What inspired al-Qaeda to attack the United States, according to one of the terrorists, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who helped plan 9/11?
The American psychologist, James E. Mitchell, who crafted the interrogation program that helped stop terrorist attacks and saved countless lives after 9/11, just published a book, Enhanced Interrogation.
Commenting on Mitchell’s book, Marc Thiessen wrote in the Washington Post:
“… KSM said that al-Qaeda expected the United States to respond to 9/11 as we had the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut — when, KSM told Mitchell, the United States ‘turned tail and ran.'”
In the end, KSM told Mitchell:
“We will win because Americans don’t realize… we do not need to defeat you militarily; we only need to fight long enough for you to defeat yourself by quitting. … Eventually, America will expose her neck for us to slaughter.”
That is exactly why Islamists are trying to hit the West’s soft underbelly: the office of the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, restaurants and theaters in Paris, a café in Copenhagen, a promenade in Nice, a church in Normandy and a Christmas market in Berlin. Islamists perfectly understand that the West’s most exposed flank is its home front. The same lifestyle that we defend by words is the main obstacle to the initiative of the defense against Islamists. Islamists have told us in every way, “we love death more than life”, while we in the West love the expectation of life more than life itself.
As Mark Steyn put it in 2004, “whoever makes the late Osama bin Laden’s audio cassettes these days showed a shrewd understanding of the situation in offering a ‘truce’ to any European nation that distances itself from America.” In other words, surrender. Through terror attacks, many jihadists are already proving able to decide the fate of many governments.
Compare what happened in two different countries after the 9/11 attacks.
November 2001: Within two months after the terror attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, the U.S. overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan.
March 2004: Within a month after the terror attacks in Madrid, the Spanish public toppled its conservative government, elected a Socialist one and abandoned the Western military coalition in Iraq. A few days after taking office, Zapatero’s Socialist government withdrew the 1,300 Spanish troops that were deployed to Iraq by the previous conservative government of José Maria Aznar. As James Phillips at the Heritage Foundation explained:
“This Spanish retreat will be perceived as a huge political triumph for Al Qaeda and like-minded Islamic radicals — probably their most important achievement since September 11, 2001.”
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