Andrew C. McCarthy led the prosecution team in the 1995 terrorism trial of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the Blind Sheik.) He was able to obtain a conviction of the Sheik and eleven others for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. After the September 11th attacks he supervised the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Command Post in New York City. From 1999 until his resignation in 2003, he worked as a Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Justice Department in New York. NewsRealBlog interviewed him about his latest book, The Grand Jihad and terrorism.
NewsRealBlog: Do you have an example of how America changed culturally regarding the enemy?
Andrew McCarthy: Compare the Mosque that people want built at Ground Zero to 1943 where someone would say why don’t we build a Shinto Temple at Pearl Harbor. You would have been shot on sight for making that suggestion. Now 60 years later they are ready to build a Mosque at Ground Zero.
NRB: Do you agree with those that say if we change our policy toward Israel the War on Terror would be ended?
McCarthy: No. Al Qaeda for years never mentioned Israel. They talk about it more after 9/11. It was almost as an afterthought that Al Qaeda added Israel to its rhetorical thoughts.
NRB: Do you agree that solving the Israel-Palestinian problem will end the War on Terror?
McCarthy: No. The ideal Jihadist solution is the elimination of Israel. If the Islamists know we are willing to appease them by leaning on Israel to give up territory it will encourage them to fight for more. The concessions will not appease them.
NRB: Do you think some of President Obama’s policies have weakened American values?
McCarthy: Yes. The Obama Administration’s co-sponsored with Egypt a 2009 resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that supposedly condemned any expression considered to promote racial and religious stereotyping. This would drastically cut back on first amendment freedoms. Disparaging religion would be a crime, which is a danger to our freedom of speech. It is also a danger to our freedom of religion because it’s being done totally because of Islam. People poke fun at Catholics and Jews and we are expected to suck it up and take it.
NRB: Do you think the US should have spoken out against the resolution condemning Israel over the flotilla incident?
McCarthy: Yes. Obama wants everyone to go up in a balloon because he managed to get this watered down. The US joined the condemnation of Israel with some of the most anti-American countries in the world.
NRB: Do you think the Silent Majority is buying into the public relations against Israel?
McCarthy: The one thing those against Israel may have over stepped is that they think the media is more influential than it actually is. My own sense is that most people don’t trust the main stream media and for that reason Israel may get a chance to turn the narrative around. People in the US are no longer willing to believe something is true just because the media says so.
NRB: Why has Turkey turned around as an ally of Israel?
McCarthy: What people should understand is that Turkey was a stable ally as long as they were able to suppress Islam from public policy and public life. The Israel-flotilla incident underscores how far Turkey has gone into the other camp.
NRB: To conclude, your book, The Grand Jihad, talks about how the left and Islam have made a marriage of convenience. How should we counter the left?
McCarthy: We need to make people more wary and suspicious when they hear something that doesn’t sound right from the media. Similarly, they should question when they see someone like Obama say that we need fundamental radical change in this country. We better wake up to this serious problem.