One would think that European officials would be able to look at the psychological profile of a guy who runs off to Syria to chop off heads and come to the conclusion that he isn’t particularly fit to walk amongst civilized men. Oddly enough, that is not the case.

The Associated Press reported Jan. 27:

The European Union’s anti-terror chief called Tuesday for countries to rehabilitate rather than punish returning jihadis with no blood on their hands, saying that some prisons have become “incubators of radicalization.”

EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove said in an interview with The Associated Press that “if we can avoid prison, let’s avoid prison.”

At a time when EU nations are still shocked by the attacks in France early this month, many are pushing for swift, repressive measures for anyone who has gone off to fight holy war in Syria or Iraq.

And even if true criminals among the returnees need to be punished with jail time, “I don’t advise to bring them all to court because it would be a mistake,” De Kerchove said. …

“We know how much jails are major incubators of radicalization. Much better, provided they accept to do that, they undertake major rehabilitation,” De Kerchove said.

If a man goes to Syria to fight on behalf of the Islamic State Group, then wouldn’t that already make him radical? And if he goes to Syria to execute Christians and Muslims who don’t agree with his interpretation of Islam, then how would European officials know if he had blood on his hands? Unless a returning Islamic State member posts online videos of himself holding a decapitated head in his left hand and a knife in his right, law enforcement agencies will be largely clueless as to what happened to the the man in the middle of a Syrian war zone.

As has been said before on this blog, catch-and-release programs work when authorities are dealing with fish, but they do not work with the guy who goes to Yemen to train with al Qaeda. It is 2015 and we still have Western governments that are failing to come to grips with that fact that terrorism is real and that the big weird belief that it was basically all George W. Bush’s fault just isn’t true.

Sadly, it’s not just a problem relegated to Europe. The U.S. State Department won’t even call an insider attack Americans in Afghanistan terrorism.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Jan. 30:

The Taliban has taken credit for killing three American soldiers at the Kabul airport Thursday. At the State Department press briefing Friday, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki danced around a the question if the attack on the American soldiers was an act of terrorism.

Psaki repeated the story back to the reporter who asked the question and mentioned that the Justice Department has already spoken on the subject and that there is an investigation into the situation.

“I’m not going to put new labels on the situation today,” Psaki said.

It’s hard not to believe that if the bullets that killed those three Americans had penetrated their hearts, then the State Department would mull calling their deaths something along the lines of “congestive heart failure.” That way elected officials could just say that three men died and it was certainly very tragic — but at least there are no labels on anyone who was in the area when it happened.

We now live in a time and place in history where a man can openly state his desire to recreate the Ottoman Empire and liberals will say that he is not a Muslim or that he doesn’t really mean what he’s saying. We live in a time and place in history where a man can take part in a movement that routinely takes women as sex slaves and executes gay people, but yet it is prison time for such actions that European officials see as the radicalizing agent.

Two cultures are colliding right now. One of them chops off heads and one of them makes excuses for the guys chopping off heads. Which one would you put your money on if you had to place long-term bets today? My bet would not be on the culture that is afraid of “labels.”


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