“Explosions Rock Brussels Airport, Metro Station at Least 34 Killed.”

Here we go again.

Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, has been hit by two coordinated blasts — one in its subway and another one at its airport — causing so far 23 deaths on Tuesday morning. It’s the deadliest attack perpetrated in Belgium, France’s neighboring country, since WWII.

“It’s all of Europe which has been hit,” said France President Francois Hollande.

Actually it’s not all of Europe. It’s everywhere that matters. It’s civilization as we know it. Specifically, it’s Western civilization as we know it.

These are not merely irrational, psychopathological killers. They are killers with a purpose. They want to take us into a new Dark Ages.

As Ayn Rand once wrote, “In the history of Western civilization, the period known as the Dark Ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire, was a period when Western Europe existed without any social organization beyond chance local groupings clustered around small villages, large castles, and remnants of various traditions—swept periodically by massive barbarian invasions, warring robber bands, and sundry local looters. It was as close to a state of pure anarchy as men could come.”

Rand also wrote, “The infamous times you call the Dark Ages were an era of intelligence on strike, when men of ability went underground and lived undiscovered, studying in secret, and died, destroying the works of their mind, when only a few of the bravest martyrs remained to keep the human race alive. Every period ruled by mystics was an era of stagnation and want, when most men were on strike against existence, working for less than their barest survival, leaving nothing but scraps for their rulers to loot, refusing to think, to venture, to produce, when the ultimate collector of their profits and the final authority on truth or error was the whim of some gilded degenerate sanctioned as superior to reason by divine right and by grace of a club.”

The twenty-first century version of mystics are the militant Islamic radicals waging their attacks. This is their purpose. They can only win if we let them. To win, we must be willing to decimate them, and everything connected to them — ISIS, Iran or anyone else supporting and enabling them. We also must be willing to uphold their opposites — reason, science, technology, economic freedom and church-state separation. In a word: Western values.

Charles Michel, Belgium’s prime minister, called the attacks “blind, violent and coward.”

“We’re at war. Europe has been repeatedly attacked for the last few months by acts of war (…) and we must be determined to fight terrorism. The threat is even greater today than before the Nov.13 attacks at the Bataclan and Stade de France,” said Manuel Valls, France’s prime minister.

We are at war. However, America’s twice elected president will still not admit it. He views terrorists as he does common criminals. Outlaw guns—which doesn’t work with criminals either—and we’ll be fine, he claims, while toasting Communism in Cuba with Castro’s heirs. Obama continues to gut the military, with Republican compliance. You’d never know we were at war.

The fact is, we are at war because Islamic radicals are at war with us. Anything we do is in self-defense. We have to name the fact that they are Islamic radicals. Because Islamic radicals are the ones who seek to take us back to another dark ages. Forgot about “moderate” Muslims; they’re not the ones attacking us, and they will not be the ones to defend Western civilization, given their cowardice and silence against Islamic radicals. Those of us—regardless of religion (or even no religion) must face the fact that everything we love is under attack. The attacks will continue and escalate, so long as we refuse to name the real enemy.

It’s interesting. When George W. Bush was president, some say we had a tougher stance. Actually, we didn’t have a much tougher stance. Bush called Islam a “religion of peace” and imposed rules of engagement on troops in Iraq and Afghanistan which made any meaningful or lasting victory impossible. If you outlaw killing civilians, you do not win wars. Hitler and the Japanese would never have been defeated with Bush’s rules of engagement.

Nevertheless, Bush is perceived by most as having taken a tougher stance against militant Islamic groups and governments. When he did that, the continuing brutal attacks were blamed on that allegedly tougher stance. “Everybody hates us, and it’s because we’re bullies.” In fact, that’s the excuse Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their supporters now use. But for the last 8 years, we haven’t fought or struck back, barely at all. We treat militant Islam as a fringe criminal group, one that can be contained by banning guns and signing peace treaties with nations like Iran, who will never follow them. Isn’t it time we try something different—something totally different—from these 16 long years of near pacifism under George W. Bush and Barack Obama?

We take our liberties for granted, both in Europe and America. The anti-Western civilization maniacs who seek to destroy us seek to destroy everything you hold valuable and dear in daily life. Your loving relationships, your automobiles, your hobbies, your career, your recreational activities, your material comforts, your sense of confidence that life as we know it will go on, and even improve over time, and that nobody has a right to force you to join or follow the rules of any particular religion — these are all the things they are after. You might tell yourself you’re sophisticated and virtuous by not hating them back, but they really do hate and seek to destroy you, and everything about your way of life.