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Europe blind to Islamic State's true threat

With the Islamic State drawing recruits from across Europe, the continent must act against the movement in Syria and Iraq before it's too late.
Peshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car, bearing an image of the trademark jihadist flag, which belonged to Islamic State (IS) militants after it was targeted by an American air strike in the village of Baqufa, north of Mosul, on August 18,2014. Kurdish peshmerga fighters backed by federal forces and US warplanes pressed a counter-offensive Monday against jihadists after retaking Iraq's largest dam, as the United States and Britain stepped up their military involvement. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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The progression of Islamic terror brings us to Jorge Luis Borges' writing. In his elegy “The Modesty of History,” the Argentine author wrote about the elusive nature of significant historic events. “I have long suspected that history, true history, is far more modest,” wrote the blind genius, “and that its essential dates may well be, for a long time, secret as well. A Chinese writer of prose has observed that the unicorn, for the very reason that it is so anomalous, will pass unnoticed. One’s eyes see what they are accustomed to see.” Borges went on to recall that the famous Roman historian Tacitus did not understand the Crucifixion, failing to grasp its significance at or around the actual time of the event.

The opening salvo of World War II was fired at Hitler’s failed 1923 beer hall putsch in Munich. At the time, the world reacted much like Tacitus did to the Crucifixion. It failed to notice it. World War III began with a boom on Sept. 11, 2001, when the world felt the first shot of global jihad. Nevertheless, over time, it preferred to ignore it or suppress thoughts of it. The Western world had forgotten the power of an unrestrained mass movement drunk on the successes of its brutality.

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