As was the case with similar comments that I made 20 years ago, his comments were met with ridicule and astonishment.
On Tuesday the Islamic State claimed responsibility for bombing the airport and a subway station in Brussels killing 31 and injuring more than 250 people.
The occasion was used to further ridicule Trump’s suggestion that we leave NATO. He was accused of abandoning our allies in the worldwide fight against terrorism.
Photo Credit: NATO
What is lost in this argument is the fact that while political commentators are elevating the role of NATO in the worldwide fight on terror, NATO couldn’t prevent a major attack in its own headquarters city.
Belgium is a founding member of NATO. NATO was focused on other issues.
Brussels was also the home of Salah Abdeslam, the leader of the attack at the Bataclan theater and the soccer stadium in Paris last November where Islamic State adherents killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more.
Salah Abdeslam was captured last Friday by Belgian police. NATO was focused on other issues.
In January of last year 12 Parisians were killed and 11 were injured in an attack on the Parisian newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. They had affronted Islam by publishing a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
France is a founding member of NATO. NATO was focused on other issues.
In July 2005 four bombers coordinated attacks on London’s transit system killing more than 50 citizens and wounding 700 more.
Mohammad Sidique Khan, the lead suicide bomber in London, trained at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.
In May 2013 a soldier walking near his barracks in London was hit by a car and set upon by two Muslims who proceeded to hack him to death with knives.
The United Kingdom is a founding member of NATO. NATO was focused on other issues.
In October 2014 two soldiers were run over by a car in Quebec, killing one of them. Two days later a soldier standing guard at a war memorial in Ottawa was shot dead.
The attacks appeared to be in response to calls from the Islamic State for followers to undertake “lone wolf’ attacks.
Canada is a founding member of NATO. NATO was focused on other issues.
In July 2011 a soldier was killed and another wounded at a U.S. Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. The killer was a recent Muslim convert.
Three years ago Muslim brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev exploded two pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon finish line killing three and injuring 264 others.
Last year four marines were killed at two recruiting centers in Chattanooga. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the gunman responsible for the shooting, was killed at the scene.
Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 and injured 21 last December in the brutal Christmas party shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. They had been radicalized in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The United States is a founding member of NATO. NATO was focused on other issues.
Just what was NATO focused on while the Islamic State is rampaging across the free world?
They have been watching the buildup of Russian tanks on the Ukrainian border and thanking God that they hadn’t granted Ukraine’s request for membership so that we weren’t bound by Article 5 of NATO to defend Ukraine.
They are focused on Turkey which had accused Russia of violating its airspace in its mission in Syria and threatened that if it happened again Turkey would respond.
While NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was calling on Russia “to act responsibly” and urging calm, NATO nations were frantically working with Turkey to ensure that they would not trigger Article 5.
NATO has done a superb job over the last 70 years of preventing a third world war. They deserve our appreciation. And perhaps a gold watch.
But NATO, and the member nations that comprise it, are so obsessed with preventing criticism of Islam that they are uniquely unqualified to deal with the terror that it engenders.
A new structure must be established to deal with radical Islam and it must begin by admitting what radical Islam is: A violent and brutal group of believers who are acting on the tenets of their faith – to kill non-believers is to win for the glory of Allah.
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