Monday, May 19, 2008

The Democrats and Muslim Terrorists

Malise Ruthven's got a new review essay on Islamic radicalism, "The Rise of the Muslim Terrorists."

Ruthven's well worth reading. Tough on both sides of the political spectrum, he makes some interesting observations on the Democrats and the threat of Islamist terrorism, with reference to Roy Gutman's, How We Missed the Story: Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and the Hijacking of Afghanistan:

A searing critique of US policy in Afghanistan after the departure of Soviet troops in 1989, it traces the policy shifts in Washington and especially the loss of focus that assisted the rise of the Taliban. Gutman's central claim, that the inability of the US to prevent the September 11 attacks was not so much an intelligence or military failure as a strategic foreign policy failure, will not make comfortable reading for Hillary Clinton's advisers.

Foremost among the errors that he documents in detail was the failure of Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright to give adequate support to Ahmed Shah Massoud, the most able of Afghanistan's mujahideen commanders, in the face of pro-Taliban pressure from the Pakistan military. Massoud, the Tajik leader, headed a multiethnic coalition and practiced a moderate version of Islamism that contrasted starkly with Taliban extremism. His troops were much more disposed to observe the rules of war than their opponents.

Because of the Lewinsky scandal and complications arising from Pakistan's nuclear policies, Clinton was distracted, with ultimately devastating consequences.
David Horowitz makes some similar points in his book Party of Defeat: How Democrats and Radicals Undermined America's War on Terror Before and After 9/11.