“From the mountains of Afghanistan to the valleys of Bosnia to the plains of Africa to the forests of Asia and around the world we are on the ground working with our Muslim partners to expand the circle of peace, the circle of prosperity, the circle of freedom.”

In delivering these ringing phrases, Secretary of State Colin Powell was not, apparently, alluding to the fact that, in both Africa and Asia, Muslims, many of them funded by “pro-Western” governments and oil sheiks, are engaged in a campaign to exterminate Christians.  He failed to mention the continuing genocide in the Sudan and Nigeria, where young Muslim men shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “Down with beauty!” slaughtered a thousand Christians when a newspaper suggested (quite correctly) that Muhammad might have enjoyed the Miss World contest.

The partnership Secretary Powell envisions presumably does not include the Islamic terrorists of Indonesia, but he does have the poor taste to bring up Bosnia, where the United States supported an Islamic militant who wanted to impose sharia on a Christian majority.  One of our Muslim partners in Bosnia and Kosovo was none other than Osama bin Laden.

Not content with repeating the palpable absurdities that are the staple of the multiculturalist left, Secretary Powell went on to describe plans to bring more Muslims into the United States and to excoriate those who sing “the siren song of the bigots, extremists who cloak themselves in false spirituality in an attempt to divide and to weaken us.”  Here’s a howdy-do: A senior American statesman, in addressing Muslims, presumes to lay down the spiritual law to a prominent American religious and political figure.  Of course, if Powell wants to talk about “bigots and extremists,” he might have said something about Muslims who claim religious support for their terrorism against Christians, and he might have begun by naming the man who introduced this belief into Islamic thought: Muhammad himself.

Pat Robertson, on this issue at least, is completely correct.  He knows that Islam (despite the existence of millions of “bad” Muslims who, in order to live in peace with their non-Muslim neighbors, have rejected some of the fundamental tenets of their faith) is a religion of war, not peace, and that any country with a sizable population of even bad Muslims contains a ticking time bomb, ready to go off in hard times when confused people begin searching for their spiritual roots.  When Christians return to their roots, they find the Prince of Peace.  When Muslims rediscover theirs, they find Muhammad the terrorist.

We all know that the Bush administration is caught between a rock and a hard place.  The United States may soon be going to war against a country full of Muslims (Iraq), and the administration has to balance our government’s unwavering support for Israel with a desire to placate the oil-rich sheikdoms we pretend to believe are “moderate.”  But there is nothing moderate, from the Christian point of view, about Saudi Arabia, which forbids Christian symbols and preaching the Gospel and funds anti-Christian Islamic movements around the globe.  Saudi Arabia spawned Osama bin Laden—and the Saudi millionaires who continue, according to reports, to support him.

Since September 11, 2001, Americans have been lying in their beds with the covers pulled over their heads.  They have allowed themselves to be persuaded that peace and order have been restored to Afghanistan; they have accepted the Bush administration’s argument that we can attack Iraq without provoking more acts of terrorism against the United States; they have tried their hardest to believe the President’s characterization of Islam as a “religion of peace” and have sat stolidly through news reports without ever suspecting that there was some connection between the Chechen hostage crisis in Moscow, the terrorist attack in Bali, and the terror spree of John Allen Muhammad in the Washington, D.C., area; and they have even thought Osama bin Laden was dead, though there was no evidence for his death except for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s wishful thinking that the invasion of Afghanistan had accomplished something.

Well, Osama is back, tearing off the covers and forcing us to stare the bogeyman in the face.  Gangsters, terrorists, and warlords (many of them former Taliban leaders) are tearing Afghanistan apart and making people sigh for the good old days when the Taliban kept some semblance of order.  “As you kill,” the prince of terrorists declared, “you will be killed.”  The Bush administration, in focusing on the threat posed by Iraq, has forgotten that the original target in the “War on Terrorism” was the worldwide network of terrorists.

If the administration someday backs up its claims against Saddam Hussein, then limited strikes against Iraqi weapons factories and military installations may well be justifiable—though not necessarily a full-scale war that will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousand of civilians and destroy what little remains of the fragile Iraqi infrastructure.  But no reasonable solution can be discussed, much less implemented, so long as the political classes continue to pretend that Muhammad did not found a religion of war, while incessantly repeating the mantra “Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction,” as if the United States were not the world’s greatest producer and supplier of such weapons, as if our government had not armed not only Iraq and Iran and Saudi Arabia but the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

So long as our political leaders continue to treat the American people as children, so long as they continue to misrepresent the most basic facts of the life-and-death struggle confronting America and the West, our foreign policy will be confused and dangerous, and our control of our own borders and destiny will become more tenuous with every passing day.

Telling fairy tales about our partnership with Muslims may seem, to State Department staffers and gofers, like a brilliant move.  When the time comes to ask the American people to defend their borders and their interests from the global jihad that may be unleashed by an invasion of Iraq, however, these lies will inevitably come back to haunt them.