The eyes of the world were focused on the City of Lights on Sunday as close to 4 million people in France including 1.6 million in Paris alone participated in a march of solidarity for the 17 victims of the horrific killings perpetrated by radical Islamic terrorists this week at the headquarters of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and a Paris kosher supermarket. Over 40 world leaders were present and the world witnessed French President Francois Hollande linking arms with other leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to show support for not only the victims but also for what they represented: freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. But there was one person missing from the images which cascaded across the news feeds. President Barack Obama, the leader of the “free world”, the individual considered to be one of the most powerful political leaders in the world was conspicuously absent. Jane Hartley, the US Ambassador to France, was the chosen to represent the US. And while Ms. Hartley should clearly be present, she should not have been the highest ranking US individual at a tribute for the victims of an event which has been described as “France’s 9/11”.
The media spin machine is already in full gear with reporters citing that the security detail involved with transporting President Obama would interfere and detract from the tribute. We have also been told that Secretary of State John Kerry was in India and unable to attend. Apparently Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris, but he was not present at the rally or tribute services. Instead he was hosting a summit where he made the statement that there was “no credible information” as yet that Al-Qaeda was behind the attacks in France. The White House also issued a statement that it was organizing a global summit on February 18 on fighting “violent extremism around the world.” Once again, the White House is pussyfooting with terminology because they are afraid to speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism” lest they offend the many peaceful Muslims. There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Approximately 300 million are radical practitioners of the faith. It is about time the United States and other world powers take the risk of “offense,” for the truly peaceful Muslims will be our biggest allies in our efforts the destroy radical Islamic terrorists, “ the fifth column” which attempts to “undermine our world’s solidarity by any means at their disposal.”
Step One – Stop being Politically Correct
The first step towards eradicating radical Islam is to label it appropriately. Some leaders have already done this such as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who said that we need to declare “a war against terrorism and radical Islamism, against everything that would break our solidarity, our liberty, our fraternity.” And “Our indignation must be clear, total and last longer than three days. It must be permanent.” Other leaders need to follow his example.
Step Two- Stop the Money Flow
Money is needed to recruit, train, indoctrinate feed and house Jihadists. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest sponsor of radical Islamic terrorists. And the US has been supporting Saudi Arabia militarily with National Security Intelligence and other resources for over 70 years. For instance, Cherif and Said Kouachi, the perpetrators of the attack at Charlie Hebdo, received weapons training in Yemen in the summer of 2011 where they were also introduced to the preacher “Anwar al-Awlaki”. Someone had to fund their training, travel and lodging expenses. If we find a way to cut off the money supply, we disable the recruiting cell pipeline.
Step Three- Learn from History and Improve Our Intelligence Gathering
We have witnessed incident after incident of violence at the hands of radical Islamic extremists. We implement short term tactical responses, but we don’t seem to be able to fully connect the dots. We have had repeated situations where we learned that individuals who were on the “no fly” list were later pulled off after a period of laying low. Or we experience breakdowns in communication between different government agencies where an individual is flagged for monitoring by one agency but the information is not appropriately shared for either civil liberties reasons, operational problems or other excuses. We need to revisit reinstating monitoring programs which have been stopped for one reason or another, such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent cessation of the “stop and frisk” program because he thought it interfered with individual’s civil liberties.
Step Four – Engage the Muslim Community to Look Inward
We need to do a better job of engaging the leaders within the Muslim community to look inward so that they can better identify the disenfranchised members of their society and provide them with the support that they need so that they do not fall prey to Islamic terrorism. These efforts would include better community integration so that they do not feel socially isolated. These leaders also need to do a better job of creating access to education and training to teens and young adults so that they can earn a living and contribute to society. The statistics have demonstrated that the most vulnerable individuals to terrorism recruitment are those lacking family, money, education or skills. Furthermore, we all need to accept the uncomfortable realization that there are some people who are “rotten at the core” and that no amount of outreach is going to reform them.
Step Five – Stop Giving Jihadists Their 15 Minutes of Fame
In the interest of news dissemination, we need to circulate some photos of criminals. But we need to stop glamorizing them. Who can forget the photo of Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone which made him look like a rock star, not an Islamic Jihadist who killed three people and wounded more than 200, and also gave chase to a manhunt which left a police officer dead? What was Rolling Stone thinking? Pictures of Hayat Boumeddiene in a bikini have also surfaced. But that’s not the image we should be sending out. The picture of her in a birka with a cross bow is what we should see of the “most wanted woman in France.” We have to remember that “fame” is one of the key motivators for these individuals. We have to stop giving them the spotlight.
Most importantly, we need to seize the moment. Over the past few days, we have participated in global tragedy that took place on French soil. While we are now experiencing the warmth that comes from a shared emotional reaction, we cannot stop there. It is not enough to just express support with social media posts; we need to take action. We cannot let the tragic deaths which took place this week in Paris at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists fade into just a memory of a moment of world solidarity. We need to strategically and tactically come together to hunt for and smoke out the enemies to our fundamental liberties.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com