Friday, October 31, 2014

Threats will not thwart games

Russian President Vladimir Putin aims to prevent radical Islamists from overshadowing upcoming competition

CHAMPIONS — Team USA won 37 medals, including nine gold, in the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Google Images

CHAMPIONS — Team USA won 37 medals, including nine gold, in the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Google Images

The modern Olympic Games began April 6, 1896. This was a battle of athletic brawn showcased in the hallowed coliseums of Athens. Over many centuries, the tradition has become a gala of patriotic glory, showcasing only the best the world has to offer. Throughout history, the Olympics have been a competition for creating camaraderie, passion and unity.

Today, the goodness of this ancient institution has been overshadowed by threats of terror and tragedy. U.S. Congress Representative Mike McCaul, a Texas Republican, called the terror threat “the greatest I think I’ve ever seen because of the proximity of the terrorists to the Olympic village.” The United States and five European nations revealed that they had received threats of terror just weeks before the Winter Olympics were set to begin Jan. 22, 2014.

The United States, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia all reported receiving the threats in the form of emails and handwritten messages. Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, has deployed more than 40,000 police officials inside the 1,500-mile Olympic center. Putin has full faith in what he calls his “Ring of Steel” and has brushed aside President Obama’s offer of the full U.S. security team, as well as offers from surrounding nations. In any case, the Pentagon and the Russian government are prepared to work in coordination should there be need for evacuation. Spectators are all beginning to ask one question: Are the Olympics worth it?

Beginning Friday, Feb. 7, the “Ring of Steel” will be home to athletes from 88 nations around the world, and the United Kingdom officials are saying that more terrorist attacks are “very likely to occur” near or during the Winter Games. The truth is, no pending attack can be thwarted—or eliminated—unless we acknowledge the root of the terror: a “holy” mandate. The Russian terror group has been identified as Caucasus Emirate, or Imarat Kavkaz.

The radical Islamist group is already prepared to strike once the games are underway, U.S. intelligence officials said. A video released last week by the terror group revealed two terrorists’ activity behind a bombing in Volvograd, 600 miles northwest of Sochi, Russia, killing 34 people and leaving many more injured. This war is real. In my opinion, we will not see resolution until the world powers, in unity, acknowledge the moral depravity we are up against.

“Putin has strategically located the games at the Caucasus, where he’s basically daring those people,” Ian von Gordon, director of operations at the Diplomatic Protection Training Institute in Youngstown, Ohio, said in an article with Voice of America. “That creates a very dangerous situation, because now you have the opportunity. You have the motive. You have an unprecedented situation where you have people from all over the world — civilians — participating in a highly publicized event.”

Obama has very often agreed too easily to Islamic ideas, painting the U.S. as a Muslim sympathizer.

“I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam,” Obama said in his speech in Cairo.

Do not get me wrong — moderate, nonviolent Muslims do exist. However, unlike all other mainstream faiths, violence toward and elimination of the enemy at any cost is a pillar of Islamic theology.

The United States, as well as Russia, and the remainder of the developed world must take a hard line against radical Islam. Should the free world continue its passive approach, the goodness of freedom will continue to erode. We, as a developed world, cannot kneel to the radical ideals knocking on our door. The Olympic Games are a time-honored salute to patriotism and camaraderie that has existed for years. It should not stop with Sochi.

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