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Who Will Lead in the Age of Terrorism?
Le Carillon à Paris
Civilization on a Precipice
The world is teetering on the edge of a precipice. On one side is the way up to new heights of human achievement in international cooperation and stability. The results could well be unparalleled economic growth and peace. On the other side of the precipice is a chasm of social and economic chaos.
On the precipice, two sides wage battle. Over the millennia, this place has rarely been at peace. It is the borderland between two distinct world views, two mutually exclusive ways of life which cannot and will not peacefully coexist. Conflict is ever present and outright war a continual possibility.
The Threats to Free Societies in the PastClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Aggressors in History
The aggressors have changed periodically throughout history. In ancient times they were Mongols. In recent history the invaders were known as Communists and Nazis. These powers sought to limit the freedom of those they conquered. Communism provided us with the descriptive term, the Iron Curtain. On one side were oppressed people, on the other side was the Free World.
Something is happening before our very eyes today. A new aggressor is on the march. It takes land, oppresses people and obliterates freedom. This new threat to world order and peace operates in a different way than its predecessors. In place of an Iron Curtain, there is an invisible net of oppression which is being cast wider and wider, entrapping nations and societies in clandestine ways.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi-Still Alive
Terrorists: A New Kind of Enemy
In the past, empire builders used the overwhelming force of massive armies. Today's threat to freedom is not a nation in the common use of the term, and its battles are not limited to the traditional battlefield. Terror is its modus operandi. Terror is its true name. As it extends its reach, enlists extremists and consolidates power, terrorism is maturing.
The predecessors of modern terrorism reach back into the 18th and 19th centuries and were known as anarchism and nationalism. Today terrorism is identified by several names, such as Boko Haram, Shabab, The Islamic Emirate and The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). They are present on the battlefields, taking and holding land, but their greatest impact is through secret infiltration of societies and sudden, overwhelming acts of violence and slaughter.
Through terrorism, these organizations can steal freedom from societies they do not directly govern. They intimidate governments, thereby stifling opposition. The threat of terror is possibly even more influential than the actual acts of terror.
The World Responds: World War I, World War II
Twice in the last century the world responded to the aggressors of its day. Twice the evil was vanquished by the united front of the Free World. The iron curtain fell as a result of the free people of the world maintaining a constant vigil against this power until it failed internally and collapsed.
Where is the united response of free people to the threat of terrorism? Where are the Churchills, the Roosevelts, the de Gaulles and the Reagans? Where are the leaders who will stand up and oppose the enemy? Who will cry out, “Tear down this wall?” Who will declare “A date which will live in infamy,” and our “Finest hour?”
Where We Now Stand: Hesitation
The world of the early 21st century sits on a precipice. On one side is a climb to heights of freedom and prosperity unknown by previous generations. On the other side is a chasm of despair, bondage, fear, economic depression, societal depression and personal depression.
The 20th century produced two world wars to overcome the enemy. The time is ripe for the next global response to the threat against freedom. How many more attacks must we endure? Paris is the latest that captured our attention. We won’t forget 9/11. But these are only two of the tens of thousands of attacks which have taken the lives of free people and bound the world with ropes of fear. To hesitate here, is to welcome our own demise.
In 2014, nearly 33,000 people died at that hands of terrorists in 13,500 attacks These numbers are nearly double those for 2013.
A Global Response: Overwhelming Force
Is this a call for World War III? At Pearl Harbor, 2,500 people died and the United States responded and eventually overcame the Imperial Japanese Army. On September 11, 2001, 2,977 died. In 2014, nearly 33,000 people died at that hands of terrorists in 13,500 attacks Those numbers are nearly double those for 2013, Yet President Obama proclaimed the terrorists to have been contained.
What is true, from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq and in Syria. They'll come in. They'll leave. But you don't see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain. What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We've made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.
No single nation can or should do this. The world must rally and respond with overwhelming force that ties up the enemies’ resources so that they cannot continue their offensive acts of terror. Only when our enemies are on the defensive can we begin to make headway at eliminating them.
Who Will Lead Us?
This is not a call for nation building or settling any one country’s civil war. Internal Revolution is the responsibility of the people who want to be free. Civil war is a nation’s internal affair. But halting the destabilization, disruption and overthrow of free nations by outside forces and foiling the establishment of a terrorist state are the responsibility of all who enjoy freedom and want to remain free.
President Obama, the terrorists have not been contained, and we can't wait for the 2016 election to do what needs to be done. President Putin, Prime Minister Cameron, President Hollande, Chancellor Merkel and others, will you rise to the challenge or have free democracies seen their day? Who will lead the way?