Source: The Federalist
On March 18, international counterterror authorities celebrated the capture of Salah Abdeslam, the ISIS-linked Belgium national heavily responsible for last year’s Islamic terror attacks in Paris. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel awoke Tuesday morning to find ISIS had rocked Brussels again. Two explosions at the Brussels airport and a third at the city’s train station killed 34 people and injured hundreds.
The escalating acts of Islamic terrorism in the last six months—with multiple attacks on Paris, attacks in Brussels, and even the far-reaching relatively unprecedenteddomestic attack in San Bernardino, California—show the deep-rooted hold of the greatest generational challenge of our time: radical Islam. ISIS has already devastated a Muslim population in the Middle East. Now, the most grotesque manifestation of radical Islam to date has its eyes deadlocked on the West.
In the two and a half years since the Obama administration began countering ISIS, details on how to counter the bloodthirsty group are still vague at best, and further complicated by the mass exodus of Muslim refugees pouring into Europe. In this country, Obama’s foreign policy has excelled in pressing our government and media elites to deflect a real conversation about jihadist violence to emphasize a fictional narrative full of politically correct shibboleths, from non-existent “Islamophobic” backlashes to a context-less understanding of the Crusades.
Meanwhile, European leaders try their best to ignore the consequences of decades ofapologetic politics, including the backlash from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent open-door policy that accepted 1 million refugees, no questions asked. In a twenty-first-century world softened through pseudo-intellectualism, the most devastating enemy since Nazi Germany has left global leadership confused and overwhelmed.
Yet ours is not an impossible task. We can rely on the past as a guide through this defining moment in history. Although it was aimed at domestic policy, when President Franklin Roosevelt outlined his four freedoms in January 1941, he was making an equally strong case against the totalitarianisms that were on the march across the world—totalitarian regimes the United States would be facing before the bloody conclusion of that year. He outlined freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear as symbolic aims that would come to chart America’s course through World War II.
America knew what it stood for then; the same can’t be said in today’s muddled “War on Terror.” But rather than caricaturizing everyone we don’t agree with as a Nazi, the default social stigma of the hour, we can see how Allied powers worked with language, ideology, alliances, and geography to counter Axis powers, and we can weaponize these tools to defeat an enemy more dangerous than Nazi Germany.