Putin Flexes Muscles & ISIS Threatens Muslims Democrats
Russian President Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscles again. Two days this week Russian aircraft buzzed a U.S. destroyer conducting drills in the Baltic Sea.
On Monday, two Russian SU-24 fighter jets made several "close-range and low altitude passes" over the USS Donald Cook as it was conducting deck landing helicopter drills. The Russian harassment continued the next day.
On Tuesday, a KA-27 Helix helicopter circled the Cook seven times at low altitude. After the helicopter left the area, the SU-24s came back and made 11 passes over the Cook, while failing to respond to repeated safety warnings in both English and Russian. One official told CNN that the maneuvers amounted to "strafing runs without firing any weapons."
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman defended the aggressive actions, claiming the Cook was 45 miles from Russian military facilities in Kaliningrad. U.S. officials insist the ship was 75 miles away.
Putin has been pushing the envelope, especially in Eastern Europe. In October, Admiral Mark Ferguson, commander of the NATO Allied Joint Force Command, warned:
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described Vladimir Putin as a "risk taker." Panetta said that Putin would continue pushing until someone calls his bluff. No doubt many pundits will insist that we can't risk "provoking" the Russians. But it is Putin who is doing the provoking.
When Putin sent military forces into Syria, he provoked NATO by flying his jets into Turkish airspace. Turkey shot one of them down. And what did Putin do about it? Absolutely nothing. Had Turkey not shot that jet down, Putin would be regularly violating Turkish airspace.
ISIS Threatens American Muslims Democrats
The latest edition of Dabiq, the ISIS propaganda magazine, calls on jihadists in the West to "Kill the imams of kufr [disbelievers or apostates] in the West." The magazine reportedly identifies nearly two dozen high pro-file Muslims in the West who, according to ISIS, reject true Islam and should be killed.
Among those on the ISIS hit list: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Clinton advisor Huma Abedin, Rashad Hussain, a former envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mohamed Elibiary, a former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Arif Alikhan, a former official at the Department of Homeland Security and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) national executive director Nihad Awad.
As long as the "JV team" stuck to killing Christians, the left never seemed terribly bothered by radical Islam. Now that it is issuing fatwas against American Muslims and Democrats -- that has to be some sort of micro-aggression or something -- perhaps the left will take the threat posed by the Islamic State more seriously. But I'm not holding my breath.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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