The U.S. State Department has issued a blunt worldwide travel alert for Americans. Nothing cuts through murky rhetorical waters and diplomatic platitudes like a terrorist’s bomb. Suddenly, reasonable people are faced with a stark choice between keeping safe and taking the sort of laissez-faire approach to security that the Paris attackers were able to exploit.
It should come as no surprise that in the wake of terrorist massacres, blunt speakers with a clear, simple vision of how to make a dent in the problem gain in popularity. Since the Paris attacks earlier this month, far-right French National Front leader Marine Le Pen and Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump have seen their vision translate into polling victories in their respective nations.
Le Pen faces a criminal court judgment next month on charges of inciting racial hatred for comparing Muslim prayer in the streets of France to the Nazi occupation — even though the prosecutor in the case has said Le Pen should be acquitted. Trump remains insistent on deporting undocumented migrants and building a wall to keep them out.
Russia, long regarded as a close-minded nation, is now viewed by many as a white knight. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been vilified by the West, but in the absence of effective anti-Islamic State action by the U.S. and its allies, the world finds itself counting on Putin and his aggressive bombing campaign.
U.S. President Barack Obama has smarmily implored the Russians to direct their bombs at Islamic State targets rather than at opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — apparently trying to convince us that they’re not one and the same. Such rhetoric represents a political agenda rather than a solution to a global threat that has spiraled out of control.
While the Russians are trying to bomb the Islamic State back to the Stone Age, Turkey — a NATO member that hosted an operational staging area for the so-called “Syrian rebels,” many of whom ultimately became Islamic State fighters — shot down a Russian fighter jet on Tuesday. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded with a rebuke … for Russia.
The Russians have reportedly inscribed “For Paris” on bombs they’re dropping on Islamic State targets. Russia also delivered a puppy to the Paris police unit that lost its police dog in a suicide-bombing explosion during a raid on the apartment of one of the suspected masterminds of the November 13 attacks. Russia is on the right side of things.