The U.S. Defense Secretary has declared that we ARE at war with ISIS. That’s good to know, because ISIS is obviously at war with all things Western, free, life-loving and non-Islamic.
However, there’s an attitude of defeatism when it comes to terrorism.
It goes like this: “These people do not care about living. They actually want to die, because it’s an opportunity for martyrdom.” This much is true.
Then the defeatism takes another turn, leading to the conclusion, “We can’t do anything about it. No amount of war, or anything, will solve the problem.”
This is like saying, “Criminals don’t want to live good or rational lives. They like exploiting and harming others. Nothing you do to them will change them; so why even try?”
This makes no sense at all. Not with criminals, and not with terrorists.
If we said this about other types of victimizers or killers, then society would be in a chronic state of savagery and anarchy. Kind of like what we saw in Paris last week, and what ISIS now threatens in New York City and elsewhere.
Imagine if we handled more ordinary criminals like we handled ISIS. Every time there’s a murder, the response would be, “Well, let me tell you, don’t use this murder as an excuse for condemning other people who share religious beliefs with these killers.” Or, “Murderers are so irrational. We can’t do anything about it, because there’s no way to motivate them to be rational.”
If you look back on American history, you see lots of overwhelming challenges that were ultimately defeated. In the end, the good guys won over the bad guys, time and again. The freedom-loving colonists defeated the authoritarian British royalty in the Revolutionary War; the free North defeated the slavery-ridden South in the Civil War; and the freedom-loving United States and allied nations beat two of the most irrational groups in history, the Nazis in Germany and the suicide-bombers in imperial Japan.
I did not live in those times, so I do not know what it was like. But I’m willing to guess that in those periods of history, you did not hear things like the following:
“How dare you criticize the Germans? Not all Germans are Nazis. By going to war with the Nazis, aren’t you condemning all Germans? What are you, a racist?”
Or: “We can’t bomb Germany or Japan. Civilians and innocents will be killed. Are you crazy?”
Or: “The North has decided, by democratic vote, that slavery should be illegal; the South has decided slavery should be legal. Nobody has a right to challenge that, because that’s what the majority in the South want. Who are WE to judge?”
War is hell, and war is bad. But when someone declares war on you, there are two choices: Roll over and die, or fight back. To advocate fighting back is not to confess a love of war; it’s to embrace a love of life.
Note that in those victories, the winning side — the good guys — did not tepidly use some of their forces to achieve half-measure victories that would hopefully not offend too many people. Americans used every bit of technology and strength they had. So don’t bring up the Iraq war; those were tepid and confusing half measures — including ridiculous rules of engagement — where soldiers were set up to lose from the get-go. (It’s to the credit of the military, not our politicians, that the military performs as well as it does.)
Ideas have consequences. And the kind of ideas that most people possess will determine the ultimate outcome of important conflicts.
The kind of ideas held by nearly all of our elected leaders, and many Americans themselves, are completely at odds with what a victory over ISIS and Islamic terrorism requires.
These ideas include what’s commonly referred to as “political correctness.” Political correctness basically refers to a sense of personal shame, a lack of confidence, a refusal to ever pronounce any kind of judgment or certain conclusion about anything, even when it’s incredibly obvious and right in front of your face.
This kind of low self-regard and indifference to certainty result in the sort of defeatist, preachy pacifism that so many Americans seem to feel in the face of continuing assaults by ISIS and similar sorts of rotten people. And rotten people sense that lack of confidence; they exploit it to their perceived benefit, just like any criminal.
Most Americans do want to live and flourish. They don’t want Times Square, their shopping malls, movie theaters, Boston Marathons and beach or mountain resorts blown up like Paris was blown up last week.
Yet are Americans willing to let go of the stupid, self-defeating ideas preventing us from defeating ISIS? Are political correctness, the desire to be liked by others, and to never be mean or harsh even when trying to defend your very right to exist, so important that we’re willing to give up everything we now enjoy, and most of us take for granted? Are you prepared to die for your political correctness?
Political correctness was not a factor when America was founded, nor in the Civil War, nor in World War II. If it had been, we’d be living in a very different country and society today.
Terrorists are nothing more than extreme, dangerous forms of bullies. Like all bullies, they will keep putting our adherence to stupid, self-defeating ideas to the test.
Sooner or later, Americans will either permit and demand that our government take the kinds of measures that ultimately defeated Nazi Germany and Japan, or we’ll simply fade away, living in a state of permanent victimhood, even perpetual civil war or other kinds of social disaster.
It’s fine to hate President Obama for his weakness and even sympathy with our most virulent enemies; but he’s the symptom as much as the cause. He would never have been elected once, much less twice, if wrong ideas had not taken hold of so many people. Look what those ideas are getting us.
Innocent people do not have to be victims. We have the power to become a great society again any time we wish; but we’ll need to shed the wrong ideas, and replace them with completely opposite ones. Until or unless we do so, ISIS will peck away at our morale until there’s nothing left to destroy.
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