Tag Archives: Paris attack

Meanwhile, Boko Haram still terrorizes women


The world is reeling from yet another terror attack in a major European city.

Brussels is the latest city to be victimized by the Islamic State. Our hearts break for the loved ones of the 31 people killed in the blasts at the city’s airport and in a metro rail station.

However, I cannot help but think of another terror crisis that at one time also captured the world’s attention.

Remember the group called Boko Haram? It operates in Africa. It is a Nigeria-based cabal of radical Islamic terrorists.

It kidnapped an estimated 200 women, holding them captive in some unknown location.

Didn’t the world coalesce around the plight of those women? Weren’t there concerted efforts launched by African nations, the United States, European Union nations and others to find the kidnapers and bring them to justice?

I believe the women and girls are still being held by these terrorist monsters. I believe Boko Haram is still as despicable as it’s always been.

The outcry? It’s been muted … inexplicably.

Perhaps our global attention span needs to be expanded and enhanced to enable it to focus on more than one crisis at a time.

The Brussels attacks have captured the world’s attention, just as the Paris attacks had done just a few months earlier.

While the world focuses on those two events, a hideous terrorist group continues to bring havoc to women in Africa.

It, too, needs to be destroyed.


Allies tighten ties against Islamic State


France and Russia are allies with a common enemy.

It’s the Islamic State.

The two nations’ presidents — Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin — have agreed to tighten their alliance in the shared fight against the monstrous terrorist cabal.

Wait, though, for critics of President Obama to weigh in. They’ll wonder aloud: Why isn’t Barack Obama in the lead?

What difference does it really make?

France and Russia have skin in this game. The Russians lost more than 200 of their citizens when a bomb exploded on a jetliner; ISIS took responsibility for the deed. Then came the Paris attacks that killed 130 victims; ISIS took responsibility for that deed, too.

Hollande and Putin agreed to share intelligence and¬†to intensify their air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. As the Associated Press reports: “We agreed on a very important issue: To strike the terrorists only, Daesh and the jihadi groups only, and not to strike the forces and the groups that are fighting against the terrorists,” Hollande said after the meeting, referring to IS by its Arabic acronym. “And we are going to exchange some information about that: what can be struck, and what must not be struck.”

Both countries employ significant military assets. Let us welcome them more fully into this fight.

As for the United States, there’s plenty of pressure being applied for our president to kick our own immense military establishment into an even more active role in the war against ISIS.

My bigger hope, though, is that President Obama is continuing to seek out more allied help — from the rest of the European Union and friendly Middle East countries that more than any other ought to want to destroy ISIS.

For now, I see nothing at all wrong with France and Russia locking arms in this mortal combat.


What would ‘W’ do?

UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 16: U.S. President George W. Bush waves upon arrival at RAF Aldgerove in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Monday, June 16, 2008. Gordon Brown, U.K. prime minister said Britain is pushing the European Union to impose new sanctions against Iran, including freezing the assets of its biggest bank, to pressure the nation to give up its nuclear program at a press conference with Bush in London today. (Photo by Paul McErlane/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mark Shields comprises one-half of a talk show tandem that appears Friday nights on public television.

He and the other half, David Brooks, were spot on in their analysis of the political talk arising from the Paris terrorist attacks one week ago.

Shields, a noted liberal columnist, noted how President Bush responded immediately after al-Qaeda monsters hijacked those four jetliners and inflicted the terrible carnage on U.S. soil on 9/11.

“He went to a mosque,” Shields noted, and said “we are not at war with Islam.”

Shields and Brooks — the more conservative member of the “PBS NewsHour” duo — then both¬†described the white-hot rhetoric we’re hearing today from politicians of both parties as being un-American and unpatriotic.

President Barack Obama has sought to make the same case that his immediate predecessor made. Yet the Republicans who 14 years ago saluted President Bush’s stance contend that the current incumbent, a Democrat, is “soft,” that he isn’t serious about this war against radical Islamic terrorists.

George W. Bush was the first leading politician to declare that the current war against terror must not be seen as a war against a religion. Barack H. Obama is the latest one to say the same thing.

Yet we hear other leading politicians talking about shadowing people of a certain religious faith. One of them, Republican candidate Donald Trump, hasn’t yet told us whether he¬†would intend¬†to track U.S. citizens who also happen to be Muslim, which if that is the case is categorically in defiance of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty.

This is what this current discussion has revealed.

George W. Bush had it exactly right. His political descendants have it exactly wrong.


Paris attack ringleader gets it … see ya


There won’t be a trial for the Belgian jihadist who organized the Paris terror attacks.

Awww …

The remains of Abdelhamid Abaaoud¬† have been identified by French authorities after the daring commando raid in the town of St. Denis. The 27-year-old terrorist was among several murderers killed by French police, demonstrating that French President Francois Hollande meant what he said when he declared his intention to launch a “pitiless” response to the carnage that erupted in Paris late this past week.

Let the bad-guy body count mount.

Just as American commandos took out Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and other terrorist leaders have been eradicated systematically during the course of this international war, let’s not high-five each other too vigorously over this latest battlefield victory.

Abaaoud will be replaced by someone else. The Islamic State is full of reprehensible individuals willing to die for whatever perverted cause they seek to further.

It’s becoming clearer by the day that the Islamic State act in Paris has brought new energy to this world war — and that’s what we should call it. France is bringing its own significant military capability to bear as it has stepped up its air strike campaign against ISIL targets in Syria. Russia, too, has pledged to increase its aerial bombardment efforts against ISIL as payback for the bombing of the Russian jetliner recently, which killed all 224 people on board.

The U.S. effort? It, too, must continue … and I have heard President Barack Obama give every assurance that we’re going to keep stepping up our own efforts to eliminate terrorists wherever and whenever we find them.

But¬†now at least we can say “good bye” to one more evil ringleader.

It’s¬†time now to find the rest of them.

Is this what world war looks like?


Paris has been hit. Again.

Terrorists went on the attack in a concert hall. Dozens of victims were killed. French police then stormed the hall, rescued some hostages and killed two attackers.

World leaders around the globe have issued statements of condemnation. President Obama called the tragedy today an “attack on all of humanity.”

Is this what world war looks like? Have we been fighting this international war against terrorism around the globe to such a degree that someone can declare this to be the start of World War III?

Paris was hit a couple of years ago at a magazine publishing office. Twelve victims died in that act of terror. And there have been countless other attacks all around the world.

The 9/11 attacks in 2001 in New York and Washington seemed to ignite the inferno. There have been so many others they are impossible off the top of one’s head to count them.

We knew when President Bush sent the troops into Afghanistan to hunt down al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists that this war wouldn’t be won with a surrender document. There wouldn’t be a Battleship Missouri Moment. This looks for all the world like a war without end.

Paris is suffering yet again.

Our hearts go out to the French, its leaders and its people.

Will there be more heartache somewhere else? Most assuredly. Yet the fight must go on wherever we find monsters willing to commit gruesome acts of terror against innocent victims.

For as long as it takes.


War on terror is not 'over'

Politicians hate taking back things they say. They aren’t¬†disposed — given the nature of the work they do — to admit when they’re wrong, at least not openly.

President Obama has declared in recent years that “The war on terror is over.”

I cannot read his mind, but my throbbing bunion and my trick knee are telling me the same thing: He well might wish he could take it back.


He pronounced the end of the war on terror as the United States was pulling its troops out of Iraq. Our ground war there had concluded. All that was left was to fight the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other splinter terror groups in Afghanistan.

The terrorists have taken a terrible beating at the hands of the greatest military apparatus in world history. They keep coming back. Their resilience is astonishing.

Al-Qaeda is now taking credit for the Paris shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. France is on high alert. French intelligence operatives are looking for a fourth terrorist who reportedly might have fled to Syria; three other terrorists were killed.

The columnist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist by training who isn’t known as a counterterrorism “expert,” says we’re entering the “third stage of the jihad.” His link is attached to this blog post. I don’t quite understand how he knows what stage this we’re, or how the terrorists measure these things. He’s a smart fellow, though, so perhaps he knows something many of the rest of us don’t know.

I do know, this, though: The president spoke far too prematurely in declaring the “war on terror is over.”

Indeed, some of us have noted since the dark days immediately after 9/11 that the war against international terror may never end. I questioned at the time of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan how we could declare victory, other than by simply declaring it and going home. The late U.S. Sen. George Aiken, R-Vt., once proposed such a thing — only partly in jest — when he suggested we declare victory in Vietnam and then just leave.

That well might be what President Obama has done. He declared a victory that he couldn’t define.

The Paris attack and all the attacks that have come in the years since 9/11 persuade me, at least, that the war on terror will be ongoing well past the foreseeable future.

I am not expecting an admission of error from the president of the United States. I believe, though, that we ought to stop talking like victors while continuing to act like combatants.

This war isn’t over.


Free expression under assault

The attack this week on a French satirical magazine that killed 12 people was launched against a guiding principle of liberty.

The target was freedom of expression.

There cannot be any buckling to the forces of terror, according to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.

He is so very correct. Here is Robinson’s column in full:


Charlie Hebdo is known for its biting — and sometimes crude — satire. It published some cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed in a less-than-flattering light. Some French Muslims took exception and opened fire at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office. The bloodshed ended Friday with the deaths of three assassins; four hostages also died in a French commando assault outside of Paris, but other hostages were freed.

Publications around the world are going to look at how they should react to this horrifying act of revenge. Free expression is a cherished right of those who enjoy liberty. Let it stand forever.

Robinson notes in his column: “Right now, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the tendency must be to err on the side of defiance. News organizations have an obligation to demonstrate that they will not be cowed — and indeed, many are doing just that. But what happens a month from now, or a year from now?”

And then he adds: “If freedom of speech is to mean anything, we must avoid self-censorship. And if we are to avoid self-censorship, we must be able to protect and defend the right to make editorial decisions on their merits — which means being prepared to protect the journalists who make those decisions. This means that media organizations and governments must provide adequate security measures so that journalists can do their work.”

I’m with him.