Another coordinated terror attack, this time in Brussels

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People walk away from the Brussels international airport Tuesday after explosions rocked the facility, part of a coordinated terror attack. (AP)

NOTE: This is an updated, expanded version of a blog post initially published this morning.

La Belle Equipe, the last of the cafes and bars destroyed in the Paris terrorist attacks in November to reopen its doors, finally did so Monday. Nineteen people had been killed on the cafe’s premises, but Parisians flocked to its reopening as a way to celebrate victory over fear and those who would inflict it.

The next morning, though, terrorists struck again, this time in Brussels, some 200 miles away. Three explosions — at the airport and on the subway — killed more than 30 people. ISIS, the same Islamic terror group that had perpetrated the Paris attacks four months earlier, killing 130 innocent people, claimed responsibility for the Belgium attack as well.

In the wake of the attacks, European leaders and President Obama quickly stressed their unity against a common enemy, a very different message than that communicated a day earlier by Donald Trump. In a meeting with the Washington Post editorial board, the GOP frontrunner had argued that the United States needs to “rethink” its commitment to NATO, suggesting it is no longer essential to U.S. interests.

That would be a substantial mistake, as the terror attacks demonstrated. Over the past year, the United States and its allies in NATO and in the Persian Gulf have made significant progress in the military battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The effort has significantly reduced the amount of territory held by ISIS in its so-called “caliphate,” the flow of recruits into the region has been largely shut down, and as financing gets tighter and their territory shrinks, ISIS fighters are reportedly abandoning the cause.

Clearly, the group does retain the ability to strike well outside its zone of control, taking advantage of the chaos that wracks the Middle East. But the airstrikes that continue to weaken ISIS’ command structure are possible only because they are being launched from U.S. bases in NATO countries such as Turkey and Italy. Any suggestion that the United States might withdraw from the fight, leaving Europe to fend for itself in this crisis, would be remarkably irresponsible and counterproductive.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are defeating this enemy in Iraq and Syria,” CENTCOM commander Gen. Lloyd Austin testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month. “We are pressuring (ISIS) on more fronts than at any other point in time since he marched into Mosul some 18 months ago. And we’re doing so by degrading the enemy’s military capability, by taking back territory, by diminishing his economic resources and by removing his senior leadership from the battlefield.”

But as Austin also warned, “military success will be lasting only if corresponding political progress is achieved in both Iraq and Syria.”

That ought to sound familiar. U.S. military leaders have issued some variation of that statement for almost 15 years now, from the initial invasion of Iraq through the surge and its aftermath, warning that military action alone cannot calm the chaos from which such threats emerge. And if overwhelming military force cannot solve it; nor can withdrawing into a self-protective shell, as if pretending the world cannot reach us.

As French President Francois Hollande noted Tuesday, this is a war, and “this war will be long.”

 

Reader Comments 0

1930 comments
Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

The irony is that ByteMe is a black man, who may be a sexist one.  / 

Oh dear, the identity card has been drawn.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Just to be absolutely clear, the full context of my thinking below, regarding ByteMe  (and rimsky):


To VC:


"I know my own flaws.  I know Obama's flaws.  I know Hillary's flaws.  I do not have a need to speak them on a blog in which my objective is to try to win votes for Hillary. . .



I am not impressed with those who think they have to show how 'aware' they are by never taking sides.  What a cliche.  What shallowness.  What 'groupie' thinking.


How about showing the courage of breaking a few given norms, at times?  Now, that would impress me.  Not what you, Byte Me, and others write. . . .


Once more, I don't give a rat's a-s about the given norms of others.  Jim Crow taught me that, very well!


The irony is that ByteMe is a black man, who may be a sexist one."

rimsky
rimsky

A proper negotiation would have had the hostages released prior to the nuke negotiations./////

Obama should have hired Mr. Reb instead of Kerry for SOS.  He would teach them Moooslims a lesson.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@DownInAlbany 

The Obama administration has spent three years engaged in secret talks with Iran that resulted in the payment of nearly $2 billion in taxpayer funds to the Islamic Republic   / 

Do you know how much has gone to prop up the unstable regime in Ukraine? 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

The Obama administration has spent three years engaged in secret talks with Iran that resulted in the payment of nearly $2 billion in taxpayer funds to the Islamic Republic, with more payouts likely to come in the future, according to a recent letter issued by the State Department and obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration’s disclosure came in response to an inquiry launched in January by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), who was seeking further information about the Obama administration’s payment of $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds to Iran, which many viewed as a “ransom payment” for Iran’s release that month of several U.S. hostages.  THE most transparent administration evah at it, AGAIN.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@DownInAlbany you gotta be kidding?

I thought the 1.5 billion talked about was Iranian funds that were being held back in banks from them withdrawing.

If Obama gave taxpayer money to Iran he should be impeached.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@JohnnyReb @DownInAlbany

if you're going to take Mike Pompeo 's word for it on a) the dollar figure and b) the source, you should have even more therapy than is already recommended for your condition.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany 

THE most transparent administration evah at it, AGAIN.

Tell ya what--work out some hostage release or three sometime and then get back to us about "transparency"

ByteMe
ByteMe

@DownInAlbany Define "taxpayer funds".  And do you not suspect that "obtained exclusively by" a single nutrag isn't codeword for "gotcha now, sucka!"

ByteMe
ByteMe

@JohnnyReb You're accepting the source as being true without proper vetting.  You are part of the problem.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Visual_Cortex @DownInAlbany what a load of crock.

A proper negotiation would have had the hostages released prior to the nuke negotiations.

Now if the report is true, he paid to get them released.

What an idiot.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

hey, before the new sheets?

Yesterday I just happened upon rather inconvenient murder rate stats for a bunch of Muslim-majority countries versus a bunch of Christian-majority ones. I kinda left that alone and maybe I should save it for another day, but what better time than after another well-publicized attack by some Muslim nutters?

I get that big, flamboyant civilian take-outs like this one will get attention. And I suppose they should. They should get us thinking about these nasty gangs (and really, that's what they are, just very well organized ones) and what makes them both attractive to certain sorts of people and what makes other people perhaps unwilling to help authorities in their efforts to stop them.

What they shouldn't do, though, is allow us to imagine faith in Islam somehow hard-wires you to embrace violence. Particularly when the evidence to the contrary is so incredibly obvious.


St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

@Visual_Cortex if there is not new sheets, I will go rogue like a Paul Weller-lovin hippie  yesterday, except I will post instructional videos on how to be a Native. After you get your merit badge, I will swear (most of) you in.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@St Simons he-ne-ha @Visual_Cortex

Looks like the usual suspects would rather complain about EYE-ran gittin our Taxpair Dollerz than consider maybe they've been wrong about the bloodthirsty moooooooooooslumbz.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

whoops, now it looks like a "media are" kinda post about the Twunt.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

looks like there are about to be poll-ish sheetz, unless the blog is simply burping.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Visual_Cortex I thought it was something, too.  until it turned out to never be anything.

breckenridge
breckenridge

3-15: Five people shot and wounded outside an Atlanta nightclub.

3-19: Two killed, two wounded in a drive-by shooting in Wetumpka, Alabama.

3-19: One killed, four wounded in a shooting at a spring break party in Plantation, Florida.

3-21:  Four boys, ages 12 to 16, shot and wounded at a walk-up shooting in Chicago.


It's just another day.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Nick_Danger @breckenridge 

"Ma'am, I regret to inform you that your son was shot and killed. But he wasn't killed by a Muslim terrorist, and I know that makes you feel much better."

ByteMe
ByteMe

This got buried when I went away to work, so I gotta bring it up again (sorry):


MES: The irony is that ByteMe is a black man.


Well, that's a surprise!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@ByteMe 


Byte Me, you left off the last part of my sentence.  It was:  "who may be a sexist one."


To wit, "The irony is that ByteMe is a black man, who may be a sexist one."

TBS
TBS

I get concert tickets and trips

Obama phones are so yesterday

You need to be on the real freebie plan

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@ByteMe "Well, that's a surprise!"

Just think of all the bennies you have been missing out on.

TBS
TBS

Now you see the power of deep nuanced thinking

You don't know you are Black but enlightened people can see that you are Black

ByteMe
ByteMe

@TBS So you're saying I'm failing at this too??!?


TBS
TBS

Just trying to say that you need to make sure you get all that is coming to you from Uncle Sam

Don't let him get away with just an ebt card and phone

Go big

Being Black is going to be a plus.

You might get the weekly wine and lobster delivery