Owing in large part to the Egyptian government’s excessive worry over tourism, it took longer than necessary for us to get the truth about Russian Metrojet Airbus A321-200, which went down over the Sinai Peninsula on Oct 31. The British government was the first to publicly suspect a bomb, and now Russia has come to a firm conclusion: the plane was brought down intentionally.
Egyptian officials took seventeen employees of Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport into custody Tuesday, but the word is that only two of them are strongly suspected of planting the bomb on board. According to Reuters, law enforcement agencies have CCTV footage from inside the airport that shows a baggage handler passing a suitcase to another man by the plane. The second man then apparently stored the suitcase on board. So, as suspected from the start, this appears to have been an inside job to some extent.
“There’s no statute of limitations for this, we need to know all of their names,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin. “We’re going to look for them everywhere wherever they are hiding. We will find them in any place on Earth and punish them.”
It’s not yet clear if there is a direct evidentiary link from this tragedy to ISIS, but the terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. This would make sense, considering that Russia is bombing the hell out of them in Syria right now.
But then again…so are we.
It’s time to make some tough choices about Syria, Iraq, and the Islamic State. They attacked Paris, they attacked Moscow, and they have vowed to attack Washington. Are any of us so flagrantly stupid to wave this threat away, like we do the Grand Butterball in North Korea?
This requires more than an “intensification” of the same old strategy. Because with every success like this, thousands more will be drawn to the ISIS cause. There’s nothing people like better than a winner, and ISIS understands that all too well. The more spectacular and devastating the attacks, the more their power will grow. If we are pursuing any goal other than their complete annihilation, we are wasting time that we can’t afford to waste.
Sad to say, but we need to get back into a post-9/11 mindset. Note, that doesn’t mean a post-9/11 strategy. We don’t need to go in and “fix” Syria. We need to clear all this other crap off the table, determine exactly who is our enemy – ISIS – and we need to bring to bear the full weight of the Western (and Soviet, and Iranian) world down on that enemy. Crush them.
It’s either that, or we wait until the horrors stack so deep that we have no other choice.
Why not let enough be enough?