July 11, 2016

A $233,000-a-year history professor at UNC compares the 850 killed in recent ISIS attacks with the million men lost in a single battle of World War I. His conclusion is ISIS is bad, but not that bad in the sweep of history, and certainly no existential threat.

Existential threat is also a phrase the President uses. ISIS can’t inflict the catastrophic damage that would destroy us is what the President and the professor mean. So don’t get so worked up about ISIS is the message.

The Christmas party goers in San Bernardino (excuse us for saying Christmas, a blacklisted word at UNC) and the people out for the night in Orlando met their existential threat from ISIS. Now what might happen if the hate-filled ideology of radical Islam met the power of nuclear weapons? Wouldn’t that be an existential threat?

It could happen, in two ways at least. Nuclear-armed Pakistan is always one coup away from falling into the hands of radical Islamic generals. Then there is Iran.

Despite the nuclear deal with Iran, the Germans believe Iranian companies are continuing to acquire nuclear bomb material. (WSJ 7/8/16) Is it that far fetched to imagine an Iranian ISIS alliance with nuclear weapons?

Our Chapel Hill professor might say Iran and ISIS have too many ideological differences. Many said Hitler and Stalin had too many differences before they shocked the world with a pact paving the way for World War II.

ISIS is no existential threat, professor? Chamberlain thought the same of Hitler when they signed an agreement for peace in our time at Munich. As if we needed more reasons to reform the university system and push for ideological diversity on our campuses: The spirit of Munich lives on in Chapel Hill.

Our UNC historian friend has forgotten the lessons of history. Unchecked evil only grows. Radical islamic terrorism is an existential threat to freedom of thought. We cannot ignore it. Freedom demands we confront it