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September 11th, To Be Forgotten?

09 September 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

September 11th, two years later.  Many want to know where we stand historically and where the world is going.  Seeing “the forest through the trees” is always difficult as the world is a cauldron moving towards a boil, albeit rather slowly. 

To digress, lately historians are re-evaluating the outbreak of WWII and some are coming to the conclusion the conflict began with the Spanish Civil War (1936 –39), a rather intense affair where Republican Spain was overthrown by General Franco and the fascists.  Hitler and Nazi Germany were a great aid in the development of fascist Spain.  Let us not forget fascist behavior and racism were quite popular in Portugal, the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), Poland, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Austria and the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia.  Italy was already ruled by Mussolini and Germany was expanding.

America was neutral and western Europe appeased the Nazis.  Volunteer armies supported the democratically elected government of the Spanish Republic, but there was no concerted effort by the West as a bloc.  After WWI there were those who swore they would never fight another war under any circumstances.  Most of these pacifist types lived in Britain and France complementing US  isolationism.  The excesses of fascism were ignored or blamed on communist support for the Spanish Republicans (the regime was quite leftist).

Most just wanted the whole thing to go away and since historically it was  overshadowed by WWII it is pretty well forgotten.  The militant, extremist Islamic groups led by El-Quaeda have declared the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center bombings to only be the beginning.  They may have a point.

The West as a whole is refusing to confront Islamic terrorism and its spread throughout the Mideast and Moslem world.  It will get to western Europe as well, especially through many in the large Moslem minorities.  France, Britain and Germany should think a couple steps ahead.

The Americans are making initial moves in Afghanistan and Iraq but are missing the point if they view these fronts as detached from the grand scheme of the radical Islamic threat.  Possibly the administration understands as much, but it is doubtful whether the population is following the threat to their civil and  even physical existence.  America and the West (including the Russians) need a well-coordinated global policy to crush Islamic terrorism on a military, intelligence, economic, political and information campaign level.

It is all a side-show at the moment, an issue, but not the issue facing the future of world civilization.  So it was with the fascist victory in Spain, so it is with 9/11 and the terror attacks since.

It will escalate and eventually the West will be forced to take the threat seriously, hopefully before it is too late.