It is unarguably disturbing when a couple as apparently ordinary as the San Bernardino mass murderers turn out to be secret terrorists. It chillingly reinforces the truism that nobody can tell what’s in another person’s heart.
Certainly not Donald Trump.
His proposal to prevent all Muslims from entering America is obviously hot air. People don’t go around with their religion stamped on their foreheads. And not all Muslims wear traditional clothing all the time.
Anyone might be an ISIS sympathizer for all Trump or anyone else knows.
But many Americans are cheering this absurd proposal. And many are also cheering Ted Cruz’s call to “make the desert sand glow” in retaliation for the terrorist strike.
America is a nation in panic.
And that’s a sure path to losing the war on terror. It’s time to look at the ISIS threat calmly, as the President is doing.
You may not agree with his tactics but, surely, you have to agree that you’re just as dead whether you get shot by a Muslim or anyone else. And if you check the statistics, you’ll find that many more mass murders are being committed in America by non-Muslims than by Muslims.
The courts have ruled that any American has the constitutional right to “bear arms” and Congress has refused to limit that right despite the widespread gun violence plaguing this society.
Obviously, the remedy for gun violence – by Muslims or anyone else – is to keep guns out of the hands of potential murderers.
And, while that’s not an easy task, it’s a lot easier than trying to determine what others think their God wants them to do.
Meanwhile, the campaign to crush ISIS must continue. The evil cult cannot be allowed to spew its terror unrestrained across the globe. And the civilized nations of the world are uniting to take on this difficult task.
Yes, difficult. For the battle is as much a test of ideas as a test of military might.
Western forces could carpet bomb the Mideast until the desert sands glow in the dark – as politicians like Cruz propose – and still fail to defeat ISIS. Hundreds of thousands of western boots on the ground might suppress the threat temporarily but smoldering embers of unquenchable hatred would remain, erupting into renewed force as soon as the western troops depart.
Indeed, the response to a massive military assault could arguably be even more extremist fervor, more jihad.
The best way to combat cults like ISIS is to make our own society so decent, so fair, so rewarding, so manifestly superior to rival concepts, that the rest of the world will want to emulate us – not destroy us.
Sadly, the mindless saber rattling of politicians like Trump and Cruz do lasting damage to that cause.
(Picture shows San Bernardino killers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik arriving in the US.)