This will be in the Bernice Banner, Bernice, Louisiana, USA the week of 9/29/2014.

Several years ago I had the good fortune to begin writing a weekly article that I also placed on my blog site. In the early months of my writing I spoke of the need to support the revolutionaries in Syria in their attempt to overthrow the Assad Regime in Syria. Assad and his father were bad; as bad as Saddam Hussein ever was in Iraq. They shared the same political party, the Bath party and they both used poison gas on entire cities that threatened the regime. When I first arrived in Saudi Arabia in the late 70s I was told of an entire village being eliminated of its’ inhabitants and the village was leveled. Such is the means of controlling a country in the Middle East when it is ruled by despots.
Nothing happened to support the revolutionaries in Syria and following a leading-from-behind approach in Libya that ultimately led to the atrocity at Benghazi, we began to look like a paper tiger. A country with teeth but unwilling to use it, only growl. While this blunder in statesmanship took place, hard core prisoners were being released from prisons across Iraq. One of these, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, traveled to Syria and began his struggle against the Syrian government. There was a difference though. He was not moderate, he hated not only the West but also moderate Muslims and any other religion that did not believe in his form of Islam.
While he was forming his army and being well funded by wealthy Muslims from around the world the United States once again gave reason for the world see us as indecisive with no true direction for our international strategy. The President of the United States declared that even though the United States, the most powerful country in the history of the world, had done little to support the rebels of Syria to confront the tyrannical government of Assad; the United States would not allow the use of poison gas on Syrian civilians. The line in the sand was established. America would defend the innocent. Then one day it was disclosed that poison gas was used. The United Nations confirmed this. The president had the power to act unilaterally just he recently did recently but failed to do so. The decision to launch air strikes was lost in bureaucratic rhetoric and ultimately we once again were looked at in the light of a confused nation that no longer had the heart to fight.
This inability to act and the perception that we had become fat and lazy emboldened terrorist groups such as ISIS to start and grow. Money poured into the coffers and they kept their heads low as they grew in strength of numbers, training and finances. Last winter we heard from our American leadership that ISIS was a JV team dressed in Kobe Bryant’s uniform. Then like a German blitzkrieg from World War II, ISIS erupted and exploded across Syria and Northern Iraq with devastating efficiency with one difference, physiological warfare. ISIS publically executed, mutilated and photographed their grisly onslaught. It used public media to convey their atrocities and thus appealed to the youth of Islam as they saw a powerful army conquering the infidels and passive Muslims in the name of god. The ranks began to grow and more money poured in s America looked on.
Earlier this year I had written that ISIS had become a threat to the region and would ultimately spread across Europe and eventually be a legitimate enemy within the United States if nothing was done to stop it. Later I wrote of a genuine need to hit the nerve center of ISIS in Syria. In the meantime children were being beheaded and mass executions were conducted while we talked of a regime change in Iraq to help to defuse the situation. Then the criticality of the situation became clear. Saudi Arabia announced that anti-ISIS troops would be trained at an undisclosed site within the Saudi border. This action is unprecedented and screams of the threat to the Mid-East. I also spoke of the need to arm the Khurds in Northern Iraq. This is the best example of a free people in the region. Very dedicated to human rights and extremely loyal to America, they pose the only possible quick response team in Iraq.
Finally a plan came together and I will not speak of any action being months too late. Instead I speak of America ultimately taking a lead and building a coalition of not Europeans but of Arab countries. The Mid-East region understands the threat and even our sworn enemy, Iran, supports our actions. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Coalition planes are today bashing ISIS in both Syria and Iraq. Despite our Secretary of State saying that we are really not at war, and there being no declaration of war, we are truly at war and it will take a long time to win.
The Prime Minister of Great Britain did get a vote of approval to send planes to Iraq and within 24 hours British planes were patrolling overhead. His speech spoke of ISIS sweeping across Europe and ultimately threatening Great Britain. Norway and Belgium have followed suit. Even though the strikes have been small in scale they serve a psychological purpose. To be sitting in a vehicle in the middle of the night and suddenly without warning your fellow ISIS brother’s truck disintegrates and your friends are vaporized is a sobering experience. When it happens a second time you start to wonder when it will be your time and then question if all this is worth it and find sleep very hard to come by. A tactic used by the SEALS in Viet Nam.
It is satisfying to once again be proud to be an American; not because we are dropping bombs or flexing our muscles but because once again we are leading from the front. What a more wonderful tribute to the progress in the world than when the United Arab Emirate pilot that led the UAE strike across the Syrian border to hit ISIS was a young female lieutenant from a region that is better known for not allowing women to drive cars than for taking a tough military stand.


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