President Speaks – Misses Target

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

President Barack Obama for only the third time in his presidency addressed the nation in prime time from the Oval Office.

His purpose: Assure the American people his policy is correct and that the country is secure.

He failed.

If you listened to his speech, do you feel safer now that you did 15 minutes before? The President spent most of his time in seemed as a defense of Muslims who reject the small minority of extremists such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, who have perverted the religion for their own evil designs.

The President did say he would continue with the strategy that is working (???) in the conflict. He went on to say, he would not commit US troops in large numbers on the ground.

On the issue of gun control, the President called on Congress to bar people on no-fly lists from being able to purchase guns.

Presidential candidate and Florida Senator Marco Rubio on CNN’s State of the Union this morning defended his vote against that ban, noting that some 700,000 people on the no-fly and other watch lists are on those lists simply because their names are similar to a person of interest.

The President vowed “We will overcome terrorism.”

His words were harder than normal. His tone more serious.

Prior to tonight’s speech, the most recent poll revealed that 60% of Americans believe the President is wrong in how he is directing the war on terror.

The President also asked Congress to authorize use of force to defeat the terrorists, which it has refused to do.

From the Cornfield, I come back to the main question: Do you feel more secure now than you did 15 minutes ago before the President spoke?

I am still not convinced there is a strategy and, if there is one, that it is working.

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.

An Act of Terror

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

No matter the motivation, the deadly attack in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Friday, November 27, 2015, was an act of terror.

The standoff, the slaying of three innocents and wounding of nine others result in terrorizing a community, the state and the nation.

Put the politics and ideology aside. Stop walking on egg shells.

This was terrorism.

Most acts of mass killings are acts of terror.

The mayhem and slaughter at a theater in Aurora, Colorado a few years ago resulted in terror for not only the victims, but also the city and nation. The deadly rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, was a terrorist act. The shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee was terrorist in nature. I could go on and on.

These type of lethal events are acts of terror.

The shooting of a nine-year-old boy in a Chicago alley was a terrorist act. Although it appears to have been a fatal result of an ongoing gang war, the result was spreading even more fear, terror and anger in the community.

Let us call things what they are. There is no reason to be sensitive in these cases. Throw political correctness out the window.

It is wrong for politicians, including President Barack Obama, to try and turn this into a political argument. It is wrong for presidential candidates to attempt to raise money and shoot arrows over this tragedy.

Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism.

If in fact this deranged individual who holed up in a Planned Parenthood facility unleashing his deadly derangement, the result is still the same. He not only murdered innocents, he terrorized the community.

From the Cornfield, there is no justification for such action. No matter the motivation, this was wrong. Let the full brunt of the law come down on his head.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, the community.

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