Let's take the lead in the war on terror

In a speech in Cleveland this week focusing on the terror incident in Orlando, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized that the gunman had “pledged allegiance to ISIS” and that Americans “have to steel our resolve to respond.”

In addition to fighting ISIS on the battlefield, Clinton argued, “we and our allies must work hand-in-hand to dismantle the networks that move money, and propaganda, and arms and fighters around the world.”

The presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States said “it is long past time for the Saudis, the Qataris and the Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations. And they should stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.”

Needless to say, the comments of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump were more strident.
“We need to respond to this attack on America as one united people – with force, purpose and determination,” he declared, promising as president to “suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies.”

As they say in the West, the chickens are coming home to roost. Or they will be, if Arab nations do not make a concerted effort, and soon, to stifle the forces in our countries that are promoting terrorism in the West.

The attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 led to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and, ultimately, to destabilization of much of the Middle East. Where will this latest attack lead? What can we do to minimize the retaliatory fallout in the gulf region?

Rather than follow the lead of the West, we should take the initiative instead. We should identify and encourage the best qualities of our rich culture and heritage, while pinpointing and stifling the worst.

We need to clean our own houses, diversify our economies to lessen our psychologically crippling dependence on petroleum, demonstrate that we can be responsible members of the international community, and assume our proper role on the world stage.