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Monday, November 16, 2015

The world is in need of leader in the fight to destroy ISIS; is it time to reconsider Vladimir Putin?

Link: Number of victims of Paris terror attack continues to grow.

On, Friday, November 13, in Paris, the terror group ISIS carried out an organized, well-supplied attack outside the Stade de France and also at a handful of restaurants and bars.  The first sign of trouble was an explosion that took place outside the Stade de France, during an international "friendly" soccer match between Germany and France.  The terrorist attempted to gain entry to the stadium, and after being refused, exploded his suicide vest.  This started the contagion of violence that moved to the 11 Arrondissement and a cluster of restaurants and bars.  The terrorists also forced their way into a heavy metal concert, shooting people at random.  Three of the four who forced their way into the concert also detonated suicide vests; the fourth had a vest as well, but it didn't detonate until after he had been shot by French police. It has been reported by multiple witnesses that the terrorists claimed that the attacks were in response to French policy in Syria.  Following the January 7 terrorist attack at the offices of French political magazine Charlie Hebdo, the French government instituted measures which were designed to disrupt any further terrorist attacks.  The presence of police and the military at French Airports, Ports, and public places was increased, as were efforts to collect human intelligence.  Working closely with the United States other European nations, France also keep a close eye on the trafficking of weapons, especially the black market transport network which effectively can deliver automatic weapons from eastern Europe to France in a matter of days.  French authorities were also very interested in the number of young Arab-French men and women who had recently travelled to Syria.  But the increased law enforcement and intelligence efforts were unable to prevent Friday's tragedy.  Its apparent that ISIS has the capacity to plan and carry out relatively simple but well-staged attacks on multiple urban locations.  The weapons used were the well-known Kalashnikovs and AK-47s, and the suicide vests did not require a great deal of know-how to make.  It likely that at least some of the perpetrators of these attacks had recently visited Syria, and were probably received weapons and explosives instruction at the hands of ISIS.

With this attack, ISIS has demonstrated its ability and willingness to conduct attacks in public places, regardless of the casualties.  Every city in Europe is a potential target, and security measures will have to be increased.  ISIS has particular goals in mind by conducting these attacks, and will use this event to learn how to be more effective in an urban environment.  It is no secret that Islamic extremists are bound and determined to impact the western, "Christian" way of life.  The aim is to disrupt the transportation systems that keep our society functioning.  Vehicles and planes are necessary for personal and business purposes, and any success in shutting the roads and airports can cause havoc with everyday lives.  The bad guys also get a kick out of creating enough fear in the minds of families that children are kept home from schools and streets are deserted by sundown.  When we enjoy ourselves publicly, in places like parks, beaches and sporting events, it is a celebration of our freedom, the ability to laugh and share in each other's good company in safety.  Scenes such as I have just described can be observed at any time of the year in many different places, from Tokyo to Adelaide to Durban, up to Rome and Paris, and over to the Americas.  There are parts of our world where you rarely see moments of public celebration, unless its male-only political rallies.

North America and South America are different in many ways, as are Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  But its time we focused on what we have in common.  Each and every one of us needs to ask ourselves that all-important question, "just how important is my freedom?"  If you turn on the TV or radio, and find a news channel, you will find that everyone seems to agree on the danger posed by ISIS.  Is the Islamic State for the Caliphate movement more dangerous that National Socialism (Nazis?).  Absolutely; this Islamic extremist organization has created a force which can engage our military in conventional warfare, while at the same time they are refining, improving and engaging in the old, horrendous methods of traditional terrorism.  In mid-1941, the entire world except the Americas (excluding Canada, who was already at war, standing side by side with Britain) were engaged in a titanic struggle to overcome expansionist fascist regimes in Germany, Italy and Japan.  Once the United States entered the war, the balance began to tilt in the direction of the righteous.  We have this history of coming together, once we recognize the mutual threat.  Why is it so difficult for us to come together today?  Why hasn't a leader from Europe, Africa, the Americas, or Asia made a speech at the United Nations, calling for a military coalition of all freedom loving nations, to work together and eliminate this evil from the face of the earth?  If a united military force, including the armies and air forces of the United States, the EU, Russia, China, Japan, India, and whoever else was able, surrounded the forces of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and just obliterated them, it would be such a great step forward for the cause of freedom in our culture and society today.  Why has it been so difficult to find a leader to take that walk to the podium, and point the world in the right direction?  Actually, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been on a bit of a campaign to become just such an international leader, not only rehabilitating Russia's image, but the image of Russia's ally Iran at the same time.  I have been very critical of Putin in recent months, holding out hope that maybe Barack Obama would step up to the plate and answer the call of history.  That hasn't happened; is it time that I give Putin a chance?

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