I used to say, in just the very recent past, "ISIS is coming," but that has become swiftly out of date. ISIS is here.
ISIS is making a fabulous presentation, replete with a techno-expertise, film-making quality, excellent use of YouTube, making us think that they know what is our value system and that they are unstoppable because of their joyous use of nauseating violence. They are paralyzing the West as they come, and now all of Western Europe sits shivering behind their versions of the Maginot Line. I hope that frightens all of us, but not so much that we lose control. That's what they want -- that we let fear rule our behavior. Amazing that twice in the last 100 years, we are faced with enemies as different from one another as can be and exactly the same if we wash their make up off.
In the late 1930s, one Adolph Hitler told us in detail exactly what he was going to do to the world, which was to return the world to the fifth century. No discussion, no debate, they meant to kill anyone who didn't fit the bill. At first we actually were dismissive of this monstrous concept and insisted, as most thinking people would, that "he couldn't really mean that." But as he continued to move toward the Atlantic, brazenly lying to us all, it began to occur to us that maybe, just maybe... until the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor. We at first were speechless with rage, and answered the Japanese, as Admiral Yamamoto's worst nightmare would answer, as an awakened and enraged giant. And then we were gifted by Hitler's first real useful geopolitical blunder. He declared war on us before he had to, and every American who would have argued that Hitler had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, stopped arguing. Before Christmas 1941, we had a two-front World War dropped into our laps. We understood immediately. We agreed we would go to Europe and beat Hitler to death first and then go to the Pacific and destroy the Japanese.
ISIS wants to do the same as Hitler; the particulars are different but the end goal is the same. A caliphate is another term for that same fifth century: a barren, corpse-strewn, intellectually dead time and place where is there is no argument to make, no negotiation to put forth. There is only submission and death for all, including a majority of their own Islamic brothers and England, Italy, Germany, and the United States. Us.
After Paris, the French attacked ISIS with planes and bombs, immediately. That's our expensive and futile Maginot line. Does anyone believe that will take care of the problem? Aren't there alternatives to a "military option?'' Can we bomb a movement that has no nation but definitely has a strong belief system, like we used to have? Haven't we learned that every bomb creates terrorists?
We committed tens of billions of dollars to equip and train the Iraqi army, and watched as they faded and ran for their lives as the first echo of the first barrage came at them. Why? Because they had no belief system to support them, and their opponents certainly do.
It's 1940 people, pay attention.
So what's to do?
We can teach our soldiers what they're fighting for, for one. We can give them ammunition in their heads to know why we fight. We have the most beautiful pearl of how to live on this Earth -- a system of government that was the first and only one to respect each individual. We had it, polished it up, and the whole world began to want it and as their desire became urgent we changed the political goals of the entire world -- until we did the dumbest thing we could and stopped teaching it.
If we don't revive the teaching of civic authority to this and every generation, which is the mandate of The Dreyfuss Initiative, ISIS will behead our infants on YouTube. But if we do revive it, it can create a sturdy platform that we all stand on, left to right. We can learn to think light on our feet, connect the dots and find the way to beat the caliphate-to-be and watch it collapse like a pierced balloon.
If this article were a dialogue held in a bar or tavern at anytime before 250 years ago, it would have to be whispered. For the entire length of our civilization discussions like this would have to be whispered, because if anyone overheard us, we would be lashed, our fingers chopped off, we'd be killed. The gift this country gave the world could be summed up by absence of that fear.
Start teaching the contents of the Bill of Rights; what can you lose?
The United States is at the most critical point in its history. For years our nation has abandoned developing the knowledge, skills and wisdom necessary for each generation to ensure the continued success of our form of government. As Alexander Hamilton said, "What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, an inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws." The comprehension and ability to maintain this republican democracy is more of an elemental requirement for the survival of this nation than any other subject. We are a unique and miraculous nation, the only nation held together solely by ideas. If each generation does not understand and appreciate those ideas, the miracle of America will be lost.
Is ISIS smarter than the authors of the Bill of Rights? We already know they aren't close. Teach our children our values with the honest urgency they deserve: Learn this and you might live; refuse to learn that freedoms are stronger than conversion by the sword, and die on your knees.
It used to be unimaginable to think that a handful of guys could paralyze a nation until the attack on the World Trade Center put an end to that fallacy. Now we are watching a few thousand thugs put every country in the West in a mindless fear. Well, not me and mine. I'm too proud, I've got more love of country for good reason, I've got more outrage than any 17 ISIS-ISIL-Ishit and I know that once you teach our young we caused the greatest political revolution in the history of civilization, that will spell O-V-E-R for this bunch of thugs; religious fanatics who aren't religious, rapists and breeders and lovers of death.