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Europe’s sense of safety and security is being chipped away — or perhaps I should say “bludgeoned and run over” — by Islamist terrorism. As incidents increase, the French, Germans, and the rest of the European Union are wringing their hands and in a state of bewilderment. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said following the attack in Nice: “France is going to have to live with terrorism.” No one seems to know what to do.
In his most recent column, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens describes how Europe has found itself too paralyzed by its history and mythology to fight terrorism. I fear that the same reasons for their ineptitude and confusion contribute to our own. Stephens describes the current conditions as the Europeans holding onto to a historic mythology: “Among those mythologies: that the European Union is the result of a postwar moral commitment to peace; that Christianity is of merely historical importance to European identity; that there’s no such thing as a military solution; that one’s country isn’t worth fighting for; that honor is atavistic and tolerance is the supreme value.”
I think that the United States is suffering from the same delusions. I would describe them this way as they relate to the European myths:
- We too, particularly with the control of the Left, still believe in peace at any price. We believe that we can negotiate our way past conflict. As a result, for example, we now have the Iran Agreement, not worth the paper it is written on.
- Secularists are destroying the fabric of our Judeo-Christian heritage. Attacks to rid the country of anything that sounds religious (unless it is Muslim, of course) are ongoing. Particularly Christians are ridiculed for their beliefs and practices. Anti-Semitism is blatant on university campuses.
- Although the Left goes out of its way to praise our soldiers and veterans, it continues to denigrate the importance of a strong military and its importance to national security. We’ve seen the size of the military reduced to historic lows. We’ve also seen the military bowing to Leftist ideas, essentially weakening the military even more.
- Patriotism has taken a beating for years. The term is conflated with anything that relates to nationalism, with the sometimes not-so-subtle comparison to fascistic regimes. President Obama has gone out of his way to let the world know that we’re no more exceptional than anyone else.
- Celebrating “honor” and pride of country is “primitive” and “exclusionary.” Although “tolerance” is celebrated in this country, the Left is clearly talking about tolerance for its beliefs and programs. Our Bill of Rights is in jeopardy, thanks to the actions of the Left and our inability to stop them.
As Stephens also says, “People who believe in nothing, including themselves, will ultimately submit to anything.” We are a people who, like the Europeans, no longer believe in ourselves. The Left is trying to make us into Europe; the Right is trying to preserve our freedoms. Our confusion about who we are and our role in the world makes us unable to fight for ourselves and we’ve demonstrated our ineptness and reticence to deal with Islamist terrorism. And the Islamist terrorists know it.
Thus, we are next.