Failed Leadership

Published on April 12th, 2015 | by Rick Robison



In the wake of 9/11, I was often asked exactly when radical, expansionist Islam first threatened the Christian West. (It’s amazing how many don’t know that the Islamist Jihadi War on America and the West is anything but new.)

My answer has not changed. In the Seventh Century. Fourteen centuries ago.

Yes, it’s receded at times, usually after being beaten back decisively. Later, like a relapse of the plague the Islamist Phoenix rises, sweeping back at us with a vengeance. The terrorists we fight today are the philosophical spore of generations of jihadis (holy warriors) or Hashasheen (Assassins), rising like the Hydra to kill and be killed in the Cause of Global Submission To Allah. Radical Islam is a virus within the greater Islamic body, and like a virus, it mutates to survive. Always has, always will…unless we make a drastic course change.

Eradicating this virus, long-term, many believe, is impossible. I disagree. Though I’ve experienced this war now for over a quarter-century.

The Historical Reality: revolutionaries or militants always drive historical change, especially major turning points, for good or for evil. The silent—too silent—majority rarely, if ever, impacts your world, at least not in dynamic ways. It requires only a handful of zealots to wreak chaos and death, shackling, torturing, and murdering potentially millions of people. The past century’s examples include the Bolsheviks in Russia, and Hitler’s Nazis. Both movements, Bolsheviks (Marxists) and Nazis (National Socialists), were just a tiny militant, but highly active, minority. Simply, the passivity of the great, silent majority empowered these rabid activists and community organizers.

Today, due to the Power of Technology—weapons, computers, medical, and most importantly, social media—everything has changed. Today one man, or woman—that infamous “Lone Wolf Terrorist”—can destroy a city, or launch a bloody revolution.

On the positive side, a handful of revolutionaries can also birth a history-changing force for good, spreading freedom and liberating millions. Take the American Revolutionary Founding Fathers (and Mothers), or the Christian Slave Abolitionist Movement in England in the 1700s, and in America just prior to the Civil War. Before that time, the seemingly eternal institution of slavery was universal in the world, among Europeans, Asians, Middle Easterners, Africans, and even among the American Indians. That would change, launched by what many believe was a divine revolution.

In 1774, when American patriots began to call for rebellion against King George III of England, the majority of Americans wanted nothing to do with breaking from the Crown. To most Americans this was madness, promoted by “insane radicals” such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the firebrand revolutionaries Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, and Sam Adams. The thought of becoming “orphans” by willingly forsaking the security of Mother England, let alone declaring war on the most powerful empire on earth, held little appeal for Americans, scaring the hell out of nearly everyone.

Fortunately (for America and the world), a miracle of history occurred. I believe with Divine intervention, the Founding Fathers succeeded in uniting a strong, dedicated core, a critical mass, though still a decided minority of Americans. What was unique about the Revolution was that sufficient numbers of colonists were finally willing to get behind these noble revolutionaries, stand up and throw off the yoke of tyranny, uniting to build a true republic, what would become a beacon of liberty to the world. Previous to this in other lands, whenever a people would drive out one tyrant, they would simply replace him, or her, with another. But America was different. A new age was dawning.

“We see with other eyes; we hear with other ears; and think with other thoughts, than those we formerly used.”

– Thomas Paine

The point remains: History is nothing if not a testimony to dynamic change, brought always by the passionate, risk-taking revolutionaries. Their willingness to place everything on the line, often on nothing more than an untested vision or hope, has altered the world time and again, for good and for evil.


Today Islam is at a crossroads. Muslims will either seek liberty and self-determination, or (for their own perceived safety) embrace tyranny and oppression. Within the greater Islamic “community” worldwide, numbering about one and a third billion souls, more than twenty percent of the world’s population, there exists a relatively small minority of Jihadi militants. These radicals have their own dark vision for the world, very different than the one held by America’s Founders.

“The banner of Islam will necessarily be raised when the land is watered with the blood of martyrs.”

– al-Qaeda Organization

Like ISIS today, the vision of Islamist revolutionaries Hassan al-Banna (Muslim Brotherhood), Sayid al-Qutb (Muslim Brotherhood), and Palestine’s Grand Mufti al-Husseini, is much closer aligned with the fascist tradition. These Islamic leaders were, and are, totalitarians. al-Banna, al-Qutb, and al-Husseini would never see eye to eye with Thomas Jefferson, though they, according to their speeches and writings, did admire Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, or rather their brutal tactics for stealing and holding power and stamping out personal freedom.

Today modern Islamist revolutionaries, like al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri, and ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who use the most brutal forms of terror to intimidate and coerce the greater Muslim world, are once more driving history, dedicated to defeating liberty, raising their version of Islam’s Black Banner, and in the process, cower and shackle the world.

In opposition to tyranny and terror, however, Muslims from many lands are rising up, inspired to varying degrees by American freedom and opportunity. I have many friends in the Turkish Republic, the new Iraqi Republic, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, and even Djibouti, who courageously stand in opposition to these Jihadi tyrants around them. These modern patriots of Islam, strong in their faith, are the modern equivalent of Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry. These are quiet revolutionaries, however, maintaining a low-profile for personal and family security reasons, yet are positioning themselves to stand as an alternative to the Islamist radicals…if they get the chance.

Why is this so crucial? It should be obvious. These leaders will either rise to replace the militants and tyrants, or be forced into submission or killed by them, depending upon the support they receive from the United States. In fact, these modern patriots are positioning themselves to write the story of Islamic freedom.

They can’t do it alone.

Incredibly our past victories against this tyrant-enemy have left many Americans confused about our role. We shouldn’t be. Yet, too many want to simply forget and “move on.” One prominent presidential candidate in the last election even called the war on terror “just a bumper sticker (slogan).”

I know from personal experience that these terrorist groups are laughing at us, replaying such statements to their minions as “proof” that sooner or later they will win this fight. Americans must come to understand, and soon, that in the end, we will either end up with one group or the other. In this war, there is no middle ground. The recent rise of ISIS, this critical, and increasingly brutal, 3rd Generation Jihadi, should shake even the most stubborn pacifist.

Bottom line: Either we support and protect those who will write the story of Islamic freedom…or, by default, we allow the fascists, the terrorists, to behead or neuter global peace and freedom, and they will.

It’s that simple.

Yet, today (again by default), too many Americans are stumbling towards defeat, led by pseudo-leaders who build their careers telling each American Special Interest Group exactly what they want to hear, not what they need to know. And while it’s true that we will always get the leaders we deserve, many hundreds of millions more in the world depend upon us in ways we may not yet comprehend.

This was the main purpose for President Barack Obama’s Global Apology Tour, launched soon after he was elected—to remove (through self-inflicted, American political and military castration) our former global calling to stand for freedom. The President, with his shameful words, justified (and disguised) his planned retreat in the world, by “confessing” our “past crimes,” subtly announcing that America was “undeserving” and would now back away. In essence, he was saying that America didn’t deserve to lead, that America was just like any other nation, not exceptional, not to be emulated.

Of course, when push comes to shove, when tyranny rises in the world, America is not, and never can be, “just like any other nation.”

The story of freedom is always written by the risk taking revolutionaries. There are freedom-loving Muslims in many lands ready to step forward. But they won’t if America doesn’t have their back. We stand by them because their victory is also our security.

In this, America is exceptional. We are indeed irreplaceable, but only if we are willing to lead. The world, without America, would be a dark and dangerous place.

–Rick Robison

“Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.”

–Abraham Lincoln



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About the Author

I have a standing rule to live by…a liberty to follow my own will in all things…and never subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man—Life, liberty, and property.

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