Be Wary – Not Scared

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield
From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

The Islamic State’s tentacles have stretched into the US of A.

The deadly shooting of 14 and wounding as many in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday put ISIS in our living rooms. Once more Americans have been shaken to their collective core. Once more terror has penetrated our shields.

Unlike what happened following the horrific attack on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the downing of flight over Pennsylvania, where the country unified with partisan political divides for a moment disappeared, this time, Americans are divided.

Partisan bickering has been heightened. Ideological lines have been drawn. People are running scared.

Healthy fear is good. It kicks in our instinct for self-survival. But over-reaction and fear based, not on facts, but on ideological and partisan rhetoric can be as destructive as the act itself which gave rise to the debates.

We must be wary – but not live our lives scared. We must put it all in perspective.

This is not about guns.

This is not about political parties.

This is not about religion.

This is about evil people who wish to kill whoever disagrees with their warped view of the world, life and religion. An Ohio State University professor provided this information on Michael Smerconich’s program on CNN this morning:

  • Chances of getting killed by a terrorist in the US – 1 in 4 million.
  • Chances of getting killed by a gun in America – 1 in 9 million.
  • Chances of getting killed in a vehicle accident – 1 in 400,00.

We must go on with life.

We must not allow terror to grip us.

We must not be paralyzed by fear.

We must not resort to knee-jerk reactions.

What we must do is remain vigilant, alert and wary.

What we must do is life our lives in the freedom we so cherish.

From the Cornfield, our best response to those who wish to do us harm is to go on and not show the fear in our eyes, words or actions.

Let freedom ring with life lived on our terms, not in reaction to terror.

Presidential Wannabes on Islamic State

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield
From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

National Public Radio (NPR) has put out an excellent chart to help American voters to understand where the major parties’ candidates for president stand on dealing with the Islamic State.

Naturally what is in the chart could change depending on how the winds blow for a particular candidate at any time.

isisstandNotes
1. Bush and Paul both favor declaring war, while Clinton, Cruz, Graham and O’Malley favor or have favored passing a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which has in recent decades supplanted formal war declarations.
2. Christie was in favor of ground troops prior to the Paris attacks, saying they should be an option if arming U.S. allies doesn’t work.
3. On all answers marked “unclear,” unless linked/footnoted otherwise, NPR reached out to campaigns but either has not yet received answers or has received unclear answers.
4. Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler declined to answer questions on the “unclear” responses, writing in an email, “I think it too simplistic to reduce the ongoing ever-changing real-time dynamic situation in Syria in the wake of the Paris attack to yes or no answers.”
5. In September 2014, Cruz said he wanted a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force for fighting ISIS.
6. Fiorina told Fox Business that she doesn’t want to send in U.S. ground forces “yet.”
7. Statement from campaign
8. Huckabee told Breitbart News that a coalition of countries (one that includes the U.S.) should bomb ISIS, then send in troops.
9. Pataki was in favor of ground troops earlier this year, but he has not been clear on his strategy ideas since the Paris attacks.
10. Paul told CNN that he’s not in favor of more troops. However, he also added, “If we went to war and there was a declaration of war, I would put overwhelming force. I wouldn’t mess around.”
11. In an email to NPR, Paul’s campaign said, “If France asks to invoke NATO’s Article 5, President Obama should convene a NATO Summit but even if Article V is invoked, Congress must still authorize any military involvement.”
12. Rubio told ABC and O’Malley’s campaign told NPR that they are in favor of sending special operations troops. However, O’Malley and Rubio draw a distinction between those troops and larger waves of combat troops (Rubio did not respond directly to ABC as to whether he’d send in more combat troops). Similarly, Clinton said there should be more special ops troops, and that the U.S. should “support and equip” local forces.
13. A spokesman from the O’Malley campaign said that if France were to invoke NATO Article 5, then the U.S. would be bound by the treaty and would participate in accordance with NATO’s decision.
Source: Various
Credit: Danielle Kurtzleben/NPR, with research from Barbara Sprunt

From the Cornfield, in light of threat from terrorism becoming more and more reality and not just threat, it will be interesting to see the impact this may have on the 2016 Presidential Election.

For more information: http://www.npr.org/2015/11/20/456633512/what-the-2016-candidates-would-do-about-isis-in-one-chart