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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Brutal act should be wake-up call for U.S.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

I fully admit to having no knowledge of warfare such as underway halfway across the world in Iraq. All I know about this tragic war against terrorism comes from what I watch and read. I assume you're like me on that count. But when savage, brutal murders like the beheading of American contractor Paul Johnson occur, it makes me wonder why the greatest military machine in the history of mankind is not being used fully against our enemy.

I don't want to taint a Father's Day with talk of killing but the images of Johnson taken from the internet are still clear in my mind. That brutal act by evil forces should be a wake-up call for our military. I pray the "hawks" within the military win the day. In my opinion, let the bombs begin to fall with a display that would make "shock and awe" seem like a summer picnic.

With just two weeks remaining before the Iraqi government begins a leadership role there, our military might should be displayed like never before. I think we fail to understand the savagery of the enemy and make the assumption they will play under the same rules of engagement as us. That is clearly wrong.

The most powerful nation and the most powerful military in history stands hostage to a handful of men with knives and no conscience. We are committed to a war with our hands tied behind our backs. We have become reactive and not proactive. And to bring some semblance of peace to that region, we must begin to play by their rules.

I seriously doubt that there will ever be a resolution to the issues in the Mideast. The struggles there are centuries old and the basic issue is one of religious differences. Given those "noble" differences, we adopt a western philosophy of military engagement with an enemy that has no understanding of our concepts of society or democracy or freedom.

The sad and tragic aspect of warfare is that innocents die. Our culture and values dictate that we abhor the killing of innocent victims and we will sacrifice our own men and women to avoid massive actions that will take innocent lives. But our enemy does not operate under our code of conduct. Thus we either accept these ongoing murders of innocent Americans or we change our military philosophy. In my opinion, it's time to change.

If we are committed to change in that region of the world, then we need to be equally committed to using the full might of our military to achieve those goals. And if we're unwilling as a society to make those commitments, then it's time to come home and accept the instability in the world that will follow for generations to come.

Were I the leader of this great nation, the response to the beheading of Paul Johnson would be heard around the world. And for those pundits who would seek political gain from that action, I would hold the graphic photos of Paul Johnson in their face. Under my plan, those areas that harbor members of the enemy would no longer exist on the face of this earth. The burning remains of those areas would serve as a reminder of our military might and our national resolve.

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