The Day America Quit
Note: This is my response to my own blog project/challenge. Responses from other bloggers can be found in the post below this one.
From the 2025 edition of Encyclopedia Online, entered under "The New Caliphate"
The September 11th al Quaeda attacks on The United States were widely hailed as world changing events in their immediate aftermath, but with the distance provided by nearly a quarter century of internecine warfare between the Western, liberal societies and the jihadists bent on establishment of a new Caliphate those attacks are now viewed as part of a larger history.
Most historians agree that war was declared with the taking of the US Embassy in Tehran, in 1979, and that the war escalated with the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, the suicide bombing of Marine Barracks in Beirut, and the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, all in 1983. The weak response of the United States and the rest of the Western world to these events allowed the Muslim leaders to grow rapidly in power and influence, unmolested.
The 1980's saw a rapid increase in Islamic terrorism: the bombing of the U.S. Embassy annex near Beirut, the hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 221 and of TWA Flight 847, and the hijacking of cruise ship Achille Lauro. This last event led to the murder of Leon Klinghofer, a 69-year-old disabled American tourist. It is believed that the footage of his murder, shown repeatedly, sparked the Islamic jihadist love affair with the media, and vice versa. The bombings continued with the Rome and Vienna airports and the La Belle Discotheque in Berlin. Note for the first time the U.S retaliated after the Berlin bombing, targeting Libya and her leader Muammar el-Qadaffi. As a result of this counter-attack terrorists affiliated with Abu Nidal murdered three American University of Beirut professors.
Such activities continued in the 1990's with al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden moving to the forefront of the terrorist ranks. Major Al-Qaeda attacks began with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. In 1996 Osama bin Laden formally declared war on America and the West, and al Qaeda bombed a U.S. housing complex in Saudi Arabia. This was followed by the 1998 African Embassy bombings, and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole. Then came the 2001 September 11th attacks on U.S. soil. These were followed by the 2002 attacks in Bali and Kenya, among others, and in 2003 attacks in Casablanca and Istanbul. Al Qaeda struck in Madrid in 2004, as well as attacking the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah that same year. In 2005 London became the latest target for OBL and his minions (to view a Flash presentation of al-Qaeda attacks click here
Throughout much of the time after September 11th U.S. and allied forces pursued al-Qaeda, killing or capturing many of the top echelon leaders, but never managing to capture or verify the death of bin Laden. As a result of having harbored bin Laden and his followers the Islamofascist Taliban government of Afghanistan was toppled and democracy took root in the devastated country, but the War on Terror seemed destined to be long and difficult.
On another front, the US invasion of Iraq, viewed by many as a distraction in the War On Terror, undoubtedly consumed resources that could have been used to hunt bin Laden. The startling swiftness with which Saddam Hussein was toppled after years of taunting the world and flaunting the U.N. sanctions against him, and his ignominious capture, however, boosted the idea that democracy could take hold in the Middle East. This joy was to prove short lived, though. Shortly after Husseins capture the rise of the jihadist insurgency in Iraq, now known to be fueled by Syria and Iran, severely dampened the optimism many Americans felt for the future of Iraq. Anti-war coverage dominated Western media at the time; elections and the subsequent adoption of a Constitution in Iraq were not seen as the marks of progress that they are now recognized to be. The anti-war movement in the United States, driven by the far left but attracting adherents from across the spectrum of American society, fueled by the intensely anti-George Bush media and fronted by various demagogues, was relentless in it's call to "bring the troops home."
As President Bush entered the middle of his second term, political pressure to do just that mounted drastically and the President was forced by members of both political parties, especially a powerful few in his own party seeking to boost their profile in an election year, to do just that. On Christmas Day, 2005 the President announced that the "coalition of the willing" would immediately begin to withdraw from Iraq, with full turnover to be completed by Easter 2006, despite protestations from the Iraqi government that they were not yet strong enough to defend their democracy against Islamic jihad. While many on the American Right and several allies, including Australia, agreed that Iraq was not yet safe from the threat posed by the terrorist insurgents the American Left and the media were ecstatic in their "victory" over the President. Several high ranking military leaders and at least two mid-ranking diplomats resigned over the withdrawal, but the plan was put into action immediately.
These events took place against the backdrop of the Muslim uprising in Europe, which began in France and spread across the EU as Fall turned into Winter in 2005. At the time these uprising, termed "riots" were not recognized for what they were- a clear indication that Islam was on the march in Europe again, after having been defeated over seven centuries before.
With U.S. troops no longer in Iraq al-Qaeda was able to use the relatively open society of the still fragile democracy to infiltrate more would be jihadis, reestablishing training camps, targeting police and elected officials for assassination, and freeing trained terrorists for their next move- the envelopment of Europe.
Turkey, having long been rejected by the EU, experienced a sudden, massively violent return to militant Islam. Many young Turks, stung by failure of the EU to accept their nation and encouraged by the lack or response to the "riots" in France, Denmark, Belgium and other countries, flocked to the Islamofascist crescent, and the land in which the last Caliphate met it's end became the cradle of the next. The Turkish Republic was destroyed, and a new Islamic Republic declared, this time on Continental Europe. Many moderate or Westernized Turkish Muslims were imprisoned, tortured or simply executed as the radical progeny of the Taliban took control of the nation. A lucky few were able to flee, ironically to Israel as no Muslim nation would accept them.
Muslims across Europe were called to arms once again, and the "riots" of 2005 paled by comparison to the wave of terrorism that swept Europe in mid 2006. European nations declared martial law in rapid succession, but it was too late. The Muslim insurgents were already to well embedded into the fabric of the EU nations, and generations of gun control law left the citizenry of every nation apart from Switzerland (where the insurgency was rapidly crushed) unarmed and unable to defend itself.
European leaders turned to the U.N. and the United States for military aid, but the United States, still stung by the tragic failure of Iraq after coming so close to bringing freedom to the Iraqi people, deferred to the U.N. A resolution to send peace keeping troops into the EU was vetoed by permanent security council member China, supported by Argentina.
While there are still flare ups of violence along the tense borders of the Muslim city-states that now exist within Europe, peace has once again settled over the EU. France is reported to have shipped al of her nuclear weapons to Quebec, Canada for safekeeping, although Muslim unrest in that nation and the recent adoption of Sharia principles into public law lead many to believe that the weapons will not be safe for long, if indeed they are there.
Former President George W. Bush has remarked, publicly, that the early withdrawal from Iraq was the catalyst for the events that have transpired in Europe, and the Middle East, and that he views the Christmas decision the greatest failure of his Presidency. A former Secretary of State is rumored to have referred to Christmas 2005 as "the day America quit."
The New Caliphate, now based in Baghdad, has continued to issue veiled threats to the existence of Israel, all the while maintaining that Islam truly is the religion of peace.