Reaction

Ginandtacos.com suggests an immediate objective by ISIS and its recent indiscriminate bombings in Europe and elsewhere: to trigger wrath and mayhem. Why? To aid and abet recruitment to ISIS’s overarching goal of establishing a caliphate of “true” Muslims. He writes:

Radical extremist Muslims…want Muslims to loathe Western society and to be primed for radicalization. They want that for selfish reasons – to grow and legitimize their terrorist organizations. They can neither grow their movement nor succeed in their goals if Muslim kids in Europe are wearing miniskirts and going to music festivals. The problem they face is that while Muslims in Europe face discrimination, they’re not treated badly enough to make them hate Western society and governments. They certainly don’t hate them enough to want to start killing them. In order for Europe’s Muslims to be radicalized en masse as opposed to only a few here and there becoming attracted to “The Cause,” European governments would have to treat them worse. Far worse.

Logically, then, what ISIS wants is to push European states far enough to produce a massive anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim backlash.

I seem to recall a similar objective by Osama bin Laden, whom the Bush administration obliged by invading and initially occupying Iraq, creating monumental political instability that has morphed into much of the Middle East.

In his column today Paul Krugman warned against succumbing to fear.

…the goal of terrorists is to inspire terror, because that’s all they’re capable of. And the most important thing our societies can do in response is to refuse to give in to fear.

So, of course, American conservatives and, especially, most of the GOP presidential candidates, favor a “bomb-them-back-to-the-Stone-Age” response, even if millions of innocents are slaughtered. Ted Cruz comes to mind.

It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the west. It will not be appeased by outreach or declarations of tolerance. It will not be deterred by targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life. We must make it crystal clear that affiliation with ISIS and related terrorist groups brings with it the undying enmity of America—that it is, in effect, signing your own death warrant.