This will appear in the Bernice Banner, Bernice, Louisiana, USA Week Of 10/13/2014

One hundred and eighty years ago 187 men were holed up in a broken down adobe Spanish mission in Southern Texas. Their mission was simple. Defend the mission and thus hold the property surrounding the Mexican town of San Antonio de Béxar. For thirteen days these men held out hope that reinforcements would arrive. Approximately thirty men did arrive to make up the one hundred and eighty-seven but the numbers were far short to defend the mission from the thousands of soldiers that besieged the church. Still, with disregard for their personal safety these brave individuals defended their position for thirteen days. Finally, the number of Mexican soldiers could not be contained an on March 3rd, 1836 the Alamo fell and every defender was killed.
Recently the siege of the American compound in Benghazi, Libya displays the desperation of a small force waiting to be saved by a force of good. In Benghazi one compound was over run and an American diplomat was murdered along with an aide. Another compound did hold out during an armed conflict but only after two defenders died in defense of those under siege.
These two examples of siege and the brave men and women who gave their lives have one thing in common. This one thing is the belief by the defenders that they would be eventually supported and rescued and they would not be required to die for their cause. There must have been a point in their siege that realization finally took over and the individuals knew that there would be no rescue action and they were being left alone to fend for themselves. They had been left down by the people they had complete confidence, the same people and country that they were willing to give their lives for.
While such incidences in our history can be a moral buster, they can be used to rally the troops. In the case of the Alamo the term, “Remember the Alamo” was a war cry used to build the fervor of independence in Texas and thus led to the formation of the Republic of Texas. Recent atrocities performed by ISIS has rallied a world tired of war to come to arms to air-strike this despicable misuse of the Muslim religion for twisted gains. However, once again we are witnessing a siege that pits peaceful freedom loving civilians against a most horrendous villain and once again everyone is sitting by observing and talking while some of the most loyal pro-American mid-east civilians are about to be slaughtered.
A Kurdish town, Kobani, is under siege by ISIS and is about to fall. By the time this is published the end may have already taken place. These brave defenders have probably realized that there will be no relief, their position is hopeless but they fight for their cause to the end. To make matters worse, a person can stand on the Turkish border and watch the genocide take place. Turkey, may send in ground forces but as they say, they will not go it alone. They want others to help with the heavy lifting. Meanwhile, while diplomats are talking, civilians are dying.
America said it is not happy with Turkey. This is a very profound statement and although we should not be happy with Turkey standing on the border observing the carnage from behind tanks and guns, Turkey is probably thinking of America’s response as the pot calling the kettle black. Turkey had to watch the revolution in Syria while America stood by and did nothing. Then they had to watch ISIS take over vast amounts of territory while America was caught flat footed. Now while America criticizes Turkey for standing by and not committing ground troops we aren’t getting the right arms to the Kurds to defend themselves. Rifles are no match for tanks. Now our Secretary of State has stated that the protection of Kobani was not a major part of our air strikes. Instead the destruction of command and control was the top priority; however, nightly reports are heard of bond damage assessment identifying the destruction of non-command and control equipment such as trucks and equipment in the desert.
There is probably no real sense of urgency in Turkey to go to the support of the Kurds. The Kurds in Turkey want a state of its’ own and have been a thorn in Turkey’s side for a long time. If Kobani falls then that is one less segment of the Kurdish issue that Turkey has to deal with.
One thing is for certain, if Turkey moves into Syria there will be no denial that an elite fighting machine has arrived. A friend told me of performing NATO maneuvers with the Turks. The strict discipline coupled with a tough people will definitely be felt if they deploy into Syria.
While it is felt that we can wait for this action to run its course like a cold or flu, this disease does not finally die out. Instead it will get more resistant and unless a strong dose of medicine is administered, the disease will strengthen and ultimately destroy the host; i.e. ISIS wins and freedom loses. We must act and act quickly. Unfortunately, as much as it is a horrible thought, the use of ground forces is inevitable. The longer the wait the harder the fight and the longer the campaign will be.


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