At The Objective Standard, (TOS), Craig Biddle interviews Clare Lopez on a range of foreign policy issues including what our policy towards Iran should be, the situation in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, the prospect for democracy in the Middle East, Iran’s connections in Central and South America and what the United States must do to defend itself against radical Islam.
The following is an excerpt from the interview on the subject of Iran and 9/11:
CB: In recent decades, we’ve drifted so far from that ideal that the U.S. government is not even capable of naming our enemies or their motivations, let alone sufficiently protecting Americans from them. Who are our main enemies today? Who attacked us on 9/11? And what motivates them?
CL: An Islamic jihadist alliance of al-Qaeda, Iran, and Hezbollah attacked us on 9/11. See the recent decision of Judge George Daniels in the Southern District Court in New York City for details in the legal case against Iran filed by widows and other family members of 9/11 victims. And see the affidavit about it that I wrote with my colleague and friend Bruce Tefft. In his ruling, Judge Daniels found that the Iranian regime provided direct and material support to al-Qaeda without which the attacks of 9/11 could not have taken place.
These attackers were and remain motivated by Islam. So are those who fund them, including wealthy sheikhs, members of royal families, and those who faithfully pay their annual zakat tax across the Muslim world. The doctrine, laws, and scriptures of Islam command all Muslims, everywhere, and in all times, to fight jihad to spread Islam. Those Muslim clerics who educated and indoctrinated 9/11 hijackers are the true believers, the most devout practitioners of Islam, and they ensured that those hijackers would be, too. They will not stop—nor will their allies in such pre-violent Islamic jihadist movements as the Muslim Brotherhood—until all the world is for Allah, or they are convincingly defeated.
CB: In addition to the New York court’s finding that the Iranian regime provided material support to al-Qaeda for the attack on 9/11, a federal court recently found that “the government of Iran aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden, and al-Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks against the United States,” and that the Iranian regime was responsible specifically for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The regime has also repeatedly been found smuggling weapons to other terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, that seek to kill Americans and Israelis; training the Taliban and other enemies of America; and sending operatives and weapons to kill American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. America has known about Iran’s involvement in similar assaults for decades. Every year since 1984, the State Department has acknowledged that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. For the past few years, it has even acknowledged that Iran is “the most active state sponsor of terrorism.” Yet, we have not eliminated the regime, nor declared war on it, nor even named it as our enemy. Why?
CL: It is difficult to know why six successive U.S. presidential administrations have treated the mullahs’ regime in Iran with kid gloves, as though afraid of it. Despite the Iranian regime’s repeated seizure of American hostages, its empowerment of terror allies and proxies, its twenty-five-year drive for deliverable nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, its genocidal threats against friends and partners such as Israel, and its alliances with some of the worst regimes in the world, in the final analysis this is a fragile regime that knows its days are numbered and that it will eventually meet its end at the hands of its own people.
It is long since past time that the American people know the truth about what this regime and its terror proxies have done to us, in the homeland on 9/11 and elsewhere, including Khobar Towers, our East Africa embassies, in Yemen when the USS Cole was attacked, and more recently in Afghanistan and Iraq where Iranian-backed terror militias equipped with Iranian-manufactured explosives and other weaponry have killed and injured hundreds of American troops. If our national security leaders will not hold these jihadis accountable, then the courts, the American people, and our elected representatives will have to do it for them.
CB: What in your view is the most pressing danger posed by the Iranian regime today?
CL: Clearly, the most critical threat from this Iranian regime is the imminent likelihood that it will acquire deliverable nuclear weapons. Given the millennialist Twelver Shi’ite ideology publicly professed by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as by the fanatically-dedicated Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, and Qods Force commander Qassem Suleimani, the world has no choice but to take them at their word when they threaten Armageddon in the name of their deity. This Khomeinist leadership fulfills Iran’s own constitution, which commits the regime to the spread of the revolution to the entire world and the IRGC as a “religious army” to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemy.” When a set of national leaders who profess such jihadist beliefs is openly closing in on acquisition of the bomb, it is suicidal not to take them seriously.
CB: What can and should the United States do about this?
CL: The U.S. government, led by our president, should openly declare our support for the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people. We should state clearly that we consider the current regime in Tehran illegitimate, not because we say so, but because the Iranian people say so.
Next, we should formulate and implement a concrete program of tangible support for the democratic Iranian opposition, whomever they may be. Specifically, we should establish covert, discreet ties with the Greens Movement, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, the various ethnic opposition groups (among them Azeri and Kurdish), and devise means of aiding labor groups, students, and women. Secure communications and broadcast assistance, in addition to democracy training (like we gave the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt) are among the categories of possible support the U.S. government could provide.
It is important that the U.S. government not decide for the Iranian people who should lead them after this regime is swept into the dustbin of history. This means not playing favorites: The Department of State must immediately remove the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MeK) from the official U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list and take emergency measures to ensure the safety of the 3,400 or so unarmed MeK civilians trapped at Ashraf City in northern Iraq, whom the U.S. government pledged under the Fourth Geneva Convention to protect. Currently, with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, those people face imminent slaughter unless something is done very quickly. A recent UN-brokered agreement may offer a solution: Ashraf residents are to be moved to Camp Liberty near Baghdad, which was recently vacated by departing U.S. troops. They are to be monitored under UN protection until resettlement elsewhere can be arranged—a resettlement that would be vastly simplified were the U.S. government to adhere to the U.S. law that governs the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list. To date, the MeK remain on that list, in contravention of U.S. law, apparently for political purposes that serve to maintain the mullahs’ regime in power in Tehran.
The following is an excerpt from the interview on the subject of the Islamist threat to the United States:
CB: What general strategy would you advise the United States to adopt with respect to the Islamist threat against America and the West?
The United States must meet, engage, and end this threat first, by naming the name of the enemy. We are fighting to stay free of Islamic law. We fight all those who support sharia and seek to overthrow the Constitution of the United States. This means that we recognize and name the enemy not only as those who fight a violent jihad, with kinetic means, such as Iran, al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah, but also those who operate by stealth to achieve the same objectives: reinstatement of the caliphate and imposition of sharia globally.
The Muslim Brotherhood should be named a hostile “foreign power,” along with all of its many thousands of affiliates and front groups currently operating in the United States whose goals are recognized as inimical to the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, any in the United States who preach, support, or promote elements of sharia that are in contravention of the Constitution—as the Muslim Brotherhood does—should not be immune from possible deportation or prosecution for sedition or misprision of sedition and treason (depending on citizenship status). The First Amendment protects practices of devotional religion, such as prayers, worship, diet/fasting, pilgrimage, and proselytizing. Article VI of the Constitution is quite clear, however, that the Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. Any practice of sharia Islam that contravenes U.S. law does not enjoy First Amendment protection and instead falls under the definition of alien legal, military, political, or social practice.
The U.S. government must be purged of all Muslim Brothers, their affiliates, and supporters. U.S. national strategic policy needs to be rewritten to reflect the recognition that sharia Islam, both violent and pre-violent, is antithetical and hostile to the U.S. Constitution and will not be permitted to make inroads into American society.
CB: What do you think is the best we can aim (or hope) for in terms of an administration following the 2012 elections—not just the president, but also the secretary of state and key directors and advisers?
CL: The best outcome of the 2012 elections would be a new national leadership that understands the realities of this world we live in, with all of its challenges. The new president would appoint cabinet directors and other advisers who are knowledgeable, first of all, about this country’s own foundational principles and committed to their restoration to a position of prominence in U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Those administration members would be knowledgeable about Islam and sharia, the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood poses to U.S. national security, and the Iranian regime’s long history of enmity to America. In terms of foreign policy, the new administration would revive America’s preeminent role as defender of genuine democracy and freedom in the world, restore America’s traditional friendships, and put all those hostile to the United States and our allies on notice that America is back and will stand with our friends and prove an implacable foe to those who declare enmity to us or our allies.
CB: Where can people read your work and keep up with your thoughts on these issues?
CL: As a senior fellow with the Center for Security Policy, I am a coauthor of the Team B II Report, Shariah: The Threat to America, which can be found at ShariahTheThreat.org, as well as at Amazon.com. I also publish often at Andrew Breitbart’s website Big Peace. As a senior fellow with the Clarion Fund, I write regularly for its website, RadicalIslam.org, where it is also possible to sign up to receive the Clarion Fund’s bimonthly newsletter, for which I also write. In addition, most of my published pieces eventually make their way to Pundicity.com, where those interested can sign up to receive an automatic e-mailing of those articles.
CB: Thank you for your time and valuable insights, Clare. Would that the next president had the intelligence and courage to nominate you for secretary of state.
Read the entire interview at The Objective Standard