In the wake of this weekend’s spate of actual and attempted car-bombings in the U.K., I watched the uncut version of “The Path to 9/11” – ABC’s dramatic portrayal of the events that contributed to, and culminated in, the deadliest attacks on U.S. soil to date. As the brilliantly crafted segments (written by Cyrus Nowrasteh) rolled by – showing addled thinking, failed policies and missed opportunities to prevent those attacks, I kept thinking: What mistakes are being made today that will form the backdrop to the next, possibly far more horrific, terrorist strikes in this country?
When they occur, the official investigation will doubtless chronicle similar sorts of problems. Warnings that were ignored or not acted upon in time. Failures by government agencies to learn from past mistakes and take corrective action. Decisions by the perpetrators, by those trying to defeat them and by innocent victims that produced tragedies, potentially on an unimaginable scale.
My guess is that the single most important contributor to our vulnerability to future attacks, however, will prove to be the result of a systematic failure by our government to understand the nature of our enemies, and to deal with these foes appropriately. A case in point was President Bush’s visit to the Saudi-underwritten Washington Islamic Center last week.
The occasion was the mosque’s fiftieth anniversary. It amounted to a celebration of Saudi Arabia’s effort to promote dawa in America: the inculcation of Islam in this country and the domination of the Muslim faith by the Saudis’ totalitarian Wahhabi cult.
The President’s participation in the re-dedication of this facility is a perfect metaphor for his administration’s central failure in this War for the Free World. The Washington mosque has repeatedly been found to be disseminating hateful, anti-semitic, anti-Christian and anti-American literature. Such material, and the indoctrination of which it is a piece, are at the core of the intolerant Islamofascist ideology promoted by the Saudi cult and practiced by its adherents, like Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda and myriad other terrorist groups.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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