It’s happened again, this time in Nice, France. Eighty-four people dead, ten of them children. Hundreds wounded, fifty in critical condition. Fifty children gravely injured and in the hospital. Two of the dead are American citizens from Austin, Texas, a short distance from my home.
How much death and destruction is enough? What does it take for us to realize that we are at war with an enemy completely dedicated to the destruction of not just our people, but our society, our culture, our entire way of life? It’s time for us to wake up, and realize that the problem is not guns, trucks, hand grenades, pressure cookers, or any of the other tools that insane people use to perpetrate insane acts in pursuit of insane goals, based on an insane world view. The problem is the insane philosophy that motivates the acts. Banning rifles and “high capacity magazines” would have the same effect on insane violence that limiting the tonnage of trucks on the road or the allowable gas tank size on a truck would have had on the Nice atrocity. None.
Sharia law and democracy are incompatible at the core. We are so very careful to be inclusive and open-minded, and our adversary uses those good intentions against us to kill and maim. We treat each of these events as isolated incidents, closing our eyes to the fact that there is an underlying thread of commonality that links them all.
This is not workplace violence, or violent extremism, or a “man-caused disaster” – these are terrorist acts of war executed by, supported by, or encouraged by our adversary – radical Islam, in the form of ISIS. They have clearly declared war on the Western world, and if you believe their public statements and their actions, they have a particular hate for the United States. They are committed, dedicated, and sincere in their adherence to sharia law, and as a result they believe they are completely justified in killing us. We’re merely infidels, vermin who must be eradicated.
One man and his son. An adult and a child, on vacation in southern France. Americans. They are only a small part of the massive death and destruction in Nice, but it strikes close to home for me. My daughter and almost-son-in-law just returned from a vacation trip to Southern France. How many dead Americans is enough for our national leadership to wake up? What is the number? It doesn’t appear to be one or two, or even forty-eight. Is it one hundred? One thousand? One hundred thousand? Why is the number not one?
The President just made a statement that we stand in solidarity with the people of France, and we will offer them whatever support they need to “bring the perpetrators to justice.” Clearly that’s true; and doesn’t bear a public statement. Of course we stand in solidarity with an ally that we stood beside during the American Revolution almost 240 years ago, at Normandy more than seventy years ago, and every day since then.
But what about Sean and Brodie Copeland? Surely the fact that they died in a foreign land at the hands of an identifiable adversary deserves something more than “solidarity?” Surely their deaths merit more of a response from the most powerful country in the world than to abdicate responsibility to another nation, reeling with their own massive losses?
Our own Department of Homeland Security, as a matter of organizational policy, does not use the terms “sharia” or “jihad” – it might be offensive to someone. The fact that American citizens are being murdered in a worldwide jihad based on the tenets of sharia law is offensive to me, and the fact that our commander-in-chief and the organizations under his leadership excuse and ignore the behavior is also offensive to me.
So what does this have to do with Parkinson’s disease? Only this – enemies abound, and whether the enemy is my own body rebelling against my control, a radical, violent bastardization of a religion that convinces millions that I am worthless except for killing, or my own government that has other things to do than to perform the primary role of government (to protect its people), I won’t just knuckle under. I am less able to act than in the past, but I can still write.
This blog, at its heart, is about fighting back, about defiance, about resistance. It’s also about Parkinson’s disease, but I can’t have one philosophy about a part of my life without it bleeding over into the other parts.
Enough. It’s time to act.