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Yoram Ettinger: Anti-US Islamic terrorism – the Jefferson legacy

Yoram Ettinger

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
November 14, 2019,

Iran’s Ayatollahs and their subordinates, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, represent the wave of Islamic terrorism, which has plagued the Middle East – primarily Muslim societies – since the 7th century, surging into Europe, Asia, Africa, South, Central and North America.

In fact, most Muslim regimes have risen to power – or lost it – through violence, subversion and terrorism, as recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami and the civil wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.  Moreover, three of the first four Caliphs, who succeeded Muhammad, were murdered: Umar ibn Abd al-Kahttab (644 AD), Uthman ibn Affan (656 AD) and Ali ibn Abu Talib (661 AD).

Anti-US Islamic terrorism has been an integral feature of US history since 1776, as presented by the following US personalities, who were unrestrained by 2019 political correctness.

For example, in 1786, Presidents-to-be John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, then US Ambassadors to Britain and France, reported to Congress a message from the representative of the Tripoli’s Barbary Muslim pirates, which articulated the reason for Muslim hostility towards the US: “[Islam] was founded on the laws of the Prophet, as written in the Quran. All nations which had not acknowledged [Islam’s] authority were sinners. It was [the Muslims’] right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to enslave them. Every Muslim slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise. A commission paid [by the US] would secure some temporary lenience….” During 1801-1805, President Jefferson deployed the US Navy and Marines to Tripoli, defeating the Muslim pirates and freeing all US slaves.

In 1830, based on his study of history and wide experience in foreign relations, President John Quincy Adams wrote (following his presidency and on the eve of his election to the House of Representatives) about his perception of an earlier edition of the clash of civilizations: “The precept of the Koran is a perpetual war against all who deny that Muhammad is the prophet of God…. The command to propagate the Muslim creed by the sword is always obligatory…. The commands of the Prophet may be performed alike by fraud or by force….”

In 1830, New York University Prof. George Bush, the great-granduncle of G.H.W. Bush, published “The Life of Mohammed”: “[Mohammed] promised robes of silks, marble palaces, groves and fountains and beautiful virgins to those who fought for the faith…offering his enemies the alternative: the Quran or the sword… (pp 155-156)…. A drop of blood shed in the cause of God is of more avail than two months of fast and prayers.  Whoever falls in the battle, his sins are forgiven…and the loss of his limbs shall be replaced by the wing of angels (pp. 103-104)….”

In 1916, President Teddy Roosevelt wrote: “Wherever the Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared…. If the people of Europe…had not possessed a military equality with, and gradually a growing superiority, over the Mohammedans who invaded Europe, Europe would be at this moment Mohammedan, and the Christian religion would be exterminated….”

Accordingly, Iran’s Ayatollahs define the US as the Great Satan, the chief enemy of Islam, the mega-obstacle on their way to achieve the mega-goal of dominating the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond, targeting every pro-US Arab regime.

In 1979 – in response to President Jimmy Carter’s stabbing in the back of the Shah of Iran, and facilitating the rise of the Ayatollahs to power – the Ayatollahs stormed the US Embassy in Teheran, taking its personnel hostage, and launching a long-term campaign of anti-US terrorism. They properly perceived the monumental US gesture/appeasement as a sign of weakness.

Thus, concessions to rogue regimes add fuel – not water – to the fire of terrorism, as similarly demonstrated following Israel’s 1993 (Oslo Accord) and 2005 (Gaza “Disengagement”) historical concessions to Palestinian terrorists, which have yielded unprecedented waves of anti-Israel terrorism.

For instance, in April and October 1983, Islamic terrorists blew up the US Embassy and Marines headquarter in Beirut (300 fatalities including 258 Americans), at a time when the US was actively attempting to stop the Israeli hot pursuit of PLO terrorists in Lebanon.

In December 1988 – a few days after the US dramatic recognition of the PLO terror organization – Islamic terrorists bombed Pan Am 103, murdering all 243 passengers and 16 crew members, in addition to 11 fatalities on the ground.

In August 1998 – while President Clinton brutally pressured Israel to make further concessions to the Palestinians – Islamic terrorists blew up the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, murdering 224 persons.

In October 2000 – while Israel’s Prime Minister Barak and President Clinton offered the Palestinians unprecedented concessions – Islamic terrorists bombed the USS Cole, in Yemen’s port of Aden, murdering 17 US sailors.

9/11 was carried out, by Islamic terrorists, despite the 1999 and 1995 US bombings of Serbian targets in Bosnia and Kosovo, which led to the independence of these two Muslim republics.

While most Muslims are not terrorists, most planners and executors of terrorism are. They are not driven by the urge to enhance their standard of living, trade balance and liberty, but by a 14 century old, intolerant, supremacist, repressive, megalomaniacal ideology:

*Islam is the only legitimate religion, divinely-ordained to rule;
*The abode of the “infidels” must submit itself to the abode of the “believers” unconditionally, peacefully or militarily;
*Jihad (holy war) must be conducted on behalf of Islam, guaranteeing each warrior 70 virgins in paradise;
*Terrorism aims to terrify “infidel” civilians;
*Agreements with “infidels” constitute non-binding, temporary ceasefires and truces (Sulh, Hudna) – not the end of conflicts – to be abrogated once the “believers” regain sufficient fire-power.
*Double-speak and dissimulation (Taqiyyah) are legitimate tactics aimed at misleading and defeating the “infidel.”

In the battle against Iran’s Ayatollahs, and other Islamic terrorists, one is advised to study the precedent of President Thomas Jefferson, and the politically-incorrect conclusions of Prof. George Bush and Presidents John Quincy Adams and Teddy Roosevelt, who realized that leopards do not change their spots, only their tactics!



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