Europe has also led the U.S. in articulating the threat posed by Iran. When Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi visited Yad Vashem in Israel, he talked about Iran and said, “We must watch out. We’ve already had one such madman in history.” Sarkozy denied reports during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign that he said Obama’s view of Iran is “utterly immature,” but in speaking before the UN on September 24, 2009, he said, “President Obama, I support the Americans’ outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing.” It was Europe, not the U.S., that voiced support for the Iranian people in the days following Ahmadinejad’s “re-election” and specifically called it fraudulent.
Beginning in August 2009, the elected Iraqi government decided that it had to confront Syria’s support for terrorism on its soil. The Iraqis began releasing data to prove that the Assad regime was harboring Baathist insurgents and even elements of al-Qaeda, allowing them to train and plan attacks. Diplomatic relations were eventually cut off and the Iraqis tried to begin building international support for creating a UN tribunal to prosecute terrorists in Syria and Syrian officials helping them. The U.S. would not take Iraq’s side, saying it is an “internal matter.” An Iraqi official said the U.S. was actually opposing the tribunal. France, on the other hand, took Iraq’s side.
Europe is also ahead of the U.S. in recognizing the danger of non-violent Islamism and its facilitation through a lack of assimilation. The Obama administration rarely refers to “radical Islam” and frames its counter-terrorism efforts as a fight against al-Qaeda, failing to mention the danger posed by other terrorist groups and the ideology behind them. French President Sarkozy is saying his country must stop the creation of “a society where communities coexist side by side” and “our Muslim compatriots should be able to live and practice their religion like anyone else … but it can only be a French Islam and not just an Islam in France.”
British Prime Minister Cameron has announced policy changes in reaction to the failure of “state multiculturalism.” The new policy of “muscular liberalism” will promote democratic values and includes cutting off state funding to Muslim organizations that oppose assimilation and do not advance women’s rights. “As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offenses, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called ‘non-violent extremists’ and then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence,” Cameron said.
These leaders get it. Sarkozy presides over a country where there are over 750 “sensitive urban zones,” mostly Muslim communities hostile to outsiders and especially law enforcement that are known for rioting when the government tries to enforce the law. Dr. Daniel Pipes has appropriately dubbed them “no go zones.” The United Kingdom has designated certain “ethnic minority communities” as areas where soldiers shouldn’t wear their uniforms. The London borough of Tower Hamlets’ Islamist mayor was elected in a stealth jihad campaign sure to be followed by other extremists. They know the road ahead for the U.S. because they are already on it.
Being the leader of the free world is not just about military or economic prowess. It’s about leading the way. And right now, it is Europe in the driver’s seat.