As I monitored the coverage from Paris over the past weekend on the terrorist attacks around the city and processed what this means for the future of the conflict with Islamic extremism, I felt compelled to write an addendum to the November 2015 edition. Without jumping to unreasonable conclusions, the following points are clear to me:
- This attack must dispel any notion that we are not at war with radical Islam and arguably have been since 1979. They hate us for who we are and what we stand for. No, Mr. President, this isn’t an “attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share”; it is an attack on the slice of humanity and its values that calls itself Western civilization, which built modernity.
- We must abandon any sentiment that to identify Islamic extremism as the root ideology of our enemy is “Islamophobic” and that there is any moral equivalency with “religious extremism” generally. There are no Baptists, Methodists, or evangelical Christians who are blowing up restaurants and randomly shooting up concerts. This ideology must be attacked loudly and specifically.
- The view that the U. S. should allow the Islamic civil war now raging in the Middle East to be regarded as an avoidable involvement or one in which we can “lead from behind” with sporadic air strikes is naive at best. ISIS will come after us directly, whether or not we intervene.
- The leader of the free world needs to wake up and realize that the top priority for world leadership from the U. S. is not closing Gitmo or climate change, it is to lead the defeat of Islamic jihad in all of its manifestations. I wish I could be optimistic.