As the Nation prepares to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. appeared today before the House International Relations Committee's Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation to discuss the nature of America's war against Islamofascism and the measures the United States must adopt to prevail.
In his prepared remarks and in response to questions from Committee members, Mr. Gaffney emphasized that the conflict in which the United States is currently engaged is not just about Iraq, any more than it is a "war against terrorism." "Rather," he observed, "we are in the midst of the latest in a series of death-struggles between, on the one hand, a totalitarian ideology bent on world domination and the destruction of all who stand in the way of that goal and, on the other, freedom-loving peoples....[It is] the War for the Free World."
According to Mr. Gaffney, understanding the ideological character of our enemy is imperative for two reasons:
- "First, recognizing that we are up against a totalitarian political movement permits a strategically vital distinction to be drawn between the vast majority of Muslims around the world who practice their faith in a tolerant, peaceable manner, consistent with the laws and values of civil societies, and the Islamofascists who do not.... Such a distinction clearly does exist and it behooves us to help Muslim opponents of the Islamofascists survive and prevail over our common foes."
- "Secondly, recognizing that we are up against a totalitarian ideology is essential to the adoption of instruments of warfare appropriate to defeating its adherents."
As described in the book recently published by Mr. Gaffney and a number of his colleagues entitled War Footing: Ten Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World, specific recommendations about the strategies and tools America might marshal include the following:
- "Devise, staff up, and begin executing a political warfare strategy. Countering the Islamofascist ideology must be its principal focus.
- "De-legitimize Islamist extremism in the eyes of Muslims, and especially its potential supporters. We need to show that, although violent Islamism is certainly a problem for us in the West, it is a vastly greater problem for the Muslim community.
- "Use our strengths. The good news is that Americans are among the world's experts at political warfare....The talent, creativity, ingenuity, and, yes, ruthlessness of top-flight political campaign strategists of both parties should be mustered for the purpose of fighting our enemies and helping our friends rather than fighting each other.
- "Invest in the instruments of political warfare, including public diplomacy. Public diplomacy, intended to influence perceptions, attitudes, and actions abroad, must be viewed as a form of political warfare....An immediate and sweeping ramp-up of our international broadcasting capabilities is needed to provide high-quality programming.
- "Reinforce and strengthen our friends. By demonstrating that there are not only consequences for opposing us, but also real and tangible benefits from supporting us, we can maximize the chances of our success. Critical in this regard is the American commitment to the continued survival of one of the most exposed countries of the Free World: Israel."
Mr. Gaffney concluded by commending President Bush for the courageous and forthright way in which he has lately begun to talk about the Islamofascist ideology that seeks the destruction of anti-Islamist Muslims and non-Muslims, alike. He warned, however, that the President's vision and leadership are being undermined a) by those at the State Department who are pursuing agendas at odds with his policies and b) by certain Islamist-sympathizing organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that - despite ongoing, misbegotten efforts by government officials to embrace and legitimate them - deride Mr. Bush and his war efforts while fostering an insidious sense of victimhood and alienation among this country's Muslims.