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Recognizing Radical Islam as Our Enemy: Lessons From the Cold War

Michael Mukasey understands: as he puts it, we have heard nothing from those leaders in our nation who actually wield power “suggesting any need to understand and confront a totalitarian ideology that has existed since at least the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s.” He  continues:

The ideology has regarded the United States as its principal adversary since the late 1940s, when a Brotherhood principal, Sayid Qutb, visited this country and was aghast at what he saw as its decadence. The first World Trade Center bombing, in 1993, al-Qaeda attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, on the USS Cole in 2000, the 9/11 attacks, and those in the dozen years since -- all were fueled by Islamist hatred for the U.S. and its values.

Time is growing short.

We may, if we are lucky, get good intelligence from the interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. If he cooperates, we may learn whom his brother was in touch with when he returned to Russia for six months, or whom else they may have been in contact with in this country. But even so, we should remain vigilant. There will be others recently radicalized who will seek to emulate their action. There might also be actual sleeper cells of radical Islamists waiting for the call to spring into action.

The Boston Marathon bombing was a harbinger of what may come. Like Spain and Britain, we too are no longer immune to the actions of those who engage in jihad. To prevent such future attacks, the first step is to acknowledge that radical Islam -- not “terrorism” -- is our enemy, and jihad is the way the Islamists put their beliefs into practice.