Tags: War on Terrorism | islamists | terrorists | global | powers | alliance

Joe Lieberman: World War-like Effort Needed to 'Destroy' Extremists

Joe Lieberman: World War-like Effort Needed to 'Destroy' Extremists
(Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 January 2015 08:15 AM

While the White House has acknowledged its blunder in not sending President Barack Obama or another high-ranking official to Sunday’s unity rally in Paris, former Sen. Joe Lieberman writes in The Wall Street Journal that a "history-changing opportunity" is still in Obama’s grasp: "Leading a global alliance to destroy violent Islamist extremism."

Last week’s deadly terror attacks in France by Islamic extremists offer the most recent example that violent Islamist extremism has declared war on Western civilization’s "foundational values," specifically the rule of law, freedom of expression and freedom of religion, according to Lieberman.

It’s also further proof that "al-Qaida has divided and reconstituted itself throughout the world under groups with new names like Islamic State, but with the same evil purposes."

So unless and until radical Islam is "fought and eventually defeated," attacks on the civilized West will continue, he writes.

Lieberman proposes a four-pronged strategy to rid the world of violent jihadists, beginning with civilized nations going on the offensive, first by acknowledging that "we are at war with violent Islamist extremism and that as long as these extremists continue to recruit, attack and expand territorially, the civilized world will continue to lose and the number and frequency of attacks like those in France will increase."

Second, he writes, by "every nation whose government or people have been attacked or threatened by Islamist terrorists formally declaring war against Islamist extremism."

That includes the Congress updating the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed after 9/11 to grant the president broad authority to take action.

Lieberman’s third prong would be the U.S. and the world’s other great powers forming and leading a global alliance against radical Islam — combining military, intelligence, economic and diplomatic assets — and the inclusion of leading Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt, "because Muslims who do not share the extremist views of the terrorists constitute the largest number of its victims."

The unfettered goal of the Alliance Against Islamist Extremism "should be nothing less than total destruction of the enemy — beginning with Islamic State, AQAP in Yemen, al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria," according to Lieberman, who notes that the terror groups' very existence poses a threat to the civilized people of the world.

"They must be eliminated," Lieberman writes. "As long as they exist, they will continue to radicalize followers, in person and online. They will provide training for terrorists who will attack us where we live, work and worship.

"That will stop only when they are destroyed."

Fourth, and last, Western values — the rule of law, and the freedom of expression and religion — must be "used as weapons … and spread by the alliance because where there is law and freedom, radical Islamists cannot flourish."

Fighting Islamist terrorism is an ideological conflict tantamount to the world wars against fascism and communism, Lieberman says.

"Can the inspiring unity that filled the streets of Paris on Sunday in defense of freedom be transformed into the mighty unity that is necessary now to defeat radical Islam before it kills more people and takes away more freedom?"

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After last week's terrorist atrocities in Paris, a "history-changing opportunity" is in President Obama's grasp: "Leading a global alliance to destroy violent Islamist extremism," writes Former Sen. Joe Lieberman in The Wall Street Journal.
islamists, terrorists, global, powers, alliance
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 08:15 AM
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