After the horrific carnage unleashed by the terrorist attack in Manchester, England, some of the reactions were inexplicable. We’re used to jihadis celebrating the horror of mass murder, but it’s still perplexing to hear Western leaders and media reissue their bizarre insistence that we need to get used to the sick and depraved.
For some, perhaps it’s a reflection of a sense of hopelessness in the face of a savage enemy that has been allowed to flourish; considering the passive and useless attitude of the previous American president and rhetoric of his admirers, it’s not surprising the left remains stuck in dangerous cynicism.
Consider BBC anchor and frequent U.S. news show guest Katty Kay. On Tuesday morning after the attack, the Daily Caller reported, “Kay told MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ … that Europeans have no choice but to get used to terrorists murdering their families because ‘we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out. … Europe is getting used to attacks like this, Mika. They have to, because we are never going to be able to totally wipe this out,’ Kay said.”
Ms. Kay continued, “As ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq, we’re going to see more of these kinds of attacks taking place in Europe, and Europe is starting to get used to that.”
Ms. Kay’s defeated sentiment isn’t new. While not her intention, she articulated not the reality of our situation, but the policy preference of failed western leadership.
In 2004, Sen. John Kerry, then the Democratic presidential nominee, was interviewed by The New York Times. When asked “What it would take for Americans to feel safe again,” Mr. Kerry answered, “We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.”
Even with the Sept. 11 attacks just a few years earlier, making the nature of the Islamist terror threat clear, Mr. Kerry exposed the left’s surrender to carnage and chaos. The suggestion that terrorism should be viewed as a nuisance indicates an acceptance of it as a regular part of our lives.
All normal human beings reject the grotesque suggestion we simply adapt, but his comment wasn’t a lark. It ended up being one of the first articulations of liberal Western leadership’s strategy of management of the scourge, abandoning the idea of destroying it.
Fast forward to August 2016. Sensing that terrorism was an actual problem, Mr. Kerry had another idea. Speaking in Bangladesh he noted, “If you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. … Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on.”
Genius. Let’s just not mention it, and everything will be OK.
A month later, the viral nature of this menacing naivete was affirmed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim and son of Pakistani immigrants. Touring New York when the Chelsea terrorist bomb exploded, Mr. Khan blithely noted to a reporter, terrorism is “part and parcel of living in a big city.” Like riding the subway, going to a baseball game, enjoying the ballet? Sure, let’s add getting blown up by the occasional bomb pressure cooker.
Just a few months later, London suffered the horrific Westminster terrorist attack in which an Islamist used a car and a knife to murder people.
And now, Manchester. A terrorist attack at an event appealing to young people, as of this writing, killing 22 and wounding over 50. In every city where terrorists strike, local citizens transform into super heroes, as was the case in Manchester.
People coming together in the midst of horror to help one another is magnificent, and worthy of celebrating, but it’s safe to say everyone in the world who had to deal with terrorism wished they hadn’t had to face it at all. We still prefer our “part and parcel” normal to be safe and sound, void of mass murdering maniacs.
Breitbart reported, “Europe, the United Kingdom, and Russia have witnessed terror attacks or attempted attacks every nine days in 2017 on average, analysis of security incidents has revealed.”
“Attacks and attempted attacks have taken place in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Germany. Security services in Britain — population 65 million — are known to be tracking 3,500 potential terror suspects or persons posing a threat. Meanwhile Belgium, with its population of just 12 million, is tracking around 18,000 potential jihadists,” revealed Breitbart.
The importance of President Trump’s Middle Eastern and European trip is now even more clear. In 2015, then-President Barack Obama eliminated the word “destroy” when referring to actions against the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS. All that was left was the intention to “degrade” the terrorist scourge, as though our only hope was to try to keep in check a cancer that was metastasizing around the world.
Mr. Trump’s remarks in Riyadh made it clear that is not good enough. Accepting terrorism as a “nuisance” or simply a part of big city living is obscene and is rejected.
The president’s remarks in Saudi Arabia and Israel, and no doubt through the rest of his tour, make it clear the United States and our allies must view ISIS, al Qaeda and other terror-mongers as something to be destroyed. The president’s approach is one that can bring both Islamic nations and Europe out of a self-imposed coma and back into a world that has dispatched mass-murdering fascists and their ideology before. And we will do it again.
• Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.