In case you were hiding under a rock, Friday night saw the most seriously coordinated terrorist attack in some time. Paris France was targeted by six “teams” intent on causing as much mayhem as possible, generating anger and fear throughout the world. IT WORKED! But was it unique, isolated? No. Is it a desperate act by some tiny group of dissidents, looking for notoriety? Most definitely not! They already have a world wide name, ISIS/ISIL, The short version is Islamic State, an all too well known group. And their ranks are growing. Let’s look at some of the obvious evidence of this groups intentions…
The reports seem to agree that all of the terrorists in the Paris attack had no doubt that they would not escape, as apparently all were wearing suicide vests, with a popular chemical explosive inside. In other words, their intent was to die, taking as many bystanders with them as possible. It looks like that plan worked pretty well. But I see a not so subtle message in there as well. The message seems to be the same as always, “You cannot escape us, we will win this war”…
War? Who declared war…well, obviously Islamic extremists declared war, many years ago, on anyone and everyone who did not submit to their ideology. Remember Lockerbie (PanAm Flight 103). How about the US Marine barracks in Beirut? Certainly every person in the world knows about 9/11. These are but a few examples of many such campaigns in a war that most countries either ignored or wanted no part of. The point is that Al Qaeda existed well over 20 years ago, and no one took much notice of them until the attacks became more numerous and larger in scale. “Hey, we are here!” they shouted loudly, and finally the world took notice.
The extremists are targeting YOU/US people. The “splinter groups” that have spawned from the original Al Qaeda group are even more frightening than the original parent. Heck, even Al Qaeda has tried to distance themselves from the “new fanatics”, with not a lot of success. Many people still see the group as the root cause of all the death and destruction. In one way they are right, since Al Qaeda did start it all. But when the parent says they want nothing to do with their children, you know something is very very wrong!
How do you “fight” them? They happily die to produce the atrocities. They literally believe they are right. And their numbers are growing each day. So, what do we do to counter this threat? The opinions are as numerous as there are people. I’m going to focus on a few of the more well known options and why they all can ultimately have only limited success…
All out war- this is problematic right from the start. If you were unaware of it, we are already engaged in World War 3. Not in the conventional sense certainly. There is no single country bent on world domination, nor countries grouped in a bond of similar desires. This world war is one of perceived religious ideology. This time the entire world is the battlefield, every square inch of it, where ever there are humans trying to live their lives in ignorance of the rest of the world around them. Yes my friends, I said ignorance. We all try to separate ourselves from the harsh realities around us, and that is why an all out war is not practical. The terrorists are not grouped conveniently in just one place, where you can mount large complicated invasions. They are mixed in with all the innocent populations throughout the world, so you simply cannot go set up a bunch of artillery pieces and start shooting. The same goes for aerial bombing on any large scale, it just creates too much collateral damage. You get the picture, full on warfare is out as an option.
Surgical Air Strikes- I include this option simply because it is what The Coalition is doing right now. While there has been some success in eliminating high level terrorist leaders, that success has had a price. Collateral damage, both to infrastructure and innocent lives. There have been several incidents where hospitals and schools have been hit hard in the effort to “get that ISIL guy”. This problem makes surgical strikes less than the best option.
Covert Operations- Now we have something, right? Perhaps, but there’s a problem with that option too. Covert means exactly this…Under Cover! Secret people, not broadcast over all the media just because some idiot wants to push “Transparency” over the nearest cliff! Get my meaning? There are way too many clowns out there who think secrecy isn’t important. To those people I say, GET A GRIP! This is not a video game where you get super duper weapons to squash your opponents, and you don’t get resurrected if things go wrong. You just get dead! The only covert operations sofar that were successful is where total secrecy was maintained. Then you can have your transparency, AFTER the operation is over. This option has the best chance of at least reducing the terrorist activity throughout the world, but requires the very best intelligence gathering and analysis, as well as the cooperation of the local governments involved. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it can work, and has in the past.
Infiltration and extermination- Spies people. This would be a nice solution except for the fact that it needs some very brave people, and a lot of them. They are out there, of course, with some profound motivation no doubt. That is not the reason it is not the best solution. The reason is more that this should be a supplemental activity, in support of other means.
Ok, there is my rant of the week. I haven’t gone into religion much at all, that is for another day. If there is a message I want to deliver here, it is that we are not fighting against Islam, but rather we are fighting against some very sick interpretations of the Islamic teachings. No where in the Quran does it say that it is alright to kill innocent people. Some say that it is “implied”, but that requires an interpretation, doesn’t it…I don’t have an ultimate solution for this , no one really does. It isn’t going to be easy, which ever way we choose. Just remember please, it is not the religion we have to fight. The teachings within the Quran seem to parallel the ones in the Bible really, at least in some ways. They even mention the same principle characters!
As always, feel free to comment, change my mind, or just say it’s rubbish. Your opinion is just as valid as anyone elses. Just be nice, ok?