Fox News on July 15, 2016, published a commentary by James Jay Carafano on the recent Nice terror attack and the terror war on the West. Excerpts below:
Many nations have suffered…attacks meant not just to produce mass casualties but to maximize confusion, fear and disruption. Belgium, the United States, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey and, now again, France have all experienced shocking, numbing violence. The attacks have become so common, the days themselves are no longer marked as special like 9/11 and 7/7.
What is indisputable is what this campaign of global violence is: terrorism.
That there is no universal legal definition of terrorism is no real obstacle to giving evil a name. What makes these attacks uniquely heinous and despicable is clear. Terrorism is the use or threat of violence, for a political purpose, against innocents.
…when people war against humanity, it is our fight to stop them, punish them, finish them.
There is a problem with how the war has been fought the last eight years. Our leaders in Washington redefined the enemy, arguing if the terrorism wasn’t aimed at us it wasn’t our problem. Many of our allies did likewise. This indifference opened the space for the current wave of transnational terrorism to fester and then explode.
The free world is long past wake-up calls, red flags, game changers, and new threats. The West is in the middle of a war it doesn’t want. And the longer the West watches while the global Islamist insurgency surges on, the more terrorism shifts from an inconceivable, unacceptable horror to the banality of evil.
To not fight a just war against Islamist transnational terrorism is to allow evil to chip away at the sanctity of humanity.
Now the Obama administration will hold a summit of foreign ministers in Washington to discuss battling ISIS. It’s awfully late in the game for that, but this is an administration that has tried to win a war by ignoring it.
That’s not how war works…It’s aimed at us. And we must fight back.
James Jay Carafano is vice president of foreign and defense policy studies The Heritage Foundation.
Comment: When Swedish author Bertil Haggman in 1978 published his first book on terrorism (Terrorism – vår tids krigföring, Terrorism – Warfare of Our Time) he predicted that political terrorism would be the warfare of the future. The 1970s was the era of ideological left wing extremist warfare: the Baader Meinhof gang in then West Germany, the Japanese United Red Army, the Palestinian terror groups, IRA, ETA and others. The gravest terror threat at the present time is Islamic terrorism not idealogical terrorism. It has been allowed to develop because the West is not fighting back with determination. As Mary Habeck explained in her important book Knowing the Enemy – Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror (Yale, 2006) jihadism is a specific ideology that calls for the destruction of the West and democracy. The murder of innocent men, women, and children are part of this ideology. It claims that Islam is under attack by the West and that Islamic terrorism is a war of defense. The period from 2008 to 2016 has been a disaster in the field of counterterrorism. It is time, as James Carafano writes, for the West to fight back, fight back in earnest. A strategic response to Jihadism is needed and must replace the pure tactical thinking of the present.