What's at stake in the war against terrorism? Philip Little, an expert on counter-terrorism, seeks to answer that question in his newest released book from Broadman & Holman titled: Counter-Terrorism Handbook: How to Protect Yourself at Home and Abroad.
Little contends most Americans fail to understand what losing the war on terror really means. "It would appear," he says, "that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home, and going on about our business, like post-Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get."
Although Little was regularly invited to the White House as a consultant for anti-terrorist briefings during the Reagan administration -- and despite the fact that he has interfaced with various government experts on the motives and psychology of terrorist -- he believes the battle is essentially a spiritual one. Little writes: "It's an awesome thing to consider that the first act of terrorism happened in God's own realm. When I look at the rebellion in heaven, I have to come to the conclusion that acts of terrorism are spiritual, from the first act of terrorism that was concocted to turn the good of heaven into the evil that Lucifer desired until those committed now."
Some people are uncomfortable with saying the war against terror is a religious war, but that fact is unavoidable, says Little. He contends it's not a question of whether the Muslim religion is a peaceful religion or not. "There is no doubt that the predominantly Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Adolph Hitler, that made no difference. You either went along and kept quiet or were killed," he says. "Many forget that Hitler killed five to six million Christians on top of all the Jews that were slaughtered. The same fate awaits the peaceful Muslims who speak against the terrorists. The peaceful Germans were of no protection for the Jews or Christians from Hitler, and the peaceful Muslims will be no protection for us from the Muslim terrorists' leaders."
Critical to understanding the war on terror is the recognition there is a powerful sect of Muslims who are determined to rule the world according to their religious worldview. This worldview is based on the premise there are only two alternatives in life for all "unbelievers": death or slavery. These people are willing to sacrifice their own children for the cause, strapping explosives to them as suicide bombers and training them in schools around the world to be combatants. They are patient and willing to pay any price to see their vision become a reality. Therefore, we better be ready to make any sacrifice to stop them.
Little says if we lose the war on terror, the United States will no longer be the premier country in the world. Terrorist attacks will not end, but steadily increase until they have succeeded in making us submit completely to their will. Then, once we are out of the way, they'll begin picking off other non-Muslim nations one by one. Our economy will suffer tremendously. Trade with other nations will vanish for fear that Muslims will retaliate against them if they do. Essentially, the world as we know it will change, with freedom and democracy failing at every turn.
In his book, Little offers three critical steps that must be taken to win the war on terror. "The first," he says, "is having the political will to take the fight to the enemy before we see the smoking gun and the attendant, monumental loss of life." This is exactly what President Bush has done in not only hunting for Osama bin Laden and crippling the terrorist network of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but attacking Iraq for its harboring and support of terrorists.
The second part of winning the war on terror, says the author, is good intelligence gathering and preventive law enforcement actions to stop terrorists before they can strike. "Since 9/11, we have started the rebuilding of our intelligence agencies," says Little, "resulting in the interception of many terrorists plots before they could harm the United States. These successful interventions may surprise you because you likely don't know about most of the heroic efforts by the dedicated men and women of the intelligence community .... These successes are attributable to the leadership we've been fortunate to have in Washington. This has nothing to do with the party in power but with the character of our current president and his fundamental grasp of the problem and how to fight it."
"The third and equally important key to combating terrorism," says Little, "is an energized, informed citizenry that is proactive in running government, from the local to the federal level." We must exercise our free-speech rights to oppose those voices among us offering appeasement to terrorists and restraints against preventive law enforcement. We need to write letters, make phone calls, being ever vigilant in letting our elected officials know what they need to do. Moreover, we must utilize the powerful weapon of the ballot box. Little warns if we support a candidate "who has a record of gutting preventive law enforcement, is anti-military, and promotes appeasement of aggressors, then beware. If we elect leaders who have this worldview, we will be sitting ducks for those who wish us harm."
There is one other counter-terrorism measure Little did not mention in his book. But I heard him speak about it at a recent Law Enforcement Summit at Ridgecrest Conference Center, in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Little encouraged participants at the summit to come to Christ and experience the peace of God. He said when a person repents of their sins and receives Christ as Savior and Lord, they experience genuine peace. "Then, we become the dispensers of God's peace to others," he said. "Terrorism is based on fear, but you can counter that with the peace of Christ."
Indeed the stakes in the war against terror are high. The battle is not simply about defending the American way of life, about democracy, freedom, or our economy. But the battle is spiritual in nature. I'm convinced terrorism is the devil's reaction to the thousands upon thousands of people who are coming to Christ around the globe. His plan is to slow down the progress of the Gospel. Certainly no greater loss could be suffered by our nation or the world!