- Posted October 3, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Turbulence, violence in the Middle East
The History of American Inaction and Lives Lost
The recent violent upsurge all over the globe regarding the film Innocence of Muslims has me ruminate. The loss of human life, especially of diplomats makes an eerie reading. I have discussed the fallacy of the Muslim rage over this film separately (published on CNN; the link being http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-852186 ).
Being an active participant in international affairs, I shudder when I compute the human life loss that has been the fate of US, since long. Having spent over 50 years in public life, I can only look back and wonder why, why things have gotten worse rather than better. I have been speaking, writing and teaching about terror, Islam, Sikhism, Sharia and counter-terror for over 35 years.
With all the news surrounding the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya, I have to start with the last death of an American Ambassador.
Although the last U.S. ambassador to die in the line of duty was Arnold Raphel, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, it is unsure whether it was a terrorist act. He perished in a plane crash in 1988, along with the then President of Pakistan, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.
Prior to that, the last ambassador to be killed in the line of duty was Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, in 1979. On February 14, 1979, he was kidnapped by four terrorists and was killed when he was shot during an exchange of gunfire started between the terrorists and Afghan security forces.
An American Ambassador killed by terrorists. Did America notice? No. It was just a piece of collateral damage.
Months after the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran and Iran voted to become an Islamic Republic US had the embassy takeover. On November 4, 1979 Iranians seized the U.S. embassy, taking 66 hostages. 14 were later released with the remaining 52 freed after 444 days on the day of President Reagan's inauguration.
This was not enough for people to take notice.
As I was in India, and India was also in the throes of Sikh terrorism. I tried to introduce that country to what I knew would be needed, anti-terrorism. The same was happening in US. Unfortunately while the India Government was amenable to reason, almost every alphabet soup government agency that discussed the issue just pushed it under the carpet and was shot down by each and every one with the exception of the CIA. It was presumed in a veyr smug manner: "This is America, we don't have terrorism."
Between 1982 and 1991 US had the kidnappings and deaths of Americans in Lebanon. Thirty U.S. and other Western hostages were kidnapped in Lebanon by Hezbollah. Some were killed, some died in captivity and some were eventually released. Terry Anderson was held for 2,454 days.
This too was not enough for people to take notice. They were drunk on hemlock.
Then, there the Lebanon bombings; on April 18, 1983, the U.S. embassy in Beirut was bombed killing 63 people, most were embassy and CIA staff members, several were soldiers and one was a Marine. 17 of the dead were Americans.
That same year on October 23, the U.S. Marines barracks were destroyed by suicide bombers during their stay as part of multinational ‘peace keeping force'. What many do not know is that this was only the second "suicide bombing" in history, it was carried out by the terrorist organization Hezbollah and killed 241 American servicemen: 220 marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers, along with sixty other Americans injured.
The Marine barrack attack was the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.
Was the bombing of the U.S. embassy and the Marine barracks in Lebanon not enough for people to realize that perhaps we as Americans were not dealing with a conventional enemy? Did the American people take notice? No. Did the world take notice? No.
Before the end of that horrendous year on December 12, 1983, the U.S. embassy in Kuwait City, Kuwait was attacked by Shiite truck bombers, killing five and injuring 80.
Did America start to take notice? No.
Then a second time within 17 months on September 20, 1984 a suicide bomber driving a truck packed with 400 pounds of explosives targeted the American embassy in Aukar, nine miles north of Beirut. 23 people are killed and 21 injured.
More flag draped coffins. Did America start to notice a trend here? No.
Dec. 3, 1984 we had the hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 221on its way from Kuwait to Pakistan. After it was hijacked it was diverted to Tehran. The hijackers killed two American officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Hezbollah was once again found to be behind this as well.
Did anyone notice? No.
The Middle East wasn't the only area Americans were attacked. On April 12, 1985 the El Descanso restaurant just outside Madrid, Spain was bombed. The explosion killed 18 Spaniards and injured 82 others, including 11 American servicemen, who according to the investigation were the target of the attack. The Islamic Jihad Organization claimed responsibility for the bombing.
More Americans targeted. Did anybody notice? No.
Once again, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad struck at Americans. On June 14, 1985, TWA Flight 847 was hijacked. The eight crewmembers and 145 passengers endured a three-day intercontinental ordeal and were held for 17 days. Some passengers were beaten. Passengers with Jewish sounding names were separated from the others, and U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem was tortured and murdered. His body was thrown onto the tarmac. Dozens of passengers were held hostage over the next two weeks until released by their captors after some of their demands were met.
Flag draped coffin of U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem. Did America notice? No.
It wasn't only the American servicemen and women that had to worry. On October 7, 1985, four heavily armed Palestinian terrorists hijacked the Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro. The ship had more than 400 passengers and crew. The terrorists killed disabled American tourist 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer because he was a Jew, and threw his body overboard with his wheelchair.
Did anyone outside of the Klinghoffer family notice? Not really.
Muslim terrorists found that airports were easier than cruise ships and on December 27, 1985, four PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) terrorists walked up to the shared ticket counter for Israel's El Al Airlines and Trans World Airlines at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport outside Rome, Italy. After they fired assault rifles and threw grenades, 16 were dead and 99 were injured.
Within minutes on the same day, the Schwechat Airport (Vienna International Airport) in Vienna, Austria, was attacked as well. Three terrorists threw hand grenades into a crowd of passengers checking in for a flight to Tel Aviv, two people were killed instantly and 39 others injured. A third victim died on January 22, 1986, of hand grenade wounds sustained in the attack. These two attacks killed 19 people, 5 of whom were Americans. The bombing was linked to Libya.
More Americans just died for no reason except to satisfy the blood lust of terrorists. Did America notice? No.
On April 2, 1986, terrorists exploded a bomb inside TWA Flight 840 as it flew from Rome to Athens. Four American citizens, including a nine-month-old infant fell to their deaths after being sucked from the cabin through the nine-by-four foot hole that the blast created in the side of the plane. Five others on the aircraft were injured as the cabin suffered a rapid decompression.
Does anyone remember TWA 840? Did anyone notice except for momentary sympathy for the dead? No.
April 5, 1986, saw the attack on the La Belle discothèque in West Berlin, Germany. This was yet another location that was commonly frequented by United States soldiers. A bomb placed under a table near the disk jockey's booth exploded killing three people and injuring 230 people, including 79 American servicemen. This attack was also linked to Libya.
More American servicemen killed. Did anybody American notice? No.
Another hijacking of an American plane occurred on September 5, 1986, while on the ground at Karachi, Pakistan, by four terrorists from the Abu Nidal Organization. Pan Am Flight 73 had 360 on board. Twenty of the passengers were killed during the hijacking, 13 were from India and the rest were from United States, Pakistan and Mexico.
An American plane hijacked. Did any Americans notice? No.
Excluding Americans that were killed in Israel in other terror attacks, there was two years of quiet that was shattered in Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. This time it was Pan Am Flight 103 departing from Frankfurt to New York. It was blown up in midair, killing all 259 passengers and another 11 people on the ground in Scotland.
You would have thought that after this Americans would take notice. Sadly, no, they were still blissfully asleep.
On January 27, 1989, three simultaneous bombings were carried out against U.S. business targets, the Turkish American Businessmen Association and the Economic Development Foundation in Istanbul, and the Metal Employees Union in Ankara.
More Americans as targets of the anti-American terrorists. Did America notice? No.
More Americans were targeted on June 12, 1989, in Bosphorus Straits, Turkey. A bomb exploded aboard an unoccupied boat used by U.S. consular staff. The explosion caused extensive damage but no casualties.
It was the American State Department employees who were targeted. Did any American notice? No.
Between 1989 and 1991 there were no less than six attacks on Americans and American servicemen all on U.S. bases. On October 11, 1989, in Izmir, Turkey, an explosive charge went off outside a U.S. military PX.
On February 7, 1991, in Adana, terrorists shot and killed a U.S. civilian contractor as he was getting into his car at the Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.
On February 28, 1991, two terrorists shot and wounded a U.S. Air Force officer as he entered his residence in Izmir, Turkey.
On March 28, 1991, three U.S. marines were shot at and injured by an unknown terrorist while driving near Camp Three, in Jubial, Saudi Arabia.
On October 28, 1991, Victor Marwick, an American soldier serving at the Turkish-American base, Tuslog in Ankara, Turkey, was killed and his wife wounded in a car bomb attack. The Turkish Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
Lastly on October 28, 1991, two car bombings killed a U.S. Air Force sergeant and severely wounded an Egyptian diplomat in Istanbul, Turkey. The Turkish Islamic Jihad again claimed responsibility.
Yet more flag draped coffins. Did anyone notice? No.
The year 1991 saw more attacks on Americans in Beirut, Lebanon. On November 8, a 100-kg car bomb destroyed the administration building of the American University in Beirut, killing one person and wounding more than a dozen.
Through all the attacks on Americans in 1991, did America notice? No.
On October 12, 1992, a U.S. soldier serving with the United Nations was stabbed and wounded near the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq.
Back in the U.S. on January 25, 1993, a Pakistani gunman opened fire on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employees standing outside of the building in Virginia. Two agents, Frank Darling and Bennett Lansing, were killed and three others wounded.
This occurred on American soil in Virginia. Did Americans notice? No.
Then in 1993 US had the first taste when it came under the first attack on the World Trade Center. On February 26, a massive bomb exploded in a van in the underground parking garage below the World Trade Center in New York City, killing six and wounding 1,042. Four terrorists were responsible for the attack.
At this point America should have woken up and taken notice. The response was simply not there.
Between the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and September 11, 2001 there were at least 55 other attacks around the world by Muslim terrorists that targeted Americans, many were killed and scores more injured, but America didn't notice.
These listed attacks were against Americans; during this same period Israel was the target of and suffered even more attacks.
Since 9/11, things have gotten worse throughout the world, not better. Somehow through backwards political correctness and ignorance, the perpetrator has made himself the victim. Sadly, that's what Americans notice. What's more, most Americans believe it.
It has been stated by leaders the world over as they have seen their own countries succumb to and be held hostage by Islam.
Former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, on February 11, 2011, while being interviewed on French National Television about Islam in his country, stated unequivocally "My answer is clearly yes, it [multiculturalism] is a failure."
On February 5, 2011, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, stated in a speech while speaking on taking a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist terror in his country,
"Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism. Let's properly judge these organizations: Do they believe in universal human rights - including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?"
"Again it just seems the Muslim community is very much in the spotlight, being treated as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution."
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany stated on October 17, 2010 while speaking on Muslims in Germany, "We kidded ourselves for a while that they wouldn't stay, but that's not the reality. "Of course the tendency had been to say, 'let's adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side, and be happy to be living with each other'. But this concept has failed, and failed utterly."
As leader after leader has seen their country under the threat of terror and retaliation become more Islamic, more Sharia compliant and they lose their right to free speech, they have all come to the same conclusion. Americans though don't take notice.
The Arab Spring has brought us more Islamic ruled governments, not more "freedom;" the reason is simple, what we in the West refer to as "freedom" is not what Muslims see as freedom. Their freedom is that of the Quran. Their freedom is the word of Allah. Their freedom is living like they did 1400 years ago. Period.
If you think I am wrong, look at the Middle East. Take notice.
I'm tired of being called "an alarmist," I'm tired of being called "an Islamophobe," I'm tired of being called "a nut," but most of all I'm tired of America not waking up to the truth.
Since the terror attack that should have been the one to end all others, 9/11, there have been 19,680 deadly attacks, with over 260,000 deaths, all in the name of Islam. This is not a few people "that have hijacked a religion." This is the religion. If this is the real face of Islam, it's time to take notice.
And are the American lives so cheap that goons and gangsters can operate with impunity everywhere in US, in US embassies and in fact anywhere without any let or hindrance and American leadership is yet blissfully engaged in appeasement and bending over backwards in an idiotic effort to look politically correct.
Dr. Bikram Lamba, a political and business strategist can be contacted at 905 848 4205. Email:email@example.com