U.S. special forces killed Abd Mustafa al-Qaduli, top deputy to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi this week. He was an Iraqi who joined ISIS after being released from prison in early 2012. Another top leader was killed in a recent U.S. air strike. Their elimination reflects how a dedicated commander-in-chief and a skilled military can combat terrorism working together.
In Brussels, twin terror bombings killed 30 and injured 230 including American citizens when three cowards, who could envision no better purpose for their lives except suicide in order to murder tourists including mothers and children, detonated homemade explosives.
Middle Eastern people from Belgium have been involved in attacks including those in Paris which killed 130 people, the failed attack on a high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam, the Jewish supermarket attack following the Charlie Hebdo murders and the attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels in May, 2014.
The inability to stop ISIS terror cells from operating is a problem for the Belgian government. Jean-Charles Brisard, biographer of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who founded al-Qaeda in Iraq, said ISIS activity in Europe is enabled by a network of French and Belgian nationals.
He estimated that more than 500 Belgians traveled to Syria and of the 200 who returned, some were intent on terrorism and that 20 to 25 counter-terrorism officers are needed to track a single terrorism suspect.
This does not explain why the Belgian government cannot control what is going on in its own country. Many Middle Eastern people lured into murdering for hate are first-generation Belgians who drift from unemployment to anti-social behavior and petty crime before being wooed by Jihadist propaganda. However, that should make them easier to monitor since there are not many who traveled and returned to Syria who have a criminal record and time on their hands.
If these individuals were properly monitored, it is likely the Brussels and Paris attacks would have been prevented. U.K security forces developed effective strategies to stop IRA bombings and, with NATO help, the Belgian government could monitor the suspects and stop the terrorism.
Such an initiative would need effective leadership from an American president with an understanding of foreign policy and the serious purposefulness to convince allies to work together. The two Republican presidential candidates have neither of those characteristics.
Ted Cruz called out Donald Trump after he tweeted a murky threat to “spill the beans” about Heidi Cruz. Trump was responding to an anti-Trump PAC posting of a salacious photo of Melania Trump captioned, “Your next first lady or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.”
Cruz said at a campaign stop, “Donald, you are a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.”
Ironically, this Texan by way of Canada declined to state that he would refuse to support Trump if the frontrunner defeated him.
Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is acting presidential. She delivered a reasoned and forceful counter-terrorism speech at Stanford University. After she is selected by her party, if Trump is the GOP candidate, her campaign will be bolstered by the fact that he has a problem with American women besides Heidi Cruz.
Seventy percent of female voters have a negative opinion of him and according to a NBC/WSJ poll, in a contest with Clinton, 58 percent of women would vote for her and 31 percent for Trump.
In 2012, President Obama beat Mitt Romney with far less support from women. Obama handily beat the Republican with an 11 percent advantage in female voters while Clinton currently enjoys a 27 percent advantage which will grow as the battle of the GOP First Ladies continues in the Twittersphere.