Terrorism is our major battlefield, the most important strategic problem of our times. And, Friday, it launched a multiform, terribly harsh attack, thus proving how the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites triggered by the Arab springs has turned into an army of literally crazed people invading us with unprecedented brutality.
The unpredictability of its continuous butchering of innocent people makes it elusive for us. First, the terrible pervasiveness of Friday’s Islamist terror tends to spread an all-powerful image, threatening anyone who dares to oppose the plan of the worldwide Caliphate.
Friday’s attacks repeated to us something that the world map has been telling us for a long time, all stained as it is with the blood spilled by Islamic terrorism. It says to us: there is no refuge for you, if you are against me you are a dead man walking. If we should find out that there was a common direction behind Friday’s attacks in Lyon, Iraq, and the Tunisian beach of Sousse, maybe we would finally start to understand that we really are at war, and it’s about time. This war is being carried out by a myriad of groups, which in the Middle East and Europe recognize a single leader, Abu bakr al Baghdadi or, anyway, a vertical structure.
If those three attacks were actually part of the same plan, we are in the phase of Al Baghdadi’s stalinism and of all-out attacks. His forces have been attacking France with unceasing frequency and determination. France, together with the US and UK, is an active enemy in the Middle East while being, at the same time, a huge Muslim European rearguard because of its enormous immigration.
With surprising deployment of forces and creativity, they assaulted Tunisia as well, an Islamic country that, in the eyes of Isis, is a treacherous one for its being too open toward the West, a country seeking political moderation, and which has made tourism the backbone of its economy.
The premise is very similar and recent: on March 18 this year, 24 people were killed in the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. The same day, we saw a deadly attack launched on the Shiite Mosque in the Kuwaiti capital. In this third scene, we see the usual millennial war between the two core souls of Islam. This time 13 people have been killed in a war that has already left fourteen million people missing or looking for asylum, flooding the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
On these three scenes, Isis delivered a multiform signal of a major strategy: it intends to attack the West, just as Al Qaeda did, but at the same time, it is craving to fill with terror that Islamic world it wants to conquer in the first place to get hold of a territorial space for the universal caliphate’s geographic base. A space that has already swallowed up Iraq and part of Syria.
Isis left its most characteristic signature in France: a severed head, also defaced with Arab writing, hanged on a fence.
Programmed perversion is Isis favorite signal and trademark. It is not because of a kind of mental breakdown that Isis terrorists decide to behead a man, drown him in a cage, or set him on fire while filming the complicated ceremony with their Jihadist chants and rituals in the background. Isis is anything but a horde of lunatics: its fashionable, personalized terror, the terror that makes you touch you own neck while you are watching the murder of James Foley and of all the other poor victims must frighten you until you surrender.
It has already happened in Iraq and Syria, now it must happen in Europe and in the US. On May 22, 2015, the soldier Lee Rigby was just walking along the streets of London when two Jihadist thugs, naturalized British citizens, killed him trying to sever his head. They were not so skilled in beheading procedures, not as Jihadi John, Isis favorite professional executioner and former DJ from London.
By making the beheading their own trademark, they managed to terrorize the world, forcing part of it to surrender. And now they are turning up the heat with Lyon’s attack, after the bloodbath of Charlie Hebdo and the Hipercosher, after Ottawa, Jerusalem, the Boston marathon, the Jewish Museums in Brussels and Toulouse, with thousands of other carnages that are turning the world map into a bloodstained tapestry.
You almost feel sorry for Francoise Hollande when he says, “we will make it”. Is it really this way a country’s leader should talk when confronted with the umpteenth attack to its citizens? Churchill was not ashamed to hate the Germans, neither he was afraid to threaten them with a roar.
When you only say, “we will make it”, you actually induce a sense of uncertainty. After all, there is a logic in the fact that nobody seems able to explain what this wretched terrorism actually is, for which the UN, scared as usual, cannot manage to find a shared definition. Who could ever be able to give himself a reason for the fact that there is someone out there willing to kill mothers and children in a park, friends in a bar, and students on a bus?
Who could think we are dealing with a bunch of “random” lunatics, as Obama sees them, and not, on the contrary, with people that should be considered as a real army, a religious army determined to terrorize us until we flee or fight us to death? Their strategy aims at unifying the Middle East in the first place, and then at conquering the world.
As a strategy, it is rational, has its good reasons, and is motivated and meticulous. All the major attacks, from the Shiite one in Buenos Aires in 1994 to the Sunni one on the Twin Towers, always had an accurate plan behind them, a solid organizational set-up and a lot of money.
According to Forbes, Isis’ current budget is between two and three billion dollars a year and Hamas’ is one billion, while the Farc can count on 600 million and Hezbollah on 400 million dollars… And while they are investing that money in a plan, we do not have any to defeat them.
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (June 27, 2015)