As the late philosopher, Yogi Berra, would have said, “It’s ‘deja vu’ all over again.” Yesterday, various well coordinated Islamic terrorist attacks were carried out in Paris. The targets were various “soft” targets, such as a restaurant, a concert, a sports stadium and a couple of bars. What did these targets have in common? Two things: (1) they were not protected or secured by law enforcement or military personnel; and (2) they were packed with tourists and residents whose only crime was a desire for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment. Instead, hundreds of them, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, were murdered or injured, many of them critically.
In addition, the manner of attack was particularly vexing. Witnesses have stated that, after the initial attacks, the terrorists coldly, calmly and methodically searched out survivors and executed them one by one. Some of the survivors managed to escape; others survived by playing dead by laying among dead people. Think of the horror. We’re not talking about trained soldiers or policemen. These are ordinary people like you and me who one minute were enjoying a concert, a soccer game or a meal and the next were dead, injured or forced to lie among dead people in order to survive.
As I write this, no group has claimed responsibility for these acts of terror, but the evidence points strongly towards ISIS. Indeed, French President Hollande has identified ISIS as the culprits. To me, it makes no difference whether it was ISIS or another Islamic terrorist group. They are all interrelated anyway.
Mr. Hollande, declaring the attacks as “an act of war,” has taken other decisive actions, such as declaring a state of emergency, placing Army troops in Paris and closing the border. None of these actions addresses the underlying issues that led to the attacks, but that is a subject for another blog on another day.
It does not take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that there were more than eight terrorists involved. The eight that we know about had to have an extensive support system to carry out this kind of coordinated attack. Likely, there are many more still at large in France and other countries. Also, it is obvious that these were well planned attacks coordinated and financed from international sources.
Once again, the Islamic terror group that the current administration has derided as a “JV” has struck a massive blow against the West. ISIS and its partners in crime have perpetrated many, many such attacks in the last several years – the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in 2008, Mumbai also in 2008, Oslo in 2011, Toulouse in 2012, Nairobi in 2013, Brussels in 2014 and Nigeria, Paris (Charlie Hebdo), and Ankara this year, to name a few. By comparison, can anybody name the last time a NON-ISLAMIC group carried out a terrorist attack? Probably not. And yet, President Obama still refuses to identify these Islamic groups as terrorists!
Most of you are familiar with the opinion voiced by some Americans that we need to fight the terrorists in the Middle East or else we will be fighting them here eventually. Others have derided that argument as war mongering or sticking our nose in other people’s business. No one, except, perhaps, a few extremists, is advocating sacrificing American lives unnecessarily, however, as time goes on and more terrorist attacks are perpetrated in the West the former philosophy is gaining more and more credence and the latter seems more and more misguided. How long before a similarly well-coordinated attack occurs on US soil? We have countless “soft” targets – malls, schools, restaurants, etc. – from which to choose.
As I have blogged before, words, negotiations, posturing and saber-rattling haven’t and won’t work. Terrorists only understand and respect force. Due to the Administration’s indecisive approach what was a small problem a few years ago has now become a big problem.
I say to the leaders of the West, we need to send ISIS and its ilk a strong message. Appeasement did not work in 1938. Throughout history, It never has and likely never will. Let’s learn from our history and not repeat it. We have the ability to deal with this. Do we have the will?