With ISIL all the rage these days in the media, some of the discussion has descended into the ridiculous and bogged down in semantics. Is it a “war” or is it a “sustained counter-terrorism offensive?” This is silly. Call it a prolonged “whatever” and move on. It will be prolonged because long after ISIL is destroyed, self-destructs or is neutered, another group will pop up somewhere and our attention will then likely be drawn to the threat du jour. The real threat is radical Islam– period!
The first step is for the United States to come to a collective realization that this threat will always exist. Such is the world today. Claiming that the top threat to our security is climate change and other such nonsense is a distraction. There are nefarious bad people in the world with an ax to grind against the Western world. Despite Obama’s efforts at appeasement and apology, the United States is still the face of that Western world. These people are hell-bent on bringing down the United States and will stop at nothing. And considering the fact that they need only one successful strike to claim victory, the nature of terrorism puts the United States at a vigilance disadvantage.
How many times in the past weeks have we heard Western leaders claim that ISIL is not true Islam? How many times have we heard that they are the outliers, the fringe? ISIL stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [emphasis added]. Every politician, starting with John Kerry, should read the history of Islam. It was not spread through friendly persuasion and missionary work. It was spread by the sword. Nowhere in the teachings of Christ does He condone violence. There is not even a hint of such a philosophy nor any words that can be construed towards violence. Can the words of Mohammed and the Quran make that same claim?
Secondly, once one realizes the enemy and the threat one has to stop the self-flagellation in the West. According to some reports, about 10-15% of the Muslim world is “radicalized.” That is a lot of people! Yes, Islam gave us advances in astronomy and navigation and such, and it is fine to celebrate their contributions, but not to the degree where Islam is placed on a pedestal above Western thought and contributions. Do any Western countries have laws that condone the stoning of women in public? Saudi Arabia recently beheaded several people for violations of their laws. There is a major difference between Islam and the West: we wring our hands when a lethal injection execution takes too long while they behead and stone offenders. Sorry- the West is superior, more advanced. Stop making excuses and turning a blind eye towards barbaric transgressions in supposedly moderate Islamic countries.
Third, enforce the laws already on the books. The United States is paralyzed in a spasm of political correctness when it comes to the Islamic threat. It was not Bjorn and Johann flying planes into buildings on September 11th, 2001. Holder recently announced a set of counter-terrorism measures he is taking…against domestic terrorists which to Holder and company means any group opposed to abortion, gay rights, or open borders. The threat is not people demonstrating outside an abortion clinic. Most libertarians are all aflutter over the NSA. I for one am glad there is an NSA working on this problem. Why? Because I am not a terrorist and I have nothing to hide. If done correctly, the average law-abiding American has little to fear and probably more to worry about from commercial data mining through your ISP. I suggest you check your spam folders; those messages are not all random.
Part of enforcing the laws is immigration reform and border security. Given the porousness of our southern border, Islamic terrorists would be fools not to enter the country illegally that way. There may even be some evidence that such is already the case. Zero tolerance for illegal border crossings is tantamount towards reform and improvements in interdiction should be benchmarked to “comprehensive reform. If not improved, no reform; border security first and foremost. And every Muslim entering the country is a suspect until such time they can prove otherwise with a good degree of confidence. The terrorists on 9/11 all entered the country legally.
Step five: when is the last time you heard any major Muslim leader here in the United States denounce radical Islam? I am sure there are some instances, but I argue there are not enough. It must be stressed among the Muslim community that they have to step up to the plate here. It is all fine and dandy for imams, presidents, prime ministers and secretaries of state to declare that Islam is a religion of peace. If so, prove it; teach peace. And do it without a shopping list of alleged grievances against Muslims.
Part of this is to cease the efforts by entities like CAIR to shut down access to the truth through accusations of “Islamaphobia.” Recently, some of their spokesmen compared ISIL to Christian fundamentalist groups here in the United States, or Fox News viewers. I venture one cannot find a single instance of an evangelical Christian or a Fox News viewer beheading someone. CAIR and other such groups have an agenda and that is to cover up the transgressions of Muslims by false claims that border on excuse-making.
Next, realize two things in the broad sense. First, many Muslim countries have no concept of democracy in the Western sense. They hail from a culture of tribal leaderships and dictators. The idea of the “Arab Spring” was a huge wishful thinking myth which led to seriously flawed foreign policy. Look what it brought us. The only Muslim country with an ounce of sense was Egypt which ousted and then outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood. They, in turn, were attempting to institute Sharia law which stands in direct opposition to any concept of a constitutional democracy. Sharia law is bad. Unfortunately, there is an effort here in the US to show deference to Sharia law in some cases. Some states, like Alabama, have attempted to pass laws which would prohibit such and these efforts have been met with a chorus of “Islamaphobia.” Those rights enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights stands in stark contrast to Sharia law. It is not a question of religion or cultural relativism; it is a question of politics. Anyone who urges that our rights be subordinated to Sharia law should be reclassified a political organization. And where are all the women’s rights groups? Too busy trying to ban speeches by a Muslim woman on a college campus?
In the area of foreign affairs, we need to get something straightened out and that starts with the realization that terrorism is the number one threat. All alliances, including NATO, need to be realigned towards fighting that threat. And that includes Turkey which is a huge thorn in the side of NATO. Either they are with us or they aren’t. They would be well-advised that the Levant includes portions of Turkey and if they think ISIL or any other group will remember how Turkey helped them previously, they are seriously mistaken. And the European Union needs to make a decision- is Turkey a part or not. If not and Turkey looks East, then kick them out of NATO.
Not counting charity, here is an astonishing fact: 11 of the 15 top recipients of US government economic aid are countries with either a (1) Muslim government, (2) a serious Islamic terrorist problem or large Muslim population, or (3) a country that practices or condones Sharia law. They are: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Gaza, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria. That is $9.620 BILLION in foreign economic aid. Add in Bangladesh, Yemen and Sudan and the total exceeds $10.4 billion annually NOT counting military aid. Any country that does not cooperate in eradicating terrorism or who supports, condones or practices Sharia law should be immediately cut off. Imagine what that $10.4 billion can do domestically. And this should be done from a position of strength, not “please oh please, cooperate.”
Finally, for too long our dependence on foreign oil has dictated foreign policy decisions. This country has untapped domestic energy reserves that, coupled with a greater reliance on nuclear energy, could free us from dependence on foreign oil from Muslim countries. For example, besides the United and Russia (which I would dismiss), the largest uranium reserves in the world are in the Czech Republic, Australia and Canada- three major, reliable allies. Australia is a nuclear-free country and does not even use that uranium. Would the United States rather shake a hand with an Australian prime minister and purchase that uranium, or would they rather bow to a Saudi king and purchase their oil? The hypocrisy of this administration in this area is startling. We would rather piss off an ally like Canada regarding the Keystone pipeline while begging Muslim countries to help in the fight against the most immediate threat- ISIL. It all makes no sense. Remember that Osama Bin Laden had an ax to grind against the royal Saudi family as much as he did against the United States. Middle Eastern oil diplomacy has been a disaster because no one had the fortitude to make the United States energy independent.
In the end, it is great to bash the previous administration and blame George W. Bush for all the ills in the world. Maybe he shouldn’t have acted in Iraq. Personally, I doubt ISIL would have gained any foothold in Iraq had Saddam Hussein been in power and if there was no Arab Spring uprising in Syria, Assad would have brutally repressed ISIL had they evolved. In a region ruled by tribal warlords and dictators, leaving well enough alone was probably the best foreign policy. But, we cannot change history no matter how well-meaning the designs of previous administrations. Ignoring the current threat while cowering behind a veil of political correctness will only result in another 9/11.