Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Committee on the Present Danger Being Reformed

A Cold War relic is being reincarnated for the War on Terror.
Citing what they call the need for a more aggressive war of information against, and education about, Islamic extremism, two U.S. lawmakers appeared Tuesday at a news conference formally announcing the latest reincarnation of a group that had its beginnings during the Cold War.

In 1950, in the earliest years of the "Cold War" with the former Soviet Union, the Committee on the Present Danger was formed to serve as a way of building support among Americans for a strong national defense and opposition to Moscow's expansionist aims.

Described in history texts as a conservative, although bi-partisan group, the committee counted among its members numerous people who went on to work in several presidential administrations. It also included, at one point in 1979, a politically ambitious Ronald Reagan who would go on to win the presidency.

In the 1960s, the group became less visible with the growth of public opposition to the war in Vietnam, only to re-emerge in the mid-1970's amid a debate about the direction of U.S. security policies regarding the Soviet Union, and the efficiency of the intelligence community.

Now, the group has appeared again, this time with the objective of educating Americans and the world about what its members call the threat from radical Islamist, as opposed to Islamic, terrorism.
Chaired by former CIA director James Woolsey and fronted by Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Kyl, the Committee on the Present Danger, quite simply, gets it:
The 9/11 attack had a similarly stimulating effect on the terrorist network that perpetrated it, and on legions of Muslim youths across the globe from among whom that network draws its recruits. Nothing succeeds like success, it is said, and Al Qaeda's "success" in hitting America on 9/11 was a far greater rallying event than all of Bin Laden's screeds and Al Jazeera's agitprop, combined. As it moved from suicide bombers in Tel Aviv to weaponized commercial aircraft in New York and Washington, there was no escaping the reality that the Islamist jihad took a quantum leap on 9/11. And with it leapt the danger confronting the free world from the "insane courage" (a term Bin Laden favors) of radicalized, Islamo-fascist killers.
I'll most certainly be keeping an eye on the efforts of this group, and it's comforting to know that the tradition and memory of the Cold Warriors continues. The more I read from Useful Idiots by Mona Charen, the more parallels I find between the struggle against communism and the fight against Islamofascist terrorism. This is especially true when I watch those against the struggle and listen to the recycling of talking points from decades ago.


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