before the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I wrote
that the coalition had better be ready for a relentless
terrorist assault, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, once
Saddam had been toppled.
had waited an unconscionably long time between the liberation
of Afghanistan and the move against Saddam, thereby giving
the terror masters in Baghdad, Teheran, Damascus and Riyadh
abundant opportunity to plan their response. They decided
to repeat what they saw as their winning strategy in Lebanon
in the 1980s (driving out America and France) and 1990s
(compelling an Israeli withdrawal from the south).
and Syrian leaders made no secret of their intent, and
Bashar Assad even gave an interview in which he brazenly
informed us - and potential recruits to the jihad - that
the terror masters would use religiously inspired insurrection,
assassination and terrorism first to bloody and then to
humiliate the West, and anyone who joined us.
a few days ago, Paul Bremer - the de facto governor of
Iraq - complained at the large number of foreign terrorists
flowing into the country, and he specifically labelled
Iran as a prime mover.
announced that intelligence officers from the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard were actively organising terrorist
operations. Yesterday's Financial Times carried a front-page
story warning that thousands of Saudis were headed to
Iraq to attack American and British targets.
perhaps more people will understand that the jihad in
Iraq and Afghanistan is not limited to the citizens of
one or two countries, but is waged against anyone who
tries to make Iraq a free and successful country. The
terror masters know that they would not survive successful
democratic revolution on their doorsteps, because their
own people would demand their own freedom.
facts have been available for a long time, and no one
should be surprised at the truck bomb attack on the UN's
offices in Baghdad yesterday, which claimed the life of
the UN Special Representative to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de
as human nature contains an unlimited quantum of hope
despite millennia of intensely unpleasant experience,
many will resist drawing the obvious conclusions and,
even more, be reluctant to take appropriate action.
jihad in Iraq is simply a continuation of the terror war
against the West that saw its most recent apogee on September
11, 2001. That war has been on for more than a quarter-century,
and the terror masters will continue to wage it until
they have either won or lost.
terror war is currently centred in the Middle East (although
battles are also waged in South Asia), where we are engaged
in a regional conflict with Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Until the regimes of those countries surrender or are
removed, we will be attacked, both in the Middle East
and in our own countries.
we cannot buy our way out of this war by changing our
policies on such questions as Palestine and Israel, or
on the presence of armed forces on Saudi soil, or by going
easy on the weapons of mass destruction programmes of
Syria and Iran.
those who see peace between Israel and Palestine as the
most urgent issue in the region should be the most vigorous
in supporting democratic revolution in Syria and Iran,
since it is clear that a good deal of Palestinian terrorism
has been organised by the mullahcracy in Teheran, and
the terrorists have trained in Syrian-occupied Lebanon.
lingering misconceptions about the nature of the terror
network have got in the way of clear understanding and
hence of effective policy. The US Secretary of State,
Colin Powell, and his British counterpart, Jack Straw,
often speak as if they believe we could actually enlist
Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran in the war against terror,
which is rather like Roosevelt convincing himself that
he could enlist Hitler and Mussolini in a war against
Japan following Pearl Harbor.
such serious and distinguished people have embraced a
delusion of such magnitude testifies both to the cunning
of the terror masters and the painful obligations that
the truth imposes on the free societies of the world.
would be nice to settle things at the negotiating table,
and we are inclined to talk and talk, and walk last mile
after last mile, to avoid the unpleasant reality that
we are indeed at war.
the bombing of the UN offices will clarify things, and
spur the feckless critics of the war against terrorism
to join us. The terror masters do not think that will
happen. They expect that the flow of body bags will stimulate
world public opinion to demand an end to the "occupation"
of Iraq - which would transform Iraq and Afghanistan from
humiliating defeats for the Islamists into glorious triumphs
over the West.
terror masters would then have demonstrated one of their
central theses: that the crusaders and infidels of the
West have no stomach for real fighting, and lack the tenacity
and determination to prevail in this war.
would be a catastrophe, especially because our victories
against the Taliban and Saddam have threatened the terror
regimes as never before. Particularly in Iran - the most
powerful engine of the terror network - the overwhelming
majority of the people desperately wish to be free, and
passionately want to join the ranks of civilised countries.
support of the Iranian people would probably bring the
downfall of the mullahs, thereby removing the linchpin
of the terrorist edifice. Without Iran, the Syrians would
be unable to sustain the murderous activities of groups
such as Hizbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and both the
Ba'athist regime in Damascus and the terrorists it has
been supporting would be easy prey for their enemies.
terror masters are wounded and frightened, but they are
still on the battlefield and they are determined to prevail.
They understand, correctly in my opinion, that it is all
a matter of will. We have more than enough power to prevail,
but we have yet to demonstrate the resolve to impose victory
on our enemies.