The first rule to defeat terrorism is to link information to action. Otherwise, we become its prey. Europe already lives a new war at home.
But doesn’t understand what it is. Who drives it? Who funds it? Who covers it? The tapestry is before our eyes and it’s enough to observe it without prejudice and the answers, perhaps not entirely but significantly, will suggest to us what essentially needs to be done. It requires a broad design like the one the terrorists were able to paint yesterday.
They threw half the world and the most important global leaders in a state of shock and terror and the answers have been simply ridiculous. Even the man arrested at first in Berlin isn’t the jihadist of the truck. He’s still at large and may be armed; yet the truck as instrument of death returned to the European squares, a bold statement of mass murder, the ingenious invention that any vehicle can suddenly swerve to kill you as occurred in Nice a few months ago and in Israel on numerous occasions.
Merkel stutters her condemnation of Islamic terrorism, which bodes badly with the chancellor’s immigration policy. The Germans have good historical reasons to curb the aggressiveness of their own people, but on the other side it’s useless, for example, as in Cologne hundreds of women were raped and robbed last New Year’s Eve, to invite again a mixed crowd for a party in the square. It’s crazy that in Europe public Christmas celebrations, which have been repeatedly threatened(in Ludwigshafen a 12-year-old boy of Iraqi origin placed a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November) aren’t under surveillance.
And in Turkey, what is there to say about the incredible inability in identifying and stopping the gun shot seven after the young Sunni murdered the Russian ambassador – paradoxical tv images which they themselves ignore that they are going to be the portrait of death itself. ON the back stage, now we can figure out how much effort it will take to blocking the ancient sentiments of Russian-Turkish hatred, suppressed during this time in order to work alongside that murderer Bashar Assad and his Iranian-Hezbollah allies.
Here it should be emphasized once again that Russia’s alliance but also American acquiescence with the Shiites basically signals a huge break with the Sunni world, which is presently terrified despite being the majority, and this doesn’t bring about the prospect of peace but rather war for everyone. One more thing to be taken into consideration if Europe wants to fight the terror war on its ground.
This war that meanwhile has struck in France, Belgium, Germany fully and other countries partially can be fought only the way Israel does, namely paying both theoretical and practical costs. The countries hit by terror must come to terms with the idea that their own citizens of Middle Eastern origin sometimes wish to destroy them. It’s new, it’s hard.
First and foremost, Europe needs work on its values, on its desire to live: its democracy must retain the sense of a society that’s well worthwhile for each and every citizen even without aiming at perfection. We must strip the ideology of our Third World romance and understand that there is a full army today that advances a religion of total destruction of our civilization. Prevention is the essential weapon: it requires stopping attacks without any reservations through the gathering of information.
For this to occur we need to join together various competing bodies and international groups, even enemies. Blocking an attack before it happens, restores faith and gives us time to organize in order to catch the culprits. In public places precautions are needed, including the notorious checkpoints where even profiling should be allowed. It takes time, patience, modesty, and no one should say, “you don’t know who I am, let me pass first.”
Terrorist domains must be thoroughly searched wherever they might hide, despite the presence of mothers or aunts or imams. If we understand that men, supplies and weapons come from abroad, we must take steps to face even a diplomatic difficult circumstance : an example is the sea blockade of Gaza to stop Hamas, or any action out of the country. If it also requires that the army must step in (as occurred with Operation Defensive Shield, which stopped the Second Intifada by entering into villages in order to target terror at its source).
The same is true in relation to situations with a de facto absence of choice like the ones that brought to the killing of Bin Laden or Sheikh Yassin, and yes, it’s even necessary to proceed with targeted killings. It’s awful to think about during the Christmas season when Christians would like to turn the other cheek. However, they can’t afford to do it if not at the cost of their children’s lives.
Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (December 22, 2016)