After months of carnage committed by Muslim extremists, there is finally some blowback. The decision by President Obama to provide military and humanitarian aid comes late, but it is never too late to save innocent lives. Children are being beheaded, entire villages are being ransacked, Christian shrines are being destroyed—all of this and more by those who claim to have God on their side.
Pope Francis pointedly condemned these actions, saying, “One cannot generate hatred in God’s name. One cannot make war in God’s name.” We expect anti-religious regimes to plunder the innocent without a trace of remorse—that is the legacy of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot—but when genocide is committed in the name of God, it is too much to bear. This explains why Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, endorsed the U.S. response. “This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State militants] could not be stopped.”
There are other good signs, as well. The U.S. response is allowing the Kurds, our only friends in the region, save for the Israelis, to fight back and recapture towns lost to the fanatics. The head of the Arab League has condemned the jihadists for their “crimes against humanity.” Egypt has declared war on the Muslim Brotherhood. And Israel is finding that these Muslim barbarians are such a threat to the entire region that even its old foes are laying low, refusing to condemn the right of Jews to defend themselves against Hamas.
The world has not seen a threat like this to destabilize the democracies in many years. Anything less than an all-out effort to stop these extremists is bound to fail. We have the resources to win—there cannot be two winners in war—the question is whether we have the resolve.