- - Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Once more, we’re running out of adjectives in the war against terrorism. The “leaders” in the West, from aldermen to senators to heads of state across the globe, line up as usual to denounce the savage who demonstrated his faith and his manhood by murdering little girls in the name of Allah. (Surely Allah deserves better.)

A city councilman in Manchester, and a knight of the empire to boot, speaks of “fear” and “division” and invokes the pride that went before the fall: “Manchester is a proud, strong city and we will not allow terrorists who seek to sow fear and division to achieve their aims.” This knight apparently did not read the morning papers. The suicide bomber of Manchester achieved his aims, with spectacular success. Dead infidels lay in crimson ranks, just as the infidel-slayer aimed.

The Muslim mayor of London, who earlier told his constituents to cool their anger, that terrorism is just “part and parcel of living in a big city,” nevertheless assured Manchester that “London stands with Manchester.” How, why, and to do what, he did not say.

The mayor of Orlando, Fla., scene of the Pulse nightclub massacre, went even further, saying that Orlando “stands in solidarity with the people of the U.K.,” not just with the people of Manchester. It was standing room only everywhere: in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Los Angeles stands with the people of Manchester.”

In Berlin, Angela Merkel said the entire United Kingdom “can rest assured that Germany stands shoulder to shoulder with them.” The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker tried to wax poetic, saying that “once again terrorism has sought to instill fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and their families should be coming together in celebration.” He, too, should have paid closer attention to the morning papers. That was not division sown in Manchester, but the body and blood of innocents.

Words, words, words. That’s all the leaders have to offer, and they’re all empty. President Trump gave a fine speech in Saudi Arabia, when for once preaching to the choir was appropriate. The “choir” was exactly who needed to hear it. If Islam really wants the respect of the West, it must lead the charge to eliminate those in its midst who pervert the faith, if faith perversion is what has set the world on fire.

But President Trump, for all his telling it almost like it is, continues the West’s willingness to play the game by the enemy’s rules. He made nice with the king in Riyadh, as perhaps a president sometimes must, but it is not yet clear how much good that will do. This is the king who was implicated in the diversion two decades ago of American foreign-aid dollars to finance jihad in Pakistan and Bosnia. Mr. Trump, who surely knew better, cheered the announcement in Riyadh of the establishment of something called the “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.” Putting it in Riyadh, the nerve center of the Wahhabi sect, one of the most pernicious in all the sects of Islam, was the ultimate sick joke.

To the president’s credit, he resisted the pressure from the soft-liners in the White House to play games with the language. His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, is a member of the alligator school of diplomacy (“be nice to alligators and maybe they’ll eat us last”) and he is forever after the president to avoid calling the enemy by its right name, but the president so far does it, anyway.

But words, as the radical Islamic enemy demonstrates one massacre at a time, won’t crush ISIS and its evil allies. But crush it the United States must. The empty rhetoric only shames us all.



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