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Thursday, September 25, 2014

HOW SERIOUS IS ISLAMIC TERRORISM TO AMERICA?

A week ago I posted on:


To quote:

This war in the Middle East is over the soul of Islam.  Yes, the USA is like a lightning rod by poking our nose into their business.  They don't want us there and 9/11 was a statement showing their jealousy of everything we represent.  Thus, if we just simply leave the region, there is good reason we could be left alone.  Sure, every so often there could well be another car bomb or terrorist mischief, but we'd save several trillion dollars by avoiding this portion of the world.

So I'll make the case that, compared to World War II and the Cold War, islamic terrorism is inconsequential.  But that is not a fair comparison, for WWII might have killed 85 million, and the CW brought us to the brink of a nuclear winter.  

WWII is said to have cost slightly more than $4 trillion (in dollars today), and indicators show that the Iraq-Afghanistan wars might cost as much as $6 trillion (which was money mostly wasted, compared to what we would have gained from a better educational system, national infrastructure and climate change remediation).  Said to be the two largest megaprojects in modern history are our interstate highway system at somewhat less than $500 billion and the International Space Station (now this was a lemony white elephant) at $150 billion.   

But we have today Mars One, a TV survival "stunt", to send a team to Mars in 2024 for $4 billion, and leave them there.  A quarter century ago, NASA thought it would cost $500 billion (about a trillion today) to take Man to Mars and back, but as early as 1952, Werner von Braun wrote that just the fuel to Mars would be $500 million  ($4 billion today).

As I'm off on one of my tangential excursions anyway, for the record (these are sometimes pure guesses):
Can you believe we could have had 60 monumental initiatives on the scale of the Apollo Project had we skipped those Middle East Wars?  SIXTY!!!

So back to Islamic terrorism in America, some history:
  • 1993  World Trade Center bombing in New  York City (6 killed)
  • 2001  World Trade Center (nearly 3000)
  • 2010  Times Square car bomb attempt (zero)
  • 2012  Boston Marathon (3)
That's it!  And the latter two were lone wolves.  Three Islamic-related terroristic deaths in the past 13 years.  Was that the general absence of terrorists on our soil or competence of our security system?  No doubt some combination of both.

But you need a scorecard these days:
  • al-Queda:  Sunni (Wahhabi)
  • ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria):  Sunni
  • ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant):  same as ISIS
  • other al-Queda spin offs:  Sunni
Wait a minute, where are the Shi'a terrorists?  Well, these would be Iranian state agents and Hezbollah  operatives, the latter having a feud with Israel only.  There has never been a Shi'a terroristic act in the USA.  Now you can better appreciate the statement:  The enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Note how the USA and Iran are now talking to each other.  Click here to read further about the differences between Shi'a and Sunni terrorists.

The following map reveals who is who:


Further, the great majority of Muslims in Egypt (99%), Indonesia (99%) , Bangladesh (99%) and Pakistan (87%) is Sunni.

One more ethnic group, the Kurds, numbering anywhere from 26-38 million (sometimes it's hard to tell who is a Kurd), lives in Kurdistan, which, unfortunately, includes parts of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.  They are mostly Sunni, meaning they are definitely a minority in Iraq, Turkey and Syria.  There are Kurdish terrorist groups, but in Syria, they are mostly supplied by the USA against ISIS.

The CIA says that there are 31,500 ISIS fighters, including maybe 100 "Americans."  ISIS once was al-Queda in Iraq.  However, it is not all that simple, for there remain these two terrorist groups, with ISIS focused within the Middle East and al-Queda continuing to be upset about U.S. presence in the region, and therefore we remain a target on opportunity.

Before closing, here is a quote worthy of deep introspection:


Even more worrisome, the Washington Post reports that America’s “secret wars” are waged by “Special Operations forces” in “75 countries” (and “that number will likely reach 120″); in other words, the United States will have engaged in military acts in over 60% of the world’s nation-states.  After all of this, Americans will turn around and ask: “why are Muslims so violent and warlike?”


So how serious is Islamic terrorism to us?  Minimal.  Sure, continue to bomb ISIS in Syria and use the Navy Seals for special operations, but return most of our foreign deployed troops (270,000 in 150 countries) back home and cut in half the defense budget.  Keep making noises about Ukraine and Russia, but we can later worry about China, which has no interest in taking over the USA.


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