There’s something that the United States could learn from Israel when it comes to dealing with radical Islamic extremism. When Israel is attacked, they find a target affiliated with the attacker and they deliver retribution. When the United States is attacked, we point fingers and call for gun control.
Before anyone calls me out for taking on a hawkish approach as compared to the more conservative approach of limited intervention, it’s important to remember that we were hit. Just like with 9/11, the Orlando attack demands an immediate response. Unlike 9/11, we should select who we attack based upon the circumstance and not political expediency. Iraq was not responsible for 9/11, yet they were selected as one of the two big targets upon which to focus our fury. This was a mistake.
With the Orlando attack, the attacker claimed allegiance to the Islamic State and the Islamic State has taken credit for the attack. The enemy is waving their hands and saying, “we did this.” In other words, the enemy is clear and as a result our actions should be clear.
This has nothing to do with vengeance. This is a message that must be sent immediately. Those who support the Islamic State domestically and abroad must be made aware that the United States will respond furiously. We will respond decisively. We will not delay and we will have no remorse. That doesn’t mean upping air strikes. That means asymmetric warfare. It means sending a furious blitz through some of the lands known to be controlled by the Islamic State and delivering a 10x casualty count. They killed 50 and injured over 50 more. We need to decimate a portion of their forces large enough that they know any attack against the United States, lone wolf or not, will result in a major retaliation.
It has to hurt. It can’t be a statement by politicians. It must be a show of the only thing that these extremists understand: strength. Right now, we are weak. In their eyes, we weep for the dead and argue over laws. They have zero fear in attacking the United States because they know we will do nothing of substance. This has to change. It needs to change now. It can’t wait for the election. President Obama and Congress must act without hesitation and bring the force of America’s military to bear against our enemies.
Long-term, we should be working towards eliminating ALL forms of radical Islamic extremism. The response I’m describing would not be part of the long-term goal, but it would act as a warning that attacking the United States brings about consequences. They have absolutely zero fear of us. For the first time in a century, the United States does not intimidate our enemies at all. They don’t fear a response because they know there won’t be one. For once, President Obama needs to surprise them. He needs to demonstrate what his office and station as Commander-in-Chief truly means. He must be a leader. I wish it was someone who actually had the capacity to lead sitting in the White House today, but in lieu of such a person, it must be Obama and it must be right now.
There are those who will point out that he was not a “part of” ISIS, that he was an American citizen. The reality is this: without radical Islamic extremists reaching into the United States and spreading their perverse ideologies and religious beliefs around the world, people like Omar Mateen would not become terrorists. They aren’t born terrorists. Despite what the left will say, they aren’t simply underprivileged or lashing out over poor treatment by Americans towards Muslims. They are radicalized through propaganda, direct communication, and indoctrination into a concept that pushes them towards terrorism. People like Mateen (and there are plenty just like him waiting to enact jihad in America) are made to believe that their attacks will benefit the Islamic extremist cause. They need to be made aware that they will not be helping ISIS but rather hurting them with their actions. ISIS is the enemy whether it’s an American citizen indoctrinated into jihad or a foreigner creeping into the country through legal or illegal means. Radicalization has no boundaries and does not recognize country of birth.
If we do not act immediately, we are opening the door to more radicalization and terrorism on American soil. Now is not the time to debate policy issues or gun rights. It’s not the time to discuss hate crimes or ideological unity. It’s a time for action. Will the President step up?