We are resolved
The death of James Foley displayed for all to see on YouTube last week was the latest attempt at intimidation of the United States by a foreign entity, one in a long list of such bizarre and terrible actions over the years.
I am a World War II buff and always have been. I read books constantly about what the "greatest generation" did during that war and how they had to defeat tyranny.
Many of the books I have read, that spell out attitudes before that war, tell about how the Japanese and German governments felt that Americans were soft and fragile. They felt atrocities would go unnoticed and that America would fold like cardboard once attacked.
They found out different.
Well these new thugs that are called Isis, are no different than the German Gestapo or the Japanese Tokko (their secret police from about 1911 to 1945). In fact they are much dumber than either of those criminal organizations. That's because they haven't learned from history; the history of what the United States can do when it sets its mind to it.
Americans generally want peace, and so we are perceived as soft and unwilling to take chances. That's where these control freaks get the idea that a peaceful man is never a violent man. But in truth, both about men and countries is that peaceful countries can become the most violent when it comes to their own preservation.
The display Isis made of the execution of an innocent journalist was there to shock us into pulling out of the Iraq conflict completely. Instead they just hardened the resolve of almost everyone I know. Most of us are now determined to wipe this scourge from the face of the earth.
They use religion as their front, They claim that Americans blow up innocent women and children when they bomb (which we probably do because they hide amongst them). But, except for a few rogue soldiers, we never intentionally target civilians (or those that are not part of hiding these slimy excuses for human beings).
It seems as a super power we are sometimes hamstrung by our very abilities; it's the fact we care about what the world thinks. It is the reason we are not only the most powerful nation on Earth, but we are also the most giving.
This is the essence of the two edged American sword. When we fight wars we kill and maim, and we are very good at it. Later we go back and do our best to repair the damage without asking for much in return.
I also read recently that the number of Americans citizens that are leaving to go to Syria to join the ranks of Isis has doubled in the last few months. May they never be allowed to come back to our shores when this scourge is defeated (if they live through it).
Isis wants total control over peoples minds and their lives. They want people to live by their form of Islam or to die. That was proven by the thousands of people called Yazidis who were trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq by the Isis forces. We finally helped them by bombing the Isis fighters and they were able to get into Kurdish controlled land. Isis killed over 500 men, women and children from this sect religion which takes parts of Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism to make up their religion. As American's we should always be sensitive to these kinds of moves against peoples religious beliefs, because that is one of the sources of the very principles our country was founded on.
I have names I would like to use for Isis, but I can't print them in this column. I was against our going into Iraq over a decade ago. I thought it was a wrong move; that we should have been going after others, not Sadam Husein's government. He was in many ways as bad as these guys, so in retrospect maybe I was wrong.
I recognize too that there will be young Americans putting their lives on the line to defeat these criminals,. It's easy for old men like me to want to fight a battle that I will probably not be involved in. But what else can we do. Can we just sit back and watch? I say no.
People claim we cannot be the worlds policeman, yet who else will do it if we don't? The Chinese with all their bluster about power seldom get involved in anything because they really don't care much about what happens in the rest of the world (except that is, where they have invested money). The Russians, under Putin, are probably selling arms to these guys despite the fact that they are just as threatened by these groups as we are, maybe more so, since they have neighbors that come close to being like Isis in some ways.
The hard part for me is that so many in our society don't even care or take the time to know about world events. And that was largely the way it was before World War II as well. I don't think we can be ignorant of the bad things going on in other countries so we can feel better.
If we don't do something at some point they will be on our doorstep beheading people who don't follow their ways or beliefs. What happened to Foley was a direct act of terrorism on an American citizen. We were inflamed nearly 13 years ago when it happened on our own soil.
Their thinking, tactics and methods are all barbaric. If nothing else we need to stand for up for civilization and the freedoms people should enjoy as human beings.