America again defeated in New York … a portent of the future

Almost before the car bomb in Times Square was defused, the city’s mayor, its police commissioner, and sundry politicians were heaping praise on the New York Police Department (NYPD) for “stopping” the attack. This spin will quickly take hold and become accepted as truth. It is not.

Saturday night’s events in Times Square are another defeat for the United States. While all our thanks must go to the NYPD officers who defused the car bomb, the idea that the police stopped the attack is a lie. The credit for that goes to a T-shirt salesman who reported smoke coming from the car bomb and to the would-be attackers amateur bomb-making. The hard truth is the NYPD was completely and utterly defeated. The Department did not know the attack was coming and would not have stopped it if not for the smoke and the T-shirt seller.

This will sound like a harsh attack on the NYPD, but it is not intended as such. The NYPD and all U.S. police departments — large and small — have been set up to fail and take the fall. If we learn in coming days that the attack was planned by Islamist militants, we also will learn these men were motivated by a belief that U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world is meant to undermine or destroy Islam. That is, the thankfully failed attack was caused by factors entirely beyond the control or influence of the NYPD; all it can do — all any U.S. police department can do — is prepare for more of the same. And that preparation for the future should be aimed as much at post-attack clean-up as for pre-attack interdiction. There are simply too many would-be attackers out there for the police to track and stop.

Sadly, the negative impact of U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world is creating Islamist enemies for America at home and abroad far faster than they can be identified, let alone destroyed. Before this day is through, you can bet on two things: (1) the politicians will be on TV telling Americans that if the car bomb is the work of Islamists, it demonstrates they hate our freedoms and liberties; and (2) Washington will receive expressions of sympathy and offers of forensic help from Israel. Both will be aimed at inoculating Americans from anyone who suggests the truth: that the would-be attackers — if Islamists — are motivated by the U.S. government’s relentless interventionism in the Muslim world, not by the lifestyle and political philosophy of Americans. In short, the politicians will try to make sure Americans stay ignorant of intervention’s cost, and unaware that intervention is bringing war to their cities and streets.

The Islamist enemy we face would permit virtually none of the things we prize — elections, liberties or freedoms (as defined in the West), gender equality, etc. — in a country it governed. But very few Muslims are willing to kill themselves to stop us from enjoying those things. There are many, however, willing to die to end U.S. intervention in the Islamic world. For the last decade, for example, the U.S. and UK governments have not stopped a single Islamist attack in which the attackers were motivated by the West’s neo-pagan lifestyle. The documents and testimony acquired by authorities after an attack occurs or is prevented invariably point to motivation fueled by three things: (1) the U.S.-UK military presence in the Muslim world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan; (2) the half-century of U.S.-UK support of or protection for Arab police states in such places as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria; and (3) unqualified U.S., UK, and Western support for Israel. One might note, parenthetically, that these three motivators are among the causes listed by Osama bin Laden for the war he declared on America in August 1996, nearly 14 years ago.

Americans will not hear this explanation for our Islamist foes’ motivation on TV this Sunday or any Sunday; indeed, they will hear it described as an isolationist, anti-Semitic, and anti-U.S. view. That description will be a media-supported political tool intended to prevent Americans from asking questions politicians are rightfully terrified of answering. As a result, the NYPD and the country’s other police departments will keep working themselves to death trying to protect Americans, and all the while U.S. political leaders in both parties will press ahead with the interventionist policies that will insure all police departments fail. At day’s end, Washington’s interventionism is creating numbers of Islamist militants bent on waging jihad that will in time overwhelm the police departments’ manpower and capabilities.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.