Shackled Warrior – Interview with Frontpage Magazine

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Shackled Warrior

By Jamie Glazov | 7/1/2008

Frontpage Interview's guest today is Caroline B. Glick, the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. She is the author of the new book, Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad.


FP: Caroline B. Glick, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Glick: Great to be here.

FP: What are the key threats facing Israel and the West today?

Glick: There are several key threats, some are military, some are economic and some are cultural. All complement each other in ways that compound the dangers to the free world – with Israel as its frontline outpost.

There are four basic threats facing the world today. The first is Iran's quest for regional dominance and global prominence which it advances primarily through the support of Islamist insurgencies regionally and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Second is the totalitarian jihadist ideology which is ascendant throughout the Islamic world. Third is the West's inability to break its dependence on Arab oil. And fourth is the West's cultural insecurity and malaise and increasingly, its self-hatred.

The first two threats are physical and ideological challenges to the West's survival. The third – the West's economic dependence on Arab oil – has brought about the perverse situation where the free world is bankrolling its enemies' war efforts. And the fourth, Western cultural malaise which is approaching collapse in Europe and among the American and Israeli intellectual and cultural elites makes it impossible for nations to defend themselves against the physical threats, to consider ways to actively replace oil as the primary energy source for our economies, or to present a coherent and attractive alternative to Islamic totalitarianism for Muslim societies and minorities in the West.

FP: What can – and what should – the U.S. and Israel do about Iran?

Glick: Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton and others have said repeatedly for the past several years, the US has two options for dealing with Iran. It can work to overthrow the regime or it can attack Iran militarily with the aim of setting back its nuclear weapons program for several years. Israel has less capacity to incite a popular insurrection against the regime, although it certainly could stir a bit of chaos in the country by arming some of the disaffected groups there.

The second option is to destroy Iran's nuclear installations and kill its nuclear scientists. Bombing the installations will set Iran's program back long enough to actually take concerted steps to bring down the regime. Killing Iran's nuclear scientists will make it impossible for Iran to rebuild its nuclear weapons program for the foreseeable future.

While pushing for regime change seemed like a viable path to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons four years ago, today it may be too late. Iran is already so close to nuclear capabilities. There simply isn't enough time.

That this is the fact is the fault of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who decided to follow Europe's lead in on the one hand offering Iran generous payoffs to suspend its uranium enrichment program, and on the other hand, attempting to persuade the Russians and Chinese to pass sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council. This policy has given Iran four years of unimpeded freedom to pursue its nuclear weapons program. And the Mossad now projects that it could be within months of acquiring the bomb.

Far from working to curb the mullahs' enthusiasm for acquiring the means of genocide, the US and European soft-shoe approach to Iran's nuclear program has emboldened them to move forward with their program while increasing their terrorist aggression in Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. This approach failed to end Iran's uranium enrichment. Likewise, begging Russia and China to go along with weak, ineffective sanctions resolutions in the UN Security Council has failed to move the Iranians. If anything, Iran has been emboldened by this weak Western response to its aggressive behavior.

FP: Is there any hope in terms of the West's cultural insecurity, malaise and self-hatred? The central problem is that the Left controls the boundaries of discourse. What can ultimately be done — if anything?

Glick: I see reasons for hope every day both here in Israel and around the world. It is true that the Left controls the boundaries of discourse but then, that discourse has become so absurd, so farcical that it cannot long sustain itself.

When university campuses are concerning themselves with transgender studies and teaching students that the 1968 campus riots were among the most triumphant events in US history, when here in Israel we have faculty saying that they will not reschedule exams for their students who are called to reserve duty during exam period because they do not make excuses for war criminals, and Israeli schoolchildren graduating from 12th grade knowing almost nothing about Jewish history, the people will simply abandon this discourse. Israelis are already forming new institutions to make up for the failings of the traditional ones controlled by the Left.

In the US, we see this with the blossoming of the Internet blogosphere, talk radio and other new institutions. The assumptions of the founding fathers in the US and of the Zionist revolutionaries in the early 20th century were correct. People are capable of making the right choices about their lives. And they are only going to put up with the powers that be for so long before they find their way to getting around them. So ultimately, the institutions that tell us who we are – the courts, schools, media, entertainment sectors, have to be transformed either from within or from without. And this is already happening.

FP: Why is Islamic fundamentalism such a threat?

Glick: You know, at first glance, it seems ridiculous to think that Islamic fundamentalism could be a threat and this is so for two reasons. First, it is so unappealing and unaesthetic to Westerners that it is hard to imagine that anyone could take it seriously. We cannot imagine for instance, women accepting a situation where they are treated worse than livestock in the 21st century. Who would wish to live like this? Who would wish this sort of misery on their daughters or mothers? It seems impossible to believe that a culture that enslaves half its members from the getgo and treats its religious minorities so horribly and has been responsible for so much poverty and suffering could possibly be of interest to anyone.

Moreover, there is the fact that Islamic totalitarianism professes itself to be a religion. In the largely post-religious or at least religiously tolerant West, it is hard to believe that a religious group consciously uses religion and proselytizing as a way to build cadres, Communist style to undermine Western civilization. We lack the cognitive tools – and the legal and policy tools – for contending with such a situation.

For these two reasons, we in the West have a very hard time understanding that Islamic totalitarianism exists, let alone that it is a threat.

The main reason that Is
lamic totalitarianism is a threat is because it is a supremacist movement that due to oil revenues and the absence of a Western cultural challenge of any significance has the ability to grow and attract adherents. With Persian Gulf petro-dollars behind it, it can overwhelm all voices preaching non-totalitarian and non-confrontational forms of Islam.

I think that were it not for the massive wealth accruing to the likes of the Saudi Arabians, the attraction of totalitarian Islam would be much smaller. Certainly the ability of Islamic totalitarians from Iran to Pakistan to London to Saudi Arabia to threaten Western civilization and Israel would be vastly decreased if they were forced to support themselves. But in the absence of Western willingness to embrace imperfect alternatives like methanol, coal, nuclear energy and domestic drilling, it seems that in the foreseeable future, the physical threat to the West and to Israel presented by Islamic totalitarianism will likely grow.

FP: Can you talk a bit about how certain forces in the West and in Israel practice self-deception in the face of the enemy?

Glick: One of the ways both Israelis and Westerners deceive themselves is by judging Islamic totalitarians by their words and not by their deeds. Whether it is Iran agreeing to meet with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana for another worthless round of talks about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, CAIR's assertion that it is a civil rights movement, Israeli Arab parliamentarians who on the one hand commit treason by working actively for Israel's enemies and on the other hand defend their criminal acts as "free speech" or actions to defend against "racism," the Palestinian Fatah organization which claims it supports peace with Israel but then actively carries out terror attacks against Israel and colludes openly with Hamas and Islamic Jihad to bring about Israel's demise, or Hizbullah claiming that they are a Lebanese political movement when in fact they are Iran's foreign legion working to facilitate Iranian and Syrian control over Lebanon, we insist on believing their words and ignoring their deeds.

If you look at the level of public discourse in Israel and throughout the West regarding the strategic challenges our countries face as it has unfolded over the past eight years, you will see a studied refusal to acknowledge or recognize the significance of the actions of jihadists. Instead, you end up with reportage where statements by Western leaders are contrasted with statements by jihadists and treated as if they are of equal weight. Hence we get terms like "cycle of violence" when what we are really talking about is jihadist aggression.

Aside from that of course, there is the tendency to demonize those who do look at actions of the enemy and insist, indeed beg their governments in Israel and the West to take action to defend their countries and their interests. In the US, those who recognize the dangers are referred to as "neocons," or "chickenhawks." In Europe, they are referred to as Zionists or Americans. And in Israel they are pilloried as anti-peace. Then too, in the US and Europe and to a lesser degree in Israel, the cultural elites frighten the "hawks" who are really just realists into silence by threatening to call them racists. Finally, in Europe, voices calling for an acknowledgment of the Islamic totalitarian threat are silenced by jihadist intimidation and death threats, or in Theo Van Gogh's case, with murder.

FP: What are some of the strategies Israel and the West need to pursue to win the war against global jihad?

Glick: On a macroeconomic level, as people like R. James Woolsey, Gal Luft, Robert Zubrin, Frank Gaffney, Anne Korin and others have explained convincingly over the past several years, the West needs to end its addiction to foreign oil as quickly as possible. Energy security is a paramount issue. In Israel we have entrepreneurs working on changing Israel's small transportation market into one based on battery operating cars. This is an interesting concept and it will hopefully be successful. But overall, the West simply has to get its act together. For seven years under the Bush administration, the US has done essentially nothing as gasoline prices have gone from $20-$130 per barrel.

The culture wars in the West are also a key aspect of a winning strategy. We see many societies simply sinking into nothingness – places like Sweden and Norway come to mind most readily. And Britain for its part, seems to be on an inexorable decline towards collapse. When we do not understand who we are, we also cannot understand why who we are is worth defending. When we cannot assert our cultural and national identities, we cannot explain to either ourselves or Islamic totalitarians, why freedom is preferable to slavery.

Finally, we have to realize that people who call for global domination in the name of Islam and carry out acts of violence, and develop nuclear weapons are our enemies and that they are irreconcilable. They are fighting a war to the death against us and we need to fight back. We need to develop strategies aimed at defeating our irreconcilable foes and first and foremost among them is Iran. We have the means to win this war. We just have to understand why it is necessary to fight it.

FP: In your view, what is the best course for the West to take to break its dependence on Arab oil?

Glick: The best course is to seek other means of fuelling cars, trains and airplanes. The key to everything as far as I can see is for all cars to have the capacity to run on fuels other than gasoline – what are called "flex fuel cars" and to have the capacity to run on electricity – what are called "plug-in cars." What is needed is not so much one solution – but the ability to use many other fuels at once.

Once cars are able to run on methanol and ethanol and electricity as well as gasoline, then you have a lot of options for action. It makes sense to increase the supply of oil as much as possible by drilling in as many places as possible and increasing refining capacities. It also makes sense to start developing massive quantities of methanol that you can produce from just about anything. It makes sense to develop clean coal, increase nuclear energy supplies.

It makes sense to put a floor on the price of imported oil at $60/barrel to ensure that alternative energy sources that are now being developed can be competitive. It would prevent the Arabs from prolonging our dependence on them by flooding the US with cheap oil and pushing all alternatives off the market.

Finally, it makes sense to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Every time that Israeli leaders say something about attacking Iran, or most recently, when the Israeli Air Force flew 100 fighter jets 1500 km across the Mediterranean to simulate the flight length to Iran and home, the oil futures markets went bananas. Oil prices spiked. Consequently, a lot of people are warning that if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities, the price of fuel could rise to $8/gallon.

I think that this misses a key point in international affairs. It is Iran's nuclear brinkmanship, and the world's apparent fear of stopping it from acquiring nuclear weapons that gives the mullahs so much influence over oil traders. When the West – whether it's Israel or the US – asserts itself in a forceful way, the Iranian capacity to intimidate is decreased and hence their ability to cause spikes in oil prices decreases. After all, Iran has to export oil and gas regardless of the market price. Their economy is completely dependent on oil and gas revenues. That makes them price takers no less than anyone else at the end of the day.

FP: Are you optimistic or pessimistic in terms of the West's and Israel&
#39;s conflict with the jihadist enemy?

Glick: I am both. Right now, there are reasons to be deeply worried. The Olmert government in Israel is the weakest and worst government Israel has ever had. The only thing it seems adept at doing is surrendering to Israel's enemies and demoralizing the Israeli public. In the US, the public's love affair with Senator Barack Obama, who refuses to acknowledge that there is a jihad going on at all and seems to think that the best way to assert US global leadership is to run around the world apologizing about the US's assertion of its power to anti-American dictators is also deeply troubling. And our willingness to be led by fabulists comes as our enemies behave more and more aggressively.

But looking into the medium and long term, at least in the US's case, there is no doubt that the war will end in a US victory. For the US then it is not victory but the cost of victory that hangs in the balance.

In Israel's case, prospects are less clear. If Israel doesn't move to elections and responsible leaders do not take over soon, the road to the medium and long term could be rather deadly.

In short, democracies are always slow to act. But once we do, our enemies are no match for us. The trick today is that our actions mustn't come too slowly.

FP: Caroline B. Glick, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Glick: Thanks so much for inviting me. Always a pleasure.



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  • Marcel Cousineau 07/05/2008 at 1:34

    Caroline,You made a big mistake in leaving out Russia.
    Be sure that Putin and his friends have a big surprise awaiting the worn down cowboy on his tired horse.
    I do not fear or worry about Iran for Israel’s sake ,but rather the One who has raised them up for this hour.
    I know without a doubt that Russia and China will not sit this one out like they did with Afghanistan and Iraq and that America is set to fall into a snare ,a trap and.that is why Amadinejad keep taunting the cowboy.
    Our own pride has deceived us and led Israel to look away from God.
    For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.Luke 21:35
    The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
    Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.
    The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD……….
    All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.
    Obadiah 1
    It’s always better to see things thru God’s perspective rather than ours.His word reveals His foreign policy agenda and it stands far above the ‘has been empire’.
    It was God who raised up Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon to judge His people Israel as He now judges America.
    It is God who is setting the stage we see before us and for the reason of making sure everyone knows how wrong
    Mr. Netanyahu’s statement was.
    Only the United States can lead this vital international effort to stop the nuclearization of terrorist states
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    The most proud will stumble and fall and Israel will learn her faith and trust in a nation which turned her back on God was greatly misplaced.
    We know from Ezekiel 38 that Iran /Persia come’s against against Israel with many other nations, the U.S. not having stopped Iran.
    Someone is about to pluck the eagles fathers.
    The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
    Daniel 7:4
    It’s not hard to see that God has set a trap for the one who divides His land and pollutes the earth with their new marriage agenda and I think it was comes as a surprise to all who are in a state of slumber and great deception.
    It won’t be the first or last time God has set a trap .
    He has it in for all the nation’s,except Israel, and we ,America are on the top of His list.
    To whom much is given ,much is required.
    I read about a dream from a fellow named Jeff in July of 2005 about a US Naval blockade that led to WWIII and it stuck with me.
    The Jewish prophet Joel wrote about young men having dreams and visions in these waning hours.
    An innocuous Naval blockade against Iran goes horribly wrong with the U.S. Naval Fleet in the Perisan Gulf sunk by nuclear tipped supersonic Yakhonts and Sunburn missiles,and our cities targeted simultaneously.
    These missiles make our carriers obsolete and sitting ducks,not even the Aegis system can stop them.
    The emperor truly has no clothes.
    Putin is the real threat.
    Another Pearl Harbor but this time Russia,China,Venezuela,IranCuba,N.Korea,and others all in on God’s plan laid out in Obadiah.
    When the U.S. is destroyed in 1 hour ,Israel will with one heart finally seek the Holy One of Israel for their salvation.
    Sadly this is what it will take for Israel to end her adulterous relationship with her false hope,false messiah,false peace maker,false friend. and treacherous betrayer.
    Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
    And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
    Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee
    Ezekiel 38
    Are we ready and looking in the right direction for our salvation and hope ?
    If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
    Jeremiah 12:5

  • Nick 07/05/2008 at 3:09

    Has anyone told you that you are by far one of the best writers in the world? You rock! You’re one of the best Jewish intellectuals out there, and I’m glad you are out there.

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 07/05/2008 at 4:57

    The longer the West and Israel wait to confront radical jihadists, the more costly the ultimate victory. Sadly, this Century is one where cowards fly planes into buildings and murder innocent civilians. If Western Civilization is to triumph, it must destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, and defeat radical Islamists. The West and Israel must use their time, talent, and treasure to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, and put OPEC out of business. And if we allow Iran to obtain atomic bombs, the consequences will be catastrophic.

  • ContraJihadi 07/05/2008 at 15:52

    You are one perceptive lady, but I hope you won’t someday suffer the fate of Cassandra. … Well, at least some people listen to you.

  • R Garrett 07/05/2008 at 19:29

    Caroline, you have great insight and thoughtfully covered the questions without reservation. When the West refuses to accept that their is a spiritual war raging for the control of the world view of all, it does make for dark clouds on the horizon. I am listening for the trumpet to sound anytime now.

  • Grumpy Old Man 07/06/2008 at 20:03

    Caroline and the Zionist paranoiacs at FrontPage deserve each other. A very dangerous woman.

  • Dan 07/07/2008 at 6:40

    It isn’t just Israel that is “shackled;” it’s the entire Western world.
    The United States is hamstrung too.
    It’s a Western phenomenon, the natural result of 75 years worth of Leftist hatred directed towards it.
    Or as the Pope described it, “Europe doesn’t love itself.” And for Europe, read the Western world
    Observe the candidacy of Obama, who is as uncomfortable with the idea of American Exceptionalism as his wife is with open professions of devotion to country.
    Of course others have played a part too, in making sure that Europe hates itself, they’ve had other reasons than that of the Left, but it was ALWAYS unwise, and it was always going to backfire.
    Many urge the West to understand that Israel is its outer wall, its outer bulwark. But that ASSUMES that the West has any interest in seeing those walls patrolled and defended.
    If the West doesn’t see itself worth the while to defend, because they see its history as nothing but blood, carnage, rapacious colonialism, racism, environmental rape, anti-Semitism and anti-human capitalism, if that is the West that Westerners have been taught, been conditioned to blindly accept, that no other West ever existed, —————— is it any wonder that now the West can’t rouse itself to defense.
    Even against an enemy that extols everything the West hates.
    For all those that implanted a loathing of the West, within the breast of Westerners, ———- it isn’t going to end well.
    Other than the Almighty, the only entity capable of resisting and conquering the threat that mohammedanism poses to the whole world, ———- is the West.

  • R Hampton 07/09/2008 at 1:56

    I’m very disappointed that you presented such a lopsided view of Hamas (being an Iranian proxy). By ignoring the Saudi support that makes it possible for Hamas to thrive, you make it impossible to properly understand Islamic terrorism, to which militant Wahhabism is fundamental. I hope this rhetorical blindspot of yours stems from overfocusing on Iran, and not ignorance nor negligence of the Saudi threat. For example:
    Will a Gaza “Hamas-stan” Become a Future Al-Qaeda Sanctuary?
    Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror and David Keyes, November 8, 2004
    Al-Qaeda and Hamas are often funded by the same people and organizations. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “Hamas [leaders]…often use the very same methods and even the same institutions [as al-Qaeda] to raise and move their money.” Both al-Qaeda and Hamas legitimize the use of suicide bombing based on the same religious authorities: Sheikh Salman al-Auda (Saudi), Sheikh Safar al-Hawali (Saudi), Sheikh Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi (Saudi), Sheikh Sulaiman al-Ulwan (Saudi), and Sheikh Qardhawi (Egypt-Qatar). All five clerics appear on the Hamas website.
    HAMAS Funding
    1. Gulf States – A considerable proportion of the aforementioned funds originate from various sources in the Gulf States (The Gulf Cooperation Council States). Most of the funding is from Saudi Arabian sources, with a total value of $12 million a year.
    2. Iran – Its contribution is estimated at $3 million a year.
    A Hamas Headquarters in Saudi Arabia?
    Matthew Levitt, September 28, 2005
    The revelation that Hamas operates a command center in Saudi Arabia with close ties to Hamas militants executing attacks and the movement’s political and social-welfare (dawa) operations is remarkable. But neither the fact that individual Hamas operatives are active in Saudi Arabia nor the fact that Hamas receives significant funding from within the Kingdom is news. Unlike its official presence in Syria, Iran, Yemen, and Sudan, Hamas has never maintained a formal office in Saudi Arabia. But individual Hamas activists, as well as many supporters, have long raised funds from within the Kingdom … Individual contributions from Saudi Arabia were instrumental in helping Hamas develop the Qassam rockets it routinely shoots into Israel from Gaza.
    Millions of shekels transferred from Saudi to Hamas
    Aviram Zino, June 18, 2007
    According to two indectments served Monday, millions of shekels have been transferred from a Saudi organization to Hamas operatives in Jerusalem. The money was received as charity although, in reality, it was earmarked for terrorist activities… The first indictment accuses four officials in the A-Ram Charity Committee of receiving the monies from the Charity Coalition despite the fact that the organization had been outlawed … According to the second indictment, three other East Jerusalem residents are accused of being members of Hamas and involved in terrorist activities, as part of the Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades infrastructure, and in civilian activities through the charities.,7340,L-3414614,00.html

  • Stephen Hughes 11/28/2008 at 21:24

    Dear Ms. Glick 28 Nov 08
    I really liked your book Shackled Warrior, a follow up book is needed,
    along the lines of the evolution of State Sponsored Terrorism Asymmetrical Warfare, Clearly your book belongs in the ranks, of How Democracies Lose Small Wars- Merom, Beating Goliath- Record , Militant Tricks & Tactics – Poole, and others
    But what leaves me in the dark, I do not understand how such Israeli Leaders, such as the late A. Sharon , his lifelong military career , struggles to establish Jewish settlements, build Israel, the longer he was in government, the more he turned away from his former self, to the point he did
    an about-face, rewarding Arab terrorism, appeasement not holdingArab Palestinian leadership accountable and more as you well know .
    How could A, Sharon and others like him change so ?
    Idaho USA
    CBG responds: Thanks Hughes. I’ll think about it.


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