American presidential politics are certainly vulgar and loud, but what happened in
Terrorism is the politics of bodies and blood and the screams of the innocent asking why.
The West has been taught this again and again, and Tuesday the lesson was offered by Islamic State in
Don't take this as an indictment of Islam. But giving a name to a thing is the first step toward defeating it, and calling it mere terrorism is laughably tepid and incomplete.
It should be clear even to the most willfully moronic that this is a war against the West, and the Islamic State, also known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL, has made it a global jihad.
Yet what is the American strategy on Islamic State?
That's the problem. We don't know.
The American people don't want another war; we're tired of war. And the
Even in this presidential political year, we aren't having a grown-up talk about the Islamic State. And we really don't know much about the strategy of
It's not really being discussed. And that's the problem.
Defeating the Islamic State means a real strategy: cultural, economic, political and military. And we should know it so we can argue for it or against it and so that
But that would take political leadership. Unfortunately, President Obama isn't showing any.
Instead, he was busy at a baseball game in
His opening of
Last year, the president was condemned by many on the right for saying, "We don't yet have a complete strategy," on the Islamic State. This was repeated ad nauseam by his critics after the news broke about
"We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis, as well, about how recruitment takes place, how that training takes place. And so the details of that are not yet worked out," he said in 2015.
It's still not worked out, Mr. President.
He's withdrawn, now watching baseball, thinking about the Sweet 16, marking the end of his term, enjoying the applause wafting over him on his legacy tour.
Trump's timing is usually quite good, but just before
The bit about the strong borders and stronger vetting of immigrants is legitimate, but his public arguments in favor of waterboarding are the foolish mouthings of an angry child.
"But this is going to require a real upping of our security cooperation," she noted. "And there has to be some honest reckoning about what works and what doesn't work."
Hillary translation: What works? What doesn't? Strategy? What strategy? I don't want to criticize Obama, I need the guy. But what difference, at this point, does it make?
The coordinated Islamic State attacks in
That future is now in doubt,
Those refugees overwhelming
So of course all of this is very political. Only nincompoops would say otherwise. And there is no better time to hash it out than now, during our presidential elections.
Unfortunately, our politics isn't about grown-up talk of a
And, like Bernie, the American left would rather not engage.
So our presidential politics are instead about whose feelings got hurt and safe spaces and who said what on "Saturday Night Live."
Our politics is increasingly about snarky thumbs on Twitter, where voters are unwittingly herded by sarcasm and fear of shaming into easily harvestable camps.
But the thumbs that terrorists care about are the ones on the ungloved hand, the thumbs that press the triggers and set off their bombs.