I wanted to post this before President Obama gives his speech this evening. I don’t want my remarks to appear as a reaction to what he might say. If they coincide or contradict, either way, that’s fine.
So the big question or as they say, the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, what’s it going to take to defeat ISIL, or world terrorism?
I’m going to be bold and answer that question. Not because I’m a genius, have all the answers or think I know better. I’m going to use history of conflict as the source which answers the question, no matter who or what the conflict is about.
First, I know we’re not going to eliminate this or a greater level of international terrorism, until we commit 100%, and even then it’s going to be extremely difficult. When you face an enemy who’s committed to your destruction to the point of self-destruction, you have no choice but either to comply with their wish, or you obligate yourself in a cause equally as committed to their destruction.
You can dance around this answer as much as you want, make excuses for why they act the way they do, or suggest we need to “understand what motivates them.” Some take that a step further and say we need to be kinder and gentler, to provide them with the infrastructure that more developed parts of the world possess. To those that believe that, I can’t probably persuade, because they don’t want to recognize things as they are, rather as they want it to be. You see, ISIL or for that matter al-Qaeda, have the financial resources to create a better world. One with running water, electricity on demand, roads, schools, etc.
Osama bin Laden was wealthy and knew what it was like prior to hanging with his boys in caves. Many of the leaders from ISIL were educated in Europe but chose this life. Why? Somewhere within their miserable self came the idea to bring together the world into the fold of Islam. Not the moderate, go to work, go to prayers, serve each other, rather the, let’s take over and control the world for Islam. Let’s promote the religion in ways practiced hundreds of years ago, because they view the evils of this world have been brought forth by western Judaeo-Christian thinking. The infidels must go and they believe they’re the ones charged with the responsibility to make this happen.
Wait a minute you say, I’m an atheist, or a moderate Christian, Jew or Muslim. That doesn’t matter to them, as a matter of fact, they consider those people to be the problem that must be eliminated. You don’t defeat an ideology as committed with these ideas with moderation or no ideology. To put it as plainly as I can, any group which thinks itself as superior to the point where others must either conform or be destroyed, is a group to be feared. Their mission is plain, you will either convert, pay your tribute and conform, or you must die. That’s the problem and the type of people we really are up against. Once you recognize the problem, then you can do something about it.
So maybe you’ve come to that realization, but still don’t know what to do. That’s when you see how history has repeated. This conflict we’ve just seen starting, could last 100 or more years. None of us want to see that but if your commitment isn’t to the level of your enemy or your resources insufficient, the fight continues until one or both settle. As I pointed out, they’re not going to settle. As a matter of fact, any agreement would be broken as soon as they felt they had the resources to renew the fight.
The recent killings in San Bernardino are merely a prelude to larger events, better planned, as well as the seemingly regular crazies who kill randomly. For some, these events won’t seem linked in any way or that if we disarm ourselves, these types of difficult to rationalize attacks will diminish. Nothing could be further from the truth. The absolutely committed urban terrorist will find new ways with support from other resources to create havoc. The only way this will stop, is to round up those who might initiate these kinds of attacks. They could’ve been born here, or immigrated a decade or more. They might come across the border, but they will be nourished by those from the middle-east. That’s the source and the sponsor of these problems, and they must be eliminated, or they will continue to gain ground.
I’m reasonably sure the President will make a speech to reassure us that we will be safe, protected, and they’re working with other nations to stop international terrorism. He might even go further and say, that he wants to initiate new laws which will restrict firearms, or improve background checks. That’s his job, to placate and comfort us with words both spoken and on paper. Unfortunately, words and laws don’t control behavior, nor will they stop the killing. I can safely predict that at some point, we will see an event in the U.S. every bit as catastrophic as 9/11.
None of this will stop unless and until we become as committed to end it as these people are in their goals.