As far as jihadist Islamists are concerned absolutely nothing.
These conflicts were and are simply an excuse to murder anyone who is not like them. Like an obsessed teenager high on caffeine and sugar playing marathon rounds of Halo, Islamists murder for sheer pleasure, the terror effect is just a pleasant byproduct for them.
Islamists have used the Crusades (four major armed Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land from 1095-1289) as a recruiting tool with low-information Muslims, who are easily radicalized, especially if they are of meager means and background. Improving one’s standard of living or social status through joining radical terrorist movements is tough to counter if we are not in a position to do so, and are in fact running away from the fight.
This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 shows fighters from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria marching in Raqqa, Syria. (AP Photo/militant website, File)
Even Pope Francis seems to be calling for a Fifth Crusade, saying in response to the growing crisis in Iraq, over which he said he was "dismayed" and in "disbelief," that there was a need for “a professional, well-equipped army" because "the situation is going from bad to worse."
But the United States can’t seem to get out of it’s own way with regard to foreign policy chaos. It’s as if we’re drunken gamblers betting our shirts after losing all our money, watch, shoes, boat and home!
Politically, all the death and destruction is bad for business in the Obama camp, especially after seemingly endless foreign policy mistakes, from red lines in the sand to putting five big time Taliban bad guys back in the fight in trade for a suspected U.S. Army deserter. Trying to figure out the thinking behind these and other incredible missteps drives one to distraction!
If an enemy is bold enough to shoot high quality video of the beheading of an American journalist (Daniel Pearl by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, February 2002; and James Foley, August 2014) in the Middle East then they are able to do so in the streets of America.
This photo was reportedly posted on Twitter by a supporter of the Islamic State terrorist group.
Currently, it is suspected that British rapper and radicalized Muslim Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, or “Jihadi John,” may have been the man behind the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Abdel Bary is a known Islamist who has been video taped holding the head of another terror victim, and along with other radicalized Muslim Britons, are part of a terrorist group closely associated with the Islamic Sate who have created an Islamic caliphate in northern Syria and parts of northern and western Iraq.
Radical Muslims from around the world have answered the clarion call to join the Islamic State in their new caliphate, including those from the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Asia and parts of Africa.
What will be our answer?
[sharequote align="center"]It is imperative that we begin and sustain a planned offensive against the tyranny of Islamists. [/sharequote]
For too long we have resisted the fact that Islamists are at war with us. We have responded with force and resolve during certain times and then responded with our heads in the sand at other times. The result? Video beheadings of Americans.
American patriot Thomas Paine once said:
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must . . . undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
That “fatigue” has weighed heavily on us, especially on the victims of terror and on our military community, who have borne the brunt of the burden.
President Barack Obama’s and his cabinet’s lack of military background are handicapping their decision-making regarding military action to protect and defend the interests of the United States. The modus operandi of this naïve group is to grossly politicize every single crisis after putting their proverbial licked finger in the air to determine the direction of the politically correct wind before making a statement or tenuous commitment.
US President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Iraq at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on August 11, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM
The result is a weakened and vulnerable United States at the mercy of barbarians. How we got here is not nearly as important as where we’re going and how?
It is imperative that we begin and then sustain a planned and committed offensive against the tyranny of Islamists. There should be no safe haven, no quarter given, and no mercy for the members of the murderous caliphate. But if we call it a "Crusade" what could posibly be the down side? It might even inspire a new generation of committed anti-Islamists.
In the early days of the 19th century this country battled and then defeated a former Islamist caliphate in the Barbary Wars. Barbary pirates of Northern Africa demanded tribute for captured merchant and military ships and the merchants, sailors and Marines on them. President Thomas Jefferson refused to comply, as did President James Madison. Instead, the United States sent warships and Marines to rescue our ships and personnel, and to destroy the pirates, and their will and means to terrorize us on the high seas.
US Marines of the 1st Division line up for a joined prayer at their base outside Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 6 , 2004. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
In the end, our resolve and resources won the day, and after our example was set, European countries followed suit, building and then deploying some of the world’s fastest and most powerful ships at the time in a combined effort to suppress the pirates.
For Islamists to be defeated, once and for all, a combined effort is necessary. But this combined effort needs a leader.
If not us, who? If not now, when?
Deploying the 82nd Airborne Division and United State Marines to the Middle East may seem a drastic and painful choice, but we must stabilize the area of Islamist infiltration with a physical presence and then invoke a Middle East Marshall Plan when the dust settles and all Islamists are either dead, or no longer have the means or will to kill us.
Helping to rebuild the infrastructure and self-esteem of people exploited and terrorized by Islamists will win hearts and minds, as it did against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
We still have troops in countries we defeated in World War II 70 years after the end of that war. These countries are now among the most peaceful and prosperous in the world, not in spite of our presence, but because of it.
Peace and prosperity should be enticing rewards for those who currently choose violence and destruction. The alternative we are living now is unacceptable, the price already paid by our military members and their families and loved ones too great.
So, if our enemies call it a Crusade, why not at this point fulfill their dreams of 72 virgins and play along? Nothing else seems to work.
I am the author of "Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior," and three times mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Major (Retired). Twitter @mjgranger1
Feature Photo: Getty Images
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