Violent Extremism

I see in the news that President Obama will hold a summit for the purpose of fighting terrorism. Terrorism is referred to by a pseudonym, ‘violent extremism’.

Renaming it bugs me. Why do we redefine everything? We invent new words for old problems, in order to spin the issue in a new way. Most of the time we really aren’t doing anything different, other than changing the vocabulary to create a different impression.

In this case I can’t help but suspect the desired change is to take the focus off of Islam, to leave the faint suggestion that any belief is dangerous and can become violent when taken to extremes.

Breaking the connection between Islam and terror might not be that easy though. This morning ISIS has released an edited version of a previous warning, calling on Islamic people in in Western democracies to actions, similar to France. So apparently ISIS sees the connection, whether we do or not.



ISIS Cradle

The world is coming together to deal with the threat presented by ISIS. This organization has the world’s attention in the same way the Taliban and Al Qaeda did before it.

Personally I wish the world would take up a different question. Why is it that another organization has risen up, after we had already dealt with the previous threats?

Too many policy makers have an unrealistic viewpoint of the culture of the Middle East and of the Islamic religion. These leaders are steeped in the politically correct rhetoric of the West, and they seek to understand the world through this lens. They are not seeing the problem realistically.

They need to learn a couple of lessons.

First, enemies will often lie to you. The form of this falsehood might be tucked behind a religious façade, but that does not make it any less of a lie. Islamic teaching does advocate conversion by the sword. It does encourage violence against infidels, and especially a hatred of Jews. The picture of moderate Muslims as practicing a peaceful religion is largely an invention of the West.

Second, empowering one Islamic group over another does not mean the group we assisted will see us as partners. They will largely accept the assistance and still see us as infidels who are inherently counted among their enemies.

Third, we are decreasing in both the will and resources necessary to oppose each successive wave of terrorism. This is why the emphasis has gone from doing whatever it takes, to making sure we don’t commit to boots on the ground. So as we become less willing and less able to oppose terrorists we need to either find a way to stop the rise of new groups, or learn to live with daily terrorism on a greater scale.


Foreign Policy Relived

“The 1970’s called and they would like their foreign policy back.”

President Obama addressed this quip to Romney in a pre-election debate.

Now it’s a couple of years later and President Obama probably wishes he could get the 1970’s on the phone to learn how to shape an effective foreign policy against a hostile Russia.

During both of his campaigns Obama promised to get the United States out of Iraq. He has used his authority to accelerate our departure despite warnings of the dangers.

Circulating on Facebook right now is a news clip of Bush stating that if we leave Iraq too quickly, and against the advice of the military leadership, it will become the next terrorist stronghold. He was referring to the area which is now the stronghold of ISIS.

President Obama is in a pickle. The world he faces runs contrary to his political banter. This largely happened because he failed to see the world as it really was. Russia really is a tremendously powerful country, with aspirations to reclaim all its lost territories. Within the portion of the world dominated by Islam, terrorists will rise up.

I remember history teachers, from junior high up, telling us the reason we study history—to avoid repeating it.