Diary

Da'ish and Hamas are simply different parts of the Islamist enemy as a whole

From The Wall Street Journal:

Paris Attacks Undercut Western Hopes of Containing Extremists

G-20 leaders expected to rethink approach to fighting terrorism

By Damian Paletta | November 14, 2015 9:26 a.m. ET

President Barack Obama is briefed on the Paris attacks by Lisa Monaco, second from left, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, in the White House Oval Office on Friday. Photo: Reuters (Click to enlarge)
WASHINGTON—The consecutive terror attacks that killed 224 people on a Russian charter plane Oct. 31 and well over 100 in Paris on Friday have undercut what remained of Western hopes of containing extremists, a goal sought through years of faltering wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

A day before the Paris attacks, President Barack Obama sounded an optimistic note about the campaign against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria. “I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” the president told ABC News in an interview Thursday. “From the start our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them.”

Now that French President François Hollande has blamed Islamic State for the attacks Friday in Paris, world leaders are certain to take a new look at the extremist movement.

Many parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East, are in a state of chaotic and deadly upheaval, with weak or nonexistent governments creating huge voids for terror networks to flourish. U.S. military planes have peppered parts of Syria and Iraq with drone strikes, killing senior Islamic State officials. Islamic State computer wizard Junaid Hussain was killed by a drone strike in Syria in August. A separate drone strike is believed to have killed a British citizen known as Jihadi John in the same city just this week.

But even after dozens of such strikes, the terror attacks continue. They have emanated from cells within Islamic State as well as terror groups stretching from North Africa, across the Middle East, to South Asia. And they often are of such scale that intelligence agencies and police forces are left dumbfounded and searching for answers.

There’s more at the link, but no one should be either dumbfounded or searching for answers, because the answers are right there, in front of them, if only they weren’t too wrapped up in their own preconceptions to see the answers:

  • With an ideology which glorifies martyrdom, the traditional defenses against an attacker, based upon the attacker’s sense of self-preservation, have glaring weaknesses;
  • With modern communications available to almost everyone, around the world, attackers can get messages, inspiration, instructions and detailed diagrams for building weapons very easily;
  • With a media which unintentionally (?) glorifies Da’ish and other Islamist fighting organizations such as Hamas, we are helping to create and inspire the home-grown jihadis within our populations;
  • With a sense of “us against them” built not on modern nation-states but a religion which spans the globe, the enemies of the West are not confined to borders which can be easily identified and defended against; and, most importantly
  • With a liberal Western ideology that we cannot conflate Islam with the Islamist extremists, we are refusing to take defense measures where they should be taken.

The final point is the most important: if we cannot understand our enemies, and cannot understand the scope and breadth of their resources, we cannot have any realistic hope of defending ourselves against them. Yet we have a President, along with a coterie of Democratic presidential contenders, who are unwilling to see that the wider Muslim community are providing a basis of support for the actual terrorist fighters. Da’ish could not exist if it was not for the larger Islamic population around them which provides recruits, food, shelter and other support for the fighters. Hamas could not survive without the larger Palestinian community around them, providing food, shelter and concealment.

And this is the hardest part of all for the left: to hope to win against the Islamists, we must understand, and wholeheartedly support, the policies of Israel. It is Israel, and Israel alone, which has been battling Islamist enemies for decades, Israel alone which has been struggling against an enemy which would impose Islamic law on everyone if given the chance, and Israel alone which understands the wholly uncomfortable truth that the enemy are not just the fighters themselves, but the support structure around them that enable the fighters to fight. We cannot sympathize with the plight of the poor, benighted Palestinians and not concomitantly sympathize with the Muslim, mostly Arabic populations which enable Da’ish.

In the battle for Western civilization, we must embrace Western civilization, not run from it like the multiculturalist milquetoasts do. It is Western civilization alone which has given the milquetoasts the legal capability to dissent from government policies, and Western civilization alone which has enabled the multiculturalists to embrace opposing views, and Western civilization alone which has given enough people the economic freedom to allow the left to fester and foul Western civilization itself rather than having to scratch the ground to eke out a subsistence living.

Vladimir Ilich Lenin once said that “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” His prognostication proved wrong, because Communism was a fatally flawed system, but he was on the right track with the democratic left: they wouldn’t sell, but actually simply give the Islamists the rope with which to hang themselves.
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Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.