For some time now, America has been launching a few delicate airstrikes at specific ISIS targets in Syria, with all the nuance one would normally expect from the French. The French, however, are not in a nuanced mood and, on Sunday, launched a significant airstrike against ISIS targets in Syria.
In 2015, France experienced two major Islamic jihad terrorist attacks: In January, radical Islamists attacked Charlie Hebdo, an irreverent comedy magazine, where they killed 12 people, and a kosher market, where they killed another 4 people. Then, on Friday the 13th, the jihadists struck again, using bombs, guns, and grenades to kill 129 people and wound 352.
After the attack, French President Francois Hollande promised that once the terrorists’ identities were confirmed, “we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.” With ISIS having boastfully taken responsibility for the multipronged attack on Paris, Hollande had his target.
Accordingly, on November 15, just two days after ISIS terrorists struck Paris, ten French jets flew directly over Raqqa, Syria, to drop bombs on ISIS’s command and control center, a munitions depot and training camp, and a jihadi recruitment center. America’s contribution apparently was to help France identify the targeted sites.
Despite the Western nations’ willingness to identify ISIS as a problem, none of the Western world’s leaders have been able to make themselves acknowledge that ISIS is a subset of a much larger Islamic jihadist war against the West. President Obama’s statement, although it included words such as “outrageous,” “terrorize, “ and “terrorism,” never mentioned the words “Islam” (or some variation), “Muslim,” or “jihad.” It was a tour de force of hot air, larded with references to “universal values” that radical Islam clearly does not share.
President Hollande also spoke of “terror,” which is an emotion, without ever touching upon the identity of the people who created that emotion. France is apparently under attack by feelings, nothing more than feelings.
The prize for deliberate cluelessness or appalling stupidity, though, goes to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Even though it appears that one or more of the attackers made their way to Paris thanks to Merkel’s insistence that Europe open its doors to Syrian refugees, more than 70% of whom were unaccompanied military age males, Merkel had infinitely more concern for Europe’s newest Muslim residents than she did for the continued security threat their unchecked immigration poses to Europe.
Merkel’s first response two days ago was to describe what was manifestly a terrorist attack as something that was “apparently a terrorist attack.” She doubled down on her refusal to stare evil in the face when she insisted that Europe must continue taking in Islamic refugees, regardless of the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups use the refugee flow to invade Europe. “We all know that time is running out to return hope to the millions of refugees,” she said. “It’s also completely clear — and that’s borne out by the discussions here — that we have to tackle the root cause of where the refugees are coming from.”