Monday, November 16, 2015

Europe's Terrorist War at Home

COMMENTARY
By Frances Rice
 
 
The appalling speech by President Obama after the horrendous terrorist attacks in Paris has been universally condemned as reflected in the below comments by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and links to news articles on the subject.
 
We need a strong president in our country, a leader who will take the war declared against us by radical Muslims serious, as is being recommended for Europe in the article further below.
 
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“With his excuse-laden and defensive press conference, President Obama removed any and all doubt that he lacks the resolve or a strategy to defeat and destroy ISIS. Never before have I seen an American president project such weakness on the global stage, let alone at a time when the world is in such desperate need of the leadership that only we can provide,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
 
“The resurgence of Islamic extremism is a direct consequence of the failed foreign policy Hillary Clinton helped fashion as President Obama’s secretary of state. She supported President Obama’s hasty withdrawal from the Middle East that contributed to the rise of ISIS, and the Libya intervention she spearheaded created a terrorist breeding ground in North Africa. A Clinton presidency would only mean more of the same.”
 
 
CNN’s Elise Labott: “Press Conference Going Very Badly For POTUS.” Labott Tweet: “press conference going very badly for POTUS. World looking for POTUS determined to fight #ISIS global reach, not defensiveness.” (Twitter.com, 11/16/15)
 
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: “The Bottom Line From The President -- We Have The Right Strategy Against ISIS And It Is Working. That's A Tough Case To Make After Paris.” (Twitter.com, 11/16/15)
 
Fox News’ Bill Hemmer: “If You Were Waiting To Hear A US President Say, ‘I Feel Your Pain’ Or If You Were Waiting To Hear a US President Say, ‘It’s Them Or Us,’ That Is Not What You Just Heard.” (Fox News, 11/16/15)
 
Bloomberg’s Eli Lake: “President Obama Has A Talent For Speaking As If He Is Just An Observer Or Analyst Of Foreign Affairs.” (Twitter.com, 11/16/15)
 
Weekly Standard Headline: “Reporter to Obama: 'Why Can't We Take Out These Bastards?'” (Weekly Standard, 11/16/15)
 
Business Insider Headline: “French Reporter To Obama: Isn't It Time To Change Your ISIS Strategy?” (Business Insider, 11/16/15)
 
CBS News Headline: “Obama Faces Questions On ISIS Strategy After Paris Attacks” (CBS News, 11/16/15)
 
Politico Headline: “Obama Rejects Calls For Change In Anti-ISIL Strategy” (Politico, 11/16/15)
 
Reuters Matt Spetalnick: “Obama On Monday Ruled Out A Shift In Strategy In The Fight Against The Islamic State Despite The Deadly Attacks In Paris Last Week…” “U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday ruled out a shift in strategy in the fight against the Islamic State despite the deadly attacks in Paris last week, saying putting U.S. troops on the ground to combat the group ‘would be a mistake.’” (Reuters, 11/16/15)
 
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The Wall Street Journal
 
Europe’s Terrorist War at Home
Learn from Israel, end the open-borders policy, and dig in for a long war of ideas against Islamists.
 
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
 
French President Fran├žois Hollande declared the Nov. 13 terrorist attack in Paris an “act of war” by Islamic State, and he was right, if belated, in recognizing that the jihadists have been at war with the West for years. Islamic State, or ISIS, is vowing more attacks in Europe, and so Europe itself—not just France—must get on a war footing, uniting to do whatever it takes militarily to destroy ISIS and its so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Not “contain,” not “degrade”—destroy, period.
 
But even if ISIS is completely destroyed, Islamic extremism itself will not go away. If anything, the destruction of ISIS would increase the religious fervor of those within Europe who long for a caliphate.
 
European leaders must make some major political decisions, and perhaps France can lead the way. A shift in mentality is needed to avoid more terror attacks on an even bigger scale and the resulting civil strife. Islamic extremists will never succeed in turning Europe into a Muslim continent. What they may well do is provoke a civil war so that parts of Europe end up looking like the Balkans in the early 1990s.
 
Here are three steps that European leaders could take to eradicate the cancer of Islamic extremism from their midst.
 
First, learn from Israel, which has been dealing with Islamist terror from the day it was born and dealing with much more frequent threats to its citizens’ security. True, Islamic extremists inside Israel today resort to using knives and cars as their weapons of choice, but that is because attacks like those in Paris last week are now simply impossible for the terrorists to organize. Instead of demonizing Israel, bring their experienced, trained experts to Europe to develop a coherent counterterror strategy.
 
Second, dig in for a long battle of ideas. European leaders will have to address the infrastructure of indoctrination: mosques, Muslim schools, websites, publishing houses and proselytizing material (pamphlets, books, treatises, sermons) that serve as conveyor belts to violence. Islamic extremists target Muslim populations through dawa (persuasion), convincing them that their ends are legitimate before turning to the question of means.
 
European governments must do their own proselytizing in Muslim communities, promoting the superiority of liberal ideas. This means directly challenging the Islamic theology that is used by the Islamist predators to turn the heads and hearts of Muslims with the intent of converting them into enemies of their host countries.
 
Third, Europeans must design a new immigration policy that admits immigrants only if they are committed to adopt European values and to reject precisely the Islamist politics that makes them vulnerable to the siren song of the caliphate.
 
There are distinct weaknesses in Europe’s current immigration policy: It is too easy to gain citizenship without necessarily being loyal to national constitutions; it is too easy for outsiders to get into European Union countries with or without credible claims for asylum; and, thanks to the open-borders policy known as Schengen, it is too easy for foreigners, once they are in the EU, to travel freely from country to country. This state of affairs has been revealed as unsustainable by this year’s migrant flood into Europe.
 
Does this amount to “Fortress Europe,” with a new Iron Curtain to the east and a naval cordon sanitaire in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic? Yes. For no other strategy makes sense, given a threat like the one posed to Europe by Islamic extremism. And if Europe’s leaders persist, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in making a virtue of the openness of their borders, they will soon be chased out of office by populists better attuned to public feeling.
 
The trouble is that such people generally bring to the table other ideas beyond immigration control—not least the kind of fervent, illiberal nationalism that has torn Europe apart in the past.
 
To achieve all this, Europe would need to overhaul treaties, laws and policies—in other words, take steps that before the atrocities in Paris on Friday couldn’t even be discussed. Maybe this will be the watershed moment for Europe to rethink the path it has been traveling.
 
Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of “Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation” (HarperCollins, 2015).