Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Islamic extremism, as it kills “infidels” and destroys Western culture, needs to be countered by a concerted and concentrated effort to remove what is a scourge on the civilized world. Despite Mr. Obama’s protestations, destroying ISIS will mean troops on the ground.
Unfortunately, we cannot rid this evil from 30,000 feet with a drone operated by a soldier in Nevada. But first it necessitates the West abandon the notion that the terrorism we have experienced over the past two and more decades is somehow divorced from its Islamic roots.
The terrorists are not Christians; they are not Jews. They are radicalized Muslims. Most Muslims are peaceful, but those that have embarked on terror use Islamism as justification. Peaceful Muslims must rise up against those who have perverted their religion.
Nor are politics immune from Newton’s Law. Mr. Obama’s unbending ideology refuses to acknowledge the risks we face. This is a man genetically opposed to compromise. He is adamant, prideful and, consequently, invidious.
His “political correctness” — in this case, a fear of offending Muslims — has meant not calling the enemy by name. We should not abandon the principle of accepting refugees, but we should vet them, especially against the use of Trojan horses to sneak Jihadists into the country. A pendulum that swings to the left will arc back an equal distance to the right – and the further it swings in one direction the greater will be the distance of its return.
In the seventh year of the presidency, Mr. Obama must take responsibility for his actions. Keep in mind, it was from the bowels of a radicalized Islam that came the terrorists that ignited 9/11, that enslaved and murdered young girls in Nigeria, that incite knife-wielding Palestinian youth, that wreaked havoc in Lebanon, that blew up a Russian passenger jet, that killed 130 people in Paris, and who took and slew dozens of hostages in Mali.
It makes little difference to the victims whether their killers were ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah, Haqqani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds or any of a dozen or more Islamic terrorist organizations.
In 2014, Islamic terrorists killed 17,958 Muslims, Jews and Christians, a 61 percent increase over the year before. Yet, Mr. Obama has never acknowledged the role Islam has played. Additionally, he removed our troops prematurely from Iraq and has threatened to do the same in Afghanistan.
He overthrew Omar Gadhafi in Libya, a despotic leader, but one who had renounced his weapons of mass destruction; and he never planned for the hellish aftermath he had created. In Syria, he rejected a redline he had drawn. With Iran, he ignored the Senate and unilaterally negotiated a nuclear agreement with a country committed to the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of the West.
The day after the Paris massacres, Mr. Obama released another five Islamic terrorists from Guantanamo and he spoke of “universal values.” He said Paris was a “setback” to a strategy that was “working!” Earlier, he declared al Qaeda decimated and called ISIS “jayvee.”
Ten days ago he said ISIS had been “contained.” Is it any surprise that his political opponents have responded in an equal and opposite way?
In fairness, Mr. Obama has not been alone in this naïve desire to apply the golden rule. Many on the left have reacted the same way. What was John Kerry thinking when he suggested that the motives of those who carried out the attacks in Paris were similar to those who killed the twelve people at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in January — that there was some rationale for what they had done?
Why is Edward Snowden seen as a hero when his disclosures have helped what Boris Johnson has said are “some of the nastiest people on the planet?” Philistines do not respond to Moses teaching: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Such sentiments carry no weight with radical Islamists whose system of justice is an “eye for an eye.”
Mr. Obama is right when he says that we should not abrogate our values, but he is wrong when he fails to communicate that those values, when threatened, need defending. And he fails to heed Freud’s assertion that there is but a thin veneer between the civilized and primitive within us.
Could we have defeated Hitler or Tojo without compromising our values? Would turning the other cheek have worked against Chinese Communists in Korea? Did the Golden Rule mean anything to Mao or Stalin? Do you believe that Jihadist savages who shout Allahu Akbar as they murder innocents care about Queensbury rules of warfare?
No civilized people want war. While some of the most poignant poetry ever written has been about war, there is nothing beautiful about it.
The land is destroyed and its fields and streams are filled with torn and twisted bodies. Wounded soldiers cry out in agony. Parents lose the child they had raised. The young grow up fatherless. Loved ones are left alone. But neither can we hide from war when it is thrust upon us.
The West cannot be the Eloi to radical Islam’s Morlocks. If we give in, we will disappear — we will die just as surely as a November wind sweeps away autumn leaves — and so will the spirit of America. Our cemeteries are filled with men and women who sacrificed their lives that the idea of America would live on.
When threatened, American values need defending. Multiculturalism is only worthwhile when it advances civilization. When its consequence is to drag it backwards toward darkness and fear, it should be shunned.
Mr. Obama came to the presidency with great expectations. He was a youthful, black American. He had spent some of his formative years in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population. By dint of intelligence, aspiration and diligence he received degrees from two of America’s most prestigious universities.
More than any previous president, he was a man of the world. He wished to be seen as a friend to Muslims, as demonstrated in his Cairo speech in June 2009. Based on faith and hope, the Norwegian Nobel Committee selected him for their 2009 Peace Prize.
Yet he was also a disciple of radicalized individuals, like Frank Marshall Davis and Charles Ogletree, who questioned America’s values and its cultural traditions. We cannot forget that for 20 years he attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, presided over by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright who once proclaimed “God, damn America!”
Like all of us, Mr. Obama was molded by his environment, as well as his genes.
The Jihadists will ultimately be defeated. But the longer it takes to firm our resolve, the less principled will be our response, as Newton’s Third Law of Motion tells us. That Law could mean Marine Le Pen becomes President of France, or Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister of Great Britain. Or it might mean Donald Trump will be our next President.
The world needs a leader, an optimist and visionary, one that understands the enemy we face and has the moral courage to confront him. It needs a leader unabashed of our Western democratic, capitalist culture — a culture, while not perfect, but one that has lifted millions out of poverty and given freedom to millions more. That culture is now at risk.
At this point, the enemy is from without. But the longer we hesitate and act capriciously, the greater the risk that the enemy will be from within.
Sydney Williams, a retired stock broker, writes about politics, the economy, global affairs, education and climate, among other topics. He describes his political leanings as being based in the rapidly disappearing ideology of common sense.