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Mark Caserta: We must accept Trump’s challenge on radical Islam

27 Aug

It’s truly this election…or never

me

  • Aug 26, 2016

GOP presidential nominee Donald John Trump is laying down the gauntlet against radical Islamic terrorism and asking Americans to accept his challenge.

Last week, in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump likened the fight against terrorism to the Cold War and the battle against Nazism and laid out his plan advocating a “new screening test for the threats we face today,” calling it “extreme vetting extreme, extreme vetting.”

Trump’s plan calls for all immigrants to be subjected to tests for a commitment to U.S. values, including religious freedom and tolerance. He added we would assess our allies based on their commitment to defeat “radical Islam.”

“All actions should be oriented around this goal, and any country which shares this goal will be our ally,” Trump declared. “Very important – some don’t share this goal. We cannot always choose our friends but we can never fail to recognize our enemies.”

Trump was most likely imputing our commander-in-chief, who is so apologetic for the Muslim faith he won’t even utter words insinuating radical Islam. And incredibly, we have a Democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, willing to perpetuate protecting Islam over the lives of Americans.

Given the president has no greater responsibility than to ensure the safety and security of the American people, how can either one of these individuals be qualified to lead our country? Despite the obvious, neither seems to believe our nation’s borders are at risk!

Both Obama and Hillary are determined to bring thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States without properly vetting them.

Top U.S. officials have already admitted concern that a potential terrorist could be hiding among refugees looking for asylum in the U.S. as reported in a February 2015 column by Justin Fishel and Mike Levine on ABC.com.

And FBI Director James Comey and the nation’s top intelligence officials already have admitted we simply don’t have the information in our nation’s data base to properly vet these individuals.

“We can only query against that which we have collected,” Comey said before the House Homeland Security Committee in 2015. “We can query our database till the cows come home, but there’ll be nothing show up, because we have no record on that person.”

But even then, it’s a red herring. As reported in a November 2015 column by Kerry Picket of “The Daily Caller,” the Obama administration is limiting the scope of query to focus on “behavior,” rather than religion or ideology.

Incredibly, Obama’s counter-terrorism officials have trained domestic Homeland Security law enforcement officers to focus on the behaviors of people entering the U.S. rather than their political, ideological or religious background.

At what point do we ostensibly label this administration’s efforts to protect Americans either a “lack of skill” or a “lack of will” – and possibly both.

It’s time America accepts Trump’s challenge. If we don’t use this election to get serious about keeping radical Islam out of our country, it will be too late.

They will have an open range under Hillary Clinton.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Americans must be prepared for ISIS attack

11 Dec

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

  • 20 hrs ago

Not only have the feigned strategies of Barack Obama been ineffectual in deteriorating the might of the Islamic State, they have emboldened radical jihadists in bringing their savagery to the United States.

The recent attack in California where 14 people were heinously murdered at an office Christmas party was just a preview of what I believe is to come as a result of the failed policies of this administration. And it’s simply a slap in the face to all Americans that this president wallows in intellectual dishonesty by not even being able to admit we are at war with radical Islam.

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Americans must now begin preparing for threats against our citizens that we heretofore had primarily associated with Middle Eastern nations. FBI Director James Comey has already revealed he has ISIS-related investigations in all 50 states. I share the belief of many that this formidable presence is busy readying sleeper cells for a coordinated attack on the United States, perhaps at an even greater magnitude than we witnessed in Paris.

I recently received a social media “terror alert” with this warning about the Islamic State. “They will use your laws to get inside your country and then use your freedoms against you.” The nature of this alert, and the fact that it was urgently sent by an individual who has studied the intricacies of Islam for decades, was quite disturbing. Even more disturbing is that our own government appears lackadaisical in providing timely, truthful information to its citizens.

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Barack Obama seemingly places being an apologist for the Muslim faith above the safety of Americans. And he appears to value protecting the narrative that he has “ISIS on the run” beyond being truthful with the American people. His words lead one to believe he is either grossly negligent or dangerously incompetent in understanding the true nature of the threat we all now face.

 

Just one day before the brutal coordinated attacks in Paris, where at least 120 people were killed, President Obama said in an interview that ISIS was not growing stronger and was, in his words, “contained.”

 

“I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “What is true, from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them.”

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But just last week, the nation’s top military officer, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee hearing a very conflicting report to that of President Obama.

“We have not contained ISIS,” reported General Dunford. In a column in “The Hill,” written by Kristina Wong, Dunford went on to say that ISIS has been “tactically” contained in areas but “strategically they have spread since 2010.”

 

And spread they have. The conversation about the tactics for fighting terrorism is no longer solely about “boots on the ground” or “the number of air attacks.”

 

It’s now about how do we prepare ourselves and local law enforcement for being able to proactively deal with an ISIS attack here at home.

 

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Lone wolf attacks in US will escalate

23 Jul

We’re giving the enemy no reason to be afraid

mark

Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

Jul. 23, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

Last Thursday, five members of our military were viciously attacked by yet another Islamic extremist, this time on American soil. It should never have been allowed to happen.

The death toll climbed to five on Saturday as the Navy announced Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 24, died from his injuries. Smith was one of three people injured when Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on two military recruitment centers, also killing four marines. Abdulazeez was later shot and killed by police.

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Remarkably, considering the times in which we live, none of these men was permitted to carry a firearm. But as the attack raises fresh concerns about vulnerability in “soft target” areas, the governors of several states could soon be arming military personnel in National Guard facilities to protect themselves and civilians if they are targeted.

And more Americans will be targeted. President Obama’s lack of will to acknowledge the enemy and respond with extreme prejudice has been duly noted by the Islamic State.

Yes, our walls have been scaled and the gates lowered.

I’m incensed at how this administration consistently has downplayed the threat of Islamic terrorism around the globe. In doing so, it has emboldened the Islamic State in the recruitment of lone wolf terrorists within the U.S. Obama’s methodology of telegraphing his impotent punches, migrant deadlines and lily-livered military strategies ostensively have changed the way America is viewed around the world.

Our enemies no longer fear us; our allies no longer trust us.

It’s indefensible that President Obama, our “commander-in-chief,” stood idly by and watched terrorist activity re-engage throughout the Mideast without surmising its ultimate impact on the U.S. The fact that he still doesn’t have a strategy to defeat ISIS is exacerbated by his “promise” to our enemies that he will never put American boots on the ground.

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Barack Obama’s notion that he could apologize and appease our enemies into “liking us” is naive beyond words. And his negotiation incompetence has conceded positions of strength that are prerequisite to success. Any negotiator will tell you that you must be willing to walk away from the table – perhaps many times. But Obama keeps bartering with movable lines in the sand and perpetually changing deadlines to the point no true leader, foreign or domestic, will ever take him seriously.

Now, as America wavers in the winds of liberal ideology, young, impressionable individuals are falling prey to the sinister tenets of radical Islam. While President Obama, whom I believe is sympathetic to the Muslim religion, refuses to concede the fact that we are engaged in a holy war, these evil, inspirited individuals will seek to bring America to her knees by spreading fear in the streets of U.S. cities.

There’s something uncommonly ominous about U.S. military being gunned down on American soil. It reeks of vulnerability anomalous to our country. And as this president propagates the narrative that these are random acts of domestic violence, we will most assuredly see more.

As Obama continues to protect his legacy, Americans are dying.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: US must ramp up campaign against ISIS

20 Jun

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot editor

Jun. 18, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

The world has now sustained months of unrelenting atrocities by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). We’ve witnessed barbaric beheadings, victims burned alive and a strategic cleansing of Christians refusing to embrace the Muslim religion. Yet, the president of the United States still lacks a strategy to defeat them.

Last week, in a news conference following the Group of 7 summit meeting in Germany, Obama admitted to the world that “we don’t have, yet, a complete strategy” for addressing the threat posed by ISIS. He claims that after nearly a year and a half of the United States and its allies grappling with this group of Islamic terrorists, “the details are not worked out.”

The president’s failure to recognize ISIS as a grave threat early on certainly hampered strategies to squelch their advances. Some may recall that in January 2014 Obama compared ISIS to a “junior varsity basketball team,” playing down the strengths of ISIS, compared with Al Qaeda.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a J.V. team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Mr. Obama told David Remnick of The New Yorker. That same month, ISIS seized Fallujah, a city in Anbar Province, Iraq, and parts of Ramadi, the province’s capital.

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A few months later, as the military prowess of the group became known, the president was questioned about his strategy for addressing the threat that he dramatically understated. Yet he still lacked urgency.

The president has been clear as to what his strategy won’t be!

“I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,” Obama told reporters. “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no military solution to the larger crisis there.”

So, the president claims he can defeat ISIS with coalition air power. But a recent Wall Street Journal article reveals the Obama coalition’s air campaign against ISIS pales in comparison to strategic air campaigns waged by presidents since the end of the Cold War, which were deemed successful.

During the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition planes flew 48,224 strike sorties, or roughly 1,100 a day. 12 years later, the 31-day Iraqi Freedom campaign averaged more than 800 sorties a day. But the Obama “campaign” against ISIS, now approaching nine months, has only averaged about seven sorties a day! With ISIS now in control of an area around 50,000 square miles, it’s easy to see why these efforts haven’t been effective.

If indeed, Obama plans to decimate ISIS with coalition air power, he should take the lead in increasing the number of strikes commensurate with prior successful air campaigns.

And despite how much we dislike the thought, we must have sufficient ground troops to facilitate coordinated surgical strikes against the enemy.

Protecting America must take precedent over protecting Obama’s legacy.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Isil leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issues call to arms in ‘audio message’

16 May

Islamic State leader neither seen nor heard for months amid reports of his death or incapacitation in US-led air strike

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Photo: AP

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), appeared to issue a defiant call to arms on Thursday in what would be the jihadist leader’s first audio recording in six months.

“There is no excuse for any Muslim who is capable of [emigrating] to the Islamic State, or capable of carrying a weapon where he is,” the voice, which cannot be verified as Baghdadi’s, said.

Calling Islam a “religion of war”, the voice describes the jihadist path as “obligatory”.

The message seemed intended as a rebuttal to media reports claiming that Baghdadi had been so badly injured in a coalition airstrike that he might never command Isil again.

It appeared to be a recent recording, referencing Isil’s presence in the oil-rich Kirkuk province, as well as the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against rebel forces in Yemen.

The message was accompanied by translations in English, French, German, Russian and Turkish, a move apparently intended to guarantee maximum exposure.

Baghdadi has been a towering figure in the rise of Isil, and its al-Qaeda affiliated predecessor. It was reported last month that he had suffered spinal injuries in a March 18 airstrike, and that he was being treated by two ideologically sympathetic doctors who travel to his hideout from the group’s stronghold in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Operational control of Isil has reportedly been passed to Abu Alaa al-Afri, a physics professor and longtime senior official, who had been appointed deputy leader when his predecessor was killed by another air strike late last year.

Although Iraqi authorities claimed on Wednesday that Afri had been hit by a coalition airstrike, the Pentagon has denied any knowledge of the attack.

The last known written communique bearing Baghdadi’s name was released in mid-April. It called on jihadists to send reinforcements to fighting fronts in the Iraqi provinces of Anbar and Salahedin. The terror group’s inner workings are opaque, and it is not known which Isil official was responsible for the message.

Isil swept across large swathes of Iraq and Syria last year, declaring the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.

Isil jihadists have pursued a policy of religious cleansing in areas they have captured, threatening to kill those who do not forcibly convert to Islam.

Tens of thousands of jihadist sympathisers have already heeded calls to travel to the so-called Islamic State, among them a growing number of young British men and women.

Mark Caserta: Islamic terrorism looms on our American soil

14 May

ISIS IS HERE

me

Mark Caserta, Free State Patriot Editor

May. 14, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

Last September, the Islamic group of terrorists known as ISIS called for a wave of random attacks to begin in the United States. Emboldened by a “weak at the knees” Obama administration, it was now time to advance their threat of terror into the most powerful nation in the West. There would be no greater victory than to die advancing the cause of the caliphate in America.

At the time, a spokesperson for the group specifically called for lone-wolf attacks and provided instructions on how to attack U.S. citizens. “Rig the roads with explosives for them. Attack their bases. Raid their homes. Cut off their heads. Do not let them feel secure. Hunt them wherever they may be. Turn their worldly life into fear and fire. Remove their families from their homes and thereafter blow up their homes.”

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Since then, ISIS has leveraged social media for the recruitment and training of individuals willing and able to carry out these attacks in the name of “Allah.” ISIS’ morbidly alluring propaganda has included “shock and awe” videos of beheadings and victims being burned alive.

And up until now, the U.S. had yet to experience the fruition of such threats on our soil.

But earlier this month, outside a “Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest” sponsored by a free speech movement in Garland, Texas, two ISIS soldiers opened fire on a group of participants. Armed with assault rifles and body armor, the gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, wounded a security guard before a policeman, armed with only a handgun, shot and killed them.

In a broadcast on its official radio channel, ISIS claimed the gunmen were affiliated with their terror organization. Calling the men “Al Khilafa soldiers,” the ISIS radio announcer also referred to Simpson and Soofi as the group’s “brothers.” The announcement included this warning to infidels:

“We say to the defenders of the cross, the U.S., that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of God. The future is just around the corner.”

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A recent grim internet warning from a self-described American jihadist warned of ISIS having scores of “trained soldiers” positioned in 15 states, awaiting orders to carry out more operations like the one in Garland.

“Out of the 71 trained soldiers, 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, we are increasing in number,” read the warning. “Of the 15 states, 5 we will name: Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan.”

Due to the escalating number of threats on the U.S., security at all U.S. military bases was raised this past weekend, according to CBS News.

To date, the Islamic State has given us no reason to question their resolve or barbarism, and have made it clear they intend to follow through with their mission. And they will gladly die for their cause.

But even with the enemy threat now on American soil, President Obama still hasn’t displayed the will or courage to defeat them.

How many will die before he takes action?

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Obama’s denial emboldens terrorists

12 Feb
 Why will this president go to any length to protect the Islamic religion?
me
FSP Editorial
Feb. 12, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

Displaying a level of brutality, shocking even by the standards of the previous horrific murders committed by the Islamic terrorist group ISIS, First Lieutenant Muath al Kaseasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, was recently burned alive inside a locked cage in the name of radical Islam. The barbarous act, which shocked the world, clearly defined the group’s willingness to viciously propagate the violent extremism of the Islamic State.

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But two days later, rather than simply condemn the act as a violent display of Islamic terrorism, Barack Hussein Obama used the bully pulpit at the National Prayer breakfast to persuade the world that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but has been carried out by Christians as well. In fact, he compared the ISIS atrocity to violent acts committed by Christians in the Crusades. He also said Christ was used as justification for slavery and radical discrimination in the United States.

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ,” the president said.

The comments were considered outrageous to many.

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“The president’s comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” said former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, a Republican. “He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.”

Catholic League’s Bill Donohue says Obama should apologize for using the Crusades as an example of “terrible acts” by Christians, saying the crusades fought against Islamic jihad.

“The president should apologize for his insulting comparison,” Donohue said. “Obama’s ignorance is astounding and his comparison is pernicious.”

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Now, this president has always dismissed the idea of American exceptionalism. And frankly, his decision over the past six years to have the White House avoid the term “radical Islam” has brought to question Obama’s loyalty to America and the foundational principles on which our great nation was built.

Yet, anyone honestly assessing terrorism can easily conclude that Islamic extremism is at the very heart of murder and destruction in the world today. In fact, according to the non-partisan website, The Religion of Peace, over the last 40 years there have been 74 attacks on American soil by Islamic terrorists resulting in the murder of thousands of innocent people. We just simply don’t see attacks of this magnitude in the name of any other religion.

Let’s be clear. Islamic terrorism is flourishing under this president’s rule. His purposeful choice not to properly identify our enemy is indeed emboldening their mission.

As Obama continues to reject the notion that America is in a religious war based on the fundamental beliefs of the Islamic State, American’s lives are increasingly being placed at risk.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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