Yesterday was Friday the 13th. Maybe you had a bad day. Paris had a much worse night.
First things first: after the latest terror attack by ISIS which left over 120 people dead was an obscene act of evil. Secondly, and this should be obvious, a lot of men will have to die for this.
I want the ones who trained them and the ones who indoctrinated them and the ones who financed them. Those are the ones whom should be put down the same way you’d put down a rabid dog. Coldly, efficiently and with great finality. If it’s painful, that’s a bonus.
This may not seem the expected and proper response from a lifelong liberal and admirer of King and Gandhi. I’ll cop to that, but then I’ve always been an admirer of Malcolm X too. I always liked the part about, “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery” and a lot of someones need to be sent to the cemetery for this.
We are at war. At war with radical, extremist and merciless groups of Islamic terrorists. You can’t buy them off with arms or by building a Starbucks in their neighborhood. You can’t bribe them. You can’t convert them. You can’t negotiate a peace treaty with them. You can’t do any of the things you’d try to do before throwing up your hands and declaring, “Nothing else seems to be working. I guess I’ll just kill you and see if that works.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not fresh off the Fox Nation comment page. I’m not calling for war against 1.6 billion Muslims. Trying to take out a quarter of the world’s population is a heavy lift and I don’t care what anyone says: Islam is not the enemy. Islamic extremists are and I’m highly in favor of taking them out.
If they are hiding among the non-radicalized those are the ones with whom common ground must be reached so they can be isolated and eliminated like a cancer spreading from one area to destroy the rest. The radicals are killing more Muslims than anybody else and its in the best interests of the majority of peaceful followers of true Islam to purge from their ranks those that defile the religion for their own twisted purposes.
Islam is being defined by its most dangerous fringes and Westerners can’t rid Islam of the forces which pervert it. It gets harder and harder to keep saying “Islam is a religion of peace” when a lunatic fringe is defining it to the world as a religion of aggressive, pitiless war.
Is what happened in Paris purely coincidental coming immediately are the reported death of Jihadi John? Maybe, but I don’t believe in coincidences. The hopefully late and unlamented Jihadi John once said, “We love death like our enemies love life.” Okay. Let’s test that theory. Let’s love the bastards. Let’s love them to death.
I’m thankful there is now someone in the White House who in 2002 said something about war.
Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars.
My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don’t oppose all wars.
After Sept. 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again. I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism.
What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.
I don’t want a dumb or rash war either, but I am convinced we are in a war with Islamic State and what occurred in Paris was an act of war. I’m not calling for war against 1.6 billion Muslims. I’ll be blunt: Muslims are not the enemy. Islam is not the enemy. Radical Islamic extremism IS the enemy.
The annoying thing about enemies like Islamic State is they are essentially cowards who target the softest of targets then scurry back to their rat holes among the civilian populace.
You cannot destroy Islamic State from a safe distance. You cannot kill an evil ideology with smart bombs. You have to find what are the best long-term and short-term solutions to bring to bear against these extremists. Long-term, cut off their funding, expose their corruption of Islam, and counter their recruitment efforts. Those who say retaliation will only bolster the ranks of Islamic State miss the point that pulling off simultaneous terror attacks and multiple locations and killing over 120 Parisians IS a recruitment effort. Doing nothing only emboldens these rats and next time it may be in London, Tokyo, New York or someplace closer to your homeland.
That’s the long-term. It will be expensive. It will cost lives both military and civilian. It won’t be easy, but defending what you believe in and cherish never is. Enjoy freedom? Be ready to defend it then. Or surrender it and see how life under Islamic State works for you.
The short-term solution? They’re coming to kill us. We kill them first.