Jon Saltzman: Brussels Wake Up Call

Today America and Europe woke up to the news that Islamic radicals had once again attacked the heart of Europe.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people killed and injured and to their families and friends. Of course, we all express this concern. What civilized person wouldn’t be distressed over the increasingly common violence directed at the West by ISIS-inspired extremists? Maybe it’s time we discard political correctness and deal with the reality of the situation.

There are people inspired by a virulent form of a major world religion who want to kill us. They employ methods such as suicide bombings, unthinkable by Western standards, to mete out destruction and pain. This isn’t about Israelis or Palestinians, this is a clash of civilizations and Sunnis and Shias that has been going on for centuries. Europe is the preview of coming attractions for the United States. Believe it.

I split my time between London and Philadelphia, so I am especially aware of the proximity of the U.K. to the frontline of terrorism. This is the third attack in Europe in the past year, while the U.S. endured one in California. Yet, there is no consensus about what should be done.

At the very least, we should focus on the people who are on European and American watch lists; we need to watch – and stop – the bad guys before they get a chance to murder more of us. Additionally, we have to rethink the open border policies that prevail in the West. Finally, we need to recognize that, whether we like it or not, we are at war with a group of people who want to fight to the death, regardless of our high ideals. That means we need to do things differently.

The acts committed by ISIS-inspired terrorists have come from both foreign and homegrown radicals who, almost without exception, have been known to Western authorities. Today’s attacks in Brussels came from people known well to the authorities in Belgium. There must be more we can do than stand by and watch horrific attacks on the innocent like we witnessed in today’s subway and airport bombings.

In Europe, not only is there free movement of populations among EU countries, but also a recent influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa. At first they were called refugees, and many were in fact refugees. Now the press calls them migrants. The influx has inundated southern Europe and strained resources throughout the continent. Not all of these people are good and in today’s terror environment, the situation is particularly onerous. Individuals who question the danger of this mass migration and a European willingness to see no evil are branded racists and xenophobes. This is a form of misguided political correctness that will kill us all.

Similarly, in the U.S., where there are an estimated 12-million illegal immigrants, the press and our government have stopped calling them “illegal,” shortening the phrase to “immigrants.” The Obama Administration, Hillary, Bernie and the Democrats seem to think it’s a foregone conclusion that all immigrants should be on a path to citizenship. Never mind the millions who followed the rule of law and waited in line.

On top of this group, we also have to face that there are people in the U.S. who have legal status and have committed acts of terror such as the couple in San Bernardino, the bombers in Boston, and many others. These facts are conveniently overlooked by the politically-correct crowd. These people, cloaked in their nobility, would rather others die so they can remain ideologically pure.

Today I even heard the old canard about white supremacy terrorism in the U.S. being compared equally to Islamic terrorism parroted on talk radio in London by the liberal host of a daily show on LBC! The failure of our society to call what we’re facing what it is and this specious moral equivalency will be the end of the West and the freedom we hold dear.

What do we have to do differently, then? We must admit that we are facing a new kind of war and act accordingly. We have to stop debating the Patriot Act and similar regulations. We don’t have that luxury. We are at war. How many wake-up calls will it take? As citizens, we have to be vigilant and observant and not always mind our own business. We have to stop the political correctness that has allowed terrorism to take a beachhead in the West. We need strong leaders who recognize the real threats we face and do not cloak them in political gain.

In this presidential election, who do you think can protect the American people best? Our president is foremost the commander in chief, responsible for protecting the American people. The last eight years have shown us what a weak president can do. Porous borders, political correctness and wishing things were different must stop now.