The attacks by ISIS in Paris on 11/13/15 unfolded with a great deal of confusion and uncertainty about the scale of the attacks, the number of attacks and the casualty figures. It was obvious that once again the stakes have been raised by the enemies of reason, liberty and freedom of expression.
Who is the enemy? It's not the owner of the Mediterranean restaurant down the street, his employees and family. It's not the vast majority of people who have fled the chaos, violence and uncertainty of the Mideast. It is a contingent of Islamic extremists who hate and despise Western values and lifestyle.
These terrorists are growing in numbers and capabilities as they draw on young people in the midst of chaos and the power vacuum in the Mideast and offer them a perverse belief system that provides them with self-perceived value and identity. They have also been successful in attracting and developing "True Believers" from among poorly assimilated Islamic youth already present in Europe and North America.
The attack arrived as European nations began experiencing the largest migration of displaced people since World War II. We were already seeing European nations beginning to close their borders and this will likely accelerate in the wake of the Paris attacks. There have been reports of reprisal attacks on Muslims and refugees. All of which feeds the goals of the terrorists as that will help them radicalize more Muslim youth.
It doesn’t matter now whether the success of ISIS is due to Obama’s sorry foreign policy of disengagement and wishful thinking, Bush’s war to remove Saddam Hussein or the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire by the British and French at the end of World War I. What’s going on now is a vicious power play to fill the political vacuum in Iraq, Syria, Libya and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Its mixed with the power struggle between Sunni and Shia Islam that began with the death of Muhammad in 632 A.D.
ISIS has made it abundantly clear that they seek political hegemony in the Mideast and beyond and the imposition of a medieval religious orthodoxy. Terrorist attacks within Europe and North America serve to destabilize Western States and increase ISIS recruitment by provoking repression of Muslims already in our countries and migrants seeking to escape from the Mideast and Northern Africa.
What choice do we now have to combat the growing spread of Islamic Terrorism? Disengagement and Isolation don’t work. Four million refugees are fleeing from the Mideast and Northern Africa accompanied by some unknown number of Terrorist cells and we are importing refugees to North America as well.
We must suck it up and fight Islamic Terrorists by whatever name they choose to go by, Al Quada, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh or whatever.
We can’t be satisfied with containment or a negotiated stalemate. The model for this is the destruction of Nazi Germany followed by a significant period of nation building in the region. We can’t impose dainty “Rules of Engagement” on our forces. We’ve been there and done that. It fails every time. Quagmire is what happens when a war is not prosecuted to a definitive end.
We also need to promise the majority of moderate Muslims that we are not seeking to destroy or persecute their religion. We need to guard against becoming like our enemy.
We can’t get this done through the Eunuchs in the UN. NATO might be engaged since this constitutes the greatest threat to Europe since the Cold War but they may drag their collective feet as well.
Yes, we need committed partners in this endeavor, but I think we can find some. It would be nice to have support from Turkey, the Gulf States, the Saudis, the Iraqis, but about the only Muslim group that seems committed to the fight are the Kurds.