Tag Archives: terrorists

Hamas wants extension … to what end?

Did I hear it correctly, that the terrorist organization Hamas is willing to extend the four-day cease-fire in the war it started with Israel?

Well, before we embrace this as a show of compassion for the hostages Hamas is releasing, I want to caution y’all about why Hamas might be willing to extend the cease-fire.

It well might be only to reorganize its command and control network, which the Israeli Defense Forces have disrupted since mounting its counteroffensive after the Oct. 7 rocket fusillade that Hamas launched into Israeli cities.

You see, Hamas is about as trustworthy as the nastiest murderers who ever have lived.

I get that I and most of the world are way on the outside trying to peer into the inner workings of this shadowy group. I also know that Israeli intelligence officials — among the best in the world — likely know what Hamas is up to as it sues for an extension of the cease-fire.

I am left only to hope that Mossad — the Israeli spy network — knows what gives with Hamas’s efforts to keep the Israelis’ bombardment at bay. If it’s for real, that it only intends to release more hostages during the cease-fire, then I’m all in.

I fear that Hamas very well might have more sinister motives in mind. If the Israelis discover that Hamas merely is buying time to reorganize and re-form its command and control apparatus, then they must resume their offensive with full force.

Hamas: still untrustworthy

Try as I am to keep my emotions in check over the release of hostages by the Hamas terrorists, it is good to remember one thing about this group of monsters.

It is that they are monsters, they have no regard for human life and even less regard for the existence of Israel.

The hostage exchanges are certainly welcome news for the families of those who have been held captive by the killers. I join them in rejoicing the return of their loved ones. Of particular joy must the family of the Israeli who was thought to have died at the hands of Hamas, only to be released very much alive.

This world of ours would be a much better place without Hamas, which has ruled Gaza for years now. Hamas ignited the war with Israel on Oct. 7 with its fusillade of rocket fire and mortars … launched specifically against civilian targets.

Israel responded with maximum force. Yes, the loss of Palestinian life has been tragic. But … that a devastating consequence of war. The Israelis contend they are working to avoid civilian casualties … and I believe them!

They also intend to rid this planet of Hamas, which is hiding behind innocent civilians, which the terrorists’ MO. How in the world do the Israelis accomplish that mission without inflicting unintended collateral casualties? Answer? They cannot.

The fighting will resume shortly, I am going to presume. There will be more destruction and death. Meanwhile, I intend to say my prayers that ask God Almighty to help send the Hamas terrorists one unmistakable message.

If you keep fighting, you are going to die!

Israel hits ‘too hard’?

This is a headline I didn’t want to read once war broke out between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas:

“Israeli airstrike kills 500 in hospital.”

The report came from the Gaza Health Ministry. So … it immediately becomes somewhat suspect. However, as we are learning all over again: War is hell.

Indeed, we might learn before this war ends that it is worse than hell. The “war is hell” comment, attributed originally to Union Army Gen. William “Tecumseh” Sherman during the Civil War, almost has become a cliche, a throwaway line.

It isn’t. It is the unvarnished, unadulterated truth about humanity’s ability to inflict misery on itself.

If the report is true that an Israeli airstrike hit a Gaza hospital and inflicted the kind of casualty count that is being reported, then much about this conflict might be changing. Israel said it intends to wipe Hamas “off the face of the Earth.” I, too, want Hamas destroyed. There cannot possibly be room in a civilized world for the scale of brutality that exists in what passes in the hearts of those who inflict it.

Hamas is among the worst of the worse.

However, Israel must be accountable for hitting a hospital in the manner that is being reported.

Israel denies hitting the hospital. “We did not strike that, and that the intelligence that we have suggests that it was a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad, and I want to add, categorically, that we do not intentionally strike any sensitive facilities, any sensitive facilities, and definitely not hospitals,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN.

I am going to presume that Israel knows and understands the rules of modern warfare. One of those rules places hospitals off limits to attack. The penalty would be to charge the attackers as war criminals.

I also am going to insist that we cannot place Israel on the same plane as Hamas. Israel has pledged to avoid killing civilians as it plans a possible frontal ground invasion of Gaza. Hamas, though, targets civilians, as it did when it started this war more than a week ago with that horrific rocket barrage into Israel.

Israel, to my mind, deserves some benefit of the doubt as the probe into this attack proceeds … but, dammit! — this is a headline I clearly did not want to read.


Complicated … but simple

My unabashed support for Israel as it prepares to defend itself Hamas is both complicated and simple.

I will start with the simple part. The Israeli Defense Force is charged with defending the nation against foreign enemies. Hamas presents an existential threat of the first magnitude. It launched its attack on Israel a week ago and the violence has killed many Palestinians and Israelis.

What does Israel do? It must defend itself against a well-armed, massive terrorist organization whose mission is to destroy Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared he intends to make Hamas realize it has made a “terrible mistake.”

The second simple element of my support for Israel is because of my many Israeli friends. I acquired these friendships during the monthlong visit to Israel in May-June 2009. I have stayed in touch with many of them. I worry terribly that they might be victimized by the terrorists. Anyone with friends who live in these danger zones know of what I speak.

The complicated part? It deals with Netanyahu and the hardline policies his Likud party policies. I am not a fan of Netanyahu and his view that the Palestinians share some of the guilt for the crimes delivered by the terrorists. Likud refuses to grant Palestinians all the benefits of citizenship.

Is there any justification for Hamas acting as it did with its massive rocket attack against Israel? No. Then again, the Israelis could have ameliorated the concerns of the Palestinians by backing off on the hardline policies it has enacted against the Palestinians. Israel’s hard line seems to have given Hanas some form of perverted justification for acting as it did.

The Israelis’ response to this attack is likely to be bloody beyond measure. There is no way on God’s good Earth that the counterattack will be free of collateral damage. That’s largely because the cowardly Hamas strategy is to hide among the women and children who live in Gaza.

I must stand with the Israelis.

How can Hamas gain support?

As I watch the images flashed from my TV screen and read accounts of what I am witnessing, I am left to ponder the imponderable.

Which is … how can anyone with half a brain or a smidgen of a heart justify what Hamas has done in the name of “territorial integrity”?

Hamas’s assault on Israel is a week old now. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians are dead. Many of the casualties, I hasten to add, are at the hands of the terrorists who launched the attack on Israeli civilians. And many of them are babies and old people.

Hamas doesn’t like the way Israel has treated Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Maybe the complaint is legit. However, the terrorists’ action against that policy is beyond anything I can imagine as being reasonable.

Thus, I stand with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration that the military objective now is to destroy Hamas, to “wipe it off the face of the Earth.”

This will be a bloody effort, to be sure. The Israelis, who’ve been threatened since the creation of the nation in 1948, have no choice but to act.

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.


Afghanistan: Will it get better?

A young friend of ours came over this afternoon to wish us a happy 50th anniversary.

We sat in the living room and he turned back to face me and asked: What do you think about Afghanistan?  He meant the withdrawal, of course, which he described as a “mess.”

I didn’t know quite how to respond. I did not — I do not still — want to offend our young neighbor; he is too sweet of a young man and I don’t want to end up on his “bad side.”

All I could come up with was that the commander in chief, President Biden, had no choice but to end a war that had dragged on for two decades. “To what end does he stay in the fight?” I asked. I reminded our young friend that we had fought there for more than two decades. Do they keep fighting?

My friend smiled. We both changed the subject.

The inglorious end to an inglorious war is bound to bring friends to a rhetorical dead end when the subject comes up. My young friend and I agreed that it will take time for this post-Afghan War period to sort itself out.

I will continue to hope for the best outcome, which I hope means we can keep our eyes and ears dialed in to the nth degree and listen and look for any signs of trouble from the Taliban or any terrorist organization that seeks to do us harm.

My hope, then, is that we keep the drones armed and ready to strike.


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.


Netanyahu is out!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the world’s greatest enigmas, in my humble view.

The soon to be former prime minister of Israel toes a hard line against Palestinians, against the terror groups that hide among them, and to the security of his nation. I understand Netanyahu’s concern about Israeli security.

I spent more than a month there in the spring of 2009. I saw up close what Israelis face daily, being so close to nations that at various times either have wanted to destroy Israel or have actually gone to war with them to achieve that end. I mean, they require new homes to have fortified bomb shelters built in.

I sought an interview with Netanyahu while we were touring the country. He was too busy to meet with me, then a working daily journalist. Oh, well.

A coalition government has formed that will remove Bibi Netanyahu from office. He is going out with some rhetorical fire in his nostrils. He is criticizing President Biden for reasons that escape me, given the president’s long-standing support of Israel; it might have something to do with Biden’s insistence on a two-state solution to find peace with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He has made plenty of enemies along the way, allowing the construction of Israeli home in the Palestinian-occupied West Bank. That is where my feelings conflict about Netanyahu. While I support the man’s insistence on protecting Israelis against Palestinian terrorists, I have difficulty with this move toward encroaching even more deeply into Palestinian territory with construction of homes for Israeli families. It’s as if he is picking a needless fight.

I am heartened by the belief that Israel will survive this huge power change. It is a beautiful, thriving and progressive country. It serves as something of an oasis in a parched and desolate region. I want them to succeed, as I have many friends there. I wish only peace for them.

It well might inch its way toward a permanent state now that Benjamin Netanyahu, a chief antagonist, is being pushed aside.

The terrorists prayed? To whom?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Now we see video of the Capitol Hill terrorist mob “praying,” I presume, to  while they are ransacking the Senate and House chambers … and while they are seeking to kill — reportedly — the speaker of the House and the vice president of the United States.

Wow, man. That is as rich as it gets.

I’ve already commented on how these perverts are every bit as heinous as the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. Now we see video of them offering prayers.

Are these Christians? If they are, do they read the same Bible I have read since I was a little boy?

I am struggling to recall where I have read in either the Old or New Testaments where it’s OK to storm onto public property and seek to do physical harm to our elected officials.

It’s fashionable at times like this to ask: What would Jesus do?

Certainly nothing approaching what we saw unfold on Capitol Hill.