Posts Tagged Terrorism
SOCIETAL SUICIDE: FIGHTING OVER ISSUES, RATHER THAN WORKING TOGETHER TO SOLVE THE UNDERLYING CAUSES.
Over the past couple of years, the political environment among many Americans has become heated. Friend against friend, neighbor on neighbor, they are now embattled; but, they often know little more than the political slogans or the soundbites, and there is little focus, if any, on understanding, either the underlying causes, or finding possible solutions.
Over the next several weeks, I intend to describe some of these issues—how they appear on the surface, and what, I believe, the underlying problems might be. If Americans wish to work together, we can possibly find workable solutions. But first, we need to take the political boxing gloves off, and discard our biased emotions.
For some of these problems, I have already posted blogs: the Infrastructure Scam; the impact of Immigration Policy on our economy; Institutionalized Racism in our Public Schools, etc. But, only when we consider these issues, as part of a greater, and even more important, problem—Preventing the Destruction of America—might we possibly find solutions!
I don’t claim to have all of he answers or, perhaps, even know all of the questions. But, if America keeps festering from within, What Will We Become?
Donald: Do you remember when, following the horrendous attacks in Paris, fourteen months ago, President Francois Holland advised the French to go about their normal business? And, even during the Darkest Hours of World War II, before America joined in, Prime Minister Winston Churchill similarly warned the British People: “(to) Never give in. Never, ever give in…”
Over the past several years, there have been a number of terrorist attacks, literally, in every corner of the world. Afterward, in every single instance, the People have refused to cower in fear, and they have chosen to live their lives—as free, and caring, people do. Think, Donald, aren’t we supposed to be the “Land of the Free…?”
Antoine Leiris, perhaps responded best, in Le Monde, in an open Letter to the Terrorists. He addressed them directly, and told them about the loss of his wife, “The Love of my Life”.
Madam Muyal-Leiris was one of 129 people, who were needlessly murdered, at The Bataclan Nightclub, on November 13, 2015. Mon. Leiris goes on to advise them that he will not teach his 17 month-old son, Melvil, to hate them. That Letter is quoted from Le Monde, as follows:
“On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won’t have my hatred.
I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know – you are dead souls. If this God for which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.
So no, I don’t give you the gift of hating you. You are asking for it but responding to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.
You want me to be afraid, to view my fellow countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You have lost.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago.
Of course I’m devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us every day and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you’ll never have access.
We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world.
I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free.”
Donald, how can you possibly “Make America Great Again”, by pulling-in the Welcome Mat over which, both your forebears and mine stepped? When you close the borders, even for one moment, you are giving-in to hatred, intolerance and cruelty. And furthermore, that Ban will merely act as a recruiting tool for the terrorists, and just “Make America their Number One Target!”
Soon after he announced his candidacy for President, in June of last year, besides his attacking virtually every faction in the American Demographic, Donald Trump began to suggest that a President Trump would strive for Isolationism and Protectionism. Contrary to common sense, Donald boasted that the nations overseas love him. That’s just par for the ignorance that seems to engulf Trump.
When I check-in with foreign media, from time-to-time, I’m just not seeing that love for Donald Trump. Au contraire, other than Presidents Vladimir Putin, of Russia, and Xi Jinping, of China, most world leaders and their seem advisors seem to detest him. Accordingly, I am linking recent articles , which seem representative of what I have been reading in various foreign periodicals on a regular basis.
The Guardian, of the United Kingdom, represents the nation from which we inherited most of our political philosophy. The “Forget Gary Johnson.” article refers to the Libertarian’s apparent lack of Foreign Affairs awareness, but Dave Schilling then goes on to predict that a Donald Trump Presidency would be one long “Aleppo” moment.
The “Spiegel”, of Germany, reports that the German Administration has had low-level contact with the Trump Campaign, just in case he wins the Election. Perhaps one of the most poignant comments, was made by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier who recently described Trump as a “preacher of hatred.”
The linked article from The Sydney Morning Herald reflects a quite interested following of our Presidential Campaign, literally from the other side of the world. This report is in regard to Donald Trump’s comments at a town hall meeting, that very same day, for a retired veteran’s group in Virginia, last Monday. In them, Trump suggests that veterans with mental health issues are not strong. Donald, you’re a “Chicken Hawk”: when these guys went off to war, you searched for a doctor to give you a mythical medical deferment! Besides, most health care practitioners are trying to advance mental health into the mainstream acceptance.
The Editorial from the Japan Times—one of the two countries that would be most directly impacted by a Chinese invasion of North Korea (as mentioned in my last post)—cites the difference between Secretary Clinton’s preparedness and Donald Trump’s vagaries. It cites his comments on using nuclear weapons: “When asked about nuclear weapons, Trump first said that ‘I would certainly not do first strike.’” But later, he added: “At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can’t take anything off the table.”.
The article from the Miami Herald, by Andres Oppenheimer, suggests that every single nation in Latin America, even the pro-America ones, to significantly shift the the Left—and away from a President Donald J. Trump. I have found Mr. Oppenheimer to be one of the most knowledgable writers in analyzing the Americas, and sort-out where we might be headed.
In an oversight, I forgot to include our friends to the North, in Canada. The columnist for The Globe and Mail, of Toronto, asked the question that every Republican–even those who do not endorse him–must come forward and rebuke him. All three of President Ronald Reagan’s children have done so. It’s time to step forward, en masse!
Over the past several weeks, Donald Trump have moved from one pot of hot water to the next. It’s hard to believe that many in the Republican Party do not take action, mindless of the downward slope that he is taking the GOP on. As the much-belovedauthor and,poet Maya Angelou once said: “When people show you who they are, believe them!”
Much of the political rhetoric spewed against Islamic State currently seems mostly based on the racist anti-Muslim agenda of certain politicians. The strategic planners in our Defense Department place ISIS toward the bottom of our potential National Security risks. Russia and China, by far, are at the very top of the Pentagon’s List of Risks.
Surely, terrorism will always be a risk in any peaceful country. It always has been, and always will! An advantage that we, in America, have is that our anti-terrorism activities are coordinated through one governmental entity, the FBI, as compared to 30 national defense entities across Europe. Also, the Muslim Community here is somewhat better assimilated. Again, terrorist attacks, by groups such as ISIS, are at the bottom of our Defense Department list of priorities.
The planning for Future Wars is coordinated by Deputy Secretary of Defense, Bob Work. The so-called “Third Offset Strategy”, is fully-integrated with the knowledge and cooperation of our allies. The First Offset (or Advantage) Strategy was initiated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the 1950s, and it used nuclear power to compensate for the Soviet Union’s manpower advantage. At the height of the Cold War (1970s and 80s), the Second Offset Strategy emphasized: long-range, precision-guided weapons: stealth aircraft; and new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Currently, as our list of potential adversaries has increased, the Third Offset Strategy has classified our anticipated sources of danger as follows: Russia and China are the very highest priority; then Iran (an exporter of terrorism) and North Korea (only because Kim Jong-Un is unstable and has primitive nuclear weapons); and various rogue states and non-government organizations, such as ISIS, are at the bottom. Although they all pose dangers to America and our allies, it always are makes sense to prioritize risks.
Over the past fifteen years, as the U. S. military was distracted, fighting two wars, and depleting its Defense Budget, Russia and China were able to narrow the gap with our technological superiority. Both have grown their budgets substantially, increased their technology development programs, and they were able to observe both what our military did well, and notice its weaknesses. Also, their cyber-intel warriors were able to hack into our computers, and steal technology—saving themselves time and money.
The T-O Strategy will include more coordination with our NATO Allies, as well as encourage them to increase their own defense budgets to the agreed-upon two percent of their respective GDPs. In the future, research will be mostly carried-out in a combination of academic and commercial labs, rather than in government facilities. Future weapon development will be developed and funded similar to how Boeing and SpaceX have taken on the mission of re-supplying the International Space Station with the rocket systems, which they funded and developed.
Besides traditional battlefields, look for: greater use of miniature air, land and sea-based drones; continued stealth technology; ships with lower manpower requirements; advanced manufacturing, to include robotics and 3-D systems; and guided bomb and missile systems. Future wars will also make greater use of cyber-technology, not only in hacking to gain intelligence, but in jamming, providing false intelligence or even, planting viruses to incapacitate enemy systems. As in our daily lives, the advantages of digital technology can harm us when they become inoperable or malfunction.
Traditionally, the U. S. has had the unquestioned quickest and most comprehensive system of technology management, from development to useful application. That requires: a combination of government-funding, as necessary; a rational regulatory environment; and the coordination of academia and corporate management. It seems like Academia and Industry will be ready to go; but, the question is: Will Congress?
This Sunday, we commemorated what took place at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93, where passengers purposely crashed their terrorist-controlled airliner into a rural Western Pennsylvania field, rather than be sacrificed in that act of piracy. Donald J. Trump, however, might have been one of the few who were actually celebrating at Ground Zero today, since one of your real estate projects—40 Wall Street—qualified for a small business re-construction grant of $150,000, even though it suffered no damage
Yes, Donald, you have been vowing to build a Wall; but, one already exists. You might not know that among the three locations, which were savaged that day, there were people from all over the world—Americans, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Europeans, Muslims, Women, Disabled, etc. But, they came together. They helped each other try to escape, and some comforted each other, when they realized that their fate was sealed. And, that included many of the first responders—running into danger, against all common sense!
A week or so ago, it had been one year since that three year-old Syrian boy’s body washed-up on the shore in Greece. His mother and five-year old brother drowned, as well. Germany gave the father asylum. Did you see it, Donald? He looked like he was sleeping, like many children, head down and rump in the air. But, I didn’t see a terrorist—even a future one. All that I could see was a littler boy sleeping, just like my three year-old grandson does.
Perhaps you view all of these refugees as terrorists, drug traffickers and murderers; but, have you ever really thought about them? In most cases they are just trying to escape gang-controlled cities with some of the highest murder rates on the planet. Do you really think that coming to America, to be a migrant farm worker, is a great career move? They are just seeking a better life for their families!
Two years ago, I described the unbelievable love and kindness shown by the Great People of Gander, Newfoundland. I have linked that blog post as a note, below. This time, however, I have linked a column from the Washington Post, the title of which I believe says it all: “On 9/11, a tiny Canadian town opened its runways and heart to 7,000 stranded travelers.” Its linked as follows: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/on-sept-11-a-tiny-canadian-town-opened-its-runways-and-heart-to-7000-stranded-travelers/2016/09/08/89d875da-75e5-11e6-8149-b8d05321db62_story.html.
You see, Donald, many great things happened that fateful day in 2011—as they have every day since. All the world declared they were American that day. The colors of our flag were displayed on great buildings around the world, flags everywhere were at half-staff. moments of silence were held, for those who died. But, I believe that that love, and that humanity, that the Great People of Gander, Newfoundland displayed that day personifies the very Wall that, perhaps, you have been seeking to find.
But, Donald, the Great Wall of Humanity is there for us to see. t’s all around us, everywhere we go. Granted, we do have to accept the bad with the good, which is much much greater. But, you can see that Wall, Donald, and you just have to look for it!
A great book about what happened with all those planes, running low on fuel, having just crossed the Atlantic, read: “The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland”.
by Jim DeFede.
Donald J. Trump continually talks about how quickly, and how forcefully, he is going to eliminate ISIS. This is a theme, however, that he brought over from the Republican Primary Debates. But considering all of the various adversaries that the U. S., and our allies might face, Islamic State doesn’t pose one of the most serious threats!
Our Defense Leaders at the Pentagon are constantly preparing for Future Wars, which the Pentagon currently refers to as the “Third Offset Strategy”. Knowing your enemy is the first consideration in warfare planning. Russia and China are, far and away, at the top of that list followed, after a large gap, by Iran and North Korea (only due to the nuclear-armed lunatic, Kim Jong-Un), and toward the bottom are rogue states and non-government organizations, such as ISIS.
Islamic State, however, is in total disarray. The Jihadist fighters have been decimated, their weapons and equipment have been destroyed, its captured territory has diminished greatly, and the oil wells that financed the Caliphate are no longer functional. Also, with the arrival of Turkish forces, the Syrian border with Turkey has been sealed, thus ending the flow of Jihadi recruits and supplies to ISIS.
At present, ISIS remains a Caliphate in name only, and it can no longer claim any authority over the Islam that it had highjacked. Following the loss of its potency in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has been carrying-out its terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East, either by fighters sent back to their home countries, or by radicalized Muslims in their local areas. But, as any belief in the Caliphate fades, so too will the charade that it ever truly existed.
Rather than address the most dangerous threats to our security, Donald Trump choses to focus on ISIS, perhaps because it is much easier for him to sell to his followers. There are no wonky details, such as cyber-warfare and the Nuclear Triad, to deal with. Besides, his assumed danger-of-choice remains in play: Muslims and terrorists, as well as his racist tendencies. That means that Trump’s supporters are already prepared for his chosen War on Terror!
No, I’m not referring to refugees coming from Iraq, Syria and Libya! Approximately half of the three million or so, have been re-settled in grossly overcrowded refugee camps within the Region, mostly in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The rest have taken various dangerous sea or land routes to Europe. And as with any mass migration, in this case, there are always some criminals and terrorists mixed in with the masses who only seek safety, and a better way of life.
Over the several centuries of American history, we have also had various migrations, from Europe and Asia, and more recently Latin America and the Caribbean. There are a number of Puerto Ricans, who are U. S. citizens, who have moved to the Mainland, for the better economic conditions. And since the mid-1950s, the Island’s Revolution resulted in several million Cuban political refugees coming to the U. S., and more recently, some continues, but as economic emigres.
I recently described Venezuela as another failed state, just waiting to explode, and that post is linked as follows: https://thetruthoncommonsense.com/2016/08/07/venezuela-a-failed-state-thats-just-waiting-to-explode/. Now, there have perhaps always been people entering the U. S. illegally, from various nations—either by just coming ashore or failing to return home when their Visas expire. And that will continue to be an on-going fact, as long as there are nations in political turmoil, or with dire economic conditions. But in this post, I am suggesting that the situation in Venezuela will cause a sudden, mass influx when, not IF, it occurs.
Here in South Florida, we are ground zero as a destination for immigration from many places in Latin America or the Caribbean. That’s because we have a diaspora of countrymen from literally anywhere in the Region. The situation in Venezuela, however, is different from others, however, because the catalyst for leaving has already been set. At this time, only the ignition is lacking. And, with a population of 31 million, Venezuela has twice the potential number of sudden refugees, which might arrive in the U. S., as the entire remainder of Cuba and Puerto Rico combined.
I have lived in South Florida for almost forty years. So, if I didn’t like immigrants or diversity, I would have been gone long ago. For instance, when Fidel Castro sent 120,000 people from the Port of Mariel, Cuba, in just a few months time in 1981, Miami took them in. And over time, they found work, paid taxes, raised families and became assimilated into our multi-cultural version of American Society.
The unfortunate fact currently is that we have an ignorant faux politician who is spewing hatred among our Countrymen, and suggesting that we should stop illegal immigration by building a wall. His wife, Melania, came to this country for a reason. Has he asked her why? Oddly, in Donald Trump’s shallow-minded “address” on Terrorism on Tuesday, he suggested that “bigots and hateful people” should not be allowed in. Donald, have you looked into the mirror lately?
NOTE: When there is a mass exodus, from any nation, not everyone leaves. And some people go to various countries, either where they have friends or relatives, or for any of a multitude of other reasons. But as usual in this Hemisphere, we will get a goodly number of Venezuelans.