David Fisher’s magnificent book, A Summer Bright and Terrible, begins with the sentence, “In England the summer of 1940 was the sunniest, driest, most glorious summer in living memory.” But in that summer — the summer of the Battle of Britain — the only things that stood between the death and survival of European civilization were the few fighter pilots of the Royal Air Force and the personal courage of Winston Churchill.
Today there is no Churchill and the battle for civilization can’t be won in the skies over England. The new enemy of European civilization, Islamism and the Islamic terrorism it propels, are as great a threat as that posed 76 years ago by Nazism.
This is Europe’s summer of terror. There have been seven terrorist attacks since June. In France alone, there have been fourteen Islamic terrorist attacks in the past two years killing at least two hundred and forty people. The last one, so far, was the 26 July attack in which two ISIS terrorists killed an 85-year-old priest near Rouen, France.
In Germany, the attacks are increasing and the Germans are hell-bent on ignoring the attackers’ obvious motivations. In late July when a gunman killed nine near a shopping mall in Munich, shouting the Muslim battle cry “Allahu Akbar,” German authorities claimed not to know the motivation of the attacker, a German-Iranian.
When Manuel Valls, the French PM, said that France was just going to have to live with terrorism he seemed to be speaking for the entire continent and Britain as well.
Hanging over Europe is the specter of Turkish President Erdogan’s accusation that the EU has breached his agreement with them on immigration. Erdogan’s accusation carries with it the threat that the million or more “Syrian” refugees harbored in Turkey — from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and other nations, not just Syria — could be pushed northwest into Europe at any time.
Erdogan continues to enlarge his enmity toward the U.S. and Europe. Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel said that a number of the U.S. military’s closest allies among the Turkish military have been thrown in jail following the failed coup. Turkey no longer even pretends to be our ally.
European governments are entirely unable to respond to the terrorist threat, frozen in incompetence by their own socialist-liberal ideology. The NATO nations, most of which are also members of the European Union, can’t even develop individual approaches to defeating the threat far less a joint policy.
Though some European nations are trying to control their borders, Germany’s Angela Merkel — having let almost one million refugees into Germany over the past two years — has driven thousands of Germans into the street to protest her insistence on maintaining her open border policy. She said that though Europe was being ravaged by terrorism, her government would continue to welcome Islamic refugees. Merkel said she wanted a better early-warning system to spot possible terrorists among the refugees but suggested no way to do it.
In fact, there can’t be one while borders remain open. When Muhammad Riyad, an ISIS terrorist, attacked people on a German train in mid-July, police discovered that the name on his asylum application was Riaz Khan Ahmadzai. German authorities conceded that they couldn’t determine his real name or even his nationality.
To establish Merkel’s early warning system is impossible in Germany, France, Britain, and the U.S. Names are made up and passports are counterfeited. President Obama is pushing to admit at least ten thousand of them this year.
Just a few days ago Chris Phillips, the former head of Britain’s National Counter Terrorism Security Office, said that the British couldn’t monitor the two thousand-plus terror suspects within the UK. The French and German governments have probably ten times the number of Islamic terror suspects, far beyond their ability to monitor even a majority of them. The obstacles are not just budgetary: political correctness prohibits them from monitoring the suspects.
Even among the refugees refused asylum in Germany, of about three thousand refused last year only about 130 were deported. European human rights law prohibits them, as it has prohibited Britain, from deporting people who are suspected of terrorist activities to places such as Syria where they might suffer torture or abuse.
European citizens are increasingly angry with their elites’ inaction. Some governments, such as Merkel’s and Hollande’s in France, may soon be booted out in elections. Hollande is reportedly so depressed by his lack of support he may not even run.
It’s easy to understand the anger. An Italian newspaper reported that on June 26, at a memorial for the victims of the June 22 Munich shooting, Muslims shouted “Allahu Akbar,” resulting in a shouting match with mourners. The German press ignored the incident.
Islamic terror attacks will continue in Europe and more innocent people will die. Even if Merkel’s and Hollande’s governments fall, Europe will remain incapable of dealing with its epidemic of Islamic terrorism because there is no national will among the EU members to do so. Democracy in those nations is doomed to fail if that will cannot be summoned and the EU elite replaced by leaders capable of dealing with EU laws that exacerbate the threat of terrorism and the immigration that comes within it.
For the Europeans, and for us, the problem is the same and it is not only new immigrants who may already be terrorists. There were millions of Muslims in Europe long before the massive influx of 2014-2015. As long as many Muslims reject assimilation into the Western societies they are born in or emigrate to, attacks like the Orlando nightclub massacre and the Nice truck rampage will continue.
Europe’s summer of terror foreshadows what will probably happen here more and more often. Terrorism knows no season and no borders, only murder.
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