Earlier this morning, Erick did an excellent job explaining why Marie Harf and those who support the notion that we can’t win the war against ISIS by killing the bad guys “are damn naïve fools.” Her statements are not particularly surprising when you look at the contents of Obama’s laughable AUMF request for “war” on the Islamic State. I would go as far as saying that the administration is wholeheartedly, in the sense that the word can be used to describe any aspect of Obama’s foreign policy, intent on creating jobs for jihadis and is only asking for the AUMF because he has to look like he’s doing something militarily to fight ISIS. After all, any military action we take that entirely rules out the use of boots on the ground cannot in any way be thought of as serious. Unsurprisingly, the latest polling suggests that the American people don’t approve of how the President is handling ISIS.
In any case, while our President dithers about on how to respond to the cancer that is the Islamic State, the terrorists themselves have brought themselves to the doorstep of Europe. Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last week, you know well by now that the video showing 21 Coptic Christians being beheaded in Libya along the shore of the Mediterranean was released this past weekend. While it is well and good to remember their martyrdom, we should not ignore the rest of the video. In it, ISIS makes it clear that they are now trying to conquer Rome. This essay from Time explains it well:
The executioner speaks in English and points his knife toward the Mediterranean. “We will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission,” he says.
The video released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) on Sunday showing the killings of 21 Egyptian Christian workers, appeared to be directed at the Christian world, the continent of Europe and gloried in its brutality.
[T]he five-minute film is concerned with more international themes. The targets are not modern states, but rather “Rome” and Christians, who are labeled “the people of the cross, the followers of the hostile Egyptian Church.” The message was phrased in religious terms intended to transcend national boundaries. The video ends with the Mediterranean waves dyed red from the blood of the murdered men.
The spectacular appearance of ISIS on the Mediterranean’s southern shores alarmed European governments. Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano called for NATO to intervene in Libya. “ISIS is at the door,” he was quoted as saying. “There is no time to waste.” If the country’s conflict is not resolved soon, U.K. special envoy Jonathan Powell declared, Libya risks becoming “Somalia on the Mediterranean.”
Make no mistake, ISIS is more than happy to conquer the West in a secular sense, but a key part of that is the eradication of Christianity. It is sad to say that those two are no longer inseparable in our increasingly secular world, but the West will falls if Christianity, just as it was under the Romans pre-Constantine or the Ottomans.*
The Italians, who are among the most immediately at risk given their geographic location and the fact that the Vatican is located in Rome, have taken note of this threat and are already deploying thousands of troops throughout the country to protect sensitive sites. The country is also pushing for NATO to intervene against the Islamic State, and as former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan explains, we might only have a couple of months before ISIS is completely out of control in the country.
It’s also probably a good time to mention the firefight between Belgian commandos and ISIS sympathizers in Brussels that took place back in mid-January. The clash was called “the biggest firefight Belgian commandos have faced since World War II….” As this incident shows, the threat Europe and the rest of the West face is not merely external. The Islamic State’s plan includes corrupting Europe from within by overrunning the continent with immigrants, both legal and illegal. The threat is more immediate for our brethren across the Atlantic, but as we debate immigration policy in the United States, it is worthwhile to take the terrorists’ own stated intentions into account.
If anything, all of these events show just how weak the world is without American leadership. While countries like France, Egypt, and Jordan are trying as hard as they can to fight ISIS, they alone are not strong enough to truly vanquish them on their own. As America grows weaker domestically and internationally under the Obama administration, things will only get worse, and don’t expect any real intervention in Libya, either.
*=By any reading of Matthew 16:18, be it Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant, we know that the world will never entirely eradicate all of Christianity, but that does not preclude a bloody and brutal attempt at trying.