As the events in Paris unfolded, I watched in horror with the rest of the world as violent terror once again touched the soil of one of America’s oldest allies. I echo the cares and concerns of the world that terror is growing – and we must stand united against it.
Terror does not respect borders or nationalities. Its effects are felt in the smallest village and in the world’s most recognizable cities.
Nearly 500 innocent people were killed or injured in Paris only 10 months after extremists attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices. The day before the Paris attacks, 43 people were killed and 239 injured by suicide bombers in Beirut. Mounting evidence shows that terrorists were likely involved in the deaths of 224 people aboard a Russian jet that went down in Egypt last month. In Israel, our friends have been battling increased violence for weeks now with no predictable end in sight.
All of these events have taken place in the last two months – and there are countless other victims of hate around the world whose loss too often goes unnoticed. No matter the location, the fact is that too many parents in these nations worry if their children will come home safe at night.
It is at times like these that defenders of freedom need to remember the common threads that bind us together against the powers of evil.
France was not the beginning, nor will it be the end.
On the heels of this tragedy, ISIS has taken credit and released a video promising that something “worse is coming.” Our own CIA Director has said that he anticipates this was “not the only operation that ISIL has in the pipeline.”
The President and I share a goal to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. In the meantime, we are obligated to the American people to contain and control these crazed attackers.
ISIS has already expanded to Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Teenagers from England and Europe have attempted to or successfully supported ISIS on the ground. As sickening as those events are, it is more terrifying to think those recruits might bring their new training back home. How long until we see terrorism touch U.S. soil again?
This is not just a threat to the Eastern hemisphere. This is a global threat that requires a global response.
The U.S. cannot be the only one involved, but we also cannot fail to act. When America fails to lead, it often creates a vacuum that we have seen filled with the nightmares of hateful leaders who disregard innocent lives in their quest for power and control.
We must be vigilant for the sake of life in America and across the world. We must continue to fight these extremists and stand as a united front against this rising tide of evil.
Congressman Cresent Hardy represents Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.