Opinion

Youth must wake up to the threat of Islamism

Photo of Adam Cassandra
Adam Cassandra
Comm. Specialist, Human Life International
  • See All Articles
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Adam Cassandra

      Adam Cassandra is a communications specialist at Human Life International (www.hli.org), the world’s largest international pro-life and pro-family organization. Follow him on Twitter: @adamcassandra.

Before young conservatives fully commit to a 2012 presidential campaign, one of the first questions they should ask their candidate is, “What is your policy on the ideology of Islamism?”

For most of America’s political leaders, addressing totalitarian Islamist ideology is an afterthought. After all, they have the legalization of marijuana, gay marriage and corporate jet taxes filling up their plates.

Young conservative opposition to Communism back in the 1960s, then the greatest ideological threat to the United States, helped to spark and sustain the conservative movement that still exists in America today. Young Americans for Freedom, America’s oldest conservative-libertarian youth organization, stated in its founding document The Sharon Statement that, “[T]he forces of international Communism are, at present, the greatest single threat to [our] liberties.” But today’s youth are starkly divided over the threat posed by Islamism, with some voices who claim to speak for conservatism downplaying the threat completely.

Of the current field of Republican presidential candidates, one in particular stands out for his naivety on dealing with Islamism — Ron Paul.

Rep. Paul (R-TX), now making his third run at the presidency, has repeatedly dismissed the threat of Islamism, choosing instead to focus on what he calls America’s provocation of terrorist attacks against the U.S. and our allies due to American foreign policy.

In an interview with John Stossel in 2007, Rep. Paul made clear that the long-held Islamist intent to subdue and conquer other cultures, namely the West, is not an issue.

“Religious fanatics hate us and want to kill us because of our culture,” Stossel posed to Rep. Paul.

“I don’t think that’s true,” Rep. Paul responded. “It is not Muslim fanaticism that is the culprit.”

Sadly, such thinking has infected the minds of many young people who think the solution for dealing with Islamist terrorists is to bring all of our troops home and try to “leave the Islamists alone” instead of trying to develop a comprehensive strategy for victory. President Reagan, known for his “peace through strength” approach to foreign policy, helped defeat the Soviet Union without confronting or destroying their military, but his approach was not “non-interventionist” by any means.

President Reagan recognized Communism as “evil” and executed a strategic policy that implemented diplomacy, propaganda, economics, subversion, military display and war to bring down the Soviet Union’s evil empire. This was not a pure spread democracy/nation-building policy or an isolationist/non-interventionist policy. It was a conservative foreign policy. Such a policy is desperately needed today to combat the Islamist threat.

“Some people just don’t want to recognize ideology. There are a lot of people who didn’t want to believe that Communist ideology was a threat,” said Zeyno Baran, a former senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World, in the Summer 2010 issue of The New Guard magazine. “If you’ve never done your homework … I understand they would say, ‘Oh it’s exaggerated. It’s only American foreign policy,’ but the Wahhabi movement started before America was even engaged with the Islamic world, or before Israel was even created as a state.”

  • Pingback: Youth Must Wake Up to the Threat of Islamism ‘ Maryland Society of Patriots

  • CoffeePatriot

    The plain fact of the matter is the radical islamists were at war with the west long before we ever set foot in the Middle East. They have long sought to destroy the west and nothing we do or say now will ever change that. The jihad will continue whether or not we pull back our initiatives to thwart the islamists. The policies Mr. Paul advocates will not stop these whackjobs from wanting to kill us and destroy our way of life. They will just make us much weaker in our defenses. In the fight against the radical jihadis any talk of “truce” only promises more bloodshed on our part. As the author states, the Paulites and YALers need to “wake up” and realize that.

    • knowlecule

      “The policies Mr. Paul advocates will not stop these whackjobs from wanting to kill us and destroy our way of life. They will just make us much weaker in our defenses.”

      Regardless of your stance on the issue of Islamic militarism, the question has finally become this: How can the U.S., with $14 trillion of debt and at least $100 trillion in unpayable liabilities, continue to afford pre-emptive war in all these countries any longer? Are we not making ourselves far more vulnerable by spreading ourselves so thin? Look it up – one of al Qaeda’s biggest goal in all of this was to lead our country into financial ruin. Imagine that. It’s working!

      If we bring our troops home and finally get our spending under control, we will be FAR stronger militarily.

  • dakealo

    The US has outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions. The silence by the US government on these matters is deafening. So, too, is the blowback.

    How anyone can confuse the bombing and killing of hundreds of thousands of others with pursuing “freedom” remains beyond me. Of what is one “free” when he or she is in deadly conflict? Whenever some sheeple says that the U.S. military protects our freedom, I reply that the only thing that protects our freedom is the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The only thing that the U.S. military has been fighting for the past 100 years is the growth of the personal wealth of the Banksters.

    The juvenile author of this article who criticizes Ron Paul’ stance on this issue will some day look back and realize he was part and parcel to this drunken rape. And he as well as others like him will weep with guilt or cower in denial of what they’ve birthed.

    It is time for Americans to dig out, sort out, and to throw out the broken things once trusted to last, once needed to survive a previous life. It is time to fix what can be fixed, and bury the rest. The North Africans and Arabs are also throwing out broken things they once believed in, and they too have much work to do. Like all survivors the morning after, people across the Middle East now realize that the 20th century of colonialism, socialism, and poverty is a part of history, and a more free and more prosperous future is theirs to claim. Instead of spasmodically bombing or bribing every country from the southern Mediterranean to the Indus River, we too need to sort out our fundamental values, throw out the broken things, cease listening to the siren song of American militarism, and begin not just imagining a better future, but living it.

  • VincentH

    The Libya intervention demonstrates that it’s the neoconservatives that don’t understand the middle east and the dynamics of Islamic terrorism. Barry Rubin’s question: “Why Is the US in Libya?” is at the heart of this debate. Fighting islamic terrorism does not give policymakers and scolars a blank check to ignore facts on the ground. During the recent uprisal in Egypt and Tunisia even Israel cautioned the US government against opportunism. Unfortunately, pandering politicians will off course allways be with us, but what we have seen in recent months is the US government pandering abroad. Ron Paul’s foreign policy position of non-intervention has the merrit of stearing clear of this obvious tendency.

  • Mooseman

    The problem I see in most anti-Islamism hawks is that, in their understanding of the issue, there’s a disconnect between ideology and action on the part of fundamentalist muslims (this especially manifests itself in their supposed solutions to terror), as well as a disregard for the investigations of our CIA and the claims made by supposedly Islamism-inspired aggressors.
    No doubt they’re identifying a real threat and may or may not be overreacting to it, but regardless, their solutions continuously make us less safe and give Islamism it’s best recruitment tool.

  • OldMexican

    Sadly, such thinking has infected the minds of many young people who think the solution for dealing with Islamist terrorists is to bring all of our troops home and try to “leave the Islamists alone” instead of trying to develop a comprehensive strategy for victory[???].

    The fact that the country is broke seems to be a never mind for you, Mr. Cassandra. It took only 10 years and a trillion smackaroos to kill the person allegedly responsible for 9/11 – the kind of return on investment only hawkish neo-cons seem to like.

    • ctbedford

      Did you really just draw a parallel between hunting the murderer of thousands of American civilians, policemen, fire fighters and servicemen with an investment? Is the United States, the lives of her citizens and the freedoms she represents really just a cold business calculation to you?

      The hunting of the enemies of liberty is not a business transaction–it is long overdue justice and quite possibly the most proper role of government (does the fact that he also was behind the mass destruction of private property and a massive impact on the US economy sway your heart?). Fortunately, men of valor are willing to stand up for our country and countrymen while chirping secretaries enjoy the prosperity their sacrifices protect.

  • williamousa

    Ron Paul is a retread of way too many makeovers 3 tries for the presidency when will he know that we the people have said not interested sir. Retire to your Medical practice in Texas.

  • Sandy E

    Mr. Cassandra, thank you for speaking out against the lunacy and very dangerous positions being fed to the mostly young minds that are so easily persuadable, because the thought that they can legally smoke pot, or do heroine is so attractive. Your article is right on the money, according to past statements made by Paul.

    Shortly after the 9/11 attacks Paul claimed that the terrorists were “nothing more than a bunch of thugs with boxcutters.” Also from someone who spent hours talking with Paul, he also denied that there ever was any threat from the Communists back in the 50′s and 60′s, when Communism was still feared and fought against by most Americans.

    “I spent several hours speaking with Ron Paul shortly after 9/11. He informed me that the Islamicist threat was a made up one, just as the Communist threat of the 1950’s and 1960’s was. He told me, to my face, in his own words, that Lew Rockwell and his people were the only ones calling a spade a spade: America did deserve what the Islamicists were trying to do to us, and if we simply learned to leave them alone, they would in turn leave us alone. It was among the most despicable and disappointing conversations I have ever had with another adult.”

    http://www.davidbahnsen.com/index.php/2011/05/21/the-undescerning-and-dangerous-appreciation-of-ron-paul/

    I would have reason to be very fearful of a Paul presidency if I didn’t know full well that he has no chance. Having said that, his supporters are unintelligent and spiteful enough to not vote for who ever gets the R nomination, which could only help to put the final nail in the coffin with another 4 years of Obama. After all, they helped to get Obama in in 2008 by the same admitted actions.

  • CliffEmAll

    It’d be nice if you actually exhibited a little understanding of a candidate’s positions before singling him out and bashing him.

    Google “Blowback,” read Washington’s farewell address, and then get back to me.

    • ctbedford

      The candidate’s position is clear in his books, in his speeches and in the disillusioned leftists he gathers and nurtures. Mr. Cassandra is not incorrect in his assessment.

      While dropping the word “blowback” and suggesting Internet research may make this criticism seem literate, it’s just a fancy, Whole Foods version of the libertarian left’s canned “fascist neocon” reply.

      • Sandy E

        Excellent reply ctbedford. It amazes that the Paulies have all banded together to attack anyone disagreeing with Paul in saying that no one else understands him or his positions. The fact is that many many do in fact understand his positions even better than those that are blinded by a cult leader, and have intellectually and resoundingly rejected his very dangerous foreign policy, if you can even call it foreign policy rather than ideological libertarianism.

      • OldMexican

        Re: ctbedford,

        The candidate’s position is clear in his books, in his speeches and in the disillusioned leftists he gathers and nurtures.

        I know no leftists, disillusioned or otherwise, who react positively to Paul’s message of Constitutional government, free markets, sound money and State’s rights. You may know a very different sort of leftists, Mr. ctbedford, or maybe you’re just talking out of your behind. I am willing to bet that you actually haven’t read any of Paul’s books, or only glanced at the most recent ones without even bothering to ponder on his arguments.

        While dropping the word “blowback” and suggesting Internet research may make this criticism seem literate, it’s just a fancy, Whole Foods version of the libertarian left’s canned “fascist neocon” reply.

        Or, it could be a word that describes exactly what a CIA report found about the motivations behind Islamic terrorism, something that you are choosing to ignore. There’s nothing to love about Islam, but to ignore or dismiss the role that US foreign policy has played in angering a people that are very particular about their lands and holy places, indicates just how far your ideological investment in state warfarism has gone, and the level of your intellectual dishonesty.

        • russ311

          “…to ignore or dismiss the role that US foreign policy has played in angering a people that are very particular about their lands and holy places, indicates just how far your ideological investment in state warfarism has gone, and the level of your intellectual dishonesty.”

          What crap! I am not a religious person, but I understand those who are. Just because you have chosen to ignore, abandon and renounce your Judeo-Christian heritage does not give you the right to denounce your compatriots who have not done. And then to give your compassion and understanding to those radicals who are easily angered over supposed offenses against “their lands and holy places” which were acquired by conquest and built over the ruins they created of the Judeo-Christian lands and holy places, demonstrates your absolute ignorance, effete arrogance and total lack of credibility and understanding about the issue, religious or otherwise.

        • hephaestus

          Silence citizen! I do not worship your God, but if I did I know that he would tell you to shut up and get with the crowd. And don’t you dare respond with kindness to your enemy, that would only heap burning coals on his head. That only makes you look like an effete (French) person. And everybody knows, French people are not violent (or revolutionary, or known to make books out of people’s flesh!). Anyway, you are stupid, so shut up. War!

          • russ311

            Cute.

            Anyway, OldMexican being “like an effete (French) person” must stem from his being raised under the influence of the French colonial rule in Olde Mejico. Si?

      • knowlecule

        To denigrate someone’s position by attacking the person behind it – not by attacking the position’s merits – is a complete logical fallacy. You should know that; you’ll never win your argument with that kind of childish approach.

        You’re simply in denial. Historically, we can’t avoid the fact that blowback is a real and observable effect of U.S. foreign policy. The most observable in history is arguably the CIA’s intentional removal of Iran’s Prime Minister in 1953, and his replacement with the Shah. We didn’t like that Iran was nationalizing their oil; so, as a result, we propped up a dictator. The direct effect of that in 1979 would be the taking of U.S. hostages by Iranian protesters, more than 20 years later, in protest of the Shah.

        9/11 wasn’t just out of the blue. There were clear warning signs that went completely ignored. The perpetrators were certainly retaliating for something – why don’t you go ahead and look into what that was?

        Come on, get real… The U.S. has been one of the most shoddy countries in the world in terms of foreign policy. WE were the ones who gave the Taliban a load of weapons in the 80′s, so they could help us fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan; and after we’ve kept up with occupying various middle eastern countries, they’re still using the SAME weapons against us! What the hell do we expect?