Why we will never defeat Islamic extremism with Western style violence
IsThe world witnessed another horrific tragedy last Friday as more than 120 people were killed and over 350 were injured in coordinated terrorist attacks across Paris, France. It is said to be the largest attack on French soil since World War II.
On days like these, it’s easy for Westerners to show sympathy and support for the French People and the many victims of the Islamic State’s ruthless tactics. But at the same time, we should not lose sight of why it happened in the first place.
Just like in the days following 9/11, we are once again hearing that tired old rhetoric about the ideals of freedom and peace being under attack. Nonsense. Freedom, like religious extremism, is an idea. For better or for worse, it cannot be killed with a bullet. Even a group as radical as ISIS knows that, how come we don’t?
In the wake of the Paris Attacks, French President Francois Hollande said “My dear compatriots. What happened last night in Paris, and in Saint Denis by the Stade de France, is an act of war.” Before all but declaring war on ISIS itself.
Of course it was an act of war, but it would be rather ignorant to suggest that France, who has been bombing ISIS for the past fourteen months (including two in Syria) was not at war with the Islamic State already. Bombs are instruments of war and terror regardless of who uses them.
Instead of letting cooler heads prevail, Hollande chose escalation by saying “France, because it was attacked cowardly, shamelessly, violently, France will be merciless against the barbarians of Daesh.” Another way of saying we will fight barbarians with barbarism.
ISIS has stated that the Paris attacks were in response to France’s bombing of the Islamic State in Syria. Not unlike the attack on Canada’s parliament last year or the failed attack in Texas last Spring. ISIS attacks outside of Iraq and Syria are due to Western involvement and intervention.
The message is clear, they don’t want us meddling in their business. The problem is we don’t care what happens overseas, we hear nothing, we see nothing. That is until they hurt us at home, then we see everything bloody detail and go meddling in the Middle East even more as the cycle continues. It is time for Western nations to leave the Middle East. We’ve been interfering in their affairs for far too long as it is.
In the fight against ISIS, France and Canada have been America’s biggest allies, but I can’t understand for the life of me why they’re trying to clean up America’s mess in the first place. Make no mistake, it is their mess.
ISIS was born out of the Iraq War, to fight against them without holding the Bush Administration accountable for war crimes gives legitimacy to the war that France and Canada vehemently opposed in the first place.
Dealing with Islamic Extremism is best left for Muslims, just like dealing with Christian fundamentalists are best dealt with by other Christians. After all, they are more often than not the ones responsible for their radicalization in the first place. Look at Wahhabism and Christian Evangelicals.
As far as the Islamic State is concerned, they have nothing but enemies in the region. In fact they are surrounded by over five million troops from Muslim Nations like Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc. Why aren’t they doing the bulk of the fighting when the consequences of doing nothing are far greater for them?
The United States and its allies are waging a war on idea, misguided ideas as they may be, they cannot be killed with more bombs or even troops on the ground. The Muslim powers of the region on the other hand don’t care about Islamic radicalization, some of them even support that type of thinking.
The leaders of these surrounding, mainly dictatorial, Muslim countries are more concerned about the Islamic State’s threat to their own power. Defending your home is far easier than attacking an idea, especially when you consider it would be 5 million against twenty-five thousand. They don’t need our help.
But for whatever reason, America’s allies are there bombing away. Following the Paris Attacks, it looks like France will take it to the next level. Conservatives and Liberals alike in Canada are pressuring newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to renege on his election promise to disengage the Islamic State.
As for the United States, its business as usual. Obama has said “we will redouble our efforts’ in Syria after Paris Attacks.” Does that mean the US will be dropping twice as many bombs from now on? Try not to hit too many wedding parties or hospitals while you’re doing it.