This will appear in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana, SA the week of 11/23/2015

Unless someone lives in a cave venturing out only to gather food, we are all aware that ISIS has dramatically stepped up its’ attack on the West.  It seems that they are all ways one step ahead of the rest of the world.  Some countries are attempting to take an aggressive approach toward ISIS while others are standing by observing what is unfolding and providing advice instead of action is. Those that are aggressively attacking the ISIS threat are doing so only after being attacked themselves.  This is reactionary at a time that our leadership needs to be proactive, not reactive.

ISIS has made the might of the West and the Far East and the Mid-East to appear to be unable to control the power of the expanding militant nation.  There are attempts being made and successes are taking place to control ISIS but in the eyes of the young men and women locked in desperate living conditions with no future in sight, ISIS is the best thing since sliced bread.  Perception becomes reality and despite gains made by the West, ISIS is all powerful and people continue to cross the Syrian border by the thousands to join the terrorist state.

ISIS has now reached a point that they can impact the free world in yet another way.  Like previous escalations, this is probably not fully understood and will not be until some think-tank comes up with the analytical analysis that ISIS  had outflanked us once again.

The West and especially the United States stood by and watched as ISIS swarmed across large areas of Iraq.  Despite a call for help from the Iraqi government, America refused pleas for air strikes and drones.  Instead we played political gains, demanding a change in the government before we would assist and ISIS flew across Iraq capturing major oil facilities, killing and murdering in such horrific ways that armies would quake and run from the field of battle as ISIS approached.  ISIS was winning the psychological war and there was little we could do.

ISIS jumped on the propaganda campaign in such a way that it rivaled the Nazi’s prior to World War II.  Technology coupled with great media productions and the ability to launch horrific actions to the world has made ISIS the superstars of the day.  This caught the free world off guard and these films combined with communications such as Twitter   has appealed to a tech savvy generation and again the West is scrambling to battle this.

It was only a matter of time and the appeal of this new powerful horrific nation would garner the support from other terrorist organizations and the cancer known as ISIS would spread across other countries and again the West had no simple answer to the spread of this disease and there was no real action taken to curtail its’ spread.

Then, even though anti-terrorist groups in the West were making great strides to prevent attacks on their own country, ISIS hit France; not once but twice.  Police activities expanded in France at an alarming rate and security forces in all Western countries went on maximum alert as ISIS thumped its’ nose at America and its’ allies.  It had just blown a Russian commercial jet from the skies that had taken off from a country that had aligned itself with the West, Egypt. Instead of ISIS retreating before the might of Russian air raids in Syria it took the battle to Russia.  Russia has now launched massive raids hitting eighty targets, but again this is reactionary to a stimulus prompted by actions from ISIS.  These target were always present but only now are they being hit.  Then two days following the genocide in Paris we wake up to hear that Mali had been hit by terrorist.  Most people had never heard of the West African nation but became a household name as it became ground zero for a day.

Now the world is preparing to react to these horrible acts being perpetuated by a despot terrorist organization and while all the focus is on terrorist attacks ISIS is sitting back smiling as it can now cause great damage without firing a shot.  The damage is not physical but is economic.

The world is on edge.  It is like standing in a dark forest full of danger and listening intently for some sound that announces approaching danger. A minor sound sends a message of terror, regardless of how innocent.  All ISIS has to do is send a mock message of a strike and then watch the economic impact to the region that received the message.  Brussels, the capital of Belgium shut down for days.  How much lost production does that equate to lost revenue for the country?  Then add to that the cost for the large numbers of police and military deployed to protect the capital.  Paris has been shut down.  A city that sees one of the largest tourist visits in the world has witnessed major negative economic impacts to both the city and the country.  Soon it will be airlines that receive threats and will lead to canceled or rerouted flights thus causing impact to the airlines and disrupt the traveling public. Even American which is declaring its’ cities to be safe is spending an extraordinary large sum of funds to keep us safe.  ISIS is impacting the economy of the West and without firing a shot and we don’t know what to do.  What’s next?


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