On September 11, 2001, 19 Al-Qaida terrorists from various countries in the Middle East and Asia hijacked four airplanes and crashed them. Two airplanes hit the “Twin Towers” in New York City, one hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and one did not reach its target of the White House because the passengers stopped the terrorist pilots. This plane crash-landed in a field in Pennsylvania. Because of the 9/11 attacks, approximately 3,000 civilians were murdered.
The terrorists who committed these attacks were part of an international organization called Al-Qaida, a radical Islamic organization. Al-Qaida does not control a country, but its members live in many parts of the world, including the United States of America. These terrorists hate America because the United States supports Israel’s right to exist, and because America represents freedom. Israel is a Jewish country, and the Al-Qaida organization hates Jews. Osama bin Laden was the head of Al-Qaida. He demanded that the U.S.A. stop supporting Israel, and that we remove all of our soldiers from the Arabian Peninsula.
In 2001, Al-Qaida had most of its bases in Afghanistan, a country of Asia. Afghanistan was ruled by a political party called the Taliban. Like Al-Qaida, the Taliban was very extreme in its Islamic beliefs. The Taliban did not allow girls to study or women to have a job. Women had to wear a black robe called a burqa that covered their entire body. When a girl under Taliban control becomes a woman, the Taliban mutilates her body to permanently mark her as less than a man. If you had a book or a newspaper that the Taliban didn’t like, the Taliban soldiers might torture or kill you. If it was thought you were an Afghani Christian, the Taliban would execute you. If you belonged to a minority group, you could be tortured. Punishment for homosexuality or for infidelity for a married woman was execution. The Taliban and Al-Qaida worked, and work, together.
After the attacks on 9/11, President Bush demanded from Afghanistan/The Taliban that it hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States of America. The Taliban refused, and the U.S. launched a war. The Taliban lost the war and the U.S. helped the Afghans establish a republic. The Taliban is still fighting, though. The U.S. has soldiers in Afghanistan and is fighting the Taliban with the Afghan people.
In 2001, Saddam Hussein was the dictator of Iraq, and the world believed that he was supporting terrorists and that he had dangerous weapons. It was feared he would give terrorists a nuclear bomb or poison gas or some other weapons that the terrorists would then use against Americans. Saddam Hussein threatened the U.S., attempted to kill President Bush in a visit to Kuwait, and had defied 16 United Nations resolutions to come clean on his making dangerous weapons. The United States Senate gave President Bush authority to use force to remove Hussein, and he used it. The U.S. launched a war against Hussein, removed him, and established a republic. The Iraqi people tried and executed Hussein as a mass murderer. Terrorist groups unhappy with Iraqi democracy are now fighting Iraqis, and Iraqis fight the terrorists.
President Obama became the leader of the U.S. in 2009 and continued the fight against terrorists in a different way than President Bush. In 2011, he gave the order for Navy Seals to kill the leader of Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden was killed. President Obama also ordered American soldiers out of the majority of Iraq. Since then, another terrorist organization, called Daesha (or also ISIS) has overrun much of Iraq and Syria. Currently, hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing ISIS and escaping into Europe.
American soldiers risk their lives each day fighting people who made a promise to kill Americans. We remember September 11, 2001, as a day of mourning for those innocent civilians killed on American soil and as a day that changed how Americans fight terrorists around the globe.
1. Who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.A?
2. Who are the Taliban?
3. How did the U.S. respond to these attacks?
Extra: The following question is not answered in the text:
4. Where are the terrorists fighting today?
5. Research and describe President Obama’s foreign policy in regards to terrorism. What is your opinion of his policy?
On Friday, August 28th, three Americans on vacation, an American living in France, a Frenchman, and a Briton stopped Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani from attacking 554 passengers as they travelled from Amsterdam to Paris. El-Khazzani was equipped with multiple weapons full of ammunition and appeared ready to commit mass murder. French President Francois Hollande awarded the three Americans – Airman First Class Spencer Stone, 23; Alek Scarlatos, 22, a specialist in the Oregon National Guard; and their friend Anthony Sadler, 23 - and the Briton with the Legion of Honor, the highest award given by the country of France. The heroes were praised throughout France and Europe for stopping an attack that was believed to be motivated by Islamic terrorism. “Your heroism must be an example for many and a source of inspiration,” Mr. Hollande added. “Faced with the evil of terrorism, there is a good, that of humanity. You are the incarnation of that.”
Without the quick thinking and acting of the American tourists, the Moroccan would most likely have killed and wounded scores of people. El-Khazzani emerged from the restroom on the train shirtless, with an AK-47 and other weapons. A Frenchman tackled the attacker, who shot his gun. Upon hearing the gunshot, Spencer Stone awoke his sleeping friends. The three Americans ran towards the gunman, took him to the ground, and with the help of the Briton, tied up the attacker. Stone then went to the injured man the attacker had shot in the neck, put his fingers into the bullet wounds, stopped the bleeding, and stayed there until the train arrived at the next stop and emergency professionals could take over treatment.
Speaking of the three Americans, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley said, "When most of us would run away, Spencer, Alek and Anthony ran into the line of fire, saying 'Let's go.' Those words changed the fate of many."
American hero Anthony Sadler was asked if he had any advice to give someone in a similar situation.
"Do something," he said. "Hiding, or sitting back, is not going to accomplish anything. And the gunman would've been successful if my friend Spencer had not gotten up. So I just want that lesson to be learned going forward, in times of, like, terror like that, please do something. Don't just stand by and watch."
1. What happened on a train from Amsterdam to Paris?
2. Who was the attacker?
3. Why is it believed he wanted to harm people?
4. Who were the three Americans honored by French President Hollande?
5. Do you think it was just coincidence that it was three Americans who saved everybody on the train, or are Americans more able to perform acts of heroism than others?
On January 7, 2015, Muslim terrorists attacked journalists in a satirical magazine in France, murdering 12. The name of the magazine is Charlie Hebdo, and Muslim terrorists had targeted the newspaper in the past because journalists had printed cartoons that ridiculed Islam and Islamic terrorists. During the attack, the killers shouted out “Allahu Akbar” which means “God is great” in Arabic, and "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad.” Al Qaeda in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the attack. On the day after the Charlie Hebdo attack, another Muslim terrorist killed a policewoman in Paris, took over a Jewish deli, took hostages, and killed four. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the French government began a nation-wide search for the terrorists. Nearly every leader around the world joined France in condemning the attack, condemning Muslim terrorists.
Satire is the use of humor to make fun of someone, ideas, or beliefs, and is a protected form of speech in free countries like France and the United States of America. It is a kind of humor that is often used by political commentators to show how the other side is wrong, and has a long history in American politics. It was used by American founding father Benjamin Franklin to show how King George III and Great Britain were wrong. Charlie Chaplin used satire to show how dangerous the German chancellor Adolf Hitler was, right before Hitler caused World War II. Charlie Hebdo used satire to make fun of all religious groups, including Catholics, Jews, and Muslims, and to make fun of politics, especially in France.
Journalists of Charlie Hebdo have published cartoons ridiculing Islam and have been the target of Islamic terror for many years. In 2005, Charlie Hebdo republished Danish cartoons ridiculing Islam and Mohammed. In response to the cartoons, Muslims rioted throughout the world, killing 50. In 2011, Islamic terrorists firebombed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, after its journalists released a cartoon ridiculing Mohammed and Islam (It is against the rules of Islam to depict the image of Mohammed). In response to threats to his life, Charlie Hebdo editor, Stephane Charbonnier had stated, “I’d rather die standing up than live on my knees.” Mr. Charbonnier was one of the men killed by terrorists in the attack on the magazine.
In response to the attack, the French government mobilized over 90,000 soldiers and policemen and conducted a manhunt, aiming to hunt down the attackers. One of the three who is believed to have attacked the magazine is reported to have turned himself in, although it is still unclear if he was involved. The other two attackers took over a printing press north of Paris and were killed by French authorities. French stormed the deli, as well, killing the Muslim terrorist, but unfortunately, four more innocents were murdered.
Over this past weekend, January 9th through the 12th, world leaders joined millions of French to march in Paris and throughout France in the name of liberty and defiance against the Islamic terrorists. Leaders have proclaimed outrage against Islamic terrorism. Among the marchers were heads of state of France, German, Great Britain, Israel, Russia’s foreign minister, and leaders from at least 35 other countries. The Obama administration, however, did not send a high ranking official from the U.S.A. Instead, it sent the ambassador to France. The Obama administration has also not called the attackers Muslim terrorists. It is unclear why the U.S.A. stands alone in not naming the attackers Muslim terrorists.
Below is an image of a cartoon that enraged the Islamic terrorists. They were angry because in the religion of Islam, Muhammad should not be depicted in picture. Also, this cartoon pokes fun at the terrorists. In the cartoon, Muhammad is being executed by an Islamic terrorist. Muhammad says, “I am the Prophet, you fool!” The terrorist proclaims, “Shut up, you infidel!” What do you think the cartoonist is saying?
1. What is Charlie Hebdo?
2. What happened against journalists at Charlie Hebdo?
3. What happened at a Jewish deli in Paris?
4. What did world leaders do to condemn the Islamic terrorists?
5. What did President Obama not do that leaders from 40 other countries did in France?
Iran and the Obama Administration
Every spring, 8th grade students from the middle school I teach at, MacArthur Intermediate School in Santa Ana, California, take a field trip to The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. This amazing museum teaches the importance of tolerance, a history of World War II, and the Holocaust. Upon learning of the atrocities the Nazis committed against 6 million Jews and 5 million others, students always ask, “How could this have happened?” What they mean is, how did the hateful Nazis take over a country, publicly state their goals, successfully implement their murderous plan on the Jews and others, and, how could the world have stood by and let it happen? Unbelievably, the U.S.A. and the world today is letting a similar event occur, and the American administration is actually aiding the perpetrators in their actions. The silence of the media and many of our leaders is a source of great sadness and disbelief.
A Brief History
From Ancient Times to 1925
In ancient history, there was no country of Iran but Persia, an empire of great size and importance. Ancient Persia encompassed the area from Egypt in the west to India in the East, from the Caucuses in the north to the Persian Gulf in the South. Persia competed with ancient Greece and Rome for power and in the Medieval Ages was conquered by Muslims and became part of various Caliphates. A Caliphate is an Islamic government ruled by a caliph, a man in charge of both the political order and religion. In the 1200s, Mongols conquered Persia, but then Persians regained their land from the Mongols. From 1502-1925, the modern country of Iran was founded and ruled by two major dynasties (a dynasty is a family who rules). The Safavid and Qajar Dynasties decided Iran would follow Shia Islam. (In Islam, there are two major sects – Shia and Sunni).
A Persian officer, Reza Khan, orchestrated a coup (military takeover) of Iran in 1921 and took the title of Shah (king) of Iran in 1925. Reza Shah ruled until 1941, when Allied forces invaded Iran to guarantee Iranian oil would help the U.S.A., Great Britain, and the Soviet Union win World War II. The Allies replaced Reza Shah with his son, Mohammad-Reza Shah (simply known as the Shah of Iran). America and the British wanted to have Iran as a country against the Soviet Union, and they wanted to use Iran for its oil. After World War II, the Iranian government became more democratic and also moved against American and British interests. In 1951, Iran nationalized the British-owned oil industry. Two years later, the United States and Great Britain organized a coup, overthrew the Iranian government, and made the Shah an autocrat (dictator).
The Iranian Revolution and the Islamic Republic 1979 – Today
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, many in Iran were unhappy with the Shah of Iran and his supporters, the U.S.A. and Great Britain. The main leader of the revolution was the Ayatollah Khomeini, who believed that everyone requires guardianship by a leading Islamic leader. The Ayatollah was upset at the Shah’s western ties, believing the west to be evil and decadent. In 1979, massive protests throughout the country forced the Shah to leave. The Ayatollah took power, and a national vote made Iran an Islamic Republic. In 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini died, and since then, the Ayatollah Khamenei has held the title of “Supreme Leader.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the U.S.A. is the “Great Satan,” the source of everything in the world that is evil, it officially hates Israel and seeks to destroy it, and it does not allow any freedom that goes against its strict interpretation of Islam. It publicly states its hatred for the United States and Israel, and, it openly supports terrorist organizations that kill Americans, Israelis, and anyone who opposes the Iranian view of the world. Ayatollah Khamenei uses every method of communication, including Twitter, to detail his plan for eliminating Israel.
Iran has been incredibly successful in sponsoring, arming, and cooperating with terrorists. For a complete list of their decades of murder and terror, simply conduct a search with the phrase “Iran and state-sponsored terrorism.” Most recently, Iran is responsible for the death of over 1,500 Americans in Iraq, and it continues today to plan and carry out acts of terror against Americans. Iran’s goal is to destroy Israel and spread their Islamic Republic as far as possible. It sees America as an enemy.
Iran and the Obama Administration
In the past, American administrations have worked with allies to counter Iranian threats in the Middle East. Under the Obama administration, however, the U.S.A. is not working with its traditional ally Israel, but in fact it is aiding the Iranian Republic as it expands militarily. This American cooperation with Iran continues even though Iran is currently funding and coordinating terrorist acts against Americans and our allies.
In Iraq, Iran’s military is working with American air power to defeat ISIS. While American pilots bomb ISIS from above, Iranian soldiers take over the ground below that Americans used to hold. Americans do not know if the Obama administration has discussed what will happen in Iraq after ISIS is defeated. Will the Iranians stay?
Iran has been seeking for many years to develop nuclear weapons. As it would be the only Muslim country with this weapon, Iran seeks this power to exert its influence over the rest of the Middle East, Europe, and possibly to use this weapon to destroy Israel. Throughout the first months of 2015, leaders from the United States of America, Russia, China, Iran, Great Britain, France, and Germany have met to discuss a nuclear deal with leaders of Iran. The U.S.A. wants the deal to limit Iran’s ability to create a nuclear bomb, and Iran wants the deal to take away economic sanctions. (Sanctions are punishments that a country imposes. For example, no American company is allowed to do business with Iran.) Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanhayu has strongly objected to the talks, arguing that Iran should first cease all terrorist activities before the west grants Iran anything. Netanyahu’s thinking is, if Iran is killing Americans and Israelis now, how can we trust what they say during negotiations?
Iran and the Museum of Tolerance
When my students at MacArthur Intermediate asked me how could the Nazis take over a country and murder so many innocent people while the world stood by, I teach them about Iran today, as an example of how history is repeating itself. Iran seeks to destroy the Jewish nation of Israel, it sponsors terrorists that have killed over 1,500 Americans in the last few years, it calls America the “Great Satan,” and it is completely intolerant of anyone who does not fit their idea of what a good Muslim is. What is the American response to this? We are helping Iran expand militarily, allowing them to continue to support terror, and hoping that talking with them will bring good results. President Obama seeks to tolerate, understand and give into those who hate Americans and Israel, even at the cost of losing the lives of Americans and our allies. He fails to understand the universal rule of the bully. If you give him what he wants, he will only want more. If there is one thing the Museum of Tolerance teaches, it is that there can be no toleration for a country that foments hatred and intolerance. America cannot cooperate with and support Iran and at the same time defend ourselves and our allies from the deadly Iranian leaders.
1. What ancient empire does Iran trace itself to?
2. Who conquered the Persians in the 1200s?
3. Why did the United States and Great Britain sponsor a coup in Iran in 1953?
4. What happened in 1979 in Iran?
5. How does Iran view Israel and the United States?
6. Do you think President Obama is following the best policy with Iran?
7. If you were President, how would you deal with Iran?
In recent months, an organization called The Islamic State, (also referred to as ISIS or ISIL) has taken over a large area of Syria and Iraq. ISIS stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The organization is a jihadist movement, which means that it’s composed of Islamic extremists who believe that God, who they call Allah, wants them to kill people who don’t worship as they do. They also hold women to be inferior to men and strictly enforce repressive laws. The Islamic State wants to annihilate the United States because it represents freedom and wants a free Iraq. In the last month ISIS has murdered at least two American journalists by cutting off their heads and it says it will kill more Americans.
The Islamic State dates back about 15 years, during which the group bore different names and operated in states ranging from Jordan to Afghanistan and Iraq. In recent years, a power vacuum in Syria and Iraq has allowed The Islamic State to exert its influence. In Syria, various groups have been fighting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad for control in a Civil War. Syria is weak. In Iraq, President Obama pulled out American soldiers, wrongly believing Iraq was strong enough to defend itself. And, after initially declaring the United States would fight Syria if it used chemical weapons, President Obama backed down and did nothing against Assad when he did use chemical weapons. This emboldened terrorist groups like The Islamic State to believe the United States was weak. The Islamic State has taken advantage of this lack of strength in the area, gaining control over large swaths of land.
The Islamic State, it is believed, has over 31 million fighters who come from all over the world, including from 1 to 2 million westerners. Leader of The Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was born in Iraq, and was held in captivity by the United States. He was released either in 2004, or in 2009. Al-Baghdadi has had stunning success in his brutality. When ISIS takes over an area, it gives the citizens one week to make a decision: Become Muslim and believe in the religion exactly as The Islamic State believes, pay a special tax until you die, move, or be killed. It is not known exactly how many people The Islamic State has murdered, but we do know that up to 1,000,000 have fled, and we have pictures of murdered children and men.
In a speech last week, President Obama announced “we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.” What this exactly means on the battlefield is still unclear, and it is unclear if the President thinks this a war or not. The President has said we will bomb The Islamic State, and we will work with other countries, however, he has said he will not put American soldiers on the ground.
1. What is The Islamic State?
2. What is The Islamic State doing in Iraq and Syria?
3. Read at least one newspaper article about this event, and answer the question: What should the United States of America do about The Islamic State? What is the best way to defeat it?
In September 2014, Current Event for Kids.com published an article titled “The Islamic State.” It gives a history of this terrorist organization and traces America’s actions towards it up to that time. The article this week deals with the name of the Muslim Terrorist organization, and the events of September 2014 through today, February 25, 2015.
What is in a Name?
In October 2014, French officials declared that they will refer to the Muslim terrorist organization that is attempting to establish a worldwide caliphate (kingdom) as Daesh. Daesh is the acronym of the organization’s full name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, and it also happens to be an insult when read aloud as one word. In Arabic, Daesh can mean “to trample down and crush” and “a bigot who imposes his view on others.” Members of D.A.E.S.H. have threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone who uses the term. Daesh members want to be known as The Islamic State, which gives them credibility (importance) as a country that is Islamic, or ISIS (Islamic State in Syria), or ISIL (Islamic State in the Levant). The Levant is the name of an area in Southwest Asia.
The United States of America and Daesh
September 2014 to February 2015
In a speech in September 2014, President Obama announced that the United States of America “will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL, through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.” Since this time, the U.S.A. has used limited airstrikes to attack Daesh in Iraq and Syria. President Obama has declared that no U.S. ground troops will be used in the fight against ISIS.
In February, 2015, various journalists and politicians commented whether the U.S.A. was winning the war against ISIS. Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, reported that ISIS controls about the same area it did in September 2014, and that ISIS continues to successfully recruit terrorists. Bergen noted that while the Pentagon claims to be killing around 1,000 terrorists per month, it also admits that ISIS is recruiting about 1,000 terrorists per month. Vox, the liberal-leaning internet news source, reported that while ISIS is not retreating, it has stopped advancing. Journalist Zack Beauchamp noted that in order for ISIS to survive, it has to keep advancing or lose credibility.
Currently, ISIS controls an area larger than Switzerland with a population greater than 8,000,000. It is estimated that ISIS fighters number in the tens of thousands, possibly at 30,000. Recent reports show ISIS training children to become terrorist fighters, using similar tactics that Nazi Germany used in training youngsters to be part of Hitler Youth. Inhabitants under the yoke of ISIS, or Daesh, have no freedoms and face torture and murder if they do not follow a strict understanding of Islam.
In the months since September, 2014, ISIS has successfully tortured and murdered Westerners, Jews, Christians, and primarily, Muslims who ISIS believes do not follow the religion correctly. ISIS films when they torture and murder and uses these videos as recruiting tools. ISIS terrorists burned a Jordanian pilot to death in a cage. They also filmed their terrorists beheading twenty-one Egyptian Christians. In the last month, American aid volunteer Kayla Mueller was murdered. American intelligence say ISIS killed the twenty-six year old.
Even though President Obama vowed to destroy ISIS in September 2014, it appears he does not believe that ISIS is a dangerous threat to Americans. In February, President Obama hosted a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. At this summit American leaders did not mention radical Islam or Muslim terrorists or ISIS. The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted that at about the time of the summit, in the Iraqi town of Kirkuk, ISIS paraded 17 Kurdish soldiers in cages through the streets. Kirkuk is an important oil trading center that ISIS did not hold in September 2014. It is believed these 17 soldiers will face the same end as other soldiers ISIS has captured.
1. In September 2014, what did President Obama vow the U.S.A. would do against ISIS?
2. Is ISIS winning the war against the U.S.A. or is the U.S.A. winning?
3. Why does ISIS film when it tortures and kills its enemies?
4. Do President Obama’s words and actions show that he is serious in using American power to defeat ISIS?
In early December, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer system was hacked by a group that calls itself the “Guardians of Peace.” Hacking means when someone breaks into a computer’s files, steals private information, and in cases like this, releases the information to the public. The Sony hackers stole movies and large amounts of private emails and information. The Obama administration and the FBI strongly believe North Korea hacked Sony to punish it for planning to distribute the movie “The Interview.” The Interview is a fictional movie about two American journalists hired by the CIA to kill the North Korean leader. North Korea denies any involvement in the hacking.
North Korea and South Korea
The history of North Korea begins in the first half of the twentieth century. Since the early 1900s, Japan had occupied Korea. Once Japan surrendered to the Americans in 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States of America decided to initially divide Korea at the 38th parallel, with the Soviets controlling the north and the Americans controlling the south. Both sides promised free elections, however, just as in Europe, the Soviets handpicked their leader and declared a communist country, while the Americans allowed free elections in the South.
Both Koreas were proclaimed as independent countries in 1948. North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and South Korea is called the Republic of Korea. The Soviets placed Kim Il-Sung in charge of North Korea, and the citizens of South Korea voted their leader into office. The northern government moved quickly to control all industries, control all aspects of society, and to push for conquering the south. North Korea has a “totalitarian state.” This means that all elements of society are controlled by the government. South Korea is a republic, where citizens have political liberties and freedom.
The Korean War (1950-1953)
With the approval and support of the Communist leaders Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union and Mao Zedong of China, Kim Il-Sung of North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, hoping to reunify all of Korea under Communist rule. The Soviet Union aided the north with weapons and military advisors, while China sent soldiers. South Korea was aided by the United States and the United Nations. In 1953, both sides agreed to stop fighting and split the country in two at the 38th parallel. The United States still has soldiers in South Korea.
The Totalitarian State
Kim Il-Sung led North Korea until his death in 1994, establishing a society where the government completely controls everything. He created a Communist society where the state is everything for the people. No one in North Korea is allowed to speak against their leader, have an opinion against the government, or have a religion or believe in God. Punishment for holding an opinion not approved by the state can be torture, forced labor, imprisonment, and execution, not only for the accused but for the entire family and generations to come. North Koreans have no freedoms, including no right to travel within their own country, no right to say what they think, and no right to watch what they want on T.V. Watching a Western T.V. show could mean torture and death for your entire family. The Communist North Korean government has murdered millions of its own people. North Korea is the largest forced labor camp in the entire world.
After his death, Kim Il-Sung’s son and grandson continued the brutal regime. Son Kim Jong-il in 1994 took over, and then his son Kim Jong-Un took over in 2011 when his dad died. The three leaders continued to cultivate the cult of the personality. At every moment in a North Korean’s life, he has to obey the state, or suffer. North Korea has become an international outcast, friends only to groups and countries that sponsor terror.
Sony and The Interview
In 2014, Sony distributed “The Interview,” a comedy about the CIA hiring two dumb American journalists to kill the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un. A few weeks before the movie’s release, Sony’s computer systems were hacked by a group that calls itself the “Guardians of Peace.” The hackers released movies and emails it stole from Sony, and they threatened that if Sony released “The Interview” great harm would come to American movie goers and to Sony. Initially, Sony declared they would not release the movie, but then it eventually did. The Obama administration believes the government of North Korea is responsible for hacking Sony’s files and is using economic and travel sanctions to punish North Korea.
1. What does the Obama administration believe North Korea did to Sony Picture’s Entertainment?
2. Who controlled Korea during World War II?
3. What happened in North Korea and South Korea from 1945-1949?
4. Who won the Korean War (1950-1953)?
5. What is a totalitarian country?
On Monday, November 11th, 2014, the Veteran's Day National Ceremony took place at Arlington National Cemetery, located in Arlington, Virginia. The ceremony began exactly at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It continued with a parade of colors by veteran's organizations and speeches by dignitaries. Veteran's Day is a day set aside to honor all members who have fought in America's wars, including our current war, the War of Terror. In the War on Terror, there has been difficulties within the U.S. government determining who is a veteran and who is not.
November 11th, 11:00 a.m., is the moment that fighting in World War I stopped. World War I - known at the time as "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars" - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles in France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of World War I.
Each year on this day, Americans remember and give thanks to all veterans. A veteran is a person who served in the United States Armed Forces. This year, American leaders give honor to those Americans who fought in wars that are over and to the veterans of The War on Terror, the war that we are currently fighting.
The war the U.S.A. is currently in may be our most complicated war, beginning with what it is called. In 1984, President Reagan used the words "war against terrorism" as he attempted to persuade Congress to pass legislation aimed at freezing bank assets of terrorist organizations. Five days after 9/11/2001 attacks against America, the U.S. Congress passed the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorism," which allowed the President to use force against the terrorists and the regimes that sponsored them to carry out the 9/11 attacks. On September 20th, 2011, President George W. Bush used the words "War on Terror" to describe the global war America is in. President Obama did not like the title, however, and described the war as "Overseas Contingency Operation."
Veterans of the War on Terror number in the millions and include personnel who have fought abroad, but not at home. Since 9/11, over 2,333,627 military personnel have served in Afghanistan or Iraq (according to ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-veterans-numbers/story?id=14928136#1 ) in the War on Terror, and some argue, military personnel have also fought terrorists in the United States. On October 5, 2009, U.S. Major Nidal Hasan, fatally shot 13 American servicemen at Ft. Hood, Texas. Hasan was injured and is being held for murder. He has declared his attack was part of jihad, an act of Islamic holy war. Hasan has applied for citizenship in the Islamic State, the terrorist state in the Middle East. The Obama administration refuses to call Hasan's attack an act of terror, and instead calls it, "workplace violence." Survivors of Hasan's attack and family members of the deceased do not enjoy benefits of soldiers injured during war.
1. Why is November 11th Veteran's Day? Why was this date chosen?
2. What words did President Bush use to describe our current war and what words do President Obama use?
3.Do you think that the soldiers killed and injured by Major Hasan should be considered as war veterans? Why or why not?
John De Gree
John De Gree writes the current events with a look at the history of each topic. Articles are written for the young person, aged 10-18, and Mr. De Gree carefully writes so that all readers can understand the event. The perspective the current events are written in is Judeo-Christian.
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