President Trump managed to turn a correct policy point into a media controversy that swallows the point. The current Labour Party in Britain hates former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and all moderate left of center politicians. It slaps the hand of Anti-Semitic national party leaders. It blames Israel for the problems of the Middle East. And its leader mocks the police and supports the IRA and Hamas. As a party it is as soft on terrorism as it was on Marxist-Leninism. But, President Trump in criticizing Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan right after a mass attack guarantees a backlash.
It really is a shame, because there is an important point to be made here. Terrorists are not killing Westerners in their cities because we speak meanly to local Muslims. They are killing us because they hate our way of life. There are certainly wanton acts of intimidation, discrimination, and violence against Muslims in Western societies. We had an important ruling against a local government in New Jersey this week. The township was clearly discriminating against a mosque. But, ISIS is not killing Westerners because a New Jersey township required a mosque to have more parking spaces than a church.
For Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan the fault lies in the West. Just as Neil Kinnock and Michael Foote believed if we just engaged with the Soviet Union and unilaterally disarmed the Soviets would be our friends. Corbyn and Khan have been against every major anti-terrorism campaign not on civil rights grounds, but because they believe we need to talk and compromise more with terrorists. For them the West is the source of terrorism.
Khan touts his own personality as a moderate integrated Muslim in Britain as the answer. Somehow his mayorship and speeches will magically prevent young Muslim men in Britain from self-radicalizing, travelling to Syria, and returning with hate in their hearts. After 16 years we have to admit we still do not have a complete answer for defeating this Salafist poison.
But we should at least declare that the goal is to defeat it not appease it. Effective marketing and propaganda are a part of that battle. But it is a battle against external evil the way the Western battle against Marxist-Leninism was good versus evil.
The victims of 9/11, Manchester, London, and the countless other atrocities of the last 16 years were not at fault. They were innocents whose governments failed in their essential obligation to protect their citizens and guests. To protect them governments have to do more than talk. They have to put men and women with weapons and intelligence into harm’s way.
We need to be ever vigilant against discrimination. But that is not the cause of terrorism. The internment of Japanese Americans in World War II was wrong. It was not the cause of Pearl Harbor. We need government officials in the US, UK, and other Western nations devoted to victory not appeasement of visible evil.