Sunday, April 23, 2017
PC is Ruining Our STRATEGY to DEFEAT Terrorism
A gunman opens fire in Paris, killing one police officer and wounding two. Islamic State quickly claims responsibility, naming the gunman as “a soldier of the caliphate.”
The savage attack is the latest of many in Paris, understandably sparking widespread fears of terrorism. But some Parisians desperately seek convenient explanations that will let them avoid the necessary conflict.
“Is it because we’ve joined forces and joined a coalition in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State?” one businessman asked on Paris television.
Ah, a perfectly French reaction. If only the country had been nicer to Islamic State, it wouldn’t have this problem. Right, and if only the French had been nicer to Herr Hitler, he would have left them alone.
Yet the habit of ducking a fight with evil is not limited to the French, with some Americans also infected. Appeasement here is expressed as fears that France’s unwashed masses might actually vote to do something about terrorism in Sunday’s presidential election.
Read even a few lines in any American or European elite media outlet and coverage of the attack quickly morphs into worries about its impact on the first round of presidential voting.
Will it strengthen the candidates who propose a stronger hand on terrorism? Will voters abandon the candidates who say unchecked Muslim immigration and refugees pose no threat to public safety?
Heaven forbid. The implicit conclusion is that it’s better to pretend that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism and suck up the slaughter.
With many on both continents more afraid that French hard-liner Marine Le Pen will become president than they are of radical Islam, the establishment once again looks both clueless and feckless. It never learns.
First came Brexit, where Londoners were shocked that a majority of their countrymen wanted out of the European Union. Then came Donald Trump, with Washington, Democrats and the media still having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Hillary Clinton is not sitting in the Oval Office.
Trump, as a candidate, supported Brexit, while President Barack Obama opposed it. A similar split is happening over the French elections.
Obama called the liberal, pro-European Union candidate to urge him to campaign hard to the very end, while Trump predicted the Paris attack would “probably help” Le Pen, but he did not endorse her.
The president also tweeted, “Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”
It’s hard to argue with his conclusion, though Le Pen is far more incendiary than Trump and her election would rock Europe to its core.
Still, the troubles in France, England and the US share root causes. In all three, incumbent government leaders and other centers of power refused to address longstanding and legitimate complaints from an unhappy public.
Facing common issues of jobs, immigration and terrorism, the encrusted establishments have only themselves to blame for the rise of Brexit, Trump and Le Pen. Sensible compromises and progress might have prevented voter revolutions.
Their refusals to act are inexplicable — except for pure arrogance and greed. The problems in all three nations are undeniable, with the benefits of the existing economic and immigration policies clearly benefiting some groups at the expense of others.
Yet there was zero attempt to bridge the gap. Instead, those who felt left out were demonized as stupid and racist, and the establishments’ main argument was fearmongering. The sky would fall, the economies would crash and Islamophobia would win if the disrupters took power.
It’s a knee-jerk, one-size argument that has failed.
Indeed, despite warnings of a collapse, the British economy and stock markets have grown faster than Europe’s since the Brexit vote.
In America, rising consumer and business confidence have pushed the Dow Jones index up about 1,000 points since the November election. And as Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, predictions of calamity and nonstop demonstrations are losing their sting.
Of the three nations, France has the biggest problem with terrorism. Thursday’s murder amplifies the lethality and frequency of attacks over the last two-plus years.
A partial list of the slaughters includes the January 2015 attack in the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, and related attacks, including on a kosher market, which together left 17 17 victims dead.
In November of that year, 130 people were killed in bombings and shootings around Paris, with 90 of them killed in the Bataclan theater in less than eight minutes.
And last July, on Bastille Day in the French Riviera city of Nice, a terrorist stole a truck and plowed into celebrating crowds, killing 86 people.
A French state of emergency has existed since November 2015, and police powers have been expanded. Although authorities say they foiled some attacks, too many have been successful. The fears, along with the sluggish economy, made it impossible for François Hollande, a sad socialist, even to seek another term.
Perhaps most troubling, it is frequently revealed that the jihadists involved were on French authorities’ radar beforehand. So it is with the latest shooting, with The Wall Street Journal saying police had investigated the Paris gunman two months ago on suspicion he was plotting an attack on police officers.
Once again, in Europe as in America, political correctness kills.