(/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/11/is.jpg)Washington politicians confront new “facts on the ground” for the new Congress next year. With the Republican victory returning them to Senate control and buttressing their House majority, the new congressional leadership will face myriad urgent issues on the national security front. Numerous pre-election polls showed the burgeoning concern of voters on these issues. As ISIS and Ebola rose, they witnessed crises literally spanning US borders: from a surge of immigrants from Latin America to jihadist-inspired attacks in Oklahoma, New York and across the northern border with Canada.
Democrat attempts to address these threats have ranged from the ever-shifting “protocols” and “self-quarantine” guidance of the CDC to “executive amnesty” for millions of illegals—an unsurprising hodge-podge of responses given the Obama Administration’s perpetual state of political correctness.
That state must be broken if America hopes to address and resuscitate its national security posture. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union (precipitated by the fall of the Berlin Wall, which saw its 25th anniversary last week), the United States has lacked an ordering principle in its foreign and national security policy. Unnecessary, many would answer, with the collapse of the world’s only other superpower, and its one-party totalitarianism (i.e., Soviet Communism).
While generally atheistic in its implementation historically, communism nonetheless embraced the notion of its inevitable triumph—bourgeois and capitalist societies would collapse from the pressure of their “internal contradictions.” In this regard, communism was not unlike many other religious faiths. Its tenets promised the ultimate victory of “the proletariat” in realizing the utopian vision of a “classless” society. And in practically all communist countries, these tenets are not optional.
Among today’s threats, as they pertain to or intersect with radical Islamic and jihadist groups, organizations or nations, America has not reached the clarity and purpose that it attained while confronting and defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War. In order to address our present daunting challenges, and surely those we are yet to confront, the perspective of the American public on this account must be changed. The Obama Administration, in its anti-war, “lead from behind” policies, has thoroughly demonstrated not only its resistance to any such effort, but its dedication to an attitude of moral equivalency toward adversaries.
Today’s radical Islamists embrace their own totalitarian ideology. They seek the subjugation of the non-Muslim world in pursuit of a caliphate (a principal objective of ISIS, for instance—Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), which basically amounts to a nation governed by the doctrine of sharia, or simply stated, Islamic law. ISIS and similar radical organizations (and in the case of Iran, a present-day state) brook no dissent. They have little to no respect for Western notions of human rights or freedom of expression (for instance, brutally repressing women and executing homosexuals and infidels-–non-Muslims).
The threat of Iran, ISIS, Al-Qaeda and associated Muslim radicals represents the same danger that communism did a generation ago. These totalitarian Islamists in their ultimate objectives present an ideological threat every bit as dangerous and existential as that posed by the Soviets to the West, and particularly the United States, during the Cold War. Americans may not know much about ISIS and sharia right now, but they expect their government to protect them. Republicans will be wise to begin speaking plainly about the source of America’s unease with these radicals and the enduring threat they pose. These enemies are committed, they are ambitious, and they mean to defeat us. If Republicans fail in naming these enemies and mustering the national will to confront them, their fortunes at the ballot box will prove trivial in the face of this ascendant religious tyranny. The GOP needs to start telling it like it is about these “facts on the ground.”
Tom Sears is the executive director of the “Center for Military Readiness” and a member of Andrew McCarthy’s “Benghazi Accountability Coalition.”
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