- - Friday, May 8, 2015

In April of 2009 four armed Somali pirates took over large cargo ship off the coast of Africa. They took the ship’s captain and his crew hostage. Capt. Richard Phillips tried to negotiate his way out of the situation by giving the pirates $30,000 cash. Eventually the pirates did leave the ship, but took the money-wielding captain with them as their hostage.

Piracy off the coast of Africa was not uncommon. Unarmed and simply wanting the safe passage of their cargo and crew, many corporations actually built buy-out money into the cost of business. Unfortunately, placating the pirates just led to more and bolder attacks. Until Capt. Phillips, an American, was taken hostage.

The U.S. Navy sent a destroyer in response to the attack. Navy SEALs parachuted into the Indian Ocean, boarded the U.S. naval vessel and on April 12, Navy SEAL sharpshooters shot and killed the pirates holding Capt. Phillips. In that swift and definitive moment, cargo ships flying the American flag suddenly became much less attractive to would be pirates.

Sometimes when dealing with a bully, logic and reason don’t work. Sometimes brute force is the only language that bully understands. It’s true in the school yard, it’s true in the Indian Ocean and it’s true on the world stage with the vicious bully known as ISIS.

Last week in Garland, Texas, a competition was held inviting people to draw cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Two suspects, clad in body armor and carrying assault rifles, tried to mount an attack on the event. At least one of the shooters claimed a link to ISIS and had a history as a terror sympathizer.

The pair never made it inside the Curtis Culwell Center where the event was being held. A traffic officer working after-hours as security for the event and armed only with a service pistol killed both assailants in a shoot out.

After the shooting ISIS claimed responsibility. On the anonymous message board “JustPasteIt” someone claiming to represent ISIS took credit for the attack, declared it was just the beginning of such action in the United States and singled out event organizer Pam Gellar for death. The post author also listed how many trained people ISIS has in the US and mentioned five specific states that are targets.

Reaction to the ISIS attack on U.S. soil has been stunning. Rather than focus on radical Islam’s role in this violence, mainstream media has attacked the cartoon event organizers as being provocative and essentially asking for it. Years ago society said the same thing about rape victims wearing short skirts. One major newspaper went so far as to suggest one of the organizers should apologize to the public. On Sean Hannity’s FOX News television show a prominent Muslim imam said deadly attacks are justified on any perceived purveyor of an insult to Muhammad.

What about President Obama? What did he have to say about the attack? Not a word.

It’s time the United States of America took a strong, clear and direct message to the bully known as ISIS. Not a message in words. Not a message in threats. A message in action. The bully only understands brute force. It’s time for America to demonstrate that brute force.

Much like the decisive and deadly action taken against the pirates of Somalia when they threatened an American, the person or persons responsible for claiming ISIS responsibility for the Texas gunmen and encouraging carnage in the United States should be decisively eliminated. The current situation is far more threatening than the one half a world away in 2009. If death was appropriate then, it must be now as well.

How can we be certain as to who posted the ISIS messages? If the NSA can really hear all my phone calls and cull through all your text messages, surely they can decipher who made a posting online.

While they’re at it, why don’t our security agencies interrupt and remove those postings and/or web sites that are encouraging anarchy, death and mayhem? Free speech does not protect someone from yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Likewise it doesn’t protect the recruitment and encouragement of killers in the streets. In a 1919 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote:

“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic … . The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger.”

Since April 1 of this year, there have been 195 documented deadly attacks in the name of radical Islam around the globe, killing hundreds of innocents. This isn’t about some cartoons in Texas. This is about terrorists executing anyone they want, anywhere they want for any reason they want.

When an American cargo ship captain was threatened by some rag-tag pirates, the full force of the U.S. military came down on them and killed them. Surely the organizers and promoters of killing innocent people worldwide deserve no less.

Let the brute force begin.

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