November 14, 2015

Ted Cruz worked hard to inform the Fox News audience that they should be very afraid of any Syrian refugee who might be given asylum in this country because "radical Islam."

For the 2016 Republican field, ISIS is the new Commie in the latest color of brown. You could reach back to the 50s and the McCarthy witch hunts, substitute the words ISIS and "radical Islamists" for Communists and it would be the the very same thing.

No network -- not Fox, CNN or MSNBC -- is talking accurately about why ISIS exists or why they're on the attack.

Even with the influx of thousands of foreign fighters, almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers, including the members of its shadowy military and security committees, and the majority of its emirs and princes, according to Iraqis, Syrians and analysts who study the group.

They have brought to the organization the military expertise and some of the agendas of the former Baathists, as well as the smuggling networks developed to avoid sanctions in the 1990s and which now facilitate the Islamic State’s illicit oil trading.

When you hear Ted Cruz claiming the administration "needs to do more" to combat ISIS, or that this administration is responsible for the violence because they won't puff up and blame it on "radical Islam," remember George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and who drove out the Iraqi army. Did they think those fighters would just slink off into the desert, never to be seen again?

As for the refugees, Jesse Berney has it right:

But we should do the opposite. When we see attacks like the horror in Paris, we should open our borders to a flood of refugees, not close them. We should shower those families with generosity. We should make sure they have jobs that fit their skills. We should educate their children. We should provide them health care and whatever social services they need.

The West should do everything in its power to make those fleeing ISIS and extremism everywhere feel welcome and wanted.

We've been at war with terror for nearly a decade and a half now. We killed Osama bin Laden. We replaced hostile governments in Iraq and Afghanistan with client states. We defeated tyrants, yes, but we left chaos in their place.

And nothing we have done has stopped the tide of terrorist recruitment. One eyewitness account from Paris described a shooter in the Bataclan theater as 20 to 25 years old; that would have made him a child on 9/11.

How do we stop the next generation of terrorists from radicalizing? Bombing them sure doesn't seem to be doing the trick. Keeping open the prison at Guantanamo Bay isn't doing it either. Eliminationist rhetoric directed at Muslims isn't going to convince terrorists not to attack us.

To win the War on Terror, to actually defeat the terrorists, we have to dry up their recruiting once and for all. We have a chance of doing that by showing Muslims everywhere – Muslims targeted by terrorists in their homeland – that we stand with them as fellow humans, and that when they face violence and oppression in their homelands, we should welcome them in ours. Even if the Paris terrorists turn out to have come from Syria – a Syrian passport was reportedly found at the scene of one bombing, though it may not have been real, and ISIS has claimed responsibility – we should still open our doors to more Syrians and other Muslims escaping extremism.

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