Tag Archives: ISIS

Why no remorse?

There likely isn’t a good reason to ask this question of a disgraced former Texas state legislator, but I’ll ask it anyway.

Is Bryan Slaton a dyed-in-the-wool sociopath? 

Here’s the deal. Slaton, a Royse City Republican, was caught having sex with an intern. He filled her with alcohol and then had his way with her in his apartment in Austin. The House General Investigations Committee got wind of it, examined the allegation, and then recommended his expulsion from the Texas House.

Slaton testified before the committee and according to sources on the scene, he expressed zero remorse, contrition or offered nothing resembling an apology for his hideous action. He resigned his House seat, but the House expelled him anyway in a unanimous vote.

Isn’t that the behavior of a sociopath?

Contrast that with the reaction that came from another Republican politician, former U.S. Rep. Van Taylor of Plano. Taylor was running for re-election 2022 when it was revealed he had an affair with a woman who once was married to an Islamic State officer.

When word of his misbehavior got out, Taylor issued a statement calling his action the “worst decision I ever have made.” He apologized to his wife and children and then backed out of his re-election campaign.

Taylor at least had the good sense and appropriate contrition to apologize to everyone involved.

Not so with Slaton, who ran for election and re-election as a “Christian conservative” dedicated to the family values espoused by the Republican Party.

He’s nothing more than a sociopathic chump.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Avoid victory declaration

It is tempting to declare victory and call it all good now that the latest international terrorist leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been blown to smithereens.

Just as it was tempting to do the same when the SEAL team shot Osama bin Laden between the eyes in May 2011, or when commandos took out Islamic State honcho Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019.

President Biden ordered the drone strike that killed the latest al-Qaeda leader — al-Zawahiri — as he stood on the porch of his house in Kabul, Afghanistan.

But let’s be clear: Many of us warned that there would be other leaders to step forward to succeed bin Laden, al-Baghdadi and now al-Zawahiri.

The war against international terror will be on-going. We must remain alert, vigilant and ready to respond to any threats that present themselves. That is what President Joe Biden pledged we would do when he ended our troop involvement in Afghanistan in 2021.

The “over the horizon” hit on al-Zawahiri demonstrated our nation’s astonishing capability to find and dispatch international terrorists. What’s more, this hit was carried out reportedly with zero collateral casualties. 

These kinds of opportunities don’t present themselves every day. When they do, we must be prepared to take full advantage of them … which is what occurred this past weekend.

The fight must go on.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Righteous among us tumble

My head-shaking just won’t stop in the wake of this week’s stunning announcement regarding a North Texas congressman, a self-proclaimed conservative lawmaker who — I am going to presume — was proud of his “family values.”

Republican Van Taylor ended his re-election campaign Wednesday after disclosing he had an extramarital dalliance with a Plano woman, a so-called “ISIS bride” who once was married to an officer in the Islamic State terrorist organization. Geez, that alone is enough to make me wonder about a lot of other things.

Taylor was heading for a runoff after Tuesday’s GOP primary.

What is so damn disturbing about this — actually one of many things that ought to disturb any of us — is the way Taylor characterized himself as a staunch conservative, someone who stood for strong values. The implication of those values statements is clear, that he is a devoted to his wife and children. Well, the way I see it, one’s devotion must be complete, unequivocal and unconditional.

Taylor has apologized profusely to his family and to his constituents. I am one of the latter and I will accept the apology and I will wish him well as he tries to rebuild his life. Whether he is able to rebuild his family is a matter for them to decide.

My only concern — as a Third Congressional District constituent — is that Taylor stays away from public service. I don’t want him representing my interests at any level of government. You see, I don’t much care for public officials who profess to be of a certain stripe, but who are hiding dark secrets that reveal them to be something quite different.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Rep. Taylor issues stunning admission … then quits

Well … I’ll be deep fried and rolled in oats. I had just urged U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, a Plano Republican, to “get busy” and start working to get his supporters to the polls for a May runoff with former Collin County Judge Keith Self. Then the word came out.

It seems that Taylor had been busier than I ever imagined. He admitted to having an affair with a Plano woman — and then he dropped out of his re-election bid. The withdrawal hands the GOP nomination to Self, who now is slated to be the prohibitive favorite to be elected from Texas’s Third Congressional District.

Oh … boy! What a revelation!

Taylor and a woman called an “ISIS bride,” as she was married to an Islamic State fighter, reportedly had a months-long fling. News of the affair reportedly got into the hands of Suzanne Harp, another GOP candidate for Congress who, I guess, was about to spill the beans.

Taylor issued a statement via e-mail to his supporters, which stated, in part: “About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life. I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters.”

Taylor said he has spoken with Self and wished him well as he seeks to win the election to Congress.

https://www.texastribune.org/2022/03/02/van-taylor-reelection/

I hate to be the predictor of terrible news, but it appears to me — and to anyone with half a brain — that Self is going to be elected in a rejiggered congressional district that is even more GOP-friendly than it was before reapportionment. Self is a member of The Big Lie cabal of cultists who insist that the 2020 election was stolen from The Donald. Self managed to parlay his view into forcing Taylor into a runoff, denying the incumbent the 50% vote he needed to win the nomination outright.

Self now is going to run against Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivistava, who doesn’t have a prayer of defeating Self. Not in this climate. Not in this district.

I don’t know what in the world to say about Van Taylor’s mistake. It likely will doom any thought he might have had about further public service.

There are so many astonishing factors about this development. One of them happens to be this fact: Taylor enjoyed strong endorsements from fervent conservative organizations, such as the National Rifle Association and the Heritage Foundation. Yet he drew the wrath of The Donald’s cultists simply because he voted (a) to certify President Biden’s election in 2020 and (b) to establish a bipartisan independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection. Never mind that Taylor then opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to appoint a select committee to look at 1/6. He committed — in the eyes of the Trump cultists — a mortal sin by voting to accept Joe Biden’s election and seeking an independent panel to examine the insurrection.

I am stunned to the max.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Fight goes on and on

Americans of all stripes, be they Republican or Democrat, today are cheering the death of the leader of the Islamic State at the hands of U.S. special forces.

The nation’s elite warriors stormed a compound in northern Syria, cornered the ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who then blew himself up, killing himself and his wife, small children and others.

This raid, while spectacular in its execution and the success it achieved, does not signal the end of the Islamic State as a terrorist threat to this nation and others around the world.

“The fight against ISIS continues. Their leader may be gone, but their twisted ideology and their intent to kill, maim and terrorize still threaten our national security and the lives of countless innocents,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

So, the fight goes on. Still, it is heartening to know that this nation has the capability to bring a form of justice to murderous terrorists. We did so in May 2011 when SEALs killed al-Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden and again in 2019 when our troops killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader in Iraq.

Joe Biden now becomes the third consecutive president — Barack Obama and Donald Trump were the other two — to order our men into harm’s way to protect us against the horror of international terrorism.

Well done, men … and thank you.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

B’bye, ISIS goon

Another Islamic State terrorist has been removed from this good Earth, courtesy of the work of U.S. special forces … to which I say, “Well done, men.”

President Biden issued the following statement overnight:

“Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces in northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our Allies, and make the world a safer place,” Biden said in a statement.

“Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi—the leader of ISIS. All Americans have returned safely from the operation,” Biden added.

What does this mean? Well, it doesn’t mean the destruction of ISIS. Just as we learned in May 2011 when our special forces killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the death of one man doesn’t necessarily eradicate the terrorist organization he led. The same likely will be said of al-Qurayshi’s death.

But to be absolutely certain, these successful missions can degrade the terrorist groups, making them less capable of planning and executing dastardly deeds against innocent victims.

As we have seen, though, in these operations, our special forces are the best on Earth at what they do.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

‘Over the horizon’ reach? Is it enough?

Although I stand firmly behind President Biden’s decision to end our military involvement in Afghanistan — despite the horrifying rollout of the evacuation plan — I remain concerned about one aspect of our post-Afghan policy and posture.

It’s that “over the horizon” strategy the Pentagon, the White House and the intelligence community plan to employ to protect us from terrorists.

We went to war in Afghanistan 20 years ago to rid the nation of the Taliban hosts who gave al-Qaeda safe haven from which to plan and then launch an attack on 9/11. We rid the government of the Taliban. Now we’re giving it back to them. Wise call? Ultimately, it will save us lives, heartache, misery … not to mention money.

How do we plan to conduct intelligence-gathering in Afghanistan with no physical presence on the ground? President Biden assures us we have assets and know-how and resources to confront terrorists if they emerge to pose threats to us.

Thirteen of our military personnel died in that horrific suicide blast the other day. Joe Biden pledged to make ISIS “pay” for its act of terror. We struck ISIS with a drone strike, killing a couple of terrorist planners. Americans should applaud that effort. However, we still have human beings on the ground there.

In just a couple of days our presence will be gone.

What happens then? I know we have the best intelligence gatherers on Earth. Our director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, is among the best of the best at what she does. I retain faith in her ability and in those at the top of the Pentagon chain of command.

They will have to be on top of their game 24/7 … likely forever, if we’re going to remain safe from terrorists intent on doing bringing harm and misery to our shores.

I just hope they can do so “over the horizon.”

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Pledge for the ages

Rhetoric uttered in anger and pain, while we are grieving, does at times develop a certain staying power.

Right after 9/11, President Bush stood amid the rubble of what once were the Twin Towers in New York City, draped his arm around a firefighter and told the world through a bullhorn: “I hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

Twenty years later, 13 American servicemen and women died when an Islamic State suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at Kabul airport where the United States has been conducting an evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies.

President Biden looked sternly straight ahead and said: “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

And so, there you have yet another statement for the ages born out of extreme anguish and pain.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Mission nearly accomplished

You may not include me among the critics of President Biden who are suggesting, without foundation, that our withdrawal from Afghanistan is a botched deal.

That it is a defeat. That we should be embarrassed. Ashamed. That we were whipped.

None of that happened on the battlefield.

Our evacuation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghans wanting out of the country is almost complete. The president is warning us of possible — and possibly likely — terrorist attacks as we complete our withdrawal.

I’ve heard some right-wing talking heads refer to the 1940 evacuation of British soldiers at Dunkirk as the way this kind of operation should go. They pillory Biden for what has happened in Afghanistan. I won’t go there.

The president made it clear that we would remove anyone who wanted out. From my vantage point it appears that we are about to achieve that goal.

Twenty years of combat in Afghanistan degraded al-Qaeda’s terror network. Yes, the Taliban seized control of the country more quickly than anyone imagined.

Ending a war cannot be done cleanly and without some hazard. We have learned to our great dismay that is the case as we end the Afghan War. The Islamic State has struck us; ISIS well might hit us again. The president has issued orders to the Pentagon to ensure maximum protection of our forces who are helping facilitate the evacuation.

So the evac plans will continue until the middle of next week. Then we will be done.

I am one American who wants the war to end. Accordingly, as soon as we get our forces out of there I will consider the mission has been accomplished.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Flags come down, nation mourns

Flags all across Princeton, Texas, are down this morning.

President Biden ordered the flags at the White House and all federal buildings lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the ISIS attack at the Kabul airport. It looks to me as though businesses and local governments all over the nation are following the lead.

Too often we have seen these flags lowered because of school shootings or some other tragedy involving gun violence in this country. This one is vastly different, but no less tragic to be sure.

Our Marines and an Army warrior died when a terrorist detonated a suicide bomb at the airport. He killed dozens o Afghans along with our heroes who were helping with the evacuation of Americans and our allies from Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover of that war-ravaged country.

Biden vows to end our evacuation on Aug. 31. I wish him well in that effort. There might be more terror attacks to come between now and then. The president vows to be on full alert to any hint of an attack.

He also has given the Islamic State warning. “We will hunt you down,” he told them, “and make you pay” for the misery they brought. I am quite sure many millions of Americans are going to hold him to that pledge.

Don’t let us down, Mr. President.

Meanwhile, we will grieve.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com