While Islamic terrorist groups multiply and expand throughout the Middle East—beheading U.S. citizens, attacking Israelis, crucifying Christians, raping children, seizing commercial jetliners, and promising Americans, “see you in New York”—now is a good time to recount the essential nature of the problem and to specify what the United States should do about it.
Although Islamic terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and Hezbollah have murdered many Americans and seek to murder many more, and although Americans are legitimately outraged by the recent atrocities and beheadings committed by Islamic State (aka ISIL and ISIS), such groups are not the fundamental problem. They are, relatively speaking, swarms of worker bees. The fundamental problem is the beehives—the Islamic regimes that spawn, sponsor, and enable such terrorist groups—especially the regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Of course, these regimes are not always happy about the terrorist groups they spawn. For instance, both Iran and Saudi Arabia are currently unhappy about the dramatic rise of Islamic State. The Shiite Iranians dislike the Sunni group because it is Sunni and because it threatens Iranian power in the Middle East; the Sunni Saudis dislike the Sunni group because it is too overtly brutal for Saudi taste and because it threatens Saudi control of Mecca and Medina. But none of this alters the fact that the Iranian and Saudi regimes are responsible for the rise of Islamic State and other such groups. Islamic State was formed precisely to engage in jihad (holy war) toward the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate (a worldwide theocracy under which everyone submits to “Allah”). That means and that end, as we will see, are precisely the means and end that the Iranian and Saudi regimes for decades have encouraged Muslims of all stripes to adopt.
Evidence of Iranian and Saudi sponsorship of jihad—and specifically jihad against America—abounds. But because the evidence is dispersed—and because the mainstream media and every U.S. presidential administration since the 1970s have evaded the facts of the matter1—the evidence is seldom reported or discussed, and almost never consolidated and essentialized into a coherent case against these regimes. The purpose of this article is to provide such a case along with a corresponding prescription for U.S. action.2
We’ll begin with the evidence against the regime in Iran.
The Iranian regime effectively declared war on the United States in 1979 when Iranian militants seized the American embassy in Tehran and held fifty-two hostages for 444 days, occasionally torturing them.3 From that act of war onward, the Iranian regime has ceaselessly chanted and pursued “Death to America!”4
Iran funds and supports al Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist group that, among other atrocities, murdered almost three thousand Americans on September 11, 2001. According to a report from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world”; a “key [part of] Al-Qa’ida funding and support network”; and a “critical transit point” for the terrorist organization, “allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory.” In short, the report concludes, Iran provides “unmatched support for terrorism.”5
Iran funds, supplies, and trains Hamas and Hezbollah, major Islamic terrorist groups that constantly attack America’s ally Israel and that have murdered many Americans (see below). According to the U.S. Department of State’s “Country Reports on Terrorism,” Iran provides Hamas with “funding, weapons, and training” and provides Hezbollah with “training, weapons, and explosives, as well as political, diplomatic, monetary, and organizational aid.”6
Iran is responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people—including twelve Americans—and wounded thousands more. As Marc Thiessen reports in the Washington Post, “It went virtually unnoticed,” but in November 2011 “a federal court found the government of Iran liable for the 1998 bombings.”
Al-Qaeda carried out the attack, but the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the bombings would not have been possible without “direct assistance” from Tehran. . . . “The government of Iran,” Judge John D. Bates wrote in his 45-page decision, “aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden, and al Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks against the United States by utilizing the sophisticated delivery mechanism of powerful suicide truck bombs.”
Iran’s assistance was not peripheral to the plot, Bates found. “Al Qaeda desired to replicate Hezbollah’s 1983 Beirut Marine barracks suicide bombing, and Bin Laden sought Iranian expertise to teach al Qaeda operatives about how to blow up buildings,” Bates wrote. “Prior to their meetings with Iranian officials and agents Bin Laden and al Qaeda did not possess the technical expertise required to carry out the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The Iranian defendants, through Hezbollah, provided explosives training to Bin Laden and al Qaeda and rendered direct assistance to al Qaeda operatives. . . . [I]n a short time, al Qaeda acquired the capabilities to carry out the 1998 Embassy bombings, which killed hundreds and injured thousands by detonation of very large and sophisticated bombs.”7
Iran is responsible for the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed nineteen U.S. Air Force airmen. A U.S. federal court put it succinctly: “The Khobar Towers bombing was planned, funded, and sponsored by senior leadership in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”8
Iran is responsible for the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 241 American soldiers and military personnel.9 In 2003, a U.S. federal court found that “the terrorist group Hezbollah carried out the attack at the direction of the Iranian government.”10 In 2004, as if to add an exclamation point to that finding, Iran erected a monument to commemorate the suicide bombing and its martyrs:
Amid chants of “Death to America,” the stone monument, which is located at Tehran’s Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery, was unveiled in 2004 by a committee of the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign. Some of the participants were dressed as suicide bombers while others claimed to have signed up more than twenty-five thousand martyrdom-seeking volunteers.11
Monuments may not be arguments, but they sometimes speak volumes.
Credible evidence and expert testimony from a variety of sources strongly suggest that the Iranian regime is striving to produce nuclear weapons. Among the many indicators are the following.
In June 2011, the Associated Press published translated excerpts from an article posted on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard website:
“The day after the first Iranian nuclear test for us Iranians will be an ordinary day, but in the eyes of many of us, it will have a new shine, from the power and dignity of the nation,” says the article published on the Gerdab site run by the Revolutionary Guard. . . .
The article ends with an Arabic quote from the Quaran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”12
In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report stating that there is “credible” evidence that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”13
In March 2013, Reza Kahlili, a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who remains in contact with sources inside Iran, reported:
According to information from a high-ranking intelligence officer assigned to [Iran’s] Ministry of Defense, the regime’s scientists have made a significant breakthrough in not only enriching to weapons grade, but have converted the highly enriched uranium into metal, a key step in building nuclear warheads. Moreover, successfully using the metal in making a neutron reflector indicates the final stages for a nuclear-weapons design that would be a two-stage, more sophisticated and much more powerful nuclear bomb.
Regime scientists are also working on a plutonium bomb, and they have at the Quds site 24 kilograms (about 53 lbs.) of plutonium, sufficient for several atomic bombs. The scientists are in the last stage of putting together a nuclear warhead, and are using polonium and beryllium, which would serve as the trigger and the tamper, respectively, for the bomb.14
As for Iran’s ability to deliver nuclear weapons to the regime’s targets, in January 2014, James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, issued a “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community,” reporting to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
Iran’s ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering WMD, and Iran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East. Iran’s progress on space launch vehicles—along with its desire to deter the United States and its allies—provides Tehran with the means and motivation to develop longer-range missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).15
We could go on, but the foregoing is sufficient to show that Iran has extensively sponsored terrorism against America in the past and that it poses a clear threat to Americans now.
Why does Iran constantly engage in war against America? The answer is that the Iranian regime embraces Islam and takes the religion seriously. The Koran explicitly and repeatedly commands Muslims to convert or kill all non-Muslims: “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war” (Koran 9:5); “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah” (8:39); and so on. Islam requires Muslims to strive for a worldwide Islamic caliphate, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed and exists to advance the world toward this goal.
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran states explicitly that “the Islamic contents of the Iranian Revolution”—that is, the Koranic mandate that all opposition must end and all must submit to Allah—“provides a basis for the continuation of that revolution both inside and outside the country.” The Constitution specifies that the Islamic Republic is to pursue this goal by “developing international relations with other Islamic movements and peoples, so as to prepare the way towards a united single world community”—and by waging “holy war” against unbelievers across the globe. The Constitution elaborates this latter point with crystal clarity:
In the organization and equipping of [Iran’s] defense forces, there must be regard for faith and religion as their basis and rules. And so the Islamic Republic’s army, and the corps of Revolutionary Guards must be organized in accordance with this aim. They have responsibility not only for the safeguarding of the frontiers, but also for a religious mission, which is Holy War (JIHAD) along the way of God, and the struggle to extend the supremacy of God’s Law in the world. “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and your enemies, and others beside.”16
The Iranian regime’s ultimate goal is to force everyone on the planet to submit to the will of “Allah.” The number one impediment to the regime’s achievement of this goal is the United States of America—the superpower founded on the principle of individual rights and the separation of religion and state—which the Iranian regime has therefore dubbed “the Great Satan.” This is why the Iranian regime seeks to kill Americans and to destroy America: “The Great Satan” impedes the will of “Allah.”
The regime in Saudi Arabia pursues the same goal by somewhat different but equally (if not more) effective means.
Although it is widely known that fifteen of the nineteen jihadists who hijacked U.S. passenger jets and slammed them into buildings full of Americans on 9/11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, few people realize the extent of Saudi involvement in terrorism against America. Here are a few indicators of Saudi complicity.
According to a Rand Corporation briefing delivered to the Pentagon’s Defense Advisory Board in 2002, the Saudis are “active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader. . . . Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies . . . [and is] the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent” in the Middle East.17
In “The Saudi Connection: How Billions in Oil Money Spawned a Global Terror Network,” a 2003 report detailing the findings of an extensive investigation conducted by U.S. News and World Report, David Kaplan shows that, since 1978, “the desert kingdom has been the single greatest force in spreading Islamic fundamentalism, while its huge, unregulated charities funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to jihad groups and al Qaeda cells around the world.”18
In 2009, Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, signed a cable acknowledging that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [i.e., Lashkar e-Tayyiba, a Pakistan-based Islamic terrorist group], and other terrorist groups, including Hamas” and that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”19
A year later, in May 2010, the Iraqi news agency Buratha published a leaked Saudi intelligence document revealing that the Islamic theocracy “sends explosives and weapons to terrorist groups in Iraq.” According to Israel’s news agency Arutz Sheva:
Saudi Arabia did not comment on the report and instead criticized intelligence officials for disclosing the document. Buratha said that King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz ordered a special committee to investigate the intelligence leak and inform him about those liable in the case. Saudi authorities reportedly have arrested 37 of the country’s intelligence officials for being behind the leak.20
Adding insult to jihad is the ominous and underreported fact that President G. W. Bush withheld from the American public twenty-eight pages of Congress’s 2002 investigative report regarding “specific sources of foreign support” for the 9/11 hijackers. According to recent disclosures, those pages likely pertain to Saudi involvement in the attack. As Hoover Institution fellow Paul Sperry writes in his report, “Inside the Saudi 9/11 Coverup,” the text “isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood.”
A pair of lawmakers who recently [December 2013] read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks. Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia. . . . [T]he CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials—not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom—helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.21
The Saudis not only have supplied Islamic terrorists with cash, weapons, and logistics to wage jihad against America, they also have engaged in a concerted and highly effective “educational” effort to create new, homegrown terrorists by teaching Saudi schoolchildren that it is noble to wage jihad and kill unbelievers.
Two reports—“Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance” (Freedom House, 2006) and “Ten Years On: Saudi Arabia’s Textbooks Still Promote Religious Violence” (Hudson Institute, 2011)—provide excerpts from textbooks used in Saudi public school classrooms.22 The excerpts in both reports are drawn from textbooks published after the Saudi government—having been criticized for the violence-inciting contents of its previously published textbooks—assured the United States that “the kingdom has reviewed all of its education practices and materials” and has “removed materials that are inciteful or intolerant towards people of other faiths.”23 So the following excerpts are from the newer, toned-down Saudi textbooks:
- From a sixth-grade textbook: “Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God.”
- From an eighth-grade textbook: “The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus.”
- From a twelfth-grade textbook: “Jihad in the path of God—which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it—is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God.”
- From a twelfth-grade textbook: “It is part of God’s wisdom that he made the clash between truth and falsehood continue until the Day of Resurrection. As long as this clash endures, jihad continues.”
- From a twelfth-grade textbook: “Jihad for the sake of God is a profitable trade and saves [you] from painful punishment.”
- From a twelfth-grade textbook: “In these verses is a call for jihad, which is the pinnacle of Islam. In [jihad] is life for the body; thus it is one of the most important causes of outward life. Only through force and victory over the enemies is there security and repose.”
If it occurs to you that such “education” poses a profound threat to the West in general and to the United States in particular, you are not alone. As Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, notes, “Top U.S. Treasury counterterrorism officials have called the Wahhabi teachings of these textbooks ‘kindling for Bin Laden’s match.’”24
Nor is such concern limited to Westerners or non-Muslims. As the Middle East Media Research Institute reports, in December 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published a letter from a Saudi doctor, Sahr Muhammad Hatem, about her experience in the Saudi schools and culture at large:
The mentality of each one of us was programmed upon entering school as a child, [to believe] that [Islam] is everything . . . that we have a monopoly on good values . . . that anyone who is not a Muslim is our enemy, and that the West means enfeeblement, licentiousness, lack of values. . . . Anyone who escapes this programming in school encounters it at the mosque, or through the media or from the preachers lurking in every corner. . . .
We all focus on bin Laden and his ilk . . . but we have yet to focus on the more dangerous people, and I mean those who fill our heads with this rhetoric in the schools, the mosques, and the media.25
Is it any surprise that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers—as well as bin Laden himself—were born and raised in Saudi Arabia? Is it any surprise that jihadists continue to multiply, to plot, and to attack Americans?
In addition to materially and spiritually sponsoring existing terrorist groups and deliberately and systematically generating new, homegrown terrorists, the Saudis build and fund mosques and schools in America and across the globe and supply them with terrorist-inspiring materials.26 A report titled “Saudi Publications On Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques” (Freedom House, 2005) examines some of these Saudi-supplied materials and finds that they call for all Muslims “to be dissociated from the infidels . . . to hate them for their religion . . . to always oppose them in every way according to Islamic law” and, ultimately, “to abolish all traces of such primitive life (jahiliyya) and to reinforce the understanding and application of the eternal and universal Islamic deen [religion] until it becomes the ruling power throughout the world.” How exactly is this ultimate goal to be accomplished? The Saudi-sponsored materials are clear: Those who “accept any religion other than Islam, like Judaism or Christianity, which are not acceptable,” have “denied the Koran” and thus “should be killed.”27
Again, we could go on, but the foregoing is sufficient to expose the ends and means of the Saudi regime.
Why do the Saudis sponsor terrorism against infidels and encourage children and adults to become jihadists and to kill all those who “accept any religion other than Islam”? Like the Islamic regime in Iran, and like all Muslims who take Islam seriously, the Saudis are committed to upholding their profoundly evil religion—the scriptures and “Prophet” of which call explicitly and repeatedly for Muslims to convert or kill infidels. Why do the Saudis seek specifically to fund terrorist groups such as al Qaeda—the group that notoriously murdered nearly three thousand Americans on 9/11 and that is explicitly dedicated to destroying America? Because America is the land founded on the principle of individual rights and the separation of religion and state—which makes it the most un-Islamic country on Earth and thus the greatest affront to the will of “Allah.”
The Iranian and Saudi regimes are the primary state sponsors of terrorism against America, and they are motivated fundamentally by the religion of Islam. Consequently, America’s primary foreign policy goal today morally must be to end these regimes and to discredit Islam.
This does not mean the United States should ignore the terrorist groups that these regimes have already spawned and supported, such as al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Islamic State; we should eliminate them as well (more on this below). But our primary goal should be to eliminate the regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia and to show the Muslim world that jihad for “Allah” is a losing proposition against the power that is America.
First and foremost, America morally must declare war on Iran, the more overtly hostile and militarily powerful of these enemies. The U.S. military must eliminate the Iranian regime—including all of its known military assets, all of its major government buildings, all of its state-sponsored mosques and madrassas (i.e., colleges in which students are trained to be jihadists), all of its high-level government officials, and all of its jihad-supporting mullahs and clerics.
Exactly which weapons are best for the task is a matter for military experts to decide. But their decisions morally must be guided by the principle that the life of a single American—including that of a single American soldier—is properly more important to the United States than are the lives of all non-Americans on the planet combined. The sole moral purpose of the U.S. government is to protect the lives and rights of Americans, not non-Americans. This does not mean the United States may randomly kill foreigners; rather, it means that the U.S. government must do everything within its power to eliminate our enemies while keeping American soldiers out of harm’s way.
For our government to risk the lives of U.S. soldiers out of concern for the lives of non-American civilians or innocents residing in enemy territory is immoral. The United States has many sophisticated and effective weapons that are expressly designed to destroy our enemies and their assets from high altitude and long distance so that we do not have to put soldiers on the ground—and our government morally must use these weapons as necessary to kill our enemies and to keep our soldiers alive. To the extent that deploying (voluntary) U.S. soldiers or special ops forces on the ground is necessary to eliminate an enemy, it is moral to deploy them; to the extent that deploying them on the ground is unnecessary to accomplish that goal, it is immoral to deploy them.
Civilians and innocents (e.g., young children and advocates of freedom) will be injured and killed during such a campaign; this is unfortunate and unavoidable. But their injuries and deaths are not the fault of America; they are the moral responsibility of the agents who sponsored or initiated force against Americans (e.g., the Iranian and Saudi regimes) and thus necessitated U.S. retaliatory measures. This is a matter of the law of causality.
Once the U.S. military has eliminated the Iranian regime, the U.S. government should announce to the Iranian people that (a) America is happy to have freed them from the evil regime that assaulted us and oppressed them, and (b) we urge them to establish a secular, rights-respecting republic so that they can join the civilized world, live as human beings, and trade freely with Americans. That said, the U.S. government should also inform the Iranian people that (a) U.S. intelligence agencies and operatives will be watching activities and developments in the area via satellites and other means until we are certain that the region has become sufficiently civilized to no longer spawn terrorist groups that threaten America, and (b) if we see anything that appears to be a potential threat to America, we will obliterate it without warning.
The U.S. government should then inform the regime in Saudi Arabia that it has twenty-four hours to surrender or face the Iranian alternative. When the regime surrenders or is eliminated, we should make the same announcement to the Saudi people that we made to the Iranian people, and wish them well.
While the United States works to destroy the beehives that are the Iranian and Saudi regimes as quickly as possible and with the least risk to the lives of Americans, the U.S. military should do whatever is necessary to kill or at least cripple the worker bees that are al Qaeda, Islamic State, and the like. If it is militarily possible to eliminate these groups entirely at the same time we are ending the Iranian and Saudi regimes, we should do so. If not, we should keep these bees at bay until we have crushed the hives and can focus our minds and missiles more fully on the remaining swarms, at which point they will be substantially easier to eliminate completely.
By eliminating the two major regimes founded on and dedicated to Islam, the United States would not only end the threat posed by those regimes; it would also discredit the religion of Islam, the notion that “Allah” exists as anything more than a fantasy. If Muslims were to see America handily destroy the main proponents of jihad for Allah, many of them (certainly the intelligent ones) would realize that Allah’s “will and power” are utterly feckless against America’s will and power. This realization would prompt many members of Islamic terrorist groups across the globe to quit their jihad, and would prompt some of these groups to disband. As for those who nevertheless were to persist, the United States should identify and kill all of them while making clear to the world that this is a win-win proposition: Americans want to live and enjoy life free of jihad; jihadists want to die while fighting for Allah against America. So be it.
As for concerns about so-called “blowback”—the notion that previously peaceful Muslims will become aggressive toward Americans if we kill Muslims who seek to kill us—such concerns are ridiculous. Killing terrorists does not breed terrorists. If it did, the world would be riddled with kamikazes today; yet, as we can see, there are none. Any Muslims who become aggressive toward Americans because the United States defends Americans against jihadists who seek to kill them clearly were on the side of the jihadists to begin with and are now just making it known. That information is beneficial to the United States, as it indicates whom we need to kill in addition to the jihadists we’ve already killed; thus, it enables us to finish the job that morally must be done.
From the outset of this campaign, the U.S. government should announce to the world that, henceforth, this is how the United States will respond to any and all threats to Americans—and that we look forward to the inevitable result of our new, profoundly moral policy: peaceful relations and free trade with America for every country that wants such values. This will help the good, rational people across the globe see the clear, life-serving reasons to support America’s effort.
Of course, there is no chance that the current administration will do anything remotely like what is outlined here. The point of stating the essential nature of the Islamic threat and specifying what America should do about it is not to summon a miracle. Rather, the point is to put on the table a clear and concise outline of the relevant facts and the proper policy so that Americans can begin demanding of their congressional representatives and of future congressional and presidential candidates that they embrace something at least substantially in the direction of such a policy. Just as we cannot establish a fully moral domestic policy overnight, but we can—and should—clarify what such a policy consists of so that we can begin moving U.S. culture and politicians in that direction; so too we cannot establish a fully moral defense policy overnight, but we can—and should—clarify what such a policy consists of so that we can begin moving U.S. culture and politicians in that direction.
Finally, it is not enough merely to identify the Islamic threat and the military means of ending it. What Americans are willing to support in the realm of foreign policy depends on what they accept as true in the realm of morality. The plan outlined above is clearly and unapologetically a self-interested approach to dealing with the jihad against America. If we want more Americans to understand and embrace the moral propriety of this approach, we must, more fundamentally, help more Americans to understand that acting in one’s rational self-interest is moral, and that acting against one’s rational self-interest is immoral. Toward this end, we must hone our own understanding of and ability to articulate the relevant principles. We must discuss them with others when and as appropriate. And we must encourage anyone interested in these ideas to read the books and essays that convey them clearly, such as Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness; my book Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It; and the various articles on the subject in The Objective Standard and on TOS Blog.
We who aim to live and love life have a lot of work to do to ensure that the Islamic regimes, terrorist groups, and “lone jihadists” who aim to kill us are instead killed. Let’s do everything we can to win this god-awful war as quickly as possible and return to normal, peaceful, jihad-free living.
1. The explanation for their evasions is beyond the scope of this article, but, in a few words, it is the widespread acceptance of relativism and religion: Acceptance of relativism precludes people from morally judging others; acceptance of religion precludes people from seeing that religiously inspired regimes can be evil. For more on this subject, see my article “On the Anniversary of 9/11, Relativism and Religion Still Paralyze American Self-Defense,” TOS Blog, September 11, 2013, https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2013/09/on-the-anniversary-of-911-relativism-and-religion-still-paralyze-american-self-defense/.
2. I presented some of the following data in earlier articles about these regimes; I present substantially more and significantly updated information here.
3. See Sue Schuurman, “Skeletons in the Closet: 17 Years Ago This Week,” Hostages Recount Events, http://www.rescueattempt.com/id10.html (accessed September 9, 2014).
4. See, for example, “Footage from the 26th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution Demonstrations,” Middle East Media Research Institute, February 10, 2005, http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/551.htm; and “Khamenei: U.S. Is World’s Greatest Violator of Human Rights; Crowds Chant: Death to America,” Middle East Media Research Institute, January 9, 2014, http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/4100.htm.
5. “Treasury Targets Key Al-Qa’ida Funding and Support Network Using Iran as a Critical Transit Point,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 28, 2011, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1261.aspx.
6. “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” in “Country Reports on Terrorism 2013,” April 2014, U.S. Department of State, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm.
7. Marc A. Thiessen, “Iran Responsible for 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings,” Washington Post, December 8, 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/iran-responsible-for-1998-us-embassy-bombings/2011/12/08/gIQAuEAAfO_story.html.
8. Carol D. Leonnig, “Iran Held Liable In Khobar Attack,” Washington Post, December 23, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/22/AR2006122200455.html; “Heiser, et al v. Islamic Republic of, et al,” Document 197, signed by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth, August 10, 2011, http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2000cv02329/9059/197.
9. James Phillips, "The 1983 Marine Barracks Bombing: Connecting the Dots," Daily Signal, October 23, 2009, http://dailysignal.com/2009/10/23/the-1983-marine-barracks-bombing-connecting-the-dots/.
10. "Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing Fast Facts," CNN Library, June 13, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/world/meast/beirut-marine-barracks-bombing-fast-facts/.
11. Timothy J. Geraghty, Peacekeepers at War: Beirut 1983—The Marine Commander Tells His Story (Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2009), p. 185.
12. George Jahn, "Revolutionary Guard praises idea of nuke testing," Associated Press, June 8, 2011, https://uk.news.yahoo.com/revolutionary-guard-praises-idea-nuke-testing-222953151.html#LxpPdcH.
13. “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” International Atomic Energy Agency, November 8, 2011, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2011/gov2011-65.pdf.
14. Reza Kahlili, “Heavy Traffic Across Iran’s ‘Red Line,’” Washington Times, Thursday, March 21, 2013, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/21/heavy-traffic-across-irans-red-line/.
15. James R. Clapper, “Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community,” delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, January 29, 2014, http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Intelligence%20Reports/2014%20WWTA%20%20SFR_SSCI_29_Jan.pdf. For more information about Iran's desire and efforts to build nuclear weapons and ICBMs to deliver them, see Matthew Kroenig, A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), esp. pp. 32–40.
16. “The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran,” http://www.law.yale.edu/rcw/rcw/jurisdictions/assc/iranislamicrepof/iran_constitution.htm (accessed September 9, 2014).
17. Thomas E. Ricks, “Briefing Depicted Saudis as Enemies: Ultimatum Urged To Pentagon Board,” Washington Post, August 6, 2002, http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast /murawiec.htm.
18. David E. Kaplan, “The Saudi Connection: How Billions in Oil Money Spawned a Global Terror Network,” U.S. News and World Report, December 15, 2003.
19. See David Morgan, “WikiLeaks: Saudis Largest Source of Terror Funds,” CBS News, December 5, 2010, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/wikileaks-saudis-largest-source-of-terror-funds/; and “U.S. Embassy Cables: Hillary Clinton Says Saudi Arabia ‘A Critical Source of Terrorist Funding,’” Guardian, December 5, 2010, http://www.theguardian.com/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/242073.
20. Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, “Secret Saudi Document Shows Kingdom Linked with Al-Qaeda Terror,” Arutz Sheva, May 25, 2010, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137691#.VAY9MFZCdFI.
21. Paul Sperry, “Inside the Saudi 9/11 Coverup,” New York Post, December 15, 2013, http://nypost.com/2013/12/15/inside-the-saudi-911-coverup/.
22. “Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance,” Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom, 2006, http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/CurriculumOfIntolerance.pdf; “Ten Years On: Saudi Arabia’s Textbooks Still Promote Religious Violence,” Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, 2011, http://www.hudson.org/content/researchattachments/attachment/931/sauditextbooks2011final.pdf.
23. Nina Shea, “This is a Saudi Textbook (After the Intolerance was Removed),” Washington Post, May 21, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/19/AR2006051901769.html.
24. Nina Shea, “Saudis’ Vile, State-Sponsored Textbooks,” Real Clear World, September 22, 2011, http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2011/09/22/saudi_textbooks_99689.html.
25. “Saudi and Other Arab Intellectuals: The Fault Lies in Our Education Not in American Society,” Middle East Media Research Institute, January 14, 2002, http://www.memri.org/report/en/print588.htm.
26. See David B. Ottaway, “U.S. Eyes Money Trails of Saudi-Backed Charities,” Washington Post, August 19, 2004, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13266-2004Aug18.html.
27. “Saudi Publications On Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques,” Freedom House’s Center For Religious Freedom, 2005, http://bit.ly/1nMbUHr.