Does this sound familiar?
1) A terrorist attacks occurs.
2) Trite, boilerplate statements are released: "Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims;" "This aggression will not stand;" "We will bring the perpetrators to justice;" and, "This is not just an attack on (fill in the blank), but on all of humanity."
3) "Thorough" investigations begin (codespeak for law enforcement starting to do the job they should have been doing all along).
4) Arrests are made within 24 hours. A testament to outstanding police work, or the result of officials finally acting on intel that had already determined who and where the terrorists were? If you answered the former, go back to living under your rock.
5) People stage candlelight vigils, often more for the cameras and social media "Likes," than for the actual victims.
6) Any attempt to affix blame — not for the sake of blame, but to ascertain exactly how and why the attack occurred, what went wrong in preventing it (or at least knowing about it), and developing plans to stop future attacks — is immediately criticized by the politically correct crowd. "Not now," they say. "It’s callous and way too soon to talk about such things. They’ll be time for those discussions later."
7) Time passes, people move on, and "those discussions" never occur. Complacency sets in again, and more ominously, the insensitivity that comes with increasingly frequent attacks.
8) Surprise, surprise. Another attack.
9) Go back to Point One.
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When will we learn?
When will we learn that appeasement and burying our heads, in the naïve hope that the threat will simply vanish, will never work?
And "our" refers to everyone except those doing the killing.
Quite frankly, it’s amazing that Islamic terror is as vibrant as it is, considering that five of the most powerful entities in world history share the goal of rooting out and destroying that festering threat.
America; Europe/NATO; Russia; China; and India. While each have differences in why they oppose radical fundamentalism — and different agendas in how the war on terror should be prosecuted — they nonetheless should be united in opposing ISIS and Al Qaeda. But they’re not — not even the U.S. and its European allies. Instead, bureaucracy, incompetence and the desire to placate political correctness allow the threat to gain a stronger foothold, especially in Europe.
Blame for that failure falls on each entity, but the United States (especially the George W. Bush administration that squandered the world’s good will after the 9/11 attacks), shoulders the most. As the only superpower, we could have taken the lead though common sense strategy, but instead embarked on a disjointed, wholly ineffectual policy that has allowed terrorists to blossom.
Enough with the meaningless tough-talk rhetoric. It’s time for a comprehensive strategy that keeps terrorists on the run, destroys their communication and financial networks, and jettisons political correctness.
1) First and foremost, close the European (and American) borders, and end the refugee exodus. That’s not inhumane; it’s self-preservation. European countries have been languishing under socialist polices for years, stagnating their economies and putting tremendous strain on governments hell-bent on funding every social program imaginable. Throw millions of refugees — many uneducated and unskilled — into that malaise, where they are given extravagant housing and welfare, and you have the recipe for economic collapse. Such largesse not only kills the incentive for refugees to work and assimilate, but allows many to disparage Western culture and laws, while demanding unwavering respect for theirs.
Add that none of the refugees can reliably pass a background check because no one in the war-torn countries can verify anything, and you have another impossible task: Trying to keep tabs on a huge population, some of whom are undercover terrorists gaming the system (evidenced by the Paris attackers). These masquerading terrorists are salivating at the chance to upstage their compatriots’ "success" in Paris and Brussels; we may not be able to stop all of them, but let’s not roll out the red carpet.
Europe has been more than generous, but its open-borders policy must end immediately.
2) The goal should be to train refugees, in both military and civilian capacities, so that they can return to their countries, fight to win the peace, and effectively administer whatever government is formed. This cannot be an open-ended vacation; there must be an end-date to their stay in Europe. That way, European soldiers could guard their borders and not shed blood in the Middle East.
In that regard, all boots on the ground must be "locals." We should train and arm them, and provide logistics, intelligence and air support, but America and the West cannot become entwined in yet another Middle Eastern quagmire where victory is impossible. Not only does it breed resentment (crusaders occupying their lands), but it has never worked. And it certainly won’t work now.
3) Assuming countries like Syria can be "liberated," the West cannot dictate what type of government should be established (a mistake made time and again by the Bush Administration that sought to impose "democracy)." Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad and Muammar Gaddafi may have been tyrants, but they kept the peace (there were no car bombs — ever — under Hussein’s reign). If Middle Eastern countries need to be ruled by strongmen who keep the terrorists at bay, so be it.
4) Can someone please tell the NSA to shift its priorities? Either their operations have been fatally curtailed by blowback from domestic spying (which would be insanity, since honing in on terrorists is what they should be doing), or their resources are focused on who has the best March Madness brackets.
5) Since we continually raid places that we clearly know are terror hotbeds, but only after attacks, maybe we should pretend it’s "Opposite Day" and hit them before they act. How novel.
6) Bring back torture. It works. Period. Despite the protestations of armchair academics sitting in their ivory towers, inflicting pain, physical and otherwise, on those with critical information works. No man is unbreakable. When thousands, or perhaps millions, of innocent lives hang in the balance, the "rights" of an animal go up in smoke. Perhaps literally.
If we don’t, it’s like fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. And no, Geneva Convention rules should not apply, since this is not a traditional war. We are fighting opponents who will never respect such protocols, and who gleefully target innocent civilians. Gloves-off is the only way to deal with such barbarians.
7) Finally, not only do we need to aggressively profile, but profile the right people without regard to "offending." It is our first, best, and sometimes last line of defense in catching wind of a plot. How effective is it? Ask the Israelis, whose El Al, the most-highly targeted airline in the world, has only been hijacked once. Profiling works, and should be instituted immediately. Any whiny American who doesn’t like it can take the bus to Europe.
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Employ common sense, and the terror threat can be hugely mitigated. But keep engaging in ineffective feel-good tactics and unwinnable Middle Eastern wars, and the attacks will continue. Time is running out, and that ticking you hear is most definitely not a clock.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist and commentator. He can be reached at [email protected].