Monday, February 8, 2010
For years now we have been warned that links were forming between Islamofascist groups such as al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Tamil Tigers, and others with South American drug cartels. What would make such seemingly disparate groups get together in the first place?
The Islamofascists would, on the face of things, seem to be against everything that the drug cartels support. The Islamists want society run completely by Sharia Law, the Islamic religious authority and rules, and both the use of illicit drugs and the violence that accompanies their trafficking would be against that law.
From their side one would think that the last thing that the drug cartels would want would be some radical religious group that is vehemently against their business interests and that would eradicate them if possible coming to worldwide power, or even to expand their influence in any region that the cartels service.
However, the motivations of these two groups are such that they are finding in one another an ally, at least temporarily and in the short term, against an even bigger, stronger, more organized, more powerful foe. Specifically that would be the United States of America.
Drug cartels know that the dismantling of U.S. power and influence in the Americas would leave them freer to peddle their narcotics in North America and all around the world. The Islamofascists know that an America overwhelmed by the depravity of drug addiction and it's accompanying ills would grow ever weaker and easier to overthrow.
We always need to remember that the Islamofascist view is a long view. They are in no hurry to overthrow America and our influence. They understand that we are big and powerful and technologically advanced. They believe that simply by slowly undermining our society that we will eventually become overwhelmed by our own weaknesses and collapse internally.
Just a few weeks ago, Ambassador David Johnson, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, delivered a speech titled "The Escalating Ties Between Middle Eastern Terrorist Groups and Criminal Activity" to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
As a key feature of his speech, Ambassador Johnson pointed out what he referred to as 'The Unholy Trinity' of corruption, crime, and terrorism. This 'unholy trinity' is united for ideological and economic reasons. The criminal groups want money, they care only about their bottom line.
The violence of one group, the financial wherewithal of another, and the political access of others has opened the door to the increasingly real possibility of the introduction of weapons of mass destruction. The use of some biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear weapon against the United States is now really only a matter of time and location.
While it is unlikely moving into the future that we will be able to stop every single terrorist attempt on our people, and while none of us want to live in such an authoritarian society as would be necessary to absolutely minimize that threat, there are things we can due to keep our society free, open, and strong.
In his speech, Ambassador Johnson called for continuing and increasing the strategies of 'smart power' and international cooperation. That 'smart power' would include continuing to raise awareness around the world on counter-narcotics and counter-crime issues through increased and intensified diplomacy.
International cooperation will be essential in lessening the world's vulnerabilities to these threats. Both with law enforcement and as the Ambassador stated by "building up governance capacity, supporting committed reformers, and strengthening the ability of citizens to monitor public functions and hold leaders accountable for providing safety, effective public services, and efficient use of public resources."
The bottom line is that the United States of America needs to continue to do what it has always done since our founding. That would be to stand up for freedom and democracy both here at home and around the world. The freer a people is, the less susceptible they are to radical influences, and the more secure they and the entire world become.
Corrupt governments in other nations must know that we will not deal with them, and we need to strongly support those who would challenge that corruption from within. Criminal groups must be pursued aggressively with every means at our disposal, both here at home as well as at their foreign sources where that is the case. Finally, terrorist groups and the nations that harbor them must be defeated both militarily and ideologically.
This truly is a war. These efforts will not be easy, and they are not for the weak or the faint-hearted. They require strong men and women implementing the measures needed and they require a strong national will.
More than anything else, they require that we as Americans ourselves return to our moral and spiritual roots as a nation. Only from that solid footing set for us by our Founding Fathers can we fight off the continuing threats of Islamofascism and it's supportive unholy trinity.
NOTE: this is the continuation of the 'Islamism Series', all entries of which can be viewed by clicking on the label below this article at www.mattveasey.com