Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 6:45 pm

Anyone who has the stomach to sit down and actually read all of Adolph Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf is a better man than I, Gunga Din. I picked up a copy of “My Struggle” about 20 years ago in a used paperback book store and thought, why not? If I could make it through Communist Manifesto and it’s convoluted structure and fevered prose, I figured that Hitler’s screed would be a breeze. I had read extended excerpts in William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich as well as John Toland’s thoughtful biography of the monster Adolph Hitler so it’s not like I was totally unfamiliar with what I was in for as far as what Shirer aptly termed “turgid prose.”

After the first hour, I realized that Shirer was being kind . “Turgid” is an understatement. “Incomprehensible” would be more accurate. Hitler was laughable as a writer. There’s no organization, no grand concept, no structure to sentences, paragraphs or chapters. In short, it was a mess.

Hitler would have fit right in if he had been blogging (at least on this site).

I got through the first 100 pages and lost interest. But I bring up the book if only as an object lesson in what Hitler’s contemporaries thought of it; they had exactly the same reaction. And because they dismissed it outright, they paid for their shortsightedness with 40 million of their dead.

For contained in its 664 rambling, confused pages was Hitler’s plan to conquer Europe, subjugate the Slavs, destroy Russia, and annihilate the Jews. It was all there in black and white and the snobby intellectuals who looked down their noses at him ended up paying for their incredulity with the most destructive war in European history.

Even Hitler’s rise to power was outlined in the book. The alliance with big business and the army, the use of propaganda, the mysticism, the hearkening back to Germany’s pagan roots - it was all there. Never before in history has a leader offered such an exact blueprint of his rise to power or plans for conquest.

The book was written in 1925-26 when Hitler was serving time in prison for trying to overthrow the Weimer Republic. Ten years later, he began to methodically carry out plans laid out in the book almost as if he was going down a list and checking off items as he went along. Starting with the re-occupation and re-militarization of the Rhineland, through the Anschluss with Austria, the claims made on the Sudentenland, the elimination of a rump Czechoslovakian state, Poland and the Danzig Corridor, and finally the war that he planned to fight with first France, then England, and lastly the Soviet Union.

I point all this out about Mein Kampf because I’ve been struck when reading some liberal commentators who denigrate the very idea of a War on Terror by saying that we shouldn’t really take the Islamists dreams of establishing a Muslim Caliphate seriously nor should we worry about al Qaeda’s desire to start a global revolution that would sweep away the decadent west and put in its place an Islamic political hegemony that would dominate the world.

Is that too far fetched? Only if you’re not paying attention to what your enemy is saying:

With the fourth anniversary of the hot war between al Qaeda and the West approaching, it is interesting to see how al Qaeda’s strategy and objectives have evolved since the United States committed to engaging in open warfare.

The Word Unheard points us to an article in Spiegel Online by a Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, who is believed to be a reliable source of information on al Qaeda. His main source for this article on al Qaeda strategy is none other than Saif al-Adel, al Qaeda’s military commander who is currently operating from Iran.

al Qaeda’s purported strategy can be broken down into seven “phases” which span from 2000 until 2020, at which time they believe the global Islamist Caliphate will be established and they will achieve “definitive victory.”

(HT: The Fourth Rail)

What’s remarkable about these phases is that so far, they have eerily followed what has happened in the Global War on Terror. For instance, the first phase known as “The Awakening” that was to last from 2000-2003 or more generally, from 9/11 to the fall of Baghdad, Islam was to have provoked the United States into fighting thereby “awakening” Muslims:

“The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaida as very successful,” writes Hussein. “The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target.” The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard “everywhere.”

I realize that many critics of the War on Terror point to this “why wake a sleeping bear” theme as good reasons not to have fought in either Iraq or Afghanistan. By way of an answer, I think it’s pretty clear that the Islamists would have kept attacking us and given a continued safe haven in Afghanistan, would have been virtually untouchable.

The second phase called “Opening eyes” is the period we’re in now and is scheduled to last until 2006:

Hussein believes this is a phase in which al-Qaida wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an “army” set up there and bases established in other Arabic states.

I have no doubt that our invasion and reconstruction in Iraq is causing Islamist recruits to pour into that country. The question is, what good is it doing?

So far, the Second Phase has been a failure. The Arab and greater Islamic Street has been essentially silent in its support of al Qaeda. The perception that al Qaeda’s cause is popular as hundreds of Islamists enter Iraq monthly is overshadowed by the tens of thousands of Islamic fighters who enter Afghanistan during the war with the Soviet Union. al Qaeda has generated new recruits, but not nearly enough to replace the experienced operators and managers that have been lost under the American onslaught in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Would that situation change if we were to leave Iraq in chaos? Not only would we destabilize the entire middle east, but we’d risk the scattered cells and small cadres of terrorists coalescing into an army if Iraq became a terrorist haven.

The third phase or “Arising and Standing Up” and last from 2007-2010. Emphasis would be placed on Syria:

The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and — even more explosive — in Israel are predicted. Al-Qaida’s masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, are also in danger.

This, I believe, is where the folly of the left’s critique of the war lies. What we’re dealing with is clearly a trans-national, sophisticated, determined group of fanatics who have a plan and, unless things change drastically in the next few years, will have the funding to carry out those plans. Whatever damage we’ve inflicted on al Qaeda’s infrastructure, their plans are far enough along that elements are already in place to carry on.

The fourth phase will take place between 2010 and 2013 and will target Arab governments:

The estimate is that “the creeping loss of the regimes’ power will lead to a steady growth in strength within al-Qaida.” At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber terrorism.

Bill Roggio points out that phase three and four can essentially be condensed although the hope that democratic reform will blossom in most if not all of those countries could mitigate against al Qaeda’s plan to overthrow Arab regimes. This part of the plan has never been a secret but it should give impetus to both governments and reform movements in the Arab world to quicken the pace of change.

The final three phases of this plan reveal the Islamists ultimate goals:

The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaida hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order.

The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of “total confrontation.” As soon as the caliphate has been declared the “Islamic army” it will instigate the “fight between the believers and the non-believers” which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden.

The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as “definitive victory.” Hussein writes that in the terrorists’ eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the “one-and-a-half million Muslims,” the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn’t last longer than two years.

Whether or not you believe that this plan can be carried through to fruition is beside the point. The Islamists believe it. And that’s what makes them so extraordinarily dangerous. While Mr. Roggio points out correctly that the majority of Muslims have so far rejected the idea of a Pan-Islamic movement, I wonder if that attitude wouldn’t change if the United States were to be severely crippled by either one or more nuclear blasts or a biological attack that would destroy our economy. Would such a huge victory for al Qaeda galvanize the Islamic world and unite its factions under the Islamists banner?

I for one don’t want to find out.


  1. Those Who Forget The Past…

    Rick Moran of Rightwing Nuthouse reminds us that in a way, we have been down this road before. It this excellent post, Rick describes the genesis of the “smoldering embers” of the late 1920s begat the flames of WWII. In short, in his book “Mein Kamp…

    Trackback by geosciblog — 8/16/2005 @ 9:56 pm

  2. Would such a huge victory for al Qaeda galvanize the Islamic world and unite its factions under the Islamists banner?

    Without a doubt. The first to fall would probably be Mubarak’s Egypt. It would be followed by the resumption of ethnic cleansing in Sudan and abandonment of the “peace process” at work in that country. (al-Bashir would be positively giddy)

    The progress made in Lebanon would be rolled-back and the Afghani Republic could not survive long without the presence of coalition forces. Moderate regimes like Kuwait and Jordan would be pressured into silence or compliance.

    This would provide a united geography as a counterpart to the ideology. Pressure could then be exerted on Turkey, the Caucuses, and Pakistan (adding nuclear weapons to their arsenal).

    The jewel in Al Qaeda’s crown, of course, would be the overthrow of the Saudi Monarchy, creating an instant capital for the Caliphate.

    Comment by Mike — 8/17/2005 @ 6:15 am

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  5. As usual, brilliant and dispiriting. I get two choices: the Avian flu or dhimmied to death.

    Thanks, Mr. Moran!

    This is a great post, dammit.

    Comment by dymphna — 8/25/2005 @ 12:10 am

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