Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Ending Terrorism

Aside

Dozens dead after attacker drives into Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France with truck

Horror has come to another city:

A truck ploughed into a crowd in the French resort of Nice Thursday, leaving at least 60 dead and scores injured in an “attack” after a Bastille Day fireworks display, prosecutors said.

Local government official Sebastien Humbert told BFMTV that the driver of the truck was shot dead after barrelling down the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais in what he called “a major criminal attack”.

We extend our sympathies to all affected by this terrible event.

France24 is offering live coverage.

“On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded,” said President Barack Obama in a statement released a little bit ago.

“I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack. On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life.”

Recommended Link

Fed up with Donald Trump, President Obama blasts his bigotry and Republicans’ inaction

President Obama today took direct aim at Donald Trump today, denouncing the man Republican voters have picked to be their nominee for his bigotry and worthless talking points. “If there’s anyone out there who thinks we’re confused about who our enemies are, that would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists who we’ve taken off the battlefield,” the President said. “There’s no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam.’ It’s a political talking point — it’s not a strategy.” Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders echoed his denunciations in their own speeches.

Aside

These are the names of the forty-nine people lost in the Orlando massacre

The City of Orlando has finished identifying the individuals slaughtered in the massacre at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning.

Here are their names and ages:

  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Antonio D. Brown, 29
  • Darryl R. Burt II, 29
  • Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
  • Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
  • Luis D. Conde, 39
  • Cory J. Connell, 21
  • Tevin E. Crosby, 25
  • Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Deonka D. Drayton, 32
  • Mercedez M. Flores, 26
  • Juan R. Guerrero, 22
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Paul T. Henry, 41
  • Frank Hernandez, 27
  • Miguel A. Honorato, 30
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
  • Jason B. Josaphat, 19
  • Eddie J. Justice, 30
  • Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25
  • Christopher A. Leinonen, 32
  • Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49
  • Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35
  • Akyra Monet Murray, 18
  • Kimberly Morris, 37
  • Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
  • Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
  • Eric I. Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
  • Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24
  • Xavier E. Serrano Rosado, 35
  • Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25
  • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
  • Shane E. Tomlinson, 33
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22
  • Luis D. Wilson-Leon, 37
  • Jerald A. Wright, 31

May they never be forgotten.

Quotation

Many of the gun shot wounds were fairly severe… Many trunk, abdomen and extreme gun shot wounds. Our operating room has been quite busy all day long with those injuries.

— Dr. Michael Cheatham, chief surgical quality officer for the Orlando Regional Medical Center (via the Orlando Sentinel).

Quotation

There is a realization that this is not a war you can bomb or shoot your way out of, but you have to deal with individuals who are radicalized at home, to examine the reasons that they are exploring this other identity.

— Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, speaking to The New York Times about Europe’s challenge of combating terrorists within its own borders.

Recommended Link

U.S. airstrike kills more than 150 at Somalia terrorist camp, military says

The Republican presidential candidates probably won’t talk about it or give Barack Obama credit for it, but a U.S. airstrike has just resulted in the deaths of more than a hundred terrorists at a camp in lawless Somalia, the Pentagon says.

Quotation

Now is not the time to shun our fellow citizens. America also needs its Muslim citizens to serve in the military. As with African-Americans in the Civil War and Asian- and German-Americans in World War II, we need their cultural, linguistic, religious and geopolitical expertise to help us defeat the Islamic State and its propaganda.

Haider Ali Hussein Mullick, a United States Naval Reserve officer with the Fifth Fleet, writing for the New York Times. Mullick teaches graduate seminars on combating terrorism at the Naval War College. His column, Don’t Make San Bernardino a Victory for Islamic State, is a must-read.

Quotation

Before we knew all that much about what had happened, before many Americans had even caught word of it, before the ones who were aware had moved past horror and numbness, Paris wasn’t just a massacre. It was a megaphone to be used for whatever you yearned to shout.

— Frank Bruni (The exploitation of Paris)

Quotation

Those who think that they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong. The American people draw strength from the French people’s commitment to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté and égalité and fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share. And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.

— President Barack Obama, responding to today’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

Quotation

[T]he Islamic State of Iraq, declared in 2006, was intended to be a sprawling entity like the one we see today. That was its political purpose and ambition. Today’s ISIS is the same organization, only stronger.

— Analyst Brian Fishman, refuting Jeb Bush’s claim that Islamic State ‘didn’t exist when my brother was president’ (Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post)

Quotation

Our belief is that people who are using violence to undermine democracy want us to be silenced and we refuse to be silenced.

— Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, explaining why she and Ontario’s official opposition carried on with their question period following the shootings in Ottawa.

Recommended Link

Israeli government’s policies an incredibly divisive topic among Jews

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, many North American rabbis are agonizing over how to talk about Israel. The Israeli government’s policies are such a divisive topic that many Jews don’t want to hear anything that could be construed to be criticism or praise for the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Quotation

ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.

— President Barack Obama, speaking yesterday at The Edgartown School, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, following the terrorists’ release of a video showing the beheading of journalist James Foley, who Obama lauded as a courageous reporter.

Quotation

If you compare the mood here today (Sunday) to the last few days, the atmosphere has grown a lot calmer. Shopping malls and restaurants are full of people again and there are a lot of weddings taking place. People are cheering every time there’s news of another US air strike.

— Jiyar Gol, reporting for BBC News in Irbil, in the Kurdish-controlled region of Iraq. Kurdish leaders are asking for American-made weapons to fight IS.

Photo
Preparing to strike ISIL: A Hornet readies for takeoff

“Sailors make final inspections on an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Golden Warriors of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.” (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Margaret Keith)

Chat Transcript

Anderson Cooper speaks to NSC’s Douglas Ollivant about the crisis in Iraq

ANDERSON COOPER: Douglas, have you been surprised by some of the set backs that the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have faced just in recent days and weeks? Because obviously they have a much mounted (ph) fighting, you know, fighting force over many years. Is it simply that they are outgunned right now?

DOUGLAS OLLIVANT [Director for Iraq at the National Security Council]: It’s hard to say what the truth is in the north as I attended, you know, facts North of Baghdad are in short supply and it’s often hard to know exactly what the situation is. But there is a distinct possibility that the Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga aren’t quite as good as they were when most of us encountered them for the first time in 2003 and 2004. On the other hand …

ANDERSON COOPER: Is that because a lot of the leadership is now, you know, who are commanding, you know, battlefield commanders they’ve now have gone to politics, they have gone into business in Erbil?

DOUGLAS OLLIVANT: For all kinds of reasons certainly, you know, when you’re being threatened in 1991 becoming a Peshmerga is a great thing. Now, if you’re a young, ambitious Kurd you want to go into business and make money in the oil industry and not become a Peshmerga. So, it’s not what it once was.

But it could also be about the lack of arms or ammunition and no small parties because ISIL is extremely capable, has a lot of weapons, some of which they’ve brought from Syria, some of which they captured in Iraq. So, this could multi causal. It could be any one or all three of those.

(Transcript courtesy of CNN)

Quotation

As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq.  The only lasting solution is reconciliation among Iraqi communities and stronger Iraqi security forces.

— Excerpt from President Barack Obama’s statement on the crisis in Iraq, televised earlier this evening from the White House’s State Dining Room.

Quotation

If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse. The region would end up with something much worse.

— Outgoing Pentagon intelligence chieftain General Michael Flynn, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. His remarks were reported by the Globe & Mail.

Quotation

We have proof that the terrorist attack was planned and carried out with the involvement of representatives of the Russian Federation… We know that Russia is trying to hide its terrorist activity and their direct involvement.

— Vitaly Nayda, the head of counterintelligence for the Ukrainian State Security Service, expressing his government’s conclusion that Russia was directly involved in the attack that brought down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

Recommended Link

Republicans were for bringing Bowe Bergdahl home before they were against it

Some Republicans are backing away from their initial praise of Bowe Bergdahl’s release, even deleting tweets and statements they posted several days ago welcoming Bergdahl back home. The Obama administration secured the American soldier’s release by sending several captured Taliban leaders to Qatar.

Recommended Link

Boston Marathon 2014: For twenty-six miles, the cheers filled the air

The Boston Globe’s Eric Moskowitz reports on the 2014 Boston Marathon, which drew the second-largest field of runners in the event’s history, a year after the tragic bombings that that killed and maimed runners and onlookers near the finish line.