“Where are the geniuses who will figure out how to fight a hidden yet determined international band of beasts who are committed to death…?”

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the site of a car bomb attack at a commercial area in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad on July 3, 2016. Hadi Mizban, AP

An Iraqi man looks for victims at the site of a car bomb attack at a commercial area in the Karada neighborhood of Baghdad on July 3, 2016. Hadi Mizban, AP

Elizabeth Scalia asks the question prophetically in the wake of more death and destruction being wrought by pure evil:

In her column this week, Peggy Noonan has written about an apparent dearth of genius, an inability for anyone in power to bring any sort of creative, constructive thinking to bear on the myriad problems and true evils that are before us, threatening every nation, and every people. She says we are missing the “genius cluster” that has always arisen — “Providentially,” her friend suggests — when the world has needed it to.

Where are the geniuses who will figure out how to fight a hidden yet determined international band of beasts who are committed to death — and all too willing to “be jihad in-place” — bringing the ISIS principles to local places of business and coming to a playground near you?

What we are seeing in ISIS is what we have seen before in the death-serving ideologies of the 20th centuries; totalitarian extremism never loses its desire to destroy all that does not conform. The illness is always the same. What has changed, though, is the antibody with which the West has previously addressed this killer virus. Like the culture itself, the antibody has shifted; it no longer contains one essential component necessary to fight the evil that instigates human savagery on this level, that of a faith.

There are no “genius clusters” arising to deal with ISIS, because there are no geniuses in leadership willing to look into the medicine bag and say “we have run out of faith in anything beyond our own selves, our court systems and bureaucracies…”

Consider that when the Nazis were barreling through Europe, the majority of the western world professed – with no fear of ridicule or of giving insult, anywhere – a belief in something greater than itself. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were conventionally religious men of their times, not overly observant. But they were imbued with enough faith to recognize that some occasions called for more than rhetoric; some things called for enough humility to make a prayer of supplication, one calling on the Deity to guide, to bless, to sustain – to, as Lincoln said, have “firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.”

Roosevelt led the nation in prayer on D-Day. In Britain, Churchill openly spoke of “a miracle of deliverance”: “A guiding hand interfered to make sure the allied forces were not annihilated at Dunkirk.”

Our post-Christian, post-faith Western leadership is no longer capable of making public prayer, or willing to credit heaven with anything but twinkling stars. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was told by his own government “we don’t do God” and President Obama, who once defined the notion of “sin” as being “out of alignment with my values” has not yet, in nearly 8 years, attempted to lead a nation in prayer.

This matters in the face of ISIS, especially in its revelation that its attempts to acquire power through fear are indiscriminate: they are murdering of all peoples, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or agnostic.

If this is true, one might ask, then why especially should the West reacquaint itself with the language of faith and supernaturalism?

The answer is simple: because what ISIS is doing is a true evil.

The entire piece should be read, inwardly digested and passed on, particularly today when this great country celebrates freedom, a freedom absent the tethering and mooring of the guiding hand of God that will not last long.

Think on these things but more than that, pray… pray as Ms. Scalia has asked, for a “genius cluster” to rise, one that will not overlook the helping Hand of Heaven.

Amen.

Originally published at Brutally Honest.

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  • Brett Buck

    We have known how and had the means to destroy the murdering lunatics all along. What is lacking is the will and courage to do so. In this case, it’s particularly easy because they already want to die. We don’t because, inexplicably, the random drug-infused musings of various elderly unrepentant hippies have become popular and hold sway,

    Drugs and moral relativism to not lead to “genius clusters”, it leads to dull-witted suicidal behavior. and 30+ years of hand-wringing and self-recriminations, and most importantly, no effective action.

    • You disagree with Scalia’s prophetic piece?

  • Commander_Chico

    The USA was under regular attack by a group of Sunni Salafi Islamists led and funded by Saudis through the 1990s until 9/11.

    After 9/11, Bush hid the real facts about Saudi support which are now coming out, and instead peddled a bunch of BS about Iraq. The rise of ISIS from al Zarqawi on followed. All funded from Saudi Arabia.

    Bush should be hung as a goddamned traitor for hiding the truth about the Saudis and pursuing an agenda pushed by a foreign country, Israel.

  • jim_m

    It’s not about genius. Nor is it about faith, although faith does seem to coincide with what is needed.

    What is needed is people who still believe in an objective truth. We are ruled by relativists that cannot make a value judgement and who do not believe that there are any differences in the worth of one society vs another. 0bama and the left cannot even utter the phrase “radical islam”. They do not believe that islamic terror has anything to do with islam despite the well documented connections between the two.

    When you cannot name the enemy you cannot defeat them.

    When you cannot draw a meaningful distinction between yourself and your enemy then you cannot fight them. That is the problem with the western world. Yes, the belief in objective truth does coincide with faith but it is not necessarily connected. There are plenty of moral relativists in Christianity and even in the Catholic Church. There are moral objectivists who are not Christian.

    The west is lost because the west has given itself to the belief that truth is relative and thus it has no argument against islamic terrorism at all. It cannot say that terrorism is wrong because it lacks the philosophical underpinnings to make such a distinction. It cannot say that terrorism is evil because it denies the existence of evil.

    • Commander_Chico

      That is five paragraphs of cant in which you think you are cute by not capitalizing proper nouns. The threat is from a relatively small group of Salafists funded by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Arabs.

      Yesterday, 160+ Muslims were killed in an attack of Salafists against Shia, whom they regard as heretics.

      The corruption of business interests and foreign influence have prevented naming and targeting the real enemy.

      That traitor Bush hid the truth about real Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers.

      • jim_m

        Yes, the threat is from radical islamists. But they get sympathy from hundreds of millions of other muslims. The problem the west has is a lack of ability to confront the problem. The left does not have the mental tools to even begin to address the problem.

        • Commander_Chico

          Have you ever been to a Muslim country? Any of them?

          • jim_m

            That was non responsive.

          • Commander_Chico

            I take that as a “no, none.”

            You made a statement of fact. What is the basis of your opinion that “hundreds of millions” of Muslims support ISIS?

            Talk about “lack of ability, lack of tools.” You know nothing, a Bushbot.

          • jim_m

            Pew has done several pols of the muslim world. I can’t help if you are ignorant of world events. You are an ignorant tool. Usually a tool of fascists but mostly just a tool.

          • Commander_Chico

            Cite one of them that supports your thesis.

            I notice you cannot confront the treason of your god, Bush.

          • jim_m
          • Commander_Chico

            That poll shows the opposite of what you claimed – “hundreds of millions” sympathize with ISIS.

          • jim_m

            Then you didn’t read it. With hundreds of millions supporting Sharia they certainly do sympathize with ISIS

          • Commander_Chico

            “Sharia” just means “God’s law.” There is no one determination or agreement of what it means. Many Muslims believe “sharia” allows them to drink and fornicate.

            Your lack of experience and knowledge is fatal to your theses. Your haven’t even been to Egypt, Malaysia or Morocco!

          • jim_m

            There are over 1.6 B muslims. I only need 7% to support ISIS for my thesis to be correct. Do the fucking math.

          • Commander_Chico

            ok, but complete speculation.

            The fact is that Bush covered up and assisted the rise of this problem. I used to think he was just a fuck-up, but since revelations about Saudi support for 9/11 hijackers have come out, a traitor!

          • jim_m

            Yes, yes, we know that you believe that Bush was the mastermind behind 9/11. What a dumbass you are.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            No, he was just ill-informed and came to an erroneous decision. This is what happens when you examine a problem with a preconceived notion, objectivity goes out the window.

          • Arnaud Amalric already identified the solution.

  • G. K. Chesterton’s hymn for the 4th of July:

    O God of earth and altar,
    Bow down and hear our cry,
    Our earthly rulers falter,
    Our people drift and die;
    The walls of gold entomb us,
    The swords of scorn divide,
    Take not thy thunder from us,
    But take away our pride.
    From all that terror teaches,
    From lies of tongue and pen,
    From all the easy speeches
    That comfort cruel men,
    From sale and profanation
    Of honour and the sword,
    From sleep and from damnation,
    Deliver us, good Lord.

    Tie in a living tether
    The prince and priest and thrall,
    Bind all our lives together,
    Smite us and save us all;
    In ire and exultation
    Aflame with faith, and free,
    Lift up a living nation,
    A single sword to thee.

  • Paul Hooson

    More than 99.9% of the violence from ISIS has been directed towards more moderate and peaceful Muslims. Peaceful Muslim leadership seems to have zero success reasoning with this extremist sect of their faith bent on violence against the majority of Muslims.

    • Vagabond661

      86.7% of statistics are made up on the spot.

      • Paul Hooson

        ISIS has targeted some Christian and Jewish victims, but other more peaceful Muslims have been the huge majority of their victims. While moderate Muslims are celebrating their faith with fasting and prayer, ISIS has only abused this holy time of year for other Muslim faithful with violence over the last few days against other Muslims.

        • jim_m

          Idiot. ISIS targets those in the middle east, who actually live in the Middle East. There are few Christians and Jews in either Syria or Iraq, therefore the majority of victims are muslim. This does not mean that they do not have support from muslims as they are traveling fro around the world to join in the fighting.

          • jim_m

            Oh, and you will be glad to note that islamic terrorists persist in their habit of separating muslims from nonmuslims during terrorist events so they can make sure they only kill the nonmuslims as they did in the recent attack in Dhaka.

          • Paul Hooson

            As a Jew, I wouldn’t expect to be very popular with ISIS. And, my Christian brothers would also be at great risk. But, you seriously do not believe that moderate Muslims celebrating their holy month have not been chosen to be victims of ISIS extremism over the last four days because of their moderate practice of their faith?

          • jim_m

            But wait… You were just saying that their chief targets were other muslims, implying that they were not concerned with Jews.

        • Vagabond661

          So you are saying less than 99,9%? Or 99.9% for a certain day in a certain region?

          • Paul Hooson

            That’s a figure of speech and exact numbers of any sort from me. I’m not sure if any reliable statistics exist on ISIS violence. Global Research’s best estimates are that in the last five years that between 82 to 97% of the victims have been other Muslims, which are pretty fluid numbers.

          • Vagabond661

            So San Bernardino and Orlando are skewing the numbers? Or are we just talking overseas?

            You would think with that much violence against Muslims, they would rise up end masse and squash ISIS.

          • Paul Hooson

            I know that ISIS deaths in Iraq alone are around 36,000, then add in another 37,000 more dead between Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and other mostly Muslim nations compared less than 100 dead in the U.S. by the hand of ISIS inspired domestic terrorists or simply screwballs influenced by ISIS.

          • Vagabond661

            I see domestic terrorism as someone who is born here. If you come here from another country to kill people, that’s pretty much international terrorism, ISIS inspired apologist or otherwise.

            To think that ISIS has not got some of its own through this porous border situation, is burying your head in the sand….which they will gladly do for you. The RIT or flew the planes in the WTC were not “radicalized” here.

          • Paul Hooson

            While the 9/11 terrorists were foreign-born, Omar Mateen, was of course born in New Hyde Park, New York and not foreign-born.

          • Vagabond661

            So?

          • Paul Hooson

            Biblical plagues such as the angel of death taking out the first born like Omar Mateen, the son of immigrants, might well have spared the Orlando tragedy. But, short of Biblical plagues, it is very difficult to prevent American-born citizens such as Omar Mateen for engaging in mayhem. The FBI did investigate him, but where that should have gone should be a serious matter for the FBI to figure for similar questionable persons.I don’t have the answers my friend. But, I do know that Israel takes security issues far more seriously we do, yet Israel still has a great deal of civil liberty freedoms.

          • Vagabond661

            What the hell are you talking about? Angel of death? Biblical plagues?!?

            The point of this post was to take on ISIS. Fight them where they are at. Here or overseas. Exterminate. Eradicate. Eliminate.

            I don’t care if they are killing more Muslims, Buddhists, or cartoon characters, they need to be destroyed. And the current buttheads in Washington and the apologist woman running for President have no clue how to take the war to them. That’s why ISIS has been taking the war to us.

            Secure the damn borders! Period. ZERO IMMIGRATION!!!!! No Muslims. No Canadians. No Frenchmen in bicycle pants. I don’t care who they are , they don’t get in. European countries are waking up to it.

          • Paul Hooson

            I’m joking about how does homeland security and law enforcement deal with the first born American citizen sons of immigrants such as Omar Mateen. Mateen was born here and a legal citizen, where outside of law enforcement not dropping the ball here, only a Biblical plague such as the Angel of death striking down this first born might have succeeded. That is how frustrating this all is. I share your frustration with terrorism. Everyday I check the news from Israel to see how many Americans living in Israel are victims of Palestinian knife attacks, paid $9000 by Iran to kill Israelis.

          • Vagabond661

            FBI dropped the ball because of the whiny left who don’t think we should profile. The irony is some of whiny left who don’t think we should profile were probably gunned down in Orlando. Chickens roosted.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            I have used the analogy before, that the Mafia and countless other gangs have run neighborhoods despite being a small minority of the population. A small group of armed people that are prepared to utilize violence can rule large swaths of territory.

            ISIS is comprised of just such individuals, but worse because they do not fear, but rather embrace, death. Perhaps someday the Shia countries that surround them will decide to launch a full scale offensive, but it can’t be the United States going in alone. Of course then you have ceded much of the territory to Iran.

            Ah, too bad there is not a largely secular, iron-fisted ruler in Iraq who could deal with situations like this one.

          • Vagabond661

            I think the US could easily go it alone. The government doesn’t have the balls.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            Sure, we could play military Whack-A-Mole for years to come, while spending money and losing lives. Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya; who’s next?

          • Vagabond661

            I am not talking about fighting a war like a Democrat.

          • Paul Hooson

            The latest ruler of Iraq is seen as very positive, but has surely not had the success if Saddam Hussein keeping order there.

        • Commander_Chico

          They are mostly killing Shia as heretics.

  • pennywit

    I read Ms. Scalia’s article, and I’m unconvinced. Religious belief isn’t just belief in the divine — i.e., some force greater than humans. It’s also a cultural identifier, creating “us” — the good guys — and “not us” — everyone else. When you decide that professing a particular religion is the prime cultural identifier, you implicitly classify Americans of other faiths, or of no faiths at all, as “not us.”

    I think this stance also risks alienating individuals and states that might be useful allies in the war with ISIS, and it risks turning the conflict into exactly what ISIS wants: a holy war between Christians and Muslims.

    • jim_m

      This is why I posed it as a belief in objective truth. The ability to say what is right and what is wrong is what our leadership lacks. They are too interested in a double standard where whatever they do is right and whatever their political opponents do is wrong. This is why they cannot oppose radical islam. They simply cannot bring themselves to say that it is wrong.

      • pennywit

        I think our issues combating ISIS are a bit more prosaic. I think the main issue is simple fatigue. We’ve been functioning in a high-alert state for about fifteen years now. It’s politically exhausting, and it saps the ability to be roused (again) to the fight. Not to mention that we got our noses bloody in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          In addition to the reasons you stated is the fact that ISIS is now a cyber-terror entity. We can continue to play Whack-A-Mole in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc., but unless we are able to temper the influence of their web presence and social media platforms, we are spinning our wheels.

          I don’t think anyone knows how to accomplish the task of eliminating something that has no known location or person behind it as this is, in reality, a type of “warfare” that no one has had to combat before.

          The hacker group, Anonymous, has probably had more success than any one country and it will take that type of initiative.

          The fallacy of “bombing the crap out of them” is flawed and is nothing more than empty rhetoric. Supporting that strategy assumes that we know where they are and are simply not willing to pull the trigger.

          What could change? Well, now that they have targeted and angered half the world, the rules may change. They live in cities among the population. They may only comprise 10% of the population, but essentially run these cities (yes, like the Mafia used to run neighborhoods in New York when they were only a small component of the population) and that provides them with a human shield. At some point, one or more countries may just say “enough” and simply decide that innocents will die and decide to vaporize entire cities. Is it controlled genocide? Perhaps. Will it completely eliminate the problem? Probably not.

          ISIS has become a convenient excuse for individuals who are simply enthralled with violence, but prefer to be viewed as “warriors.”

          The guy in Orlando may have aligned himself with ISIS for no other reason than to justify his act in some twisted manner, while diminishing the fact that it may have also been motivated by his desire to not be viewed as gay. Perhaps it was simply a way to allow his Father to claim his son was not gay. Oddly, in his culture, his son acting on behalf of ISIS is not as “bad” as being openly gay.

          ISIS has become an incredible outlet for disaffected, unhappy, socially inept individuals who want to strike out at the world, but feel they are part of something bigger. Yeah, it may take a genius or geniuses to come up with ideas to solve this monumental problem. There is no historical precedent for fighting an enemy that is essentially invisible.

          • jim_m

            Nobody here has said to “bomb the crap” out of anyone so your argument there is pure bullshit.

            I think you are a fool to think that ISIS is an excuse for anyone. This is an ideology of hate. It is preached from mosques across out country with impunity. People are exhorted to kill the infidel. Are they led by ISIS? Certainly not. Do they see ISIS as an inspiration and as setting an example to follow? Absolutely.

            Proclaiming allegiance to ISIS is symbolic only in that they are demonstrating a desire to connect their actions with a greater cause.

            You are correct that we need to attach their web presence as well as their physical presence. But 0bama is not willing to do either. He is all half measures. He is about show and not action. He is about “drawing a red line” and then cowardly backing away when his bluff is called.

            0bama can never win a war. He won’t fight it. He doesn’t believe that America deserves to win a war. Never has.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            I am referring to GOP candidates like Trump who says he is going to bomb the crap out of them (because apparently he know their secret location) and Cruz who is going to turn it into glass or something.

            There is only one way to win this war and that is to kill every man, woman and child in the region. Are the vast majority of them innocent bystanders and, in reality, victims of ISIS? Sure, but since ISIS does not wear uniforms and hides among the civilian population, there is no method other than going Dresden on them. Will the United States or other countries come to this decision? Not yet, but since ISIS has targeted virtually every region of the world, well, who knows?

            Otherwise, calls for some escalation are nothing but rhetoric unless commiting thousands of ground troops for door to door searches is an option. Who besides the U.S. is going to do that?

          • jim_m

            Wrong. Military occupation would win the war. We had that. 0bama gave it up for ideological reasons.

          • Commander_Chico

            Profound ignorance. Iraqis wanted Americans out, they would not agree to continued occupation after massacres like Nisoor Square. Bush agreed to end occupation in Dec 2011.

            American people wanted out, too.

          • jim_m

            Irrelevant to what it would take to win the fucking war. You are a fucking coward who wants to fight a war based on public polling. You aren’t interested in what it takes to win. That is how you lose a war. You always wanted the US to lose.

            The only way to defeat the islamists is to occupy them and keep them down. If you cannot occupy then you need to leave behind a government that will be able to do that. 0bama turned his back on Iraq and undermined their elected government just as he undermined democracy in Egypt. He has done more to promote islamic fascism than any non-muslim world leader.

          • Commander_Chico

            How did Obama undermine democracy in Egypt?

          • jim_m

            By supporting the muslim brotherhood, an organization know to supoprt islamic fascism. As soon as they were in power they started down the road to fascism. They were deposed by the military in short order.

          • Commander_Chico

            I figured you would say something dumb like that. The Muslim Brotherhood was the elected government, President Morsi. He is the only Egyptian president elected in free elections. There was ten times more press and political freedom under him than under Mubarak and especially now under that idiot Sisi who is a brutal dictator.

            Gulf monarcharies esp Saudi provided $$$ to Tamarod movement and military to overthrow Morsi. Because did not want an example of elected Muslim government.

          • jim_m

            HE was elected in expedited elections that were calculated to prevent the democratic opposition from forming. You know this. You are an apologist for islamism. As usual. There are precious few times when you have not back radical islam here.

        • jim_m

          0bama cannot even say the words “radical islam”. He refuses to name the problem. He refuses to face reality. You don’t get tired of confronting that which you never confront.

  • mikegiles

    The “geniuses” are busy making up excuses for the deaths cult, including blaming it on the West for fighting back against the savages.

    • Commander_Chico

      Ya, if we keep invading and bombing their countries, they will stop hating us.

      • mikegiles

        You seem to be laboring from the delusion that it’s something we did which causes them to hate us as opposed to their ignorant religion. I see you’re another one of those A-Holes who holds the US as responsible for everything some 7th century savage does.

        • Commander_Chico

          I see you as someone who does not know history of western intervention in ME.

          • mikegiles

            Whereas you don’t seem to know any history earlier than the modern era. Islam has been attacking the West since it’s inception. The area we now think of as the Islamic Middle East was the traditional heart of Greco-Roman civilization and Christendom.