By Joe Silva
Edmund Burke was an 18th Century Irish Statesman and member of British Parliament, who accurately predicted the American colonists’ determination to achieve liberty. He is often credited with the popular phrase, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
For more than two centuries, this foreign-born sentiment has been at the root of American ideals. It has prompted generations of “good” individuals to act when they saw evil gaining a foothold in their world. These words ring true to this day, and as we see evils taking root in our world, we are calling on the “good” to fight back.
We hear about the Islamic State, claiming land in Iraq and Syria, and gaining a foothold in the world. The Islamic State, commonly referred to as ISIS and ISIL, is an extremist terrorist organization responsible for the murder of tens of thousands, and the enslavement of thousands of women to be the wives of their soldiers. In response to the U.S. military’s airstrikes in support of the local regimes’ war against them, ISIS has taken to social media to declare war against all American service members. This includes calling for organized and lone-wolf attacks against military installations and service members.
It is important to understand that the successes that ISIS has found has a lot to do with the utilization of the internet and social media. Online recruitment videos have drawn young Islamic extremists, from all over the world, to their ranks, including individuals from within our own borders. But ISIS also uses cyber knowledge to mass-communicate their message of terror.
Back in January, groups associated with ISIS hacked U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and Youtube accounts, posting threats such as, “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS.”
On March 20th, ISIS posted the names, photos and personal information such as home addresses of 100 U.S. service members on the internet, calling for jihadist attacks against the individuals and their families.
It is remarkable that just days before the last threat was posted, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan released a statement warning how ISIS is a serious danger beyond the geographic regions from which they operate.
“Threats in the cyber realm are an urgent national security priority, as America has no equivalent to the two wide oceans that have helped safeguard our country’s physical, maritime and aviation domains for centuries,” Brennan said in the statement.
The CIA director acknowledged that government cyber accounts, as well as those of large corporations, are “under constant assault.” Brennan said that the CIA is working with its partners across the federal government to improve the nation’s cyber defense.
But this leads me back to the famous quote. The threat of the Islamic State does not simply exist on our nightly news programs; it is real and it is triumphing in our world. Our present situation is calling on all “good” individuals to take a stand against ISIS and any evil that is trying to gain a foothold in the world.
That doesn’t mean that all patriotic Americans should enlist in the military. It is not about being a hero. Instead, it is calling out to all “good” individuals to act as citizens of the world. Be vigilant, notice wrongdoing in your neighborhood, and report suspicious activity to the proper authorities.
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Military Connection: How “The Good” Can Act: By Joe Silva