The Paris Attacks and the Suicide of the West
When leftists are so dangerously wrong, the threat can't be "contained."
On Friday afternoon, as most Americans were looking forward to leaving work, reports started pouring out of Paris of multiple active shooters and coordinated bombing attacks across Paris. At least eight suicide bombers detonated their explosives at key attractions around the city, which were bustling with activity at the start of the weekend’s festivities.
Several bombs were detonated near the Stade de France (soccer stadium) as France played world champion Germany in front of tens of thousands of fans, including French President Francois Hollande, who was rushed to safety by French security services, after which he convened an emergency meeting of his cabinet secretaries.
At the same time, several popular restaurants and bars were attacked by terrorists, plus the Bataclan concert hall where at least 80 fans of the American band Eagles of Death Metal were killed as terrorists stormed the venue, firing into the crowd as they screamed “Allah Akbar!” — an Islamic phrase meaning “god is greatest.” Witnesses report the gunfire lasted 10 to 15 minutes before the attackers clashed with the police. Four attackers were killed, including three rigged with suicide vests.
At least 129 were killed, and about 200 more injured in the deadliest attack ever on French soil.
France has suffered more than a half dozen acts of terrorism in the last year alone, most carried out by single attackers. Earlier this year Islamic terrorists attacked the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 11 and wounding 11 more, before killing a police officer and fleeing. They were later killed by French soldiers. During this same period another attacker, a friend of the brothers who attacked Charlie Hebdo, stormed a Jewish market, shooting two customers and taking others hostage before eventually surrendering to police.
Three Americans thwarted another attack on a French train in August.
As horrific as these attacks are, they are not unexpected. Whether it be al-Qaida, its spawn Islamic State, or any of the dozens of other offshoots and affiliated terrorist organizations, they have been brazen and unequivocal in announcing their desire to destroy Western civilization in a campaign of blood and fire.
All the more baffling, then, that the leaders of these same Western countries targeted for attack by Islamic terrorists have, until now, downplayed the threat and preached understanding and accommodation with those who want to slaughter us. In January, following the attacks in Paris, French President Hollande declared the attacks “had nothing to do with the Muslim religion” — even though the terrorists themselves proudly declared their murders were acts of jihad in the furtherance of the cause of Islam.
Hollande has not been alone in such imbecilic declarations following attacks by Muslim terrorists. As noted by Douglas Murray in The Spectator, “In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack last month. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London, when ‘Jihadi John’ cut off the head of aid worker Alan Henning in the ‘Islamic State’ and when Islamic extremists attacked a Kenyan mall, separated the Muslims from the Christians and shot the latter in the head. It was what President François Hollande said after the massacre of journalists and Jews in Paris in January. And it is all that most politicians will be able to come out with again after the latest atrocities in Paris.”
The bodies of the victims were not even cold before Barack Obama was standing before the microphones, displaying for the entire world either his unparalleled ignorance, or his brazen dishonesty. Speaking of the attacks, he said that he did “not want to speculate” as to who might be behind the attacks. Did not want to speculate?! Well, it certainly wasn’t Christians, Jews, Les Republicains or the Parti Socialiste (France’s major political parties), conservatives, or whatever the French version of the Tea Party is.
In fact, this was done by Islamic terrorists. The Islamic State quickly took credit for the attacks, claiming they were done in retaliation for the France’s participation in bombing runs against Islamic State fighters in the Middle East, and for supposed insults to Mohammad, founder of the Islamic faith.
Following the attacks, Hollande issued a statement calling them “a horror” and “an act of war,” vowing to be “merciless” in fighting terrorism. Calling the attacks to be “against us all,” the leaders of the European Union issued a joint statement, saying, “We will face this threat together with all necessary means and ruthless determination. Everything that can be done at European level to make France safe will be done. We will do what is necessary to defeat extremism, terrorism and hatred.”
It will be interesting to see if European leaders indeed keep these promises. Until now, these same leaders have responded to Islamic jihad with calls for tolerance, mutual respect, inclusion and even a level of introspection in order to determine how Western culture is to blame. It has been a policy of intentional weakness and capitulation, even as the Islamic State and other terrorist groups become bolder in their rhetoric, and their attacks more frequent and more violent.
Despite Obama’s claim in 2011, as he pulled out all American forces from Iraq, that he was leaving behind a “stable, sovereign and self-reliant Iraq,” the reality is that the Islamic State was born in the aftermath of America’s departure, filling the power void left in our absence. More violent even than al-Qaida, from which it came, the Obama-dubbed “JV team” swept across the region, taking and holding land, easily defeating military units in place to stop their advance, gathering up abandoned guns and combat equipment as they went.
In recent weeks, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the mid-air bombing of a Russian airliner, resulting in the loss of more than 200 souls. With this wave of attacks it can no longer be denied that the Islamic State and its affiliated groups, and the so-called “lone wolves” they recruit, have the power to reach out and bring death to our cities. A response of fecklessness, hand-wringing and mea culpas will only increase the body counts each time we are attacked.
It is time for Obama to admit his central campaign theme in 2012 — that “al-Qaida is on the run” — was a blatant lie, and that we are in more danger now than at any time since the Twin Towers were brought down. It is a false narrative he is desperate to maintain, as evidenced by his comments just hours before the attacks. Responding to a question from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about the growing threat posed by the Islamic State, Obama claimed just hours before Paris that “I don’t think they’re gaining strength. … We have contained them.” If “contained” means “free to attack us in our own communities,” then yes, Barack, you have them contained.
In addition to its tactical successes, the Islamic State has proven to be masterful on social media, reaching out to disaffected youths in our countries and recruiting them into the cult of jihad. Western society has been slowly abandoning its Christian heritage for decades now, and it seems that many who are looking for a greater purpose in their lives are finding it as foot soldiers in the creation of a global Islamic caliphate, and not in European-style secular “enlightenment.”
As bad as these attacks were, Obama and his European counterparts have green-lighted the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. Just wait until these attacks are not being carried out with Kalashnikovs rifles and suicide vests, but with dirty bombs which spread radioactive material for miles.
Though our leaders have continually declared we are not at war with Islam, it cannot be denied that Islam is at war with us, and Islamic radicals mean to win this war decisively. They mean to win it with military force and with terrorist attacks on our civilian populations, meant to bring about capitulation, and in so doing win the hearts and minds of our youths.
Yes, we are all aware that not every Muslim living among us is a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer. At the same time, with millions of Muslims in our midst, and tens of thousands more being imported from nations that have become hotbeds of Islamic terrorism, it is suicidal not to admit that even a small percentage being radicalized is enough to cause enormous loss of life and property in the United States and across Europe. In the Middle East we must act swiftly and decisively to destroy every last element of these terrorist groups, and at home we must acknowledge that many of these Muslim immigrants hate their host countries are and willing to die to destroy them. We must also acknowledge the radicalization of many of our youth, and take appropriate steps to prevent further attacks.
The “muezzin” is the Muslim call to prayer, which Obama once recited in a “first-rate accent” and described as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth.” Whether or not one agrees with that sentiment, I think we can all agree that the muezzin is at least better than the screams of dozens and dozens of innocents being shot to death or torn apart by bombs.
Ask not for whom the muezzin tolls, Western civilization. It tolls for thee.