I want to address the ugly, brutal, senseless, barbaric terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut last week.
It’s the latest in the continuing pattern of perpetration coming from the Islamic State, a group so evil it almost defies description. But, of course, throughout history we’ve had examples. Just think back as recently as Hitler.
The gloating from evil forces over the deaths gives a sense of anger and unease and fear. That’s completely normal. That’s what the terrorists want to create. You see the stories of the individuals who lost their lives in Paris, most of them in their 20s, cut down by the cruelty of evil with suicide belts and machine gunners.
You start to wonder, ‘Where we are safe?’ That’s what terrorists want you to feel.
Do not change your behavior
My heart goes out to the people who lost loved ones. However, I will not let those who do evil change the way I live my life. It is normal to feel afraid, but the terrorists only win if we don’t overcome our fears.
We as Americans don’t fully appreciate that we’re in a multigenerational war with terror. I know people have objected to former President Bush’s phrase ‘war on terror.’ But there is a fight going on for the soul of Islam. Many people are being senselessly murdered each day. Islamic radicals are at war within their faith and without.
At a time like this, people get raw emotions and become anti-Islamic. Yet the reality is most people who follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad don’t wish harm to others. They’re just regular people living their lives and hoping the best for their children. So please, fight the gut instinct to strike out against people who are followers of Islam.
This war we’re in, we date it back 14 years ago. But it got a good start in the ’90s and it has another generation or two to run, probably. We’ll have bad days and we’ll have good ones, with victories in covert operations that we don’t know anything about.
But to fatigue and withdraw from the battle, as Americans would like to do? That would only allow evil to grow stronger. We want to turn the page…and we can’t. Because if we do, the fight comes to us.
As for me, I already had plans to go to Europe next week. And I am going. Two of my three kids are going, and my wife is going.
To the terrorists who wish to make people afraid to get on planes, I am not going to allow those monsters to change what I do with my life.
This is a stat that’s probably better for another day, but I did some number crunching. There are 12.3 million people in metro Paris. At the time of the attacks, I calculated the odds that anybody there would have been a victim and it was .0001%. It is almost nothing, though not nothing obviously for those who perished or were wounded.
The thing is, terrorism hits at a gut level to create fear to get us to change how we live our lives. I think back to the days of former Pres. Bush again when he had to plead with people to go to the mall, as people were afraid to leave their homes in the aftermath of 9/11.
So it’s important you know the game of these scoundrels. It’s all about creating fear so you change your behavior. I encourage you to not allow it to change your daily life, even if this kind of violence visits our shores. Do not allow it throw you off your course.
While I’m in Europe, if I can make the plans work, I’m going to go to France. It’s my statement that I will not change my life. But each person has to make his or her own decision.