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United We Fall

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

What happened in Brussels was disgusting and cowardly, but it wasn’t a surprise. Terrorists commit acts of terror; their existence, although disturbing, is not a surprise. What is a surprise and, perhaps most disturbing, is how the free world is reacting. After decades of radical Islamic terrorism and the wholesale slaughter of the innocent, world leaders barely pay lip service to it anymore.

After the latest bombings, world leaders pledged to “stand against” those who perpetrated this latest atrocity. With all due respect, that’s like cursing the rain or punching the wind – words, when followed by nothing, that might as well be nothing. And nothing is what western civilization offers in the face of splattered bodies of people committing the sin of going about their daily lives.

As long as the West, particularly the United States, continues to treat the threat radical Islam poses to life like a mosquito in a tent, more ground will be soaked with the blood of innocent people.

Like it or not, the civilized world looks to the United States in times of need. Since World War II, we’ve been the protector of freedom, the superpower to stand against evil. We aren’t worthy of that trust anymore.

Barack Obama squandered America’s pinnacle position in world leadership through feckless moral equivalence and empty platitudes in the face of opportunity. The chance to lead, to rally the world against the evil of our time, has been flushed by a man who seems to believe the sins of our nation’s past are no different than the sins of those who murder in the name of their God.

Nature abhors a vacuum, but in the absence of American leadership, no country can fill that void. In the 71 years since the end of the last world war, true leadership has atrophied in the rest of the West. There was no need for it; the United States was there. Not anymore.

In the immediate aftermath of murder, Barack Obama could only be bothered for 51 seconds of comment while ingratiating himself to the terrorist leader of Cuba. He couldn’t even muster nine more seconds of concern to round out a full minute.

“The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium, and we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people,” the president said. “We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally, Belgium, in bringing to justice those who are responsible.

“This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.”


So “the world must unite?” Is the world not already united? Has it not been united against terror since 9/11? Since Paris – the first or second time? Since any and all terrorist attacks, beheadings, burning alive of prisoners? Aren’t we always united in opposing such actions?

That’s not the problem. The problem is, without American leadership, we’re also united in impotence when it comes to doing anything about it.

What is the point of standing united if all you do is stand? How many punches must the world take before it hits back?

ISIS is not the JV team; the West is. The West is sitting on the sidelines hoping words will mystically appear that will convince people who believe exploding themselves in an airport or training prepubescent children to saw the head off another human being that their way of life is wrong. Death is their goal. They simply hope to take as many people as possible with them. And paradise awaits.

There is no rational thought behind that; no reason will change it. They are termites on the soul of humanity and must be exterminated. But they won’t be as long as the leaders of the free nations of the world can’t muster more than words in the face of that evil.

They stand united and frozen, willing to call it “war” but unwilling to wage it.

ISIS is waging it, and ISIS is winning it.

Until the West commits to fighting the war against ISIS, the war on terror, like an actual war, expect more attacks, more bodies and more somber and meaningless statements of unity.

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