HERNDON, Va., June 11 (UPI) -- If any joy exists in hell, Osama bin Laden is a happy camper.
Assuming the Eternal Inferno's residents occasionally get breaks to view the world left behind, bin Laden is pleased. Despite serious setbacks suffered by al-Qaida, he sees -- almost 12 years after 9/11 -- his ultimate goal still achievable.
In a National Defense University speech May 23, U.S. President Barak Obama all but declared the "war on terror" over saying:
"This war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands ... A perpetual war ... will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways ... The threat has shifted ... from the one that came to our shores on 9/11 ... (to) threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad. Homegrown extremists. This is the future of terrorism."
Smiling in disbelief, bin Laden celebrates knowing the United States still doesn't get it. Forest Gump was right, "Stupid is as stupid does!"
What bin Laden grasps and Obama doesn't is even al-Qaida's total destruction won't end the war on terror against the West. The United States fights not a physical enemy; it fights an ideology.
Yet, while endeavoring to destroy al-Qaida's Sunni extremist organization, Obama embraces another organization espousing the same ideology. Driving different vehicles, both organizations share the same destination -- Islam's world domination. They just take different routes to get there.
Established in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was criticized by bin Laden for betraying global jihad. The Muslim Brotherhood's founder, Hassan al-Banna, declared its role was to reclaim Islam's manifest destiny -- an empire stretching from Spain to Indonesia and beyond.
As the Muslim Brotherhood's pace of violence was too slow, bin Laden established al-Qaida in the late 1980s. By the late 1990s, its violence was spreading, with 9/11 becoming America's wake-up call. (A Muslim Brotherhood operative bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.)
In 1981, Muslim Brotherhood elements assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The brotherhood also spun off violent proxies such as the Palestinian group Hamas, known for its suicide bombings and designated by the United States as a terrorist organization.
The Muslim Brotherhood's creed reveals a dark side: "Allah is our objective; the Koran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."
Also of concern is the Muslim Brotherhood's establishment of many non-violent "front" groups to implement a strategic plan for "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within."
This strategy, secretly drafted by its leadership in 1991, was discovered in 2004 during a warrant search of a home in Northern Virginia. It clearly maps out the role for brotherhood front organizations: using the United States' freedoms and political correctness against it to replace the U.S. Constitution with Shariah.
This is to be accomplished in three phases (jihads), with the last involving a return to violence.
With the Muslim Brotherhood's track record and the 2004 discovery of its plot to undermine the U.S. Constitution, one would assume U.S. government wariness of it or its affiliated groups. Unbelievably, not only is the Muslim Brotherhood embraced today by the United States in Egypt but also here at home.
This embrace is evident from recently released 2011 U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines for "countering violent extremism" (note no reference to "Islamic" extremism), suggesting criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood is fabricated by anti-Muslim bigots (note specific reference here to Islam) and, thus, lacks credibility.
Homeland Security defends the Muslim Brotherhood claiming -- contrary to the brotherhood's own secret document -- it is moderate and wouldn't use front groups in the United States.
Shockingly, these Homeland Security Department guidelines were established with direct input from Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups -- some of which are unindicted co-conspirators in a major federal prosecution for funneling funds to Hamas. Their "unindicted co-conspirator" status was upheld on appeal due to "ample" evidence linking them to the terrorist group.
Despite this linkage, the Pentagon uses a Muslim Brotherhood front group to vet Islamic clerics to serve in uniform. What more can be done to pave the way for future Fort Hood, Texas, shooting incidents?
(Despite that alleged shooter's support of jihad and cry of "Allahu Akbar" prior to the shooting deaths of 13 unarmed soldiers, the killings are called "workplace violence" rather than an act of Islamic terrorism.)
Furthermore, most telling about the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda is the denial of U.S. entry -- since 1999 -- of its top spiritual leader due to his violent calls for the United States' collapse.
Bin Laden takes pleasure too from Turkey's Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's May 15 visit to Lanham, Md. Turkey funds a $100 million mega-mosque under construction there. Upon arrival at the site, Erdogan played a familiar tune, calling mosque critics anti-Muslim bigots suffering from Islamophobia. Present with him were representatives of two Muslim Brotherhood front companies.
The symbolic importance of Erdogan's visit requires understanding his mindset.
Erdogan sees Hamas as a resistance -- not terrorist -- movement. He discourages assimilation by Muslims in foreign countries to maintain purity. He is slowly transitioning Turkey from democracy to an Islamist state. He seeks a constitutional amendment allowing the president to serve without any checks or balances on power.
He promotes Islam's global spread, boasting, "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." The Clarion Project reports he quietly seeks settlement of thousands of Turkish immigrants in American-Indian semi-autonomous zones to expedite America's Islamization.
With Obama's effort to hide the Islamic threat and Erdogan's effort to promote it in the United States, no wonder Obama touts Erdogan as a world leader with whom he enjoys a most effective relationship.
A handwritten note on a World War II photograph of a U.S. warship reads, "Tokyo, here we come!" It referenced a war that ended only after capturing the Japanese homeland.
Today's war on terror, however, is against an ideology, unconstrained by geography. Therefore, it is only by eliminating that ideology that today's war will truly end. Obama's end of war statement is shockingly naïve about a conflict requiring a multi-generational effort.
Bin Laden a must be hosting one hell of a Hades hoedown. He has much to celebrate as Obama's naivete allows a dangerous ideology to thrive.
(Lt. Col. James G. Zumwalt, a retired Marine infantry officer, served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf War. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.)
(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)