Tag Archives: terrorism

ISIS rears its evil head

Joe Biden has been handed yet another crisis … as if he needs anything else to occupy his time.

The Islamic State is taking “credit” for a massive shooting spree in Moscow that has killed at least 60 people; they were attending a music festival in the Russian capital.

What does the president do? He’s already on record opposing Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. He has labeled Putin a war criminal for the indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets.

He now might be forced to decide whether to send aid to Russia as it seeks to clean up the carnage left by ISIS’s ghastly goons. The victims were innocent civilians. Does the president commit U.S. intelligence professionals to help the Russians identify the source of this horrific deed?

All that said, I am left only to offer my deep sympathy to the family members and loved ones of those who were killed or injured by terrorists. As for what President Biden might do, I offer my sincere good wishes that his power of discernment doesn’t fail him now.

Time doesn’t heal this pain

They say that “time heals” damn near all emotional pain. I’m not sure about that.

We are commemorating the 9/11 attack on our nation today. Twenty-two years ago, Islamic terrorists hijacked jetliners and flew them into the World Trade Center’s towers, into the Pentagon and then — after fighting with the passengers aboard a fourth jetliner — crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa.

All the times I have watched the horrendous video of that day, witnessing all the carnage, the panic and chaos and I still well up when I gaze on what happened that day.

Indeed, it seems to worsen with time, not the reverse.

The event has spurred me to thank firefighters and police officers when I see them going about their usual day. I have done the same to ambulance drivers, EMTs and paramedics. They all represent a segment of our society that rushed toward the danger when it exploded in front of us on 9/11.

We’ll never forget that horrendous day … and may it always bring back the pain we felt in the moment.

Terrorism? You bet!

I felt compelled to look up the term “terrorism” in my handy-dandy, dog-eared American Heritage Dictionary.

I found this: “Terrorism, (n): the political use of violence or intimidation”

Fascinating, yes? I think it is.

We just went through a weekend in which we commemorated the bloodiest act of terrorism ever committed on U.S. soil. The 9/11 attack in reality was an act of war and we responded initially in righteous anger.

Then came the events of 1/6, an insurrection committed against the U.S. government by a riotous mob of traitors who stormed the Capitol and sought to prevent the certification of a duly conducted U.S. presidential election.

Both events, while different in their scope and level of carnage, had one thing in common. They both were “political” acts that used “violence and intimidation” against their victims.

So, when we refer to the 1/6 attack on our government, let’s be sure to understand what it was and what it intended to do.

It was a terrorist act meant to frighten government officials into doing something they weren’t empowered to do.

And to think that the assault came at the behest of an individual who took an oath to protect and defend the very government he later would attack.


Trying to figure Putin out

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

It’s a challenge in the extreme to put oneself into Vladimir Putin’s skull or into what passes for the Russian dictator’s heart. I have sought to inject myself into both places, but I cannot find my way into or out of either of them.

So … I am left only to wonder what goes through his noggin or that thing he calls a heart.

Putin is now a worldwide pariah. At least in most of the world. He’s got his friends in China, Belarus, Syria, Iran and North Korea. The remainder of Earth’s civilized world is aghast, appalled and astonished at the invasion he launched against Ukraine.

The madman is bombing cities and inflicting deliberate harm to civilians. When was the last time that happened in open warfare? World War II? The Germans and Japanese started that fight, but the rest of the world finished it. I concede openly that our side brought terrible suffering to civilians, too. And, yes, terrorist organizations around the world have done the same thing in the decades since the end of WWII.

The flashback has returned in real time in Ukraine.

What does someone such as Putin think when he reads that his standing among world leaders has sunk to such depths? Does it bother him? Does it inject in him any sense of reason, or any sort of shame that he has done this to innocent victims while bringing shame to himself and his country?

I suppose it’s becoming clear that Putin wants to swallow up Ukraine. French President Emanuel Macron reportedly has said that is Putin’s precise goal, to conquer the whole country and bring it back into the Russian fold or, at the very least, install a puppet government in Kyiv to do his bidding.

The rest of us are left to offer prayers for Ukrainians and their leaders while also sending intensely bad karma to Putin and his thugs.

That’s all I — as an old man sitting far away in my comfortable home — can offer.


President Bush speaks blunt truth

Former President George W. Bush told the world a blunt truth while honoring the heroes who confronted foreign terrorists on 9/11.

He said this:

“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said in a speech Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” he said. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.”

“And it is our continuing duty to confront them,” Bush added.

Yes, Mr. President. It certainly is our duty.

Sadly, tragically and to his everlasting shame, one of President Bush’s successors not only has failed to “confront” the enemy within, he has encouraged them to act. I refer, of course, to the 45th POTUS — the dipsh** who shall remain nameless in this blog.

I understand that President Bush’s remarks have been hailed by Democrats and irked supporters of the 45th POTUS. Hmm. Imagine that, if you dare.

I cannot help but wonder why in the name of all that is holy does anyone object to the words of a former wartime president on whose watch we sought to confront international terrorists. Of course he is correct about the threat of domestic terrorists. He echoed the words spoken two years ago by FBI director Christopher Wray — appointed by POTUS 45 — who said the same thing about the domestic terrorism.

I will stand with President Bush on this one.


9/11 reminds me why I am glad we left

The commemorations we have witnessed today as the nation marks the 20th year since the 9/11 attacks have taken us — in my mind at least — on a dual-track remembrance.

I am reminded of how unified we were immediately after the attacks. President Bush called us to arms to fight the terrorist network that launched the attack. We stood behind the wartime president … for a time.

Then he took us into Iraq. The Iraq War was launched on false pretenses. We invaded a sovereign nation, removed a hated dictator and then got bogged down in another conflict with no clear motive for engaging the Iraqis in the first place.

We took our eyes off the key enemy: the Afghan terrorists.

President Bush infamously said at one point during his time in office he didn’t think much about Osama bin Laden. His successor, President Obama, made it the nation’s mission to bring justice to the mass murderer. Our special forces did so in May 2011.

Yet the war in Afghanistan dragged on.

And on and on …

Which brings me to the second track. President Biden ended that war. I am more glad today than ever that he acted when he did. It is true the withdrawal could have been executed more cleanly. But our troops are off the battlefield.

We have removed the world of thousands of terrorists. No, they aren’t exterminated. Others have stepped up to replace them. Indeed, the Afghan War had turned into a never-ending struggle against an enemy that cannot possibly be wiped off the face of the planet.

However, we retain — throughout unsurpassed military and intelligence capability — the ability to search out and destroy anyone who intends to do us harm the way Osama bin Laden did on 9/11.

May always remember the attacks of that horrific day. May we also always remain alert to the danger that lurks.

However, let us also avoid the kind of quagmire — and that’s what it became in Afghanistan — that always exacts too heavy a price.


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.


Can this peace deal take root … with the Taliban involved?

You may count me as one American who wants like the dickens for the peace deal worked out with the terrorist group Taliban to work.

However, you also may count me as one who is suspicious to the max of any deal involving this treacherous band of cutthroat, extremist fanatics.

The Trump administration has announced a deal with the Taliban that will involve a fairly rapid drawdown of U.S. troops from the battlefield in Afghanistan. Donald Trump vowed to end our nation’s longest war. I want him to succeed in that effort.

The deal is fraught with peril.

It depends on whether the Taliban make good on their end of the deal, which includes a pledge to no longer support international terror efforts and to cease being a haven for terrorist groups … which is what got us involved in this war starting with the attacks on 9/11. We all remember that, yes?

I find it fascinating that when Barack Obama once said he would “talk” to the terror group, he was vilified by those who called him soft on terrorists. Now it’s Donald Trump who did the talking, but … where’s the criticism? Hmm. Go figure.

As the Associated Press reported: Under the agreement, the U.S. would draw down its forces to 8,600 from 13,000 in the next three to four months, with the remaining U.S. forces withdrawing in 14 months. The complete pullout would depend on the Taliban meeting their commitments to prevent terrorism, including specific obligations to renounce al-Qaida and prevent that group or others from using Afghan soil to plot attacks on the U.S. or its allies.

Can we really and truly depend on the Taliban to keep their word?

Let us hope so.

American Taliban is out … oh, how I wish he wasn’t

John Walker Lindh became known as the American Taliban. He decided in 2000 to convert to a form of Islam, then joined the terrorists in Afghanistan.

Then came the 9/11 terror attack and the start of our war against terrorism. Lindh got captured early in that fight, was charged with crimes relating to his involvement with the Taliban and al-Qaeda, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in a federal prison.

He walked out of that lockup in Terre Haute, Ind., today. He will live in northern Virginia.

Has this lunatic disavowed his radical views? Apparently not!

That is what makes his release so troublesome, at least to me.

He got out of prison a bit early because he behaved himself while behind bars. Lindh was known to read the Quran daily. He prayed per Islamic tradition. Lindh was 22 years of age when he was captured.

He reportedly also has made pro-Islamic State statements while in prison. Still, the feds decided to turn this guy loose three years before the end of his term?

He was accused initially of a host of crimes related to the uprising in Afghanistan in which he participated, but worked out some sort of a deal in exchange for the 20-year prison term he received.

The feds have put some constraints on Lindh, trying to ensure they keep an eye on him. I’m going to presume he will be unable to leave the country and rejoin his Taliban pals. He also will be disallowed from having any non-English-language telecommunications equipment and his Internet use will be monitored carefully.

There’s just something about this story that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I hope the federal authorities keep all eyes wide open on this guy and watch his every move.

Iconic cathedral destroyed . . . oh, the tragedy!

Fire has swept through the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the iconic Paris church and an overarching symbol for the Catholic Church.

The bell towers reportedly are safe. The spire has collapsed. Reports seem conflicted. Is the cathedral a total loss?

I know what we all are thinking now as French firefighters battle this blaze: Is this the act of a terrorist? No such organization has claimed responsibility as I write this brief post. I pray none will surface. If it’s a bogus claim from some faker, I trust French intelligence officials will know.

I’ve not been to Paris. I have not seen this iconic structure. Those I know who have seen have come away enriched beyond measure just being in the presence of this holy site.

Thus, the world should mourn what is unfolding in Paris at this moment.

My heart is broken.