Vive la France!
There are perhaps three all engulfing observations to be made from the horrific events in France this past Friday evening as the Moslem day of prayer and rest ended:
- The enemy we face is as barbarous as has been seen in human history, even compared with the terrible atrocities of the 20th century in their contempt for all human values.
- Our effort to eradicate them has so far failed – and particularly our intelligence when such a massive and coordinated attack could occur in a major world city without its interception.
- We must spare no effort now – no half measures as the Obama Administration has perpetuated against Daesh [ISIS or ISIL] — in crushing them with the kind of all-out war we pursued during World War II when the Nazi foe represented the same kind of all-encompassing evil.
As the French and their allies, most of all the United States, continue to gather information about the attacks, we will no doubt discover interesting and informative details. They must be shared among the allies. We have a suspicion that all sorts of relatively minor considerations have prevented that being done adequately so far.
Among these constraints has been the artificial parsing of the character of the Moslem terrorists. There has been too much of why some are less objectionable than others. We have all the evidence in the world now that young men and women are drawn to these movements, despite – and indeed sometimes because of — their ferocious brutality. It behooves us to think of them as all cut from the same cloth and therefore the necessity to eradicate them with total war from our own side.
We must ask, even demand, that the Moslem community mobilize too in opposing these rogue elements among their population. There can be no justification for any acquiescence or rationalizations among Moslems about the nature of these brutes and their actions. Whatever the origins of Islam and the fact that its articles of faith and history can sometimes be interpreted to justify violence against non-believers must be blotted out of our geopolitical and moral discussions.
Even more, the kind of two-cent sociology and psychology on the part of many Western spokesmen is abhorrent. It obscures the issues. Poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of freedom, inequalities among nations – none of these excuse these acts, nor indeed, explains them. The old and well-known story of individuals who have risen out of poverty and misery to lead useful and exemplary lives despite all obstacles is too common.
Using the continuing inability of the Arab and Moslem world, for the most part, to modernize and accept the growing international code of moral conduct is not something that ought to be explained away, Worse of all, to hear U.S. and Western military men – whose training and purpose is to wage war professionally, not to be amateur psychoanalysts –lapse into this kind of sophistry is most disheartening and weakens our cause. The problems of modernization of the Arab and Moslem worlds are enormous and infinitely intricate; they will not be solved quickly, whether or not the West and the rest of the contemporary modern world undertakes more effectively to do so. But they can be no excuse for this continued barbarity, either against their own peoples or against the West.
There may be one even less comforting observation to be made on the events in Paris: the U.S. is probably only a little less vulnerable to such attacks than were the French. Unfortunately, democratic and open societies by their very nature are at the mercy of such barbarians unless and until they take the proper precautions to arm themselves against them. That day is long past here at home in the U.S., and we have only the vaguest assurances all the precautions that should have been taken have been effected.
The Parisian events as much as anything else is a warning for U.S. officialdom and the American people.