The World War III death toll nears 10,000
Most wars have a triggering cause and a start date. When the Japanese Empire realized its dream of dominating the western Pacific and Asia was blocked by the United States and Great Britain, we were attacked on December 7, 1941.
Most wars have an end date. World War II ended with the signing of the Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945. While we do not yet know the end of World War III -- the war we are currently fighting – this observer has an idea as to when it began.
How about June 5, 1968, as the beginning of World War III, a war that, for awhile, ran concurrently with the Cold War but took on a new dimension after September 11, 2001? Why June 5, 1968? That was the date on which the Arab Sirhan Sirhan assassinated the pro-Israel presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. Later, Sirhan Sirhan admitted his hatred of Jews prompted him to kill Kennedy. So, June 5, 1968, seems a logical place to begin.
Has World War III been costly? Let’s recount just the bombings by Muslin extremists not involving the use of car or truck bombs: 1985: Muslim extremists seized the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, a Jew; 1986: Muslim extremists bombed a West Berlin discotheque, killing two American soldiers and one Turkish woman; 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim extremists killing 181 passengers and crew plus 89 people on the ground in Scotland; October, 2000; Muslim extremists attack the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors.
But wait. There’s more: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, provides a compendium of all the mass car and truck bombings and all of the assassinations carried out by the use of cars and trucks since 1928. (For purposes of this column, I have set aside the mass bombings and assassinations related to Northern Ireland, Cosa Nostra, South American drug wars, the Basque separatist movement, the Bader-Meinhof Gang and the Red Brigade.)
Therefore, the following figures relate only to mass car and truck bombings and assassinations carried out by Muslim extremists against the United States and its allies.
Since 1968, car or truck bombings carried out by Muslin extremists have killed 3,308 people. In addition, Muslim extremists have used cars or trucks to assassinate ten specific targets (and 151 bystanders) for a grand total of: 3,469 lost souls.
Therefore, if you add the over 3,000 killed on September 11, 2001, and the other non-car bombing outrages listed above and our losses in Gulf War I, Afghanistan and Iraq to date, it would be fair to say that since the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, the Muslim extremists have killed almost 10,000 people who do not share their vision of a world dominated by the radical fringe of Islam.
So, when will we see the end to these attacks by the Muslim extremists upon us, upon Israel and our other allies? Not until one of two events happens: The radical Muslim extremists realize their goal of restoring the world to the 14th Century is doomed to failure and they adopt the necessary societal reforms to be successful in the 21st Century. Or, they continue to attack and we prosecute the War on Terror abroad until they all get an early ticket to Paradise.
Of course, we could adopt a third option: Surrender. We could turn this entire nasty business over to the United Nations and withdraw into Fortress America. Unfortunately, the United Nations is, for the most part, a collection of criminal enterprises masquerading as sovereign nations. Moreover, most UN members are either dictatorships or anti-capitalist or both.
The United States is a free-market nation whose economic well-being depends on the free movement of goods and services throughout the planet. One doubts the United Nations would or could look out after our needs and interests.
Come November 2, 2004, America will decide which way it wants to go.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is a retired military officer and the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two novels about terrorist attacks directed against the United States.
©2004. William Hamilton.