Denying the Existence of Evil Won’t Make it Go Away

Amidst the assault on our sensibilities that has been in the news recently, an “expert” made the point that people aren’t evil, just misunderstood. And by “people,” he was referring to the terrorists in ISIS/ISIL. That person is dangerously naïve. Unfortunately, the danger isn’t to himself, but to the people who read his opinion and agree with it.

“Avoiding the gross simplifications that moralistic language entails is particularly important here,” Mr. Boyle states. “ISIS has emerged as a sophisticated, battle-hardened insurgent organization with an ambitious and effective plan for seizing territory.”

Let me show you a picture:

ISIS Chicago

This was on twitter, with the caption: We are in your state. We are in your cities. We are in your streets. The message claims to be from ISIL to the US. Take it for what it is worth, but if the same people who murdered James Foley in cold blood are here, in Chicago, then we are about to see evil. Again.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI released a joint bulletin and at the conclusion, stated that, “ISIL members and supporters will almost certainly continue to use social media platforms to disseminate their English-language violent extremist messages. Although we remind first responders that content not explicitly calling for violence may be constitutionally protected, we encourage awareness of media advocating violent extremist acts in particular locations or naming particular targets, to increase our ability to identify and disrupt potential Homeland threats. We urge state and local authorities to promptly report suspicious activities related to homeland plotting and individuals interested in traveling to overseas conflict zones, such as Syria or Iraq, to fight with foreign terrorist organizations.”

Evil has been around as long as mankind has, and it is not difficult to find examples of it in history. Modern or ancient. But denying that evil exists, at all, is inherently dangerous. Not in a political sense. If a country must go to war, it wants it to be a ‘justifiable’ or ‘good’ war. Creating the personification of evil in the opposing leadership is a time honored political stratagem, but its use does not preclude the existence of evil. Nor does ‘whistling past the graveyard’ and pretending that nothing bad will ever happen to us.

Whether we have terrorists in this country at the present time, or just sympathizers with their cause, the threats are being made. Not threats against our military. Threats against journalists, civilians and unprotected people who have no way to defend themselves against this type of evil.

The events in Syria and Iraq are getting out of our control. The administration is trying to soft-sell the danger represented by ISIL while at the same time warning of the great risks that we face from them. It is no longer a question of if we are going to do something; we already have, and it isn’t going to stop with air support for the Kurds. We now have American boots on the ground in Iraq.

It also appears that ISIL has boots on the ground in Chicago.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of this website.  This author accepts all responsibility for the opinions and viewpoints in this article.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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