Nice has become another target of terrorism, this time by a young Tunisian whose attack is being celebrated in Islamist circles:
The death toll from the terrorist attack on a Bastille Day fireworks celebration in the southern French city of Nice rose to 84 on Friday morning, as the government raced to establish the attacker’s identity, extended a national state of emergency and absorbed the shock of a third major terrorist attack in 19 months. ...
The attack unfolded on Thursday around 10:30 p.m., when a large truck turned left onto the Promenade des Anglais, a seaside boulevard filled with an enormous crowd of spectators.
The truck initially killed two people, and continued for another 1.1 miles down the boulevard, brutally mowing down people left and right until police officers shot and killed the driver outside a hotel and casino.
So is France the number one target of jihadis because of the large number of Moslems living in unassimilated ghettos (the banlieus) and because France symbolizes a hedonistic Western lifestyle?
If so, it is so odd that France would emerge as the top target of jihadis when you consider that France refused to participate in the 2003 Iraq War or the fight to stabilize Iraq after defeating Saddam's military. We were told that liberating Iraqis from Saddam's grip fueled jihadi anger.
Yet here we are hosing down the streets of Nice to wash away the blood.
As I've written again and again, we need to get on with destroying the ISIL caliphate. We give our enemy time. Enemies use time to hurt us.
It has been about 25 months since ISIL overran Mosul and northern Iraq.
It took America 30 months from Pearl Harbor to build a military and then invade Nazi-held Fortress Europe on D-Day on June 6, 1944. And in the meantime we won the Battle of the Atlantic, and invaded North Africa and Italy, while throwing the Japanese back in the Pacific theater.
But we're still waiting for one more meeting and PowerPoint presentation, it seems, to begin the campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIL control.
We should be embarrassed by this record. When we fought the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was sometimes said that our military fought the war and the American public was at the mall--that is, the public was not much involved.
Now it is reversed. Our public is at war, figuratively at the malls as targets, and our military is ... doing what? Dropping ordinance under restrictive rules of engagement and perfecting the PowerPoint presentation on how to defeat an enemy without engaging them on the ground.
And even though ISIL is warning their followers that they will soon have to go irregular after the loss of the caliphate eventually, ISIL has had the time to use the resources of their proto-state to extend their influence more than they could have without a few years in charge of a caliphate.
After the Paris Massacre, I argued that France should have taken the lead in the Libya front to destroy and scatter ISIL there rather than add a small amount of force to our campaign there. The problem isn't a lack of military force but a lack of will to use it, as the reappearance of nuance in Paris after the rage over the Paris Massacre subsided.
The same can be said for recent efforts by the Obama administration to cut a deal with Russia to fight ISIL at the price of letting Assad survive. We don't need the military power that Russia, Iran, and Assad bring to the fight. The West has plenty of military power to do the job of defeating ISIL.
But we have to take the war to the jihadis and get on with destroying them rather than spending our time on weepy hashtag campaigns, deploying the James Taylor, and obsessing over the Dread Backlash after the latest jihadi atrocity.
Face it, any of us could be the number one target of jihadis. It doesn't matter if you liberated Iraq or not. What doesn't set off jihadi rage?
Defeating Islamist terror requires more than killing jihadis. We need to help moderate Moslems drive a stake in Islamist ideology. But to protect our people, killing jihadis is certainly the thing we need to be doing a little more enthusiastically right now.
Or will we instead open a national conversation on truck control?
UPDATE: The death toll is up to 84.
And this attitude needs to be altered dramatically:
France must learn to "live with terrorism", French PM Manuel Valls says after #NiceAttack
No. Jihadis must learn to live (and preferably die) with French police, aircraft and drones, and special forces crawling up their asses every time they pick their noses.
And a prime minister who can't live with that is unworthy of high office.