Imam Feisal Adbul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, the two halves of the public – and outwardly, “peaceful” – face of the Ground Zero Mosque effort, have proved themselves extremely competent practitioners of modern day media interaction; soft-spoken and articulate, they are faithfully “on-message” with their aspirations to help “bridge” the cultural divide, and to be regarded as the “anti-terrorists.”
Rauf and Kahn are nimble, and seemingly non-threatening. They are also the lucky beneficiaries of a compliant and un-inquisitive media.
For who can honestly begrudge Rauf and Kahn their inability to reconcile Rauf’s post-911 assertion that America was an “accessory” to the terrorist slaughter of 3,000 of her own; their refusal to disclose the sources of the $100 Million they are raising; or their malleable condemnation of “terrorism?” And is their apparent condemnation of terrorism conditional, such as it is with many who identify with political Islam? Also, what about Rauf’s refusal to denounce the violent terrorist group Hamas as a terrorist organization?
These would seem the salient questions…and yet, these queries are never made during the “interviews” to which these two submit. If only their “mainstream” inquisitors would dig as deep within the Muslim community as they do looking for any trace or nuance that could be construed as “racism” among the “tea parties.” And to those who argue that the mosque isn’t “at ground zero,” we say, you are right, it’s not actually perched on top of the hole, but if you had been there on Sept. 11, 2001, you would have had a front row seat to the carnage, and debris would have rained down upon you.
Rauf and Kahn’s public retreat from the use of the term “Cordoba House” – with it’s unmistakable historical reference to an Islamic culture that celebrates military victories by eradicating all traces of its enemy (and importantly, that vanquished enemy’s religious culture) by erecting a mosque as an enduring monument to the Supreme Power of Islam – certainly bespeaks a sophistication about “communications framing” that you aren’t likely to find in many “men (or women) of the cloth.” So, let there be no doubt, these two are exceptional.
But, what if Rauf and Kahn were more than just clever media manipulators and were actually “front men” for something more insidious?
The deeper one looks, the more this appears to be a “Trojan Mosque”…and Rauf and Kahn the soft side of a larger objective to plant mosques throughout the United States, and use them as “settlements.” The kind of settlements for which Muslims will justify terrorist acts when built by Jews in Israel. Seem far-fetched? Just do a little reading on the history of the proposed Ground Zero Mosque’s name sake….Cordoba, or the al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, or really, any one of thousands of others around the world.
This is no fantasy, this is how Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) is conducted. A 4GW army is comprised of people who place a higher loyalty to an organization, tribe or religion than they pledge to a nation state and its laws. Which is why it’s no surprise that Islamists have publicly acknowledged adopting the tactics of 4GW to wage its war against the West; in an open society, we are never exactly sure who the enemy combatants are because they may not shoot at you, or blow something up. They might smile and say “all we want is peace” while provoking you and stretching the limits of your societal tolerance, leaving their targets confused. All the while never defining what they mean by “peace.”
Islamic extremists know our vulnerabilities and take prompt advantage. Their soft weapons are political, social, and psychological. To combat their advantage, we’d have to sacrifice the freedom that forms the foundation of our society and culture. The Islamic extremists are equally confident we’ll never take this route either.
Fourth generation warfare began as a concept developed by William Lind, a military tactics expert, and two Army officers and two Marine Corps officers. Their intention was to lay out the most likely scenario for what Americas’ next war might look like.
That analysis was codified in a 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article authored by Lind, Sutton, and Lieutenant Colonel Gary Wilson.
While terrorism is not necessarily 4GW, the tactics that Islamists are currently using are.
“The battlefield is highly dispersed and includes the whole of the enemy’s society” according to the 4GW doctrine. While violent terrorism is the tip of the spear of 4GW, the terrorist movement encompasses many other 4GW tenets.
“Terrorists use a free society’s freedom and openness – its greatest strengths – against it. They can move freely within our society while actively working to subvert it. They use our democratic rights not only to penetrate but also to defend themselves,” says Lind.
Islamists know that legal rights and protections provide them the ability to strain our security without even breaking the law, right up until the moment they commit a deadly act of aggression; and since the terrorist often kills himself in the attack, there is no prosecutorial deterrent there either.
And when Middle Eastern looking men intentionally act suspicious and provoke a response from civilians or police, they find a very sympathetic American media willing to help portray them as victims of American bigotry. Which is not too dissimilar to my experience with what should have been a reasoned, legitimate debate over the Ground Zero Mosque; at the first sign of our opposition – the TV ad we produced – I was accused of bigotry, racism, and “hate,” among other things…and mostly from practitioners of the American media.
“Terrorists can effectively wage their form of warfare while being protected by the society they are attacking,” says Lind. “It is one of the things that makes it very difficult for a state military to fight this kind of war because it can’t tell who is a combatant and who isn’t.”
The ability to raise money from around the world while attacking the U.S. is a very resourceful form of warfare and is currently employed from multiple decentralized operations. Is some of the $100 Million behind the Ground Zero Mosque representative of such an operation? We can’t be certain…but we wouldn’t find it an objectionable line of questioning next time Rauf and Kahn deign to be interviewed.
Scott Wheeler is a former investigative journalist, and the Founder and Executive Director of the National Republican Trust PAC. Buckley Carlson is a Washington-based writer and political strategist.