WW III Began 10-23-83; We Were Unaware Until 9-11-01
When the illusion of tranquility and good will is shattered, even briefly, by the rant of a drunken Mel Gibson, many people wonder how many other Christians share his hostile views. We know some Muslims who have expressed contempt for Jews (as sons of apes and pigs). We thought this had begun with some latter-day hatemonger, but it appears that the words may have been written into the Koran.
Sura 5:60- “There are those whom Allah has cast aside and on whom His wrath has fallen, and of whom He has made some as apes and swine.”
Does that mean us? It’s hard to be certain, but the language does not appear complimentary. And if one listens to the Arab radio and television stations broadcasting in the Middle East or the schools established and operated with United Nations funds, it is made clear exactly who is intended to be the subject of the verse.
When the chief executive of a member state of the United Nations proclaims publicly that another member state should be wiped from the face of the earth, and suggests that if he had the means, he would act on that idea, the world is not at peace, even if it is quiet at the moment. And, of course, there is a great deal of shooting going on, and hundreds of rockets flying each day, all intended to kill people.
Some historians believe that World War III is already under way. To us it began in Beirut Oct 23, 1983, at 6:20 a.m., although we had no idea of it at that time. That date should have been proclaimed to live in infamy. It is when a Hezbollah truck loaded with explosives was driven into a barracks at the international airport, killing 241 American servicemen and women, primarily Marines. Rather than pursuing and eliminating the attackers, President Reagan responded by withdrawing all American forces from Lebanon, which became a Syrian protectorate. President Bush the elder led a worldwide response to the invasion of Kuwait in 1991, over the opposition of a great majority of Senate Democrats, but due to international pressure, he left the invaders alone. The United States did urge the marsh Arabs in Southern Iraq to arise, after which they were slaughtered by Saddam Hussein and the marshes drained so the area could no longer support life. The outcome was similar to winning the battles of World War II and then stopping at the German border.
President Clinton was distressed at the first attack on the World Trade Center (February 26, 1993), which was treated as an isolated criminal act masterminded by a blind sheik in New Jersey; the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996, which killed 19 U.S, servicemen; the bombing of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, on August 7, 1998 (in Nairobi, 224 killed and in Dar-es-Salaam, 11 killed); and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole on October 12, 2000, which killed 17 sailors. Our reaction to the African bombings was to fire a Tomahawk missile into a soap factory in the Sudan.
Plans to kill Osama Bin Laden, who was thought to have some responsibility for these events, were reportedly scotched by Samuel R. Berger, the national security adviser, who was recently prominent when he was caught trying to steal documents from the Library of Congress by stuffing them in his pants.
Clinton deserves credit, however, for his use of force (78 days of air strikes on Belgrade) which brought peace to the former Yugoslavia in 1999.
With the modest and ineffective United States response to his previous efforts, it is understandable that Osama Bin Laden felt the necessity to do something bigger to call attention to his cause. The tragic result was Sept. 11, 2001.
We all know what has happened in the last five years. The point we make in this article is that there were warnings, there was an eighteen-year run-up to 9/11, and that earlier American action might have had an impact on Al Qaeda’s growth, its leadership and its ability to conduct major operations.
We hope you will excuse this diversion from New York City government issues, but there are several wars under way at the moment, and we thought this minor historical excursion might be helpful in promoting understanding of where we are and what happened in the last quarter-century to put us in the current situation. Compared with the world situation, our city looks pretty good.