Sunday, October 5, 2014
Fighting Them Over There So We Don't Have to Fight Them Over Here
In regards to fighting terrorism and Islamic extremism, it's the oldest line in the book, so much so that it's at risk of being dismissed as an exhausted old cliche: we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here.
There's actually good reason why this line is so frequently discounted as utterly hackneyed: it's been uttered by ever proponent f of the War on Terror who, when challenged on the necessity of the conflict, had no better answer. We're fighting them over there in Afghanistan, in Iraq, so we don't have to fight them over here.
With the United States, Britain, Canada and others set to open a new offensive against ISIS in Iraq, that line will be repeated again. But this time it's more true than ever before.
Let's look back a week: British aid worker Alan Henning -- not a soldier -- was beheaded by ISIS in cold blood. In response, The Independent ran a solid black font page. It read: "On Friday a decent, caring human being was murdered in cold blood. Our thoughts are with his family. He was killed on camera for the sole purpose of propaganda. Here is the news, no the propaganda."
It's a heartbreaking story. And sadly for Britain, it's not the first cold-blooded murder they've experienced at the hands of such extremists.
Let's look back a year: Just a little more than a year, actually. Lee Rigby is murdered in the streets of London, hacked to death by two Muslim extremists. Unlike Henning, Rigby was a soldier. Off duty, unarmed, beset upon by a pair of extremists with machetes in broad daylight. They then stood by Fusilier Drummer Rigby's corpse and professed their extremist beliefs until police arrived and promptly shot them (though unfortunately did not shoot them dead).
It was the most brazen terror attack in British history. Not during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, not even on 7/7 did terrorists so readily stand by their handiwork.
And the Rigby murder was not an isolated incident. They're threatening to do it again, right in the streets of Britain.
Peace-loving Muslims -- the ones who came to Britain to escape the barbarism of these extremists, the ones so frequently overlooked at times like these -- reacted now as they did then: with outrage over these heinous acts. They know as well as anyone what fighting this kind of savagery really means. As with their extremist counterparts we may not necessarily know them to see them, but we will know them by their actions. If they haven't already, they will let us know where we stand. We should be wise enough to embrace them when they do.
Canada would at least seem to have been far more fortunate. Islamic terror plots here have been thwarted. The RCMP and CSIS will likely have to be every bit as vigilant as they have been to date in order to ensure this remains the case. Judging from Britain's example we can't expect to continue to be so fortunate by fate alone.
We know who we're fighting. We've seen their handiwork. And we fight them in Iraq so that we don't have to fight them here.
It's not a cliche anymore.