I was interested to see this opinion piece titled so provocatively ‘Preventing the Fall of Rome’ by James Stavridis in the Washington Post last Friday. Then last evening I heard Father Jonathan Morris speaking about the Pope’s new hardline on ISIS on the Neil Cavuto show.
But, couldn’t we say that this Pope with his welcoming blessing of illegal migrants here in July of 2013 helped fuel the ‘Invasion of Europe?’
In 2013 the new Pope welcomed the illegal migrants to Italy on the island of Lampedusa!
And, surely we won’t forget (at least I won’t) Hillary Clinton’s role in the destabilization of Libya, here.
Here is Stavridis (former allied commander of NATO involved in that very same intervention in Libya):
In 1942, Winston Churchill said that Italy was the “soft underbelly” of Europe and directed Allied invasion efforts there. Today, we are seeing flickers of a similar strategy from the Islamic State.
Following the decapitation of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by radical Islamists professing an allegiance to the Islamic State, the Italian government has begun ramping up efforts to defend its territory from attack. How realistic is this threat? And what should Italy do?
First, we should listen to what the Islamic State has to say : Last year, the group’s propaganda magazine Dabiq featured a cover story headlined “Reflections on the Final Crusade,” which was illustrated with an image of a black jihadist flag flying over St. Peter’s Square. “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” a senior leader of the group was quoted as saying. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.” Elsewhere, the magazine exhorted, “Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader and kill him. . . . And the Islamic State will remain until its banner flies over Rome.”
Hyperbolic? Of course. Literally possible? Not in the least.*** But should Europeans take these words into account as they think about the possibility of attacks on their homeland? You bet.
As Graeme Wood pointed out in his smart, historically grounded piece in the Atlantic this month, “What ISIS Really Wants,” there is an underlying medieval impetus to the Islamic State’s rhetoric and actions. Beheadings of innocents, burnings of prisoners, crucifixions, the enslavement and sale of women and children, the literal sacking of cities — all of these connote a desire to play on the international stage as though the Crusades were still occurring. Thus we come to the importance of Rome, perhaps the most potent symbol of all that the Islamic State hates.
Italy is the gateway to Europe!
Just as Churchill saw Italy as a relatively easy gateway to Europe, the Islamic State has geographic, political and symbolic interests in sailing to Italy. We must do all we can to help Italy prepare. [Like what? Is Obama going to send troops to protect the Pope from Muslims?—ed]
Our complete ‘Invasion of Europe’ series is here.
*** Maybe not with military force, but with the inexorable flow of Muslim migrants into Europe and the squishy multicultural-worshiping so-called European leaders in power now. They seem to have run out of Churchills haven’t they?