After every recent terrorist attack the ‘social media warriors’ have gotten into the habit of displaying the flag or some other symbolic image unique to that country as a show of sympathy to those affected. Sadly it’s akin to just wringing ones hands, makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it’s nothing more than a nice gesture. And it certainly never has any effect on those responsible for committing or inspiring the attacks.
Nor will offering prayers and sympathies defeat the evil that now infects every corner of the planet. Much as was done during World War II when the world fought the evil of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, only harsh actions will eventually bring radical Islamists to their knees and rid the world of this wicked and malevolent ideology.
Following the rise of Nazism in Germany and the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, the world led by the United States embarked upon a unified effort to defeat the evil represented by the leaders of those two nations. And after four years of bitter fighting on battlefields ranging across several continents and the loss of millions of lives, the evil of German and Japanese fascism was brought to an end.
After the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels and now London, politicians around the world thumped their chests and loudly proclaimed “solidarity with the people of France, Belgium and England”. And once again the radical Islamists laughed haughtily and continued planning their next assault on humanity.
Well the time for words followed up by little action has long passed. In fact it passed decades ago, but sadly the world chose back then to accept radical Islam as a sad fact of life, and to allow it to continue up to the present day. And make no mistake about it, the western world has indeed chosen to accept the reality of terrorism committed by Muslims as a fact of life, instead of making the hard choices and taking the steps necessary to defeat it.
It has been far easier for governments to accept the periodic attacks committed by radical Islamists and then pledge to “bring those responsible to justice”, while doing very little to address the root causes of radical Islamic terrorism.
It’s time for the western world to acknowledge that radical Islam has grown out of the radical Mosques and Madrasas where young impressionable minds are infected daily with hatred and violence. The West needs to acknowledge that reality, and if the messenger is evil then take the steps necessary to change the messenger.
Political correctness does not win wars. Only brute force backed up by more brute force will defeat one's enemies. But simply defeating them on the battlefield isn’t all that’s needed.
At the end of World War II we held Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan accountable. Their leaders, those that weren’t killed during the waning days of the war or who escaped justice by committing suicide were placed on trial, convicted, and executed. And a message was sent to their people that their actions had consequences.
But following the defeat of that evil we chose to invest in those two nations and help lift them up from the rubble of war. Consequently both of those once bitter enemies of freedom eventually became responsible members of the community of nations. Now as then, an investment into the lives of those vulnerable to recruitment by radical Islam will also be necessary to overcome the lure of that obscene ideology.
The fanaticism we defeated during World War II is not much different from that which we face today across the world. And because of the similarities, we the civilized world must commit ourselves to taking the brutal steps necessary to defeat this world-wide threat. And not just declare that we “stand united” with the most recent nation victimized by radical Islamists. Radical Islam must be eradicated wherever and whenever it manifests itself.
We need to look at the radical breeding grounds in our own back yards as well. If radical enclaves are developing in communities or rural areas here in America they need to be dealt with. Law enforcement needs to be given to tools necessary to investigate, and if appropriate bring them to justice and shut them down. We should no longer be afraid because of political correctness to take the steps necessary to protect America from our own enemies within.
Believe it or not there are indeed reasonable allies in this battle even in the Middle East. They too understand that their own existence is threatened if this virulent form of radical Islam takes hold in their own countries.
No, changing one's Facebook photo to a little flag and proclaiming ourselves in “solidarity and standing united” isn’t going to defeat radical Islam. Only a commitment to bringing this fanatical and evil ideology to an end will achieve success. And American leadership will definitely be required, the rest of the western world has shown little stomach for taking the fight to the radical Islamists.
President Trump would do well to follow the advice of General George S. Patton who once said, “lead me, follow me, or get the hell out of my way”. Posting little flags on social media or other symbolic gestures isn’t the answer, the United States needs to go back on the offensive and lead the way.