In case you missed it in the flood of other news, another Islamic French national was arrested in Bulgaria as he was attempting to make his way into Turkey. (And presumably from there to Syria.) He will be extradited back to France, assuming the authorities can mange to keep their hands on him. That’s good news for everyone which stands on its own with no qualifiers. The unfortunately reality, however, is that while one more piece has potentially been removed from the board, there are hundreds or thousands of others just in France alone waiting to take his place. I shall leave it to those better at Common Core math to extrapolate that out across the rest of the nations on the planet.
These events continue to unfold in parallel with the effective launch of the 2016 presidential election in the United States. I am reminded in particular this week of two passages from Barack Obama’s inaugural address which was delivered six years ago this month. Here is the first:
We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
That segment drew a rousing round of applause. It was followed only moments later by this exhortation to those who would seek to undo us.
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
I have a confession to make at this point. I did not support Barack Obama in the 2008 election, but I did maintain some hopes for his success and I found myself nodding along at that particular section of his remarks. I was tired of war and dismayed by a foreign policy which I not only disagreed with, but did not seem to be producing the desired results. Obama had a fine message, but it required a certain naivete which was obviously still rattling around in the more hopeful sections of my brain. It was still difficult to believe that any significantly large group of human beings would refuse the chance to live in peace rather than die in war if offered the proper opportunity. But as I said, that was six years ago this month.
Six years may as well be a lifetime.
The promise of the first paragraph above has not been upheld, and it is no longer possible to pretend that the vast expansion of Islamic terror groups tearing up the fabric of civilization in multiple spots across the globe was not abetted to some degree by a lack of engagement by the world’s last standing superpower on the side of good.
As to the second paragraph, I do give credit to Barack Obama for carrying through and making good on his word. He extended his hand. But rather than the fist being unclenched it has punched us in the face. Repeatedly. And that fist is not going to miraculously unclench with the election of yet another American president with yet another theory of appeasement.
There will be no solution to the global challenge of Islamic terrorism through improved communications, greater empathy or more understanding of the plight of humanity among the forces of Islam. There will be a solution sooner or later, but it will be martial in nature. And by that I mean that it must be implemented not only the hard work of military forces around the globe, but by the civilian police forces in civilized nations who will eventually have to accept that you can not extend the same benefit of the doubt to everyone. There are wolves not only at the door, but inside the nursery. And the wolves will have to be dispatched if you wish to save the house and the family.
The next president – whoever that may be – is going to have to come to grips with this concept. In America it will be a tough sell because we are (thankfully) still a people who tend to want to see the best in people and apply the principles of equal rights to every person on the planet. The Commander in Chief, however, doesn’t always have the luxury of such a lovely vision of humanity. And those who come forward now looking to be the next president need to be ready to deliver some ill tasting medicine to the masses and prepare them for what’s to come. It’s not going to be pretty, but we have a greater vested interest in survival than we do in ensuring that nobody’s feelings are hurt.