Justin Trudeau says that whatever sort of conflict we are in with ISIS, it’s not really a war; it’s just a fight. Now I know that Justin isn’t a lawyer, but he has obviously spent too much time around people who fiddle with semantics to obscure the truth. Justin Trudeau and Stephane Dion both say that a war is something that can be won by one side or the other, and that terrorist groups like ISIS can never win. Really?
Who won on 9/11 when air traffic was shut down around the world? Who wins when Caucasian or Oriental grandmothers are forced to take off their shoes and be x-rayed when they go through airport security?
Who won last week in Belgium?
What war looks like has changed repeatedly throughout history. The invention of the British longbow changed it. The invention of gunpowder and firearms changed it again. The invention of tanks and mobilized warfare in World War I changed it again.
The French forgot that lesson in the lead up to World War II, and built the Maginot Line, a series of fortresses strung across the border with Germany. German Panzer divisions invading France simply drove around it. The French regarded the change in rules as lacking in chivalry.
The struggle against Islamic terrorism once again redefines war, and also what defeat and victory will look like. ISIS may not play by the rules, but that doesn’t mean we’re not at war with them.
A battle won is a day with no terrorist attacks in your country; victory might be a week with no terrorist attacks anywhere in the world.
But those victories will only come if we take the war seriously, and Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama, both of whom have declared that climate change is the major threat facing the world, are simply not serious leaders. They are Kardashians in pants; famous for being famous.
ISIS attacks targets around the world, but their operational headquarters and source of finances are based in specific areas in Syria and Iraq, and increasingly, Libya. We need to get serious about cutting off their oil revenue ; dismantling their financial structure; and killing them if necessary.
And who knows, taking that task seriously might eventually lead to weeks, or even months, with no terrorist attacks anywhere in the world. And quite unlike last week in Belgium, that would feel like victory.