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NEVER AGAIN

Those were the two words that I grew up with in the collective consciousness of humanity. We (the world) would never allow something like the Holocaust to ever happen again. My first clue that these words were a lie was in regards to Vietnam. I was only a child, so I learned about it a decade or more after the fact. Today, I know the two forces engaged in an ideological and political battle were liberal and conservative, which made figuring out what to believe very difficult. In the end, I came to this final conclusion: the very same people who accused America of all kinds of “atrocities” against the Vietnamese people—a claim that even I could see was exaggerated at best, were strangely absent and silent when the Communists took over and slaughtered (no exaggeration) millions. The American people wanted out of the Vietnam War for sure, but we also abandoned our allies and friends to die.

The second incident took place when I was a Democrat during the Clinton years—the Bosnia conflict following the breakup of Yugoslavia. It was the first international genocide that I was personally invested in. For two years, I watched my country and the world do nothing as innocent people were shot in the streets by snipers, civilian areas were shelled by artillery, and we were introduced to a new phrase: ethnic cleansing—systematic mass murder and mass rapes. And no one did anything. I saw both Democrat and Republican egg-heads go on television and say quite categorically that there was nothing we could do—the more certain they were of it, the more I didn’t believe them. Then one day the bad guys blew up innocent people at a market. The aftermath was covered wall-to-wall by CNN and other media. Practically the next day, America mobilized the international community to go into Bosnia in April 1992. “Oh, so we can do something,” I said. The war in Bosnia began and we did stop the ethnic cleansing, after 100,000 dead, around 50,000 women raped, and over 2 million people displaced.

I could not understand why this “world” did nothing for nearly two years in Bosnia. And then the third incident happened—the Rwanda genocide.

It is hard the average human mind to grasp this genocide that took place in Central Africa.  The number of Tutsi and moderate Hutu exterminated by the Hutu majority, range from half a million people to a million; though the often settled on approximation is 800,000. From April 7, 1994 to the middle of July, 800,000 men, women, and children were killed not with missile strikes or some massive bomb, but person-by-person and village-by-village by machete alone. The Hutu mass-murderers accomplished this killing of nearly one million people in just over 90 days–a level of horrific, killing efficiency superior to even the Nazis who used more ‘sophisticated’ extermination methods.

Most troubling of all is that the ‘world’ knew it was happening and did nothing when all it would have taken was nothing more than a token force to have stopped it. “Never Again” was such a lie.

Now, we have the rise of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS.

It is incredible that after more than two millennium of recorded history that we still have people unable to grasp the true nature of evil. It is a cancerous growth that must be exterminated at all costs. Evil never just runs up to you and says, “Hey buddy, I’m going to kill your neighbor, but I’m going to leave you and your family alone.” Evil will kill them and then you. Ignoring it will not make it go away. Great Britain under Neville Chamberlain learned that the hard way prior to WWII. Back then in America, it was the Democratic Party that were the hawks and the Republicans that were the isolationists. The American people, however, were adamant about not getting involved in another world war. Well, we did have to get into that war and when everything was over 100 million people in the world were dead. When you fight evil, yes, you will lose people, but you can either lose a little at the beginning and end it, or lose a lot more at the end.

I am angry. On September 11, 2001, over 3,000 people were killed on American soil by a bunch of Islamic extremists who took-over three planes with box-cutters and also destroyed the Twin Towers. (The average person has no concept of how huge those building were; my father took me there as a child and it seemed you could walk all day and still never get around them.) Today, America is back to its unprepared, incompetent September 10th stance. It is clear that President Obama does not care. For those of you who will reflexively get angry at my statement, I would say a President, any President, doesn’t give a press conference about the beheading of an American by ISIS and then go immediately to play golf afterwards. It is not something that any Republican, Democrat, or Independent would do—none. He consistently underplays or discounts victims purposely targeted because of their faith—Jews and Christians. He ignores the thousands of Muslims being killed by these animals and their nations destabilized. We have had nearly eight years to observe Obama. We know how he acts when he cares about something. It is clear that his only interest at this point is his “legacy” and being able to say that he pulled troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and doesn’t quite care that he has directly created the vacuum that allowed ISIS to be born to begin with. His administration publicly ridicules Israel, but notice they have had no harsh words for Pakistan who’s holding the Muslim man who gave us the intel to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. If you’ve wondered why Jimmy Carter looks so young at such an old age and is smiling all the time, it’s because he is no longer the “worst President in modern history” anymore and he lived to see it.

Then there is the ‘world’ again. Sadly there are no adults in the room when it comes to fighting ISIS. This terrorist group is not some million-man army. We’re talking about a grand total of 40,000 guys. That’s it. America and the world cannot obliterate 40,000 terrorists killing Jews, Christians, and Muslims; raping Muslim women; burying children alive; and setting people on fire? America won’t lead and the world won’t do anything on its own. The world watches a growing terrorist threat that isn’t hidden, but stands right in front of us killing and laughing.

I amend my condemnation. There are only two ‘adults’ on the international stage–King Abdullah of Jordan and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. After the burning alive of his Jordanian pilot, King Abdullah immediately and firmly reacted to the ISIS threat with bomb strikes. There was no golf-playing, but vowed a “relentless” war against ISIS. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose nation watches as Iran getting closer and closer to the Bomb, while again, the world on one hand does nothing, and on the other seems to always have something negative to say about “those Jews.” Israel will act.

This international terror threat changes daily so I will keep both leaders–one Jew and one Muslim– in my prayers to do what needs to be done against these modern-day Nazis in ISIS. No one else, including my own American president, seems to “get it,” any more than Neville Chamberlain “got it” on September 30, 1938 or America as a nation “got it” on September 10, 2001. I am a hawk not because I like it—far from it, and yes I did serve in the military myself. I am a hawk because evil is a fact of life, it must be confronted, and it must be destroyed. I am a hawk because, unlike the world, I actually take the words “Never Again” deadly seriously.


About Author

Austin Dragon

Austin Dragon is a native New Yorker, but has called Los Angeles, California home for the last twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army, English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, political junkie, movie buff, campaign manager and staffer of presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, dreamer and author.

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