What We Learned From the Events in France: The Pen Is Only Mightier Than the Sword When the Pen Has a Gun

What We Learned From the
Events in France: The Pen Is Only Mightier Than the Sword When the Pen Has a


Leonard Zwelling

         We Americans just love this adage in support of our First
Amendment rights. “The pen is mightier than the sword,” initially attributed to
Edward Bulwer-Lytton in an
1839 play. Today this is no longer true and we better wake up to that fact. The
French have according to the headline in the NY Times: “In New Era of
Terrorism, Voice From Yemen Echoes As France Declares ‘War’.”

         All the clever
cartoons in European newspapers of the past few days will not bring back the 12
dead at Charlie Hebdo nor any of the others killed last week in and around
Paris. Hell, the entire US military couldn’t put a dent in Al Qaeda (oh, we
degraded them? Really? Then who shot up Paris and why are the lines at the
airport getting longer? Must be VICTORY!) let alone ISIS despite the deaths of
Americans on our own soil, on the Cole and elsewhere.

I am not advocating for violence.
Wait a minute! Yes, I am.

         The United States,
with or without its European allies, ought to formally declare war against the
forces of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and any of the other radical forces trying
to coopt a peaceful religion with violence for this is a World War and we may
as well get on with it. Appeasement didn’t work in Munich in 1938 and it won’t
work here. These guys are Nazis that even Mel Brooks couldn’t make funny. Thus
far, they are a less-efficient killing machine than the Nazis were as long as
we can keep them away from nuclear weapons.

         The time is now for
the Western civilizations to once again join as one to fight for our right to
express ourselves, pray as we wish, read satirical newspapers and offend one

         It seems like we
have forgotten the very tenets upon which our nations were built and most of
the European ones are older than we are. Unfortunately, this is why you wage
war. If your national boundaries or populace is threatened you fight back. (see

         If your way of
life as a free society is being undermined by outside threats, you fight. (see
Pearl Harbor). That is what is happening here and we cannot tolerate it.

         Yes, I am fully
aware that is exactly what ISIS wants and I was prone to stay out for the past
few years, but enough is enough and the possibility of one of these nuts getting
his hands on a nuclear device is no longer very far fetched. Thus, let’s do what
Americans always do when our way of life is REALLY threatened. This isn’t
France’s 9/11.  It’s France’s Pearl

         Let’s give the
French a hand and call for the same from China, Russia, Japan, Germany,
Britain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Australia. Everyone else is welcome to the
party. And if you decide to sit this dance out, we know where you stand on the
matter of freedom so the Saudi choice will be an interesting one. Either join
in the fight against ISIS or no more jets or trips to Chanel.

It is sad but people are going to
die. We need to take a page from the Brad Pitt playbook in Fury when speaking
about his long WWII experience his character says:

         “It will
end, soon. But before it does, a lot more people gotta die.”

         So that’s a guarantee.
Death. Lots of it. The only question is: them or us?

         This ought to be
issue one in the 2016 Presidential race because it defines our freedom, our
culture, our economy and the world we share with other peace-loving nations.

         Let me finish with
one simple idea. Any American seeking to travel to Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, or any
other country harboring these radicals ought to be told that he or she cannot
come back. That’s right. If you want a visa to Yemen, forego your American
passport unless you are on official government business and using a government
passport (I used to have one when I worked at the NIH. They were red, not blue).
That’s a start. At least let’s stop reimporting terrorism. If they want to get
trained in Pakistan, go. But you ain’t comin’ back to the USA. Choose! Your
country or theirs!

         And just to back
me up, here’s Joe Lieberman on the same subject in the WSJ on January 13:


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