Our president confesses to the world that he does not as yet have any specific plan to deal with the Islamic State terrorist movement, the world’s newest great threat. Fear grips many of us. Not since the scourge of Genghis Kahn has civilization faced a more barbarous group of extremists.

Beheadings and murderous mutilations of innocent women and children are the order of the day for the worst cultists in more than a century.

History has taught, through the fall of the Roman empire and the Nazi gas chambers of Auschwitz, that fear is a powerful weapon in the hands of an enemy. In more recent history, the uncivilized actions of terrorists, now led by Islamic fanatics, remind us of the admonition of Franklin Roosevelt in his 1933 inaugural address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

The world’s greatest psychologists understand the effect of fear on all of us. It is a paralyzing emotion that always produces two options — flight or fight.

Throughout history, the president of the United States has often been thrust into this choice for the American people. If the commander in chief is a person of character and extreme resolve, the choice becomes incredibly simple. When presented with a fearsome, paralyzing threat, the choice must always be fight or confrontation.

It is only through incredible courage and military might that our country and several others have survived.

As we are severely tested, however, some good could come from this test. The Islamic State threat, unlike any other that we have known before, could be used by this president to unite us in this time of great division throughout our land.

Survival is man’s greatest motivator. No stronger need exists in the mind of the human race. Therefore, our president has at his disposal, if he chooses to lead, and he must, the two greatest motivations in the human physique — fear and survival.

One cannot find any viable argument, taken from the pages of the history, for any other choice than confrontation and military might when faced with the kind of threat that the Islamic State poses.

The United Kingdom already has raised the terror alert to severe, as hundreds of new young recruits join the Islamic State daily.

Our president must seize the opportunity to immediately gather the nation’s greatest military leaders to develop a plan that would send an unmistakable signal of the coming annihilation of this inhumane group. The message that will emerge can be so strong to the Islamic State that even its members will experience fear.

The American people will again stand tall, united in a common cause. By taking the lead, we will regain the respect of the world, and others, sensing their survival is also at stake, will join us.

Proper caution must be taken to avoid mistakes in our policy to obliterate this new plague. But, we must waste no time, since some of the strongest intelligence gathered indicates a real and present danger to our homeland. Isolationism is not an option.”Peace-niks” need not apply for this fight.

The price of peace has always been vigilance; each of us has a responsibility to be on guard. We must not, however, succumb to fear or allow ourselves to be intimidated into changing our way of life.

Let’s go about our business every day with optimism and determination. Support our president as he, and those around him, works for our protection. History has proven to us that, when the forces of good and evil clash, those on the side of good will prevail, if they are united, have the tools for survival and use them. What is needed to guarantee victory and preserve our way of life is a steely resolve to stand together, to act decisively with conviction and never to yield to fear. Confront it and destroy it.

I pray for God to bless America and President Barack Obama. “This too shall pass.”

addendum: Last week, I rated the first round of TV political ads. As I expected, the second Mike Michaud ad in his race for governor is much better than his first. This is a “jobs” ad and features my friend Charles “Wick” Johnson of Kennebec Technologies in Augusta walking through his plant with Michaud. The ad gets a B-plus.

Don Roberts is a former city councilor and vice chairman of the Charter Commission in Augusta. He is a trustee of the Greater Augusta Utility District, and a representative to the Legislative Policy Committee of Maine Municipal Association.

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