A new report from Team B

In 1970s, the Central Intelligence Agency undertook a “competitive analysis” of the military capabilities of the Soviet Union. The “competition” in question was the official analysis undertaken annually by the cia. During this period of détente, officialdom strove to paint a reassuring picture of the Soviet threat. Nothing to see here, move along. The competitive analysis by “Team B” painted a more minatory picture. According to Team B, not only did the official analysis underestimate the expansionist and bellicose nature of the Soviet Union’s strategic intentions, it also overlooked various vulnerabilities in the military posture of the United States. The somber findings of Team B, though criticized by officialdom, helped spark a vigorous military buildup that began in the last months of the Carter administration and gained steam in the Reagan years. The Soviets, unable to match that build up, found themselves presiding over the disintegration of their empire, thus ending the strategic deadlock we call the Cold War.

Last month, a new Team B “competitive analysis” was published. Undertaken by the Washington-based Center for Security
Policy, the focus of this new study is not Communist but Islamic expansionism. Titled Shariah: The Threat to America, the 177-page report was prepared by Team B leaders Lieutenant General William G. Boykin, the former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and Lieutenant General Harry Edward Soyster, the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, along with the advice of a distinguished group of scholars and policy experts including Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., the President of the Center for Security Policy, Andrew C. McCarthy, the former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney and author of The Grand Jihad, and R. James Woolsey, the former Director of Central Intelligence.

Like that earlier report from Team B, Shariah: The Threat to America presents a very different picture of Islamic intentions from the one on offer from official Washington. The official line is that Islam itself is not a threat to freedom or liberal democracy. According to this way of thinking, the problem has been with what President Obama identified as “isolated extremists” who (he says) betray rather than embody the real, peace- and freedom-loving tenets of Islam.

Shariah: The Threat to America argues that this view is both naïve and dangerous. To counter the nay-sayers, the Obama administration (even more than the Bush administration before it) has gone out of its way to condemn “Islamophobia.” The State Department has issued guidelines cautioning against the use of words like “jihad” and the conjunction of the terms “Islamic” and “terrorism.” What had been known as the “Global War on Terror” has been rebaptized “overseas contingency operations,” and the President celebrated the ninth anniversary of 9/11 by assuring the world that “the United States is not at war with Islam.” And as for Shariah—the focus of this new report—the response of officialdom oscillates between silence and deliberate obfuscation.

What is Shariah? It is Islamic law, a comprehensive spiritual, legal, moral, and political code. It is, the authors of this report observe, “the crucial fault line of Islam’s internecine struggle”:

On one side of the divide are Muslim reformers and authentic moderates . . . [for whom] shariah is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society. 
By contrast, the other side of the divide is dominated by Muslim supremacists, often called Islamists. Like erstwhile proponents of Communism and Nazism, these supremacists—some terrorists, others employing stealthier means—seek to impose a totalitarian regime: a global totalitarian system cloaked as an Islamic state and called a caliphate. On that side of the divide . . . shariah is an immutable, compulsory system that Muslims are obliged to install and the world required to adopt, the failure to do so being deemed a damnable offence against Allah. For these ideologues, shariah is not a private matter. Adherents see the West as an obstacle to be overcome, not a culture and civilization to be embraced, or at least tolerated. It is impossible, they maintain, for alternative legal systems and forms of governments peacefully to coexist with the end-state they seek.

Shariah: The Threat to America traces in grim and authoritative detail the many inroads that Muslim supremacists have made in the United States. It is partly an analysis of how the process of Islamicization proceeds in America—terrorism, though dramatic, may be the least effective weapon in the arsenal of Islamic proselytization—partly a wake-up call for Americans who are concerned about salvaging freedom in the face of this new
totalitarian threat. What is the antidote? “There is,” the authors conclude, “only one thing that can begin to save us . . . : Free speech. Free, unfettered, politically incorrect, informed and precise speech about shariah and the threat it poses to America.” Alas, that is one thing officialdom wants to deny you—“nothing to see here, move along . . . and keep quiet.” Shariah: The Threat to America makes for painful but essential reading. It will soon be available as a softcover book. You can download it today at www.shariahthethreat.com.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 29 Number 2, on page 3
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