We must join the fight against Islamic State

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Above: Kobani in northern Iraq. Could this happen to Auckland or Wellington if we don’t join the fight against IS?

It’s time for New Zealand to commit fully to the military campaign against Islamic State. We can go on debating the pros and cons of taking action, but IS grows stronger with every hour that goes by. Urgent action is needed, and we must stand behind our allies in the battle against Islamic extremism. The time for talking is over.

We are being confronted with an evil of a kind we have not seen before. An evil we can barely even name. Islamic State? ISIS? IS? ISIL? What the hell do we even call these people?

It is true that the objections against our joining the fight against whatever the hell we call these monsters (and I shall just call them IS or, better still, the Terrorists) are many. We have no idea how to defeat IS, and we don’t even know what victory against them would look like. We have no clear objectives, we face an enemy that is difficult to pin down or even define, and none of our allies have any appetite for a serious ground offensive. Far from reducing terrorism, our involvement in this fight may in fact increase the likelihood of a terror attack on New Zealand soil. IS are bad people, but there are a great many other bad people in this world, so why aren’t we also focusing on those people? The Ebola virus is a greater threat to humanity than IS will ever be. Why aren’t we pouring billions more into the fight against that disease?

All of these facts favour us playing little or part in any military campaign against the Terrorists. The facts inform us that it’s entirely unclear what we should do, how we should do it, and what we would achieve by doing it. The facts are against us, but that doesn’t mean we should do nothing. How did the facts turn against us? Why are they now our enemy? Who is behind their betrayal? Are the facts in league with IS?

Can’t you see what the Terrorists have done? Their sophisticated propaganda machine has managed to recruit even the facts as soldiers in a jihad against the West.

That’s why the facts don’t matter. None of the objections against our joining this holy crusade matter. What matters is that these monsters are taught a lesson. The time for thinking has come and gone. Now it’s time to act. We cannot afford to be calm and rational in the face of such diabolical extremism.

We owe it to our children to act swiftly and decisively whenever evil rears its ugly head, except on those occasions when the evildoers happen to be our allies. When that happens, the best thing we can do is turn our faces away and hope the problem disappears.

We simply must act. We must not leave it to future generations to deal with this menace. We cannot allow our kids to grow up in a world where religious extremists cut the heads off other people for no good reason, other than in Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps you are unmoved by the need to preserve a future for our children. Maybe you don’t even have kids. But you would be mistaken in thinking that IS aren’t coming for you and your loved ones. Do you really think these madmen will spare your pets? If the Terrorists win, you can be sure that even your cat will be beheaded.

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What will you tell your cat when the Terrorists come for it?

There are reports that the Terrorists have now obtained aircraft, although it is not clear what they plan to do with them. What we do know is that the Terrorists are sophisticated and well-funded, so it would be foolish to underestimate them. Who knows what plans they may have? They could put chemical weapons in those aircraft and spray them all over our schools. Anthrax, ricin, bubonic plague, and maybe even the Ebola virus.

For all we know, IS extremists may right now be in Liberia deliberately infecting themselves with Ebola. Imagine the carnage one of these suicidal crazies would cause if he walked into a childcare centre and started vomiting and sneezing all over the kids. Cute blond-haired little kids. Maybe even your kids.

And what other evil might they have planned for us? They now have aircraft, but what might be next? Deadly satellites with laser cannons? Spaceships with nuclear weapons? A Death Star capable of destroying entire planets?

These people won’t stop until they have destroyed our homes, our communities, our entire way of life. This rising tide of Islamic extremism threatens all of the democratic freedoms and liberties we enjoy, so let us arm ourselves against this threat, and let us be ruthless and determined in our efforts to defeat these deliverers of death. We must equip our government and security agencies with all the tools they need for the fight—whatever they ask for we must give them. The war against the Terrorists may necessitate the sacrifice of a few non-essential civil liberties, such as the right to free speech, the right to hold our government agencies to account, the right to come and go from our own country, and the right to any sort of privacy. But if the price of freedom is to no longer be particularly free, then that is a price we should all be prepared to pay.

But if this danger to our homes and families, our liberties, and even our cats fails to move you, then the following example will surely leave you chilled.

What if the All Blacks make it to next year’s Rugby World Cup Final, and with a minute to go on the clock are trailing England by a single point? What if the ABs get awarded a kickable penalty in the dying seconds of the game? Do you really think some IS terrorist won’t be in the crowd with his laser pointer, shining it into Dan Carter’s eyes as he lines the kick up? Are you willing to take that chance?

Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” You may not give a damn about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State terrorists, but England must not win the Rugby World Cup!