The Democratic National Convention had very little to say about the threat posed by Islamic terrorism. It’s very difficult to fight a war against something that you refuse, as a matter of policy, to name.
Evidently, it’s always good to shed some clarity on these issues. Especially so when far too many of our elites no longer believe in Western civilization and no longer believe that it is worth defending. If ever there was a recruiting tool for terrorists, that attitude must be at the top of the list.
Next on the list are those who piously intone on the need for us to maintain our values. By that they mean, our limitless tolerance and our limitless willingness to absorb attacks. It we choose to learn to live with terrorism, we are, in this case, learning to accommodate a culture that wishes to undermine and destroy ours. At what point is our fecklessness a way to conspire with them?
No wonder the terrorists think that they are winning.
Bret Stephens described the nature of the conflict and the stakes involve in the Wall Street Journal:
More important, Europeans will have to learn that powerlessness can be as corrupting as power—and much more dangerous. The storm of terror that is descending on Europe will not end in some new politics of inclusion, community outreach, more foreign aid or one of Mrs. Merkel’s diplomatic Rube Goldbergs. It will end in rivers of blood. Theirs or yours?
This will not stop without the use of force. It will not be stopped by good feelings. It will not be stopped by social workers and therapists. After all these years, we still do not understand the nature of the threat. Being led by a president who has apologized for American civilization and has refused to call Islamist terrorism by its name has made the process that much more daunting.
Now, the Director of the FBI warns against destroying the caliphate. By his reasoning, if we level Raqqa and displace the terrorists, we will unleash a diaspora of terrorists around the world. Were it not for the fact that the diaspora has already been unleashed, we do better to understand that defeat sends an important message to aspiring jihadis, namely that they are fighting for a lost cause.
True enough, as Director Comey says, the Russian victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan seems to have bred al Qaeda, but we also know that al Qaeda was not led by Pashtoon tribesmen. It might also be the case that the defeat was not sufficiently decisive.
At the least, Comey seems to be offering a rationalization for administration inaction. And I was supposed to believe that he was not partisan.
Anyway, Charles Moore has tried to lay it all out in the London Telegraph. He begins with a reflection on the execution of a French priest, Father Hamel, last week. Among those who refused to recognize the reality of what was happening was Pope Francis.
Pope Francis called the murder of an 86-year-old Catholic priest while saying Mass in a suburb of Rouen this week “an act of absurd violence”. Why “absurd”? Others speaking for the Catholic Church have described the killers of Fr Jacques Hamel as “psychopathic” or “madmen”. They seem not to want to talk about the motive for the violence as stated by the killers themselves – their Muslim faith.
It is true that psychopaths quite often enlist God, and that young men who go round killing people usually have disturbed personal lives. But when, day after day, in three or four continents, many people commit extreme violence in the name of Islam, this cannot be accounted for by mental illness alone. In parts of the Middle East, near where the founder of Christianity lived and died, the murder of priests and other Christians by Muslims is systematic. The word “absurd” does not describe it.
Good point. “Absurd” suggests that the act had no meaning. If anything, it was too full of meaning. When it comes to moral leadership, Pope Francis has not exactly been a beacon.
Islamism is a most clear and determined attack on our civilisation, so this must be recognised, not evaded. Its adherents declaredly hate freedom, democracy, women’s rights, Judaism and Christianity. They entirely deny the rights of anyone (not least fellow Muslims) who do not share their views. They recognise no law except sharia.
Out of the disorder of Iraq and Syria, they have forged a sharia-ruled entity which they call Islamic State – a showcase for all to see of their bloody idea of God-ruled civilisation. And lest anyone shrug this off by saying such a statelet cannot long survive, remember that several Islamic nations which practice notable, if less fanatical, brutality and intolerance are powerful in the world – Iran, Saudi Arabia, even Pakistan, where blasphemy is a capital offence. In large parts of Africa, organisations such as Boko Haram are trying to murder Christians and take power.
Of course, the Democratic Party, by the evidence of its recent convention, is at war against guns and against Donald Trump. Better yet, President Obama, who bears the most responsibility for today’s divided nation now blames Republicans for dividing the country.
With the nation’s first female presidential candidate the Democratic Party is projecting what it considers to be womanly values: compassion, tolerance, empathy and other assorted mental drool. Don’t women bring something special to the table, an ability to nurture? We might ask Mama Merkel about that.
As I noted yesterday, terrorism is not like other crimes. Its influence cannot be assessed by its body count. It is a long term effort to destroy and take over Western civilization. It is not going to happen tomorrow, but that does not mean that it will never happen.
Islamists cannot take power directly in Europe in the near future, because they have not got the numbers. But they can and do – in a way almost unimaginable only 20 years ago – kill and terrify. They can also, through mass immigration of Muslims, destablise us, even though the great majority of those Muslims have no desire to kill their hosts. This is well understood by the anti-Western President Erdogan of Turkey, who has now, thanks to Angela Merkel’s immigration policy, been given control of much of the migrant flow into Europe. The effect of the Islamist presence in the West – attacks on free speech, radicalisation in schools, forcing more women to cover their faces, let alone jihadist violence – is wholly bad. It is a civilisational question to work out how to deal with it. We need a firmer idea of what our Western civilisation is. The murder of Fr Hamel should surely be a reminder.