The sun had not yet begun to creep up over the horizon on Tuesday morning when my alarm clock went off, and I was awakened to the somber voice of a news reporter describing the scenes of carnage in Belgium after a series of Islamic terrorist attacks rocked the city of Brussels just a hours earlier as Belgians were on their way to work.
Initial reports indicate that passengers at the Brussels international airport heard gunfire around 8AM local time, followed almost immediately by an explosion at a passenger check-in desk. Moments later, as passengers panicked and fled the area, a second explosion hit inside the terminal. Within minutes rescue operations had begun. Just over an hour later, at 9:10AM local time, a third explosion hit a train at the Maelbeek Metro subway station, near the European Union headquarters. At least one of the explosions has been determined to be the result of a suicide bomber.
As of this writing, Belgian officials are reporting nearly three dozen dead and an estimated 230 wounded in the deadliest terrorist attacks on Europe since last November, when Islamic terrorists killed 129 and wounded hundreds more in attacks on a Parisian soccer stadium, concert hall, and several popular restaurants at the start of the weekend. Though not yet confirmed by Belgian authorities, there is speculation that Tuesday’s terrorist attacks were in response to the capture of terrorist leader Salah Abdelslam, wanted in connection with the Paris attacks, following a gun battle with authorities this past Friday. The Islamic terrorist group ISIS has issued a statement saying that the attacks against Belgium are the result of the nation’s participation “in the international coalition against the Islamic State,” and promising that “What will be coming is worse”. Though a relatively small nation, Belgium is home to the largest number of European citizens who have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.
In the wake of the attacks in Brussels, authorities have implemented security and safety precautions throughout the city. The airport was evacuated, and all flights canceled until at least noon on Wednesday. All subway stations were shut down for most of the day, reopening in the afternoon with additional security measures. Several of the city’s most popular shopping centers were closed for the day, and possibly beyond. All non-essential personnel were sent home from two of the nation’s nuclear power plants.
Reminiscent of the proclamations following the Paris attacks, the initial statements from Western leaders following the Brussels attacks were as predictable as they were frustrating and insipid. Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, said “This is a cowardly attack, an attack on our values and on our open societies. Terrorism will not defeat democracy and take away our freedoms.” French President Francois Hollande tweeted “I express my solidarity with the Belgian people. Through the Brussels attacks, the whole of Europe has been hit.” Belgium’s Prime Minister, Charles Michel, calling the attacks “a dark time for our country”, stated “More than ever, I call on everybody to show calm, but also solidarity.”
The “leading from behind” leader of the free world took time away from prostrating himself before the lecturing of communist Cuba’s diminutive dictator, Raul Castro, long enough to proclaim that “This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.” A lovely and meaningless platitude, but I suppose we should be grateful that Obama didn’t use the moment as an opportunity to again lecture us in the dangers of global warming and the sins of American imperialism. Though Obama spent less than one minute of his speech from Cuba discussing the Brussels attacks, maybe he put a little more thought into it as he did the wave with the Cuban dictator while watching the Cuban national baseball team.
Showing that not everyone has lost their minds to politically correct orthodoxy, Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz reiterated his position that there should be no attempts to bring in Syrian refugees to the U.S. following these latest Islamic terrorist attacks, and he called for “a more robust response from Barack Obama than just ‘another lecture on Islamophobia,” stating that the U.S. program to vet Muslim refugees is “woefully inadequate”. He also called on Obama to travel to Brussels as a sign of solidarity with our Western allies. Unsurprisingly, Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton called Senator Cruz’s comments “unhelpful”.
Following the Paris attacks, French PM Hollande vowed to be “merciless” in the fight against terrorism, calling those attacks “a horror”, “an act of war”, and attacks “against us all”. A joint statement by leaders of the European Union declared that the EU would “face this threat together with all necessary means and ruthless determination…to defeat extremism, terrorism, and hatred.” Obama likewise promised to do all that was needed to combat ISIS; ironic, since he’d stated only hours earlier that his administration’s efforts had “contained [ISIS]”.
Writing in his book, “The Life of Reason, Vol. 1”, philosopher George Santayana opined “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness…when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it…This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.”
Worse than infants, modern liberal leaders in Western society not only have failed to learn the brutal lessons taught by several decades of relentless Islamic extremism, which openly seeks nothing less than the destruction and subjugation of Western society, they openly rebuke the obvious truths which their eyes reveal. As a result, thousands of their citizens are dead. Rather than declare Islamic extremism as the evil that it is, they wring their hands and engage in a form of twisted group therapy to try and discover why the attacks are our own fault.
Without an awakening, and an undaunted determination to crush the evil of Islamic extremism, thousands more will die at the hands of Islamic terrorists in the years to come. The blood of those victims will be on the hands of those leaders who chose the path of willful ignorance and the appeasement of evil.