Getting Tough on Terror

Getting Tough on Terror

Our world changed on 9/11.  For the first time since the last British troops boarded ships to leave New York City in 1783, our homeland was under attack by a foreign enemy.  The ocean barriers that had protected us for over 200 years had been breached.  The enemy we now face has, with the emergence of ISIL, become stronger in the years since 9/11,  even more mercilessly brutal, and even more determined to destroy not just our country but our way of life.   And unlike our enemies in World War II, Germany, Italy and Japan, whom we successfully defeated (and the North Koreans, North Vietnamese, and insurgents in Iraq whom we didn’t defeat), this enemy is fighting a different kind of 21st-century war.  The Muslim extremists who threaten us are fueled by poverty and unrest in the Middle East and Africa, driven by apocalyptic religious mania, and skilled at using the weapons of asymmetrical warfare like social media.   But Al-Quaeda and ISIL  aren’t the greatest threat to our freedom and way of life. The far greater threat is posed by the presidential candidates and their allies in the media who would drag us into a global religious war against Muslims. It’s not as if this hasn’t happened before.  When dictators want to take people’s minds off the suffering created by their own rapacious greed, they stir up fear against “the enemy” and then fan that fear into the flames of war. “With the terrorists, you have to take out their families. ‘Take out’ means that you have to wipe out their homes where they came from. You...