According to Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, two members of the 9/11 Commission, terrorism did not end with the death of Osama Bin Laden. In fact, they say, the threat the U.S. faces from global terrorism may be worse today than it was when the Twin Towers came crashing down.
“According to the Global Terrorism Index, terrorist activity reached its highest recorded level in 2014, the last year with available data, with 32,685 terrorist-caused deaths. In 2001, that figure barely exceeded 5,000. Out of 162 countries studied, 93 have suffered a terrorist attack,” they wrote in a USA Today op-ed.
Kean and Hamilton say that both of the last two presidential administrations have missed the boat when it comes to battling radical Islam.
“The approach of the past 15 years, dominated by military counterterrorism operations, will not suffice,” they write. “We have yet to match our military might with an equal focus on the ideological aspects of the struggle. Until we do, this threat will not diminish.”
The experts recommend a policy that includes not only going after terrorist cells and armies, but one that also uses education and ideas to combat Islamic extremism in all of its forms.
“Advanced by deft use of the media, deeply rooted organizations, exploitation of economic and political grievances, and with support from certain governments, the ideological landscape of the Muslim world is inundated with extremist narratives,” they write. “These radical perversions of Islam might not condone violence, but they crowd out mainstream, tolerant and pluralistic ideas. The prevalence of even non-violent extremism can also acclimate communities to the siren song of terrorism.”
Unfortunately, we have a Democratic Party that currently embraces this non-violent version of radical Islam. President Obama has made the Muslim Brotherhood feel right at home in the White House, he’s opened up communication channels (and a lot more) with the hateful, incendiary regime in Iran, and he’s gone out of his way for eight years to pretend that Islam is completely unrelated to terrorism in any form.
Meanwhile, we’re getting to the point where even the mildest criticism of an Islamic country is considered bigotry. Feminists who can’t stand it when men take up too much room on the subway have little to say about women being stoned in Saudi Arabia. Who are we to judge another country’s culture?
Well, that culture leads to violence. And that violence has a way of finding its way into the United States and other Western countries. It already has. It will again. That makes it our business.
Business we need to start tending to.