Let's be honest: ISIS has as much chance of establishing a worldwide caliphate as I do of winning a Super Bowl ring.
Their madness is truly shown by their ambition, a sixth century fantasy where the Caliph rules the world with a vicious brand of Islam which gives him complete and absolute power.
What we have right now is a war of the worlds, the civilized West and the Caliph to the east determined to destroy us.
Short of him getting a nuclear bomb that will not happen, but self-styled Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who sounds like a character from Ali Baba, is nonetheless committed to trying.
What he can do is order the indiscriminate mass killings of scores of innocent people. It is almost impossible to stop all those murderous efforts as the French police found out last Friday.
The fact is that France in particular seems especially vulnerable, with large Muslim ghettos where some of the residents swear fealty to Islamic heroes rather than the French government.
While there is a large Muslim population in America, especially in a state like Michigan, the American melting pot inevitably draws them in as it has many previous generations of immigrants, and provides opportunities far ahead of what they had back home.
America has its share of problems of which the black/white racial divide is perhaps the most serious, but integrating new immigrants is not one of them despite what immigration hardliners may tell you.
France, on the other hand, has a huge problem with Muslim extremists recruiting in poor neighborhoods.
What kind of madness does it take to become a suicide bomber with a propane tank tied to your back and a bomb filled with nails and ball bearings?
The one stroke of luck the French had was when three of these suicide bombers tried to gain entry to the soccer match at Stade de France where they would have created panic and mayhem. They arrived too late to be allowed in.
Baghdadi and company have to be rooted out of their citadels in Syria and Iraq. Like Bin Laden who had safe haven in Afghanistan, there can be no progress until that home place can be reclaimed.
The big issue, of course, is whether that involves soldiers on the ground or just aerial combat.
There are differing experiences. In the Serbian conflict Bill Clinton forced change by airstrikes alone. In the aftermath of 9/11 the effort needed immediate troops on the ground to blow away Bin Laden’s safety net.
There are already signs that the ground offensive led by the Kurds with American help is succeeding. Likewise the French and Russians have now joined the bombing campaign.
Those tactics should be given time to work, but if they don't the inevitable reality of all out assault will have to be considered.
We need only look at the faces of the beautiful young dead people of Paris to understand that.