While America may have been content to sit back and ignore political developments in other less powerful countries in the past, aggressive foreign powers have dedicated a significant amount of their time and energy to identify—and exploit— America’s weaknesses. Other countries know that we obsess over our death counts, rarely translate their domestic media, and Disnify evils we don’t understand. Former Undersecretary of Defense and Human Events Editor Jed Babbin believes we can no longer afford to ignore these overt foreign hostilities.
Babbin’s new book, In the Words of Our Enemies, offers translations of key speeches by foreign leaders, many of which were never meant to reach American ears. The book relies heavily on Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translations, to which Babbin adds short editorials providing background information. The reader is left to interpret the speeches.
Among the most valuable sections of Babbin’s book are the first seven chapters, which highlight the growing desire of Islamist leaders to use chemical and biological weapons, suicide bombers, and other methods of terror to completely annihilate America. Babbin provides translations of Al-Qaeda training manuals, Al-Jazeera broadcasts, and sermons by preeminent radical imams.
Radical Islamists believe that their cause is just, and that American crimes against Muslims necessitate violent retribution. Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith goes so far as to claim that “[Muslims] have the right to kill four million Americans—two million of them children—and to exile twice as many and to cripple hundreds of thousands.”
Other hostile nations around the world are plotting to exploit American weaknesses for their own ends:
• Theocratic Iran celebrates the advent of its nuclear program with religious ceremonies and aggressively promotes its coming hegemony over the world sphere. President Ahmadinejad asserts that the world must “Recognize the Iranian nation’s greatness. And bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender. If you don’t accept [to do this] the Iranian nation will later force you to surrender and bow down.”
• The People’s Republic of China accuses the U.S. of causing instability in Asia by promoting U.S. interests abroad and arming Taiwan. Meanwhile, Chinese military officials are secretly planning strategies for a total war on the U.S., including financial market manipulation, telecommunications sabotage, computer viruses, and military invasion.
• Megalomaniac Hugo Chavez, a veritable “Castro on Steroids,” plots to overthrow America. In his famous UN speech, he quotes “the prestigious intellectual” Noam Chomsky and calls President George W. Bush a “world dictator,” the devil incarnate.
• Vladimir Putin utilizes the tenets of Japanese martial arts to manipulate foreign countries into supporting his political agenda. He denounces other nations’ moves to isolate the terrorist Hamas government, arguing that democratic elections have the power to reform Hamas leaders into new, peaceful Yassir Arafat look-a-likes, as if that would make them good company.
• Fidel Castro, the long-standing spokesman for socialist revolution in Latin America, continues to rally other nations to destroy the United States. He has allied himself with Iran, asserting that “The people and governments of Cuba and Iran can bring the United States to its knees. The U.S. regime is very weak, and we are witnessing this weakness from close up.”
• Despotic North Korean leader Kim Jong-il maintains that American capitalism victimizes and degrades human beings more than other noncapitalist systems. He claims that “It is an indisputable fact that the end of contemporary imperialism is nigh, and it is historically inevitable that imperialism will perish and socialism triumph.” And Kim Jong-il will do anything to make sure that this prophecy will come true, even if it involves deploying nuclear weapons.
The common theme: America is under attack from all sides by nations intent on neutralizing its economic, political, and social power. Hugo Chavez, Al-Qaeda, radical imams, and others will stop at nothing to destroy “the Great Arrogance” that is America, yet we seem blissfully unaware of our own danger.
Bethany Stotts is an intern with the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.