Candles for Peshawar

I lit a few candles yesterday. Reading the gruesome report of the events in Peshawar had me rattled. Two days prior I was hanging little ornaments on my tree in memory of each person killed in Newtown, MA and now 148 lives were gone at the hands of the Taliban. Children and teachers were shamelessly killed. Continue Reading

Security vacuum

The Iraqi security forces, bolstered by a small contingent of US ground forces working as advisors to the Iraqi Army, have been battling the terrorist organization known as ISIS or ISIL for the last four months (the air campaign has been in effect for six months).This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.The conservatives don’t think the Obama Administration is doing nearly enough and Liberals think that throwing a pebble is too aggressive against any foreign or domestic enemy and are generally against any form of military action. The point of the matter is why was a terrorist organization able to gain such a strong foothold and able to threaten large cities (including Baghdad) in a country the United States military had a strong presence in for almost nine years? For whatever reason, the Iraqi armed forces weren’t ready to secure their country and, as is often the case, the US military needs to bail those forces out unless they want to see Iraq overrun by a fanatical terrorist organization and see a new authortarian government formed in Baghdad.The air strikes and the current US ground forces serving as combat advisors to the Iraqi security forces would not be necessary if the United States and Iraqi governments had negotiated a modest US force to occupy and maintain a few permanent bases in Iraq-say 40,000 soldiers. Three or four divisions of US troops would have been more than enough boots on the ground to maintain security and keep the peace while at the same time not overshadowing the work and continual training of the Iraqi Army or looking like an occupying power to Iraqi citizens. Continue Reading

Minnesota imam looks at ‘caliphate’ through Islamic lens

Any time a militant organization rises with violent acts in the name of Islam, some Muslim leaders grow vocal in denouncing radicalization as they distance their faith from terrorism. Often times, some of these religious leaders seem to condemn certain actions or groups because the society expects them to do so — or because they’re concerned that critics might put them in the spotlight for their silence.

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