Countdown to carnage

The recent deadly attack on civilians on cyclists and joggers in New York City by an Islamic terrorist is only the latest in a long string of attacks by Muslim terrorists against the West dating back to the 1970s.  That is quite a while and includes everything from Iran's takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the horrific 9/11 attack carried out by al-Qaeda, and the 2015 attack at a rock concert in Paris.

Our leaders recount the victims' stories with reverence, wring their hands, and move on.  Our society, our culture cannot survive if we continue to move on and live with it, to mouth platitudes like "can't let the terrorists win."  I have news for you: the terrorists are winning.

The U.S. wields a frighteningly destructive military that can vaporize a city or a single car depending on the situation.  The military is backed up by a nearly omniscient intelligence-gathering apparatus that can read license plates from space.  This is the official story, at least, and it is supposedly "keeping us safe."  Tell that to the people who attended the party at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center in 2015 or went to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016.  Islamic terrorists can seemingly strike at will in the heart of the West's most populous cities with impunity, killing a handful or a few dozen or more.  Politicians and bureaucrats decry the violence; they promise a redoubling of efforts.  Then the countdown to the next massacre begins.  These are smart, educated people who hold considerable power, but they simply don't have the will to fight this war.

Is there a point at which, for even the most calculating politician, the cumulative weight of the body count makes one's business-as-usual stance untenable?  Do politicians have a number in their heads?  Have they made a conscious choice to put politically correct lies about Islam before the lives of women and children?

One assumes that another 9/11-style attack would break the spell, but so what?  And what if our intelligence community had evidence that Iran aided the terrorists?  Does anyone think we're going to war with Iran?  So what then?

The what is that until a 3,000-casualty attack reminds us that Islamic terrorists are really trying to destroy us, they have made the calculation that we are experiencing acceptable losses.  These deaths are a part of life akin to drunk driving or cancer.  Tragic, but what are you going to do?  We have decided to diddle in places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Niger and tell ourselves we're serious.  We're all committed to destroying the "extremists" even though we can't bring ourselves to tell ourselves it's war.

It's been a few weeks since the New York carnage, but we're not safe now.  We're just waiting for the clock to count down.

The recent deadly attack on civilians on cyclists and joggers in New York City by an Islamic terrorist is only the latest in a long string of attacks by Muslim terrorists against the West dating back to the 1970s.  That is quite a while and includes everything from Iran's takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the horrific 9/11 attack carried out by al-Qaeda, and the 2015 attack at a rock concert in Paris.

Our leaders recount the victims' stories with reverence, wring their hands, and move on.  Our society, our culture cannot survive if we continue to move on and live with it, to mouth platitudes like "can't let the terrorists win."  I have news for you: the terrorists are winning.

The U.S. wields a frighteningly destructive military that can vaporize a city or a single car depending on the situation.  The military is backed up by a nearly omniscient intelligence-gathering apparatus that can read license plates from space.  This is the official story, at least, and it is supposedly "keeping us safe."  Tell that to the people who attended the party at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center in 2015 or went to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016.  Islamic terrorists can seemingly strike at will in the heart of the West's most populous cities with impunity, killing a handful or a few dozen or more.  Politicians and bureaucrats decry the violence; they promise a redoubling of efforts.  Then the countdown to the next massacre begins.  These are smart, educated people who hold considerable power, but they simply don't have the will to fight this war.

Is there a point at which, for even the most calculating politician, the cumulative weight of the body count makes one's business-as-usual stance untenable?  Do politicians have a number in their heads?  Have they made a conscious choice to put politically correct lies about Islam before the lives of women and children?

One assumes that another 9/11-style attack would break the spell, but so what?  And what if our intelligence community had evidence that Iran aided the terrorists?  Does anyone think we're going to war with Iran?  So what then?

The what is that until a 3,000-casualty attack reminds us that Islamic terrorists are really trying to destroy us, they have made the calculation that we are experiencing acceptable losses.  These deaths are a part of life akin to drunk driving or cancer.  Tragic, but what are you going to do?  We have decided to diddle in places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Niger and tell ourselves we're serious.  We're all committed to destroying the "extremists" even though we can't bring ourselves to tell ourselves it's war.

It's been a few weeks since the New York carnage, but we're not safe now.  We're just waiting for the clock to count down.

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