Or are we just going to have some teary-eyed candlelight vigils and proclaim our “solidarity” with the victims? I suspect that is all we’ll do – oh, to be sure, any terrorists taken alive will be put on trial by the French and France might even carry out a few selected attacks in the Middle East; but I don’t think the French, or anyone, will really do anything.
To do something about this requires courage, determination and a willingness to inflict and suffer losses. And to have all that, you have to have something you believe in. Say what you want about the terrorists who carried out the attacks, but they clearly believe in something – something they are willing to throw away their lives for. To fight such, we need people who believe just as vigorously in a different set of ideas. What do the French believe? What do Americans believe? What do the people of the West believe? Some of the elements in Europe which are opposed to the establishment seem more interested in just deporting immigrants and ensuring more welfare for native-born layabouts. There are, of course, some who do believe in better ideas – but I don’t see them in charge; nor likely to become in charge any time soon.
I do wonder why we in the United States have not suffered such attacks – it could be just luck, but it also might relate to just how well-armed the American people are. Part of the appeal, as it were, for these types of attacks is that they provide the Islamists with a show which encourages other people to join up. You see, the prospect of Europeans – so long the dominant people of the world – completely cowed and dying helplessly at the hands of Islamists gives a sense of power to people inclined to believe Islamist propaganda. It might work out differently in the United States – certainly in parts of the United States. Rather than helpless, unarmed people the terrorists might find a good number shooting back. It would not at all be a good bit of propaganda if a terrorist cell went down before the arms of American civilians…even if a number of civilians were killed in the fight. Nope: helpless people screaming for their lives before the police can respond – that is what gets terrorist juices flowing.
But, still, we must expect that eventually some sort of attack like this will be launched in the United States. It really isn’t a matter of “if” but of “when”. Our borders are open so we’ve probably got a good number of people already here who are inclined to these types of attacks. But it would be better if we could calmly and reasonably assess the situation and reacted before such an atrocity occurs. Better to take the fight to the enemy rather than just waiting for him to strike – and even if you are of the belief that it was American actions which provoked the attacks, there’s no putting the cat back in the bag. If they are already provoked then nothing we do will un-provoke them. Better, then, to have at them before their plans are matured.
This is a world at war – and even if we want to ignore the war, it won’t ignore us. We’ll have to fight at some point – some of our lives will have to be lost. They’ll be lost in response to terrorist attacks, or because we sent out forces to attack the enemy. Pick which one you want.