By John Ruberry
For the same reason no one ever
Pointed a telescope at the sun”
The Clash, Red Angel Dragnet.
The last 100 years can safely be placed into the following eras. World War I (1914-1918), Interwar (1918-1939), World War II (1939-1945), the Cold War (1945-1991), and the present epoch, the Age of Islamic Terror (1991-present). Certainly there were Muslim-inspired terror acts before 1991, such as the assassination of Anwar Sadat ten years earlier by an Islamist. But the Cold War was the driving international political force then.
Now Islamic terror and the rest of the world’s response to it is the global impetus of change, for good or for ill.
And what has happened since 1991? Some of the atrocities include the first World Trade Center attack, Osama bin Laden’s two jihad fatwas, al Qaeda’s African embassy bombings and its bombing of the USS Cole, 9/11, the 2002 Bali bombings, the 3/11 bombings in Madrid, Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, the 7/7 bombings in London, Hezbollah’s war with Israel, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Fort Hood, thousands of sectarian murders in Iraq and Pakistan, the Boston Marathon bombings, the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Benghazi, the ascent of the Islamic State in Syria and northern Iraq, and this month’s Charlie Hebdo slaughter in Paris. This rundown reads like a listing of the theaters of conflict during the Second World War.
Sometimes radical Islamists attacks other Muslims, such as last week’s removal from office of the president of Yemen by Iranian-backed Shi’ites.
For the most part world leaders ignore or obfuscate the reality that they are living in the Age of Islamic Terror. President Obama regularly refers to Islamic terror as “violent extremism,” a term that is broad enough to include gang-bang murders on Chicago’s South Side. Great Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, says his nation is not at war with radical Islam, countering it’s “just a huge challenge our society faces.” But the war is there. Just as the sun is there as well–even if we don’t point a telescope at it.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.