Op-Ed: Radical Islamic Extremism

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The heartbreak and anger following the outrageous massacre of at least 49 innocent people in Orlando will be with us forever. This evil act was caused by an individual who was filled with hate and rage against our brothers and sisters. Whether they were gay or straight, latino or anglo, black or white, Christian or Jew … they were our family. And we mourn because we are diminished by their loss.

America was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs enshrined in our Declaration of Independence which holds that ALL are created equal and endowed by our Creator with “certain inalienable rights” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” While Americans of many faiths and ethnicities have managed to co-exist peacefully (with some exceptions) for generations, there is no way to peacefully co-exist with extremists who follow a radicalized and perverted ideology around the world that includes
enslaving and raping women, persecuting & murdering Christians and Jews, and executing gays based upon sharia law.

Our enemy is “radical Islamic terrorism.” We as a country must unite to accept the cost that will be required to overcome our enemy who is intent on jihad and wants to kill anyone who doesn’t share their absolute demand to convert or die. Let’s be perfectly clear: our enemy is not the Muslim faith. I hope we all agree that Muslims who renounce sharia law are welcome to legally enter our country and live with us in peace and harmony under our Constitution and rule of law.

It has become abundantly clear to me in the years since 9/11 that America lacks a well-defined and coordinated strategy against radical Islamic terrorists. It is past time to fully unleash America’s unmatched military might and work with agencies around the world to expand our intelligence gathering counter-terrorism capability in our fight against radical Islamic terrorism. Remember, to assure there was no doubt what motivated the Orlando murderer, he actually called 911 in the midst of the slaughter to declare his allegiance to ISIS. In my opinion, if we do not fully commit to eradicate it now, it has the potential to grow into WWIII.

So we must abandon political correctness. It is a recipe for mutually assured suicide. It hinders our capacity to confront the truth behind the radical jihadi killings. The Orlando mass murderer was twice on the FBI watch list and yet passed a background check required to obtain a Concealed Carry License. It appears that lapses in Homeland Security, intelligence (NSA, CIA, etc.) and/or FBI procedures may have allowed this killer to slip through the cracks. We must decide if we are ready to authorize our military and intelligence community to use whatever procedures are necessary to secure the safety of all Americans … which may include going where we don’t want to go and doing what we don’t want to do. But we must remember that we are at war.

Our President has chosen to partially blame defenders of the Second Amendment, implying that our right to bear arms for self-defense is somehow responsible for the evil act of genocide in Orlando. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 were accomplished with hijacked airplanes.  The Boston Marathon terrorist attack involved a home-made bomb. The Pulse massacre in Orlando was by firearms. Let’s agree that if someone is bent on murder, that person or persons will use whatever tool(s) that they feel are necessary to commit such atrocities.

It is time to accept that radical Islamic terrorists/Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL is at war with all who cherish freedom and believe we are all created equal. In order to preserve our country, we must secure our border and enhance immigration enforcement, rebuild our military for the challenges to come, and use every resource available to the FBI and intelligence community to expose those planning the next terrorist atrocity. We must swing the pendulum away from political correctness and privacy toward national security for those who are identified as potential threats to our way of life.

Ambassador Stan Escudero recently addressed my “Military, Veterans Affairs and National Security Advisory Team.” The summary report follows. I think you will agree it is worth reading. As for what each of us can do now, we must all pray together, love and look out for one another, stay alert and don’t let political correctness stop us from calling the authorities about a potential threat. Reporting what we see or hear is not racist … it is only racist if we report what we don’t see or hear because of race or don’t report what we do see or hear because of race. As on many occasions in the past, it is time to “Stand up for America!”

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