How the Republican candidates react to the vicious terrorist attacks in Paris tells us something about their attitude towards Islamic terrorism in general (for example, do they use the phrase?) and what to do about it.

The first response I read early today was from Ben Carson. An excerpt:

I think America’s involvement should be trying to eliminate them completely,’ he said. ‘Destroy them!’

“There are those out there who have a thirst for innocent blood, in an attempt to spread their philosophy and their will across this globe…

“I would be working with our allies using every source known to man – in terms of economic resources, in terms of covert resources, overt resources, military resources, things-that-they-don’t-know-about resources, in an attempt not to contain them, but to eliminate them before they eliminate us.

“You have to recognize that the global jihadist movement is an existential threat which is very different than anything that we’ve faced previously…Boots on the ground would probably be important…”

Carson added that no Syrian refugees should be accepted to this country.

Ted Cruz issued a long statement. Here’s a portion of it:

America must stand with our allies against the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism…We need to immediately declare a halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS to the United States. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent ISIS agents from penetrating our nation by other means.

We must immediately recognize that our enemy is not ‘violent extremism.’ It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the west. It will not be appeased by outreach or declarations of tolerance. It will not be deterred by targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life. We must make it crystal clear that affiliation with ISIS and related terrorist groups brings with it the undying enmity of America—that it is, in effect, signing your own death warrant.

Initially, Trump only responded briefly to say that his prayers are with the victims.

Later Trump observed that if more Parisians were allowed concealed carry, there probably would have been less bloodshed. Then he asked for a moment of silence. He also briefly criticized Obama for having said ISIS is shrinking. But there’s been no comprehensive in-depth statement from him so far.

Carly Fiorina tweeted: “I mourn with you. I pray with you. I stand with you. America must lead in the world. We must wage & win this fight against Islamic terrorism.” Take note of the last two words.

This is Marco Rubio’s clear statement of a war between radical Islam and Western civilization:

Jeb Bush says much the same thing without quite as much detail:


[ADDENDUM: Here’s a video of Ted Cruz speaking very impressively on the subject.]

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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