The “War on Terror,” as the years roll by, looks more like a Maginot Line than like a Blitzkrieg.

Instead of hunting down terrorists or expelling Islamic cells from the United States, President Bush has chosen to attack the rogue states of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Instead of targeting Islam itself as the source of anti-American terrorism, administration officials have spoken blandly of “the religion of peace” and joined hands in prayer with some of the very mullahs who have egged their followers on to destroy us.  Instead of instituting rigorous ethnic profiling of all people whose origin and appearance would give grounds for suspicion, the administration has preferred to pass the PATRIOT Act, an impossibly unwieldy set of measures that intrude into the private lives of library patrons, e-mail correspondents, and elderly DAR members boarding airplanes.  And, finally, instead of protecting the borders, Mr. Bush insists that it is better to fight terrorism in Iraq than here in the United States, and this mantra has been repeated so often to American soldiers that it is virtually the only answer they give when reporters ask them what we are doing in Iraq.

Whether we view the war in Iraq as justifiable or not, this much is clear: We cannot defend Americans at home by killing Iraqis in the Middle East.  Although a large percentage of Republican voters apparently believed that the Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center were Iraqi agents, the greatest number of Islamic terrorists come from such “friendly” Islamic countries as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

After three years of false starts and failed initiatives, it is very difficult to sum up the U.S. response to terrorism.  There is, perhaps, no point in looking back at Secretary Rumsfeld’s on-and-off-and-on attempts to control the world’s media, Colin Powell’s disinformational speech to the United Nations, Condoleezza Rice’s disastrous congressional testimony, or the apparent treason that is tolerated in the Department of Defense under the number-three man, Douglas Feith.  I prefer to let bygones be bygones and to concentrate only on what has happened in the past week.

The first week of December 2004 was a busy time for the War on Terror.  When Tony Blair met with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan on the sixth, Musharraf was pleased to report that he had smashed the Al Qaeda operation in his country.  This must have been reassuring both to Britain and to the United States: George W. Bush, only the day before, had saluted Pakistan as a strategic “frontline” ally in the War on Terror.

General Musharraf has not always been so tough on Al Qaeda.  He has been long suspected of having close ties to narcotrafficking—a major business in Pakistan—and his close connection to Islamic extremists does not have to be suspected: They are the basis of his rise to power.  He trained Islamic extremists for service in Afghanistan against the Soviets, worked with Osama bin Laden to suppress a Shia uprising in his own country, and has, for years, maintained close links with the terrorists who have been working to establish an Islamic state in Kashmir.  In this ongoing terrorist operation, he was, once again, Bin Laden’s ally.

Back in September, Musharraf—sounding like no one so much as Jesse Jackson—declared that the United States must confront the root causes of terrorism—poverty and illiteracy—and he repeated his not-so-subtle plea for Western financial assistance in his meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  While this might sound as if the general has learned to pander to the American liberal establishment, we should listen to him: He certainly has more hands-on experience with terrorists than anyone in the CIA does.  He probably arrived at this conclusion from studying the poverty and deprivation in which Osama bin Laden was brought up.

Both Tony Blair and George W. Bush say that they agree with Musharraf that the problem of Kashmir must be addressed.  What neither seemed willing to say, however, was that the problem of Kashmir is seriously aggravated by Pakistan’s unwillingness to curtail cross-border incursions of Islamic terrorists into the province.  Kashmir is a complex situation, and no hands are exactly clean, but Musharraf and his cronies have an unbroken record of supporting and collaborating with Islamic extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kashmir.

For decades, both Britain and the United States have turned a blind eye to Pakistani aggression, and this one-sided policy has strained relations with the emerging economic superpower of the region: India.  Such a policy might have made some sense during the Cold War, but, in the current context, it seems suicidal.  Any War on Terror in which Musharraf’s Pakistan is an ally cannot be won.

Pakistan is hardly the only American ally to profit from the heroin trade with Western countries.  A few days before the Blair-Musharraf meeting, Donald Rumsfeld arrived in Afghanistan to attend the inauguration of the American puppet, Hamid Karzai, under whose leadership and U.S. protection the Afghan drug lords have stepped up poppy production.  The director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime recently revealed that Afghanistan’s opium cultivation has increased by 64 percent to a record 131,000 hectares, the highest drug cultivation in the country’s history, and warned: “The fear that Afghanistan might degenerate into a narco-state is slowly becoming a reality.”

Karzai has made reassuring noises about burning poppy fields, but the fact remains that, under U.S. control, the production of this chemical WMD was vastly increased.  The administration’s split personality on this issue (or is it only doublespeak?) is very clear if you visit the CIA website to see what they claim to be doing in the War on Terror.  At the top of the page is this statement of former director George Tenet: “What are the threats that keep me awake at night?  International terrorism, both on its own and in conjunction with narcotics traffickers, international criminals and those seeking weapons of mass destruction.  You need go no further than Usama Bin Ladin.”

Perhaps Karzai will reform himself and his country.  Already, he has signaled that it is time for a change: amnesty for Taliban leaders who promise to behave.  This is more than a little puzzling.  Professional officers in Iraq, who might make a real difference in policing and governing the country, are deliberately kept out of the armed forces, while the Taliban—the extremist savages who sheltered Osama and provoked war with the United States—are to be forgiven.  Perhaps it is because among the Taliban are certainly many of those heroic freedom-fighters trained by the CIA, who armed and paid them and, to beef up their heroism in the struggle with Russia, sent in fundamentalist mullahs to inspire them with religious fanaticism against the entire non-Islamic world.  When, about a year before September 11, I had the occasion to challenge several CIA agents on this policy, their response was simple: It was the best idea at the time, and still, in retrospect, it seems the best decision.  Are they still saying that?

On the same day that Blair and Musharraf were comforting each other, five men in San Diego County were indicted on charges of smuggling illegal immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland into the United States.  The smuggling ring was active between 2001 and 2004—in other words, during the years of heightened security following September 11.  The names alone indicate the international dimensions of the problem: Yervand Asriyants; Charles Altamos; Suren Chamian; George Leyfer; and Justin Peltier.

Asriyants, allegedly the leader of the group, and Chamian both appear to be Armenians.  Russia is filled with Islamic extremists from the former Soviet Union, and such people have no trouble making their way into Ukraine and Poland.  Of course, these Armenians may not have been smuggling in Islamic terrorists but only Jewish fiddle-players from Russia and electrical engineers from Poland.  The point is that a European/Central Asian smuggling ring had made contact with U.S. smugglers of aliens and, for three years, carried out their invasion of the United States.  There can be no doubt that Al Qaeda terrorists are investigating the possibilities and may have already set up a network for importing terrorists into the United States by way of Mexico.  In 2002, the Coast Guard learned that some 25 Al Qaeda operatives had entered the United States as stowaways on commercial vessels, and a year ago, the Italian government warned Tom Ridge that Al Qaeda was increasingly involved in illegal immigration—a multi-billion-dollar business.

As Samuel Francis observed at the November 2004 John Randolph Club meeting in San Antonio, if a pregnant Mexican woman can make it to San Diego, what is there to prevent an Al Qaeda terrorist from doing the same?  The answer is: nothing.  Certainly not the new “strict” provisions for homeland security going through Congress.  When conservatives called for measures of tougher immigration control to be inserted into the House bill reorganizing “homeland security,” the Republican talking point was “Let’s not confuse an anti-terrorism bill with immigration reform.”

The House and Senate ultimately agreed on a bill that did offer a sop to the conservatives who wanted stricter measures to prevent illegal aliens from entering the country and, once entered, from obtaining drivers’ licenses.  But the few thousand agents being added to the border patrol constitute a strictly symbolic gesture.  What the legislation does accomplish is the creation of an even greater and more complex bureaucracy whose employees will spend the next decade seeking to increase their staffs and intriguing against one another.  Bureaucratic reform almost always means bureaucratic expansion, which leads to greater inefficiency—and ineffectiveness.

The most obvious fact staring Americans in the face on September 11, 2001, was that Middle Eastern Muslims had entered the country, manipulating the system to gain everything they needed to murder thousands of American citizens.  Since that time, it is true, the government has cracked down on student visas, prosecuted Islamic organizations who had ties to known terrorist groups, and subjected visitors to more careful scrutiny.

The system, however, is entirely haphazard—so random, in fact, that, in the dozens of times I have flown domestic and international flights in the past three years, I have never seen any obvious Middle Easterner or Muslim pulled out of line.  On the other hand, my wife has been searched, and a homeschooled Christian girl traveling with a Rockford Institute group was given the third degree.  Both of our borders are entirely porous, and neither Mexico nor Canada is making the slightest effort to prevent Islamic terrorists from entering their countries, much less from crossing their borders to enter the United States.

Our failure to shore up our crumbling frontiers is symptomatic of a deeper failure.  We refuse to define who we are as a nation.  Since we cannot be a Christian nation, we cannot, apparently, designate Islam as an ideology hostile to our country—though a large majority of Americans would like to stop all Muslims from entering the country.  On the national level, our government and its leaders enjoy cordial and warm relations with heads of Islamic states (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) and with Islamic oil magnates.

U.S. support for Islam, however, goes far beyond business and diplomatic relations, far beyond the refusal to define Islam per se as the enemy of our country.  Since the Carter years, at least, the U.S. government has backed radical Islamic insurgencies.  Afghanistan was not the only place where we collaborated with Osama bin Laden.  He was our ally in the war against the Bosnian Serb Christians, and the Islamic fundamentalist government that we installed in Bosnia gave him citizenship.  He was also our ally in Kosovo, where Islamic Albanian terrorists were waging genocidal war against Orthodox and Catholic Christians.  We even bombed several European cities in order to give the terrorists carte blanche to finish the job.

But, say the Republicans, all of that happened on Bill Clinton’s watch.  That is true, but the NATO-sponsored regime in Kosovo has continued its policy of massacres and terrorism without any change in policy.  To round out the good news of the first week of December 2004, the Albanian-controlled parliament in Pristina named a known terrorist, Ramush Haradinaj, as prime minister of Kosovo.  (For the disgusting details, read Srdja Trifkovic’s “U.N.-Approved Terrorist To Run Kosovo” at News & Views on  This former KLA commander, known for his mass murders in Kosovo and Macedonia, was once arrested by U.N. forces, but the Albanians rioted until UNMIK caved in and released the criminal whose appointment is being hailed by the neoconservative Wall Street Journal, which appears to be working with the terrorist’s London p.r. firm.

I shall believe that our government is going to do something to protect the American people from terrorism on the day that the President of the United States publicly admits that we have ignored, encouraged, and sponsored Islamic terrorism for over 25 years—and that, in Kosovo, at least, we are still doing it.  If Dr. Trifkovic is correct in equating Islam with communism as an ideology that threatens our survival, then collaboration with the terrorists in Kosovo is the equivalent of selling the rope.