clear or definable political goals.”
So much for the concept that political adjustments or realignments
in the Middle East will remove the threat or that accommodating
approaches will deflect the anti-American sentiment and hatred
that exists among the militant Muslims and much of the Arab world.
As Reeve sees it, “the fanaticism of bin Laden’s closest followers
and soldiers is also unlikely to wither away. Many militant Islamists
claim we are witnessing only the beginning of a new struggle.
Huge numbers of lives are threatened by the new breed of terrorist;
the threat will not disappear when bin Laden is in handcuffs.”
As this meticulously researched and documented book makes all
too abundantly clear, the war in which we are currently engaged
is nothing less than the war for what kind of world we will ultimately
inhabit in the 2lst century. Reeve’s book contains a devastating
accumulation of detail about the terrorists and their allies.
Reeve, eerily prophetic and prescient in his predictions, in the
aftermath of the horrific events of September 11, makes one shudder.
He says, “in years to come, terrorists will not stop at blowing
up a building. They will want to threaten an entire city or even
a whole nation, using weapons of mass destruction.”
As if matters weren’t frightening enough, Reeve points out that
there is substantial evidence that bin Laden and his followers
have accumulated chemical and biological weapons, which they will
not hesitate to use in their campaign to assert Islamic dominance.
Nor is the United States secure from within. Groups like Hezbollah,
Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, among others, all have chapters
and cells in America–concealed under a cloak of religion. And
the Al Qaeda network has sleeper agents throughout Europe as well,
in France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark and Britain.
This book shouldn’t be read before bedtime, as it will cause many
sleepless nights. It should be required reading for all American
Global Studies students, as a way to understand exactly what the
United States is fighting in Afghanistan, and why.
As Reeve writes, “Islamic fundamentalism is indeed the greatest
threat to the West; the threat is increasing. The world could
soon witness a new Cold War, but this time one pitting secular
democracies against autocratic Islamic nations.”#
Rosenberg is a freelance journalist and editor specializing in
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