Islamic terrorists have struck again, this time in Belgium, killing many people and injuring many more. Is this how we are to live from now on? What can we do to put a stop to this madness?
Obstacles to Success
There are significant obstacles to protecting our citizens and successfully defeating and neutralizing terrorism.
First, the attacker has one enormous advantage: he knows where and when he will strike. The victim doesn’t know when or where, so is at a severe disadvantage.
Second, there aren’t enough police and security forces to be everywhere. Therefore, reliable intelligence is needed to overcome the attacker’s advantage mentioned above.
Third, privacy concerns hinder intelligence-gathering. While privacy is important, we are dealing with an insidious and ruthless enemy. Therefore, I believe intelligence-gathering abilities take precedence over privacy, with proper controls in place, of course.
Fourth, concerns about profiling hinders intelligence-gathering. Most terrorist acts are committed by Middle Eastern men, yet our resources are being wasted because we can’t focus on the more likely perpetrators – that is “profiling.” For example, I’ve been pulled out of line two or three times at airports by customs officials for a more in-depth examination. Supposedly I was picked at random. So they wasted resources interviewing an older US citizen of northern European background.
I’m not suggesting that people who fit the profile be harassed or intimidated by the authorities. We don’t want situations like African-Americans face where they get pulled over just because they are black (called DWB – driving while black). I’m saying that the authorities should focus their precious assets where they can be most effective and don’t waste time on elderly white guys in airports.
What Can We Do?
First of all, we have to understand that each country is unique in terms of its terrorism situation. France has many Muslims, some of which are French citizens. Russia has an internal insurgency within certain segments of its Muslim population. Turkey is a secular state whose population is overwhelmingly Muslim but is being influenced by radical elements. Turkey, like other Islamic countries, is the target of terrorism.
International cooperation is a necessity, even with the differences in each country’s situation. The European countries and the US should work more closely, share more intelligence, and form a military coalition to defeat ISIS. The US should not have to do all the fighting – every country must contribute.
Russia should be included in this alliance, or at least be a partner in some way. The Cold War is over – we need Russia on the team. We also need to involve and work with Middle Eastern Islamic countries such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other countries which are targets themselves. Islamic terrorists think nothing of killing their own people. It is in the best interests of the moderate Islamic countries to cooperate with the West in defeating terrorism.
Israel can be a big help to the coalition in intelligence sharing, and providing sound advice on strategy. Israel has had to deal with terrorist attacks from its inception in 1948. One thing we mustn’t forget is that Israel is constantly the target for all kinds of terrorism. Rockets are being fired all the time, for example. As part of the battle against terrorism I would suggest we make Hamas and other anti-Israel organizations an offer they can’t refuse, that is, stop firing rockets or face Armageddon.
Other things the coalition needs to do is arm the Kurds, contain Iran, and destroy training camps and other ISIS facilities when they are discovered. Sadly, there is the risk of collateral civilian damage, and we should do all we can to minimize it. Nevertheless this is war and we have to do what we have to do.
The coalition must improve intelligence gathering capabilities in the Islamic communities within their countries – these can be major sources of information. For example, the Islamic communities can help keep track of those who have been to places where ISIS and others train terrorists.
The authorities must treat the Islamic communities within their borders with respect. Doing so will help gain their confidence and it’s the right thing to do. ISIS and other terrorist organizations are killing innocent civilians, so one would think the Islamic communities in western nations would understand that it is in their best interest to defeat and neutralize terrorist organizations.
The coalition must do all it can to stop the flow of money and weapons to the terrorist organizations. We choke off their money and weapons, destroy their facilities, and defeat them on the ground with a powerful coalition, and we have gone a long way towards significantly reducing their capability to carry out terrorist activities. Bu there needs to be a concerted and unified effort by a coalition.
Finally there must be no appeasement, because it doesn’t work. These people are fanatics, and they can not be appeased. For them, there must be nothing less than total victory. Our way of life, our values, our culture and our freedom is at stake. Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which Americans take for granted, would disappear under an Islamic caliphate. These terrorists know only the language of violence, so we have to meet them with violence, distasteful as it may be.
Lastly this country should turn back to God and pray for protection. We’ve lost our way spiritually. Let us restore the faith that brought us through the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II. Without God who know what will happen to us. We have freedom of worship, so let’s use it.
Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms:
-Freedom of speech
-Freedom of worship
-Freedom from want
-Freedom from fear