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Thursday, May 24, 2018


On Memorial Day we honor all our men and women who served their country in the military and who have passed on to their final reward.

Since 9/11 a new era has ushered in another generation of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. We are in a war like no other in modern history. Islamic fanatics from many nations wish to harm the West in general and the United States in particular.

The War on Terror has an historical context. History reveals a long Western struggle against forces of Islamic domination. That said, there is always a risk of being misunderstood. The argument is not with the Islamic faith but rather with extremists who have hijacked Islam for their own ends.

Why would these extremists wish to harm the United States? Much of their attitude has to do with the Islamic rendering of history as taught to young men in Islamic schools around the world. The Islamic spin on history is most noticeable as taught to the Islamic youth than it is with history as understood by Western youth.

The hatred for the West, taught by Islamic radicals, is rooted in the perceived humiliation of Islam by the West. A tenant of the Islamic faith is that the entire world must submit to Islam for the glory of Allah. Time and again the West has rebuffed such attempts.

In 630 Mohammed founded Islam. Conversion of peoples ranging from India and Central Asia through the Middle East and across North Africa into Southern Europe occurred in a mere 100 years by the power of the sword.

In 732 the attempted conversion of Europe to Islam was stopped dead in its tracks at Pointier, France, 180 miles south of Paris. The Saracen general Abd-ar-Raham attacking from Spain led an army of Arab and Berber Cavalry across the Pyrenees into France. They were met by the French heavy Infantry who defeated the invaders. Had the situation been reversed, Oxford University in England might be teaching the Koran today.

For the next 950 years Islam focused on preventing the re-conquest by Christians of Muslim lands while at the same time expecting the rise of a great leader, a caliph. That caliph would complete the effort to conquer the world for the glory of Allah.

Instead, the Islamic world continued to shrink. The defeat of Ottoman Turkish naval forces by Spain, Italy, and the Papal states in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 freed the Mediterranean region of Muslim dominance. In 1683 a final attempted incursion into Europe by the Ottoman Turks was defeated at the gates of Vienna.

What followed was a slow and painful decline of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Western colonialism.

The defeat of some colonial powers as a result of World War I proved to Islam that the West was not invincible. The years following World War II saw the breakup of former colonies into individual states.

The birth of the State of Israel in 1948, essentially a Western state planted in the middle of the Islamic world, was yet another setback for Islam.

Following the 9/11 attack on the US by Islamic radicals, the US chose to confront the Islamic terrorists on their own soil. The principle obstacle between the terrorists and the American citizens was the American military.

In Iraq and Afghanistan the US military drove wedges between Islamic radicals and the rest of the Islamic world by helping create representative governments free of totalitarianism. The premise is that countries where the majority exercise self-determination are more stable and less of a threat than is a unified block of totalitarian states controlled by extremists.

On Memorial Day 2018 our fallen sons and daughters from all branches of the military from all wars including Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserves deserve heartfelt commemoration from a grateful nation. Special honor is due those who have fallen in the War on Terror.


Dennis M. Patrick can be contacted at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).



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