Tyranny and Terror in Today's World

The Daily Signal- Poverty Isn’t the Root Cause of Jihadist Terrorism. Here’s What Is

July 07, 2015


What is the best way for America to combat terrorism? That question is bound to loom large as we enter the next presidential race. Yet a coherent answer has not yet emerged because there is confusion over exactly what terrorism is.

Heritage Foundation- Understanding Tyranny and Terror: From the French Revolution to Modern Islamism

June 30, 2015


While tyranny has existed in all eras, modern democracies now face a millenarian version that seeks to impose by revolutionary force a monolithic collective in which all individual liberties will be submerged. Beginning with the Jacobin Terror of 1793, it has continued through Bolshevism, Nazism, Maoism, the Khmer Rouge, and today’s international Jihad. Terrorists are tyrants in waiting. They are not motivated by poverty or lack of opportunity, but by the vision of a coming collectivist utopia that will annihilate the West. Before democracies can fight tyranny effectively, they have to name it for what it is and understand what drives its adherents.

New English Review- A Coup Isn’t Always The Enemy of Democracy

Sept 2013


Never one to mince words, Senator John McCain began his recent visit to Egypt by publicly describing his host government as having come to power through a “coup.” His travelling mate Senator Lindsey Graham amplifiedthis by warning that American support to Egypt could not continue if Egypt did not follow the path to democracy by releasing detained ex-President Morsi and negotiating a settlement with the Muslim Brotherhood. The unfortunate violence that followed shortly after when Egyptian security forces expelled pro-Morsi demonstrators from their site might seem to have confirmed their worries about the military coup being extended.

Tablet Magazine- How Plato and Aristotle Help us to Understand the Tyranny of Bashar-Al Assad

June 2013


For the last two years, American and European leaders have confidently predicted that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria would soon be gone. Yet not only does he still control what remains of the Syrian state apparatus, he also just kicked the rebels out of the key town of al-Qusayr. Desertions from the Syrian military, initially thought to presage the regime’s collapse, have slowed markedly; in recent months, Assad’s strength has clearly increased, thanks to an influx of Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and large-scale military resupply efforts from Iran and Russia.

Globe and Mail- The Righteous Anger of Young Men (The Real Roots of Terrorism)

May 2013


The Boston Marathon bombings have prompted us to reconsider the role that righteous anger in young men plays in extremist politics. We’re usually told that terrorist acts can be traced to “root causes” – that such acts are born of despair over lack of economic opportunity and the peaceful benefits of a pluralist secular society. This doctrine was reaffirmed in then-candidate Barack Obama’s first major foreign policy speech (The War We Need to Win) and has been hauled out every time a terrorist attack on U.S. soil occurs.

Jewish World Review - You Say You Want a Revolution?

February 2013


Since the French Revolution in 1789, revolutions have shown common features that are directly relevant to what is happening in Egypt right now. Since the final outcome in Egypt after Mubarak’s ouster — a new regime — may be weeks, even months or years, away, it is worth pausing to take the long view.

Weekly Standard - It’s the Ideology, Stupid: What do Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Che Guevara, and Mullah Omar have in common?

August 2010

Wherever the global jihad strikes, it does so with the same goal: the establishment of a worldwide Islamist state. This is as true when the Taliban conducts suicide operations in Pakistan as it is when Turkey’s Islamist government sends a “freedom flotilla” seeking martyrdom in support of Hamas. It is true of terrorists plotting attacks on America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, whether at Fort Hood, in London, Madrid, Mumbai, Detroit, Nairobi, or Times Square. And it makes no difference whether the terrorists are home-grown, come from far away, or—in a recent twist—are Americans trained at al Qaeda camps in Yemen. Whatever rhetorical pretext may be advanced by the jihadist network—national dignity, expulsion of invaders, an end to social injustice—all of its components, whether state or nonstate actors, are united in a revolutionary purpose, justified by their millenarian ideology: the overthrow of the West and its Enlightenment values through violent struggle to usher in an age of happiness for all mankind. The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran—increasingly the country most bent on leading this international network—proclaims the global umma to be the ultimate purpose of the Islamic Revolution.

Weekly Standard - Why Is Ahamdinejad Smiling? The Intellectual Sources of His Apocalyptic Vision

October 2006

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is often smiling, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is often smiling, as if he knows something we don’t, or at least not yet. It is tempting to view him as a madman. That way, when he speaks of wiping Israel off the face of the earth, we might convince ourselves that he is no more than a fanatical front man for the Iranian Republic’s desire to possess nuclear weapons so as to assert itself in the manner of China or any other aspiring great power.

Weekly Standard - Postmodern Jihad: What Osama bin Laden learned from the Left.

November 2001


Much has been written about Osama bin Laden’s Islamic fundamentalism; less about the contribution of European Marxist postmodernism to bin Laden’s thinking. In fact, the ideology by which al Qaeda justifies its acts of terror owes as much to baleful trends in Western thought as it does to a perversion of Muslim beliefs. Osama’s doctrine of terror is partly a Western export.

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