|As it did last January, the Eiffel Tower again today |
symbolizes the French condition [Image Source]
Holding mass solidarity marches, and vowing, stern-faced, to fight back against Islamic State just isn’t going to do it. Islamic extremist terror groups, and the states that sponsor them, are seeking to destroy open, democratic, egalitarian Western society and impose their bleak, bloody, perverted version of Islam.
Facing them down will obviously not be simple. But it will be impossible unless the reality of the threat is genuinely internalized and the fight back mounted in earnest.
If the West continues to delude itself about the scale of the challenge, those who delight in the divine gift of life will find themselves becoming increasingly constrained and terrified by those who assert an imperative to kill and be killed in the name of God.
The struggle to maintain fundamental Western freedoms involves a three-step process.
First, name and acknowledge the enemy.
The killers who struck in Paris — like those who brought down a Russian civilian airliner in the Sinai, and who carried out suicide bombings in Beirut last week, and who struck at Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher in Paris in January, and in London on July 7, 2005, and on September 11, 2001, in New York, and who blew up the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, and, yes, who killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings in the Second Intifada, and on and on and on through an endless list of outrages worldwide — are not vague “militants.” They are Islamic extremists, adherents of that toxic kill-and-be-killed Islamist ideology.
And their actions are not mere “violence” but terrorism — killing in order to terrorize, in order to weaken and cow their opposition, the better to impose that rapacious ideology. Islamic State is an exponent of particular depravity.He goes on [here] to propose two additional steps. It's an excellent basis for the discussions that ought to be going on in every place where terror is a moral threat. That, as events keep making clear, is everywhere.