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Bernard Lewis: Was Osama Right?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, I want to use this as a segue into a brilliant column in the Wall Street Journal today by Bernard Lewis. Bernard Lewis is probably the greatest living scholar and historian on Islam that there is. The whole piece is great. I don't know if they put it on their Opinion Journal site. That's important because it's free. If they've put it at OpinionJournal.com, we could link to it. Otherwise, it's on their pay site, and we wouldn't be able to link to it. I don't want to read the whole thing to you, just the last two paragraphs make the point: "Stage One of the jihad was to drive the infidels from the lands of Islam; Stage Two -- to bring the war into the enemy camp, and the attacks of 9/11 were clearly intended to be the opening salvo of this stage. The response to 9/11, so completely out of accord with previous American practice, came as a shock, and it is noteworthy that there has been no successful attack on American soil since then." Now, what was shocking about our reaction was that we had 25 years of these kind of attacks -- not 3,000 people dead -- but we didn't do diddly-squat. We didn't do anything, and bin Laden had commented on that. In fact, bin Laden had talked about the Black Hawk Down situation in Mogadishu where we couldn't take casualties and ran out, and he thought the American resolve in these kinds of endeavors had evaporated.

So the response by the United States, of the United States to 9/11 was shocking to the militant Islamists, and as Mr. Lewis again reminds us, "[I]t is noteworthy that there has been no successful attack on American soil since then. The U.S. actions in Afghanistan and in Iraq indicated that there had been a major change in the U.S., and that some revision of their assessment, and of the policies based on that assessment, was necessary. More recent developments, and notably the public discourse inside the U.S., are persuading increasing numbers of Islamist radicals that their first assessment was correct after all..." that our reaction and response after 9/11 was unique and it doesn't signal a change in America, it was the result of a particular president. Now the Islamists, according to Bernard Lewis, "only to press a little harder to achieve final victory. It is not yet clear whether they are right or wrong in this view. If they are right, the consequences -- both for Islam and for America -- will be deep, wide and lasting."

Now, again, Bernard Lewis is probably the greatest living historian and scholar on Islam, and the point of this, the headline of his piece is, "Was Obama Right? Islamists always believed the U.S. was weak. Recent political trends won't change their view." This is a comment on the Democrats. The whole party is just racing against time, as the most important thing for the world is to get us out of Iraq. We are the problem. Zawahiri, the number two guy to bin Laden, last week said that the Democrats attempting to pass all this legislation is proof that we've already lost, that the Democrat Party has nailed that down, whereas after 9/11 we caught 'em off guard. Of course, the Democrats say just the opposite. They think our reaction to 9/11 made them hate us even more. It was sophistry. So it's an interesting piece. We'll link to it if we can. He makes the point -- and he knows them, he has studied them, and is a scholar -- they're reassessing the position, thinking we could be had, based solely on the fact that they're listening to the Democrat Party. He doesn't say it. He calls it "the debate" in this country, but wink, wink! We all know what that means.

END TRANSCRIPT

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