The attack on civilians in Paris, France is but the latest in a series of unprovoked attacks on civilians in the world in recent days, months and years that seems to be escalating. A few representatives of a few nations in the United Nations have posed the very serious question as to whether World War III has begun.
Senseless acts of violence have occurred in far off places like Kenya and Lebanon. But when violence hit one of the centers of the western world, Paris, France, the world has sat up and taken notice.
Paris is a city of lights, a city of gaiety, a city renowned in the world for its beauty. The French people had their own revolution soon after ours in America when they fought for liberty, equality and fraternity. The attack on the capitol of France was an attack on civilization.
This not the first time in history when violence has been used in the misguided belief that political change would take place to the benefit of those perpetrating barbaric and cruel attacks on civilians. In Russia, in the 1860’s, nihilists used assassinations to attempt to bring about change. The assassination of Tsar Alexander in 1861 is an example of their tactics in action. Anarchists in the 1890’s used random bombings and assassinations of political figures in their attempt to obtain change. World War I started after Serbian Nationalists assassinated Arch Duke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo in 1914. Are we witnessing with the attack on Paris and other escalating acts of violence, the beginnings of World War III?
It is difficult to understand what ISIS wants. It is said that they want to create through conquest an Arab territory to be ruled by very conservative and what some would call an extreme version of Islamic law. They have declared war on what they call the infidels of the West. The destruction of monuments and artifacts of Arab history by ISIS are actions that reject and spurn historical examples of many highlights of Arab history and culture. Attacks on the west are also an example of their rejection of anything that smacks of a modern way of life. If they spurn their own history and reject Western culture, what do they really want besides land and power?
So far we have witnessed a three fold strategy by the West in their attempts to deal with ISIS. The air forces of the West and a few Middle Eastern countries have bombed ISIS targets to weaken their capability to launch further conquests of neighboring lands. The Containment of ISIS is the first goal. A second goal is to find a political solution in Syria. As of now diplomats are doing the hard work of bringing a peaceful solution to a 4 year Civil War. An agreement is being worked on as we speak to have most of the parties involved agree to a cease fire and free and open elections. The third and last part of the strategy is the most difficult to accomplish and that is the destruction of ISIS. How can we best do that without the area of conflict expanding and really becoming more of a world wide conflict?
ISIS has succeeded in bombing a civilian aircraft over Egypt. Naturally Russia is not pleased by the murder of many of their citizens as well as the death of other innocents on board the aircraft. Now in an act of retribution in reaction to France bombing a key area of the land occupied by ISIS, several cells of ISIS members in Europe have killed and maimed many more innocents in Paris.
Have we weakened the capability of ISIS sufficiently now to put boots on the ground to basically reclaim all of the land that ISIS controls and destroy and kill as many members of the group ISIS as we can? This might indeed be the time because the longer that we wait the more likely some act on the part of ISIS can reek havoc in the region and endanger more countries. The longer we wait brings a level of risk to where countries like Turkey may be further destabilized.
A military action is required. I am the last person to want war, but ISIS has declared war on civilization as we know it. They will continue to attack and kill innocent civilians because they are too weak to attack the armies, air forces and navies of the world. They have the mistaken impression that the longer this conflict goes on, time is on their side; in that they hope that the Islamic peoples of the world would unite against the so-called infidels. They are mistaken in their hopes and wrong in their call for Jihad. We must rid the world of the murderous group that is ISIS. This is going to require a united front of the countries in the region. With the help of Russia and a coalition of western and Middle Eastern countries we can and will win the war against radical Jihadists.