As leaders of many nations agree, the attacks on Paris were an act of war. Not just against France, but against humanity. Many nations have tasted the wrath of Muslim extremism; this will continue until we stop it.
We need to relearn proper responses to acts of war. The Iraq campaign was no example; it was an opportunistic adventure based on lies and different purposes.
Proper response requires that we identify the enemy and his active supporters, pursue them into their homeland and havens, and destroy their ability to continue making war.
Given the hatred in ISIS, I believe the only way to destroy their ability is to kill them, not through criminal cases, but through swift military action. I’ve long teetered on the brink of working to eliminate the death penalty, but this is no time for improving our justice system. It’s a time for self-defense in war.
One might hope and expect that all the threatened nations would unite in a response to this act of war. Russia is acting but, while acting alone, might well see opportunity for empire-building.
What is needed for the U.S. to act? Congress needs to end its long silence and vote on measures directing and authorizing proper action. During their silence, Republicans enjoy the luxury of condemning Mr. Obama for whatever he does or doesn’t do. If he responds without Congressional support, he could be hounded the rest of his life for illegal action. We shouldn’t expect that of any president.
The letter above was published in the Waynesboro, Virginia News Virginian on November 18, 2015.