The American InterestrnMemorandum tornPresident George W. BushrnIn the aftermath of September 11, yournhave done a reasonably good job managingrnthe crisis, symbolizing the nation’srnunity, restraining the laptop bombardiers,rnand preparing a military response that wasrnneitlier hasty nor disproportionate. Nowrnthat two months have passed, you havernmore time to reflect on the long-term significancernof that event and to draw relevantrnconclusions for the global strategyrnour country should follow over not onlyrnthe coming weeks and months, but yearsrnand decades. Having earned your spurs asrna trustworthy leader during the most traumahcrnmoment for America in at least sixrndecades, you are uniquely positioned tornmake radical changes in our foreign {X)licyrnthat are necessary if we are to avoidrnsimilar tragedies in the years to come.rnWhile political considerations mayrntemporarily oblige you to say that “Islamrnis a religion of peace,” you must understandrnthat Islam as such—not some allegedlyrnaberrant form of it—is the mainrnidentifiable threat to America’s global securityrnin the coming century, and, in thernlonger term, to the survival of our civilization.rnIslam has been synonymousrnwith violence and intolerance since itsrnearliest days. Like communism or Nazism,rnIslam is part religion and part ideology,rnand it seeks to impose mind-numbingrnuniformity of thought and feelingrnupon its adherents, to subjugate and ultimatelyrndestroy all nonbelievers. It acceptsrnno “peaceful coexistence” and neverrnwill.rnIt is, therefore, necessary to deny Islamrn(the adjective “militant” is redundant) arnfoothold inside America. Like its red ideologicalrnsibling of yore, Islam relies on arndomestic fifth column to get its workrndone. Not one in a hundred communistsrnwas a Soviet spy, just as not one in a hundredrnMuslims is a bin Laden asset—butrnreducing the risk back then demandedrndenying visas (let alone green cards orrnpassports) to all self-avowed communists.rnDoing likewise now with Osama’s coreligionistsrnis the prerequisite of any meaningfulrnantiterrorist strategy, in conjunctionrnwith frank and fair ethno-culturalrnprofiling. Since the first World Tradernby Srdja TrifkovicrnCenter attack in 1993, the FBI has knownrnthat belligerent Islam had already establishedrna firm foothold within the Muslimrndiaspora in America, but the demographicrndeluge has continued unabated. Thernirrational and manifestly false claim thatrneach newcomer to America is equally assimilablernhas cost lives. By acknowledgingrnthat certain ethnic, religious, and culturalrntraits make some groups morernassimilable than others, you will do a favorrnfor all of us (and for your party into thernbargain). Halting Islamic immigrationrnwill deny cover to terrorists who wish tornremain anonymous and untiaceable.rnWhile denying potential and actiial Islamicrnfifth columnists access to America,rnthere is no reason to continue alienatingrnover one billion Muslims in Asia andrnAfrica. We should make it clear that wernhave no immediate quarrel with them, asrnlong as they do not threaten us—and thatrnwe are most certainly not “in the samernboat” with any third party against whichrnthey may have a grudge. U.S. foreignrnpolicy must avoid creating conditions forrnspecifically anti-American Islamic hostility.rn(The general anti-Western, anti-rnChristian, and anti-European bias will alwaysrnbe there.) If we wish to reducernhatied of the United States in the Islamicrnworld, we must avoid the perception of arnpermanent bias in Middle Eastern affairsrnthat breeds the specifically anti-Americanrnvariety of Islam. The United Statesrnneeds a stable peace in the Middle Eastrnbased on a scrupulously evenhandedrntreatment of the conflicting parties’rnclaims, including Israeli security andrnPalestinian statehood. There are problemsrnthat simply may not have solutionsrn(such as the issue of the just, permanent,rnand legally valid title to the Holy Land),rnbut even if they did, it would not bernAmerica’s business to look for them.rnYou have said that the terrorists envy usrnour freedom, our democracy, our way ofrnlife, our affluence. Had their actionsrnarisen simply from envy, spite, and greed,rnthey would have also hit Helsinki, Copenhagen,rnOttawa, Geneva, or some otherrnplace as free and as affluent as America.rnOur country was a target, and others werernnot, because of what it does around thernworld (most notably in the Middle East),rnwhether we believe that to be gotxl or bad.rnTo deal with the threat, we need to discardrnthe pernicious notion of our “exceptionalism,”rnof the view that—in Madeleine Albright’srnmemorable phrase—”the UnitedrnStates stands taller than other nations, andrntherefore sees further,” that America is notrnonly wise but objective, and that her foreignrnpolicy is influenced by values and notrnprejudices. This hollow rhetoric infririatesrnliterally billions of people. It alsorngrates on the ears of many real Americansrnwho do not share the generic jingoisin ofrnpeople like Madeleine Albright, whornmight just as well have setfled elsewhere,rnexcept that the United States offered morernmoney, more prestige, and more power.rnTell a Serb that the Clinton administrationrnwas “standing tall” in Bosnia andrnKosovo. Tell an Arab that the UnitedrnStates “sees further” in the Middle East.rnNot only does exceptionalism creaternflawed policies, it makes us incapable ofrnunderstanding the ire of others.rnScrap all plans for NATO expansion,rnand stiive to create a genuine “NorthernrnAlliance” (which would include NorthrnAmerica, Western Europe, and—somernday—Russia) against our cominon enemies.rnThose who advise you to carry onrnas before—relying on “our proven friendsrnand allies” in Islamabad, Riyadh, andrnCairo, taking NATO to the suburbs of St.rnPetersburg-are deluded and dangerous.rnThey wish Russia was bad, and they resentrnthe Russians’ clever ploy of sidingrnwith us against Osama bin Laden. If yournpush NATO eastward, unnecessarily andrndangerously, Russia will remain an adversaryrnat a time when her economic andrndemographic weakness may result in a violentrnAsiatic scramble for her natiiral resourcesrnand increasingly depopulatedrnterritories along her southern rim andrneast of the Urals. By extending NATO’srncordon sanitaire around Russia, the UnitedrnStates would indirectly encourage thernbelief that the bear may soon be up forrngrabs.rnQuietiy scrap the missile-defense initiative.rnDeath has come to ordinary Americansrnby a more prosaic route, and the realrnand present threat that remains with us allrndoes not include a rogue missile. Thernnext attack may well be biological orrnchemical rather than nuclear; even if it isrnnuclear, the method of delivery willrnmore likely be a smuggled suitcase than arnballistic missile. Even a megaton devicern46/CHRONICLESrnrnrn