Our world, and our country, have known terrorist groups of one stripe or another for centuries. If you doubt that, look back in time: after the Civil War bands of armed men roamed the country, robbing and terrorizing all who happened to be in their path.
Prior to World War II, groups of “Brown Shirts” acted freely on German streets, doing the same thing. The simply truth is that a “terrorist” is anyone who instills fear in others through acts that are violent and illegal in the extreme, going contrary to every sense of decensy held to be the norm.
A “terrorist” has no regard for the rights of others. He does not respect life, liberty or anything else that does not benefit him directly. Such an individual is virtually animalistic in his approach to every-day life.
Society, of course, denounces such behavior. Laws are enacted to protect citizens from such things but, because they know nothing about decensy, terrorist groups frequently overcome this obstacle through force and violence.
Advances in technology and weaponry provide the means for such groups to gain strength and one of the best examples we have of that is ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq, one of the most vicious terrorist groups of recent times.
They have followed on the heels of al Qaeda in Iraq, taking advantage of civil war and a populace grown weary of conflict. ISIS has drawn recruits from across the globe, including America and Great Britain.
This militant group’s tentacles evidently have no bounds and that ability strains the credulity of reasonable people. It is difficult to understand why an American would abandon his country in favor of people who feel that killing men, women and children is perfectly fine if it is done in the name of a religion, regardless of the fact that the religious in question doesn’t approve such actions.
ISIS has shown the level its brutality can reach with the killing of an American journalist, using an Internet website to show anyone who might wish to look just how the killing was done.
It was a horrific deed and was condemned universally, as it should have been.
You might ask what this has to do with Sedalia or Pettis County. We are not, after all, involved in any of this. The truth, however, is that the danger posed by ISIS and other groups like it impacts us all. Leadership in Washington has determined that ISIS poses a direct threat to the U.S. and others.
The destruction of the World Trade Center towers seved to prove terrorists can reach us all. Those of us fortunate enough to live here may not be in a direct path of such anti-social behavior, nor may we be considered to be a primary target for ISIS or other groups, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent.
There is no easy answer to this problem, other than totally rejecting everything such groups stand for. If captured, those who embrace the ideals of groups like ISIS should face punishment and public condemnation. Any American who joins such groups, especially ISIS, can rightly be considered a traiter.
The wanton killing of civilians, regardless of where they may live, has always been condemned, and rightly so. Although the U.S. has a policy of not paying ransoms or meeting other terrorist demands, such groups should remember that they are inviting the wrath of forces far stronger than they.
A point should be made at the highest levels to seek out those in leadership positions in groups like ISIS, eliminating them and denying these militant people the one thing they desire most — public recognition.
ISIS claims its actions are meant to create a new Islamic state. Destroying everything in sight, people included, is a very poor way indeed to achieve such a goal.
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