I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on a highly educational presentation by an American law enforcement professional that largely covered the topic of responding to a bombing or other terrorist attack in our city.
The individual presenting the class has been all over the world, particularly the hot spots in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America, aiding in their responses to such incidents. Perhaps most importantly, he was also gaining an education and making vital contacts that would keep him abreast on the latest information from those far-flung locales regarding updated terrorist activities, attacks, and tactics.
One of the statements that he made that I found most compelling is something that I have believed for a long time. That no matter who is elected to become the next President of the United States, no matter whether we 'bring the troops home' or remain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possibly expand the current conflict into Iran eventually, this is not a war that is going to end any time soon. His simple statement was this: "Your grandchildren's grandchildren will be fighting this war."
He had a very simple, straightforward reason for making this statement. The Islamists with whom we are at war have no intention of stopping until Islam is in control of the entire world. War has been declared on us over a decade ago. Our nation was directly attacked, and has had repeated attempted attacks on it. Our allies have been and are being attacked regularly.
Spain is the perfect example of how they intend to win. On March 11th, 2004, the Islamists bombed trains in Madrid, immediately resulting in 191 killed and over 1,800 wounded. They demanded that Spain pull out of Iraq, and told the Spanish people that they would pay for their governments involvement. Out of this fear, Spaniards went to the polls in elections held shortly after the bombings and voted out the democratic government, voting in a Socialist government that pulled Spain's troops. The Islamists had effected a coup d'etat, installed a sympathetic government to their cause, and cowed a member of the European Union. They had knocked a government with close ties to the U.S. out of power, and effectively ordered it replaced with one that is antagonistic towards America.
Frankly, thanks to the fear of the Spanish people, the Islamists won a great victory. The victory became complete when this summer the Spanish courts tossed out more convictions, including of the mastermind of the attacks, raising to 11 the number who have been acquitted, with a number of others receiving extremely lenient sentences. The Islamists have incited riots in the suburbs of Paris, and attacked London as well, and are well on their way to creating an almost riotous situation across all of Europe.
What will likely happen on the European continent over the next few years and decades could make the 9/11 attacks look paltry by comparison. They saw how we reacted to 9/11, firing overseas and lighting up their world, including overthrowing the Islamist Taliban in Afghanistan and the tyrannical regime of Sadaam Hussein in Iraq. They find the response of the Europeans much softer, and so for now will simply be happy with turning their attention to slowly overwhelming our allies, who have proven to be far more soft.
The hard fact seems to be that the American people, at least right now, don't have the stomach to win the war being fought. They understandably want peace, a return to a time when American soldiers weren't in harms way, and when everyone can just sit down and talk out our differences. The unfortunate reality is that the other side in this battle doesn't want that, and will fight to the death. Because we may be unwilling to make the significant sacrifices now that it will take to overcome this global threat, we are likely to pay even greater costs in the generations to come.
I have two grandchildren now. My grandson was just born on August 1st of this year. It is highly likely that he, or his children, or his grandchildren, my grandchildren's grandchildren, will be fighting a much bloodier and far broader war at some future time because today's generation was unwilling to go all the way to victory.
NOTE: This is the continuation of my regular feature'Islamism Series'. At the bottom of this entry, you can click on the label of that name to read the prior entries.