You’ve got to decide what you are willing to die for

The more effective campaigns being conducted by our enemy in this war are not necessarily those of bombs and bullets. They are being fought in the classrooms and courtrooms, through media manipulation, and the revision of policies and procedures within strategic domestic strongholds. Our enemy has gained more ground by victories in those venues than they could ever have gained on any battlefield. – Doug Hagmann

by Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

1 May 2008: You’ve got to decide what you are willing to die for. Perhaps it is fortunate that this statement does not actively apply – at least not in its most immediate and operative form - to the vast majority of Americans today. It is indeed applicable, however, to those who are most visibly and actively engaged in the battle against Islamic terrorism.

The war against Islamic terrorism is being fought on a number of levels. There is the actual and most visible component of the war that is being fought by our military in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are the more covert military and intelligence components there and in other, lesser known theaters of operation. There is the component that is being fought here, within our homeland, by our domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And then there is the war that is being fought here, but in the shadows.

The battles taking place in the shadows, although lesser known and not well recognized, are perhaps causing and taking on the most casualties. It is this component of the war where men are separated from boys, and where difficult and life changing decisions are made by people of honor, integrity and courage. Men like Brad Thor, the author of the best selling book The First Commandment and his upcoming book The Last Patriot.

I’ve had the privilege to speak with Mr. Thor, and though our conversations, got to know him beyond the biographical synopsis on dust jacket of his book. He is a great example of a formidable warrior in the larger war being fought domestically, a fact that was pointed out by radio and television talk show host Glenn Beck. During that interview last March, and making reference to the agenda of Islamists in America contained in his upcoming book, Glenn Beck spoke of a private conversation he had with Mr. Thor about personal security. It was during that conversation when both agreed that it is important to decide what you are willing to die for.

The recipient of serious death threats for exposing the agenda of the enemy inside the U.S., Glenn Beck was speaking from experience. And he does not want to see his friend, Brad Thor, end up, for example, like an American equivalent of Theo van Gogh. For expressing his views and exposing truths, the Dutch filmmaker and publicist was brutally murdered in Amsterdam, where he lived and worked. He had received numerous death threats but never took them seriously; instead, he frequently downplayed his importance by often saying that “nobody kills the village idiot.”

On November 2, 2004, 26 year-old Mohammed Bouyeri murdered van Gogh by shooting him eight times. He then slit his throat, nearly decapitating him, and implanted two knives into his chest. Like a tack on a bulletin board, one knife affixed a note to van Gogh containing a message to the West, promising more such killings.

It was obvious that Mr. Beck felt that Brad Thor had to fully understand the threat posed to him by his writings, and through this understanding, be willing to accept the inconveniences posed by death threats and their potential consequences. Hence, he counseled his friend that he had to decide what he was willing to die for.

You might ask, what does this have to do with me? If you are reading this, it has more to do with you than you might realize. Additionally and the murder of Theo van Gogh notwithstanding, you might believe that Mr. Beck’s cautionary note is unnecessarily ominous and dramatic, good for ratings but more sensationalistic than realistic.

Unless you have received a genuine, legitimate death threat, however - one that brings law enforcement authorities to your door, unannounced, to deliver the news to you and your family that someone wants you dead, you cannot begin to realize what a life altering experience such a visit can be. I speak from experience.

Beyond the practical inconvenience, beyond the nightmare of logistics, beyond everything else, you are faced with the stone-cold reality that because of your beliefs, your writings, your actions – or any or all of them – your life will never be the same.

Welcome to the war being fought in the shadows. Whether you are a warrior or a witness, you are part of it. Over time, the question will be whether you are the victim or victor. You’ve got to decide what you are willing to die for.

Death threats are a weapon of intimidation and are used to manipulate the behavior of their victims. They are an important component of the war being domestically waged by our enemy. Less complex in the planning and execution than mass casualty events, they are effective in removing obstacles while causing others considering the same path as the victim to think twice about their intended actions.

Figuratively, in the playbook of the enemy, death threats are covered in the chapter following those providing instruction on effective legal intimidation, how to effectively launch accusations of civil rights violations, and the effective infiltration of law enforcement agencies and manipulation of their policies and procedures.

As in the case of van Gogh, such threats can be turned into action by fiery sermons depicting the target as a criminal and a slanderer of their religion. Even if never acted upon, they don’t go away – at least not until the enemy is completely eradicated. In a nation paralyzed by the exploitation of political correctness and fueled by the schizophrenia of its policies, our enemies have become fully entrenched in our homeland. Our continued reluctance to identify our enemy with the intellectual honesty necessary to win this war has given those entrenched fertile ground to multiply like metastasic cancer cells.

The more effective campaigns being conducted by our enemy in this war are not necessarily those of bombs and bullets. They are being fought in the classrooms and courtrooms, through media manipulation, and the revision of policies and procedures within strategic domestic strongholds. Our enemy has gained more ground by victories in those venues than they could ever have gained on any battlefield.

It is critical that these tactics be exposed, the public educated and more effective battle lines drawn, regardless of the risk. To be victorious, you’ve got to decide what you are willing to die for.