- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

August 23

Albany (Georgia) Herald on Islamic State’s threat to America:

Call it ISIS, ISIL or the Islamic State. By any name it is deadly, and America is in its sights.

The murder of James Foley was - or should have been - a wake-up call for those who have, despite the murders of thousands on Sept. 11, 2001, been lulled into a false sense of security.

These fanatic, brutal killers have an equally false sense of grandeur, but they are dangerous to anyone who doesn’t kowtow to their perverted interpretation of their religion.

One thing is for certain, whatever intelligence the United States acquired about this group that led President Obama to dismiss the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant as a “JV,” or junior varsity, terror group was as lacking as anything that allowed the sneak jetliner attacks on American soil nearly 13 years ago.

People who think you can reason with ISIL leaders, come up with a compromise are showing ignorance of reality. The only compromise in their eyes is to acquiesce and convert religion and government to forms that they demand. Anyone who resists has committed a capital offense in their eyes.

For more than a decade, al-Qaeda, which pulled off the attacks that killed more than 3,000 innocent people, has been seen as the worst of the terrorist organizations. U.S. officials now say ISIL has replaced them in that position.

ISIL is also proving itself adept at social media. There was no mistake that the murderer of Foley, who the U.S. military attempted to rescue along with other hostages being held by ISIL, spoke with a British accent. It was signal to those in the West who might share their hatred that they are already among them.

So far, America’s involvement against ISIL has been restricted to airstrikes and limited efforts such as the failed hostage rescue this summer. A war-weary America, having lost thousands of lives and having spent billions of dollars in a decade of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, is resistant to any deeper involvement.

Unfortunately, our enemies are banking on that, believing our freedoms have made us weak and soft. ISIL terrorists, we believe, truly feel they one day will waltz into Washington, D.C., beheading those that will not bow to them, and raise their flag symbolizing the enslavement of body and spirit over the White House.

We cannot afford to continue to underestimate these killers.




August 26

The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle on Eric Holder’s presence in Ferguson:

Eric Holder’s presence in Ferguson last week was calming, but it remains to be seen how helpful it was in the long term.

We applaud Mr. Holder for helping douse the overheated passions aroused from the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer - as only the nation’s first black attorney general could have done.

But the Missouri burg, and the entire country, will need his steady hand all the more, should the case not be resolved to the protesters’ liking.

Race hustlers such as Al Sharpton, and knee-jerk media reporting by the likes of CNN, served not only to ratchet up the fever in Ferguson, but also to heighten expectations for a criminal conviction of the officer.

The unvarnished truth is, such a conviction will be highly difficult absent clear evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting was unjustified.

Holder helped lower the fever for now, and the past few days have been much calmer in Ferguson. But in his attempt to comfort the locals, he may have inadvertently reinforced expectations of a conviction in the case.

We appreciate his unique ability to empathize with upset residents - recounting his own humiliating brushes with racism in the past and noting that “I am the attorney general of the United States, but I am also a black man.”

Yet, such statements reinforce notions that this was a racially driven event - which is not yet borne out by the evidence.




August 22

Morning News, Savannah, Georgia, on hurricanes:

2014 was forecast as a below-average hurricane year, and it has been - so far.

The only major weather events affecting our area have been hurricanes Arthur and Bertha.

They were of interest locally mostly to motorists in low-lying areas, folks with leaky roofs and surfers.

But this is no time for Coastal Empire residents to slip into complacency. The peak of the meteorological mayhem season is at hand.

Since 1900, the United States has been slammed by 74 hurricanes in September, more than in any other month.

The worst recent ones were Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people - most of them in Louisiana - in 2005, and Jeanne, which claimed 3,000-plus lives in 2004. Most of Jeanne’s fatalities were in Haiti, but some died in Puerto Rico and Florida.

Although the last two years have seen relatively tame Septembers, 2011 was a different story. That year, Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Nate roared into the central Gulf Coast and central Mexico, inflicting 18 and five deaths, respectively.

After September, catastrophic weather usually tapers off, but October can still be dangerous. Consider Superstorm Sandy, which killed 159 people in 2012.

South Florida is especially vulnerable in October, even more so than in September.

And that area isn’t really so far away. So Mother Nature doesn’t need to be very far off the mark to bring big trouble to River City - which is to say the Coastal Empire.

So now’s the time for those of us who haven’t taken the threat seriously to play catch-up.

Bottom line: Even during a year in which only one or two monster storms are expected, you’ll still be in harm’s way if one of them heads toward you.

But, starting today, you can take action to improve your odds. Being prepared can bring you and your family peace of mind.

And it might just save your lives.



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