As the French were licking their wounds, the question in the title above was posed to me on social media by a dear friend of old, who expressed his fear that the French might invoke NATO’s Article 5 and that, consequently, he might himself be drafted into the Dutch military, like the good old days before the 1990s.
I suppose it’s not an altogether loopy idea, the professional Dutch armed forces now practically being incapable of repelling an army of girl scouts (no offense to the latter, I hasten to add). But then I’m guessing that, democratically speaking, the military draft is the exact opposite of welfare: Once you’ve taken it away, you’ll be tarred, feathered and voted out of office before bringing it back.
It remains to be seen whether the Dutch, French and German crowds presently flooding our Facebook and Twitter feeds with vacuous hashtags and images in support of the Parisian victims are ready to return home from their ‘holiday from history’ and put their own lives on the line in defense of their respective countries. Permit me to remind you that, when the time came after the Charlie Hebdo attacks back in January for Western newspapers to reprint every Mohammed cartoon ever drawn, #JeNeSuisPasCharlie turned out to be the more accurate state of affairs. ‘Support’ and ‘solidarity’ are a safer proposition from behind a keyboard or a smartphone than on the front lines.
But regardless, the question lingers: Now what? The keen reader may have detected a whiff of fatalism in my previous blog. Our best shot at fixing this problem came before allowing millions and millions of Muslims into Western Europe as guest workers and, when all is said and done with this present ‘refugee’ crisis, millions more to flood the continent without invitation. I’m hardly the first one to point out that Western Europe will basically turn into another Israel. You’ll all go on, do your day-to-day things and live in relative wealth, but with a resigned acceptance that the occasional terrorist attack in Amsterdam, London, Paris or Berlin has become the new normal. The best we can hope for is that it won’t turn into an all-out civil war like we saw on the Balkans after Yugoslavia fell apart.
That said, there are a few things that should be done if we’re ever going to make a serious attempt at gaining control of this mess. For one, every European country should immediately start controlling its own borders like every self-respecting nation would. Already people are popping up left and right telling us it’s not going to make a difference. “There are so many dirt roads crossing our border in remote areas,” I saw written somewhere, “that putting up border controls will only hurt us when we go on vacation but not stop the bad guys from coming in.” Here the true priorities of the Europeans come to the surface: Don’t. Touch. My. Vacation! You’d almost hope these pajama boys started saying the same thing about gun control — “only hurts the law-abiding citizens, you know, not the bad guys” — but I’m not holding my breath.
But I digress. Nobody is suggesting that we seal our borders hermetically, but common-sense border controls would make it infinitely more difficult for the bad guys to travel from Syria all the way to Germany through Turkey, Greece, several Balkan states, Hungary and Austria — and, for that matter, for our bad guys to make the same trip in the opposite direction. And while we’re at it, let’s dispatch a multi-national Navy mission to the Mediterranean in order to patrol its waters and give any rubber boat filled with refugees an express return ticket back to Africa.
As for those home-grown radicals heeding ISIS’ call to come and fight in Syria, allow me to quote the venerable Mark Steyn, who always puts these things with more wit and clarity than yours truly:
[R]ather than confiscating passports and preventing these guys from leaving to fight for ISIS, I think we should wait till they get there to cancel their passports: If they prefer to be citizens of Headhackistan, so be it. But, if they attempt to return to Canada (or America, Britain, Australia, Europe), they should be charged with treason.
I would add to this that, if we know in advance they’re leaving, somebody should have a little chat with them before departure and present them with the facts as laid out by Mr. Steyn above.
And while they’re at it, make it clear to these fools that the time of ‘smart bombs’ for Syria is over. Better run for your life when you hear those jets come flying in, because they’re not going to hold back when you and your AK-47 are hiding behind a 70-year-old lady inside a mosque in downtown Aleppo. The smart warfare and restrictive rules of engagement have done nothing but to prolong the conflict, to the detriment of innocent civilians, while at the same time deceiving us into believing that it’s possible to distinguish the terrorists from the civilian population. It’s time for some dumb bombs instead. And when the dust settles, we should make it clear to the handful survivors that we’ll come back with a vengeance if they ever so much as point a toy gun at a citizen of a Western country again.
There you have it. It ain’t pretty, but we’re at war. Not that it’s very likely that the European countries will do any of the things outlined above, because ultimately they lack the stomach for a fight. If I were my Dutch friend, I’d be more worried about being torn to pieces by the Mujahedeen Suicide Brigade in Amsterdam than about having to go over to the Middle East for some good ol’ symmetrical warfare for God and country. No doubt the ‘experts’ on public television will tell you that the chance of the former ever happening is only one in a bazillion and way lower than being killed in a car accident. Even so, the chance of Europe ever growing some balls and sticking up for itself is still only a fraction of that.