Piers Morgan, Daily Mail, March 22, 2016
How many more?
That’s all I could think this morning as news broke of yet another ISIS terror attack, this time in Brussels.
How many more innocent men, women and children are going to be blown to pieces by these murderous bastards?
How many more airports, train stations, sports stadiums, restaurants or concert halls will be obliterated in a hail of suicide bombs and bullets?
How many more world leaders will wring their hands on national television afterwards and spout pointless platitudes about the ‘poor brave victims’ and ‘heroic emergency services’?
How many taunting, gleeful claims of responsibility will the despicable perpetrators of these evil crimes be able to issue?
I’m sick of this, aren’t you?
Sick of feeling sick about such endless, senseless barbarism.
And the worst thing about it is that I see no end.
The inherent problem which causes it, chaotic war-torn instability in the Middle East, is getting worse, not better; just as the financial and military resource of the enemy is growing greater, not reducing.
Yet just as the world is crying out for strong decisive leadership, there is none.
America has a demob happy President Obama eeking out his last few months in office. A man whose infamous ‘leading from behind’ philosophy to foreign policy has been partly responsible for the war in Syria raging uncontrollably for five years–allowing fundamentalism to ferment.
Obama has zero interest in doing anything tangible to really deal with ISIS. This is now parked in the tray marked ‘next president’s problem.’
Europe, meanwhile, is splintering at the seams, ravaged by an unprecedented migration crisis that nobody seems to have a clue how to handle.
German chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to let a million migrants into its country is already seen to be an utter disaster.
France, reeling from two horrendous attacks in Paris, is understandably highly fearful of yet more terror coming its way.
Belgium officials effectively conceded today that they have no real way to protect themselves against the ISIS threat. A fact surely born out by the fact that today’s onslaught in Brussels happened right when the city most expected it, following the capture of Paris attacks suspect Saleh Abdeslam three days ago.
Britain, surely a target anytime soon, is on red alert but its warring politicians are too distracted by the upcoming EU referendum in June to pay anything more than lame lip service to terrorism.
So nobody seems to be doing anything concrete to stop ISIS, or even suggesting a new way to do so given the spectacular lack of success to date.
Well almost nobody.
By coincidence, I had an interview scheduled today with the world’s most controversial man, Donald Trump, for my UK show, Good Morning Britain.
It was set up a couple of weeks ago, but the timing was eerily prescient.
Here is one man who definitely has a plan to deal with ISIS terrorism. Several plans in fact.
The problem is that people don’t like them. Well, a lot of people don’t anyway.
Trump, current front-runner for the Republican nomination, wants to hit ISIS ‘so hard they never recover’.
(As he told me: ‘You’ve got to take them out and you’ve got to take them out harshly and you’ve got to take them out fast.’)
He also wants a short-term ban on Muslims entering the U.S. until, as he puts it, ‘we figure out what the hell is going on?’
And he wants to torture suspects like Abdeslam with techniques like water-boarding to try and extract information about future attacks.
Oh, and he wants to build a giant wall to stop illegal immigrants pouring over the Mexican border into America.
George Clooney hit out at Trump yesterday, as he endorsed Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton for the presidency, saying: ‘If you listen to the loudest voices out there today, you’d think we’re a country that hates Mexicans, hates Muslims, and thinks that committing war crimes is the best way to make America great again.’
I spoke to Trump for 40 minutes. He was, as you’d expect, bombastic, defiant and self-congratulatory. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s ripped up every political rulebook to take this presidential race by storm, a scenario that is hardly going to deflate the ego of New York’s most cock-sure billionaire tycoon.
But he also spoke in more detail about his plans to combat ISIS and I found myself nodding more than I expected.
Trump told me countries must tighten their borders in light of these terror attacks, especially to anyone related to an ISIS fighter in Syria.
Is he so wrong?
He told me he wants law-abiding Muslims to root out the extremists in their midst, expressing his bafflement and anger that someone like Abdeslam was able to hide for so long in the very part of Brussels he had previously lived.
Is he so wrong?
He told me America must make it far harder for illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. and thinks European countries should follow suit.
Is he so wrong?
He told me he believes there are now areas of many major European cities which have become poisonous breeding grounds for radicalized Islamic terror.
Is he so wrong?
I didn’t feel I was talking to a lunatic, as many seem to view Trump.
I saw a guy, a non-politician unfettered by PC language restraints, who is genuinely furious at the devastation which ISIS is wreaking, and seriously concerned for the security of his fellow Americans and indeed, the citizens of Europe.
(Remember, Trump’s from New York and felt the horror of 9/11 very personally and very deeply like all New Yorkers.)
His plans for tackling this extraordinarily dangerous threat to the world have been widely condemned as ‘bigoted’ and ‘racist’.
But although I publicly criticised him for the Muslim short-term ban suggestion, I’ve known Trump for ten years and I don’t believe he’s a racist.
I think he’s someone who has spent his life responding to metaphorical punches on his nose by punching even harder back.
And right now, he firmly believes that ISIS will murder countless more Americans and Europeans if somebody somewhere doesn’t stand up and punch them hard in the face.
Someone prepared to stop spewing politically-correct niceties after these attacks, hoping nobody gets offended, and actually DO something.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, right now ISIS is winning this war and will continuing committing utter carnage on our streets on an ever graver and more barbaric scale until they are stopped.
I don’t have the answers to how to do that.
But I don’t hear any good ideas coming from any world leaders at the moment either, and it’s their highly paid jobs to work it out.
Instead, I see a global paralysis driven by fear, confusion and woeful lack of leadership.
And it will only get worse.
Hate Donald Trump all you like, but at least he seems to recognise the magnitude of the threat and at least he has firm proposals for how to try to defeat it.
They may not win him the Politically Correct Pontificator of the Year award. But how many more scenes like this morning’s appalling images from Brussels are we going to tolerate before we try a non-PC option to beat these disgusting excuses for human beings?
At the end of our interview, I asked Donald Trump to send a message to the large majority of non-violent, decent Muslims who are as disgusted by these attacks as the rest of us.
‘I have great respect for Muslims,’ he said, ‘I have many friends that are Muslims. I’m just saying that there is something with a radicalized portion that is very, very bad and very dangerous. I would say this, to the Muslims, when they see trouble, they have to report it, they’re not reporting it, they’re absolutely not reporting it and that’s a big problem.’
Is he so wrong?