9-11 Fifteen Years Later: Are We Safer?
by Deborah Weiss (September 2016)
I am a 9/11 survivor. I lived in the closest residence (Gateway Plaza), deemed a crime scene after the attack. My office high-rise was the closest building to the number 7 World Trade Center and had a whole wall blown off. I was homeless for two months; my office was closed and displaced for 8 months. I ran for my life, through the dust, caught a Coast Guard rescue ferry to New Jersey and stayed with strangers until I could make my way to the homes of friends. For legal purposes, I was also considered a “witness” to the attack. For those of us who lived and worked in the “inner zone” of Ground Zero, getting our lives back to “normal” took approximately a year. The ongoing trauma lasted a lot longer. And yet, I was one of the lucky ones: I lived.
Prior to 9/11, I was a practicing attorney with an excellent track record of winning cases. But after that fateful day, as I looked up at the changed sky-line, winning a lawsuit no longer seemed important.
I began to research Islamic terrorism, interested in learning why the jihadists wanted to murder me and everyone I knew. Somewhere along the way, I discovered “stealth jihad” or “civilization jihad,” the strategy that the Muslim Brotherhood and its front groups have for sabotaging the West from within without the use of force.
I became consumed with the Enemy’s goals, ideology, strategies, and tactics. I spent so much time on it that I developed a particular expertise in the Islamist stifling of speech, specifically blasphemy laws and what they refer to as religious “defamation.” I immersed myself in speech-stifling UN resolutions promulgated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (a conglomerate of 56 Muslim-majority countries plus the Palestinian Authority) that were getting little received attention. As an attorney, I understood the Enemy’s speech-stifling goals were anti-Constitutional. And I instinctively knew what all seasoned national security experts learned from the famous Chinese Military General Sun Tzu: that if you want to win a war, it is imperative to name your enemy and to understand his goals, motivations and strategies. In short, you must understand your Enemy as he understands himself.
When I realized the magnitude of the implications for their subversive goals, the pervasiveness of the jihadi network and the fact that they were operating hidden in plain sight, I felt I had to do something. I started having nightmares. I could not stand idly by like a non-Nazi German, knowing what was happening and remaining silent. In an effort to raise awareness about the breadth of the jihadi threat in all its myriad forms, I began to speak publicly and write prolifically on the subject. At some point, I relinquished my legal career in order to devote myself full-time to fighting for America’s enduring freedoms, which I believed (and continue to believe) are facing perilous danger. Before long, my shoulder was being tapped by national security organizations, ministries, and colleges that wanted to better understand the nature of our Enemy and its implications for national security, religious freedom and human rights.
As I reflect upon the state of our national security since 9/11, I am saddened to have to acknowledge the fact that we are not safer today than we were on 9/10.
In an effort to accommodate the religious freedom which Americans hold so dear, we have lost sight of our first obligation which is to keep America safe. Of course, not all Muslims are jihadists, but our government’s refusal to objectively analyze the largely political aspects of Sharia (Islamic law) is not only flawed; it’s dangerous.
The U.S. Constitutional mandate for religious freedom does not require that we as a country accommodate or capitulate to those who embrace hostile intent toward freedom or our governing way of life. The values of “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” were intended to apply to all those and only those who have those same values as their foundation. Yet, in current times, those who demand that America is held to these values are often those who would embrace Sharia, one of the most intolerant ideologies in the world. Tolerating the intolerant does not lead to more tolerance. To the contrary: it gives the Enemy a foothold.
Though both the Bush and Obama administrations have made some strides against jihadis on the military or “kinetic” front, the U.S. government is in a full throttled embrace of Islam, working with its advocates who falsely pose as “moderates.” This constitutes nothing short of an existential threat.
Obtaining advice from Muslim Brotherhood front groups and those who wish us harm, ignoring the Threat Doctrine articulated by Sun Tzu, and discounting the words of the jihadis themselves, has caused our government to feed the public fictitious narratives. Even worse, many government officials believe them.
Jihadi attacks and express pledges to ISIS as well as cried of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is greatest”) are willfully and foolishly ignored. Instead, the government reports, along with complicit and unthinking media, that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Ignore what you see and hear, we are told. The jihadi attacks are really PTSD, workplace violence or random incidents of lone wolf “violent extremism.”
Without a proper understanding of who our Enemy is, his objectives, ideology and strategies, we have drastically reduced chances of winning this long war. The war we are in is primarily a War of Ideas. Jihadists know that they cannot defeat us militarily, but they are light years ahead of us in the fight for information dominance.
Muslim Brotherhood front groups, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and others who are like-minded, have the exact same goals as Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups. They differ only in their tactics, believing that non-violent methods, while taking longer, are more likely to be successful in achieving their subversive goals. While American officials who ought to know better, naïvely believe what the other side says, taking it on face value, Muslim Brotherhood groups and other stealth jihadists have launched and executed very effective campaigns of infiltration, disinformation and influence operations aimed at every level of society.
We cannot continue to engage the Enemy and pretend they are our friends. There is no such thing as “universal values” as President Obama likes to assert. There are those who value freedom, human rights and equality, and there are Islamic supremacists who seek a Caliphate and the institution of the totalitarian political-theological-military ideology known as Sharia.
Appeasement doesn’t work. It only serves to embolden the Enemy. That is why we are witnessing the increase in taunting by Iran to whom we released approximately 150 billion dollars in the “Iran agreement.” It is why we are witnessing the proliferation of jihadi groups across the Middle East and Africa including Boko Haram, Al Nusra, ISIS and others. It is why we are witnessing ISIS-inspired attacks in the West even as Western governments proclaim that calling them the Islamic terrorists that they are is “Islamophobic,” “racist” or “bigoted.”
It is time to overhaul our whole approach to national security. Effective national security cannot be implemented on a purely kinetic level. We must come out of our Denial, put a halt to the political correctness which is hampering our ability to properly identify the threat, and stop working with Islamic groups that have values opposing all we hold dear. We must engage in the War of Ideas, stop being afraid to assert our values, and refuse to capitulate to false narratives. We must get serious about training our national security, intelligence and counterterrorism professionals on the real threats of Islamic supremacism and lay claim to the superiority of Judeo-Christian values, eschewing the falsehood that “all values, religions, cultures and beliefs are equal” if America is to remain free.
Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a national security analyst and an expert on Islamic blasphemy laws and defamation of religions. Formerly, Ms. Weiss served as a counsel in the Giuliani Administration, as well as for the Committee on House Oversight in Congress.
She was a contributing author to the book, Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network, authored Council on American Relations: Its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation (published by CFNS) and authored The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech. She is also a regular contributor to FrontPage Magazine. Her work can be found at www.vigilancenow.org
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